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Cowper, family, Earls Cowper

This page summarises records created by this Family

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Date: 1100-2000
History:

In the 17th century the Cowper family was established at Ratling (Kent), and also acquired interests in Hertfordshire, the estates at Hertingfordbury (including Cole Green and the later seat of Panshanger) and neighbouring parishes being later extended by purchase. Sir William Cowper, 3rd baronet, was Lord Chancellor 1707-10 and 1714-18, and was created Earl Cowper in 1718. He married firstly Judith, daughter of Sir Robert Booth, who brought estates in London and Westmorland, and secondly Mary Clavering of Chopwell (Co. Durham). Property in Durham and the West Riding of Yorkshire (Potter Newton etc.) was eventually inherited by the 2nd Earl on the death of his uncle John Clavering in 1762. The 3rd Earl inherited the property of Henry Nassau d’Auverquerque, Earl of Grantham, who died in 1754.

In 1805 the 5th Earl Cowper married Emily Lamb, who, on the death of her brother the 3rd Viscount Melbourne in 1853, inherited the Lamb family estates. Sir Matthew Lamb (1705-68) had bought Brocket (Hertfordshire) in 1746, estates in Nottinghamshire (Greasley and Selston) and Lincolnshire (Boothby Graffoe) from Sir Robert Sutton in 1753, Sysonby (Leicestershire) in 1762, and property at Bolsterstone and Langsett (Yorkshire, West Riding). The Lincolnshire and Yorkshire properties were afterwards sold by the 1st Viscount Melbourne (1745-1818). Through his marriage to Charlotte, sister and heir of George Lewis Coke (d. 1750), Lamb had also inherited estates in Derbyshire (Melbourne and Over Haddon), Leicestershire (Baggrave, sold in 1748, and the manors of Castle Donington and Melton Mowbray) and Northamptonshire (Duston). These had been acquired by Sir John Coke (1563-1644) and subsequently enlarged by purchase. When Lady Cowper (who had married secondly the 3rd Viscount Palmerston) died in 1869 her property passed to her grandson, the 7th Earl Cowper.

The 6th Earl married in 1833 Anne Florence Robinson, daughter of the 2nd Earl de Grey. In 1859 she succeeded her father as Baroness Lucas, and as heir to his Wrest Park (Bedfordshire) and other Lucas estates (see De Grey, Barons Lucas). On her death in 1880 she was in turn succeeded in these estates by her son, the 7th Earl Cowper. On his death without issue in 1905 the Cowper estates passed to his niece Ethel, wife of William Grenfell of Taplow (Buckinghamshire), who was created Baron Desborough. The Lucas estates, however, passed to the 7th Earl’s nephew, the Hon. Auberon Herbert, whilst the Lamb estates passed mostly to Lord Cowper’s youngest and only surviving sister Amabel, wife of Lord Walter Kerr. (The Nottinghamshire estates did not pass to the Kerr family, but most of their records were kept at Melbourne rather than Panshanger). The Wrest Park estates were always administered separately from the Cowper estates; the Brocket estate was administered with that of Panshanger from c.1881 until its sale in the 1920s. The 696 acres in Yorkshire ascribed to Earl Cowper in 1883 included 496 acres (the Clifton estate) left jointly to Lady Cowper and the Vyner family (see Vyner family of Gautby and Newby).

Estates in 1883: Cowper and Lamb: 10,122 acres in Hertfordshire; 5,294 acres in Nottinghamshire; 2,787 acres in Derbyshire; 2,078 acres in Kent; 1,067 acres in Northamptonshire; 696 acres in the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire; 44 acres in Suffolk; worth a total of £38,859 a year [excluding the Lucas estates].

Places:
  • Italy
  • County Wicklow
  • Beauvale, Nottinghamshire
  • Bideford, Devon
  • Bolsterstone, Yorkshire
  • Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire
  • Brandon, Suffolk
  • Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire
  • Castle Donington, Leicestershire
  • Castleton, Derbyshire
  • Chopwell, Durham
  • Digswell, Hertfordshire
  • Duston, Northamptonshire
  • Fordwich, Kent
  • Greasley, Nottinghamshire
  • Hatfield, Hertfordshire
  • Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire
  • Holborn, Middlesex
  • Kilkhampton, Cornwall
  • Langsett, Yorkshire
  • Leeds, Yorkshire
  • Lemsford, Hertfordshire
  • London
  • Melbourne, Derbyshire
  • Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
  • Middleton, Westmorland
  • Over Haddon, Derbyshire
  • Panshanger, Hertfordshire
  • Potter Newton, Yorkshire
  • Selston, Nottinghamshire
  • Sysonby, Leicestershire
  • Tewin, Hertfordshire
  • Westminster, Middlesex
  • Wilsford, Lincolnshire
  • Ratling, Kent
  • Tewin Water, Hertfordshire
  • Cole Green, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996, pp. 39-40.
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F85698 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3589 )
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
1309-19th cent: Herts (Hertingfordbury, Panshanger, etc) deeds, legal, financial and trust papers, manorial records, rentals, accounts, estate, household and Cowper family papers 13th-20th cent, with deeds and papers for Derbys (Castleton, etc), Durham (Chopwell, etc) London (Cornhill, etc), Middlesex (Holborn, Westminster, etc) and Suffolk (Brandon) 16th-20th cent, Yorks (Potter Newton, etc) deeds and estate papers 13th-19th cent, estate papers for Kent (Ratling, etc) 18th-19th cent and Westmorland (Middleton, etc) 17th-18th cent, Italian household papers 1757-89 and papers of the Clavering and Grenfell families, etc
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 26283 Cowper

