This record is held by Gloucestershire Archives

Details of D1799
Reference: D1799

Deeds, estate and family papers of the Blathwayt family of Dyrham Park, 16th-20th cents.






Dyrham and Hinton




Barton Hundred


Grumbolds Ash Hundred


St. James, Bristol


Somerset: Langridge, Weston, Charlcombe


Somerset: Porlock


Somerset: Witcomb and Cote


Surrey: Egham






Dyrham and Hinton


Hawkesbury and Thornbury








Staunton (Forest of Dean)


West Littleton in Tormarton


Wick and Henbury


Bristol and Barton Regis










Hertfordshire and Essex








Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire


Shropshire and Montgomery


Somerset: Bath


Somerset: Burnham


Somerset: Charlcombe, Lansdown, Weston and Langridge


Somerset: Selworthy and Luccombe


Somerset: Nynehead


Somerset: Porlock


Somerset: Weeke






Cold Ashton


Dyrham and Hinton












Surveys: Dyrham and Hinton


Surveys: East Somerset


Surveys: Cold Ashton


Surveys: Bristol


Surveys: Porlock


Surveys: Hertfordshire




Leases: Dyrham, Hinton and West Littleton


Leases: Wick


Leases: Bristol and Barton Regis


Leases: East Somerset


Leases: Somerset: Porlock


Leases: Berkshire


Leases: Middlesex


Leases: Wiltshire


Leases: Ireland


Leases: Miscellaneous


Agreements, including enclosure at Dyrham and West Littleton


Porlock estate papers


Tax assessments, rates, etc.


Appointments of estate officials


Schedules of deeds


Abstracts of title


Draft and copy deeds


Sale catalogues


Building of Dyrham Park: estimates and correspondence.


Household administration




Household: miscellaneous






Wynter family


Blathwayt family (in alphabetical order of Christian names)


Related families


Other families


Diaries: Blathwayt family


Diaries: Gabriel Lepipre


Diaries: Hibbert family


Diaries: E.L. Philips




Estate income


Estate accounts


Estate vouchers


Household accounts


Household vouchers


Household vouchers of Crane and Pye families




Brayne family


Wynter family


Blathwayt family


Miscellaneous lawsuits


Solicitors' accounts




Secretary Wm. Blathwayt, c.1649-1717


Wm. Blathwayt, 1688-1742


Wm. (Crane) Blathwayt, 1794-1839




Parish and Charity






St. Philip and Jacob, Bristol






Personal correspondence: Wynter family


Personal correspondence: Blathwayt and related families, chiefly Baker, Oates, and Philips (in chronological order)


Estate correspondence: Wynter family


Estate correspondence: Blathwayt family


Estate correspondence: other families




Local historical articles, notes, and prints


Family poems, sketches, Christmas cards


Estate, hunting and other printed notices, rules, etc.

Date: 13th century-20th century
Related material:

Copies of these have now been acquired by this office on ten microfilms (Microfilm 1298-1307).

Held by: Gloucestershire Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Blathwayte family of Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

Physical description: 1637 Files
Immediate source of acquisition:

deposited by J. R. W. Blathwayt, Esq.

Custodial history:

Some unusual features may be remarked on. No medieval records have apparently survived, and none was listed in a catalogue made in 1772. There are notable gaps in some series of records in the first half of the 18th century after the death of Secretary Blathwayt in 1717, particularly the estate and household vouchers. The vouchers just mentioned were systematically filed instead of accounts being entered in ledgers.


Very few original bundles survive. The deeds and leases at least were sorted and listed by the steward of the estate in 1772 as they were then 'in the utmost confusion'. About half the collection was deposited c.1940 in Bristol University Library where further sorting and listing took place, in some cases breaking an existing arrangement.


There is a small number of records relating chiefly to the Porlock estate which have been deposited by a firm of London solicitors per the British Records Association in the Somerset Record Office, Obridge Road, Taunton (Cat. Mark. DD/BR/bn). A few records found later in the house, or purchased, have been acquired by the National Trust. For those deposited in Glos. R.O., see D2659, and for those kept at the house see the National Register of Archives list.


