University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Bowes' Family Papers 1663-1767

© 2019 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Bowes' Family. Papers




.5 linear feet


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The Bowes’ Family papers consists of 104 letters and other documents from the collection of the Earl of Strathmore of Streatham Castle. They include letters that provide a history of the inner life of the Bowes family from 1663 to 1767; an account of the Parliamentary Election in Berwick-upon-Tweed, including a Petition signed by seven Magistrates of that town inviting Thomas Bowes to stand for the County; documents complaining of the freedom given to the prisoners of the King’s Bench and to the Fleet Prisons; and letters relating to New Castle and Northumberland, the workings of coal mines, losses and profits, threatened strikes, and other topics. The Bowes’ Family Papers were previously known as Manuscript 223, part of Special Collections’ Codex Manuscripts.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Bowes' Family. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

George Bowes (1701-1760) was a Member of Parliament and coal proprietor. The ruler of the Bowes family was originally titled “The Earl of Kinghorne” starting in 1606 (the domain was a peerage of Scotland) but the landowner title became “The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne” in 1677. In addition to the most significant title of “Earl,” minor titles for the landowner included: Viscount Lyon, Lord Glamis, Tannadyce, Sidlaw, and Strathdichtie; Lord Lyon and Glamis; Lord Glamis; and Baron Bowes. Historically, the family’s domain was in Scotland, specifically Glamis Castle, in Angus Scotland. However, Gibside, near Burnopfield, County Durham; and Streatlam Castle, near Barnard Castle in County Durham (England) also housed the family at times in history. Streatlam especially thrived in the 19th century with local coal mining ventures.

Streatlam Castle was the Bowes’ family home since the 14th century, located near the town of Barnard Castle in County Durham, England. It was plundered in 1569 during the Rising of the North, and while George Bowes was rewarded by Queen Elizabeth for his support during the rebellion, the reward did not nearly restore the castle to its former splendor. George’s great-grandson William married into the Blakiston family, inheriting their lucrative coal mines and business. With their money, Streatlem was renovated in 1720. After staying in the family for a couple centuries, it was demolished by the British Army in 1959.The nearby Barnard Castle was added to the estate sometime in the 19th century, becoming the current Bowes Museum through the funding of John Bowes (1811-1885), completed after his death in 1892.

The surname Bowes-Lyon came into existence after John Bowes death in 1885, when the Bowes family estates in England were “re-united” with the Lyon estates in Scotland, in part due to the lack of direct male heirs. The direct male line died out in the 18th century, leaving only female successors who remain in nobility and the royal family today, most famously Queen Elizabeth II.

Scope Note

The Bowes Family papers contain 104 miscellaneous documents, mostly letters, from the Bowes family, dated from 1663-1767. They relate to family business, political affairs, and daily life in the 17th and 18th centuries, including topics such as weddings or gatherings, local encounters with Dragoons, politics, and economic transactions of the family. The letters vary from personal chats and inquiries to more serious formal petitions and requests indicative of the family’s status as landowners and local lords. Most of the materials in this collection appear to be connected to the extended family of William Blackiston Bowes (1691- 1721), son of Sir William Bowes (1657-1707), a British landowner and Member of Parliament.

The Bowes Family papers were previously bound together into a single volume, but they are now mostly separated and foldered individually, although a few remain bound together. The documents, letters, and other papers in this collection concern the history of the Bowes family and the region of Newcastle and Northumberland. The collection includes complete and partial letters, receipts, and other paper material from the family’s personal and professional history, including the Last Will and Testament of Robert Blackiston Bowes, 1767. The collection is arranged in chronological order, with items with unclear dates or no dates at the end.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

Browse finding aids by topic.

The Mendip letters : manuscript, 1730-1817

Subject Headings


Box 1    Folder 1

Letter, “Dear [Cosin Bowes]” - [Tho Robson?] to Hon. James Man, London, February 10, 1663

  • Letter damaged, missing half of page on right side, disintegrated
  • Mentions business, pay, debt
Box 1    Folder 2

Receipt/list of items purchased by Lady Bowes, February 16, 1663

Box 1    Folder 3

Receipt/bill from John [Mowbray?] to Madamm Bowes, September 20, 1668

Box 1    Folder 4

Memorandum, Margeit [Tod?], with [?] of the Bowes of Streatlam Castle for the sum of twenty shillings to [?] her widdow night or thirds while she had paid Margeit [Lod/Tod?], signed by witnesses, April 30, 1677

  • Back partially obscured by repair support strip
Box 1    Folder 5

Articles of Agreement between Ann Watson of Langley-Dale, widow, late wife of Arthur Watson, and Ralph Sedgwick-Sadler of Witton-Gale in County Durham, June 22, 1683

  • That Ralph Sedgwick will pay unto Ann Watson or to her Assigns for and during the time of her natural life the sum of £5 per annum. First payment on June 24, 1683; second on St. Michael’s day of June 1683, third on day of the nativity of our Blessed Savior, fourth on Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin … “and so to continue for her life.”
  • That Ralph Sedgwick will pay Ann Watson the sum of £3 on the 22nd of July next.
  • That Ann Watson will release all claim to Ralph Sedgwick, his heirs, all manner of dower, right and tithe of dower, whatsoever, right to lands, tenements, & Hereditaments whatsoever
  • Signed Hn Bowes, John Chapman, (illegible) Ralph Sedgwick, Coby (illegible), Ann Watson; with official seals
Box 1    Folder 6

