Landed Family and Estate Papers Subject Guide

Constable-Maxwell family, Barons Herries, of Everingham, and Caerlaverock and Terregles, Scotland

This collection involves two large landed families - the Constables of Everingham in Yorkshire and colateral lines of the Maxwell family in Scotland. In addition there are the papers of one small landed family - the Sherburnes of Stonyhurst, Lancashire. The Constables of Flamburgh and Everingham descended from Baron Nigell, son of Ivon, who had been given the palatinate and constableship of Chester by William the Conqueror; he was also lord of Flamburgh. His descendants assumed the name de Lacy until Robert de Lacy (d.1216) took the name of his office - Constable. One of his descendants, Sir Marmaduke Constable (1443-1518), and his four sons were with the duke of Norfolk at Flodden in 1513. Three sons were knighted. The eldest son, Sir Robert Constable (1478?-1537) was later executed for his part in the Lincolnshire uprisings and his lands, 51 manors in total, were forfeited. The Flamburgh estate was restored by Queen Elizabeth I to his grandson, but two generations later it was sold and the baronetcy became extinct. However, a colateral line survived in the second son, another Sir Marmaduke Constable (1480?-1545), whose active military and political career was rewarded by Henry VIII in the 1530s with five East Riding estates. He also acquired Drax Priory. His marriage to Barbara Sothill brought the estates of Everingham in Yorkshire and West Rasen in Lincolnshire into the Constable family.

