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Bruce, Brudenell- family, Marquesses of Ailesbury

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: 1200-2000
History:

Edward Bruce of Blairhall (Clackmannanshire) (1548-1611) received the Whorlton and Jervaulx Abbey (Yorkshire) estates from the Crown and was created Baron Bruce of Kinloss (Fife) in 1608. His son Thomas (1599-1663) married a daughter of the 2nd Earl of Exeter and was created Earl of Elgin in 1633. His grandson, the 2nd Earl, was created Earl of Ailesbury in 1664.

The 2nd Earl of Ailesbury inherited the Seymour estates of Tottenham and Savernake Forest (Wiltshire) which included Shalbourne (Berkshire), through his marriage in 1676 to Elizabeth Seymour, to whom they had passed on the death in 1671 of her brother, the 3rd Duke of Somerset. With these estates came the hereditary wardenship of Savernake Forest, originally granted to the Seymours’ ancestor, Richard Esturmy, by King William I. (Other Seymour estates passed to her uncle, the 4th Duke of Somerset and later to the co-heirs of the 7th Duke on his death in 1750).

On the death of the 3rd Earl of Ailesbury in 1747 the Earldom of Elgin passed by special remainder to his cousin, Charles Bruce, 9th Earl of Kincardine, but the Kinloss title passed to his elder daughter Mary, Duchess of Chandos, and the English estates to his nephew, Thomas Brudenell-Bruce (1729-1813), youngest son of the 3rd Earl of Cardigan. Thomas Brudenell-Bruce was created Earl of Ailesbury in 1776, and his son Charles, 1st Marquess of Ailesbury in 1821. The 2nd Marquess succeeded a cousin as 8th Earl of Cardigan in 1868, but did not inherit the Deene (Northamptonshire) estate.

The Brudenell-Bruces added to their Wiltshire property by purchase, most notably buying in 1779 the Marlborough estate (a former Seymour property) from the heirs of the Marquess of Granby, but by 1892, when a projected sale to Lord Iveagh for £750,000 failed, it was heavily mortgaged. Much of the Wiltshire estate was sold in 1929, and in 1938 Savernake Forest was conveyed to the Forestry Commission. The Yorkshire estates were alienated in the years from 1886, Jervaulx Abbey being sold to Samuel Cunliffe-Lister, Baron Masham of Swinton.

The Houghton Park (Bedfordshire) estate was granted to the 1st Earl of Elgin by King James I. The neighbouring Maulden estate was added by purchase in 1635. The leasehold of Ampthill Great Park was bought from the Earl of Ashburnham in 1666 but sold back again in 1690. The remaining Bedfordshire possessions were sold to the Duke of Bedford in 1738.

In 1883 the estates comprised 37,993 acres in Wiltshire, 15,502 acres in Yorkshire and 1,556 acres in Berkshire, worth a total of £59,716 a year.

Places:
  • Ampthill, Bedfordshire
  • Deeping Fen, Lincolnshire
  • East Sheen, Surrey
  • East Witton Without, Yorkshire
  • Houghton Hall, Bedfordshire
  • Jervaulx Abbey, Yorkshire
  • Muchelney, Somerset
  • Pilton, Somerset
  • Savernake Forest, Wiltshire
  • Shalbourne, Berkshire
  • Tottenham House, Wiltshire
  • West Tanfield, Yorkshire
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996, pp. 16-17
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F87787 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F9861 )
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
13th cent-20th cent: Wilts (Savernake Forest, etc), Berks (Shalbourne) and Somerset (Muchelney, etc) deeds, family and estate papers 13th-20th cent, with some for Beds, London, Surrey, Yorks, etc, 17th-19th cent
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 30725 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12a]
2
14th cent-18th cent: Wilts (Savernake Forest, etc) manorial records, estate and misc papers
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 30725 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12b]
3
14th cent-17th cent: misc Wilts and Somerset manorial records
North Yorkshire County Record Office
NRA 33897

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12c]
4
15th cent-17th cent: misc Somerset (Muchelney, etc) manorial records
Somerset Heritage Centre (South West Heritage Trust)
NRA 1399 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12e]
5
1254-18th cent: Somerset (Pilton, etc) deeds and papers
Somerset Heritage Centre (South West Heritage Trust)
NRA 1399 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12f]
6
Muchelney Abbey (Somerset) charter 995
Somerset Heritage Centre (South West Heritage Trust)
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12g]
7
c1300: Muchelney Abbey (Somerset) cartulary
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12h]
8
17th cent-18th cent: misc Beds (Ampthill, Houghton Hall, etc) deeds and papers, incl household papers
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 30725 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12a]
9
c14th cent-17th cent: misc Beds manorial records
North Yorkshire County Record Office
NRA 33897

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12c]
10
1676-1682: Houghton Hall (Beds) household account book
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
NRA 15702 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12k]
11
17th cent: misc Beds (Ampthill, etc) deeds and papers
Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
NRA 17140 Russell

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [90a]
12
1683-1684: Deeping Fen (Lincs) estate accounts (1st Earl of Ailesbury)
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 30725 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12a]
13
1779-1840: misc East Sheen (Surrey) deeds and papers
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 30725 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12a]
14
late 17th cent-early 19th cent: misc Yorks (Jervaulx Abbey, etc) estate papers
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
NRA 30725 Brudenell-Bruce

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12a]
15
14th cent-20th cent: Yorks (Jervaulx Abbey, West Tanfield, etc) manorial records, estate and family papers 14th-20th cent, with misc deeds and papers for Beds, Somerset, Wilts, etc, 14th-17th cent
North Yorkshire County Record Office
NRA 33897

See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12c]
16
1576-1597, 1625-1635: West Tanfield (Yorks) manorial court books
North Yorkshire County Record Office
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12d]
17
13th cent-19th cent: Yorks (West Tanfield, etc) deeds, leases and estate papers
North Yorkshire County Record Office
NRA 33698
18
1257-1368: West Tanfield (Yorks) deeds and papers
North Yorkshire County Record Office
See Annual Return 1995
19
1514-1517: Somerset estate terrier of Glastonbury Abbey
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12i]
20
1362-1364: Northants forests assart roll
Northamptonshire Record Office
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12j]
21
1641: account of the trial of the Earl of Strafford
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996 [12l]
22
1860-1960: Savernake estate records
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
See Annual Return 2003
23
1674-1985: additional estate and family papers, incl legal and estate memoranda books, memoir of Thomas earl of Ailesbury, c1730, diaries of Thomas marquis of Ailesbury1786-1803; architectural plans of Tottenham Park, 1808-1834; letters of the earl of Cardigan about his role in The Charge of The Light Brigade in 1854, 1865-6; land drainage plans, 1850's; notebook of R Loder about the topography of Savernake Forest, 1917; corresp re the lease of the forest to the Forestry Commission
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
See Annual Return 2009
24
1710-1830: corresp re election of burgesses and voting rights in Marlborough, and other papers incl draft petitions to the king, 1786, 1792
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
See Annual Return 2010

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