Browse by Records Creators

Spencer, family, Earls Spencer

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:

The Spencer family originated as graziers and sheepbreeders in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire in the late 15th century. Sir John Spencer of Snitterfield (Warwickshire) purchased Wormleighton (Warwickshire) in 1506 and Althorp (Northamptonshire) in 1508. Sir John Spencer (d. 1599) married Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Catlin (d. 1574) and heiress of property in Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Dorset, much of which, however, was sold between 1575 and 1617. Their son Robert Spencer was created Baron Spencer of Wormleighton in 1603, and the 3rd Baron was created Earl of Sunderland in 1643.

The 3rd Earl of Sunderland (c.1674-1722) married in 1700 Anne, second daughter and co-heir of the 1st Duke of Marlborough (see Spencer-Churchill, Dukes of Marlborough). In 1733, on the death of his maternal aunt Henrietta, Countess of Godolphin and in her own right Duchess of Marlborough, the 5th Earl of Sunderland (1706-58) succeeded to the dukedom and the Blenheim estates. He resigned the Althorp estates to his younger brother John Spencer (1708-46), who on the death of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough in 1744 also succeeded to her paternal estates in Hertfordshire (Sandridge, etc) and to her purchased properties in Surrey (Wimbledon, etc), Berkshire (Shillingford, etc), Norfolk (North Creake), Northamptonshire (Steane), Staffordshire and elsewhere. (Her trustees continued to make purchases after her death.) John Spencer’s son purchased the Battersea (Surrey) estate in 1763, and was created Earl Spencer in 1765.

The 3rd Earl Spencer (1782-1845) married in 1814 Esther, daughter and heir of Richard Acklom of Wiseton (Nottinghamshire). The 4th Earl (1798-1857) married in 1830 Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of William Poyntz of Midgham (Berkshire) (d. 1840) by Elizabeth, sister of George Browne, 8th Viscount Montagu (d. 1793), and co-heir to the Cowdray (Sussex) estates. Records for these estates survive among the Spencer papers, but the Midgham and Cowdray estates themselves were sold in 1843 and were never held with the Althorp estates.

The Althorp estates in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, with outliers in Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire, were consolidated in the 19th century. But there were sales of other outlying properties, including land in Wimbledon (though not the manorial lordship) in 1846, the Wiseton estate in 1848 and remaining properties in Bedfordshire by 1883.

Estates in 1883: Northants 16,800 acres, Warwicks 3,392 acres, Herts 3,017 acres, Norfolk 2,533 acres, Bucks 771 acres, Leics 670 acres, Surrey 2 acres, total 27,185 acres worth £46,764 a year.

Places:
  • Agney, Kent
  • Althorp, Northamptonshire
  • Battersea, Surrey
  • Biggleswade, Bedfordshire
  • Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
  • Brington, Northamptonshire
  • Cippenham, Buckinghamshire
  • Coombe, Surrey
  • Croydon, Surrey
  • Harlestone, Northamptonshire
  • Holywell, Hertfordshire
  • Lurgashall, Sussex
  • Mappowder, Dorset
  • Marlborough House, London
  • Mattersey, Nottinghamshire
  • Millow, Bedfordshire
  • Nobottle, Northamptonshire
  • North Creake, Norfolk
  • Priors Marston, Warwickshire
  • Pytchley, Northamptonshire
  • Queens Ferry, Flintshire
  • Sandridge, Hertfordshire
  • Shellingford, Berkshire
  • Sow, Staffordshire
  • Spencer House, London
  • St Albans, Hertfordshire
  • St Thomas, Staffordshire
  • Stantonbury, Buckinghamshire
  • Steane, Northamptonshire
  • Theddingworth, Leicestershire
  • Verdley, Sussex
  • Wandsworth, Surrey
  • Westminster, Middlesex
  • Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset
  • Wimbledon, Surrey
  • Wiseton, Nottinghamshire
  • Wolverton, Buckinghamshire
  • Wormleighton, Warwickshire
Sources of authority: Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to principal estate and family collections L-W, 1999.
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F88800 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F10795 )
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
12th cent-20th cent: London, Northants (Althorp, etc), Surrey (Wimbledon, etc) and Warwicks (Wormleighton, etc) deeds, legal and trust papers, manorial records, rentals, accounts, estate and Spencer family papers 12th-20th cent and deeds, manorial records and estate papers for Beds (Millow, etc), Berks (Shillingford, etc), Bucks (Stantonbury, etc), Dorset (Mappowder, etc), Herts (Sandridge, etc), Kent (Agney), Leics (Theddingworth, etc), Norfolk (North Creake), Notts (Wiseton, etc), Staffs (St Thomas alias Sow, etc), Sussex (Lurgashall, etc) and elsewhere mainly 16th-19th cent, with household papers for Althorp 18th-19th cent, Spencer House (London) late 18th-20th cent, Holywell (St Albans, Herts) 1724-1816, Wimbledon late 18th-early 19th cent and Wiseton (Notts) 1743-1847 and papers of the Browne, Drake and Poyntz families 16th-18th cent
Northamptonshire Record Office
NRA 10410 Spencer

