The muniments of His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal, K.G., relating to the Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire estates of the Dukes of Norfolk and their predecessors
The muniments catalogued here are the records of the Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire estates of the Dukes of Norfolk. Of all the Norfolk estates, the Sheffield property was by far the most valuable, even before the Industrial Revolution made Sheffield a great manufacturing City and increased land and other values. The Manor of Sheffield and Lordship of Hallamshire is also notable from having descended in unbroken line, without sale or forfeiture, not indeed from father to son, but in direct hereditary descent, including frequent descents in the female line, from the Norman Conquest to the present day.
Worksop followed the same course until 1838-9, when that estate was sold and the records terminate abruptly. It is difficult to say exactly how many of the Worksop records passed at the sale out of the Duke's possession, and how many perished in the great fire at Worksop Manor in 1761. A surprising number have survived both events.
The Derbyshire estates had a less coherent history and the records of these are therefore patchy.
Sheffield has a dual history for it was at the same time a town and (eventually) City and also a great landed estate. There are in existence numerous well-preserved archives of old corporate boroughs on the one hand and of great landed families on the other, but it is doubtful whether any of the great cities of today which were originally non-corporate towns can show in the aggregate such a good collection of civic and estate records, from the reign of Elizabeth I onwards, as this City. Of estate records, the muniments of His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal, K.G., here listed are the largest single collection.
The series of estate records (as distinct from muniments of title) catalogued here runs basically from the time of the Talbot Earls of Shrewsbury, predecessors of the Howards, and dates from the latter part of Elizabeth's reign. The accounts of William Dickenson, the Earls' steward, give detailed information of the economy of the estates in the late 16th century, and include not only the Yorkshire and Derbyshire estates but those in Shropshire and Staffordshire which were then part of the Talbot inheritance. There is a fine series of rentals from 1700 onwards and detailed records of woods, coalmines and market rights, to name some of the estate's economic assets. These records continue into the later 19th century. There is a good series of tenancy records for the late 18th and early 19th centuries, relating both to land under development and agricultural use; sales of property for all the various needs of a rapidly growing town-factories, waterworks, railways, churches-illustrate another side of estate economy.
Agents' letters from the 1820's give another light on estate administration in what was rapidly becoming a great City. A most valuable collection of estate maps covering in detail the period of rapid urban growth at the turn of the 18th century will, it is hoped, be the subject of another publication. These, together with the Fairbank Collection in Sheffield Archives must give Sheffield the position of the best mapped town of this important period. Even the series of seemingly dull volumes, the records of the Court Baron for the recovery of small debts, gives most interesting particulars of the extent of indebtedness, from the cradle to the grave, among the class of workmen and small traders in the first half of the 19th century. In social and economic studies of the landed gentry and their estates, little attention has so far been paid to the industrial city as landed estate, a neglect which these records may help to rectify.
The records of the Manor Court as far as they concern the holding of copyhold land are well kept from the later 16th century onwards. Sheffield, however, can boast nothing to compare with the fine series of Manchester Court Leet Books. The question of the records of the Sheffield Court Leet or Court of Assembly Inquest, as well as other early Manor rolls, is discussed in the introduction to the Sheffield Estates.
For the Derbyshire estates, there is a fine series of Court rolls of the Manor of Hartington. Some Elizabethan records of the Manor of Glossop are also here, but the bulk of the series for this estate relates to the 19th century. There is a good series of 17th century records for the Worksop estate, and an Elizabethan inventory of the Manor House.
The title of the early Lords to their Sheffield and Worksop properties was an ancient one when Edward I instituted Quo Warranto proceedings and there are no early deeds relating to it. The first Market Charter of 1296, granting Thomas de Furnival market rights in Worksop and Sheffield, is among the earliest documents in the collection. There are also early deeds to Gateford and Shireoaks and to scattered properties in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
Deeds of settlement (including mortgaging of property) supply important information about the extent of the estates and the financial position of the family. When Sheffield ceased in the earlier 17th century to be a family seat, it became usual to provide out of the estates there for widows' dowers and children's portions and annuities. A large number of settlements are among the muniments here, though the series is by no means complete, even for the estates in question; those concerning the Sussex, Surrey, Norfolk and Suffolk estates are elsewhere.
Yorkshire, Sheffield estates
Listed in the following order: Manorial records, Sheffield Court Baron, Assessments, Enclosure awards, Surveys and valuations, Rentals and accounts, House and household, Collieries, Woods, Quarry rentals, Drainage accounts, Game-preserving, Markets, Corporation improvements, Tenancy records, Sales, Vincent Eyre's papers, Agents' correspondence, Agents' diaries, Shrewsbury Hospital, Solicitors' papers.