Philip Constable (d.1619) consolidated the estates in the 1580s and the Constables became one of the leading landowning families of the East Riding of Yorkshire. His grandson, Philip Constable (1597?-1664), inherited a 3000 acre estate at Middle Rasen, a 3000 acre estate at Everingham, 1000 acres at Drax in the West Riding and a house in York. However, the family was Catholic and their wealth was undermined in the 1630s through recusancy fines. During the civil wars, they were Royalists and parliament sequestered their estates. They stayed afloat with the aid of another Catholic family - the Sherburnes - who were related through the marriage of Marmaduke Constable (1619-1680) and Anne Sherburne. The family continued to have problems with solvency in the late seventeenth century and Philip Constable (1651-1706) was forced to flee overseas after the Popish Plot. Marmaduke Constable (1682-1746) was left with a reduced estate and a debt of over £5000. He rebuilt the estates and when he died unmarried left estates worth £12,000 to his great nephew, William Haggerston (1734-1801). In 1756 William Haggerston Constable commissioned John Carr of York to build Everingham Park on the site of the Elizabethan house of the Constables. He also united the families of Constable and Maxwell by marrying Lady Winifred Maxwell and their heirs became the Constable Maxwell family of Everingham with estates in Scotland belonging to the earls of Nithsdale and barons Herries. Winifred Maxwell could trace her history back to Undwin and his son Maccus in the eleventh century; Maccus gave his name to the barony of Maccuswell, or Maxwell. His grandson, John de Maccuswell (d.1241), was first Lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock. The baronies of Maxwell and Caerlaverock then passed down through the male line, sometimes colaterally. Robert de Maxwell of Maxwell, Caerlaverock and Mearns (d.1409) rebuilt Caerlaverock castle and was succeeded by Herbert Maxwell of Caerlaverock (d.1420) who married Katherine Stewart. Their son, also Herbert Maxwell (d.1454) married a daughter of Herbert Herries of Terregles. He was created Lord Maxwell and this title passed down through the male line. John, 4th Lord Maxwell, was killed at Flodden in 1513 and his son, Robert, 5th Lord Maxwell (d.1546) was warden of the western marches and his commission by James V as master of the royal household is in the collection. His eldest son, Robert became 6th Lord Maxwell (d.1552) and his second son, John Maxwell (d.1582), married Agnes Herries, sole heiress and eldest daughter of William, 3rd Lord Herries and he became 4th Lord Herries of Terregles. Both sides of the family were Catholic. Robert, 10th Lord Maxwell raised troops for Charles I through the 1620s and was created 1st Earl of Nithsdale. He was on the Scottish privy council and became an anti-Covenanter. He died in 1646, leaving behind one son, Robert, 11th Lord Maxwell and 2nd earl of Nithsdale, who negotiated with General Monck and Charles II. He died without ever marrying in 1667 to be succeeded by John Maxwell, 7th Lord Herries when co-lateral lines of the family rejoined. John Maxwell, became 12th Lord Maxwell, 7th Lord Herries and 3rd earl of Nithsdale. His grandson, William Maxwell, 14th Lord Maxwell, 9th Lord Herries and 5th earl of Nithsdale (1676-1744) was a Jacobite whose wife dressed him in women's clothes to effect his escape from prison. They fled to the continent and spent the rest of their lives in exile. Lady Winifred Maxwell's account of her husband's escape is in the collection [DDEV/76/17]. Their grand-daughter, Winifred Maxwell, married William Haggerston Constable and he assumed the name of Maxwell. Their son, Marmaduke Constable Maxwell (1760-1819) divided the Scottish estates between his sons. William Constable Maxwell (1804-1876) became 10th Lord Herries and was responsible for building the Italianate Catholic chapel next to the house at Everingham. His brother Marmaduke Constable Maxwell was a Tory patron and builder of a Catholic chapel at Dumfries. Marmaduke Francis Constable Maxwell, 11th Lord Herries (1837-1908) married Angela Mary Charlotte Fitzalan Howard who was the daughter of Edward George Fitzalan Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Glossop and 2nd son of the 13th duke of Norfolk (1818-1883). His brother, William Constable Maxwell (1841-1903) was responsible for having The book of Carlaverock privately printed and a copy of this rare item is in the collection. Marmaduke and Angela Constable Maxwell had only one daughter, Gwendolen Mary, who inherited from her father the Herries title and nearly 20,000 acres of land evenly split between her English estates in the East Riding and Lincolnshire and her Dumfries Shire estates in Scotland which included Caerlaverock castle. She became the second wife of Henry Howard, 15th duke of Norfolk in 1904. Their son, Bernard Marmaduke Howard (1908-1975) became 16th duke of Norfolk. When she died in 1947 he also became Lord Herries. He was minister of agriculture between 1941 and 1945 and married Lavinia Mary Strutt. They only had daughters and the duchy passed to Miles Frances Stapleton Fitzalan Howard, son of Bernard Edward 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop and Mona Joseph Tempest Stapleton of Broughton Hall and Carlton Towers (see Beaumont family). The Constable Maxwell collections comprise circa 24,500 items, the earliest item being a gift of Alexander Paganellus to Holy Trinity Priory. The collection catalogued as DDEV numbers over 20,000 documents and falls into two basic sections: DDEV/1-70 comprising papers relating to the Constable Maxwell (incorporating Haggerston) and their estates centred on Everingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire and DDEV/71-81 comprising the Maxwell and Nithsdale family papers relating to their Scottish estates centred on Caerlaverock Castle and Terregles. Everingham estate papers include medieval charters of the de Everingham family and account books of the parish constables 1830-1901. Medieval charters include those of the Poucher and Sothill families in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire (late 13th century-1427). English bonds include Philip Constable recusancy payments in the seventeenth century. Rentals and rent accounts (1389-1929) include seventeenth century servants' wages and surveys and valuations (1565-1905) include one of the 1649 estates of Philip Constable and an 1834-58 fieldbook of Everingham, Thorpe le Street and Seaton Ross showing the rotation of crops. Seventeenth-century family correspondence includes letters of Philip Constable and the Sherburne family. Family letters of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are most valuable for information on English and Scottish estate affairs as well as Roman Catholic affairs in England. There is correspondence with Pope Gregory XVI and some letters contain information on the building of the Roman Catholic chapel at Everingham. Diaries include the travel journals of Marmaduke William Constable Maxwell (1760-1819) and his son, William Constable Maxwell (1804-1876). There are 300 papers relating to the Herries peerage case (1837-1854). DDEV/67 is a collection relating to Roman Catholic affairs including the 5 volumes of the Reverend J Knaresborough's Sufferings of the Catholics (1720). The valuable Scottish papers [DDEV/71-81] number some 2400 items. They include 40 bound volumes of the manuscript notes and correspondence of the Scottish antiquarian and biographer, George Chalmers (1742-1825) with some correspondence of Thomas Constable (1812-1881), printer and publisher to Edinburgh University. Scottish correspondence covers the period 1650 to 1872 and the bulk of the surviving family letters in this section relate to the affairs of William Maxwell, 5th earl of Nithsdale, after his escape from England to Rome. DDEV/79-81 is a very complex deposit. DDEV/79 is a series of bound volumes, some of them published volumes and some bound collections of manuscripts. DDEV/79A is a copy of William Fraser's, Inventories of the muniments of the families of Maxwell, Herries, and Nithsdale in the charter room at Terregles (1865) which is a calendar of the papers in DDEV/80 and DDEV/81. DDEV/79E is a volume of transcripts of Herries charters and letters 1468-1563 and extracts from Scottish state papers 1560-1579 and the Ayscough and Harleian manuscripts 1567-1578. Similarly, DDEV/79F is a collection of transcribed letters and memoranda of the Maxwell family 1640-1701. DDEV/79G contains 215 original manuscripts bound into a volume and spanning the dates 1589 to 1779 and DDEV/79H-J (no volume I) are also bound volumes, containing 199 and 121 manuscripts respectively spanning the dates 1607 to 1848. These are all Nithsdale and Herries papers and taken together with the manuscripts at DDEV/80 and DDEV/81 represent a collection of close to 2000 papers about the state affairs of early-modern Scotland. They include correspondence of Robert Maxwell, 1st Earl of Nithsdale (1613-1646) with Queen Henrietta Maria; Marshal Tillieres; Cardinal Richelieu; Louis XIII; John Spottiswood, the Archbishop of St Andrews and members of the Scottish Privy Council such as James Huntly and Frederick Hamilton. The correspondence of Robert Maxwell (1620-1667), 2nd earl of Nithsdale includes letters of General Monck. Some of these papers have been printed in The Book of Carlaverock (1873) [DDEV/K-L]. The Maxwell muniments at DDEV/80 span the dates 1276-1669 and the Nithsdale muniments at DDEV/81 span the dates 1666-1720. These are largely title deeds, but include letters and commissions of Charles I. [DDEV; DDEV(2)]

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