Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Chaworth-Musters Collection

October 18th, 2010 at 10:10

Mary Ann Chaworth (1786-1832), aged 19, published in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 1904, opp. p 76

Mary Ann Chaworth (1786-1832), aged 19, published in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 1904, opp. p 76

The Chaworths were one of the most prominent landed families in Nottinghamshire. They acquired the manors of Edwalton in the 13th century, Wiverton in the 14th century, and Annesley in the 15th century. The family was joined with the Musters family of Colwick Hall by the marriage of the last Chaworth heiress, Mary Ann Chaworth, to John Musters in 1805.

16 boxes of archival material relating to the Chaworth-Musters family are now available for researchers to consult in the Reading Room at King’s Meadow Campus. The documents have been described in detail on the online catalogue under reference number ChM. Unfortunately, the collection is not a full record of the family and their concerns. It contains virtually no title deeds, and includes very few items from before the joining of the Chaworth and Musters families in 1805. The bulk of the collection dates from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The most remarkable part of the collection is a series of personal and family letters dating back to 1825. More than 500 of the letters were sent home from the trenches of the First World War by six of the seven sons of John P. Chaworth-Musters (in series ChM/C/12 – ChM/C/17). Tragically, three of the sons died in action: Pat in 1915, Phil in 1917 and Bob in 1918. Pat kept a war diary during the early days of the conflict in August and September 1914 (ChM/F/13)

One of the earliest letters is from Sophia Caroline Musters, written on 25 October 1831, in which she describes the sacking of Colwick Hall during the Reform Bill riots  (ChM/C/2/11). Other documents relating to this event feature in our Learning Resource Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle: Riots and Reform.

The Chaworth-Musters collection also contains accounts, correspondence and other papers relating to the running of the family’s estates in the 19th century. The papers include an account book for kennels owned by John Chaworth Musters between 1868 and 1876 (ChM/A/25). He was a noted Master of Hounds, and famously completed a 35-mile run chasing a fox from Radcliffe-on-Trent to Lodge-on-the-Wolds in February 1872.

Another highlight of the collection is a series of three early-19th century travel diaries, written by John George Musters in Italy (ChM/F/1), George Chaworth Musters in Spain (ChM/F/2) and John Chaworth Musters in the Holy Land (ChM/F/4).

Further background material about the family and their records, including biographies of 19th and 20th-century family members, is available in a Family and Estate Resource on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Post a comment

Unauthorised comments will be moderated

Comments are moderated and they are subject to the University's Acceptable Use Policy and may therefore be removed without notice.

No comments for “ The Chaworth-Musters Collection ”