Catalogue description Carnavon of Highclere Papers

This record is held by Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of 75M91
Reference: 75M91
Title: Carnavon of Highclere Papers

It comprises principally the personal correspondence of the first three Earls, the largest concentration of material relating to the 3rd Earl and Countess, before and after the Earl succeeded to the title. The collection also includes a quantity of papers relating to Edward Herbert, diplomat (nephew of 3rd Earl); Alan Herbert, doctor (brother of 4th Earl); and Beatrice Herbert, writer (great-granddaughter of 1st Earl). Many of the papers were used by the Dowager Fourth Countess for her biography of the 4th Earl; her typescripts of this book may also be found in this collection.


The papers in this collection give an insight into the affectionate relationships of the 2nd Earl and his five children. Also well represented are the papers of the 3rd Countess, née Henrietta Howard Molyneux. Her mother, brother and three sisters were prolific correspondents, and their letters give an impression of the social life, religious feelings and political outlook of the landed families.


The papers in this collection may be summarised as comprising the correspondence which the Dowager Fourth Lady Carnarvon (hereafter DFLC) used during the writing of the early chapters of her husband's biography (but not those dealing with his own career), as well as including some later material.


Large collection of family papers of the Herbert family, Earls of Carnarvon (courtesy title Lord Porchester borne by heir), principally consisting of family and personal correspondence. Includes


Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Carnarvon (1741-1811): correspondence received, including family and political correspondence, letters relating to Hampshire and Wiltshire elections, 1789-1811 and the Wiltshire militia, and correspondence with Boisquelin de Chabonnes, Archbishop of Aix


Henry George Herbert, 2nd Earl (1772-1833): correspondence received, including family and political correspondence and letters concerning Cricklade Borough, the Wiltshire militia and the Somerset Yeomanry


Siblings of the 2nd Earl: small quantities of family and general correspondence received by Very Revd William Herbert, Revd and Mrs George Herbert and Lady Frances Herbert, later Moreton (1st Countess of Ducie)


Elizabeth Kitty Herbert, nee Acland, 2nd Countess (1773-1813): correspondence received, including letters from her husband concerning the 1810 Regency Bill and his opposition to the Reform Bill; other Acland and Dyke family papers including letters to Lady Harriet Acland from the Herbert family and papers concerning Dyke family charities and scholarships


Miss Beatrice Mary Herbert: literary manuscripts, typescripts and printed stories, 1900-42; photograph album of Capt George Frederick Herbert relating to service in the Royal Artillery in Egypt and India, and letter concerning Chitral expedition, 1884-96; executorship accounts, 1948-9


Henry John George Herbert, 3rd Earl (1800-1849): correspondence received: letters from his family while he was at private school (1812-13), at Eton (from 1813) and in Lisbon (1826-8); other letters from the Herbert, Stapleton, Moreton, Acland, Escott and Howard families; social, political and literary correspondence, including letters from Lord Ashburton, Charles Holte Bracebridge and Selina Bracebridge, Frances, Marchioness of Bute (nee Coutts), James Robert Gawen, Capt C F Henningsen (concerning Spain), Sir Edmund Lyons (of Athens), Viscount Mahon (later 5th Earl), Revd Stephen Nosworthy, W Whateley, Edward Whiteley (of Oporto) and others; letters concerning Don Miguel and 3rd Earl's book on Portugal and Galicia (1830-45), the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1835-42), agricultural, and horticultural and charitable societies; draft speeches; literary papers; papers concerning travels in Spain and Portugal (1826-8) and in Greece and the Middle East (1838-9)


Edward Charles Hugh Herbert (1802-52): letters from the Herbert, Escott and Barter families; miscellaneous letters and papers concerning Dulverton Troop of West Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry (1829-43); family and general correspondence received by his wife, nee Elizabeth Escott; journal, perhaps by Mrs Herbert, of tour of South Devon and Cornwall (1833), with journal by unidentified writer of tour of Algeria Edward Henry Charles Herbert (1837-70): letters received from the Herbert, Acland and related families and Eton and Oxford contemporaries; business and financial papers


Lady Harriet Herbert, later Stapleton (1797-1836): correspondence received, mainly family correspondence, and letters received by her husband the Revd John C Stapleton from members of the Stapleton and Herbert families and his German connections (1829-37)


