Held AtGloucestershire Archives
Alt Ref NoD1086
TitleHale family of Alderley
DescriptionManorial records of Kingswood (near Wotton-under-Edge) 1731-1822; deeds of Alderley, Hawkesbury, Kingswood and Wotton-under-Edge c.1290-1876; estate plans 1767-1883, including architect's drawings for additions to Cottles House, Atworth (Wilts), c.1832; estate surveys, rentals, leases and papers 1323-1855; family settlements, correspondence and papers 1599-1887; charity papers concerning Wotton Grammar School 1847-1906, Mayo's Charity, Kingswood, 1840-1858
Alderley overseers' rates 1651-c.1660, 1871-1881; surveyors' accounts 1833-1834; churchwardens' papers 1905-1925; valuation lists 1884-1896
Hawkesbury overseers' rates 1851, 1853
North Nibley charity accounts 1763-1813; charity papers (1758)-1860
Uley parish valuations 1807, 1822; overseers' rates 1793-1800
Purnell charity, Wotton-under-Edge: accounts 1764-1784
Morland and Blagden of Bristol, solicitors: office papers: bill book 1766-1782; office accounts 1767-1782; clients' ledgers 1765-1780; cash books 1772-1785; precedent book c.1760-1765
Tyndale and Hart of Bristol, solicitors: office papers: ledger 1749-1778; cash book 1766-1778; bill book 1769-1780; correspondence 1754-1760
Tyndale, Symmer, Worall and Hale of Bristol, bankers: correspondence 1763-1796
Whalley and Nelmes, cloth merchants of Smyrna (Turkey): correspondence 1702-1705; miscellaneous papers 1697-1704
Blagden of Bristol, merchant: accounts 1755-1756

Manorial, deeds and estate records:
Records of the various Hale manors in Alderley, Hawkesbury, Rangeworthy and Wotton-under-Edge are relatively few, but there is a good series of loose court papers for the manor of Kingswood for the period 1731-1822 [D1086/M11]. Otherwise the only notable manorial documents are some bailiffs' compoti of the early 16th century for various estates in the county owned by the Poyntz family [D1086/M1]
There are several interesting groups of medieval deeds in the collection, including a number for the manor of Alderley from 1313 [D1086/T2], a few of land in Tresham, 1382-1469 [D1086/T40-43], and, more surprisingly, ten deeds of the manors of Shustoke, Warwickshire, and Nosterfield, Cambridgeshire, dating from 1332 [D1086/T103]. In addition there are nine membranes of a post-dissolution copy of some 40 charters of Kingswood Abbey, apparently made from the original documents, some of which date from the 12th century [D1086/T1]. [cf. 'Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society', XXII (1899), pp. 179-256 for translations of Abbey documents]
The estate records contain little of great interest. The earliest volume of estate accounts, although beginning in 1733, contains little detail [D1086/E20], but there are some interesting, if sparse, accounts for additions to the Upper House at Alderley, 1775-80 [D1086/E25], and for alterations to Cottles House, 1775-78 [D1086/E191]. A new house at Alderley was built for the family by the architect, Lewis Vulliamy, and the collection includes a few of his rough sketches [D1086/E181], together with a good series of vouchers for work done on its construction, 1859-63 [D1086/E182]. Additionally, two volumes of lists of estate records of property belonging to the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, 1618-19, have strayed into the collection [D1086/E192]

