Manuscripts and Special Collections

Chaworth-Musters of Annesley


The South East Prospect of Ansley [Annesley] House [Nottinghamshire], by Richard Hall, 1676, published in Thoroton's 'The antiquities of Nottinghamshire'

The Chaworth-Musters Collection (ChM) contains the papers of the Chaworth-Musters family of Annesley Park and Colwick Hall, Nottinghamshire. The initial collection was acquired in 1992, and an accrual of correspondence was received in 1994. 


Principal subject areas within the collection

The collection lacks some of the essential elements of a full estate archive (there is for instance no series of deeds), and includes very little material from before the joining of the Chaworth and Musters estates by the marriage of John Musters with Mary Ann Chaworth in 1805. However, it provides general coverage for the 19th-century history of the estates, and includes many personal papers and letters.

The vast majority of the documents in the main collection are estate papers from the 19th century, referring to the Chaworth-Musters properties at Annesley, Felley, Colwick, Sneinton, Carlton, Wiverton, Tithby, Cropwell Butler, Edwalton and West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. These comprise a relatively small part of what would have been the full archive for the estate. A number of 19th and early-20th century plans of the estates are present, together with surveys, valuations, inventories, sale catalogues, rentals, accounts and disbursements, of similar date. One of the account books details John Chaworth Musters' expenditure on hounds at kennels at Wiverton. There are small series of testamentary papers, grants of arms and pedigrees, and one draft family settlement of the late 17th century.

The personal papers include three mid-19th century travel diaries, recording journeys in Italy, Spain and the Middle East. There is also a journal containing notes of a clergyman's charitable visits in Annesley and Kirkby-in-Ashfield in the 1850s. Among the few printed papers and ephemera present are a copy of an account of the sacking of Colwick Hall in 1831, and a Bill for raising money in compensation. There is also a copy of a verbatim report of the trial of Lord Byron for the murder of William Chaworth in 1765. An account book of the Overseer of the Poor for the parish of Tithby, Nottinghamshire, 1756-1806, is a stray which must once have formed part of the parish collection.

There is a substantial series of family correspondence dating back to 1831. However, the majority of the correspondence consists of letters home from Patrick, Jack, Anthony, Phil, Bob and Douglas Chaworth-Musters, on active service in the First World War


Collections held elsewhere

Other repositories holding archives of the Chaworth-Musters and related families:


Useful published works on the Chaworth-Musters family and their papers

General family biographies

  • Patrick T.A. Musters, The Musters : a family gathering, 2nd edn (Oakham, Rutland : P. T. A. Musters, 2001) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Oversize Not 4N.V30 MUS]
  • L. Chaworth Musters, 'Some Account of the Family Called in Latin Cadurcis, in French Chaources, in English Chaworth', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 7 (1903), [119]-138 and 8 (1904), [67]-77 [also available online,
  • A. Hall, 'On the Family Name "Chaworth"', Antiquary, 38 (1902), 214-217

Individual family members

  • M. Boyes, Queen of a Fantastic Realm: The Story of the Boyhood Love of the Poet Lord Byron for his Distant Cousin Mary Ann Chaworth of Annesley, and its Consequences (Derby?, privately published, 1986) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 8.V38 CHA] 
  • M. Boyes, 'Where Was Mary Chaworth at the Time of Byron's Funeral?', Nottinghamshire Countryside (in Nottingham Topic), (May 1980)
  • F. Scheidacker, Lord Byron and Mary Chaworth (New York?, privately published, 1935) 
  • A. Lang, A. 'Byron and Mary Chaworth', Fortnightly Review, new series 88 (1910), [268]-280 
  • M. Boyes, 'Sophia Musters - Friend of the Prince Regent', Nottinghamshire Countryside (in Nottingham Topic) (Apr 1987) 
  • M. Boyes, 'Jack Musters of Colwick - the "King of Gentlemen Huntsmen"', Nottinghamshire Countryside (in Nottingham Topic) (Apr 1983) 
  • M. Boyes, 'The Reverend William Clarke, Rector of Gonalston' [2nd husband of Ann Chaworth and administrator of the Annesley estate], Nottinghamshire Countryside (in Nottingham Topic), (Feb 1980)
  • J. Christensen, Lord Byron's Strength: Romantic Writing and Commercial Society (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), inc. 'A Genealogy of Morals: An English Bard, Scotch Reviewers, and a Wicked Uncle', [32]-48, relating to the Byron-Chaworth duel in 1765
  • P. Rush, The Book of Duels (Harrap, 1964), including 'William, Fifth Lord Byron, and Mr Chaworth (1765)', 78-82.

Annesley and the other Chaworth-Musters estates

  • Denis R. Pearson, Annesley through the Ages (Alfreton : Bailey & Sons, 1995) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 8.D14 PEA] 
  • Frank P. Lyons, Hills of Annesley (new edn ed. by Ruth Ansley Grant, Longwood, FL : R. A. Grant, c.1988) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Oversize Not 8.D14 LYO]
  • J. Voignier-Marshall, 'Remembering Annesley Hall', Kirkby and District Conservation Society Monitor, no. 46 (1988)
  • M.W. Barley, 'An aisled hall at Annesley Hall, Nottinghamshire', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, 87 (1983), 85-86
  • Sale catalogue of the contents of Annesley Hall on 20 21 & 22 March 1973 [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlet Not 8.D64 PAR]
  • W. Howitt, The Rural Life of England (3rd edn, Longman, 1844), including 'Annesley Hall and Hucknall', 268-289
  • H. Gill, H. 'Colwick Hall and Church', Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 19 (1915), 35-46
  • [C. Groves] 'Wiverton Hall', Beeston Heritage, no. 14 (1994), 4-5.


Next page: Chaworth-Musters family history

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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