Held AtGloucestershire Archives
Alt Ref NoD1571
TitleSotheron-Estcourt family of Shipton Moyne
DescriptionManorial records of Shipton Moyne 1317-1590; deeds, chiefly of Ashley, Dursley, Lasborough, Long Newnton, Shipton Moyne and Tetbury 1228-1858; estate plans 1775-1922; estate surveys, rentals, leases, accounts, mortgages, correspondence and papers c.1600-1912; family papers 1530-1925, including correspondence, diaries, travel journals and papers of related Sutton family of Devizes (Wilts); estate and household accounts 1711-1944; public office papers, chiefly of Thomas Estcourt MP, T G B Estcourt MP, and T H S Sotheron-Estcourt, but including letters from James Wolfe 1745-1746, naval orders and papers of Admiral F Sotheron 1793-1835 and Captain W G B Estcourt 1819-1845; and military records of General J B Estcourt in Canada, Middle East and Crimea 1824-1855
Anon of Kendal (Westmorland), clothier: accounts 1543-1545
Ashley overseers' accounts 1808-1812; surveyors' accounts 1810-1812
Elizabeth Hodges' Charity, Tetbury: trust deeds and schemes (1723)-1915; minutes 1820-1877; accounts 1791-1839; vouchers 1732-1747, 1835-1846, 1868-1915; correspondence 1730-1869
Long Newnton overseers' memorandum book 1752-1797
Shipton Moyne churchwardens' papers 1818-1865
ArrangementThe records have been arranged as follows:

D1571/M1-2 Arlingham
D1571/M3 Ashley
D1571/M4-11 Dursley
D1571/M12 Long Newnton
D1571/M13-17 Frampton Mansell in Sapperton
D1571/M18-20 Shipton Moyne
D1571/M21 Cricklade (Wilts.)

Title deeds
D1571/T1 Medieval deeds: general
D1571/T2-4 Ashley
D1571/T5 Avening
D1571/T6 Charfield
D1571/T7-8 Cherington
D1571/T9-28 Dursley
D1571/T29 Lasborough
D1571/T30-33 Newington Bagpath
D1571/T34-47 Long Newnton
D1571/T48-50 Nympsfield
D1571/T51-68 Shipton Moyne
D1571/T69 Stroud
D1571/T70-91 Tetbury
D1571/T92-111 Out-County
D1571/T112-113 Miscellaneous (unidentified)

Maps and plans
D1571/P1 Ashley
D1571/P2-6 Long Newnton
D1571/P7-18 Shipton Moyne
D1571/P19 Tetbury
D1571/P20-28 Wiltshire

D1571/E1-25 Surveys
D1571/E26-60 Rentals
D1571/E61-65 Leases: general
D1571/E66-69 Leases: Ashley
D1571/E70-82 Leases: Dursley
D1571/E83 Leases: Hill
D1571/E84-87 Leases: Lasborough
D1571/E88-117 Leases: Long Newnton
D1571/E118-121 Leases: Frampton Mansell in Sapperton
D1571/E122-143 Leases: Shipton Moyne
D1571/E144-146 Leases: Tetbury
D1571/E147 Leases: Westonbirt
D1571/E148-160 Leases: Out-County
D1571/E161-176 Mortgages
D1571/E177-204 Abstracts of title and memoranda
D1571/E205-225 Estate papers: Ashley
D1571/E226 Estate papers: Cherington
D1571/E227-235 Estate papers: Dursley
D1571/E236-248 Estate papers: Lasborough
D1571/E249-250 Estate papers: Newington Bagpath
D1571/E251-302 Estate papers: Long Newnton
D1571/E303-372 Estate papers: Shipton Moyne
D1571/E373-382 Estate papers: Tetbury
D1571/E383-427 Estate papers: Out-County
D1571/E428-452 Estate correspondence
D1571/E453-470 Estate agents' memoranda
D1571/E471-480 Estate drainage
D1571/E481-487 Tithe
D1571/E488-490 Share certificates
D1571/E491-519 Game and Wine books
D1571/E520-522 Printed papers

