The collection comprises mainly financial records of the Eshton Hall Estate, near Skipton, belonging to the Wilson and Richardson-Currer families. The archives extend chronologically from the late 18th century to 1891. During this period the estate was in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The collection also includes some account books of the West Riding Quarter Sessions, kept by Mathew Wilson IV.
The archives are mainly from the estate during the lives of Mathew IV and Mathew V, though some go back to Mathew III. They give a detailed picture of the financial history of a family estate during the 19th century. The financial record illuminates numerous points of economic and social history. Some of the day-books include brief diary entries which are mainly personal, but also contain meteorological information.
Many of the volumes contained loose papers which have been taken out and placed in separate envelopes, numbered according to the volumes whence they came.
The MS 417 catalogue is based on an historic inventory, created in 1972. The arrangement of material does not necessarily represent the original order of the archive and it is considered partly processed by an archivist. When making requests to consult, please be aware that there may be discrepancies between description and physical arrangement. The retrievable unit for this collection is file level.
A small collection of further documents relating to the family's estates was deposited at Lancashire Record Office, Preston, by Mr. C. Green of Foulridge, in 1976. These refer mainly to properties at Ashton-under-Lyne, Bank Newton, Gargrave, Oakenshaw, Sawley, Stainton and Tosside.
Wilson family of Skipton, West Riding of Yorkshire
Access to this material is unrestricted.
Immediate source of acquisition:
These papers were acquired by purchase in November 1976
West Riding of Yorkshire
Unpublished finding aids:
Administrative / biographical background:
Eshton Hall estate was acquired by John Wilson of Threshfield (d. 1706). It descended regularly to his great-grandson, Mathew III (1730-1802). Mathew III married Frances Clive, sister of the first Lord Clive, in 1759. Their only child to survive to adulthood was a daughter, Margaret Clive (1764-1848), who married the Reverend Henry Richardson-Currer in 1783. He died in 1784 leaving a posthumous daughter, Frances Mary (1785-1861), who died unmarried.
Margaret married her cousin, Mathew Wilson IV (1772-1854) in 1800. He was a solicitor by training and became a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for the West Riding. They had several children, the eldest of whom was Mathew V (1802-1891), who had a colourful political career. He was elected M.P. for Clitheroe, where the family had landed interests, in 1841, 1847 and 1852. Twice Mathew V was unseated for electoral malpractice. He later sat for the North Division of the West Riding (1874-1885) and for the Skipton Division (1885-1886). In 1874 he was created a baronet. Mathew V married Sophia Louisa Emerson Amcotts in 1826 by whom he had a son, Mathew Wharton (1827-1902), who was later the second baronet. Sophia died in 1833 and many years later Mathew V married, secondly, Frances Pedler a widow, from whom he had no issue.
A pedigree of the family is printed in Joseph Foster, Pedigrees of the county families of Yorkshire, vol. 1 (1874), which may be supplemented from Burke's Peerage and Baronetage (1975). The irregular spelling of the family's favourite male Christian name has been silently standardised to the form used by Burke.