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Clinton Papers

Date range: c.1760–1845.

The papers of General Sir Henry Clinton (1771–1829) and his brother General Sir William Henry Clinton (1769–1846) constitute an important source for the military and political history of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

They relate to the wars against France, in particular the Peninsular War (1808–13), but also campaigns in the Low Countries (1790s–1815), India (1803–04), Sicily (1806–08), and Portugal (1808–09 and 1826–28).

Documents include:

  • original letters
  • letter-books
  • diaries
  • order books
  • ordnance and other returns
  • reports on the progress of the campaign
  • returns of killed, wounded and missing
  • intelligence reports
  • maps and plans
  • regimental accounts
  • bundles of proclamations

Fifteen letters written by Sir Henry Clinton to his wife Susan immediately before and after the battle of Waterloo provide first-hand accounts of that great conflict.

The collection also includes personal and political correspondence of the Clinton, Stanley of Alderley (q.v.), Holroyd (Earls of Sheffield), Chester of Bush Hall, Hertfordshire, and Dawkins families, and papers of Henry Pelham Clinton (1785–1851), 4th Duke of Newcastle.

The entirely separate Kennedy Papers also concern the campaigns in the Peninsula and the south of France. Sir Robert Hugh Kennedy (1772–1840) was Assistant Commissary-General of H.M. Forces on the Continent, Deputy Commissary-General, and, from June 1810, Commissary-General during the Peninsular War. The Commissariat letters, papers and accounts relate most fully to the years 1810 and 1811.

Finding aids

  • Clinton Papers unlisted.
  • Initial survey in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 41 (1958-9), pp. 3-9, 273.
  • Kennedy Papers recorded in published handlist of English Manuscripts (English MSS 1308-1309).
  • Catalogue of the Kennedy Papers available online via ELGAR.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library