Landed Family and Estate Papers Subject Guide


This is a comprehensive guide to all the collections of landed family and estate papers held at Hull University Archives. Some of these collections are embedded within solicitors' archives. Most of the estate papers relate to property in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Seven of the families represented have at one time been among the ten top landholding families in the East Riding.

The landed family collections provide valuable material on the history of Yorkshire. Manorial records date back to 1317 and there are several very complete runs of court rolls. The wealth of title deeds and rentals, sales and leases, are a starting point for any research into land ownership in the East Riding and the inventories, account books, ledgers and vouchers, as well as estate correspondence right through to the modern day, provide researchers with material on long-term estate management in rural Yorkshire. Wills and marriage settlements provide essential sources for family historians.

The collections also contain a wealth of material on enclosure acts, railway building, agricultural production, the building and maintenance of estate villages, parish churches and schools, and the distribution of charity. For the researcher interested in family history, the history of childhood, or women's history, these collections contain personal letters between spouses, the correspondence of children away at school, children's exercise books, women's household management and recipe books, as well as many daily diaries, travel diaries, journals, family pedigrees, manuscript autobiographies and biographies.

The collection with the broadest significance for English state affairs is that of the Hotham family, whose papers are useful to researchers of the English civil wars of the seventeenth century, as well as the military, diplomatic and colonial history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England. The papers of the Maister family are the single most important collection for Hull's eighteenth-century mercantile history. In addition, the Maxwell papers are an important source for medieval and early-modern Scottish history and the papers of Mark Sykes are a good source for the diplomatic history of the First World War.