Last Will and Testament, February 4, 1689, unsigned

  • Wife, Dorothy, sister Georgina, William Chapter, to Godson, etc.
Box 1    Folder 7

Letter, W. Hutchinson to W. Clayton, April 30, 1690

  • Seeking audience with William Bowes (letter mostly illegible)
Box 1    Folder 8

Letter, James White[?] to William Bowes, Streatlam, from [BPP?] Auckland, March 16, 1692

  • Concerning mutual business, mention of New England[?], well wishes
Box 1    Folder 9

Letter, John Bowes to “Dear Brother,” Streatlam Castle to Newcastle, April 17, 1693

  • Letter damaged, majority of second page and left corner of first page disintegrated
  • Concerned about, sent to get what moneys he could with no effect, look forward to a speedy conclusion to the affair, signed John Bowes
  • Continues, again mentions that he is at his brother’s service, payment, William [Yarker?] willing to pay for ‘scaling’
  • Postscript concerning letter from Sister Anne, William Yarker [willing to stand with Ground at Staunton] and to sign the form where he now is to [fulhbert colpit], seeking work and leading coals
Box 1    Folder 10

Letter, William Hutchinson to William Bowes, Esq, London, from Barnard Castle, 1697

  • Mention of the Dragoons, business in general (approval of plans, etc.)
Box 1    Folder 11

Letter, Joseph Greenwell to William Bowes, Esq., October 23, 1699

  • Mention of a plea by law, business letter, Wm. Ridley
Box 1    Folder 12

Letter, Lyonell Kipling to Tho. Ripton, January 21, 1700

  • Thursday last, William Bowes promised to send some [articles of impoverishment(?)]; make sure they get here, instructions for reception
Box 1    Folder 13

Letter, L. Astrell, to Lady Bowes, July 15, 1700

  • Request for payment for articles purchased from his wife, [two days prior?] [or maybe for her two daughters?]
Box 1    Folder 14

Roll of Prisoners in Durham Goal [jail?] August 6, 1701

  • Names of five men and one woman, crimes, day committed, and judge who sentenced
  • William Bowes listed twice as judge who sentenced
Box 1    Folder 15

Letter, Robert Clark to William Bowes, Esq, New Castle, [date ripped off] 1707

  • Discuss business, advise to continue plowing while the weather remains good; report on when man named Gosling will bring money, hasn’t been reliable
Box 1    Folder 16

Letter, Nic Swainston to Mr. George Shaw, Attorney at Law, Stockton, January 15, 1711

  • Receipt for goods purchased, options for paying (others are paying certain amounts)
Box 1    Folder 17

Letter, Richard Lee to William Cotesworth, Gateshead, December 18, 1711

  • Well wishes; “[??] is not yet appointed yet”
Box 1    Folder 18

Letter [??] to William [Cowgworth?] about Lady Bowes, visiting soon, December 24, 1711

Box 1    Folder 19

Letter, [illegible initials] to Lady Bowes, New Castle, March 31, 1712

  • “my wife and daughters are very much at your service”
Box 1    Folder 20

Letter, Simon Washington to John Bowes, from Gatshead [Gabshead?], April 2, 1712

  • Writing on behalf of his master, too ill to write himself; relays information of building going on schedule, had told her Ladyship this already
  • Discusses further the wishes of the lady and the build (name not mentioned); for his master, W. Colesworth
Box 1    Folder 21

Two Letters, attached. First from Stephenson, April [3rd?], 1712 to Lady Bowes, the second W. Colesworth to Lady Bowes, April 22, 1712

  • Letter 1 - report he had gone into town (Hobern?), could not get (?); cannot remove “Rubage[sic]” without giving thirty days, Mr. Govlen’s advice; Mr. Govlen will take measurements tomorrow
  • Letter 2 - “but when matters do not go as we wish, we are all of us opt to be out of humour[sic] without best friends…”
  • Discusses men in town, affidavits signed and sent by post
  • Mrs. Bonnett is married this morning – 66 years of age
Box 1    Folder 22

Letter, John Bowes to Lady Bowes, Durham, April 10, 1712

  • Had their ‘matter’ debated today (list of opponents/proponents); general, personal news
Box 1    Folder 23

Letter, Mr. Ward(?) to Lady Bowes, from West Auckland, May 3, 1712

  • Had their ‘matter’ debated today (list of opponents/proponents); general, personal news
Box 1    Folder 24

Letter, George Wright(?) to Mr. Shaw, Attorney in Law, May 6, 1712

  • Will pay the remaining $5 tomorrow; asks about a note made to Lady Bowes for a (debt?); Lady Bowes made her purchase out of her mortgage
Box 1    Folder 25