Family and Official records:
The earliest personal records, apart from testamentary papers, to have survived are those of Sir Mathew Hale (1609-76), Lord Chief Justice. [For a detailed description of his life and works see 'Dictionary of National Biography'] Unfortunately very few of his papers are to be found in the collection, apart from some bundles of memoranda and vouchers, some of which contain examples of his hand [D1086/F68, D1086/F70], and a few items of correspondence, mostly on estate matters, which include one draft letter in his own hand [D1086/F71]. Papers connected with his official duties include grants of annuities for providing legal counsel, 1650, 1653 [D1086/X2, D1086/X3], letters patent of his appointment as a Justice of the Common Bench, 1654 [D1086/X4], and as Chief Baron of Exchequer, 1660 [D1086/X5], [but not that as Chief Baron of King's Bench 1671] and the grant of a pension for life, 1676 [D1086/X10]. A bundle of papers relating to his executorship of John Selden [see 'Dictionary of National Biography'] was transferred to the Bodleian Library in April 1954 [Now Ms. Dep. d.69; for list see depositor's file, 14 April 1954]
Sir Mathew's descendants are represented by various miscellaneous papers, but there is little of outstanding interest, apart from a good series of personal accounts of Robert Hale, 1757-81 [D1086/F87-F92], until the time of John Blagden Hale, (1740-1808). His personal correspondence has been preserved almost intact for the period October 1784 - December 1800 [D1086/F115-F143]. This includes a long series of letters from his brother-in-law, William Lewis, which contains a valuable insight into contemporary agriculture and references to his business of iron-making in the Dowlais area of Glamorgan. Another notable figure represented in the collection is John's younger brother, Sir Charles Blagden (1748-1820), a leading physician and Secretary of the Royal Society (see 'Dictionary of National Biography'). Unfortunately, apart from several bundles of personal and household vouchers [D1086/F145-157], the collection contains little relating to him, although there are a few letters written to his brother while on service as a medical officer during the American War of Independence [D1086/F113]. A long series of lecture notes and other papers on medical topics formerly with the collection are now in the Wellcome Historical Medical library in London where they were transferred in June 1954. [For list, see depositor's file, 29 June 1954]
Other items of note include a series of journals and diaries of Robert Hale Blagden Hale, 1823-55 [D1086/F169-F177], and some letters to Lieut.- Col. Edward Hale relating to military events in India, 1857-60, although these are chiefly official communications and contain only a few interesting references [D1086/F189]
Both John Blagden Hale, in 1790, and his son Robert, in 1826, were Sheriffs of Gloucestershire and the collection contains the letters patent of appointment and quietus of each [D1086/X18, D1086/X21]. The latter's son, Robert Blagden Hale, was M.P. for West Gloucestershire, 1835-57, but only a few letters and papers survive relating to his parliamentary career [D1086/X23] [For obituary, see 'Glos. Notes and Queries', II, pp. 549-550]. The appointment of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, as Captain-General of royal forces this side of the Trent, 1640, has also found its way into the collection [D1086/X27]. Robert Blagdon Hale's daughter Anne, married Thomas Henry Sherwood of the 21st Fusiliers, having five children themselves, leading to the Sherwood branch of the family [D1086/F208-F223]

Legal and business papers:
A good group of papers survive to show the litigious nature of the Poyntz family in the early 17th century [D1086/L1-L6], and the Legal section also contains papers relating to the two major Chancery disputes in which the Hale family was involved. The first occurred in 1763-64 and involved a dispute over family settlements and wills [D1086/L13]; and the second, which dragged on for 10 years from 1819, arose from a very distant relation of the family claiming a share in the Hale estates [D1086/L16]. [For this relationship see Hale pedigree in 'Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society', LXXIV (1955), pp. 199-202]
Several members of both families were solicitors and this is reflected in the collection. Apart from references in general correspondence to legal transactions there are two separate series of solicitors' records. Robert Hale (1726-81) was a partner in the Bristol law firm of Tyndale and Hale, and business accounts and ledgers survive for 1749-78 [D1086/B3-B6]. John Blagden was a partner in another Bristol firm, Morland and Blagden, and similar accounts, with bill books and precedents, exist for the period 1766-85 [D1086/B16-B34]. Other business records include a long series of letters relating to the winding-up of the Bristol Exchange Bank, 1778-1800 [D1086/B12-B14], with some papers on its formation in 1763 [D1086/B10-B11]. Perhaps the most interesting group of documents, however, is the early 18th century series of correspondence of an English cloth merchant in Turkey, which consists largely of letters from out-agents in Asia Minor [D1086/B1-B2]. Unfortunately, although the series appears to be complete, the letters contain less information on the business than one might have wished.
Like all collections of family papers, D1086 contains several odd and interesting documents. These include a manuscript treatise on the contemporary political situation, c.1645 [D1086/F69], Latin prose and verse composition by Winchester schoolboys, c.1737 [D1086/F99], a child's geography exercise book, 1767 [D1086/F107], a squib on an Oxfordshire parliamentary election, 1809 [D1086/F205], some Gloucestershire election squibs, 1811 [D1086/X19], and printed directions for the installation of fire-stoves, 1777 [D1086/Q2]
ArrangementThe collection has been arranged as follows:

