Catalogue description FINCH HATTON (KIRBY)

This record is held by Northamptonshire Archives

Details of FH
Reference: FH

Internationally important collection of political, literary, antiquarian and heraldic papers, some by William Dugdale, (d 1686).


1st Lord Hatton's 'Book of Seals' containing 529 facsmilies of medieval charters, many of now lost originals, including a depiction of the earliest known seal of an English noble (before 1097), the first grant of the title of Lord Great Chamberlain to Aubrey de Vere 1133 and details of an honorial court c.1120-1140. Volume of paintings showing the ceremonial surrounding the creation of Knights of the Bath. Copies of John Leland's Itinerary and Collectanea, the Cartae Baronum of 1166 and the Cartae Antiquae. Copy of the Pipewell Abbey register and cartulary of St Mary's Abbey, York 13thC. Henry VII's regulations for the Palace of Westminster.


A volume of the Lord Chancellor's state papers 1580-1591 mainly relating to his county Lieutenancy, the militia and the Armada defence with later papers to 1614. Proceedings of the trial of Mary Queen of Scots.


16thC. Northants. licensing records. Parliamentary journals 1592-1642.


Papers of the Governorship of Guernsey, 17thC. including reference books copying documents back to 1203, studies and diagrams of fortifications and correspondence.


Extensive 17thC. material for estates in Kirby, Gretton, Holdenby, Kettering, the Bramptons, the Weldons, Benefield Lawn, Deenethorpe, Brigstock, Elkington, Sulby, Wilbarston, Wellingborough, Moulton Park, Long Stanton (Cambridgeshire) and Hatton House in London. With 1580-1587 survey and altas of the Northants. estates by Ralph Treswell. Gretton court rolls 1592-1761 and Little Weldon court rolls 1593-1765. Papers on the Lord Chancellor's debts prepared for his successor. Kirby inventories 1619-1622 and mid 17thC. bills. Letters concerning the estate during the Civil War. Personal correspondence 1666-1705 including letters from Lord Grey de Ruthin (of Easton Maudit) in Paris and letters from Thomas Walker describing events in London and at Court leading up to the 'Glorious Revolution' in 1688. Account book of Lord Hatton as a trustee for Lord Grey 1675-1685. Papers on the gardens at Kirby, 1658-1660 and 1680s. Papers on the alms houses at Great Billing 1623-1857. Kirby rentals 1919-1951 and estate correspondence 1918-1926. 20thC. papers on the Weldon quarries.


Seyton and Haslewood family papers including: Maidwell court rolls 1360-1452, 1574-1584 and account rolls 1290-1421, Kelmarsh court rolls 1276-1452 and account rolls 1418-1429 and Draughton court rolls 1361-1452 and account rolls 1417-1420. Deeds and papers for the Marmion estates in Lincolnshire, mainly at Helpringham and Keysby, including Keysby court rolls 1419-1441. Deeds properties in Northampton including The Peacock 1456-1548, in London in St. Botolph's for the Dychand family 1515-1530 and for Moulton rectory 1545-1602. Papers on sequestration of Haslewood estates and Haslewood inventories 1681-1683.


(The 1st Viscount Hatton married Elizabeth Haslewood.)


Holt and Tresham papers including: Brampton Ash court rolls 1399-1448 and account rolls 1414-1442, building expenses 1433/4, Rothwell court rolls 1390-1420 and account rolls 1424-1434, Gayton court rolls 1394-1428 and account rolls 1421-1429, Islip account rolls 1379-1427, [East] Carlton account rolls 1428-1448, Church Brampton account roll 1426-1427 and 1451 survey of the Holt estates.


Fanshawe papers on customs under Charles II from the Office of the King's Remembrancer. Deeds, estate and legal papers of Sir Matthew Jenison of Newark (Nottinghamshire) 1672-1743 and later papers of the Gordon family including Sir Jenison Gordon's bills 1821. Financial papers of George Mortimer of London 1596-1624. Official and financial papers of Francis Dee, Bishop of Peterborough 1634-1636.


(The 2nd Sir Christopher married Alice Fanshawe. Sir Jenison William Gordon married Harriet Finch Hatton)


Early 17th C. poetry by Anne Finch. Letter books of the 2nd Earl of Nottingham as Secretary of State 1702-1704 including on the Methuen Treaty with Portugal in 1704. Papers on the Union with Scotland 1701-1703. Papers on wrecks and wine off Wye 1699-1720. Letters of the 8th Earl of Winchilsea. The Hon. Edward Finch Hatton's account book 1762-1770. His accounts for executorship of the Hon. Charles Feilding 1745-1763 and Feilding's own accounts 1737-1745. Edward Finch Hatton's log book for H.M.S. Seahorse 1807-1808. Correspondence of the 10th Earl of Winchilsea 1820s, 1830s including against Catholic emancipation and on The Orange Society. Correspondence on investments in the late 19thC. Australia and in the Great Horseless Carriage Co.. Correspondence about 'The Cable' newsletter established by the 12th Earl 1899. 18th/19thC. maps of Kent estates in Wye, Eastwell, Westwell, Boughton Aluph, Kennington and Hincksel. Deeds for Boughton Aluph, Kennington and Wye 1693-1825. Papers on Wye Grammar School and College and on Thornhill School (all Kent).




c. Circa.


cent. Century.


