fonds HALIFAX - Hickleton Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Hickleton Papers


  • 1598-2013 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

8.6 cubic metres

483 boxes, 19 rolls, 6 ringbinders and 19 oversize items.

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 1763-)

Biographical history

The Wood family’s connection to Hemsworth, Hickleton and Garrowby originated with the appointment of Henry Wood, the eldest son of Francis Wood of Barnsley, to the rectory of Hemsworth in 1763. Wood purchased Hemsworth manor, settling at Hemsworth Hall and serving as a Justice of the Peace for the West Riding, as well as Vicar of Halifax between 1776 and his death in 1790. He died without issue, leaving his estate to his brother Francis.

Henry’s brother Francis in turn made his fortune as a merchant of the East India Company. He was created 1st Baronet Wood of Barnsley in 1784 and, when he died without issue in 1795, his title and estates passed to the eldest son of Henry and Francis’ third and youngest brother, Charles.

Charles had made his career in the Royal Navy, attaining the rank of Captain. In 1770 he married Caroline Lacon-Barker of Otley; their son Francis Lindley Wood was born in 1771 and inherited his uncle’s baronetcy in 1795, becoming 2nd Baronet Wood.

In 1803 Sir Francis Lindley Wood purchased Garrowby Hall and estate in the East Riding of Yorkshire from Edward Woolley for £23,500. In 1828 he also purchased Hickleton Hall and estate, north of Doncaster, from the Wentworth family.

Sir Francis’ son and heir, Charles, was born in 1800. He was a prominent Liberal political figure in the nineteenth century, serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the government of Lord John Russell from 1846 to 1852 and later as Secretary of State for India and Lord Privy Seal. He inherited the Baronetcy in 1846 as 3rd Baronet Wood and in 1866 he was also created 1st Viscount Halifax of Monk Bretton in the County of York. In 1829 he married Lady Mary Grey, the daughter of Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, a leading Liberal politician and later Prime Minister, and his wife Lady Mary, née Ponsonby, daughter of Baron Ponsonby of Imokilly.

In 1863 Sir Charles and Lady Mary’s daughter, Emily Charlotte Wood, married Hugo Francis Meynell Ingram of Temple Newsam, near Leeds, and at her death without issue in 1904 the Temple Newsam estate passed to her nephew Frederick George Lindley Wood, who subsequently changed his surname to Meynell. In 1876 another daughter, Blanche Edith Wood, married Colonel Henry William Lowry-Corry, son of the 2rd Earl of Belmore.

Charles, Viscount Halifax, died in 1885 and was succeeded by his son Charles Lindley Wood who became 4th Baronet Wood and 2nd Viscount Halifax. The 2nd Viscount served for many years as President of the English Church Union, from 1868 to 1919 and then again from 1927 to 1934, and was keen to being about dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, although without success. In 1869 he married Lady Elizabeth Agnes Courtenay, the only daughter of the 11th earl of Devon.

Their son and heir, Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, married Lady Dorothy Evelyn Augusta Onslow, daughter of the Earl of Onslow, in 1909, succeeding his father as 3rd Viscount Halifax in 1934. He also had a prominent political career, becoming Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary. In 1944 he was created 1st Earl of Halifax. His sister, Mary Agnes Emily Wood, married the Conservative politician George Richard Lane-Fox, 1st Baron Bingley of Bramham, in 1903.

In 1947 the 1st Earl sold the Hickleton house and estate and the Wood family thereafter made Garrowby Hall their principal residence. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood died in 1959 and was succeeded by his son Charles Ingram Courtenay Wood who served as Conservative Member of Parliament for the city of York between 1937 and 1945.

The 2nd Earl died at Garrowby Hall in 1980 and was succeeded by his son, Charles Edward Peter Neil Wood, as 3rd Earl of Halifax, 5th Viscount Halifax of Monk Bretton, and 7th Baronet Wood of Barnsley. The Earl and Countess of Halifax currently reside at Garrowby Hall.

Archival history

In October 1957, the Hickleton Papers and the transcripts were removed to Garrowby where Lord Halifax had prepared a muniment room for them in the house. They were subsequently deposited at the Borthwick Institute.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1980 by Lord Halifax. Further additions were made to the archive in 1982, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Family papers, comprising Grey family papers, 1748-1894; Wood family personal papers, 1716-1998; Courtenay family papers, 1806-1902; Wood family official and professional papers, 1772-1959; records relating to household management, 17th century-1985; family history papers, 1634-1968; diaries, 1792-1956; political journals and memoranda, 1835-1868; and miscellaneous records and personal effects, 19th-20th century.

Estate records, comprising muniments of title, 1598-1913; records concerning Hickleton and West Riding estates, 1769-1971; records concerning Garrowby and East Riding estates, 1769-2000; records concerning Ainsty estate, 1824-1956; records concerning Heslington estate, 1847-1964; records concerning Hatfield Chase, 1793-1824; records concerning Manor of Sheriff Hutton, 1624; records concerning non-Yorkshire estates, 1833-1851.

Uncatalogued material, including the Derby papers, comprising correspondence, photographs and other ephemera of Lady Alice Stanley, née Montagu, Countess of Derby, her father the 7th Duke of Manchester, her husband the 17th Earl of Derby, her brother Lord Charles Montagu, her daughter Lady Victoria Stanley, and other family members, c.1814-c.1890; additional Garrowby estate records, 20th century; additional papers of Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, including letters to Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, and carbon copies of war diaries, 1939-1975; family papers of Richard Frederick Wood, Lord Holderness, including correspondence, diaries, press cuttings, photographs and watercolours, 1907-2011; books from Lord Halifax's library, 1940-2011; diary extract and personal comments by J. G. Lockhart, private secretary to the 1st Earl of Halifax, related to their time in America, 1942-1946; memoirs of Lady Dorothy Wood, 1885-1976, with handwritten annotations; typescript manuscript of 'Uncleby Chapel; A Brief History' by Ruth Beckett, 2013.


Further accruals are 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. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

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
  • French
  • Italian

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. This includes all material received up to and including 2005. Later material has not yet been catalogued, please contact the Institute for more information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Selected records have been transcribed and are available for consultation at the Borthwick Institute. These include a considerable number of family letters arranged in two series; the first being 'general correspondence' (67 boxes) and the second, 'general ecclesiastical correspondence' (11 boxes), as well as the wartime diaries of the 1st Earl of Halifax, dated 1941-1946. Further copies from the series HALIFAX/A4 are available on microfilm (References: MFB 2091-2125).

Microform copies of the papers of the 1st Earl of Halifax, 1922-1957, are available at Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge University. Microform copies of the 1st Earl's papers relating to India, 1925-1931, are available at the National Library of Australia.

Related units of description

Publication note

Andrew Roberts, 'The Holy Fox' - A Biography of Lord Halifax' (London, 1991).

Frederick, Earl of Birkenhead, 'Halifax: the life of Lord Halifax' (London, 1965).

Borthwick Institute Blog, 'Scarlett's Three Hundred': The Charge of the Heavy Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava' (

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

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



  • English



Accession area