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Berkeley, family, Earls of Berkeley

This page summarises records created by this Family

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Date: 1100-2000

The Fitzhardinges, later Berkeleys, were lords of Berkeley (Gloucestershire) from the 12th century. The 10th Lord Berkeley (d. 1417) married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Warin de Lisle, Lord Lisle. William, Marquess of Berkeley (d. 1492) succeeded to part of the estates of the Mowbray Dukes of Norfolk in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Sussex and elsewhere. He settled much of his property with remainder to the King, reputedly in exchange for his Marquessate, but his brother Maurice (who married Isabel Maud, heiress of Thornbury (Gloucestershire) and property in Somerset) and Maurice's great-grandson, the 7th Baron Berkeley, recovered some of the alienated possessions.

Thomas Berkeley (d. 1611), son of the 7th Baron, married Elizabeth Carey, daughter and co-heir of the 2nd Baron Hunsdon: she purchased Cranford (Middlesex) in 1618. Their son, the 8th Baron, married in 1614 Elizabeth Stanhope, heiress of other property in Middlesex (including East Bedfont, sold to the Duke of Northumberland in 1656). The 9th Baron was created Earl of Berkeley in 1679. In 1773 the 5th Earl of Berkeley inherited valuable London property and the Portisham (Dorset) estate from a distant cousin, Lord Berkeley of Stratton.

In the early 19th century the Berkeley Castle estates passed to a natural son of the 5th Earl, who was created Baron Fitzhardinge in 1841. In the 20th century they descended to the 8th and last Earl of Berkeley, a descendant of the eldest legitimate son of the 5th Earl, and on his death to the Berkeleys of Spetchley (Worcestershire). The London property was sold in 1919 and Cranford mainly in 1932. The Bosham (Sussex) estate was held by the Hon. C.P.T. Berkeley, second son of the 1st Baron Fitzhardinge, in 1883.

Estates in 1883: Fitzhardinge: 18,264 acres in Gloucestershire; 1,471 acres in Dorset; 539 acres in Middlesex; together worth £33,717 a year. Berkeley of Spetchley: 4,811 acres in Worcestershire.

  • Devon
  • Kent
  • Norfolk
  • Abingdon, Berkshire
  • Alconbury, Huntingdonshire
  • Alkington, Gloucestershire
  • Bedminster, Somerset
  • Berkeley, Gloucestershire
  • Bosham, Sussex
  • Cam, Gloucestershire
  • Coaley, Gloucestershire
  • Cranford, Middlesex
  • Diseworth, Leicestershire
  • Fawler, Berkshire
  • Harlington, Middlesex
  • Hovingham, Yorkshire
  • Kingswood, Gloucestershire
  • London
  • Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
  • Northaw, Hertfordshire
  • Penpoll, Cornwall
  • Portbury, Somerset
  • Portesham, Dorset
  • Slimbridge, Gloucestershire
  • South Newington, Oxfordshire
  • Thirsk, Yorkshire
  • Uffington, Berkshire
  • Weston, Huntingdonshire
  • Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
  • Yate, Gloucestershire
  • Caludon, Warwickshire
  • Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire
  • Wootton, Berkshire
  • Michaelwood, Gloucestershire
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996, pp. 8-9
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F86149 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3503 )
  Description Held by Reference Further information
12th cent-20th cent: Gloucs (Berkeley Castle, Coaley, Slimbridge, Yate, etc), London, Middlesex (Cranford, etc) and Sussex (Bosham, etc) deeds, legal papers, rentals, accounts, estate and Severn fishery papers and Berkeley family and genealogical papers 12th-20th cent, incl Gloucs (Berkeley hundred, etc) manorial records 13th-19th cent, household papers 14th-19th cent (Berkeley Castle, Yate, London, etc) and papers of the 2nd Baron Hunsdon (1547-1603) and John Smyth of Nibley (1567-1641), with deeds and papers for other counties mainly 12th-17th cent, incl Berks (Fawler, etc), Cornwall (Penpoll, etc) and Devon, Dorset (Portesham, etc), Hunts (Alconbury and Weston, c1576-98), Kent, Leics (Melton Mowbray, etc), Norfolk, Oxon (South Newington, etc), Somerset (Portbury, etc) and Warwicks (Caludon, etc) and Yorks (Hovingham, etc), records of the abbeys of St Augustine's Bristol and Croxley (Leics) and the chantry of St Andrew's Berkeley 13th-14th cent, etc
Berkeley Castle Muniments
NRA 21647 Berkeley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7a]
1739-1861: Gloucs (Cam, Coaley, Slimbridge, etc) estate plans
Gloucestershire Archives
NRA 9859 Berkeley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7b]
17th-20th cent: Gloucs (Berkeley Castle, Coaley, Slimbridge, etc) and misc Berks (Abingdon, Wootton, etc), London and Middlesex (Cranford, etc) deeds and papers 17th-20th cent, incl Berkeley Square lease book 1896-1920 and Cranford (Middlesex) house inventory 1917, Berkeley family settlements and probate papers, etc
Gloucestershire Archives
NRA 4632 Berkeley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7c]
c1840-1870: Gloucs (Cam, Coaley, etc) deeds, legal, estate and enclosure papers c1840-70, incl Berkeley hundred court book 1863-63
Gloucestershire Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7d]
16th cent-17th cent: Gloucs (Berkeley Castle, etc) estate and household papers and papers rel to other Berkeley family estates and the Berkeley family (John Smyth as steward)
Gloucestershire Archives
NRA 16645 Smyth

