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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Administrative Information
  • Access
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Calendar of the Bridgewater and Ellesmere Manuscripts
  • Unlocated items
  • Items transferred out of the collection
  • Related materials
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Egerton family papers
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1150-1803
    Bulk dates: 1580-1803
    Collection Number: mssEL
    Creator: Egerton (Family)
    Extent: approximately 13,000 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the official, semi-official, and personal papers of six generations of the Egerton family of Great Britain. Also known as the "Ellesmere Collection," the papers span from 1150-1803 and include approximately 13,000 pieces with particular strengths related to domestic management, religion, politics, literature, law, and diplomacy from the late 16th through 18th centuries. The geographic scope of the collection includes all of the British Isles, the British Atlantic, and early colonial America, and foreign relations with Western Europe.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
    Facsimile material: Researchers must apply for permission to publish or quote these materials from the owners of the originals. Please contact: Estate Administrator. Mertoun Estate. St. Boswell’s, Melrose, Roxburghshire. SCOTLAND TD6 0EA.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Egerton family papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Purchased with the Bridgewater library from John Francis Granville Scroop Egerton, 4th Earl of Ellesmere, through the agency of George D. Smith and Sotheby's of London, 1917.
    When the collection was purchased in 1917, the Egerton family chose to retain some 1,600 manuscripts of personal or literary interest or value, but facsimiles of these items were subsequently provided to the Huntington and have been integrated into the original collection.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Historical Note

    Descendants of Sir Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley (1540?-1617), a noted jurist, statesman, and patron of the arts and literature, the Egertons were known as a politically and socially influential family. John Egerton, son of Sir Thomas Egerton, obtained earldom, and John Scroop Egerton was made the 1st Duke of Bridgewater. With the death of Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, the dukedom became extinct. The childless duke left the Bridgewater House in London, together with its famous library to his nephew George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland. His son Francis Egerton Ellesmere (1800-1857) who assumed the name of Egerton, was created Viscount Brackley and 1st Earl of Ellesmere. He was known as a poet, collector and patron of scholarship, the first President of the Camden society. He retained the services of John Payne Collier, the literary critic and notorious forger. Collier published a catalog of selected items from the Bridgewater Library. He also acquired the collection of plays of John Larpent, Examiner of Plays, which he sold to the Earl in 1853.

    Bibliography

    Guide to British Historical Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, Calif. : Huntington Library, 1982). View online version in Hathi Trust Digital Library.  
    Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, Calif. : The Library, 1989). View online version in Hathi Trust Digital Library.  

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains the official, semi-official, and personal papers of six generations of the Egerton family of Great Britain. Also known as the "Ellesmere Collection," the papers span from 1150-1803 and include approximately 13,000 pieces with particular strengths related to domestic management, religion, politics, literature, law, and diplomacy from the late 16th through 18th centuries. The geographic scope of the collection includes all of the British Isles, the British Atlantic, and early colonial America, and foreign relations with Western Europe.
    The papers include the personal letters and papers of the family (although there are relatively few household and estate accounts), literary manuscripts, and the official and semi-official papers relating to offices held by various members of the family, particularly those accumulated by Sir Thomas Egerton, 1540?-1617, Baron Ellesmere and Viscount of Brackley, Solicitor-General (1581-1592), Attorney-General (1592-1594), Lord Keeper (1596-1603), and Lord Chancellor (1603-1617); Sir John Egerton, 1st Earl of Bridgewater, 1579-1649, President of the Council of Wales (1631-1649); John Egerton, 2nd Earl of Bridgewater, 1622-1686, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire (1660-1686); John Egerton, 3rd Earl of Bridgewater, 1646-1701, President of the Board of Trade (1696-1699), First Lord of Admiralty (1699-1701), Speaker of the House of Lords (1697 and 1700); John Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater, 1681-1745, a Whig courtier under Anne and George I, and Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, 1736-1803. Included are literary manuscripts (many of them presentation copies), which comprised the library at Bridgewater House. Also included are the papers of the Stanley family, earls of Derby related to the Egertons, through the marriage of Sir Thomas Egerton to Alice, widow of Ferdinando Stanley, the 5th Earl, including some material concerning the Isle of Man, of which the earls of Derby were hereditary lords. As well, the women in this family are well documented and represented within the papers, including Alice Spencer (1559-1637), Countess of Derby; Frances Stanley Egerton (1583-1636), Countess of Bridgewater; Elizabeth Cavendish Egerton (1626-1663), Countess of Bridgewater; Elizabeth Cranfield Egerton (ca. 1627-1663); Jane Paulet Egerton (ca. 1656-1716), Countess of Bridgewater; Elizabeth Churchill Egerton (ca. 1687-1714), Countess of Bridgewater; and Rachel Russell Egerton (ca. 1700-1777), Dowager Duchess of Bridgewater.
    The collection also contains photocopies of some 1,600 manuscripts that the Egerton family chose to retain in their possession.

