Manuscripts and Special Collections

Thoroton Hildyard of Screveton and Flintham

The Thoroton Hildyard Collection (THF) contains the papers of the Thoroton and Hildyard families of Screveton and Flintham, Nottinghamshire. The collection was acquired in 1994.

Documents in the collection are described in detail on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Access to the descriptions is also provided via personal name and place names indexes. 

Principal subject areas within the collection

More than half of the Thoroton Hildyard collection is made up of title deeds . The bulk of the deeds relate to the acquisition and sale of land in Flintham, Screveton, Aslockton and Kneeton in Nottinghamshire, and date from the 17th to the mid-19th century. No 20th-century material is present, except for deeds recording the reconveyance of property mortgaged some years before. There is also an incomplete series of rentals, estate accounts and plans relating to the Screveton and Flintham estate. The earliest item is dated 1650 but these estate papers mostly date from the 18th and early-19th centuries.

Manorial court papers survive for the manors of Saxondale (dated 1714-1750) and Screveton (1591-1619 and 1735-1798).

The collection also contains title deeds, estate papers and legal papers relating to other property inherited by the Thoroton Hildyard family from their relatives, and subsequently sold. There are a small number of 15th and 16th-century deeds, and some 17th and 18th-century estate papers, relating to 'Dutch House', now Kew Palace , and its surrounding estate in Kew, Middlesex. The proceeds of its sale by Levett Blackborne in 1781 were inherited by his half-brother Thomas Thoroton's family. In 1820 Mrs Anne Thoroton inherited an estate at Ingoldmells and elsewhere in Lincolnshire from her relative Mary Hutton. The collection contains legal papers, accounts and maps relating to the administration of the Lincolnshire estates during their ownership by the Thoroton Hildyard family between 1820-1846, together with earlier title deeds, and wills of the previous owners, members of the Wallis and Popham families .

There are deeds relating to an estate at Alfreton and Swanwick, Derbyshire, owned by the Turner family, and a small series of 18th-century documents concerning litigation relating to Derbyshire coal and lead mining ventures. The Alfreton estate was inherited by Robert Thoroton and sold in 1789.

Marriage settlements and wills are present for some of the members of the main Thoroton and Hildyard family, and also for various members of the Levett and Blackborne families . The collection also contains ordination and induction papers relating to the clerical career of the Rev. Abraham Blackborne (d 1797), and a number of 18th-century title deeds to the Levett and Blackborne families' estates in the City of London, Market Harborough, Old Leake, Rainham and elsewhere. There are settlement and legal papers relating to the Constable family, and their estate at Cardiff Forest (Whitland) in Carmarthenshire, sold in the mid-18th century.

These parts of the Thoroton Hildyard collection are dated up to the mid-19th century. The remainder of the collection consists of the papers of Myles Thoroton Hildyard (1914-2005). These include the diaries he kept and the  letters he sent and received during the  Second World War .

A final group of miscellaneous papers includes the letters and papers collected by Myles Thoroton Hildyard as executor of his distant relative Walter E. Manners . Manners's papers include original manuscripts relating to the Townshend family, Lords Sydney.

Family history

Collections held elsewhere

  • Nottinghamshire Archives hold miscellaneous Hildyard family trust papers, 1871-1918 (Ref: DD 1931)
  • East Riding Archives hold deeds and estate papers from the Hildyard family's estate at Winestead, 12th-19th century (Ref: DDHI)

Useful published works on the Thoroton Hildyard family and their papers

  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. 'Some letters of Robert and Mary Thoroton and others, 1745-6', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, vol. 57 (1953), 16-32
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. 'The Thorotons of Thoroton, Car Colston, Screveton and Flintham', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, vol. 58 (1954), 57-64
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. 'Dr Robert Thoroton', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, vol. 61 (1957), 8-20
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. The Thorotons (privately printed, 1991) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Special Collection Oversize Not 150.V30 THO]
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. It is bliss here : letters home, 1939-1945 (London : Bloomsbury, 2005) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 150.V38 HIL]
  • Leonard Jacks, chaper on Flintham Hall in The Great Houses of Nottinghamshire and the County Families (Nottingham : W. and A. S. Bradshaw, 1881) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 1.D28 JAC, also available online,]
  • William Stevenson. 'The Descendants of Dr Robert Thoroton', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, vol. 12 (1908), 125-136
  • Cornelius Brown, chapter on Screveton in A History of Nottinghamshire (1896) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 1.D14 BRO, also available online,]
  • John Cornforth. Flintham Hall, Nottinghamshire : the seat of Mr Myles Thoroton Hildyard ([London] : Country Life, 1979-1980) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection os.Pamph Not 150.D64 HAL]
  • Charles Hall Crouch, 'The Hildyards of Winestead', Yorkshire notes and queries , 5 (1908)
  • F. Ross, 'The Hildyards of Winestead in Holderness', in Old Yorkshire, ed. William Smith, 4 (1883)


Next page: The Thoroton and Hildyard Families of Screveton and Flintham: A Brief History

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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