fonds DRU - Deeds of the Barlow Family deposited by Mr R. E. Drury

Identity area

Reference code



Deeds of the Barlow Family deposited by Mr R. E. Drury


  • 1558-1907 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.24 cubic metres

12 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 1698-1852)

Biographical history

The Barlow family’s connection to Middlethorpe began in 1698 when Thomas Barlow purchased the manor and estate of Middlethorpe near York from the heirs of Sir Henry Thompson. Thomas had inherited a significant fortune from his uncle, Francis Barlow of Sheffield, in 1690, the result of a successful partnership in the Duke of Norfolk’s iron works. He used his new found wealth to establish himself as a country gentleman. In 1691 he was granted a coat of arms and in 1695 he embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe, bringing European influences to bear on the new house he erected at Middlethorpe between 1699 and 1701. Thomas died in 1713 in France, having only recently embarked on a second Grand Tour with his son, Francis.

Francis Barlow returned to Middlethorpe in 1714, selling off his shares in the Sheffield ironworks and using the proceeds to extend Middlethorpe Hall and augment the family’s Yorkshire estates. In 1718 he purchased the manors of Belthorpe, Ottringham, Bainton and Dringhouses. He served as High Sheriff of Yorkshire 1734-1736 and in c.1745 he married Elizabeth Robinson of Rokeby Park.

Francis Barlow died c.1771 and the estates passed to his second son Samuel Francis Barlow, his eldest son Thomas having been disinherited for his ‘rebellious behaviour.’ Samuel married Mary, daughter of Sir William Thornton of York, and on his death in 1800 the estate passed to their second son John who, together with his wife Frances Bayley, made considerable changes to Middlethorpe Hall.

John Barlow died in 1813 and the estate subsequently passed to his youngest brother Andrew, the last in the line of male Barlows to own the Middlethorpe estate, and then in 1824 to John’s daughter Frances who married first, Reverend Edward Trafford Leigh, and second, Dr Matthew Eason Wilkinson of Manchester.

Frances died without issue in 1852 and her estate was inherited by her second husband. He subsequently married Louisa Letitia Walker and their daughter, the pioneering landscape gardener Frances (Fanny) Eason Wilkinson, was born in 1855. Dr Wilkinson died in 1878 and his widow and children relocated to the family estate at Middlethorpe.

Middlethorpe Hall was eventually sold by the Wilkinson family in 1912.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute on permanent loan by the owner, Mr Drury, in 1957. A further addition was made to the archive in 2014.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Family deeds and papers including wills and marriage settlements, 1689-1858, copies of parish registers and pedigrees, c.1755-c.1834, the bank book of John Barlow, 1805-1813, two receivership bank books and a receivership rental of the trustees of the will of John Barlow, 1824-1847; estate records, comprising title deeds relating to the manor of Middlethorpe and Middlethorpe estates 1558-1814, title deeds relating to the Belthorpe estate, 1580-1728, deeds of conveyance of the manors of Ottringham, Bainton, Belthorpe and Dringhouses, 1675-1718, title deeds and papers relating to crown lands and other property in Middlethorpe, Bishopthorpe and Dringhouses, 1658-1853, papers concerning gift to St Thomas' Hospital, London, arising out of lands in Dringhouses 1879-1890, deeds of conveyance of the tithes of Meltonby and Yapham, 1795-1800, valuation of the tithes of Meltonby and Yapham, 1807, 1812, bonds of John Barlow and Edward Trafford Leigh, 1809-1830; letters and papers concerning the Yorkshire estates of Edward Trafford Leigh and his wife Frances, 1842-1848; copy of report to the wardens of Micklegate Stray concerning Knavesmire and Dringhouses sewage, 1892; papers relating to the York (Micklegate Strays) Bill, 1907; facsimile copy of a pedigree of the Brearey family (formerly De Brearhaugh) of Middlethorpe Manor, covering dates c.1333-1928.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 28.04.15.




Accession area