    Calendar of the Bridgewater and Ellesmere Manuscripts

    Prior to the purchase of the collection by Henry Huntington, a ten-volume handlist entitled "Calendar of the Bridgewater and Ellesmere Manuscripts" was compiled at Bridgewater House by London historical researcher Mary Trice Martin (ca. 1868-1925), the daughter of the assistant keeper of the Public Record Office Charles Trice Martin (author of The Record Interpreter) and a student of his colleague Dr. Hubert Hall. These volumes contain typed itemized lists of the 13,000 manuscripts in this collection, with additional handwritten notes added by various scholars and curators.
    These volumes have been digitized and are available as downloadable PDFs.
    • Volume 1: Before 1617 Part 1 (EL 1-1923)
    • Volume 2: Before 1617 Part 2 (EL 1924-6308)
    • Volume 3: 1617-1649 (EL 6309-8007)
    • Volume 4: 1649-1686 (EL 8008-8596)
    • Volume 5: 1687-1803 (EL 8597-10439)
    • Volume 6: Undistributed bundles and various undated and unclassified manuscripts and title deeds (EL 10440-12044) and list of dockets in the collection
    • Volume 7: Subject Index, A-E (pp. 1-128)
    • Volume 8: Subject Index, F-O (pp. 129-232)
    • Volume 9: Subject Index, P-Z (pp. 233-330)
    • Volume 10: List of Bridgewater Manuscripts in Separated Volumes

    Unlocated items

    Approximately 1600 items listed in the Calendar of the Bridgewater and Ellesmere Manuscripts were never received by the Huntington Library. Facsimiles of most of these items were provided in the 1960s and integrated into the collection, though a small group of approximately forty items listed in the Calendar remain unlocated. In addition, five other items have been identified as missing.

