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Shirley, family, Earls Ferrers

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
History:

The Shirley family was settled at Ettington (Warwickshire) by 1086 and Shirley (Derbyshire) by c.1129. Property in Nottinghamshire (Ratcliffe-upon-Soar), Leicestershire (Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake, Ragdale, etc) and elsewhere was inherited from the last Baron Bassett (d. 1390) of Drayton. In the 15th century Brailsford (Derbyshire) and Staunton Harold (Leicestershire) were acquired through marriages to heiresses while another marriage, that of John Shirley and Jane, daughter and heir of Thomas Lovett, in 1558 brought the Astwell estate (Northamptonshire) and lands in other counties. Sir George Shirley was created a baronet in 1611.

In 1646, on the death of his uncle Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, the 4th Bt inherited Chartley (Staffordshire) and a moiety of the barony of Farney (County Monaghan), the remainder of Essex's property passing to his sister Frances, Marchioness of Hertford (see Thynne, Marquesses of Bath). An estate at Garsdon (Wiltshire) was acquired through the marriage of Robert Shirley (created Earl Ferrers in 1711) and Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Laurence Washington, but on the 1st Earl's death in 1717 his estates were divided between the children of this marriage and those of his second marriage to Selina Finch, daughter of the London merchant George Finch. Garsdon (sold 1741) passed to a younger son by Elizabeth Washington and the Ettington and County Monaghan estates to the sons of the second marriage (see Shirley of Ettington), whilst the remaining estates were settled on the 2nd Earl, a son by the first marriage.

The Northamptonshire and some of the Derbyshire property was sold by the 5th Earl (d. 1778) and further Derbyshire and Leicestershire lands were alienated in the 19th century. The Chartley and Staunton Harold estates were disposed of in 1904 and c1949-53 respectively. The 11th Earl, who succeeded his cousin the 10th Earl in 1912, was descended from a brother of the 6th Earl, Walter Shirley, rector of Loughrea (County Galway), the founder of an ecclesiastical dynasty.

Property at Tamworth (Staffordshire) was acquired through the marriage of Robert Shirley (d. 1698), son of the 1st Earl, to Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Humphrey Ferrers. Their son Robert, Viscount Tamworth (d. 1714) had no issue but their daughter Elizabeth, Baroness Ferrers (d. 1741) married the 5th Earl of Northampton and had issue Charlotte, wife of the 1st Marquess Townshend, to whose family the Tamworth estate descended (see Townshend, Marquesses Townshend). Wiston (West Sussex), brought by the marriage of Beatrice (d. 1440), daughter and heir of Sir John de Braose, to Sir Hugh Shirley, devolved upon a junior branch of the Shirley family.

Estates in 1883: Staffs 6,862 acres, Leics 1,801 acres, Derbys 2 acres, total 8,665 acres worth £12,707 a year.