Lady Emily Herbert, later Pusey (d 1854): correspondence received, including letters from the Herbert and Pusey families, and letters received by her husband Philip Pusey MP, mainly from the Herbert family (1820-52)


Lady Theresa Herbert (1803-1815): letter from 3rd Earl


Henrietta Molyneux Herbert, nee Howard, 3rd Countess (1804-76): correspondence received: letters from the Howard and Herbert families; letters to and from 4th Earl of Carnarvon, and Sophie Bosanquet of East Woodhay (1830-47); letters from the Dallaway family of Leatherhead, Surrey, J R Gawen, Mary Morton and other domestic staff, Petre family and others; Harrow School and Eton College bills, 1850-2; occasional journals, 1835-42


Lady Henry Howard, nee Elizabeth Long (d 1835): correspondence received, including letters from the Long, Howard and Herbert families; letter to Lord Henry Howard from Charlotte Howard


Henry Howard MP (1802-75): correspondence received from the Howard, Long and Herbert families and others


Isabella Howard, later Viscountess Andover and Countess of Suffolk (d 1891): correspondence received from the Howard and Herbert families


Charlotte Howard, later Buller (d 1855): correspondence received from the Howard and Herbert families; family correspondence received by her husband James Wentworth Buller MP


Juliana Howard, later Ogilvy (d 1833): family correspondence


Howard family: miscellaneous papers including sermon by Revd Terence Macdonagh of Bransgore and


Manuscripts of family plays, 1820s; small quantity of papers relating to estates at Teversal and Wellow, Notts, and Aldingbourne, Sussex, 19th century


Long family: small quantities of correspondence received by Edward Long, Mary Ballard Long, Edward Noel Long, Lady Catherine Walpole/Long, Charlotte Long/Howard, Charles Beckford Long, Charles Edward Long, Louisa Dawkins and Revd Arthur Atherley, c1780s-1871


Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th Earl (1831-90): correspondence received, mainly letters from the Herbert, Pusey and Howard families, and letters concerning the British Charitable Fund in Paris (1870); papers concerning the murder of Edward Herbert by Greek brigands in 1870; catalogues of manuscripts


John Kent (tutor and secretary to 4th Earl): small number of letters from the Herbert family and others


Elizabeth Catherine Herbert, nee Howard, second 4th Countess (1856-1929): correspondence received: letters from 4th Earl and their children; letters concerning the Acland and Long families; miscellaneous correspondence; typescripts and correspondence in connection with her biography of the 4th Earl, with extracts from the diaries of Charlotte, Lady Phillimore (1868-91); Herbert family scrapbook (mid-late 19th century)


Aubrey N H M Herbert (1880-1923): small quantity of miscellaneous letters and papers


Mervyn R H M Herbert (1882-1929): small quantity of miscellaneous letters and papers


Dr Alan Percy Harty Molyneux Herbert (1836-1907): correspondence received: letters from the Herbert family; letters concerning the Hertford British Hospital, Paris (1888-1900); miscellaneous letters; religious and medical writings and other papers Lady Eveline Herbert, later Countess of Portsmouth: small quantity of family correspondence, 1847-92


Lady Gwendoline Ondine Herbert (1842-1915); letters from John Kent and others Estate papers: list of books at Grosvenor Square, London, 1849; letters concerning administration of Pixton estate, Dulverton, Somerset, 1834-38; lists of recipients of Christmas gifts, early 19th century; estate accounts for Tetton estate, Kingston St Mary, Somerset, 1823-45; Tetton estate vouchers, 1831-65; miscellaneous Tetton estate papers, 19th century; lists of poor residents of Highclere and Burghclere, 1812; Highclere estate administration miscellanea, 1812-53; papers concerning advowson of Teversal, Notts.


Miscellaneous: 'The Herberts of Highclere' by the 4th Earl, 1908; biographical account of the Revd J C Stapleton by Dean Henry Stapleton, late 20th century.


Highclere estate workers and servants


This collection contains very few administrative records of the Highclere estate, or lists of servants in the Castle and its grounds. There are references to individual servants within the family correspondence (Mary Morton, Ann Gaymour, W Pascoe and William Venn all figure fairly prominently). Important references to specific servants have been mentioned in the catalogue, and will be found in the office's main personal names index. See 75M95/Y48 for a list of maintenance and estate workers in 1812, and for lists of poor residents of Highclere and Burghclere at a similar date.