    Items not received

    • EL 994 Genealogical tree showing the descent of Egertons and other families (before 1617) (listed in Calendar vol. 1, page 117a)
    • EL 2406 Notes of leases of customs, 1 Jas. 1 (listed in Calendar vol. 2, page 329)
    • EL 6616a Letter from Lord Bridgewater to Arthur Swannicke, John Carlton and Maurice Griffith, 1639 (listed in Calendar vol. 3, page 543)
    • EL 6644e List of townships in Cheshire belonging to Lord Bridgewater and their values (listed in Calendar vol. 3, page 546)
    • EL 6856 (34/B/55) Volume containing copies of sermons by various persons. 1. A Sermon on the 72 Ps. v. 18. ... 26. Mr. Shute, on Luke 17: v. 29 (listed in Calendar vol. 3, page 575-756)
    • EL 8216a Note of leases of lands in High Leigh (listed in Calendar vol. 4, page 738)
    • EL 8270f Suggestions for sale of tithes to the tenants of Mould (listed in Calendar vol. 4, page 746)
    • EL 8278 Answer of Sir Spencer to Francis Randolfe, plaintiff, 1651 (listed in Calendar vol. 4, page 748). Note: this item may be EL 8274b (Randolph v. Spencer. Answer of the defendant as to debts of the first Earl of Bridgewater)
    • EL 8950a Deed for settlement of estate of Hon. Alice Herbert on marriage with John Burrard, 1696 (listed in Calendar vol. 5, page 817)
    • EL 11038 a miscellaneous document (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 978)
    • EL 11048 a miscellaneous document (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 978)
    • EL 11051 a miscellaneous document (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 978)
    • EL 11765b Diploma of Trinity College, Dublin, conferring Degree of Doctor of Laws upon the First earl of Ellesmere (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 1048-1050)
    • EL 11766-11780 Sothern Papers (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, pages 1049-1050)
    • EL 11780a (Bundles I-III) Legal papers: Sothern v. Egerton. Note: a facsimile was received of EL 11780a Bundle IV only (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 1050-1051)
    • EL 11944 Acknowledgment by Mary Leay of Grisburgh of money received from Henry Holme, 1618 (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 1074)
    • EL 11986 Madame Downes' answer to Mr. Kinnaston's letter concerning the title to her estate, which she inherited from her brother, 1677/8 (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 1078)
    • EL 12025 A note of servants' wage, c. 1600 (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 1082)
    • EL 3/I/1 Catalogue of the Books at Dunrobin, Sutherland, 1786 (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a, and vol. 10, page 9)
    • EL 3/I/2 Catalogue of the Library at Trentham, Staffs., 1782 (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a, and vol. 10, page 9)
    • EL 10/C/30 Catalogue of the Library of Gonville and Caius Colleges, Cambridge, by the Rev. J. J. Smith (printed) (listed in Calendar vol. 1, page v, and vol. 10, page 9)
    • EL 10/E/23 Descriptive Index of Historical MSS. in Dawson Turner's Library (printed) (listed in Calendar vol. 1, page vi)
    • EL 10/H/12 Eastwick, E. B. Vocabulary of the Sindi Language, 1843 (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a and vol. 10, page 28)
    • EL 11/G/2 Memo respecting MSS. in Bridgewater (Cleveland) House (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a, and vol. 10, page 17)
    • EL 11/I/7 Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium qui in Museo Britannico asservantur [Catalogue of the Oriental MSS. in the British Museum, printed, London, 1846] (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a)
    • EL 11/I/16 Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium qui in Museo Britannico asservantur Pars II Arabic [Catalogue of the Oriental MSS. in the British Museum, printed, London 1752] (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a, and vol. 10, page 9)
    • EL 20/E/10 Abstract of deeds, etc., of the Estates of Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (listed in Calendar vol. 5, page 946a)
    • EL 25/B/23-29 Original Letters (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a)
    • EL 27/B/2 Rime di diversi in burla e in sul grave (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1044a)
    • EL 27/B/16 Proceedings of Parliament, 1692-1693 [MSS., Black Letter] (listed in Calendar vol. 5, page 903a)
    • EL 30/D/1-15 Acts and Parliamentary Journals, 1689-1707 [some MSS.] (listed in Calendar vol. 5, page 903a)
    • EL 30/E/1-6 Statutes Votes and MSS., 1689 (listed in Calendar vol. 5, page 903a)
    • EL 30/F/1-21 Statutes Votes and MSS. (listed in Calendar vol. 5, page 903a)
    • EL 32/C/9 Meditations on consecutive Chapters of the Old Testament, by Elizabeth Countess of Bridgewater (listed in Calendar vol. 4, page 754a)
    • EL 34/B/61 Catalogue of lithograph views of Syrian Scenery - drawn by the First Earl of Ellesmere and Lady Ellesmere (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1047, and vol. 10, page 9)
    • EL 34/C/1 Navigation: A brief Abstract, Exposition & Demonstration of all Parts & Things belonging to a Ship. A Dictionary of Sea-terms dedicated to the Earl of Bridgewater (listed in Calendar vol. 3, page 708a, and vol. 10, page 61)

    Missing items

    • EL 1860 Part of a series of legal papers chiefly concerning the rectory of Gresford, Denbighs [missing from Huntington Library since late 1960s?] (listed in Calendar vol. 1, page 241)
    • EL 5599 Patent granted to Thomas Folyott, 1595 November 27 [missing from the Huntington Library as of May 10, 1983] (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1106)
    • EL 5601 Patent granted to Charles Trevanyon, 1595 November 27 [missing from the Huntington Library as of May 10, 1983] (listed in Calendar vol. 6, page 1106)
    • EL 7924a (35/B/6) Copy of Commission to the Master and Counsaile of the Court of Wards and Liveries [printed] (listed in Calendar vol. 3, page 701a) [this number appears to have been assigned in error, possibly due to a note in the Calendar for EL 6445, which has also not been located that says "Transferred to No. 7924a"]
    • EL 11253 (missing as of 12/2016) Grant from Richard Boux, chaplain, to Alice,late wife of June Robert de Rydelegh of Rode, of lands in Torperlegh & Utkynton. (listed in Calendar, vol. 6, page 994)

    Items transferred out of the collection

    A small number of items listed in the Calendar, chiefly printed volumes, were transferred to the Rare Books Department, assigned new call numbers, and cataloged individually in the Huntington Online Catalog. In addition, some items were incorporated into the John Larpent Papers.

