The Andrew family's connection to Harlestone began with the purchase, by fine, of Lumley Manor by Thomas Andrew in 1500 (A 66) and subsequently consolidated with the purchase of Bulmer manor by John Andrew in 1753. The family gradually extended and improved their estate including commissioning Humphrey and John Adey Repton to alter Harlestone House and remodel Harlestone Park between 1808 and 1811. Upon the death of Robert Andrew the younger in 1831 the estate passed to his brother-in-law Colonel Henry Packe who swiftly concluded its sale (the process had begun in 1829) to Earl Spencer.
The collection contains a fine set of charters and deeds for Harlestone dating from the early C13th. These include land previously held by St James' Abbey and the Priory of St Andrew, Northampton. There are also a number of charters and deeds for Creaton, Teeton and Great Addington as well for land and property in a number of surrounding counties (notably some early modern Warwickshire deeds).
The family papers comprise of mostly copies of wills and correspondence. Wills within the collection include Thomas Andrew, 1722 (A 110), Robert Andrew, 1736 (A149), and Robert Andrew the elder, 1769, 1775 & 1792 (A 111-A 113); there is also an inventory of the goods of Thomas Andrew, 1650 (A 93). The correspondence, dating from the late eighteenth century until the early nineteenth century, includes estate and property matters, local events and a few relating to travel. These are mainly written by members of the Andrew family but there are some written by members of the Packe family as well. The journal of Robert Andrew [the elder] for August and September 1752 (A 280) includes a number of detailed descriptions of towns and country houses he visited whilst travelling. Additionally, located outside of this collection there is a notebook of Robert Andrew [the younger] recording his trip to Paris in 1829 (see XYZ 250). The only pedigree relating to the Andrew family within this collection is for the Andrew's of Charwelton, from 1286 until the early seventeenth century (A 349): for pedigrees including the Harlestone branch see Longden's pedigree and NPL 2116.
Harlestone House and Park were altered and improved by Humphrey and John Adey Repton between 1808 and 1811. Three watercolours by Humphrey Repton (A 294-A 296) show the house and park then and with their suggested alterations. The collection also contains an early nineteenth century George Clarke pencil sketch (A 274) and a framed watercolour of the house (A 364) from the same period. The sale of the house was a protracted affair and there is much correspondence regarding this from 1829 until the sale - to Earl Spencer - in 1831. There is also a sale catalogue of 1829 (A 95). Further correspondence can be found within the Spencer collection (SOX 572) where the deeds of sale are also located (SOX 312). The house - which has been cited as the possible inspiration for Jane Austin's Mansfield Park - was demolished in 1940.
The collection contains little in the way of manorial records - there are a few eighteenth century court rolls for Harlestone - but does have a number of inclosure papers for Creaton and a smaller amount for Great Addington. Amongst the Creaton inclosure papers are orders, accounts and a pre-inclosure quality book of 1782 (A 178). Additionally, there are Creaton surveyor of the highway accounts for 1783 to 1788. Finally, amongst the miscellanea within the collection are three legal works: a seventeenth summary of legal cases from Plowden's Abridgement (A 106) and two Elizabethan legal notebooks both written in French (A99 & A 100)