Catalogue description Cameron (Vaughan-Lee) Mss concerning the Dillington Estate, Ilminster, etc

This record is held by Somerset Heritage Centre (South West Heritage Trust)

Details of DD\CA
Reference: DD\CA
Title: Cameron (Vaughan-Lee) Mss concerning the Dillington Estate, Ilminster, etc

Cameron (Vaughan-Lee) Mss concerning the Dillington Estate, Ilminster, etc


The documents catalogued below as DD/CA 1-294 were received from the Strong Room at Dillington House. Of these, DD/CA 1-186 relate to the Somerset estates, and these have been catalogued in accordance with the standard office system for final stage catalogues. DD/CA 187-294 relate to the Welsh estates (mainly Clamorgan and Brecon). These have been left in the three physical divisions in which they were found at Dillington, but have been sorted within their divisions into some semblance of archival order and briefly listed. The family's interest in the Welsh estates dates from 1868, when Vaughan Hanning Vaughan Lee inherited certain properties under the uses and limitations of the will of William Vaughan of Lanelay (died 1829). Briefly, the latter left John Edwards and Nash Vaughan Edwards as his heirs in his will, both of whom assumed the surname Vaughan. Jessie, daughter of John Edwards Vaughan, married John Lee Lee, and their son inherited in 1868 when N.V. Edwards Vaughan died without surviving issue.


The list of contents (above) indicates fairly clearly the pattern followed in making this archive arrangement, but a few additional comments are perhaps required. The title deeds and settlements, etc., of the main estate are, naturally, treated first [DD/CA 1-6] and these are followed by the documents relating to the mortgaging of estates in the 19th century [DD/CA 7-35]. Apparently after John Lee Lee succeeded on the death intestate of his father in 1834, he mortgaged the Dillington Estate to secure two sums amounting to £50,000. These sums were subsequently reduced in part and Dillington House itself was re-conveyed in 1844. After his death in 1878 a further mortgage was raised by the Trustees of his will, and the new mortgagee took over a transfer of the outstanding mortgage debt with the inclusion as a further security of about 210 acres purchased between 1837 and 1871. These purchases are represented by a series of numbered abstracts in DD/CA 9 and related bundles of deeds in DD/CA 12-34.


Among the deeds of other properties in Somerset, Devon and Dorset, and the family papers, will be found records of the family of Harvard (inherited in consequence of the marriage of Susannah, daughter of Thomas Harvard of Barrington, with John Hanning, in 1768) and of the Parker, Slee and related families (through Ann Slee, daughter of Dr. Charles Hanning and cousin of William Hanning). For these families, see the pedigree below.


Individual items worthy of particular mention are the rolls for the hundreds of Abdick and Bulstone, 1379-80, 1470-1531 [DD/CA 163], the map of the Ilminster common fields, 1798 [DD/CA 170] and the few papers relating to the inventions of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney [DD/CA 161].


As a supplement to this catalogue, the documents deposited by the family's solicitors, Messrs. Poole of South Petherton [S.R.O.ref. DD/PLE], which relate both to the Somerset and Welsh Estates, have been listed in the same way as the equivalent sections of the main deposit. Thus the Somerset records have been catalogued as [DD/CA 295-302], while the Welsh records have been merely box-listed as [DD/CA 303-334]. They remain stored with their own deposit, DD/PLE, and should be requested under the double reference mark, i.e. DD/PLE [DD/CA ......(appropriate number)].


Finally, Mr. Morgan deposited a small bundle of papers and one stray deed in 1969 (Acc. C/1817), catalogued below as DD/CA 333, 334.

Date: 14th cent-20th cent



1-6 Title deeds, etc., main Dillington Estate.


7-35 Mortgage and redemption of Ilminster, etc., properties.


36-76 Deeds of additional Ilminster acquisitions, etc., by Speke, North, Hanning, Lee Lee and Vaughan Lee.


77-81 Misc. Ilminster deeds.