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25a]
2
18th cent-20th cent: Herts (Brocket Hall in Lemsford, Hatfield, etc) and Lamb (later Cowper) family papers, with misc papers rel to estates in Notts (Greasley, etc) and elsewhere
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 26283 Cowper

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25a]
3
1747-1835: Herts (Brocket Hall in Lemsford) estate rental and accounts
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 3507 Herts RO misc

See HMC Principal family and estate collections [25b]
4
1580-1733: Herts (Brocket Hall in Lemsford, Hatfield, etc) rentals and surveys
British Library, Manuscript Collections
5
12th cent-20th cent: Derbys (Melbourne, Over Haddon, etc) and Leics (Castle Donington, Melton Mowbray, Sysonby, etc) deeds, manorial records, rentals, accounts, estate and Coke and Lamb (later Cowper) family papers 12th-20th cent, with deeds and papers for Herts (Brocket Hall in Lemsford), London, Lincs (Boothby Graffoe) and Yorks (Bolsterstone and Langsett) 16th-19th cent, Co Wicklow estate papers c1666-74, Wilsford (Lincs) architectural plans 1749-51, household papers for Cranford (Middlesex) c1700 and papers of the Fanshawe and Leventhorpe families, etc
Collection held privately: enquiries to The National Archives, Archives Sector Development
NRA 30228 Kerr

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25d]
6
15th cent-19th cent: Kent (Ratling, etc) deeds, legal, manorial and estate papers 15th 19th cent, incl Kent militia and lieutenancy papers 1843-71
Kent History and Library Centre
NRA 5470

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25c]
7
1701-20th cent: Kent (Fordwich, Ratling, etc) manorial papers
Canterbury Cathedral Archives
NRA 36317 Kingsford

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [Addenda]
8
15th cent-20th cent: Northants (Duston, etc) deeds and estate papers (from the Kerr family archive at Melbourne)
Northamptonshire Record Office
NRA 30228 Kerr

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25e]
9
1870-1900: misc Duston (Northants) estate agency papers of William Garrett
Northamptonshire Record Office
NRA 15564 Garratt
10
14th cent-20th cent: Notts (Beauvale, Greasley, Selston, etc) deeds and estate papers (from the Kerr family archive at Melbourne)
Nottinghamshire Archives
NRA 30228 Kerr

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25f]
11
1817-1906: misc Kimberley (Notts) deeds and papers
Nottinghamshire Archives
NRA 6881

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25g]
12
1888-1912: misc Notts (Greasley, Selston, etc) estate papers
Nottinghamshire Archives
NRA 6885 Nottinghamshire misc

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25h]
13
16th cent-18th cent: Coke family papers 16th-18th cent (from the Kerr family archive at Melbourne), incl Cranford (Middlesex) garden papers c1720-23 and Fanshawe family trust papers 1700-17
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25i]
14
18th cent-19th cent: Lamb family papers (from the Kerr family archive at Melbourne)
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [Addenda]
15
19th cent-20th cent: Grenfell and misc Cowper family corresp and papers
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 26768

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25a]
16
19th cent-20th cent: Grenfell and Fane family papers, incl papers of Julian Fane (1827-70) and Julian Grenfell (1888-1915)
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25a]
17
c1850-1950: Grenfell and Cowper family papers
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
See Annual Return 2017
18
c1849-1887: Cowper and Fane family corresp and papers
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25a]
19
1840-1869: further Fane family papers, incl papers of Julian Fane (1827-70)
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
See Annual Return 2000
20
17th cent-18th cent: Nassau d'Auverquerque family papers 17th-18th cent, with Granville (Earls of Bath) family trust papers 1701-11, incl Cornwall (Kilkhampton, etc) and Devon (Bideford, etc) estate papers 1701-08
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 19662

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25a]
21
corresp and papers of the 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848)
Royal Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25k]
22
corresp and papers of the 3rd Viscount Melbourne (1782-1853)
British Library, Manuscript Collections
NRA 23026

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [25l]

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