Manuscripts and Special Collections

About the project

The development of this website has been in response to increasing interest in the papers of the 4th Duke of Newcastle, which provide a strong base for the study of political affairs and regional life in England during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Recent cataloguing projects have provided detailed descriptions of the Newcastle Collection (view collection level records for the Newcastle Collection) and interest has been increased by the publication of two studies of the 4th Duke, each of them providing selected entries from the ducal diaries, from different perspectives:

  • The story of the duke's political career is told in R.A. Gaunt (ed.), Unhappy Reactionary: The Diaries of the Fourth Duke of Newcastle under Lyne 1822-50, Thoroton Society Record Series Volume 43 (Nottingham, 2003).
  • The local Nottinghamshire interest is the particular focus of another publication, J. Fletcher (ed.), Where Truth Abides: extracts from the diaries of Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme (Bakewell, 2001)

Our aim was to create a resource designed to appeal to a wide variety of users, including:

  • undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • school users
  • lifelong learners
  • local historians


About the site

This site examines three themes which are illustrated by the contents of the 4th Duke's diaries and related archives.

  • Theme 1 - South Nottinghamshire Election of 1846
  • Theme 2 - Working Class Unrest - Luddism, Riots and reform, and Chartism
  • Theme 3 - Ireland

Most of the commentary for theme 2 is taken from the teaching pack 'Working Class Unrest in Nottingham 1800-1850', prepared by the Manuscripts Department at the University of Nottingham [2nd edition, 1974].

Each theme offers:

  • Diary entries (images with transcripts) of particular relevance to the issues being examined
  • A selection of images and transcripts from other original sources including letters, posters and newspaper reports
  • Commentary designed to assist users in their understanding and interpretation of the original materials

A range of supporting resources is also available to enable users to place the original documents in context. These include:

  • Timeline
  • Biographies
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Electronic texts
  • Visual resources
  • Manuscripts Online Catalogue, helping users to identify other manuscript sources held at the University


About the sources

Designation Logo - Designated as an outstanding collection

Images and transcriptions are all drawn from the Newcastle Collection and other holdings of the Manuscripts and Special Collections Section at the University of Nottingham.

In October 2005, the Newcastle of Clumber, Portland of Welbeck and Portland London Collections won recognition through The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) Designation Scheme as being of outstanding national and international importance.

See more information about our Designation status.


Terms of use

All content of 'Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle' is copyright to the University of Nottingham. The materials on these pages (including all commentary, transcriptions, images, etc.) are made available free of charge for personal, non-commercial use only. Any individual or body intending to publish elements of the site in any form or through any medium should fully acknowledge the source.

Any commercial use or publication of the site’s content without authorisation or acknowledgement is strictly prohibited; applications for licence enabling such use should be made to Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.



If you wish to cite the website in a publication please list it with the URL, and the month and year you accessed it, as in the following example:

Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle. Ed. L. Carter, R. Gaunt, K. Summerwill, The University of Nottingham. date you accessed the site <>.

Citations of specific documents or images which feature on the site should additionally have their reference numbers; e.g.:

Ne C 4627 - Letter from N. Gairdner to Lord Lincoln; 21 Feb. [c.1846]

Citations from the Newcastle diaries should give the year and date of the entry.


Credits and Project Team

The Project is a collaboration between Manuscripts and Special Collections, Information Services and the School of History at The University of Nottingham. The first two themes were published in September 2005 and the third theme was published in September 2006.

The principal Project Team members have been:

Dr Richard Gaunt (School of History)

Elizabeth Archer, Lynda Carter, Claire Emery, Dorothy Johnston and Kathryn Summerwill (Manuscripts and Special Collections)


Roles and contributions

Project development and initial scoping of themes: L Carter and R Gaunt

Selection of diary extracts with transcriptions: R Gaunt

Selection of supporting documents and images: R Gaunt, L Carter, K Summerwill

Commentaries: R Gaunt, L Carter, K Summerwill

Timeline: R Gaunt, L Carter, K Summerwill

Biographies: L Carter, K Summerwill

Glossary: L Carter, K Summerwill

Bibliography: R Gaunt

Editorial work: L Carter, K Summerwill

Academic oversight of all content: R Gaunt

Image processing, website design and delivery: C Emery

Evaluation: C Emery and E Archer

Image capture and metadata: J Amat, M Bentley, A Bowler

Project management 2nd stage: E Archer

The website links to a number of other resources developed by Manuscripts and Special Collections staff.


The second theme, Working Class Unrest, draws heavily on earlier published resources, in the form of student teaching packs prepared many years ago by the Department of Manuscripts in collaboration with local teachers.

The team gratefully acknowledges the advice and support of many other individuals including colleagues within Information Services and students who undertook evaluation of the resource in development.


Next page: Back to all research resources


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651