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.
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].
|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 )|