Letter, (signature illegible) to Lady Bowes, May 22, 1712

  • Refers to an injunction; businesses, debts paid/owed
Box 1    Folder 26

Letter, Antho Leaton to Lady Bowes, July 11, 1714

  • Enclosed is a copy of the [vien?] made at Gibside Colliery the 2nd, 1714; would have brought it down himself but was prevented by being obliged to go another way but shall wait on her and Mr. Bowes tomorrow to explain the [pien? Vien?] and let you know what order he has to work “maine coale”
Box 1    Folder 27

Two Letters, attached. Samuel Burton to Lady Bowes, February 25, 1717 & March 13, 1717

  • Letter 1 - sending the enclosed by command of the Ladies, spoke to Mr. Bowes yesterday, pleased with the sale of the wood, will labor as much as possible get the rest done, bills taken care of
  • Letter 2 - has acquired bills payable in 3 days, requests Lady Bowes’ assistance, asks about viewing an estate
Box 1    Folder 28

Letter, Dan Wilson, John Henrik(?), W. Patham(?), Henry Marsons to Hon. John Bowes, June 2, 1720(26?)

  • Note attesting to the good character of [Antho Keynalison??] and on his behalf, signed
Box 1    Folder 29

Letter, John Lodge? To William Blackiston Bowes, Oct 5, 1720

  • Concerns business - paid money for him, giving instructions (may request or order it)
Box 1    Folder 30

Three letters, all sent to Samuel Burton. First to Thomas Bowes, esq.; second to Mr. Burton, from John Johnson, Sam Stanton, William Armorer, John Greiver, Will Jeffreys; [unclear if date corresponds to first or second letter, 27th, [Doth?] 1721]; third lacking recipient's name, from John Johnson, William Armorer, John Wilson, John Greiver, Robert Macklan, Will Jeffreys, January 17, 1721

  • Letter 1 - absence has been noted, much appoint someone to head company, or they will appoint for him. If there is no appointment, delay may lead to bad consequences; do not have ill designs; wish trip to London will have the desired effect
  • Letter 2 - forwarded Mr. Bowes notice, expressed consequences of delay; they are not destitute without Mr. Bowes, have generous capital themselves; ask to forward information to Mr. Bowes
  • Letter 3 - states the other side is a copy of letter sent to Mr. Bowes; if he declines to stand with them, may harm(?); appearing among their friends in London without Mr. Bowes disinterests them
Box 1    Folder 31

Letters, Antho Leaton to William Black Bowes, Esq., May 19, 1721; and J. Mills to William Black Bowes, Esq., May 21, 1721

  • Letter 1 - met with Mr. Ord, settled Mr. Smith’s affairs, Mr. Ord must speak to Mr. Baker, hasn’t heard from him, will hear from him any day now; Mr. Ord advises not to sell anything that hasn’t been given out to be sold
  • Letter 2 - reports he has bills from several proprietors on behalf of Mr. Bowes; can’t promise more profit from the process, already going in a speedy manner; Mr. Leaton has now fully completed the bridge
Box 1    Folder 32

Letter, [M. Lodge? (very faded)] to William Blackiston Bowes, Esq., May 26, 1721

  • Received instructions in last post, mention of Americans, court; time now is precious; will attend in the morning (if you like) to consult about these matters; will notify Mr. Johnson; something about a submission in court? [much more, difficult to read]
Box 1    Folder 33

Letters, G. Dawson to William Blackiston Bowes, Esq., June 10, 1721; [Henry? Harold?] Hopper to William Blackiston Bowes, Esq., June 18, 1721

  • Letter 1 - “Please expect another letter this post with accounts included; fear there much be an additional expense due to a mistake he made, charged incorrectly due to misplaced receipts; has now set his accounts rights”
  • Letter 2 - “last post, got a bill for [Fawdon-field?] and an order about it as well; believes the pretense of the bill in this manner a way to delay the proceedings; heard a camp formed that all payments should be directed towards payment for the debts, approved of by the Court for this purpose; heard rumor that WB will be struck from the Board due to riots/outrages rumored/connected with him, allegedly by pulling up the wagon and blowing up the bridge; advises him to write to friends in London to prevent it”
Box 1    Folder 34

Letter, William [Mills?] to William Black Bowes, Esq., June 29, 1721

  • Notice for money due (50£); injunction, general receiver, terms thrown around in this – debt discharged also discussed; paid Mr. Harding the following sums (list)
Box 1    Folder 35

Letter, William Mills to William Black Bowes, Esq., July 4, 1721

  • Introduction of another man who wants to be involved; money matters
Box 1    Folder 36

Letter, William Armorer to Samuel Burton, July 26, 1721

  • Received a letter from his brother, heard Mr. [Browill?] cannot pay his bill until next week, which is an inconvenience; had to advance money to others, asks he remit the bill as soon as possible; if you can’t remit, pay his brother and he will forward it; ask Mr. Bowes to write the Earl of [Carlisle?] about the Governor in Holy Island & Berwick
Box 1    Folder 37

Three letters: Samuel Burton to William Armorer (also addressed to SB?), August 1, 1721 [copy]; Hen Holms to George Bowes, October 15, 1722; Hen Holms to George Bowes, November 13, 1722

