Catalogue descriptionH. L. Bradfer-Lawrence Collection

This record is held by Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society

Details of MD335
Reference: MD335
Title: H. L. Bradfer-Lawrence Collection

Collection of documents amassed by antiquarian H.L. Bradfer-Lawrence: Ribblesdale papers, includes deeds etc relating to the estates of the Listers in Gisburn, Malham, Paythorne, Rimington, Skipton, Swinden and elsewhere in Craven and Lancashire, also of the Lambert family of Calton 13th-18th cent, notably for Bolton Priory 12th-16th century, Cockersand Abbey, Lancashire 1533, Guisborough Priory 1323 and Sawley Abbey 12th-13th century. Court book for manor of Gisburn 1572-1582 and other manorial records, rentals 17th-19th cent, accounts 17th-19th century, estate and personal papers 17th-20th century, notably of Thomas Lister, 1st Baron Ribblesdale. Typescript extracts from the journal of the Dowager Lady Ribblesdale, grandmother of the 4th Baron's son Thomas Lister, with additional letters, photographs, press cuttings etc, containing details of Lister's exploits in the Boer War, India and Somaliland, where he was killed. Maps and plans 18th-20th century, notably of Gisburn Park by Francis White 1812. Business and industrial records, mainly woollen drapers accounts (London) 17th-18th century, calamine mining (Malham Moor) 18th-19th century, shipping 18th-19th century; Gisburn township and other accounts, 18th-19th century. Wilson of Eshton (with Currer of Kildwick and Richardson of Bierley) including the court rolls of Burley in Wharfedale 1604 and 1616 and the account for alterations to Eshton Hall, 1825-1839. Pilkington of Chevet, including deeds 12th-16th century and building account for Chevet Hall 1516; family papers including correspondence 17th -18th century, memoranda by W Pilkington and others 19th century. Ingilby of Ripley, deeds and survey relating to Fountains Abbey 12th-16th century; stock and rent accounts 15th -16th century, account roll of Sir William Ingilby, sheriff of Yorkshire 1564; papers relating to publication of the 'Anonimalle Chronicle'; and catalogue for the sale of Ingilby of Ripley manuscripts, 1920. Deeds, formerly belonging to Dr. E G Millar, relating to the Snaith area, 13th-14th century. Further material relating to Craven including manor of Clapham court book, 1758-1925 and manor of Horton in Ribblesdale court roll, 1517-1518 and court papers for the manors of Ingleton and Skipton. Deeds of estates of Byland and Jervaulx abbeys, Kirklees and and Nun Appleton priories, Rufford abbey [Nottinghamshire], Knights Templars and Hospitallers, 12th-16th century. Small groups of papers relating to the Bolland, Tolson, Fairfax, Milner and other families. Miscellaneous and genealogical items including Howden parish register 1543-1651, Knaresborough township book 1659-1856, valuation of East Riding estates under the Militia Act 1662, and a volume of arms and pedigrees of Yorkshire gentry 17th century. Bradfer-Lawrence's working notes and papers.

Date: 12th century-20th century

The Bradfer-Lawrence collection is, with the exception of Bradfer-Lawrence's own papers, a wholly artifical collection built up through purchase, gift or other means. It was received by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in boxes, and when subsequently repacked into new archival boxes the old box numbers were retained. Different items deriving from one provenance, were, however, found to be scattered throughout the boxes, and recreating an original arrangement for the discrete groups is not now entirely possible. A deed relating to the Craven area, for example, could originally have derived from the Lister archive, or have been purchased at a sale room from a quite separate source. Bradfer-Lawrence had filed some items separately: for example, some papers in Box 37 were in a file labelled 'Samples of Handwriting'; these included items from the Ribblesdale and Wilson archives as well as miscellaneous Craven Manuscripts. Some groups are distinct (such as the Millar Deeds) but the placing of some material within some of the other groups must be viewed with a measure of doubt. The collection was re-catalogued in 2004-2005. All items are now renumbered according to the new arrangement, but their former box- and item- numbers have been noted. All dates in this catalogue are given in New Style.

Related material:

See also MS731d, MD303, MS918, DD203 at Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Other parts of the Bradfer-Lawrence accumulations are at the Norfolk Record Office. Further Lister documents, including some for Malham, and maps for Clitheroe, are at the Lancashire Record Office; there are stray 17th century Gisburn leases at North Yorkshire County Record Office. Further Pilkington of Chevet documents are at the West Yorkshire Archive Service: Wakefield; there is also more in the John Goodchild Collection in Wakefield. Further records of the Wilson of Eshton family are at West Yorkshire Archive Service: Bradford. Other Eshton Hall estate papers (mainly financial records) were purchased in 1976 by the University of Leeds: MS 417 (see University of Leeds handlist 38, copy available at YAS) The Bradfer-Lawrence collection of mediaeval western manuscripts was mainly deposited in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge after his death. See 'A Handlist of the Bradfer-Lawrence Manuscripts deposited on loan at the Fitzwilliam Museum' by Phyllis M. Giles (see Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 6, (1973), copy available at YAS). The collection was then acquired by Quaritch and is now dispersed amongst the British Library, Leeds University Library, Tokyo, private collectors (see article by A.S.G. Edwards in 'The Book Collector', vol 53 no 1, spring 2004).

Held by: Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society, not available at The National Archives
Copies held at:


Language: English

Bradfer-Lawrence, H L, 1887-1965, antiquarian of Ripon, West Riding of Yorkshire

Physical description: 130 boxes, plus maps and outsize volumes
Access conditions:


Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was deposited at Yorkshire Archaeological Society in July 1967 by Lt. Col. P.L. Bradfer-Lawrence and Mrs B.E Gray, children of H.L. Bradfer-Lawrence, according to the wishes expressed their father's will; it was subsequently gifted to the Society in 1972. A small additional group of papers was presented in 1987. H.L. Bradfer Lawrence acquired some of the Lister archive from Jack Robinson in 1948-49, and the post-medieval documents relating to Craven from Tot Lord of Settle.

  • Ingilby, Sir William, fl 1564, sheriff of Yorkshire
  • Lister, Thomas, 1752-1826, 1st Baron Ribblesdale
  • Richardson family of Bierley, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Pilkington family of Chevet, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Currer family of Kildwick, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Wilson family of Eshton, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Lambert family, of Calton, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • family and estate records
  • manorial records
  • Boer war
  • religious houses
  • shipping
Administrative / biographical background:

[Information from article by A.S.G. Edwards in 'The Book Collector', vol 53, no 1, spring 2004] Harry Lawrence Bradfer-Lawrence was born on 1 April 1887. After education first at home and then in King's Lynn, he worked as a land agent in Norfolk. From his early years he was a keen antiquary; he edited various volumes for the Norfolk Record Society and the Norwich and Norfolk Archaeological Society; he also wrote 'The Merchants of Lynn' (1927) and a history of Castle Rising (1929). He moved to Yorkshire in 1935 on becoming managing director of Hammond's brewery; became chairman of United Breweries in 1960. He died in 1965. Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries (1924); member of the Roxburghe Club (1954).

Link to NRA Record:

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research