D1571/F1-5 Genealogical memoranda and pedigrees
D1571/F6-54 Settlements
D1571/F55-101 Testamentary papers
D1571/F102-139 Estcourt family papers: general, 16th-18th cents.
D1571/F140-177 Estcourt family papers: Thomas Estcourt (1748-1818)
D1571/F178-204 Estcourt family papers: Jane Estcourt (1748-1829)
D1571/F205-348 Estcourt family papers: Thomas G.B. Estcourt (1775-1853)
D1571/F349-350 Estcourt family papers: Eleanor Estcourt (1779-1829)
D1571/F351 Estcourt family papers: Edward Estcourt (1750-1802)
D1571/F352-362 Estcourt family papers: Edmund William Estcourt (1782-1856)
D1571/F363-442 Estcourt family papers: Thomas H.S. Sotheron-Estcourt (1801-76)
D1571/F443-449 Estcourt family papers: Lucy Sotheron-Estcourt (d.1870)
D1571/F450-505 Estcourt family papers: James B.B. Estcourt (1802-55)
D1571/F506-507 Estcourt family papers: Eleanor Addington (1805-78)
D1571/F508-552 Estcourt family papers: Walter G.B. Estcourt (1807-45)
D1571/F553 Estcourt family papers: William J.B. Estcourt (1813-84)
D1571/F554-561 Estcourt family papers: Marianne Estcourt (1817-85)
D1571/F562-586 Estcourt family papers: Edward H.B. Estcourt (1818-64)
D1571/F587-591 Estcourt family papers: George T.J. Sotheron-Estcourt (1839-1915)
D1571/F592-600 Estcourt family papers: Thomas E. Estcourt (1881-1958)
D1571/F601-622 Trust papers
D1571/F623-627 Related family papers: Grimston and Bucknall
D1571/F628-670 Related family papers: Sutton and Addington
D1571/F671-725 Related family papers: Sotheron, general
D1571/F726-731 Related family papers: William and Jane Sotheron
D1571/F732-819 Related family papers: Frank Sotheron
D1571/F820-829 Related family papers: Sotheron, estate
D1571/F830-848 Related family papers: Coker
D1571/F849-868 Related family papers: Other

D1571/A1-157 Estate accounts, general
D1571/A158-202 Cash accounts
D1571/A203-216 Miscellaneous accounts
D1571/A217-224 Vouchers
D1571/A225-230 Non-Estcourt accounts

D1571/L1-34 General 16th-19th cents.
D1571/L35-56 Estcourt v. Estcourt, 1758-70

Public Office
D1571/X1-9 Estcourt family, general, 16th-18th cents.
D1571/X10-20 Thomas Estcourt (1748-1818)
D1571/X21-67 Thomas G.B. Estcourt (1775-1853)
D1571/X68-183 Thomas H.S. Sotheron-Estcourt (1801-76)
D1571/X184 Edward D.B. Estcourt (1818-64)
D1571/X185-191 George. T.J. Sotheron-Estcourt (1839-1915)
D1571/X192-196 Persons other than Estcourts

Parish and Charity
D1571/R1 Arlingham
D1571/R2-4 Ashley
D1571/R5-6 Long Newnton
D1571/R7-18 Shipton Moyne
D1571/R19-20 Tetbury
D1571/R21 Out-County
D1571/R22-44 Elizabeth Hodges' charity
D1571/R45-46 Sir Thomas Estcourt's charity
D1571/R47-50 Ann Estcourt's charity
D1571/R51 Elizabeth Nowell's charity
D1571/R52-54 Duchess of Somerset's charity