E. English.


e. Early.


ff. Folios.


L. Latin.


l. Late.


pp. Pages.


Pr. Paper.


Pt. Parchment.


temp. Tempus.

Date: c1250-1953
Related material:

(Medieval charters and further papers of the 1st Viscount Hatton are in the British Library.)


(Further Finch archives are in the Finch of Burley on the Hill archive in the Leicestershire Record Office.)


(The Lord Chancellor's Lieutenacy papers were published by the Northants. Record Society as volume 27 in 1975, edited by Jeremy Goring and Joan Wake)


Other documents relating to the Kirby Hall estate were deposited by firms of solicitors but have not been given FH numbers. These are (A) Gretton court rolls 1592-1761 Acc. 1943/32 and (B) Gretton and Little Weldon court roll books &c., 1739-1935. Acc. 1971/36 (part)


The Book of Monuments, a companion to the Book of Seals (FH170), is deposited in the British Library.

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

Finch-Hatton family of Kirby, Northamptonshire

Physical description: 4993 documents
Custodial history:

The Finch Hatton collection was mostly deposited by the Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham in 1930. With it came a catalogue by Canon C.W. Foster of Lincoln to the volumes (renumbered as FH1-345). A catalogue of the rest of the deposit was made and typed in 1931, the documents being numbered FH346-4240. Subsequently some items were found not to have been catalogued and were given the numbers FH4241-4282.


Further additions were made to the collection as follows:-


Acc. 1953/14 FH4283


Acc. 1956/82 FH4284-4819


Acc. 1963/16 FH4820-4824


Acc. 1963/51 FH4825-4868


Acc. 1971/79 FH4869-4993.


FH301, 302, 3831 and 4072 (Wye court rolls) were transferred to Wye College in 1962.

  • Dugdale, Sir, William, 1605-1686, knight, antiquary and herald
  • Fanshawe family of Ware Park, Hertfordshire
  • Haslewood family of Mardwell, Northamptonshire
  • Gordon family of Newark, Nottinghamshire
  • Eastwell, Kent
  • Kirby, Northamptonshire
  • Guernsey, Channel Islands
Administrative / biographical background:

Principally the archive of the Hattons of Kirby Hall but with significant Finch family documents. The collection was purchased for the Record Office in 2003 having been on deposit since 1930.


The Hattons lived at Holdenby originally. Sir Christopher Hatton (d.1591) was a favourite of Elizabeth I and her Lord Chancellor. He built a palace at Holdenby but nearly bankrupted his family. His cousin, another Christopher, who succeeded in 1597, sold it to the King and settled at Kirby Hall, a mansion Sir Christopher had bought from the Staffords of Blatherwycke. Hatton entertained James I several times at Kirby and was also knighted. He died in 1619 and was succeeded by his son Christopher, who became the third Sir Christopher, and also played host to the King at Kirby. He was Controller of the King's Household and was made Lord Hatton in 1643. Hatton was an antiquarian and friend of Sir William Dugdale. He exiled himself to France during the first years of the Commonwealth leaving Lady Hatton to run the estates. Between 1662 and 1665 he was Governor of Guernsey. His son Christopher succeeded as 2nd Lord Hatton in 1670. He took over his father's Governorship and was in Guernsey between 1670 and 1680. His wife and mother were both killed when a gunpowder magazine blew up in 1672 and Hatton narrowly escaped with his life. He was made Viscount Hatton in 1683. Hatton's main interest at Kirby were the gardens. Unfortunately his son William Seton, the 2nd Viscount and his brother the 3rd Viscount neglected Kirby. The title became extinct on the death of the 3rd Viscount in 1762 and the estates passed to the Hon. Edward Finch, a nephew, who was a younger son son of the Earl of Nottingham and Winchilsea. He took the additional name of Hatton.


The Finches came from Eastwell in south Kent and had been granted the Earldom of Winchilsea in 1628. A younger son became Speaker of the Commons and his son, a Lord Chancellor, was made Earl of Nottingham in 1681. Daniel the 2nd Earl of Nottingham (d.1730) bought an estate at Burley on the Hill (Rutland) and married as his second wife Anne Hatton. Lord Nottingham was a Secretary of State under William III and Queen Anne. He inherited the senior Winchilsea title in 1729 and became the 7th Earl. Anne, the wife of the 5th Earl of Winchilsea was a celebrated poetess and is recognised today as one of the first women poets of importance. The 8th Earl of Winchilsea (d.1769) was First Lord of the Admiralty. On his death the Kent estates went to Edward Finch Hatton of Kirby. Edward's grandson George Finch Hatton inherited the earldoms of Winchilsea and Nottingham on the death of the 9th Earl in 1826. The Finch Hatton's ended up living at Eastwell rather than Kirby and the house was abandoned. It eventually became a ruin and is now in the ownership of the state. The family had severe financial difficulties at the end of the 19th century. The 11th Earl (d.1887) was a bankrupt and the 12th Earl had to sell Eastwell in 1892.

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