  • Letter 1 - “Mr. Bromell told him he had a bill today, make money scarce; haven’t talked to Mr. Bowes in a while, shall see him at New Castle, at which time “I shall move about the Indigent Burgesses””
  • Letter 2 - received his letter, honored in receiving a second visit; fear that he not come, Mr. [Dr.?] Baker wanted him to write to say the lease is all taken care of, will soon receive an account with the particulars; if delayed/or prevented from coming, will send the (degree?) by post
  • Letter 3 - hoped he returned safely, Mr. Beder has written out accounts as they stood with the Colleges at his eldest brother’s death and death of brother Thomas; too many papers for the post; bills enclosed; asked for the [Frontiniac?] promised him
Box 1    Folder 38

Letter, William Armorer & John Greiver to Mr. Burton, October 23, 1721

  • Have several offers this post, as waiting for see if Capt. Bowes will be one; need an answer quickly as delays can be dangerous; postscript again saying they would be honored to give an offer to Capt Bowes
Box 1    Folder 39

Letter, S. B. to Wm. Archbould[?], from Gibside, November 23, 1721

  • Regrets Mr. Bowes’ ill health that prevents him from traveling; Captain is young and there may be a re-election; his business ties him down and he is unable to visit or be absent for 3-4 days; Company wishes for the returns of Mr. Bowes
Box 1    Folder 40

Letter, George Watson, William Armorer, William Jeffreys to ‘Sir,’ February 4, 1722

  • Heard an express wad dispatched last night; speak of a Mr. Gray, may or not be in opposition with ‘Sir,’ suggest that he send a dispatch as well to the Lord of Durham to make his intentions known
Box 1    Folder 41

Letter, [J. Doms??] to George Bowes, February 6, 1722

  • Rent? Have the warrants of Mr. Hesslson? Send his savings to his Lady?
Box 1    Folder 42

Letter, Henry (Hum?), Rob Hodgson, to Henry Gray, Esq, Member of Parliament, March 23, 1722/23 (as written)

  • Congratulations on being a sitting member of parliament; reference the Country and corporation; Mr. Bowes interested if there were a vacancy, in an emergency, if needed
Box 1    Folder 43

Letter, William Armorer and Will Jeffreys to George Bowes, Esq., December 17, 1722

  • Request an answer on this affair (unelaborated), sorry to trouble him again so frequently; suggest involvement of brother, or for brother’s sake?
Box 1    Folder 44

Letter, Mr. Maynard to Georg Bowes, [Dec?] 27, 1722

  • Just wrote to [Yorks?] about the [Ronowall of Leavington?]; new commission to be set up, speaking of a lease which will be advantageous; shall be ready to wait upon you there (not sure where); will be able to send all things and lodge them safely; can also sell, someone to organize things
Box 1    Folder 45

Letter, Ande Kennedy to the Honorable, Noble, ?? [Edgar?], __ 28, 1722

  • Has bills that he will discharge this week, asks his worship for “one order one any [parson?]” for the balance of the note; now coming into Scotland, timber?
Box 1    Folder 46

Letter, Edward Ord to Rich Ridley, Mar 4, 1723

  • Concerning Barrick election (reinforce tape slightly covers notes on back side)
  • Can see that friends support Mr. Bowes; some friends are under some obligations to someone in the Country, will reconvene
Box 1    Folder 47

Letter, Matthew Ord to (uncle) Edward Ord, May 3, 1723

  • Proud to follow his influence, gentlemen named well deserving of a seat in Parliament; “and at your request will not want my suffrage”
Box 1    Folder 48

Letter, Antho Leaton to George Bowes, May 5, 1723

  • Waited on Mayor Nicholls and Mr. Maynard, who went forward to Berswick after dinner; does not have great hopes for their success, hope I am mistaken, shall leave the affair to the ‘mersenary men?;’ “as to the Colliery affairs, they go to the best advantage and your vend is better than any of your neighbors; the men have a great many enemies, the waggons goe 3 times every day so that your honor leads and sells about 400 worth of Coales weekly. You may depend upon the best of my abilities for your interest in the Coale made…. For their advantage some alterations must be made …”
Box 1    Folder 49

Letter, George Bowes to Mr. Maynard, May 24th, 1723

  • Concerned Mr. Bowes’ character will be harmed by MM not letting the public see him; town of New Castle or Mr. Bowes’ enemies will take hold of this; they know where you are, surprised you won’t do more to assuage prejudice against Mr. Bowes
Box 1    Folder 50

Letter, Matthew Ord to Edward Ord, June 21, 1723

  • Mr. Henry Gray and Mr. Compton are opposing everything in which Mr. Bowes expresses interest “with the utmost severity”
  • List of others opposing him; will still give him my support; refers to debts/debtors as a factor
Box 1    Folder 51

Letter, Robert Hodgson to (? Bowes) unlisted, June 24, 1723

  • Did himself a favor by wintering with Cousin Bowes; “…hint to him of your procedure of your adversary to some of your friends, since which I understand there is a new scheme…”
  • Shall not write what he means to say, will endeavor to meet with him
Box 1    Folder 52