This collection appears to contain no records whatever concerning 5th Earl's archaeological interests. There are virtually no papers in the collection concerning the 5th Earl, except for a few letters relating to his marriage (S3), and two photographs of Highclere Castle taken by him in 1880 (S15). There are also three sheets of paper bearing Arabic handwriting (R13/50).


The following material may be useful to students of the militia and yeomanry (this is not a comprehensive list)


Wiltshire militia: 75M95/A23 - 75M95/A25, 75M95/B21


Somerset yeomanry: 75M95/E10, 75M95/E16/1-75M95/E16/9, 75M95/E39/29, 75M95/F2/8-75M95/F2/15, 75M95/F10/1-5, 75M95/J3/33, 75M95/L12/20-26, 75M95/Y41/1


The following conventions have been used in the catalogue


- The words 'Earl' and 'Countess' should be understood to be followed by the words 'of Carnarvon', except where the context dictates otherwise.


- The use of words such as 'his' and 'hers' in descriptions of correspondence generally refer to the writer, not to the recipient.


- The Earls of Carnarvon have been described as '3rd Earl' etc throughout, not just during the periods after they had succeeded to the title. This has been done in order to avoid confusion between the successive persons known as Henry Herbert and Lord Porchester (courtesy title borne by the eldest son of the Earl).


- Dates enclosed in round brackets are those which were assigned by the Dowager 4th Countess (DFLC). Dates enclosed in square brackets are thosd suggested by the present cataloguer.


Any material other than dates which is enclosed in round brackets is supplied by the present cataloguer.

Date: 1649, 1749-1929

When the papers arrived at Hampshire Record Office in 1991, they were found to be arranged in several ways. Much material, especially the earliest and latest papers, was arranged by recipient. Some papers were clearly disarranged. A large quantity of correspondence, mainly covering the period 1800 - 1849, had been rearranged by DFLC in order to facilitate work on her biography. He method was to assemble all the correspondence for each month in chronological order and to number the letters in a numerical sequence for each month (generally indicated by a pencil number at the top of the front leaf of each letter). She then enclosed the letters in a wrapper, indicating on the wrapper which letters were to be typed for her, and in a minority of cases listing the writer and recipient of each letter.


Lady Carnarvon's arrangement had the advantage that it enabled the chronological story to be clearly perceived. On the other hand, it meant that letters to a variety of recipients were grouped in a single sequence. Furthermore, a considerable number of letters were excluded from this arrangement.


After considerable thought, it was decided not to retain DFLC's chronological arrangement. It was impossible to be certain of the original order of the documents, although the surviving original bundles 75M95/E44 - 75M95/E49 suggest an arrangement by recipient and then by date, while other surviving bundles suggest an arrangement by recipient and then by correspondent. It is certainly clear that many members of the family treated their relatives' correspondence with respect and affection, many bundles being annotated as having been 'read over' by subsequent generations. The wrappers found with the correspondence give an insignt into family sentiments and DFLC's wrappers contain much useful information on the dating, authorship and subjects of letters. Where it has not been possible to keep wrappers with the items with which they were associated, they have been placed in a separate section, 75M95/S13.


Many of the letters in this collection were undated. It was therefore felt to be essential to preserve the information on dating provided in DFLC's chronological arrangement. Where undated letters were found in DFLC's monthly bundles, therefore, the dates suggested by her are indicated in this catalogue, generally enclosed in round brackets. For convenience, all annotations concerning dates have been assumed to be the work of DFLC, although in some instances this may not have been the case.


The arrangement which has been adopted is by recipient and then by correspondent, as explained more fully below. It is hoped that this arrangement will be seen as reflecting the original order whilst ensuring that Lady Carnarvon's valuable insights are incorporated into the catalogue.


The whole collection has been sorted by recipients; the recipients are listed in order of generations, beginning with the relevant Earl and then dealing with the siblings and wife of the Earl. Descendants of siblings of Earls have been listed under those siblings, and not in their true generations. Within each recipient, family correspondence has been listed in a similar order; this is followed by correspondence from specific persons who were not members of the family but were sufficiently prolific correspondents to warrant a separate entry, correspondence from miscellaneous people, correspondence on specific subjects (usually original bundles), and miscellaneous papers such as draft letters and memoranda.