The papers of William Blathwayt (1649-1717) were dispersed at the beginning of this century, and some are held in the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library in Bethesda, Maryland

  • Wynter family of Dyrham, Gloucestershire
Unpublished finding aids:

On the Search Room shelves (ROL G3) is a volume entitled The William Blathwayt Papers at Colonial Williamsburg 1631-1722. A summary reel guide appears on pp. 9-10 of this volume with references which relate to the main text. The reel guide identifies which set of documents appear on which film.

Administrative / biographical background:

The manor of Dyrham was bought from the Dennys family by George Wynter, brother of Admiral Sir William Wynter of Lydney, in 1571. Apart from deeds and settlements (D1799/T2-4) there are few records in the archives relating to the Dyrham estate during its ownership by the Wynter family. A few deeds are signed by Sir William Wynter (see D.N.B.) including the acquittal of Captain John Wynter, 1582, for acts of piracy committed during Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world (D1799/T3). Some account of this expedition is given in F. H. Harris, Wyntours of the White Cross - House (1923). In 1680-2 John Wynter was involved in lawsuits said to have cost him £10,000 (D1799/L9-13) which evidently severely reduced his fortune; the Elizabethan mansion house became dilapidated (D1799/C8).


In 1686 William Blathwayt married Mary, only daughter and heir of John Wynter (D1799/C8, D1799/T4, D1799/F89). He was at that time Secretary-at-War, Secretary to the Lords of Trade, and Auditor-General of Plantation Revenues; later (1692-1701) he became Secretary of State to William III in Flanders. His official career is dealt with in detail in G. A. Jacobson, William Blathwayt; a late seventeenth century administrator (Yale U.P., 1932), and by R.A. Preston, 'The life and career of William Blathwayt, civil servant and Acting-Secretary', unpublished M.A. thesis, Leeds University (c.1948).


Soon after the death of his wife in 1691, Blathwayt rebuilt the house at Dyrham. The building of the present mansion of Dyrham Park has been described in articles by J.A. Kenworthy-Brown, 'The building of Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, for William Blathwayt between 1692 and 1702', The Connoisseur, March 1962, and M. Girouard, 'Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire', Country Life, 19 and 22 February, 1962. The gardens are described in Stephen Switzer, Icongraphica Rustica, III (1718), 113-127. There is Talman's 'First Draught of a Cascade' in the R.I.B.A. Drawings Collection. Numerous estimates, drawings, accounts, and letters survive relating to the building under the supervision of Samuel Hauduroy and William Talman (D1799/E234-245, D1799/A24-25, 101-113). Later repairs to the house, purchases of furniture, and household management are recorded chiefly in the long and detailed series of estate and household vouchers (D1799/A97-270, D1799/319-426).


The estate which William Blathwayt acquired through his marriage with Mary Wynter consisted chiefly of the manor of Dyrham and lands in Dyrham, Hinton, and West Littleton. Apart from minor changes due to the enlargement of the Park, 1691-1706 (D1799/T9) and inclosure, 1799-1818 (D1799/E152, 153) this estate remained intact. William Blathwayt's own real property was limited to some houses in Clerkenwell (Co. Middlesex) which had belonged to his father. He later bought the manors of Weston (1691), Charlcombe (1692), Lansdown (1701) and Langridge (1705) all north of Bath, which were administered with the Dyrham Park estate (D1799/T70, 58, 67, 93). The manor and estate at Porlock was administered separately. This was one of the estates devised under the will of Henry Rogers of Cannington (W. Somerset) in 1672. One of his trustees was his nephew John Wynter of Dyrham and after lengthy Chancery proceedings (D1799/L9-13), William Blathwayt obtained possession of the manor of Porlock about 1705.


The large quantities of rentals, leases, vouchers, and other records show fully how the estates were organized. Detailed pedigrees are among the archives (D1799/F1, 2). Although no member of the family achieved the distinction of Secretary William Blathwayt there are quantities of family papers, correspondence, and diaries, especially during the 19th century.


The archives themselves have had a varied fortune. The muniment room of the mansion is portrayed by an anonymous writer, possibly G. W. Blathwayt, 'In a Gloucestershire Justice-Room', Blackwoods Magazine (1907), 171-181. More recently the contents of this collection, chiefly of family and estate archives have been briefly described in B. S. Smith, 'Blathwayt of Dyrham Park archives', Archives, V (1962), 224-5, (G.R.O., PA126/7).

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