Letter, Edward Ord to Mr. Thomas Maynard, June 29, 1723

  • Wonder to have seen him, is now relaxing/smoking a pipe; [Mr. Reay?] comes home soon, grief almost over; enclosed the paper sent him and two letters; have not promised to wait on Mr. Bowes
Box 1    Folder 53

Letter, Edward [Hamilton?] to George Bowes, July [1? 5?], 1723

  • The (bursar?) is the son of Mr. Cunningham; Mr. Blackeston, curate, used all his influence for you
Box 1    Folder 54

Letter, John Greiver to Mr. Thomas Maynard, Berwick, August 14th, 1723

  • Ask to interfere with Mr. Bowes into clearing from his account the current debt; Mr. Jeffrey has copy of the account and the amount paid; in need of the money, will suffer if not paid
Box 1    Folder 55

Letter, Mr. William Jeffrey to Samuel Burton, October 13, 1723

  • Business that also concerns Mr. Maynard, Bowers, and Mr. Armorer, exchange of money for lodging
Box 1    Folder 56

Letter, John Wilson to George Bowes, October 27, 1723

  • Arrived after he left, sorry to have missed him; beg a favor to note that he paid the 22
Box 1    Folder 57

Letter, J. Bowes to Mr. Tho Maynard, at Mr. [Fullies?], New Castle upon Tyne, from London, January 30, 1724-5

  • Enclosed a Bill the [lawyer men?] are bringing to the House of Commons; may show it to others to hear their remarks, do not say he sent it, or share his opinion of it, “least our Enemies report it to return some & so make those Gentlemen our Enemies for I am afraid some of the rash sayings have already been told them…”
Box 1    Folder 58

Letters, Antho Leaton to George Bowes, May 3, 1724; Weaton to George Bowes, April 29, 1725

  • Letter 1 - news from Mr. Dawson, Mr. Maynard being gone, that Mr. Montagues people had been to tender him 300£ rent for ½ year as per their agreement and had been refused; was then ordered to pay money owed of 700£; had a harsh word at Matt Handcocks Colliery, running away with the best of the coal; proposition of selling 10 grams pit; refer everything else to Mr. Maynard
  • Letter 2 - went with Mr. Gibson to see the coals, shipping; debate over whether or not they were ‘Hutton’ (they were not); will observe all directions, will go to purchase more tomorrow
Box 1    Folder 59

Letter, Gilbert Dawson (?) to ‘Dear Sir,’ (no address), January 7, 1726

  • Visited by the ‘Received(?)’ who asked for years rent, would have paid it if he had money; other man seemed uneasy that he did not pay, said it should have been paid in the country when he was left down. Requests that the bill be sent and Mr. Gumbleton’s remainder, with haste. Suggests he be given a sum of money to ‘lie in his hands’ for occasions such as this
Box 1    Folder 60

Letter, Mr. Maynard to Mr. Anthony Leaton, April 21, 1726

  • If Mr. Bowes pleases to send for what money can be afforded at (?) he shall do all in his power to raise (yr? answers?). Must pay Capt Milland today, Mr. Bowes orders shall be observed
Box 1    Folder 61

Letter, Elizabeth Emmerson to “Sir,” May 27, 1726

  • Discussing the lease; ‘you sir’ remember the damage he has to pay by the lease; still have not made up the gates or done up the hedges; “all the favour I beg is that you would give Orders to gett[sic] it done for I’m satisfied you don’t desire the ruin of those poor men that suffers by the carelessness of your Servants for if things were done in a regular manner I should be freed from Great Uneaysness[sic] and you Sir from the trouble the reading this will give granting this request will Sir very much Oblige her who is your Humble servant…”
Box 1    Folder 62

Letters, George Allan to Thomas Maynard, ‘ultimo’ May 1726; Thomas Willmott to George Bowes, May 26, 1726; Maynard to George Bowes, (January?) 1726

  • Letter 1 - mentions Bowes, speaks of a trouble and of receiving news; he is ‘under Article?’ [difficult to read]
  • Letter 2 - last time we were together with Mr. Gibson, you (Bowes) promised to those who are your friends small vends(?) and recommendations for ships; would oblige him with what he could, both by vending his coals and persuading Masters they are concerned with and others to load his coals; “our vend last year, I think, was very considerable being 4297Char: & several Masters at my request loaded your coals wch otherwise had not;” Mr. Gibson can attest how serviceable he (Willmott) has been; asks that he give them what he thinks those services deserve, with respect
  • Letter 3 - enclosed something; hope …? This morning; … any commands & they will be readily obliged [difficult to read]
Box 1    Folder 63

Letters (3), William Reed to George Bowes, June 17, 1726; Antho Leaton to George Bowes, May 26, 1727; Borrower’s Note from Roger Gillory and William Gillory, signed by Antho Leaton and Sam Anderson, July 18, 1727

