These papers consist mainly of records of Thomas Williams of Warfield and Rushden, son of Robert and Jane Williams. In 1803 Thomas Williams succeeded to the Warfield Lodge estate on his father's death. A few years after his first marriage he bought Rushden Hall in Northamptonshire, in "about 1820", according to his own later statement [D/EX 169/21]; he sold the freehold portion of that estate in 1836 and 1838 but the purchase money remained on mortgage, as he mentioned in the same statement. With two large families his expenses were considerable; although by then the members of the first family were adult, with "every one ... nothing prospers", as he said, though he was unable to offer them much assistance while his second family was young.
During his first marriage Thomas Williams served as Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1825. He was living in Australia sometime later; the first papers here on Australia are dated 1842, when he was appointed a member of the Legislative Council of the province of South Australia. By 1850 he was "permanently settled" in England but in January 1859 he found it necessary to take his son, Hartley, to Australia to place him in the Collegiate School [Adelaide?], since it had not been possible to find him a place in an English school, apparently through lack of funds. Thomas Williams died in 1881 but this collection of his papers ends in 1859; it is only one portion of the whole, others being in the possession of another member of the family. This is therefore an incomplete record of the family and the pedigree is also incomplete, serving only as a guide to persons mentioned in these papers.
Some of these documents were withdrawn (temporarily) in 1975 and have not been returned.