Manorial records, deeds, estate and family papers of the Benyon family
This extensive archive consists of the estate and family papers of the Benyon family of Englefield and their forebears (Paulet/Powlett, Wright, Tyssen, Beauvoir), c. 1250 - 1959. Some material relates to estates elsewhere, mainly in Essex, Hampshire, Dorset and Hackney (other out-county material being deposited locally). In Berkshire there is a particularly good series of records for Stratfield Mortimer manor, 1590 - 1910. Of wider interest are papers relating to the family's East Indies interests, 1724 - 1782, especially those of Richard Benyon, Governor of Fort St George for the East India Company, which include an illuminated letter in Persian from Benyon as captain of the port of Chinapatam (Madras) to Nasir Jang, son of the Nazir of Hyderabad, c. 1744. There are over 100 maps and plans of the family's estates and relating to other interests, including several 18th century plans of English settlements in India. Letters to Robert Scott, director of the Meteorological Office, and Sir Edward Sabine, c. 1820 - 1887, mostly from English and foreign scientists are also of interest. Title deeds include a royal grant of the office of swanherd on the river Thames, 1445. The archive also includes minutes of the Berkshire Association of Voluntary Schools, 1897 - 1902, and an order from Charles I to the mayor of Reading to assemble arms, 1642.