  • Letter 1 - Mr. Leaton is before him with orders to pay the bearer £200 according to Bowes’ command; distrusts William Hall, believes he goes against agreements (example of this); suggests they delay the transaction (?), deal in London; he did not want to be used by us as we have been used for his means; can supply a deal well if he is favored with his commands
  • Letter 2 - let his master know that the wagon way to Beckley will be closed, the bridge unfinished; the great rains have slowed the work men yesterday and today; five or six dry days will finish the bridge; as per the current schedule should have the bridge ready to make way for all mills by next week; shall make room for more wagons; loaded a ship for Mr. Selby; Mr. Simpson and Selby both said they were promised ½ of the coals; Mr. Atkinson says he wants to have a share; let him know how the coals are to be vended, what quantity or proportion each hitter is to have;
  • “and the women was all in Armes[sic] yesterday with clubs and [rufly?] swords and swore if any Baylifs[sic] came to take any of their husbands they wd fight death before any of them was taken a way.”
  • It is resolved to send bailiffs well armed and to take out the ringleaders and to carry them directly to Durham Gaole; and that being done and the wagon ways finished to Beckley, will (he hopes) put an end to their stopping any more work for the year..
  • Letter 3 - borrowed and received of Thomas Hall the summe of twenty pounds, the sum they promise to pay back in said Thomas Hall on order on the eighteenth day of July one thousand seven hundred and twenty eight as witness our hands, Leaton and Anderson, signed Gillory and Gillory
Box 1    Folder 64

Letter, S. S. Serverland (??) to George Bowes, June 16, 1726

  • Please order to payment of the balance of my account; it relates to your partnership with Mr. Cunningham; which has been void these six months past; can’t possibly settle affairs with him; the merchants are paid, so relay the money or give an order to Mr. Gibson to whom he is indebted; would not trouble him with a letter were it not such a hindrance to him
Box 1    Folder 65

Letter, Rob Clark to William Bowes, July 7, 1726

  • Received your letter, must have misunderstood his last letter; damage is about £30 worse, which is far more than he suspects; they say they can make good by sufficient proof by those men or their servants; I shall do what you support, they have put you upon taking your administration for their advantage; I find they are cunning fellows; other business, extra costs on some products, shall pressure buyers to pay
Box 1    Folder 66

Letter, Mr. Hall to George Bowes, May 7, 1727

  • “Herewith you have an abstract of the [Steeth(?)] bill for one week, ending the 17 Inst., by which you find your vend considerable, but not without great complaints from [Masters & friends(?)]. The Shipps[sic] were all finished yesterday, and we have now upon your [Steath(?)] at [Reddhugh?] about 40 weeks of Coales;” very little wrought since “the Stick,” the mountain pitt got to work (list of progress of various pitts); have not yet begun to Lead from North Banks, on account of there not being enough coal to lead; enclosed promissory note, bill to be paid in 40 days
  • Attached sheet detailing totals, coals led, amounts mined, coals vended, to who, how much, etc.
Box 1    Folder 67

Letter, [Mich. Brabin?] to William Blackiston Bowes, May 13, 1727

  • Ripped bottom left corner, text obscured/missing
  • Discusses the purchase of plates, put down 5 guineas for one, 3 for another; postscript illegible
Box 1    Folder 68

Letter, Antho Leaton to “Honorable Sir,” (no address/name), May 21, 1727

  • Have had much difficulty since you left Gibside, the “[pitt vien/men?]” has been “sleeking,” they believe, from the [puuragements] at the hands of other parties offering great wages for working with the wagon way; the [pitt vien/men?] have mostly agreed to work, are at work now; For Hallowsday and (Horferace?) coming on have small work; coal near (name of a town?) and keep the bridge low and dispense of the timber; the colliery agents and yourself all agreed to my method, and we are not unanimously proceeding with all vigor; will lead Beckley coal in 3 weeks’ time; we shall have now want of good coal to supply the trade the remainder of the year; (lists coal pits opened last year by them, system of wagon ways established with them); have inspected all of them grounds and the finds; (reached an agreement with several gentlemen?); have stopped the water level, which is against Barnes’ opinion and his; but the Conll will have his own way now; we will be able to lead from the Broome pill, maybe it is better not to lead all together and then vended as agreed separate by themselves
Box 1    Folder 69

Letter, Thomas Colpitts to George Bowes, June 10, 1727

  • Richard is now arrived with the [gelding?] which he cast his rider by …? ; for the better mist of the bridge … ; [rider tumbled off the horse on the bridge, a ship was there?? Or involved?] The horse did not fall; horse ran about a mile before they could get to him; was no worse for wear; a mare as well; Rich thinks Stockton will be a fine place to run both horses; another horse was sick, had an illness upon him, affected the shoes, swelled up, is now back out, hope it is all well; Mr. Lodge ordered him to buy a cow for a while Bull; Mr. Lodge made his will and have his funeral (of/all ordering?)
Box 1    Folder 70

Letter, Mr. Hall to George Bowes, June 13, 1727

  • Enclosed an abstract of the [Staith?] bill, the accounts of what coals were sending at the same time; have had fine weather since Friday for Leading, have made good dispatch, there are ships in yet will take the most part of the week to finish; next Thursday shall begin to Lead from Beckley; also at Broom; this week expect an abstract of [Staith??] bill all together; Mr. Leaton has promised to set on two more, cannot get drivers; [something about unmarried ladies fulfilling some task?]
  • Attached sheet detailing totals, coals led, vended, etc.
Box 1    Folder 71

