Drury-Lowe of Locko Park, Spondon
The Drury-Lowe collection (Dr-Dr4) contains the papers of the Drury-Lowe family, including their ancestors the Lowes of Denby and Park Hall, Derbyshire, the Drurys of Nottingham, and the Holdens of Darley Abbey, Derbyshire and Nuthall Temple, Nottinghamshire.
The initial collection (Dr) was acquired in 1961. Several accruals were subsequently acquired. The collection is divided into separate groups, with their own catalogues, although many contents overlap:
- (Dr) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, late 12th century-1959. This is the most extensive part of the collection and includes title deeds, estate papers, maps and plans, correspondence, household inventories, legal papers, manorial records, wills, genealogical papers, diaries, military and official papers.
- (Dr 2) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 1770-1937. This part of the collection includes personal papers of William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906), estate papers relating particularly to the Denby and Spondon estates, and papers relating to local administrative and charitable interests in Derbyshire, including papers relating to Derbyshire County Council.
- (Dr 3) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, c.1769-c.1969. The majority of papers in this small accrual relate to the personal finances of William Drury Lowe (1753-1827) but there are also some accounts and other papers of subsequent family members, also a small number of estate papers.
- (Dr 4) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 1765-c.1985. This accrual includes accounts, rentals, financial and estate papers relating to coal mining, official papers, plans and surveys, and further personal papers relating to William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906), and to other members of the family.
An item level catalogue of the collection is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
The catalogues to the collection are also available online through The National Archives Access to Archives (A2A) web site.
Principal subject areas within the collection
The bulk of the Drury-Lowe collection consists of papers relating to the running of the family's estates. It includes a large number of title deeds and estate papers, relating particularly to the core of the estate at Denby, Locko, Mapperley and Spondon in Derbyshire, and to surrounding places in Derbyshire. Other significant places include Upper Dean and Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire, Highgate in Middlesex, the Yorkshire estates of the Holden family, and the Myria (Plas Muriau) estate in Llanrwst, Denbighshire, purchased by William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe in 1871. A small bundle of documents refers to plantations in Maryland owned by Colonels Vincent and Stead Lowe, sons of Vincent Lowe (1593-1640). The plantations passed in 1747 to Stead Lowe, brother of John Lowe of Denby (1704-1771).
Some of the title deeds date back to the twelfth century, but the bulk of the estate papers, including accounts, rentals, surveys and correspondence, date from the mid-eighteenth to the late-nineteenth centuries. There are references throughout the collection to the family's coal mining and ironstone interests from the late-eighteenth to the late-nineteenth centuries, including papers relating to the Denby Colliery Company, the Salterwood Colliery, and the Denby Iron Company. As owners of most of the land in Denby and Kilburn, the Drury-Lowes were able to grant leases to coal and iron companies, and this formed a major part of their wealth. They also granted the right to dig for clay to the emergent Denby Pottery Company. A few manorial records survive from the Manor of Denby, 1629-1776, although they do not form a full series.
Series of maps, plans and surveys focus especially on the Denby and Locko estates. There are architectural plans and correspondence concerning alterations to the house and grounds of Locko, a bundle of illustrations of Locko, and a packet of photographs of Locko Hall and grounds in the early-twentieth century. Household inventories and game books help to build up a picture of life in Locko in the nineteenth century.
Several members of the family acquired licences to acquire additional surnames and arms and these are to be found amongst a group of genealogical papers and pedigrees. The public activities of various family members are reflected in official and military papers. Military papers include muster rolls of the 5th (Locko) Troop of Derbyshire Volunteer Cavalry, of which William Drury Lowe was Captain, 1794-1804; papers relating to Major-General Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe's campaigns in the Crimea in the 1850s, and Egypt in 1882; illuminated scrolls presented to Major-General Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe on his return from Egypt, 1882; photographs taken at the Front in the First World War, 1915; and correspondence relating to the Home Guard at Spondon, 1941. A smaller number of official papers include accounts of the Overseer of the Poor of Spondon, 1802-1827; papers, including attendance registers, relating to Spondon School, c.1755-1828; copies of Derbyshire County Council papers collected by Councillors William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1838-1906), and William Drury Drury-Lowe (1877-1916); and various other documents relating to local administrative and charitable interests.
The remainder of the collection comprises personal papers of family members from John Lowe (1704-1771) onwards. Notable correspondence series include letters from George Wakefield, a British settler in America, 1795-1821; letters from Thomas Dixon of the medical department of the British army, describing his service in the Peninsular War and including an eye-witness account of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815; letters from Robert Drury-Lowe on active service in India in the 1850s; letters from Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe on active service in the Crimea and Turkey, 1850s; numerous family letters sent to William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe, 1855-1877; and letters from Captain John A.E. Drury-Lowe on active service in Flanders in the First World War, 1915.
Personal account books, diaries and travel journals survive for several of the leading family members including Richard Lowe (1716-1785), William Drury Lowe (1753-1827), Anne Drury Lowe (d 1848), Robert Holden (1769-1844), William Drury Holden, later Lowe (1802-1877), William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906), and William Drury Drury-Lowe (1877-1916). There is also a travel journal of Dorothy Casberd-Boteler, later wife of John A.E. Drury-Lowe, dating from 1900.
Collections held elsewhere
Other repositories holding archives of the Drury-Lowe family:
Useful published works on the Drury-Lowe family
- A.E.L. Lowe, 'Some account of the family of Lowe of Alderwasley and Denby, in the county of Derby and elsewhere', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 3, 1881
- P.H. Currey and R.J. Burton, 'Denby Old Hall and its owners. I. The Hall, by P.H. Currey. II. The owners of Denby, by R.J. Burton', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 26, 1904
- Mark Fryar, Some chapters in the history of Denby (Ripley, 1994). Facsimile reprint, originally published 1934. Includes plan of Denby and pedigrees of the Lowe and Drury-Lowe families. [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Der 198.D14 FRY]
- Jean Paul Richter, Catalogue of pictures at Locko Park (London, 1901). [King’s Meadow Campus Ref Der 636.D64 LOC]
- Pictures from Locko Park, Derbyshire [illustrated catalogue] (Nottingham University Art Gallery, 1968) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlets Der 636.D64.UNI]
- 'Locko Park, Derbyshire', Country Life (5, 12 and 19 Jun 1969), 1438-1441, 1506-1510, 1602-1605 [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Oversize Pamphlets Der 636.D64 LOC]
- Locko Park and the Drury-Lowes: a Derbyshire Family and its Art Treasures (Nottingham University Art Gallery, 1982) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlets Der 636.D64.LOC]
Next page: The Drury-Lowe Family of Locko: A Brief History