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Grey (Stamford) of Dunham Massey Papers

Date range: 13th–20th centuries.

A very large collection of papers of the Grey family, Earls of Stamford, and their predecessors, the Booth family, from Dunham Massey Hall near Altrincham, Cheshire.

The Grey family inherited Dunham Massey in the mid-eighteenth century through the marriage of Mary, daughter of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington, to Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford.

The Hall and remaining estates were bequeathed to the National Trust by Roger Grey, 10th and last Earl of Stamford, in 1976.

The collection contains:

  • the personal papers of the Booth and Grey families
  • title deeds and settlements
  • important manorial records from the courts leet of the barony of Dunham Massey and the borough of Altrincham, the court leet with court baron for the manor of Bollin cum Norcliffe, (Wilmslow), courts baron for the manors of Dunham Massey, Carrington and Ashton upon Mersey, and Altrincham fair court
  • household records including eighteenth- and nineteenth-century accounts and inventories, and correspondence relating to the restoration of Dunham Massey Hall
  • papers relating to local schools and charities for distributing bedding and educating poor children
  • large quantities of estate papers, principally from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including deeds, leases for three lives, rentals, valuation books,  rent ledgers, cash books, income and expenditure accounts, invoices and vouchers, plans and correspondence files

The deeds and other papers relate to properties in Altrincham, Ashley, Ashton upon Mersey, Bollin Fee (Wilmslow), Bollington, Bowdon, Carrington, Dunham Massey, Hale, Hattersley, Matley, Millington, Partington, Pownall Fee (Wilmslow), Sale, Stayley, Thornton-le-Moors and Timperley in Cheshire, and Ashton-under-Lyne and Warrington in Lancashire.

Among the personal papers of the Booth family are:

  • an account roll of Sir Robert Booth as sheriff of Cheshire, c.1445–50
  • a detailed compendium of family and estate accounts of Sir George Booth, 1648–51/2
  • personal correspondence and accounts of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington, 1693/4–1758
  • papers of his daughter Mary, Countess of Stamford, relating to the construction of the Bridgewater Canal, 1758–67

The personal papers of the 5th and 6th Earls of Stamford contain material relating to the lord lieutenancy of Cheshire, the magistracy and local militia, the defence of the county against possible French invasion and internal security measures in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including printed matter relating to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819.

Among the papers of the 6th Earl of Stamford are colourful letters written by his son while on the Grand Tour in the 1820s.

There are also manuscripts of, and papers pertaining to:

  • the naturalist Gilbert White of Selborne (1720–93) and other members of the White family
  • papers of the Lumsden family concerning service in the East India Company and colonial life and administration before and during the Indian Mutiny
  • papers of the Rev. William Grey, a missionary in Newfoundland, Canada, 1849–53
  • records of the Earl of Warrington’s Charity, which distributed alms to the poor of Altrincham, Bowdon and Dunham Massey

See also

Rylands Charters 3850-4317 (leases for lives in Wilmslow parish, presented to the Library by the 10th Earl of Stamford).

For the East India Company see also:

Access

Papers of members of the family alive during the 20th century may be consulted only with the written permission of the National Trust.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR in three parts: 
    • Sections 1-3 (title deeds and settlements, manorial records, papers of the Booth family;
    • Sections 4-13 (papers of the Grey, White and Lumsden families, household records, charity papers, etc.);
    • Section 14 (estate papers).
  • Unpublished catalogue with index (17 vols).

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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