Printed papers
D1571/Q1-23 General
Admin HistoryAdministrative History
The Estcourt family probably established itself in Shipton Moyne at a very early date, but the first reference to a member of the family occurs in 1303 at which time Walter de la Estcourt held half the fee of the manor of Estcourt. From him the main line of the family can be traced through 11 generations to a namesake, Walter Estcourt, who died in 1726 [see family pedigree given in table A, part of the printed catalogue available in Gloucestershire Archives' searchroom]. On his death the Estcourt estates passed to his cousin Thomas, and thence to Thomas's brother, Edmund. On the death of the latter in 1758 most of the property was bequeathed to a distant relative, Thomas Estcourt, the second son of Matthew Estcourt of Cam. (The exact relationship between the two men has never been clear.) A long legal battle ensued when Edmund Estcourt's wife and daughter claimed the estates dragging on until 1769 when Thomas Estcourt came of age and took over undisputed control of the property [see D1571/L35-56]. Ownership then passed in direct line to his grandson, Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron-Estcourt (d.1876), thence to his brother, Edmund, (d.1894), and then to his son, George. The latter died in 1915 and the estates went to a distant cousin, Edmund Walter Estcourt, who in 1919 made them over to his son, Thomas Edmund (d.1958), whose own son, T.D.G. Sotheron-Estcourt, deposited this collection with the Record Office. [See family pedigree given in table B, part of the printed catalogue available in Gloucestershire Archives' searchroom; see also D1571/F1-5 for genealogical memoranda on the family made in the 19th century.]
During this period of 600 years or so the size of the family estates increased enormously. By 1414 the family had acquired the other half of the Estcourt fee through the marriage of John Estcourt to Alice Beauboys, whose family had held it since Walter de la Estcourt's day. In 1595 the lordship of the manor of Dursley and lands in Dursley and Cam were purchased [D1571/T28]; in 1598 estates in Newington Bagpath and Lasborough, including the manor, were acquired by Thomas Estcourt [D1571/T29]; and in 1609 were added lands in Tetbury formerly belonging to the chantries there [D1571/T80]. The manor and lands in Long Newnton, together with estates in Rollestone and Shrewton (Wilts.) came to Edmund Estcourt of Burton Hill, Malmesbury (Wilts.), in 1704, following the death of his cousin, Ann Estcourt, last surviving child of Giles Estcourt, bart., of Salisbury (Wilts.), who died in 1668 [D1571/F66]. Lands in Ashley, Avening, and Sapperton, including the manor of Frampton Mansell, were bought by another Edmund in 1754 [D1571/T2, T5]. The manors of Shipton Moyne and Dovel and lands in Shipton Moyne were purchased by Thomas Estcourt from Walter Hodges in 1794 [D1571/T59]. Lands at Oxhey (Herts.) came to the family through his marriage to Jane, daughter of Viscount Grimston (D1571/F40, F81), and other property in Bishop's Canning and Devizes (Wilts.) was added following the death of James Sutton, his eldest son's father-in-law, in 1801 [D1571/F637]. Finally, estates in Yorkshire were acquired as a result of the death of Admiral Frank Sotheron in 1839, following the marriage of his only child, Lucy, to Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron-Estcourt in 1830 [D1571/F685, F709]. [Records relating to the Yorkshire estates were transferred to the East Riding Record Office in 1958 and 1961. For a calendar of these see EL250]
Manorial, deeds and estate records:
The collection contains comparatively few manorial documents and these are of little importance, apart from the court rolls. A few exist for Frampton Mansell in Sapperton, 1572-81, 1655-69 [D1571/M13-14]; there is a better series (but with many gaps) for Shipton Moyne, 1317-1603 [D1571/M18-20]; and some stray rolls for the manor of Abingdon Court in Cricklade (Wilts.) [D1571/M21]. None survives for either Dursley or Lasborough and their comparative scarcity for the other manors may perhaps be explained by the fact that they were largely not acquired by the family until the mid or late 18th century
Title deeds for the various properties are better preserved and exist for nearly all those known to have been owned by the Estcourt family. They include a fine collection of medieval deeds, chiefly for lands in Shipton Moyne, the earliest of which is dated 1228 [D1571/T1]. These deeds were collected and indexed by Thomas H.S. Sotheron-Estcourt in the mid 19th century and his original arrangement has been preserved. Another early series of deeds survives for various tenements in Tetbury, c.1300-1462 [D1571/T70-77]
Estate records, apart from leases and memoranda, are sparse before the 18th century, but provide a fairly complete picture from about 1750 onwards. They include a series of estate accounts, changing in form but otherwise complete, beginning in 1769 and extending well into the present century [D1571/A2-132]. The vouchers which might have accompanied them have not survived to the same extent, however, and with the exception of a few bundles for the period 1864-93 [D1571/A217-224] none remains. Nor, unfortunately are there any records relating to the building of Estcourt House in 1781, although there are a few letters concerning designs for the house from William Donn the architect in 1774 [D1571/E356]. A portion of Humphry Repton's "Red Book" of designs for the landscaping of the gardens of New Park, Devizes (Wilts.), the home of James Sutton, in 1794 also survives [D1571/E396]
Family and official records:
Much interesting material is to be found in the personal and official papers of the family. Early members of the family achieved some prominence. Giles Estcourt, who was made a baronet in 1627, was M.P. for Salisbury, and Thomas Estcourt, who died in 1624, was M.P. for Gloucestershire at the time of his death. His father, another Thomas, was a justice of the peace for Radnorshire [D1571/X1] and his nephew, also a Thomas, became sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1662 [D1571/X2-6]
