Title: Eshton Hall Estate Archive
Classmark: MS 417
Creator(s): Eshton Hall
Main language: English
Size and medium: 59 vols and additional items in 2 boxes
These papers were acquired by purchase in November 1976. They comprise mainly financial records of the Eshton Hall estate, near Skipton, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire, belonging to the Wilson and Richardson-Currer families, and extending chronologically from the late 18th century to 1891. The collection also includes some account books of the West Riding Quarter Sessions, kept by Mathew Wilson IV.
Eshton Hall estate was acquired by John Wilson of Threshfield (d. 1706). It descended regularly to his great-grandson, Mathew III (1730-1802). Mathew III married Frances Clive, sister of the first Lord Clive, in 1759. Their only child to survive as an adult was a daughter, Margaret Clive (1764-1848), who married, firstly, the Rev. Henry Richardson-Currer in 1783. He died in 1784, leaving a posthumous daughter, Frances Mary (1785-1861), who died unmarried. Margaret Clive married, secondly, her cousin, Mathew Wilson IV (1772-1854) in 1800. He was a solicitor by training and became a JP and Deputy Lieutenant for the West Riding. They had several children, the eldest of whom was Mathew V (1802-1891), who had a colourful political career; elected MP for Clitheroe, where the family had landed interests, in 1841, 1847 and 1852, he was twice unseated for electoral malpractice. He later sat for the North Division of the West Riding (1874-1885) and for the Skipton Division (1885-1886). He was created a baronet in 1874. Mathew V married, firstly, Sophia Louisa Emerson Amcotts in 1826 by whom he had a son, Mathew Wharton (1827-1902), later the second baronet. She died in 1833 and many years later Mathew V married, secondly, Frances Pedler, widow, from whom he had no issue. A pedigree of the family is printed in Joseph Foster, Pedigrees of the county families of Yorkshire, volume 1 (1874), which may be supplemented from Burke's Peerage and baronetage (1975). The irregular spelling of the family's favourite male Christian name has been silently standardised to the form used by Burke.
The documents mostly refer to the estate during the lives of Mathew IV and Mathew V, though some go back to Mathew III They give a detailed picture of the financial history of a family estate during the 19th century, and from the financial record numerous points of economic and social history may be illuminated. Some of the day-books include brief diary entries, mainly personal, but also meteorological. Many of the volumes contained loose papers; these have been taken out and placed in separate envelopes, numbered according to the volumes whence they came.
A small collection of further documents relating to the family's estates was deposited at Lancashire Record Office, Preston, by Mr. C Green of Foulridge, in 1976. These refer mainly to properties at Ashton-under-Lyne, Bank Newton, Gargrave, Oakenshaw, Sawley, Stainton and Tosside.
Eshton Hall estate, near Skipton, belonged to the Wilson and Richardson-Currer families during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Several generations of the families included sons with the name Mathew who all became influential public figures in their days. The estate documents give a detailed picture of the financial history of a family estate during the nineteenth century and cast light on numerous points of economic and social history.
The MS 417 catalogue is based on an historic inventory, created in 1972. The arrangement of material does not necessarily represent the original order of the archive and it is considered partly processed by an archivist. When making requests to consult, please be aware that there may be discrepancies between description and physical arrangement. The retrievable unit for this collection is file level.
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