    Related materials

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged according to the organizational system created at Bridgewater House prior to the collection's purchase by Henry Huntington, and reflected in the "Calendar of the Bridgewater and Ellesmere Manuscripts." Each item was assigned to one of numerous subject or genre categories, which were, in turn, grouped broadly into chronological periods as follows:
    • 1. To 1617 (the death of Lord Chancellor Ellesmere)
    • 2. 1617-1649 (the death of the 1st Earl of Bridgewater)
    • 3. 1649-1686 (the death of the 2nd Earl of Bridgewater)
    • 4. 1686-1701 (the death of the 3rd Earl of Bridgewater)
    • 5. 1701-1745 (the death of the 1st Duke of Bridgewater)
    • 6. 1745-1803 (the death of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater)
    • 7. Miscellany and undated. ca. 1200-1800.
    Note: there are very few 19th-century papers.
    Each item retains the permanent reference number assigned at Bridgewater House (either a simple "EL" number and/or, in the case of individual volumes, a combination of numbers and letters according to their Bridgewater House shelf marks). Although this organization is at times inconsistent and the subject categories in particular often overlap, both the assigned reference numbers and the general format of the ten-volume "Calendar" have been widely cited and, therefore, the decision was made to retain the present system.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Egerton family -- Archives.
    Bridgewater, John Egerton, Earl of, -1649 -- Archives.
    Bridgewater, John Egerton, Earl of, 1623-1686 -- Archives.
    Bridgewater, John Egerton, Earl of, 1646-1701 -- Archives.
    Bridgewater, Scroop Egerton, Duke of, 1681-1745 -- Archives.
    Bridgewater, Francis Egerton, Duke of, 1736-1803 -- Archives.
    Derby, Ferdinando Stanley, Earl of, 1559?-1594 -- Archives.
    Derby, Alice Egerton, Countess of, 1559- -- Archives.
    Ellesmere, Thomas Egerton, Baron, 1540?-1617] -- Archives.
    England and Wales. Attorney General (1592-1594 : Egerton) -- Archives.
    England and Wales. Attorney General. Solicitor General (1581-1592 : Egerton)
    England and Wales. Lord Keeper of the Great Seal (1596-1603 : Egerton) -- Archives.
    England and Wales. Lord Chancellor (1603-1617 : Egerton) -- Archives.
    England and Wales. Council of Wales and the Marches -- Archives.
    England and Wales. Board of Trade. President (1696-1699 : Bridgewater) -- Archives.
    Great Britain. Board of Trade -- History -- 17th century -- Sources.
    England and Wales. Admiralty -- Archives.
    Great Britain. Admiralty -- History -- 17th century -- Sources.
    England and Wales. Parliament. House of Lords -- Archives.
    Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords -- History -- Sources.
    Literary patrons -- Great Britain -- Archives.
    Book collecting -- Great Britain.
    Manuscripts, English -- Collectors and collecting -- Great Britain.
    Statesmen -- Great Britain -- Archives.
    Law -- Great Britain -- History -- Sources.
    English literature -- Manuscripts.
    Great Britain -- History -- Tudors, 1485-1603 -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- History -- Stuarts, 1603-1714 -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1485-1603.
    Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1603-1714.
    Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 18th century.
    Isle of Man -- History -- Sources.

    Forms/Genres

    Family papers -- Great Britain.
    Government records -- Great Britain.

    Contributors

    Bridgewater, Elizabeth Churchill Egerton, Countess of, 1687 or 1688-1714
    Bridgewater, Frances Stanley Egerton, Countess of, 1583-1636
    Bridgewater, Francis Egerton, Duke of, 1736-1803
    Bridgewater, Jane Paulet, Egerton Countess of, 1655-1716
    Bridgewater, John Egerton, Earl of, -1649
    Bridgewater, John Egerton, Earl of, 1623-1686
    Bridgewater, John Egerton, Earl of, 1646-1701
    Bridgewater, John Scroop Egerton, Duke of, 1681-1745
    Bridgewater, Rachael Russell Egerton, Duchess of, -1777
    Derby, Alice Egerton, Countess of, 1559-1637
    Derby, Ferdinando Stanley, Earl of, approximately 1559-1594
    Derby, Henry Stanley, Earl of, 1531-1593
    Egerton, Elizabeth Cavendish, 1626-1663
    Egerton, Elizabeth Cranfield, 1647 or 1648-1670
    Ellesmere, Thomas Egerton, Baron, 1540?-1617]
    Stanley family.
    England and Wales. Attorney General (1592-1594 : Egerton)
    England and Wales. Attorney General (1592-1594 : Egerton)
    England and Wales. Lord Chancellor (1603-1617 : Egerton)