The Bagshawes played a prominent part in local and county affairs within Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and historians of those areas, as well as economic and social historians, will find much of value among the numerous household, business and estate records. There are large numbers of deeds and estate papers for properties in Derbyshire, particularly in Castleton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Ford, Hope, Norton and Wormhill; and in Ecclesall Bierlow, Fulwood and Sheffield in Yorkshire. The collection also contains important material on military history, particularly on military service in Ireland and India in the mid-18th century and the American War of Independence, and on economic history (e.g. lead mining in Derbyshire during the 18th century). There are several volumes of sermons, treatises and journals of the 'Apostle of the Peak' and other early Nonconformist ministers.
The Bagshawe muniments consist of two elements: first, the archives accumulated by members of the family in the administration of their private, estate and business concerns, and, secondly, correspondence, papers and records of all kinds acquired from extraneous sources by William H.G. Bagshawe.
The earliest items date from the 15th century, but the bulk of the collection is of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Bagshawes played a prominent part in local and county affairs within Derbyshire and Yorkshire. A considerable quantity of material has survived for most of the individual members of the main family line, from William Bagshawe (1686-1756) to Rev William Bagshawe (1763-1847).
The military papers of Colonel Samuel Bagshawe (1713-62) comprise some 2500 items, constituting perhaps one of the largest and certainly one of the most important collections relating to the military history of the mid-18th century (BAG/2/1-2, BAG/2/4-6, BAG/15/2). They illustrate many aspects of military life and administration at this time, with particular reference to life in the Gibraltar garrison in the 1730s, and service in Ireland and India in the 1740s and 1750s. Samuel Bagshawe's East India papers comprise nearly 600 items contained in two large volumes, with correspondence relating to the 93rd Regiment, muster rolls, returns, regimental accounts and receipts, and other military papers.
The letters, papers and accounts of Lord John Murray (1711-87) and Lt. Gen. William Murray (d.1818) also contain much material of interest to military historians (BAG/5-6, BAG/17-18). Lord John Murray, son of the 1st Duke of Atholl, was for over 40 years Colonel of the 42nd Highlanders (the Black Watch). Papers include regimental orders, accounts, correspondence and lists of officers, 1743-1785.
The collection contains several volumes of MS sermons, treatises and journals by Rev. William Bagshawe (1628-1702), the 'Apostle of the Peak' (BAG/23/1, BAG/25/7/1-3), Samuel Gardiner, Prebendary of Lichfield, 1660-1680 (BAG/12/2/1), and some early nonconformist preachers, 1748-1774 (BAG/12/2/3). The lengthy journals of Catherine Bagshawe, 1792-1826, have a strong religious and devotional content (BAG/12/1/15). There are numerous other papers relating to churches and churchmen.
Among the many financial records in the collection are several relating to mining, particularly lead mining, in Derbyshire in the 18th century (BAG/8/3, BAG/8/5, BAG/12/59-61), and volumes of building accounts of the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville concerning the building of Banner Cross, the Yorkshire seat of the Murray family, which Wyatville is said to have considered his finest work (BAG/12/1/30-34). There is also material relating to Arthur Young, perhaps the greatest English writer on agriculture, and his son, Rev Arthur Young (BAG/3/16, BAG/22/6).
The archive contains a substantial quantity of deeds and documents relating to numerous properties in Derbyshire and Yorkshire and a smaller number of deeds for other counties:
Cheshire: Birtles (BAG/24/1/1); High Legh (BAG/13/1/1); Marple (BAG/13/1/2-3); Prestbury (BAG/13/1/4).
Cumbria: Brunstock (BAG/13/2/1-17); Carlisle (BAG/13/2/18-19); Tarraby (BAF/13/2/20).