Related material:

Some photocopies of designs by Sir Charles Barry for the rebuilding of the Castle in the 1830s are held here under the reference COPY/561; small photographs of Capability Brown's drawings for the garden in 1770 are held here as 116M88/B15/1-5 and 116M88/C15/1


For a larger collection of estate papers, see 15M52 (papers of Broome Pinnager, steward of Highclere and adjacent manors).


The papers of the Earls of Carnarvon are divided between a number of repositories


Highclere Castle Archives: a very significant collection including many personal papers, and most of the Highclere estate archives. Enquiries about Highclere Castle muniments should be addressed to Archivist Regent's Park College, Pusey Street, Oxford OX1 2LB.


Somerset Record Office: another group of family correspondence has been deposited in Somerset Record Office by Mr B A A Dru, a descendant of 4th Earl's son Aubrey. They include correspondence, diaries and pocket books of the 1st Earl, 2nd Earl and 2nd Countess; political, business and travel papers of 3rd Earl; diaries and papers of 4th Earl; diaries, family literary and business papers of DFLC; papers of Aubrey Herbert and his family.


British Library: the personal papers of 4th Earl were offered for sale of Sotheby's in 1978, and were bought by the British Library. They are thought to have come from the same source as 75M91. these papers include correspondence with peers, politicans, publishers and friends, papers concerning his official posts, diaries and speeches. They also include letter books and account books of 3rd Earl, papers from 4th Earl's childhood including his parents' correspondence about his education, papers of the 3rd Countess during her dowagerhood, and correspondence of the 4th Earl with his parents and siblings.


Public Record office: personal official papers of 4th Earl, presented to the PRO by DFLC in 1916.

Held by: Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Copies held at:

Microfilms of Highclere Castle Archives: microfilm copies of many of the manorial records for Ashmansworth, Ecchinswell, Highclere, Newtown and Woodhay (the originals of which are held at Highclere), covering the years 1572 - 1870, and papers concerning the remodelling of Highclere Castle by Charles Barry in the 1840's, may be seen in HRO, ref: 75M95/M528-M569 (see list in binder marked 'Other records on microfilm Vol 1'). We also have photocopies of Sir Charles Barry's drawings for Highclere Castle and Church, ref: COPY/561/1-21.

Language: English

Herbert family, Earls of Carnavon

Physical description: 85 series
Immediate source of acquisition:

This important collection of papers was purchased by Hampshire Record Office in 1991.

Administrative / biographical background:

The Earls of Carnarvon belong to a branch of the Herbert family, being descended from the 8th Earl of Pembroke.


The 1st Earl, who inherited Highclere Castle from an uncle, was MP for Wilton, Wilts in 1768 - 1780 (a Borough controlled by the Earls of Pembroke). He served as Master of the Horse from 1806 to 1807, having been created Earl of Carnarvon in 1793.


The 2nd Earl was educated at Eton and Glasgow, he was MP for Cricklade, 1794 - 1811 (where the 1st Earl had built up control of one seat) and was later an active member of the House of Lords. Until 1830 he supported the Whigs, but his exclusion from the Wig government in that year induced him to become a Tory, and he was a strong opponent of the Reform Bill.


The 3rd Earl was educated at Eton and Oxford. He had literary tastes, publishing a poem (The Moor, 1825), a tragedy (Don Pedro, 1828) and studies of the Portuguese Constitution, and Portuguese and Galician affairs (1830). He visited Spain and Portugal in 1826 - 27, and was a supporter of Don Carlos. He sat as MP for Wootton Basset, Wilts, in 1831 - 33, and vigorously opposed the Reform Bill.


The 3rd Earl suffered from weak health, and after succeeding to the title did not play a major role in the House of Lords. He travelled to Italy in 1833, and spent much of 1838 - 39 in Italy, Greece and Constantinople.


The 4th Earl was an active statesman, serving as Colonial Secretary and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. His official work is not well-represented in this collection, but there is a large group of his papers connected with the murder of his cousin Edward H C Herbert by Greek brigands.

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