Document referenceZCN
TitleBROWNLOW MANUSCRIPTS
DescriptionWills, mortgages, settlements and related papers of the Egerton (Earls of Bridgewater), Lowther and related families. This collection covers areas in the North and West Ridings, York, Westmorland, London, Surrey, etc There are also a few deeds relating to the manor of Faxfleet in Humberside, to other properties in Humberside and to miscellaneous properties in the counties of Durham, Middlesex and Essex.
Deeds relating to Allerston and Ebberston 1631-1673.
Yorkshire and Durham estates of the Duke of Bridgewater including mortgages relating to property in York 1674; vouchers for work carried out in Sutton Howgrave, Dishforth, Norton-le-Clay, Ovington, Caldwell, Eppleby, Bolton, York, Kilnwick and Brack's Farm and Winston in County Durham including vouchers for work on Caldwell Mill 1790-1799; rentals and accounts for Yorkshire and Durham estates 1796-1800; accounts of fee farm rents received from properties in Yorkshire 1803-1887.
Deeds of Duke of Bolton's Yorkshire estates 1684-1707.
Deeds relating to the Lowther estates at Swillington and elsewhere in West Yorkshire 1691-1774.
Deeds relating to Lincolnshire and Humberside 1586-1762.
Miscellaneous documents relating to Durham 1695, Essex 1745, Middlesex 1690, Surrey 1732-1739, Westmorland 1681; codicils to the will of Henry Duke of Kent 1740; copy grant of Elizabeth I in the 17th century.
Date1631-1887
LevelCollection
Catalogue statusCatalogued
Administrative historyThis collection consists of several distinct groups of deeds of properties which were owned by the Egerton family, or families with whom they intermarried whose estates ultimately devolved on the Earl of Brownlow.

The first group of deeds relate to the manor of Allerston which for most of the seventeenth century was in the hands of the Egertons of Ridley. The manor was conveyed by Francis, Earl of Huntingdon to Stephen Holford in 1548/9. He settled it on his daughter, Barbara, and her husband, Ralph Egerton, who in 1579 succeeded to the Cheshire estates of his father, Sir Richard Egerton. Their son, Sir Richard Egerton of Ridley died in 1627, having leased the manor to Sir Thomas Brereton and others in 1620. His son, Richard, died in 1663 and was succeeded at Allerston by his brother, Thomas. Thomas's son, Ralph, sold the manor in 1686, shortly after his father's death, to William Osbaldeston of York and Sir Richard Osbaldeston of Hunmanby, his son and heir. The deeds here date from 1631 to 1673. John Egerton, Earl of Bridgewater, appears as a trustee in some of the deeds but the exact relationship between the two branches of the family is unclear.

A second group of deeds are of the Hilton, Hawnby and Normanby estates of Charles, Duke of Bolton (d.1694), inherited by his son in law John Egerton, 3rd Earl of Bridgewater who had married the Duke's daughter, Jane. John was the great grandson of Thomas Egerton (1540-1617) who was appointed Lord High Chancellor upon the accession of James I and elevated to the peerage as Baron of Ellesmere 1603 and as Viscount Brackley 1616. Thomas's son, John Egerton, was created Earl of Bridgewater, 27 May 1617, and in 1720 his great great grandson, Scroope, was created Marquess of Brackley and Duke of Bridgewater. The dukedom passed to Scroope's sons, John, 2nd Duke (d. 1748) and Francis, 3rd Duke (d.1736), who gave his name to the Bridgewater Canal. After Francis's death, unmarried in 1803, the dukedom expired, most of his wealth was inherited by his nephew George, later Duke of Sutherland, and the Earldom reverted to his cousin John William, a grand nephew of the first Duke. John died without issue and the Earldom fell to his brother Francis Henry who died in 1829, again without issue. The Earldom then became extinct and the Bridgewater estates devolved, after much litigation, on the Earl of Brownlow, husband of Francis's niece, Sophia. A number of vouchers with this collection relate to the Bridgewater's Yorkshire estates and there are rentals 1796-1800 and accounts of fee farm rents 1803-1829, 1870-1875, 1882-1887.

The West Yorkshire deeds are of property at Swillington, Garforth, Pontefract, Great & Little Preston and elsewhere belonging to the Lowther family. In 1765 Amabella Lowther, heir to Sir William Lowther of Swillington, 2nd bart. (d.1763), married the Reverend Henry Egerton of Settringham and later prebendary at Durham, a grandson of John, 3rd Earl of Bridgewater, bringing with her the West Yorkshire properties. Amabella, however, could not inherit the title and with the death of the 2nd baronet it became extinct although a cousin of Sir William, the Reverend William Lowther of Little Preston (1707-1788), procured a fresh patent of baronetcy in 1764.
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