Letters (2) - E. Chalones to “Dear Bro,” June 20, 1727; “To the Lady Bowes” from A. Chalones, Saturday morning ten a clock

  • Letter 1 – [on back cover] “an original letter from Mr. Chalones” [addressed to] George Bowes, Esq, Holborn, London; concerning mutual business, upcoming season, the house
  • Letter 2 - begs for her to visit, he is very ill, if she cannot visit, send Aunt; could call the Doctor, doesn’t have a high opinion about him; no one has been sent to see him; is there a servant to spare? Will have diamonds for her by then in a box from brother; gives permission to buy more horses if needed
Box 1    Folder 72

Memorandum between Gideon Dent and Anthony Tully [Fully?], March 19, 1728

  • Right edge damaged, text missing
  • “Upon there is a ship building upon the docks at … [?]”; Gideon Dent designed and constructed[?]; Tully promised and obliged himself to said Gideon Dent of 16th part of [illegible]; provide 2 thirds of the said and obliged money… [??]
  • Signed Gideon Dent, witnesses Clement Knaggs and Matthew Dawson
  • [Backside] memorandum is agreed before signing; in case the within mentioned John Gibson is not willing or desirous to have the [thirtieth part of?] … to the Covenant… shall be void and Anthony Tully will not be answerable for the same witness my hand this day and year has within written, signed Gideon Dent, witnessed Clement Knaggs and Matthew Dawson
Box 1    Folder 73

No. 12, Ch Account of Coales Led to Rodhough Staith from Savorall Collieries and Dohuoroo[?] on account of George Bowes Esq., from the 22nd of May to & with the 20th

  • Account sheet for various pitts (Cawsay, Beckley, Fanford, etc.); vending to various individuals; list of bills to pay
  • [backside] No. Banks Staith Bill from the 22nd May to the 29, 1728
Box 1    Folder 74

Letters (2), Mr. Lodge to George Bowes, July 4, 1728; Mr. Hall to ‘Sir,’ July 7, 1728

  • Letter 1 - per the commands has dispatched the enclosed assignment; [hard to read, many abbreviations] payment of a sum of £1200; bills should be paid by next week; please pay [??] bills, will be good for business; working with his satisfaction in mind; no visitors, expecting an inquiry this day; mention of [Tyths;] shall wait for his answer before acting
  • Letter 2 - received your letter by Capt. Gumbleton with the bills for nine hundred pounds, did follow directions by sending Mr. Oneal the [--??]; nothing new in Gibside, no ships
Box 1    Folder 75

For the Purchase of Whickham Manor, at 21000 (£?), June 4, 1737

  • “It was agreed by Mr. Wordley and Mr. Bowes to give Sir H. Liddell 7000 each for the purchase of two thirds of Wickham manor…”
  • Also entitled to 2/3 of the profits, etc.
Box 1    Folder 76

Letter, J. Bowes to “O’Neal” at [illegible] Burlington Garden, London, from Dedington, April 25, 1738[?]

  • Regrets that O’Neal interpreted proposal in a different way than intended; discusses the coal production on his property; will return to his office in Town in the Spring, one reference to Parliament [difficult to transcribe]
Box 1    Folder 77

Court Document for Joseph Clark, from Sheriff’s Court, 19 [novbr?] 1739

Box 1    Folder 78

List of Tenants, Teaching contract?, June 3, 1745; Letter from Hannah West to Lady Bowes, February 17, 1717[27?]

  • Letter 1 - “Taught since last presentment upon the School’s Foundation at Marley-Hill;” list of tenants, [collagers & others]
  • [backside] nearly illegible list, numbers and figures
  • Letter 2 - has written in her husband’s name before, now writes in her own name for this small matter; mentions the bridge and the horses, wants to acquaint her lady with the labor they have done; “whatt was in the ‘book…” “…I am ashamed to trouble your ladyship with so many notes butt will not give a way my children’s [bread??]…”
Box 1    Folder 79

Letter, J. Bowes to “Sir,” William[?] Pollard, at his house, Thornhill near Wakefield, Yorkshire, from Muswell Hill, September 14, 1745

  • “Please on the twenty fourth day of December next to pay to George Bowes Esquire on Order the Sume of Ten pounds for value received; which Sume when paid is in full discharge of half a years annuity due to Judith Bowes out of Lands in Elland, of which you will be advised as witness our hands.”
Box 1    Folder 80

Last Will and Testament of Robert Blackiston Bowes, 1767 [copy]

