Manuscripts and Special Collections

Newcastle of Clumber Park

Newcastle under Lyne coat of arms

A number of separate collections relating to both the dukedoms of Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle under Lyne have been deposited at different dates by a number of different families or agencies.

Some of the earliest Newcastle manuscript sources at the University actually form series within other family archives. 

Portland (Welbeck) Collection (Pw)

It is, in fact, the Portland (Welbeck) Collection which contains the personal papers of the earlier Dukes of Newcastle upon Tyne, within the Cavendish, Holles and Literary sections of the collection.

An overview of the Portland Family Collections provides more information about all the collections relating to the Dukes of Portland and their ancestors held in the department.

  • Cavendish Papers (Pw 1) relate mainly to William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (c.1593-1676), his son Henry, 2nd Duke (1630-1691) and Henry's wife, Frances née Pierrepont (1630-1695)
  • Holles Papers (Pw 2) chiefly relate to John Holles, 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne and 4th Earl of Clare (1667-1711) and his Holles forebears, the Earls of Clare. John Holles married his cousin Margaret Cavendish (1661-1716), daughter of the 2nd Duke in 1690 and was created Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (2nd creation) on the death of his father-in-law.
  • Portland Literary Papers (Pw V) contain a number of the 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne's extensive literary works as well as some of his political and private papers.

These collections, relating to the Dukes of Newcastle upon Tyne, became part of the Portland family papers held in the library at Welbeck Abbey through the marriage of Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley (1715-1785) to William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland (1709-1762) in 1734. Lady Margaret was the only daughter of Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles Harley, Countess of Oxford (1694-1755), the daughter of John Holles, Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne, who had inherited the bulk of the Cavendish Holles estates, including many family papers, after litigation.

The Portland (Welbeck) Collection is described in full separately.



Portland (London) Collection (Pl)

There are some records relating to property inherited through the Cavendish and Holles families, ancestors of both the Dukes of Portland and the Dukes of Newcastle, transferred from their London solicitors, Baileys, Shaw and Gillett and known as the Portland (London) Collection.


Newcastle (Clumber) Collection (Ne)

The major collection of Newcastle of Clumber family records is held in the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection. This consists principally of the estate and personal papers of the Dukes of Newcastle under Lyne of Clumber Park from the 2nd to the 7th Dukes.

The Newcastle (Clumber) Collection was originally deposited with the university in 1955 and was accepted by the Treasury as part of the nation's heritage in 1981. The original deposit included the bulk of the family's historical papers and earliest records. Some series were retained and moved with the family to its new home in Wiltshire where an estate office was established at Warminster. The dukedom became extinct in 1988 on the death of the 10th Duke. Subsequent changes have, after a number of deposits, led to the closure of the Trustees' depository and the transfer of most of the remaining archive to the University.

Clumber Park, the Newcastle's Nottinghamshire home, was demolished in 1938 with the building material and many of the contents, including the library and rare manuscripts, sold to raise money. A smaller replacement house was planned but never built and the grounds were also put up for sale and purchased by the National Trust in 1946.

The main series of papers in the Collections are:

