These documents consist chiefly of the official papers of the 1st Marquess Cornwallis, and relate principally to the American War, 1780 to 1782 (with some earlier and later material), and to Indian civil and military administration, 1786 to 1797. There are also papers concerning other offices held by Cornwallis: on a Mission to Flanders in 1794; as Master General of Ordnance, 1795 to 1798; as Plenipotentiary to the Congress of Amiens, 1801 to 1802; and miscellaneous semi-official and private papers of the Cornwallis family, 1612 to 1854.
The published Cornwallis correspondence (ed Charles Ross, 1850) also includes letters that were then held at Dublin Castle. Those letters were destroyed in 1927.
For the Neville and Aldworth papers, see PRO 30/50
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, 1738-1805
292 boxes and bundles
Immediate source of acquisition:
since 1947 Essex Record Office
Charles Cornwallis, 5th Baron Braybrooke, 1823-1902
Henry Seymour Neville, 9th Baron Braybrooke, 1897-1990
These papers were formerly kept as part of the Braybrooke family's archives at Audley End. PRO 30/11/1-59 were presented to the Public Record Office by the 5th Lord Braybrooke in 1880. About 200 further bundles were deposited on permanent loan by the 9th Lord Braybrooke in 1947. Pieces PRO 30/11/195, 214, 242-262, 277-279 and 282-283 were deposited in Essex Record Office in 1947 but later transferred to the Public Record Office on permanent loan to be reunited with the other papers in this series.
PRO 30/11/1-59 are among the papers described in The Eighth Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, Appendix, p 287, London 1981. A great many of the letters and papers have been printed in full or in part in Correspondence of Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis, edited by Charles Ross (3 vols, London, 1859).
Administrative / biographical background:
Charles Cornwallis succeeded his father as 2nd Earl Cornwallis in 1762. He became 1st Marquess Cornwallis in 1792. During the American War of Independence (1775-1783) he served as a senior officer in the British Army, ultimately becoming second-in-command to Sir Henry Clinton; he led British forces to their defeat at Yorktown in October 1781. During 1786-1793, and again briefly in 1805, Cornwallis was Governor-General of India. He also served as Master-General of the Ordnance (1794-1798) and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1798-1801). In 1802 he was chief signatory on the British side to the Treaty of Amiens.
On the death of the 1st Marquess in 1805, his son (also Charles) succeeded him as 2nd Marquess Cornwallis. During his father's lifetime, the 2nd Marquess was known as Lord Brome. One of the 2nd Marquess's daughters, Lady Jane Cornwallis, married Richard Griffin, 3rd Baron Braybrooke. On the 2nd Marquess's death in 1823, the marquessate became extinct but the earldom was inherited by an uncle.
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