  • “I, Robert Blackiston Bowes, late of Bradley Hall but now of Winston in the [Co] of Durham, Esq. do make & publish this my last Will & Testament in manner (that is to say) I do hereby charge & make chargeable all & singular my [messages?], Lands Tenants and [Hired?] of what nature & Tenure and [whosoever?] the same may be with the payment of my just debt, due & owing until Henry Thorpe Esq. and to the Exec. Trustee of [Ralph?] Clement succeed and I do hereby order will & direct that the Rents upon & Profits thereof & the money which can be raised by the sale of woods thereupon growing shall be had & applied towards the speedy discharging and paying off the same & I do hereby empower & authorize my Executive hereinafter named to fill & sell & [staspise?] of all such part of the said Woods as shall be growing on my Estates at the time of my death or which shall be thereafter growing renewing or planted thereon …”
  • Further instructions for discharging debt, various gentlemen around town who should lead in this endeavor; provision for son Thomas Bowes, description of rules for inheritance when there are many sons; what funds should be used for; provision for his ‘dear wife;’ revoke any previous wills made by him; wife nominated as sole executor
  • “Signed Sealed published & declared by the said Testers Robert Blackiston Bowes Esq. & for his last Will & Testament contained in 6 sheets of paper affixed together at the top with his seal in the presence of us who in his presence at his request & in the presence of each other have hereunto set our hands as Withupes, Robert Winsely, Johnathan Blackestraw, George Robinson, the whole, William Hutchinson.”
  • “This Will was proved on the 2nd May 1767 by Ann Bowes [wo?] the [reluit?] of the Testor of the Sale Exhin therein named to whom was granted she having been first duly sworn will and faithfully to execute & perform the same as usual. Signed, John Burrell Dept. Register"
Box 1    Folder 81

Letter, Joseph Maffie to William Bowes, “Honerred[sic] Sir,” no date

  • “Honerred Sir, [?] my humble servis presented to you. I can assuer you to my own knowledg that Mr. Malot dous in dever to Lesson your Honerrable Repietaion. I have heard him say Sir William is as Selfe ended a [man?] as any Man in the Kingdom and that you in dever to bring His tithes down and when hee goes to Cambrig hee will see if hee can bring yours up I have heard him repreasent your wourship at his own table Be the [?] of a low chourch Man witness my hand, Joseph Maffie”
Box 1    Folder 82

Letter, G.B. to “Dear Sir,” William Bowes, a member of Parliament, To be left at Will’s Coffee-house in Fuller’s Rents near Holborn, London, from Durham, February [illegible]

  • Gives advice over business W. Bowes is conducting, particularly purchase of a gold cup & silver plates
  • Mentions a friend entertaining his tenants; upcoming Court of Pleas; Mr. Watson hasn’t been seen for some time; plans to pay a visit to Sister Bowes soon (guilty, delayed recently by weather and business)
Box 1    Folder 83

Letter from [H--tt? = Hon? Hn?] Bowes to [missing], date illegible

  • Letter damaged, missing a third of the page, disintegrated
  • Concerns the purchase of an estate, name ‘Underwood,’ postscript “‘George----’ my hopeful namesake, [esq?] Pretty Housekeeper”
Box 1    Folder 84

Letter, [signature illegible] to George Bowes, Esq, undated

  • [Mostly illegible] - discusses business, Mr. Wright to whom [?] was purchased, etc.; “substantial monuments of Charity”
  • Back page covered with numbers, calculations?
Box 1    Folder 85

Letter, [Cubh. Halls?] to [blank], from Durham, [Castle?] 17 February 17

  • Concerning an endeavor to repair Wolfingham Bridge, taken down by flood; inquiry into the health/potential death of one gentlemen involved, author sent by Board at the County[?]
Box 1    Folder 86

Statement of Grievances concerning treatment of Prisoners at Kings Bench and Fleet Prisons, undated

  • Statement of grievances concerning the ‘Liberty, Ease, and Favour that the Prisoners ... have of case had”
  • Offer of three remedies for these grievances; remedies only part of the whole grievances with the prisoners; refers to ‘Grapes’ allowed?; suggests that changes begin with the wardens/guards of King's Bench and Fleet
  • Offer of five ways to redress the actions of officers at the prisons/rules/restrictions on prisoners
  • [Back] “Some proposals for preventing future [?] the King’s Bench & Fleet Prisons”
Box 1    Folder 87

Repair of Wolsingham Bridge, undated

  • First paragraph in Latin?
  • Confirmation of the maintenance of the repair of the bridge; signed by witnesses
Box 1    Folder 88

Letter, Bridget Seymour to Lady Bowes, undated

  • Under direction of Mr. Bowes, purchased silk and velvet for petticoats and a hood, could not get them ready made as they were more expensive/less quality; receipt for purchases listed
Box 1    Folder 89

Note, orders to remove [?] from the Sessions to the Goole[?], delivery by [sertionari?] forthwith & the will be a Retornable and 10th [?] when Judge dormer, will keep the Court, the move him for an order to abate, & Remove if Nuisance, upon afford it & some witnesses [viva-vorce?], undated

Box 1    Folder 90

Letter, E. B. to William Bowes, Esq, New Castle, February 3, ‘99

  • Damaged on right side, stained, ripped in center
  • Discusses business, dallied waiting for a man to bring him information, will meet soon
Box 1    Folder 91

Letter, Wm [Aylofte?] to George Bowes, Feb 19th [no year]

  • Has contacted the bursar, shall keep him fully apprised on what is done in this affair