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97a]
2
1872-1874: Northants (Althorp, etc), Warwicks (Wormleighton, etc) and misc Bucks (Stantonbury, etc), Herts (Sandridge, etc), Norfolk (North Creake, etc) and Flintshire (Queens Ferry) rentals
Northamptonshire Record Office
NRA 10410 Spencer

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97b]
3
1767-1922: Althorp and Pytchley (Northants) hunt records 1767-1922 and Althorp weather records 1830-45
Northamptonshire Record Office
NRA 28669 Spencer

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97c]
4
15th cent-20th cent: Northants (Althorp, etc) and Warwicks (Wormleighton, etc) estate plans and papers 15th-20th cent, Wiseton (Notts) farm accounts c1808-45, manorial records for Dorset (Whitchurch Canonicorum) 1571-83 and Notts (Mattersey) 1605-33, misc estate plans and papers for Beds (Millow, etc), Herts (Sandridge, etc), Kent (Agney), Leics (Theddingworth, etc), London, Norfolk (North Creake), Staffs (St Thomas alias Sowe, etc) and Surrey (Coombe, etc) 16th-20th cent and Spencer family, legal and trust papers 15th-20th cent, incl household papers for Althorp 17th-19th cent, Spencer House (London) 1791-1942, Harlestone (Northants) 1866, Blenheim Palace (Oxon), Marlborough House (London), Dover Street (London) and Holywell (St Albans, Herts) c1690-1749 and papers of the Biddulph, Boyle, Clifford, Drake, Savile and Seymour families 16th-19th cent
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97d]
5
14th cent-18th cent: Herts (Sandridge, etc), Kent (Agney, etc), London and other deeds and papers (former Jennings family properties)
Blenheim Palace
NRA 8130 Churchill

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [98a]
6
1732-1736: Sandridge (Herts) rental and account book
Collection held privately: enquiries to The National Archives, Archives Sector Development
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97o]
7
1814-1845: London (Battersea, Westminster, etc) and Surrey (Wimbledon, etc) estate papers 1814-45, with Herts (Sandridge) and Norfolk (North Creake) estate vouchers 1840-45
Parliamentary Archives
NRA 28247

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97i]
8
1779: Staffs (St Thomas alias Sow, etc) estate rental
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service: William Salt Library
NRA 7279 Salt coll

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97n]
9
1669-1798: Wimbledon (Surrey) manorial court rolls 1669-1729 and accounts 1788-98
Surrey History Centre
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97j]
10
early 19th cent, c1830-1851: Surrey (Wimbledon, etc) manorial custumal early 19th cent and formulary c1830-51
Surrey History Centre
NRA 3518 Surrey RO misc

See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97k]
11
1787: Wimbledon (Surrey) manorial map
Wandsworth Heritage Service
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97l]
12
1811-1814: Surrey, etc, estate rental
Lambeth Archives
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97m]
13
18th cent-20th cent: Spencer family architectural drawings 18th-20th cent, incl Althorp 1789-91, Harlestone (Northants) 1809-11, Wimbledon 1801 and Spencer House (London) c1760-1926
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97e]
14
1522-1656: Spencer family papers 1522-1656, incl household accounts 1599-1647
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97f]
15
1815-1875: Spencer, Seymour and Poyntz family diaries and papers
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97h]
16
18th cent-19th cent: Spencer family library catalogues
Manchester University: University of Manchester Library
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97p]
17
1610-1613: personal accounts of Margaret Spencer
British Library, Manuscript Collections
See HMC Principal family and estate collections L-W, 1999 [97g]

Sharing will require cookies. Show details