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Clinton Papers

Date range: c.1760-1845

Medium: Archive

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.

The Clinton brothers held high military positions during the Napoleonic Wars and were involved in a number of campaigns including: the Peninsular War (1808–13), Low Countries(1790s–1815), India (1803–04), Sicily (1806–08), and Portugal (1808–09 and 1826–28).

This extensive archive includes correspondence (military, political and personal), diaries, order books ordnance and other returns, campaign reports, returns of soldiers killed, wounded and missing, military intelligence reports, maps and plan, regimental accounts and proclamations.

The archive includes 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. There is also significant personal and political correspondence of various members of the Clinton family with Stanley of Alderley family, the Holroyd family (Earls of Sheffield), the Chester family of Bush Hall, Hertfordshire, and the Dawkins families, as well as Henry Pelham Clinton (1785–1851), 4th Duke of Newcastle.

The separate collection of Kennedy Papers concern the campaigns in the Iberian 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.

The Clinton papers are of major significance for the organisation and campaigns of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars and after.

Further information:

  • The Clinton Papers are uncatalogued.
  • The Clinton Papers are briefly described in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 41 (1958-9), pp. 3-9, 273.
  • Catalogue of the Sir Robert Kennedy Papers available online via ELGAR.


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