Places:
  • Astley, Northamptonshire
  • Brailsford, Derbyshire
  • Chartley, Staffordshire
  • East Leake, Nottinghamshire
  • Ednaston, Derbyshire
  • Farney, County Monaghan
  • Garsdon, Wiltshire
  • Glen Magna, Leicestershire
  • Happisburgh, Norfolk
  • Lough Fea, County Monaghan
  • Ragdale, Leicestershire
  • Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake, Leicestershire
  • Shirley, Derbyshire
  • Shirleywich, Staffordshire
  • Staunton Harold, Leicestershire
  • Willowes, Leicestershire
  • Drointon, Staffordshire
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to Principal Estate and Family Collections L-W, 1999
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F88002 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3368 )
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
12th cent-20th cent: Leics (Staunton Harold, etc), Staffs (Chartley, etc) and Derbys (Shirley, etc) deeds, family and estate papers 12th-20th cent, with misc deeds and papers for Wilts (Garsdon) 14th-18th cent, Happisburgh (Norfolk) 18th-19th cent and Lincs, Northants, etc, mainly pre 1500
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 874 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93a]
2
19th cent-1923: misc Leics (Staunton Harold, etc), Staffs (Chartley, etc) and Derbys estate papers 19th cent-1910 and Shirley family accounts 1854-1923
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 874 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93b]
3
1724-1755: Leics (Staunton Harold, etc) estate steward's account book
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 874 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93e]
4
1375-1560: Leics (Ragdale, Willowes, Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake, etc) manorial court rolls
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93g]
5
1655-1828: Leics (Glen Magna and Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake) deeds and legal expenses 1655-1804 and inventory of effects under the 7th Earl's will 1828
The National Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93k]
6
1105-1961: deeds, family and estate papers
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
7
13th cent: Breedon Priory (Leics) cartulary
Manchester University: University of Manchester Library
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93l]
8
13th cent-1688: Leics (Staunton Harold, etc), Staffs (Drointon, etc) and misc Notts (East Leake, etc) deeds and papers
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
See HE Broughton, Family and estate records in the Leics RO (1991), p13
9
1693-1905: Staffs (Chartley, etc) estate and Shirley family papers 1693-1905, with Astwell (Northants) rent accounts 1720-21
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service: Staffordshire County Record Office
NRA 7148 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93h]
10
1567-19th cent: Staffs (Chartley, etc) deeds 1567-1675 and estate papers 18th-19th cent, with misc Leics (Staunton Harold) estate accounts c1885-89
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service: Staffordshire County Record Office
NRA 3516 Salt L misc

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93i]
11
1657-1849: misc Chartley (Staffs) deeds and estate accounts 1692-1842 and Co Monaghan (Farney, Lough Fea, etc) estate papers 17th-18th cent, with a Shirley family rental 1657-66 and papers of the 8th and 9th Earls 1837-49
Warwickshire County Record Office
NRA 17508 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [94a]
12
1856: Ednaston (Derbys) survey
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service: Staffordshire County Record Office
NRA 29492 Staffs parishes
13
18th cent: Derbys (Brailsford, Shirley, etc) manorial records
Derbyshire Record Office
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93j]
14
1839-1853: Derbys (Brailsford, Shirley, etc) tenancy agreements
Derbyshire Record Office
See Annual Return 2003
15
c1614-1720: Warwicks (Ettington) rental 1720 and shrievalty accounts (Sir John Ferrers) 1614-15, with misc deeds
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 874 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93d]
16
17th cent-18th cent: misc Co Monaghan (Farney, Lough Fea, etc) deeds and estate papers
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)
NRA 25608 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [94c]
17
18th cent-19th cent: Shirley family corresp
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 874 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93c]
18
16th cent-18th cent: misc Shirley family papers 16th-18th cent, incl household book of the 1st Earl Ferrers 1684-87 and Astwell (Northants) household inventory 1614
Collection held privately: enquiries to The National Archives, Archives Sector Development
NRA 7573 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [94d]
19
17th cent, 1723-1726: misc Shirley family accounts 17th cent and Staunton Harold (Leics) inventories 1657, 1723-26
Huntington Library
NRA 10029 Hastings

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [88a]
20
c16th cent-18th cent: misc Shirley family settlements and papers, with related papers of the Ferrers family
Collection held privately: enquiries to Norfolk Record Office
NRA 1224 Townshend

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [107a]
21
12th-15th cent: Shirley family charters
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
See Annual Return 2005
22
early 17th cent: cartulary of Sir George Shirley, 1st Bt, of Astwell (Northants, d1622)
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 874 Shirley

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [93f]
23
17th cent: executorship papers for Sir Henry Shirley, 2nd Bt (d1633)
Northamptonshire Record Office
NRA 34693 Brudenell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [11a]
24
c1150-1681: deeds
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
25
19th-20th cent: additional family papers incl corresp, photographs, files rel to the family's involvement in affairs of state, Staunton Hall and the estate
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
26
c1230-1625: additional deeds and papers
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
See Annual Return 2017

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