This comprises the estate and family records of the Montagu family, Dukes of Manchester of Kimbolton Castle, with estates in Huntingdonshire and other counties: and papers too of the Bernard family of Brampton Park, the Bernard estates in England and Ireland having passed to the Manchesters in 1822. The bulk of the Collection came into the possession of Huntingdonshire Archives in the 1940s; further records came in 1979 (accession 2829, known as Manchester II), and since then a handful of other accessions have been received here too.
The Collection is a significant and irreplaceable source for Huntingdonshire history. It includes:
- Deeds of many Huntingdonshire parishes, 16th - 20th centuries
- Records of many Huntingdonshire manors held by the Manchesters, including Bury, Kimbolton, Slepe in St Ives, Spaldwick, Little Stukeley and Swineshead; also manorial records of Kelvedon in Essex, 1297-1514
- Estate records of the various Manchester and Bernard estates from 1598
- Many papers of the family itself, including: Lady Olivia Bernard Sparrow's letters to her daughter Millicent, Duchess of Manchester,1820; Earl of Manchester's letters when Ambassador to France 1699 and to Venice 1707; Duchess of Manchester's letters during the Embassy to France 1770-1777; papers re the separation of Susan, Duchess of Manchester, from the Duke 1813-1827
- Maps and plans, including: designs by Vanbrugh for rebuilding Kimbolton Castle 1709; signed copies of Robert Adam designs for the Castle 1763-66; St Ives Assembly Rooms 18th century; maps of Co. Armagh, Jamaica, North America and South Africa, 18th-19th centuries
- Records of the Hunts Light Horse Volunteers 1862-1878
A summary list of the Manchester II Collection is available in catalogue number 25: Manchester Appendixes, available in the searchroom. This file also contains revised catalogue entries for some of Manchester I (such as architectural plans, Irish Commissary papers, prints and cartoons), as well as notes on various aspects of the Collection and on related groups of records.
The important Civil War papers, records relating to early settlements in Virginia and a number of State papers of the 18th century were at one time deposited with the Historic Manuscripts Commission, but many have since been sold. These records form the subject of the Commission's Appendix to the Eighth Report (1881): a copy of this is available in the searchroom.
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