  • Estate Papers, received in several deposits (Ne, Ne 3, Ne 5 and Ne 6) consisting of accounts, deeds, estate papers, inventories and catalogues, legal papers, manorial records, official papers, maps and plans, surveys and valuations, appointments to office and grants of honours, genealogical and historical papers and several series of 'miscellaneous' material.
  • Political Papers (Ne C) including:
    • Wriothesley family papers - a small collection of papers of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), Shakespeare's patron, and of his grand-daughter Lady Rachel Russell (1636-1723). She was the widow of Lord William Russell who was executed for high treason in 1683 for alleged involvement in the Rye House Plot. The reason for these papers being in the Library at Clumber is not clear.
    • Papers of Henry Pelham, (c.1695-1754) whose daughter Catherine (1727-1760) married her cousin Henry Fiennes Clinton (1720-1794), 9th Earl of Lincoln (later 2nd Duke) in 1745. These papers, inherited by his son-in-law, include a significant amount of correspondence of Henry's brother, Thomas-Pelham Holles, 4th Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (1693-1768) who was created the 1st Duke of Newcastle under Lyne in 1756 to ensure the continuation of the Newcastle title through his nephew, Henry Fiennes Clinton, 9th Earl of Lincoln (1720-1794). On his death the 1st Duke's personal papers were inherited by his Pelham descendants, later the Earls of Chichester, and these are now deposited in the British Library.
    • Papers of General Sir Henry Clinton, (c.1738-1795) soldier and M.P., and cousin to the 2nd Duke.
    • Papers of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton (1720-1794).
    • Parliamentary Papers of the Dukes of Newcastle under Lyne concerning elections involving the dukes, in particular the 4th Duke in the 1830s and 1840s.
    • Papers of the 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, Henry Pelham-Clinton (1785-1851), grandson of the 2nd Duke.
    • Papers of the 5th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, Henry Pelham-Clinton (1811-1864)
    • Papers of the 7th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, Henry P.A.D. Pelham-Clinton (1864-1928)
  • Newcastle Diaries (Ne 2F) Diaries of the 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne and his sons, 1822-1855
  • Newcastle Family Portraits (Ne 4) Portraits, Engravings and Illustrations from the 16th-19th centuries. Some of these have been digitised and are available in a Digital Gallery.


Other collections relating to the Newcastle Family of Clumber

These collections relate to Newcastle family members or to family estates, but have a provenance other than the Newcastle Estate Office:

  • MS 71 - Miscellaneous papers relating to elections in Newark, Nottinghamshire, 1792-1832
  • NF - Papers of Henry Pelham and documents relating to the Byfleet estate, Surrey, 1714-1828
  • NL - Accounts and related papers of the executors of Thomas, 3rd Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, 1781-1809
  • NN - deeds relating to a former Newcastle property in Stodman Street and St Mark's Lane, Newark, Nottinghamshire, 1880-1902
  • NS - Papers of Henry Walter of Haughton, Agent to the Earls of Clare in Nottinghamshire, 1666-1696
  • NW - papers relating to the Newcastle's Worksop Manor Estate, 1824-1905
  • NPE - Nottingham Park Estate records, principally concerning the management of the residential Nottingham Park, but including some papers relevant tot he transfer of title from the Duke and to the period of Newcastle ownership.


Principal Subject areas within the Collections

The estate papers in the collections include extensive records of the property holdings and management of the estates of the Dukes of Newcastle from the 17th to 20th centuries. They are of especial interest for the development of the estate at Clumber, Nottinghamshire, and contain rich sources for studies of land usage and tenure, agricultural developments and local history in Nottinghamshire in particular. The papers also contain evidence of the financial fortunes of the Newcastle family and, once fully catalogued, will provide some limited local and genealogical information for other Nottinghamshire families.

The local, national and international subject areas covered by the political and personal papers of the individual family members vary widely according to their personal interests and careers. The papers of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne, especially his literary papers in the extensive Portland Literary Collection, provide a rich resource for a variety of 17th Century cultural and historical studies. In contrast, the correspondence of Henry Pelham, especially with his brother, Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, covers a wide range of national and international political and diplomatic topics. In particular they reflect the alarms of the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 and continued fears of another invasion, European military and diplomatic developments in the War of the Austrian Succession culminating in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1752 and the often difficult relations of English politicians with George II and his Hanoverian advisers. While the 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyne played a minor role in national politics his correspondence still contains much on local electioneering and his cousin, General Sir Henry Clinton's leading role in the American War of Independence means his letters provide detailed evidence for that conflict.

While the 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne never held a national office, he was extensively involved in electoral affairs and in particular in opposition to the reforms of the 1830s. His known antagonism to reform contributed to the burning of Nottingham Castle during the riots in 1831. His correspondence and diaries concern local and national events, the management and development of a large estate and the upbringing of his large family. The enormous collection of both personal and official papers of his son, the 5th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, on the other hand, concern the difficult national and international events in which his official positions involved him. The Irish famine, Crimean War and his eventual years as Secretary of State for the Colonies are covered in depth with additional insights into his relationship with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. There are also records of the tour of North America by the Prince of Wales [later Edward VII] in 1860 on which he was accompanied by the Duke who reported back to the Queen on his progress.

