The actual collection was deposited in several stages. Some basic sorting had been undertaken in advance of deposit and this process was initially continued after the material arrived. The listing and indexing of some sections was also begun while additional records were also received, some of the latter actually relating to the sections already listed. These factors have inhibited a comprehensive sort of the collection and its archival arrangement - as indicated in the scheme following. Most of the records included in the early sections (112/1/-112/5/) had already been listed before the final review was undertaken. Separately bound lists are available for 'Attingham Collection Part I - The Honourable Richard Hill' (112/1/1-2866, previously 112/1-2866) and 'Militia Papers 1796-1808' (112/3/, previously 112/MIL/). Recent work has revealed additional records relating to Richard Hill's work as Deputy Paymaster General (112/1A/1-42) as well as personal records 112/1/2867-2969). The lists of these documents, the Powys records (112/2/), manorial records and all subsequent sections (112/4/ et seq.) are to be found in the various volumes of the recently completed catalogues.
A number of printed items are also available which provide additional information about Attingham and the Hill family:
1. 'Hon. and Rev. Richard Hill of Hawkstone, 1655-1727' by E. M. Jancey, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society, vol. LV, 1954-1956.
2. 'Thomas Hill of Tern, 1693-1782' by Dorothy Wolley, Archives, vol. XXI, 1994.
3. 'Tern Hall and the Hill family, 1700-1775' by Barbara Coulton, T. S. A. S., vol. LXVI, 1989.
4. A Shropshire Squire: Noel Hill, First Lord Berwick (1989), Barbara Coulton.
5. Victoria History of Shropshire, volumes III, IV, VIII and XI.
Administrative / biographical background:
This collection relates to the Hill family of Attingham and includes records relating to the management of their estates as well as family material. The basis of the fortunes of this branch of the Hill family was provided by Richard Hill, Deputy Paymaster General to the forces in Flanders in the reign of William III. Richard died unmarried and established three nephews as his successors. Rowland Hill (the son of Richard's brother John Hill) received the Hawkstone estate, Samuel Barbour (the son of Richard's sister Elizabeth Barbour) was given the Shenstone estate in Staffordshire, and Thomas Harwood (the son of Richard's sister Margaret Harwood) was given Tern Hall - subsequently known as Attingham Hall. Samuel Barbour and Thomas Harwood later took the surname of Hill. Information about the Hill family of Hawkstone is included in the Bygott collection (731/).
A large proportion of the records in this collection relate to Thomas Hill [Harwood], who also acquired Samuel Hill's settled estates in 1758. Thomas Hill's eldest surviving son Noel was created the first Lord Berwick in 1784, he was responsible for much of the building which made Tern Hall into Attingham. Further work on Attingham was undertaken by Thomas Noel Hill, the second Lord Berwick, which contributed in part to having to sell the contents of Attingham in 1827. William Hill, the third Lord Berwick, enjoyed a successful career as a diplomat in Italy before inheriting the estate in 1832. Following the death of William Hill in 1842, Attingham was shut up or tenanted while the Hill family chose to live at Cronkhill. Thomas Henry, the eighth Lord Berwick, moved to Attingham after his marriage to Teresa Hulton in 1919. The eighth Lord and Lady Berwick continued to live at Attingham until their deaths in 1947 and 1972 respectively. More details of the management of the estates and of individual members of the Hill family are given in the introductions to the appropriate sections.