82-118 Other Somerset deeds, arranged alphabetically by parishes, including


87-90 East and West Dowlish


93-95 Kingstone


98-109 Seavington SS Mary and Michael


111-117 Whitelackington


119-131 Counterpart Leases, Ilminster and Whitelackington


132-139 Deeds, Devon, Dorset, Westminster.


140-155 Settlement, trust, testamentary and executorship matters.


156-162 Personal and business affairs




163 Court rolls, hundreds of Abdick and Balstone.


164-175 Estate surveys and maps.


176-178 Enclosure business.


179-186 Estate administration, etc.


WELSH ESTATES 187-294 transferred to Glamorgan RO


187-222 From Dillington House Strong Room (Pigeon Holes)


223-270 From Dillington House Strong Room (Packing Case)


271-294 From Dillington House Strong Room (On floor)




[295-302] Somerset material


[303-332] Welsh material




333-334 Welsh material


41-44 Documents relating to title to Ilminster properties acquired by or assigned to William Hanning of Whitelackington (DD/CA 41), and John Hanning (DD/CA 42-44), the purchaser of Dillington.


45-59 Documents relating to title to Ilminster properties acquired by William Hanning, son of John Hanning.


60-61 Documents relating to title to property in Ilminster acquired by John Lee Lee, son of Wm. Hanning. Note the deeds for most of the properties purchased by John Lee Lee were placed as security for mortgages after 1878 and these will be found in the form of abstracts and originals in DD/CA 9-35.

Held by: Somerset Heritage Centre (South West Heritage Trust), not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Physical description: 22 boxes
Immediate source of acquisition:

C/1649, C/1817, S/472

  • Hanning family of Somerset
  • Vaughan-Lee family of Somerset
  • Lee, Vaughan- family of Somerset
  • Somerset
  • Wales
Administrative / biographical background:

Introductory note


In 1795 John Hanning, then living at Barrington Court, contracted with the Earl of Guilford's trustees for the purchase of his Somerset estates for £83,000. He was able to raise £52,000 immediately and a conveyance was drawn up in that year of the advowson of Ilminster and numerous leasehold properties (see DD/CA 2,3, and the undated sale catalogue in DD/PLE [DD/CA 295]). The remainder of the purchase money was paid off by 1799 and a further conveyance then executed of Dillington House and Park, and the manors of Ilminster, Dillington, Whitelackington and Atherstone.


The bulk of this property had belonged to the Speke family and had come to the Earl of Guilford through his mother, Ann, daughter and heiress of George Speke, who had married Frederick Lord North in 1756. Unfortunately, comparatively few records of the Speke/North period of ownership were transmitted to John Hanning upon his purchase - deeds, settlements, etc., from 1695, some 300 18th century leases for Ilminster and Whitelackington, presumably assembled either for purposes of identification or for valuation at the time of the 1795 contract, as there is no continuation of the series after this date, and a fine map and survey book for the manor of Ilminster, dated 1768. For the pre-1700 period there is nothing beyond the abstracts of title referred to in DD/CA 1.


The surviving records are even fewer and more reticent about the Hanning family background. The earliest reference found here is to John's father William (died 1775), who was tenant under Lord and Lady North of Whitelackington Farm from 1762. He purchased Moulham and Pretwood Farms in West Dowliah and Ilminster respectively in 1769. From references in deeds it appears that John Hanning was living at Moulham in 1772, at East Dowlish (In a 'good old mansion adjoining to the churchyard', according to Collinson, vol.3, p.120.) in 1791 and 1793, and at Barrington Court by 1795.


The Dillington estate subsequently passed directly from father to son through four generations. Thus, John Hanning was succeeded by his son William (d. 1834); William's son John Lee Hanning assumed the surname Lee in place of Hanning under the will of his uncle, Edward Lee of Orleigh Court (Devon), whose heir he was, and appears as John Lee Lee. He died in 1874 and was followed by his son Vaughan Hanning Lee, who took the additional surname Vaughan in 1874. He, in turn, was succeeded by his eldest son Arthur Vaughan Hanning Vaughan-Lee in 1882.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research