Yorkshire, other estates
Savile of Copley, Shireburn, etc.
Nottinghamshire, Worksop estates
Listed in the following order: Manorial records, Assessments, Surveys and valuations, Rentals and accounts, Farm and labour accounts, Worksop Manor Lodge, Woods, Quarries, Game-preserving, Tenancy records, Enclosure and Tithe, Legal cases, Stewards' personal papers, Worksop sale.
Nottinghamshire, Royal Forest of Sherwood
Listed in the following order: Glossop estate, Glossop Turnpike Trusts, Derwent Hall estate, Wheston estate, other estates (including Hartington court rolls).
Miscellaneous. Items not connected with Norfolk estate or family.
Deeds of title, Yorkshire estates
Hallamshire: Sheffield, Ecclesfield, Handsworth
West Riding (various parishes): Adwick-le-Street, Ardsley, Aston-cum-Aughton, Blyth, Dinnington, Felkirk, Fryston, Penistone, Pontefract, Ripley, Rotherham, Royston, Selby, Swinton, Tankersley, Thorpe Salvin, Tickhill, Todwick, Treeton, Wales, Wath-on-Dearne, Whiston
East and North Ridings (various parishes): Foston and Skipsea, Carlton, Hilton and Potto in Cleveland, Hovingham
Deeds of title, Nottinghamshire estates
Worksop town and parish, including Shireoaks
Nottinghamshire (various parishes): Budby, Clayworth, Cotham and Shelton, Eakring, East Retford, Gringley, Harworth, Newark, Normanton, Ompton, Rufford, Sturton and Fenton, Sutton-on-Trent, Thorpe Salvin, Tickhill, Tiln, Treswell, Walesby, Welham, Whitwell
Deeds of title, Derbyshire estates
Norfolk estates: Glossop, Hathersage
Estates not directly connected with the Dukes: Youlgreave, Chesterfield and Heanor, Ashbourne and Bradley, Barton Blount, Hathersage, Tideswell
Deeds of title, various places
Settlements. Furnival settlements
Deeds of sale
Titles, appointments, etc.
Maps and plans
|Administrative / biographical background:
The following outline of family history briefly explains the inheritance and disposal of the estates.
Nothing need be said here of the early descent of the Lordship of Hallamshire and Manor of Worksop in the De Busli, Lovetot and Furnival families. By the marriage of Thomas Furnival and Joan Verdon part of the Verdon inheritance was added to the Furnival estates in the 14th century, namely Alton in Staffordshire and Wilsford, Stoke Verdon and Ashton Giffard in Wiltshire. In the early 15th century John Talbot (d. 1453) became the first Talbot Lord of Sheffield in right of his wife Maud, the Lady Furnival, but took his later title, Earl of Shrewsbury, from his maternal estates in Shropshire, inherited from the Stranges of Blackmere; at the end of his long military career in France he directed that his body should be buried at Whitchurch in the same county. He inherited on the death of his elder brother, the Talbot estates of Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire, property on the Welsh borders and elsewhere.
The fourth and fifth Earls of Shrewsbury were both prominent at Court under the early Tudors and the Talbot patrimony reached its greatest extent in the time of Francis, the fifth Earl (1500-1560), who had large grants of monastic and chantry lands, notably Rufford, Worksop Priory, Glossop and Rotherham.
The arrangements made by the sixth Earl (d.1590) to provide landed estates for his younger sons and dowers for his daughters, are illustrated by various settlements. The Rufford estates were permanently alienated by the marriage of his daughter Mary to Sir George Savile and Handsworth and other Sheffield properties were long in dower to his widow, Bess of Hardwick. This Earl's wealth from his estates in at least seven counties and from lead and iron smelting in Derbyshire and Herefordshire were well known, but his expenditure as warder of Mary, Queen of Scots, depleted his fortune. His successor, Earl Gilbert (1552-1616), had three daughters and co-heiresses. The marriage of Alathea, the youngest, to Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel whose mother was Anne, one of the sisters and co-heiresses of George, Lord Dacre of Gilsland. Some items will be found among the Yorkshire deeds relating to the Dacre estates began the connection of the Norfolk Howards with Sheffield, which has continued to the present day. As the survivor of the three sisters and the only one to leave children, much of the estate eventually came to her. She died in 1654. Through her son, Earl Henry Frederick (1608-52), who predeceased her, Alathea is the ancestress of all subsequent Dukes of Norfolk. From her, the Dukes inherited the old titles of Baron Talbot, Strange and Furnival, until these fell into abeyance on the death of the ninth Duke.