Throughout all the political and personal correspondence of the 18th and 19th centuries there are illustrations of local political influence, demands for patronage, political, social and family relationships and evidence of attitudes towards women, children and their education, the excitement of the Grand Tour and the all-important concern for their own and their family's health.


Family history

Dukes of Newcastle

Other notable family members


Newcastle collections held in other repositories

A number of repositories hold collections of papers relating to various members of the Newcastle family. These include notably:

Details of all collections, including several held privately, can be obtained from the National Register of Archives.


Useful published works on the Newcastle family

Details of printed works and theses held in the University of Nottingham Library are available via the Library's online catalogue NUsearch. Reference numbers given here are to holdings available in the Manuscripts and Special Collections Reading Rooms.

  • The Newcastles of Clumber. A Pictorial and Documentary History of an Important Nottinghamshire Family - a guide to the exhibition held at the University of Nottingham, 1992 [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.K36]
  • Christie, Manson and Wood, Catalogue of pictures by old masters, from Clumber Sale catalogue 1937 [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.D64 CLU]
  • Coxe, William, Memoirs of the Administration of the Right Honourable Henry Pelham 2 vols (London, 1829, photographic reprint 1971)
  • Eldridge, C.C., 'The Lincoln Divorce Case: A study in Victorian morality' in Triumvium Vol. 11, May 1976 pp 21-39
  • Fletcher, John (ed.,) Where Truth Abides. Diaries of the 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme (1822-1850) (Country Books, 2001) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.V38 NEW]
  • Fletcher, John, Ornament of Sherwood Forest : from ducal estate to public park (Country Books, 2005) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.G76 FLE]
  • Grieves, Keith 'A perfectly unspoiled site of priceless beauty': Lord Francis Hope, Leopold Salomons and Box Hill, 1893-1914, Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101 (2018), 1-29 [copy available in the Manuscripts Department]
  • Kelch, Roy A., Newcastle, a Duke without Money: Thomas Pelham-Holles 1693-1768 (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1974) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.V38 NEW]
  • Kulisheck, P.J., The Duke of Newcastle, 1693-1768, and Henry Pelham, 1694-1754, A Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1997) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.V2 KUL]
  • Kulisheck, P.J., 'The "Lost" Pelham Papers'in Archives Vol. XXIV No. 101 October 1999 pp 37-43 [King’s Meadow Campus Manuscripts Department Periodicals]
  • Longueville, Thomas, The First Duke and Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Langney, Green and Co., London 1910) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 468.V38 CAV]
  • Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, The Life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (various editions and reprints) [2nd revised edition, 1906, King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 468.V38 CAV]
  • Munsell, F. Darrell, The Unfortunate Duke: Henry Pelham, 5th Duke of Newcastle (University of Missouri Press, 1985) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.V38 NEW]
  • Owen, John B., The Rise of the Pelhams (Methuen, 1937) [Hallward Library DA500.O9]
  • Sotheby & Co. The Clumber Library - catalogue from the sale in 1937 [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.D64 CLU]
  • Surtees, V., A Beckford Inheritance, The Lady Lincoln Scandal (Compton Press, 1977) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.V38 NEW]
  • Turberville, A.S., A History of Welbeck Abbey and its Owners (London, 1938). Vol 1 covers the Cavendish, Holles and Harley families, 1539-1755 [King’s Meadow Campus Ref Not 468.D14 TUR]
  • Williams, Basil, Carteret and Newcastle. A Contrast in Contemporaries (CUP, 1943)

Theses produced at the University of Nottingham using Newcastle family collections

The following theses are available in the Hallward Library, University of Nottingham.

  • Clifton, James Maxwell, "An enchanted palace": Clumber Park, the Newcastle family seat (B.Arch dissertation, 1979)
  • Gaunt, Richard A., The Political activities and opinions of the 4th Duke of Newcastle (1785-1851) Phd thesis, University of Nottingham 2000
  • Golby, John M., The political and electioneering influence of the 4th Duke of Newcastle (MA dissertation, 1961)
  • Priestley, Clive, The life and career of Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton (1720-1794), 9th Earl of Lincoln (1730) and 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1768) (2 vols. MA dissertation, 1958)


Next page:  The Newcastles of Clumber Park - a Brief History


Manuscripts and Special Collections

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