D1086/M1 General
D1086/M2-7 Alderley
D1086/M8-9 Hawkesbury: Tresham
D1086/M10-12 Kingswood
D1086/M13 Rangeworthy
D1086/M14-16 Wotton-under-Edge: Wortley
D1086/M17 Nosterfield (Cambs)
D1086/M18 Maxstoke (Warwks)

Title deeds
D1086/T1 General
D1086/T2-15 Alderley
D1086/T16 Berkeley, Cam, etc.
D1086/T17 Cam
D1086/T18 Didmarton and Oldbury-on-Severn
D1086/T19-23 Frampton-on-Severn
D1086/T24-51 Hawkesbury
D1086/T52 Henbury
D1086/T53-68 Kingswood
D1086/T69 Maiseyhampton, Poulton, etc.
D1086/T70 Newington Bagpath
D1086/T71 North Nibley
D1086/T72 Oldbury-on-Severn
D1086/T73 Ozleworth
D1086/T74-75 Rangeworthy
D1086/T76 Little and Old Sodbury
D1086/T77 Stinchcombe
D1086/T78 Uley
D1086/T79 Wickwar
D1086/T80-86 Wotton-under-Edge
D1086/T87 Yate
D1086/T88 Miscellaneous
D1086/T89-108 Out-County

Maps and plans
D1086/P1-3 Alderley, Hawkesbury and Wotton-under-Edge
D1086/P4-6 Hawkesbury
D1086/P7-9 Kingswood
D1086/P10 Uley and Cam
D1086/P11 Wotton-under-Edge
D1086/P12-13 Wiltshire

D1086/E1-19 Surveys and valuations
D1086/E20-31 Rentals and accounts
D1086/E32-81 Leases: Alderley
D1086/E82: Leases: Avening
D1086/E83-85: Leases: Berkeley
D1086/E86: Leases: Bitton
D1086/E87: Leases: Cam
D1086/E88: Leases: Frampton-on-Severn
D1086/E89-121: Leases: Hawkesbury
D1086/E122-132: Leases: Kingswood
D1086/E133: Leases: Long Newnton
D1086/E134: Leases: Nympsfield
D1086/E135: Leases: Stonehouse
D1086/E136-145: Leases: Wotton-under-Edge
D1086/E146-152: Leases: Out-County
D1086/E153-165 Mortgages
D1086/E166-168 Abstracts and memoranda
D1086/E169-173 Sale particulars
D1086/E174-175 Estate correspondence
D1086/E176-178 Estate papers: general
D1086/E179-182: Estate papers: Alderley
D1086/E183: Estate papers: Hawkesbury
D1086/E184: Estate papers: Thornbury
D1086/E185: Estate papers: Uley
D1086/E186-187: Estate papers: Wotton-under-Edge
D1086/E188-191: Estate papers: Out-County
D1086/E192: Miscellaneous

D1086/F1-4 Genealogy
D1086/F5-15 Settlements and Trusts: Hale
D1086/F16-25: Settlements and Trusts: Non-Hale
D1086/F26-66 Testamentary
D1086/F67 Family papers: John Blagden
D1086/F68-73: Family papers: Sir Mathew Hale
D1086/F74-85: Family papers: general, 18th cent
D1086/F86-98: Family papers: Robert Hale
D1086/F99-106: Family papers: Matthew Hale
D1086/F107-108: Family papers: Ann Hale
D1086/F109-144: Family papers: John Blagden Hale
D1086/F145-158: Family papers: Sir Charles Blagden
D1086/F159-160: Family papers: Thos. Blagden, Mary Smart
D1086/F161-177: Family papers: Robert Hale Blagden Hale
D1086/F178-179 Family papers: Lady Theodosia Hale
D1086/F180-186: Family papers: Robert Blagden Hale
D1086/F187-193: Family papers: general, 19th cent.
D1086/F194-198: Family papers: miscellaneous
D1086/F199-207: Family papers: Non-Hale
D1806/F208-223: Family papers: Sherwood and Hedley Branch of Hale family