The Talbot estates eventually inherited by her grandson Henry Howard (Earl of Norwich during his brother's lifetime and subsequently sixth Duke, 1628-84), had suffered diminution in several directions. Some remained in the possession of the heirs of her sisters' husbands, Goodrich passing to the Earls of Kent; certain estates, notably Alton, went eventually with the Shrewsbury Earldom; and estates in Shropshire were settled on Alathea's youngest son William, who became Earl of Stafford. Sheffield, Worksop, Rotherham and Glossop, with other Derbyshire estates, remained to the Dukedom. The Glossop estate was settled on the Earl of Arundel and Alathea in 1606 (see ACM/DD/105-109) Some Derbyshire estates were sold by Henry Howard. The eventual disposition of the inheritance is, however, a complicated subject and the basic documents will be found scattered among the muniments of many noble families.
On the marriage of Henry Howard's eldest son to Lady Mary Mordaunt, an elaborate settlement was drawn up in 1677, entailing the main estates and naming in contingent remainders many members of the Howard family. This, with minor alterations, remained the basis of subsequent settlements. By Letters Patent in 1672 the office of Earl Marshal had been conferred on Henry Howard, to follow the same line of descent in the Howard family as the estates. The more remote remainder-men were not descendants of Alathea, but these contingencies have never eventualized.
The only provision made for Duke Henry Frederick's younger sons took the form of annuities secured on certain of the estates and ceasing with their lives, with the exception of the second son (in the event the fourth), who was to have the little Manor of Greystoke as an inheritance. The sixth Duke on the other hand provided handsome patrimonies for his second son, Lord Thomas, who had the Manor of Worksop, and for Lord George, his eldest son by the Duchess Jane, who had the Manors of Glossop and Rotherham. Lord George, who left no descendants, willed his properties to his only living brother of the whole blood, Lord Frederick Henry; by him Rotherham was left to the Earl of Effingham and his own right heirs 'being Protestants' and ceased permanently to have any connection with the Norfolk estates. Lord Frederick was the posthumous son of the sixth Duke and the Duchess Jane. He was sent to the English College at Rome and subsequently to Lambspring where he appears to have been professed. He later came home, conformed, married and was an officer in King George's army. Glossop, subject to debts and legacies, went to Ralph Standish Howard, nephew of Lords George and Frederick; his posthumous son died in infancy and the estate was restored to the main line.
The marriages of three successive Dukes, the seventh, eighth and ninth, were childless and for nearly one hundred years there was no heir apparent to the Dukedom. By the succession of Thomas of Worksop's two sons, Thomas (1683-1732) and Edward (1686-1777), as eighth and ninth Dukes, Worksop was reunited to the ducal estate; from their mother, Mary Savile of Copley, they inherited estates at Rothwell and Roundhay. Duke Edward, who held the title 45 years, rebuilt Worksop Manor for his nephew and heir, whose death was the tragedy of his later years. He lived to be 91, a great nobleman to the last, and died in 1777.
Duke Edward's heir presumptive, after his nephew's death, was his second cousin Charles of Greystoke (1720-86), who had one surviving son; when the father succeeded to the Dukedom, the son, by Duke Edward's settlement, received the profits of the Sheffield and much of the Sussex estates. Next in the entail were the descendants of Lord Bernard Howard, whose son Bernard had been Groom of the Chamber at the Jacobite Court at St. Germains, where his children were born. He died at Winchester and his sons were shown favour by Duke Edward, who made Henry, the only one of them who was a layman, his auditor at Sheffield, where he lived at The Lord's House; there several sons were born. In the resettlement of the estates in 1767 Henry Howard was to have the Manor of Glossop as his inheritance. After his death his eldest son, Bernard Edward (1765-1842) became heir presumptive to the Dukedom, Charles, the eleventh Duke, having no children. Bernard Edward succeeded in 1815 and from him the present Duke is a direct descendant. During the 19th century the Manor of Glossop became the portion of a younger son, Lord Edward Howard, and in a later generation the Derwent property was settled on Lord Fitzalan of Derwent. Minorities had been rare before this period, but from 1860-68 and 1917-29 the Dukes were minors.
