fonds WOM - The Womersley Collection

Identity area

Reference code



The Womersley Collection


  • 1679-1947 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.24 cubic metres

12 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 1798-)

Biographical history

The Hawke family’s connection to Womersley began in 1798 when Edward, 3rd Baron Hawke, married Frances Anne, daughter and sole heiress of Stanhope Harvey, Esq, of Womersley Park in Yorkshire. From this marriage Edward Hawke inherited both Womersley Park and the additional surname Harvey to become Edward Harvey Hawke.

The 3rd Baron was the grandson of naval officer Edward Hawke, the son of a London barrister who became First Lord of the Admiralty, 1766-1771, and Admiral of the Fleet, 1768-1781. In 1776 he had been created Baron Hawke of Towton in the County of York.

Edward Harvey Hawke died on 29 November 1824 and was succeeded by his eldest son Edward William Harvey Hawke, 4th Baron Hawke. He had only one surviving child, a daughter Frances Cassandra who in 1870 married Lawrence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse. As a result the Womersley estate passed to the Rosse family of Birr Castle whilst the title of Baron Hawke continued to descend through the direct male Hawke line.

In 1930 the Womersley estate consisted of the Hall and Park, 25 farms, 8 smallholdings, 56 cottages and two quarries.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was purchased at auction by the Borthwick Institute in 2005.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Family papers, including personal accounts of Lord Hawke, 1804-1807, two legal bills of Lady Hawke, 1754-1759, and account book of Anne Rosse, late 19th-early 20th century; records relating to Womersley Hall, estate and farm, including plans and schedules, 1700-1913, rental books, also including rentals for Towton estate, Gateforth, and Scathingwell, 1685-1918, accounts, including household purchases, 1778-1781, 1798-1801, house, woods, game, buildings, estate, gardens, hall and Lady Rosse’s accounts, 1893-1919, petty cash accounts, 1886-1893, 1899-1925, brickwork accounts, 1889-1899, records of payments to tradesmen, 1885, records of payments to local businesses, 1945-1947, and servants wage book, 1909-1921; counterfoil letter book, late 19th-early 20th century; records relating to the sale of the estate by auction, including inventories, maps and sale brochure, 1928-1930; records relating to the estate farm, including account books, 1720, 1807-1809, workmen’s accounts, 1775, 1886-1888, stock books (livestock and granary), 1788-1790, 1799-1805, and two pocket books, 18th-19th century; miscellaneous papers, including papers of an unknown London merchant, including list of goods bought and received, store inventory and day book, 1679-1769, personal and estate accounts of unknown authors, 1705-1720, 1772-1773, 1793, 1869, 1905-1908, and a handwritten treatise on the treatment of the poor, late 18th century.


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

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. A PDF of the finding aid can also be found at the top of this page (please click to open).

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further estate and family papers relating to the Harvey Hawke family, 1682-1900, are held at Birr Castle Archives in the Republic of Ireland. West Yorkshire Archive Service also hold estate records pertaining to the Rosse estate (including Womersley Park) between 1887-1910.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name 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

Created by S. A. Shearn, 12.05.15.




Accession area