D1086/L1-6 Poyntz
D1086/L7-8 Barker
D1086/L9-17 Hale
D1086/L18-22 Miscellaneous

D1086/B1-2 Whalley and Nelmes, cloth merchants
D1086/B3-9 Tyndale and Hale, solicitors
D1086/B10-14 Tyndale, Symmer, Worrall and Hale, bankers
D1086/B15 John Blagden, merchant
D1086/B16-35 Morland and Blagden, solicitors

Public Office
D1086/X1-10 Sir Mathew Hale (1609-76)
D1086/X11-12 Matthew Hale (1668-1706)
D1086/X13 Robert Hale
D1086/X14 Gabriel Hale
D1086/X15-16 Matthew Hale (1725-84)
D1086/X17-18 John Blagden Hale
D1086/X19-21 Robert Hale Blagden Hale
D1086/X22-26 Robert Blagden Hale
D1086/X27 Miscellaneous

Parish and Charity
D1086/R1-11 Alderley
D1086/R12-14 Coaley
D1086/R15-17 Hawkesbury
D1086/R18-21 Uley
D1086/R22 Wotton-under-Edge
D1086/R23 Miscellaneous
D1086/R24-28 Charity papers

Printed papers
D1086/Q1-11 General
Admin HistoryAlthough the bulk of the records deposited in this collection are of the Hale family of Alderley, there are also documents relating to another South Gloucestershire family, the Blagdens of Kingswood. The two families were united in 1779 when John, eldest son of John Blagden of Nind, married Anne Hale, the heiress to the Hale estates. John Blagden was at this time already in possession of his family's property in Kingswood and these were united with those of the Hales in Alderley, Hawkesbury, and Wotton-under-Edge on the death of Anne's cousin, Matthew Hale of North Nibley in 1784. In December of that year John Blagden assumed the additional name of Hale
Both families had been long established in their respective localities. The Hales can be traced with certainty to the end of the 16th century in the person of Robert Hale of Wotton-under-Edge, and the Blagdens to John Blagden's ancestor of the same name of Yate Court in the same period; both men coincidentally are described as clothiers. [For a joint pedigree of both families see 'Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society', LXXIV (1955), pp. 199-202. Although supplying information additional to the present pedigree [part of the printed list available in Gloucestershire Archives' searchroom] it also contains several errors. Wherever possible the present version has been checked against manuscripts in the collection and is to be preferred]
The Hale family owned land in Alderley in the 16th century, but did not acquire the manor itself until the next century. A long series of deeds of the manor [D1086/T2] allows its descent to be traced more or less completely. In the early 14th century it was in the hands of John de Chausey, but by 1409 Robert Stanshawe possessed it. This family conveyed it to Robert Poyntz in 1483 and remained with that family until its sale to Matthew Rogers of Bristol in 1616. Subsequently purchased by John Barker in 1636 it was finally conveyed to Sir Mathew Hale by Andrew Barker of Fairford in 1656 in exchange for the manor of Maiseyhampton
Prior to this, about 1600, Robert Hale, Sir Mathew's grandfather, had acquired the manor of Rangeworthy [D1086/T74]. But it was Sir Mathew Hale himself, an eminent figure in legal circles, who substantially founded the family's fortunes and greatly increased its possessions. He purchased the manor of Wortley in 1647, that of Tresham in 1664 and Hillesley in 1674 [D1086/T81, D1086/T44, D1086/T31]. Finally, in the early 18th century the family came into possession of the Cottles estate at Atford in Wiltshire
The Blagdens had likewise held property in Kingswood since the late 16th century, but did not acquire the manor until 1792, when John Blagden Hale purchased it from Daniel Rowles, presumably with the aid of the wealth he had acquired through his wife. Shortly afterwards, in 1800, he purchased the Burden's Court estate in Tresham to add to the family's already extensive possessions in Hawkesbury [D1086/T44]
Custodial HistoryDeposited by the trustees of the late R G Sherwood Hale, 8 April 1954 and 16 February 1965. Accession 14704 given by Ian M Hedley, great grandson of Anne Hale Sherwood, 23 March 2018
Related Material[See also D553; D1128; D2078; P6; P170; P230; P345; P379]
Access ConditionsThese records are open for research
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