Document referenceZCA
DescriptionPedigrees, correspondence, photograph, genealogical notes on the Cayley family and others and leaflets and articles on the works of Sir George Cayley 1633-1962 including histories of the family dating back to 640AD; papers of Thomas Cayley, 5th bart., and Isabella, his wife 1764-1828; papers of George Cayley, 6th bart., his wife and family 1793-1883; correspondence of Philadelphia Cayley 1785-1852; papers of George Allanson Cayley, 8th bart., who died in 1895, and the papers of George Everard Cayley, 9th bart., who died in 1917; Kenelm Cayley's letters written whilst a POW of World War I; letters and papers of Kenelm Cayley, 10th bart., and his wife Elizabeth including Elizabeth's notes for her biography of George Cayley, 6th bart., 1958-1970; letters and papers of George Cayley relating to his trusteeship of the will of Sir HMM Vavasour of Melbourne, Yorkshire and Spaldington in Lincolnshire 1769-1860; solicitors' papers 1816-1880

Cayley settled estates in Yorkshire, Denbigh and Flint including settlements deeds and wills 1884-1965; court cases and legal opinions 1907-1964; balance sheets, statements of account and documents relating to income tax, estate and succession duty 1905-1959; mortgages, insurance policies and legal charges 1899-1959; investments 1930-1963; miscellaneous correspondence and documents 1916-1963

Yorkshire estate records including settlements, deeds and wills 1770-1924; balance sheets, statements of accounts and documents 1905-1959; mortgages and reconveyances 1838-1953; leases 1842-1926; miscellaneous documents 1831-1879; records relating to Allerston 1847-1964, Allerston and Ebberston estates 1794-1954, Ebberston 1847-1964, Normanby 1777-1921, Salton 1825-1920, Snainton 1807-1956, Brawby 1919-1920, Brompton 1912-1964, Yeddingham 1848-1849, Lockton 1848-1849, Scampston 1847-1920, Brompton-by-Sawdon 1758-1965, Troutsdale 1926, East Heslerton 1926, Wydale 1918-1956, Sinnington 1796-1807, Newby 1921-1957, Scarborough 1903-1953, Cayton 1915-1916, Hutton Bushell 1812, Kilburn Park 1824, Kirkbymoorside 1839, Low and High Givendale 1924, Oswaldkirk 1935, Sternsall 1926, Thormanby 1919, Thornhill 1831-1840

Welsh estate records including settlements, deeds, wills and trustee records 1869-1958; court cases 1915-1938; balance sheets 1912-1926; mortgages and reconveyances 1904-1930; particulars of sales 1910-1936; particulars of leases 1911-1924; miscellaneous documents 1918; Colwyn Bay, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos and Rhos-on-Sea, Denbighshire records 1904-1956; Holywell, Flintshire records 1922-1935; Flint, Flintshire records 1920-1923; Brynford, Flintshire records n.d.; Coleshill Fawr and Fechan, Flintshire records 1923-1924; Greenfield, Flintshire records1922; Flint, Coleshill, Greenfield and Bagillt, Flintshire records 1922-1923; Flintshire mining at Howarden and Ewloe records 1924-1959

Tasker Hart and Munby, solicitors, Scarborough documents (unrelated to the Cayley family) 1908-1962.
Catalogue statusCatalogued
Administrative historyThe Cayley family records deposited at the North Yorkshire County Record Office are only a remnant of the original family archive and unfortunately the papers which survive here contain only fleeting references to the inventions of Sir George Cayley, 6th bart.

There are no title deeds to be found with this collection and few estate records with the exception of correspondence. However the correspondence does cover the Cayley estates at Brompton, Yorkshire and at Scampton, Lincolshire, John Cayley's estate at Low Hall, Brompton (he was a cousin to George, 6th bart.), and the estate at Northstead, Scarborough leased by George, 6th bart., in 1839, largely for political reasons. Surviving Brompton estate records include rentals dated 1832-1849 and correspondence between Sir George Cayley, 6th bart., and his agent Alfred Simpson. Alfred, as well as acting as agent for the Brompton estates, also undertook the role of agent for the Scampton estates and the role of family solicitor. Letters to him from Sir George to be found amongst the Brompton estate correspondence may therefore contain passing references to events at Scampton or to family matters. In 1851 Alfred was replaced as agent by Robert Eden Wilson, although he was assured by Sir George that this was " no reflection on your receivership of the rents... and the loss of this position will not in the least affect our connexion with respect to legal matters".

As mentioned above the Northstead estate at Scalby, Scarborough was leased by Sir George in 1839 for political reasons. The scheme was suggested by Edward Cayley who considered the estate to provide a "means of accommodation to many persons in Scarbro' and ... such influence as landed property naturally gives". A guarantee fund was to be set up to defend Sir George against loss. The scheme was to be short lived. Writing in 1852 Sir George says "an honest split of opinion has however now occurred between the Whig Mulgrave party and myself" and wonders how to extract himself from the agreement.

The family papers found in this collection are in the main those of Sir George Cayley, 6th bart., and his wife, daughters and sons in law. There are only very few papers referring to the other baronets, with the exception of Kenelm, 10th bart., whose letters to his mother, written whilst a prisoner of war in Germany during the first World War, survive. On the whole he does not appear to have suffered over much from deprivation, receiving regular food parcels from his mother and sisters, including supplies from Fortnum and Mason. Sir George's personal papers have been placed in chronological sequence along with those of his wife and daughters, since their correspondence is more often than not within the family on topics of mutual interest. Included in this section are the only references to Sir George's famous experiments with the art of flying and his other inventions, including an artificial hand for one of his tenants. A pamphlet entitled "An Essay on the Art of Flying ... 1839"examines at some length the best materials from which to manufacture artificial wings but concludes with the caveat that the two major drawbacks to this mode of transport must not be ignored, namely "the inability to rise from the ground" and the "fatigue to the muscles". The majority of the other papers in the section cover purely family matters including the separation of Mary Alexander, Sir George's fifth daughter, from her husband Dr. James Alexander, the marriages of Sir George's other daughters, and the notorious bad temper of Sarah, his wife. Many press cuttings and articles relating to Sir George are to be found with the papers of Lady Elizabeth Cayley, wife of Kenelm Cayley, 10th bart., who embarked upon a biography of Sir George. Some of her notes for the book also survive.

A third large section of the collection covers Sir George's trusteeship of the will of Sir HMM. Vavasour of Melbourne, Yorkshire and Spaldington, Lincolnshire. This was a duty that Sir George took up somewhat reluctantly writing in November 1848 to Alfred Simpson "I find to my sorrow that I was named one of Sir Henry's trustees as I must fear the property will either not cover or barely cover the bequests and I could willingly escape the anxiety and bother not to say the legal responsibility of such an office now that I am scarcely up to my own affairs". Most of the papers concern the complicated descent of the Spaldington property and the attempts to alter the will in order to allow the sale of the Melbourne, rather than the Spaldington, estate.

Various papers found with the collection contain no apparent reference to the Cayley family and it has been assumed that these are the private papers of Alfred Simpson, solicitor, and his son William. Included are Appleton le Street manor court papers 1827-1910, papers relating to the diversion of a road from Forden to Ganton 1863, and papers relating to Alfred Simpson's trusteeship of the Stainforth estate act 1885-1886.
Access conditionsOpen


CopiesParts of this collection have been microfilmed [MIC 1850, 1851, 1910, 3233, 3270, 3276].


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