In the muniments listed here there are few personal records of the Dukes of Norfolk, who never lived in Sheffield. The seventh Duke stayed on several occasions in the 1690's at the derelict Manor Lodge, which was partially dismantled in 1706, its place being taken as the agent's residence by The Lord's House in Fargate. There, or at the Tontine Inn, the eleventh Duke as Earl of Surrey occasionally stayed in the 1780's. There are references to these and other visits in the cash accounts. Some 18th century household accounts survive for Worksop, the seat of the eighth and ninth Dukes. The Glossop branch of the family became closely connected with Sheffield when Henry Howard lived there in the 1760's; when the fourteenth Duke enlarged The Farm as an occasional residence; and during the time of the fifteenth Duke, whose interest in the activities of the City is illustrated by his and his agent's correspondence.
It seems suitable here to give some details of the Arundel Castle Manuscripts in Sheffield as a source of recusant history. During the 17th century the religious allegiance of the Lords of Hallamshire varied. Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, though believed to incline to Rome, appears to have conformed outwardly. Thomas, Earl of Arundel, was a Protestant and though Alathea his wife was probably a recusant this fact had little repercussion until she was a widow, living abroad, during the Interregnum, when her estates were sequestered; there are however no sequestration or composition papers here. Her grandson Henry Howard was a Roman Catholic. The following instruction, dated 1662, would seem to reflect this fact:- 'To tell Mr. Ratcliffe, Jo. Staniforth and Mr. Ashton that all voluntary guifts or pensions in Yorkshire and Derbyshire to Ministers, Vicars, Scollmaisters etc. are henceforth to cease & not be paid any more.'
The seventh Duke conformed in 1679 and remained a Protestant till his death in 1701. His two nephews, the eight and ninth Dukes, who consecutively held the title until 1777, were both strongly Roman Catholic. Their mother, who had considerable estates of her own and lived until 1732, registered her estates as a papist in 1716. There is no registration of Lord George Howard's Rotherham or Glossop estates; his wife registered estates of her own in Essex.
Shortly after the accession to the Dukedom of Charles Howard of Greystoke, the elder, the first Roman Catholic Relief Act was passed in 1778 and Duke Charles hastened to take the Oath of Allegiance as permitted by the Act. It did not, however, remove political disabilities; the Duke's son, the Earl of Surrey and successor as eleventh Duke, conformed to the Church of England and held various offices till his death. The succession in 1815 of a member of the Glossop branch of the family, which had remained throughout loyal to Rome, was an important fact in the struggle for Emancipation.
It will be seen from this brief account that over the greater part of penal times from the Restoration onwards, the Norfolk estate came into the category of Papists' Estates. Apart from the Certificate of the tenth Duke's Oath of Allegiance registered with the Clerk of the Peace of Nottinghamshire mentioned above, there are no specifically recusant records of the Howard family, but incidental entries, especially in the accounts, reflect the fact of recusancy in estate administration.
On two subjects in particular the disbursement accounts give certain information. The first is taxation. The following entries are selected at random from the Worksop accounts for 1722 and 1723 and refer to double taxation and the Tax of £100,000 raised on Papists' Estates:-
1722 June 24 '... payments of the Land Tax due Lady Day last 1722 which is laid Double on Worksop Lordship. £68. 18. 1.'
1723 Oct. 28 relates to '½ years payment for Worksop Lordshipp towards the £100,000. £144. 16. 11.'
A survey of the incidence of these taxes on the Duke's estates could probably be made for this period, from these accounts.
The second subject is the establishment and personnel of Roman Catholic missions on the Ducal estates. Something is already known on this subject, but scattered through the disbursement accounts can be found payments to Henry Pole, Cuthbert Haydock, Henry Hunt and others known to be Roman Catholic priests.
The Ducal agents who, with their families--Ratcliffes, Blackburns, Shireburns, Eyres and others--formed the nucleus of the local congregation at the chapel in The Lord's House in Sheffield, are themselves a topic of interest as administrators of a great estate. Among the Derbyshire material are some records of the recusant family of Merry-Simpson of Barton Blount.
In 1814 The Lord's House became the site of a new Roman Catholic Chapel in Sheffield. Fate has not been kind to any building works of the Lords of Hallamshire and Worksop. Sheffield Castle has vanished, Sheffield Manor Lodge was for long a neglected ruin, Worksop Manor was dismantled in 1839, Derwent Hall was submerged for a reservoir, the Sheffield Corn Exchange, built in the later 19th century, was badly damaged by fire in 1947 and was demolished in 1962. The Farm was demolished in 1967. The Arundel Castle Manuscripts form a more durable memorial.