Date range: 1259-1881
The archive comprises correspondence, papers and deeds relating to the Clowes and Chetham families, and to the Clowes estates, mainly in south-east Lancashire and particularly Manchester.
The Clowes family originated at Rudyard, near Leek in Staffordshire. Samuel Clowes, a merchant, moved to Manchester in the early 18th century and built up estates in Manchester, Gorton, Worsley and Tyldesley, becoming Lord of the Manor of Booths in Worsley. His son Samuel (1691–1773) acquired the extensive Broughton estate near Manchester through his marriage to Mary Chetham, sister and co-heiress of Edward Chetham, and great-grand-daughter of Humphrey Chetham.
The Chetham family were associated with Manchester since medieval times: they are recorded as holding land in the township of Cheetham, north of Manchester, in the reign of King John. By the 16th century they had acquired properties in Crumpsall, north of Manchester, where they lived in a small manor house, Crumpsall Hall. By this time they were successful merchants in Manchester. The best-known member of the family was the merchant and financier Humphrey Chetham (1580–1653), under whose will Chetham’s Hospital and Library were founded.
There are numerous deeds and papers relating to Butterworth, Castleton, Cheetham, Claughton, Crompton, Crumpsall, Dutton, Failsworth, Hindley, Manchester, Newton, Nuthurst in Moston township, Salford, Turton and Wigan in Lancashire; to Etwall in Derbyshire; to Halifax in Yorkshire; to Lichfield in Staffordshire; and to London. The collection includes several fine medieval documents relating to the manors of Butterworth and Crompton, east of Rochdale, and Moston and Nuthurst, north-east of Manchester; arbitration awards; marriage settlements; and many letters and papers of the Chetham family, including papers relating to Humphrey Chetham.
The archive is relevant to studies of land-ownership in the North West, the agricultural economy, the growth of the gentry and merchant classes in Manchester and its hinterland, and the formation of social and economic relationships between families.
Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
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