Catalogue description Clowes Deeds

This record is held by Manchester University: University of Manchester Library

Details of CLD
Reference: CLD
Title: Clowes Deeds

Correspondence, papers and deeds relating to the Clowes and Chetham families, and to the Clowes estates, mainly in south-east Lancashire and particularly Manchester. The papers date from the 13th century. There are numerous deeds and papers relating to Butterworth, Castleton, Cheetham, Claughton, Crompton, Crumpsall, Dutton, Etwall (Derbys.), Failsworth, London, Manchester, Nuthurst, Salford, Turton and Wigan. The collection includes several fine medieval documents relating to the manors of Butterworth and Crompton, east of Rochdale, and Moston and Nuthurst, north-east of Manchester; arbitration awards; marriage settlements; and many letters and papers of the Chetham family.

Date: 13th-19th centuries

Originally it was arranged in twelve boxes, but since then many items have been separated from their fellows and are now scattered throughout the collection. The order of the documents when received has, however, not been interfered with, but, for convenience of reference, they have been re-arranged here on paper on the system adopted by the Library in its Hand-Lists; that is, chronologically within an alphabetical order of plates. A table showing the concordance between the physical order of the documents and the numeration below may be consulted in the Library. It is too long for reproduction here as the individual items in the collection number over two thousand five hundred. [An earlier (19th cent.) numeration is indicated below preceded by 'O[ld] n[umber]'. This did not extend beyond the first two hundred and seventy four items.]


In the descriptions below the original spellings of place-names and surnames is retained. These are also given in the Index, with cross-references to the modern spelling in the case of the former. Unless otherwise stated places mentioned are in co. Lancaster.

Related material:

The Ducie Muniments held by JRULM also have a large amount of material relating to Manchester in the medieval and early modern period.


Cumbria Record Office, Kendal has custody of an estate account and memoranda book, c.17th century of the Clowes family. Humphrey Chetham's papers are held by Chethams Library, Manchester.

Held by: Manchester University: University of Manchester Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Clowes family of Broughton, Lancashire

Chetham family of Crumpsall, Lancashire

Physical description: 0.9 cu.m
Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was deposited in the John Rylands Library on behalf of Legh Algernon Clowes of Norbury Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, in 1933. Further accessions followed in 1960 and 1962.

  • Cheetham, Humphrey, 1580-1653, businessman and philanthropist
  • Lancashire, England
  • Cheshire, England
  • Greater Manchester, England
Unpublished finding aids:

Outline handlist

Administrative / biographical background:

The clowes family originated at Rydyard, near Leek in Stafforshire. By the seventeenth century the family had estates in S. E. Lancashire, particularly in the Manchester area. They acquired the extensive Broughton estate through the marriage of Samuel Clowes (1691-1773) to Mary Chetham, sister and co-heiress of Edward Chetham, and great-grand-daughter of Humphrey Chetham. Samuel's father, also Samuel Clowes, had already built up estates in Manchester, Gorton, Worsley and Tyldesley, and was Lord of the Manor of Booths, Manchester. Therafter the Clowes family had their seat at Broughton Hall, Manchester, although they were later to move to their estate at Norbury, Derbyshire, which had been acquired in 1881.


The Chetham family were associated with Manchester since medieval times. They were recorded as holding land in the township of Cheetham, north of Manchester, in the reign of King John, although this land later passed from the family. In the thirteenth century a branch of the Chethams was associated with lands at Nuthurst in the township of Moston. By the sixteenth century properties were also acquired at Crumpsall, which is adjacent to Nuthurst in North Manchester, where they lived in a small manor house, Crumpsall Hall. By this time the Chethams appear to have been successful merchants in Manchester. Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653) is probably the best-known member of the Chetham family. He was a wool merchant and manufacturer, as well as a money-lender, who amassed a considerable fortune, much of which was used to purchase property in the Manchester area. In 1630 he purchased Clayton Hall, with his brother George, and in 1628 Humphrey also acquired Turton Tower and its manor. Chetman supported a number of local charities, establishing at Manchester the famous Chetham Hospital, which undertook the education of poor boys and provided a public library which was formally dedicated in 1656.

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