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Hastings family, Earls and Marquesses of Huntingdon, and Abney-Hastings family, Barons Donington: Donington Park

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Date: 1100-2000

Settled in Norfolk in the 13th century, the Hastings family had extensive lands in Yorkshire, Leicestershire and elsewhere by the mid 15th century. William Hastings (c1430-83), created Baron Hastings in 1461, received large grants of forfeited estates, including Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Loughborough and Castle Donington in north-west Leicestershire, where Ashby Castle and, after the Civil War, Donington Park became the principal seat. Edward Hastings, 2nd Baron Hastings (1466-1507) married Mary Hungerford, Baroness Hungerford, Botreaux and Moleyns. A number of Hungerford and Botreaux deeds remain in the collection, although most of the estates were confirmed to the male line of the Hungerford family in the 16th century. The 3rd Baron Hastings was created Earl of Huntingdon in 1529. Outlying Hastings estates were later alienated, and by the early 19th century the Hastings properties were confined mainly to Leicestershire and adjacent parts of Derbyshire. The 7th Earl (1650-1701) had acquired through his first wife the Ledston estate (Yorkshire: West Riding), but this later passed through female heirs to the Wheler family.

In 1752 Elizabeth, only daughter of the 9th Earl, married Sir John Rawdon, 3rd bt. (1720-93), created Earl of Moira in 1762. Although originating in Yorkshire and inheriting property in Cheshire, the Rawdon family had been settled since the 17th century in Ireland, where it had estates in County Down, Dublin and elsewhere. Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira (1754-1826), succeeded his mother in the Hastings estates in 1808 and was created Marquess of Hastings in 1817. In 1804 he had married Flora, Countess of Loudoun, heiress of the Loudoun Castle and Rowallan estates in Ayrshire. The 2nd Marquess inherited the Loudoun estates on the death of his mother in 1840.

The Campbell family was settled in London from the Middle Ages. Sir Hugh Campbell (d. 1622) was created Baron Loudoun, and was succeeded by his granddaughter Margaret, whose husband Sir John Campbell of Lawers (Perthshire) was created Earl of Loudoun in 1633. On the death of the 4th Earl in 1782 he was succeded his cousin James Mure Campbell of Lawers, whose mother had been heiress of the Mure family of Rowallan.

The Irish estates were sold mostly around 1800, and the Leicestershire estates reduced by sales in the early 19th century. On the death of the 4th Marquess in 1868 he was succeeded by his sister Edith, Countess of Loudoun (1838-74), who in 1858 had married Charles Frederick Clifton (1822-95, created Baron Donington in 1880). In 1859 they took the name of Abney-Hastings on inheriting the Willesley (Derbyshire, later Leicestershire) property of Sir Charles Abney-Hastings, 2nd bt.

Estates in 1883: (Earl of Loudoun and Baron Donington): Ayrshire 18,638 acres; Leics 10,174 acres, Derbyshire 2,750 acres, Yorks WR 1,348 acres, total 32,910 acres worth £39,977 a year, exclusive of £2,259 for Ayrshire minerals.

  • Donington, Leicestershire
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F83295 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3253 )
Number Description Held by Reference Further information
12th-19th cent: title deeds, estate and household papers
Huntington Library
NRA 10029 Hastings
18th-19th cent: estate and household papers
Bute Archive at Mount Stuart
NRA 15459 Crichton-Stuart
c1700-1800: estate papers
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 21821 Leics Arch Soc
1581-1824: estate title deeds, Packington, Willesley, Blackfordby etc
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
See Report 1985
1892-1916: legal, estate and household papers
Arundel Castle
NRA 12614 Fitzalan-Howard
16th-20th cent: deeds and estate papers, Derbys and Leics
Derbyshire Record Office
See Accessions to Repositories 1974
1539-1805: deeds and papers rel to Chellaston and Melbourne estates
Derbyshire Record Office
NRA 16157 Hastings
14th-20th cent: deeds and estate papers, Derbys and Leics
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 41276 Crane

See Family and Estate Records, 1984
17th-19th cent: deeds and family corresp
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 6263 Leics RO misc
16th-18th cent: family corresp, estate corresp and papers, incl earldom of Huntingdon survey
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for
NRA 6082 Hastings
papers (transcripts)
British Library, Manuscript Collections
1561-1709: estate papers rel to Isley Walton (Leics) and Melbourne (Derbys)
Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Record Office for