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7f]
13th cent-15th cent: Kingswood Abbey (Gloucs) deeds and estate accounts (formerly in Berkeley family possession)
Bristol University Information Services: Special Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7f]
12th cent-1732: misc Gloucs (Berkeley Castle, etc) legal and estate papers c1580-1732, Berkeley Castle inventory 1663 and misc Berkeley family deeds 12th cent
Gloucestershire Archives
NRA 6128 Denison-Jones

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-F, 1996 [7f]
15th cent-20th cent: London and Middlesex (Cranford, Harlington, etc) deeds, manorial records and estate papers 15th-20th cent, with Northaw (Herts) court roll 1572-74, household accounts of Lady Berkeley 1629-35 and Berkeley family pedigree late 19th cent, etc
Berkeley Castle Muniments
NRA 4632 Berkeley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7g], L-W, 1999 [Addenda]
1720-1723: Cranford (Middlesex) garden papers
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25d]
1342-1931: Sussex (Bosham, Chidham, Funtington, Findon, Nyetimber, Stoke, Stoughton, Thorney) manorial and other estate records, with some misc estate records from Cornwall, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Durham, Glos, Hunts, Leics, Suffolk, Wilts and Yorks
West Sussex Record Office
1843-1898: Berkeley family corresp and papers, incl naval papers of Captain H Berkeley and corresp of FHF Berkeley
Gloucestershire Archives
NRA 4632 Berkeley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7e]
1571-1610: letter book of the 7th Baron Berkeley rel to the keepership of Kingswood and Michaelwood forests
Norfolk Record Office
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [7h]
16th cent-17th cent: papers of John Smyth of Nibley as steward of the Berkeley family
Collection held privately: enquiries to The National Archives, Archives Sector Development
NRA 16645 Smyth

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-k, 1996 [7f]
c1597-1617: stewards accounts and papers of Lady Jane Berkeley (d1617)
Collection held privately: enquiries to Norfolk Record Office
NRA 1224 Townshend
1702-1713: account books of 3rd Earl of Berkeley (1680-1736)
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
See R Morriss, Guide to British Naval Papers in North America (1994)
1805-1960: papers incl plans of family estates in St George Hanover Square, Cranford, Harlington, and Hillingdon; and pedigree of the Earls of Berkeley and the Barony of Fitzhardinge
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London
1200-1704: miscellaneous deeds and manorial records apparently collected by John Smyth
Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service
1862-1970: maps and plans
Gloucestershire Archives
1900-1917: letter book of 8th Earl of Berkeley (d1942)
Oxford University: History of Science Museum
NRA 9532 Oxford scientific

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