Derbyshire: Alton (BAG/24/2/1); Ashford (BAG/13/3/1); Ashover (BAG/13/3/2); Bagshaw (BAG/13/3/3-30); Barlow (BAG/24/2/2); Birchover (BAG/24/2/3); Bakewell (BAG/13/3/31-36); Bolsover (BAG/13/3/37-39, 24/2/4); Bonsall (BAG/13/3/40-41, 24/2/5); Bradwell (BAG/13/3/42-50); Brampton (BAG/13/3/51-52, 24/2/6); Bretton (BAG/24/2/7); Brownside (BAG/13/3/53-67, 24/2/8); Buxton (BAG/13/3/68, 24/2/9); Castleton (BAG/13/3/69-102, 24/2/10-24); Chapel-en-le-Frith (BAG/13/3/103-287, 24/2/25-34); Chesterfield (BAG/13/3/288-296, 24/2/35-44); Chinley (BAG/13/3/297-298); Dale Head (BAG/13/3/299-305); Denby (BAG/13/3/306); Derby (BAG/24/2/45); Dore (BAG/13/3/307-315); Dronfield (BAG/13/3/316-317, 24/2/46-48); Eckington (BAG/13/3/318-327); Edale (BAG/13/3/328-332, 24/2/49); Elmton (BAG/13/3/333-334); Elton (BAG/13/3/335); Eyam (BAG/24/2/50); Fairfield (BAG/13/3/336-337, 24/2/51-52); Flagg (BAG/24/2/53-54); Ford (BAG/13/3/338-401, 24/2/55-70); Hasland (BAG/13/3/402-404); Hemsworth (BAG/24/2/71); High Peak (BAG/13/3/405-409, 24/2/72-78); Hope (BAG/13/3/410-431, 24/2/79); Hucklow, Great and Little (BAG/13/3/432, 24/2/80-82); Killamarsh (BAG/24/2/83); Kinder (BAG/13/3/433); Litton (BAG/13/3/434); Mapperley (BAG/13/3/435); Matlock (BAG/13/3/436-437); Monsal Dale (BAG/24/2/84); Newbold (BAG/13/3/438); Norton (BAG/13/3/439-459, 24/2/85-98); Palterton (BAG/13/3/460); Peak Forest (BAG/13/3/461-466, 24/2/99-100); Rushup (BAG/13/3/467-472, 24/2/101); Scarcliffe (BAG13/3/473-474); Slackhall (BAG/13/3/475-488, 24/2/102); Stanton (BAG/13/3/489-492); Staveley (BAG/13/3/493-497); Stoney Middleton (BAG/13/3/498); Tapton (BAG/13/3/499); Tideswell (BAG/13/3/500-506, 24/2/103); Totley (BAG/13/3/507-510); Troway (BAG/13/3/511-514); Walton (BAG/13/3/515-518); Wheston (BAG/13/3/519-520); Whittington (BAG/13/3/521); Whitwell (BAG/24/2/104); Wirksworth (BAG/13/3/522-523); Wormhill (BAG/13/3/524-622, 24/2/105-117); Wye River (BAG/24/2/118).
Herefordshire: Hereford (BAG/24/3/1).
Lancashire: Manchester (BAG/13/4/1-2); Newton Heath (BAG/24/4/1); Wigan (BAG/24/4/2).
Leicestershire: Ashby de la Zouch (BAG/13/5/1-2).
Lincolnshire: Barkston School (BAG/13/6/1-3); Swarby (BAG/13/6/4); general (BAG/13/6/5-6).
Nottinghamshire: Gringley (BAG/13/8/1); Harworth (BAG/13/8/2); Hesley (BAG/13/8/3-6); Limpole (BAG/13/8/7-9); Misterton (BAG/13/8/10); Ordsall (BAG/13/8/11).
Oxfordshire: Culham (BAG/13/9/1).
Yorkshire: Barnoldswick (BAG/13/10/1); Bawtry (BAG/13/10/2); Billingley (BAG/13/10/3); Bradfield (BAG/13/10/4); Bramley (BAG/13/10/5); Brockholes (BAG/13/10/6-8); Button Hill (BAG/24/5/1-3); Dodworth (BAG/13/10/9); Doncaster (BAG/24/5/4-5); Earby (BAG/13/10/10); Ecclesall Bierlow (BAG/13/10/11-148, 24/5/6-9); Firbeck (BAG/13/10/149); Fulwood (BAG/13/10/150-192); Hallam (BAG/13/10/193-196, 24/5/10-11); Hatfield (BAG/13/10/197); Linton (BAG/13/10/198-199); Oughtibridge (BAG/13/10/200); Rawmarsh (BAG/13/10/201-209); Rossington (BAG/13/10/210); Salterforth (BAG/13/10/211); Sheffield (BAG/13/10/212-226); Smallfield (BAG/13/10/227-231); Stumperlow (BAG/13/10/232-233); York (BAG/13/10/234-242, 24/5/12).
Of the documents added by William H.G. Bagshawe to the muniments, the most important section is that concerning the Caldwells of Castle Caldwell co. Fermanagh, Ireland, to whom the Bagshawes were related by marriage (BAG/3). This comprises 3000-4000 items, ranging in date from the time of the first baronet, Sir James Caldwell (c.1630-1717), to that of the fifth, Sir John Caldwell (1756-1830). They exhibit the variety typical of the archives of a landed family, and include personal correspondence, business and estate papers, legal and financial records, and household accounts and inventories. They constitute an excellent source for studies of the Anglo-Irish gentry in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Sir James Caldwell, 4th Baronet (c. 1722-84), corresponded with many leading figures of his day, including George Townshend, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Dr Samuel Johnson, Dr John Hawkesworth, David Garrick and Arthur Young. The archive contains many of Sir James's letterbooks (BAG/3/6-12) and over 1500 letters addressed to him (BAG/3/13-20), besides manuscript and printed copies of 25 of his pamphlets (BAG/3/21), and some 400 letters from various correspondents to his wife, Lady Elizabeth Caldwell (d.1778) (BAG/3/29-32).
The military papers of Lt. Gen. Sir John Caldwell (1756-1830) include material relating to the American War of Independence, 1774-1776 (BAG/3/39).