It was the line established by Thos. Estcourt (1748-1818) following his inheritance of the estates in 1759 which produced the most notable members of the family, to whom the bulk of the documents preserved in this collection relates. He himself was M.P. for Cricklade 1790-1807 [D1571/X10-13] and his son and grandson pursued parliamentary careers of even greater importance. Thomas Grimston Estcourt was successively M.P. for Devizes and Oxford University in the years 1805-47 and his activities on various parliamentary committees are reflected in the collection [D1571/X21-39], among other things he was responsible for the introduction of the Vagrants Act of 1824 [D1571/X26] and chaired committees relating to the organization of the Metropolitan Police, 1828-33 [D1571/X30-31]. His son, Thomas Henry Sutton, M.P. successively for Marlborough, Devizes, North Wiltshire, in the period 1827-65, was made Home Secretary in 1859 [D1571/X90], but held the position for only three months. He too, chaired various parliamentary committees and many papers relating to his activities survive [D1571/X68-113]. His nephew, George T.J. Sotheron-Estcourt was M.P. for North Wiltshire, 1874-85 [D1571/X185-188], and was elevated to the peerage as Baron Estcourt in 1903 [D1571/F589]
As might be expected each generation played a prominent role in local affairs. Thomas Estcourt was involved in the formation and running of the Malmesbury troop of the Wiltshire Yeomanry, 1795-1805, and his son and grandson performed the same functions with the Devizes troop, 1800-64 [D1571/X16-20, X168-176]. Thomas Grimston Estcourt was active as a Wiltshire magistrate and in 1827 found himself in the centre of a storm of protest over the harsh sentence meted out to a young servant girl by his bench; the survival of a large amount of his correspondence and papers relating to the case provides an interesting insight into contemporary attitudes to crime and punishment [D1571/X51-59]. The Estcourts also paid great attention to the state of agriculture and the poor in their locality, especially Thomas Estcourt who encouraged innovation and improvements in agriculture and was involved in several pioneering experiments himself [D1571/E265, E347, F157, F205], Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron-Estcourt was chairman of a society for the promotion of flax cultivation in Wiltshire in the 1840s and 1850s [D1571/X149-154]. In a completely different sphere he was also an active governor of Harrow School, 1842-69 [D1571/X121-148]
Nor were the family's exploits confined to their own country. Two of the last-named's younger brothers made their name abroad. James Bucknall Bucknall Estcourt pursued a career in the army, which led him first on an expedition to navigate and survey the River Euphrates, 1834-36 [D1571/F455-465], later to Canada where he subsequently became the British representative on the Commission appointed to survey the U.S.A. - Canada boundary, 1843-45 [D1571/F468-479], and finally on active service in the Crimea where he rose to the rank of Major-General before his death from cholera in 1855. The papers he left and those subsequently collected by his wife provide a vivid account of the Crimean War [D1571/F485-505] and the journals and sketch books of his younger sister, Marianne, who visited him there, provide a valuable adjunct [D1571/F557-560]. His younger brother, Walter, joined the navy, and at the time of his death from an epidemic of fever in 1845 had achieved the rank of Commander. Many of his papers survive and provide an excellent account of his naval career [D1571/F508-552]
In addition to the specific groups of papers the collection is rich in personal correspondence, diaries, and other papers, which, especially for the 19th century, provide an interesting and vivid picture of the family's life.
Papers of related families:
The Estcourts were related to the Addington family, one of whose members was Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, and Prime Minister 1801-4. The collection contains no political papers of his but it does include a large number of personal letters both to and from him, many of which do contain political references [D1571/F144, F215, F220, F247, F525, F650, F654, F664-670]
The collection also contains a quantity of the personal and naval papers of Frank Sotheron (d.1839), a vice-admiral of both the Blue and White squadrons successively, and who was also M.P. for Nottinghamshire [D1571/F732-819]. Documents of the Sotheron family also include a few letters of General James Wolfe [D1571/F715], a relative of the family, chiefly relating to the campaign against the Young Pretender in 1745-46
Desmond Sotheron-Estcourt, the last surviving member of the family, sold the Estcourt estate at the end of 1996 and moved to another county, thus ending a 700 year association between the Estcourt family and the estate
Other documents of note:
Finally, a brief note of some other documents of interest which have found their way into the Estcourt archives. The family appears to have fallen foul of the crown on several occasions for the collection contains 3 royal pardons of 1484, 1604, and 1660 [D1571/T1/24, D1571/F106, F118], the last-named being necessary because of an oath of loyalty to the Commonwealth sworn in 1650, also in the collection [D1571/F116]. From the same period there is a letter from Oliver Cromwell offering a Mr. Hodges a place on the Council for Ireland in 1657 [D1571/X193], and a letter from the Hearth Tax levy Board requesting more stringent efforts in the collection of the imposition, 1663 [D1571/X194]
The collection also includes some early examples of the work of William Henry Fox Talbot, pioneer in photography [D1571/F433], and, by way of a complete change, some accounts of an unknown Westmoreland cloth merchant, 1543-45 [D1571/A225]. Last, and quite possibly least, a forged bank-note of 1807 [D1571/Q8], and an agreement in Arabic for the provision of camels, 1835 [D1571/F457]
Custodial HistoryDeposited by Mr T D G Sotheron-Estcourt, 3 October 1958, 15 October 1960, 4 April 1973 and 20 December 1996
Related Material[See also D200; D3197; D10608 (family papers including a letter from Major General J B B Estcourt at Sebastopol to his aunt, 1854); P29; P229; P291; sale particulars for estate, 1996, SL691]
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