Earl of Normanton Papers

The archives of James Charles Welbore Ellis Agar (1818 - 1896), 3rd Earl of Normanton, consisting of 3.0 linear feet of material, including correspondence, drawings, legal documents, and related printed items.

James Ellis Agar was the grandson of the first Earl, Charles Agar (1736 -1809), who took holy orders in 1763 and became chaplain to the then Viceroy of Ireland, the Duke of Northumberland. By 1768 Charles Agar was Bishop of Cloyne and by 1779 Archbishop of Cashel, a post he held for some 20 years before becoming the Archbishop of Dublin in 1801. During his successful ecclesiastical career he not only amassed an immense fortune of some [sterling]400,000 but also gained 3 temporal peerages. It was he who founded the family fortune. His son the 2nd Earl, Welbore Ellis Agar (1778 - 1868), added to this fortune, but is better remembered as a great connoisseur of art. The 3rd Earl, therefore, was fortunate in not only inheriting wealth but also a famous art collection. James Ellis Agar was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and M. P. for Wilton (1841 - 1852). In 1873 he was created Baron Somerton of Somerley in the United Kingdom peerage.

One of the most interesting portions of the Normanton archives, and of great importance to the art historian, are the insurance lists of the art collections at the Earl's various houses. There are oils by Romney, Maclise, Reynolds, Ruysdael, and Gainsborough, among others. The inventories list both the name of the picture and the name of the artist as well as the appraised value. For example, from one "short term period policy" it is possible to determine that Normanton once owned Titian's Venus and Adonis, which was insured for [sterling]2,000 when sent to Haine, a picture restorer, at No. 8 Alfred Place. The files also reveal that Normanton, like his father, was a true connoisseur. In a note, under a picture titled Madonna and Child, he writes the following: "ascribed to Raphael, but really a very fine contemporary copy of Lord Cowper's picture at Panshanger. Mine probably by Andrea del Sarto." Thus even the Normanton "copies" were distinguished. Such files would be valuable to art historians in helping to establish the "provenance" of well known paintings as well as helping to document more fully the holdings of the once famous Normanton collection.

In addition, there is considerable material that deals with the various Normanton properties, particularly the management of his country seat at Somerley, Ringwood, Hampshire. Regarding this estate there are files on the leasing of Ringwood Mill; the establishing of a lumber company; the running of a salmon fishery; the building of an iron bridge over the river Avon on the Somerley estate; and other similar matters. In short, all the concerns of an owner of a large coutry estate are encompassed here. This is valuable source material for the historian of Hampshire county and the river Avon area.

Another property which is dealt with in detail is Normanton's Postland Estates in Lincolnshire. There is a large amount of documentation regarding a court action against an innkeeper (David Butler) for grazing his cows on what the authorities considered to be a public road. This Lord Normanton vigorously fought through his lawyers at the Boston Sessions in Spalding, saying that while the public had use of the Road, it was in fact his property and unlawful for a tenant to be arrested for grazing cattle on it. The authorities later dismissed the charges against Butler, apparently unwilling to engage in a lengthy legal battle over the issue. This is an interesting file for the legal historian.

The one other property documented at length is Normanton's town house at No. 7 Princes Gardens which he rented on a longterm lease and later purchased. This house faced on Onslow Road which is today called Exhibition Road, with the Victoria and Albert Museum at the end. There are detailed inventories, valuable to the cultural historian, listing fixtures and other belongings room by room. There are several watercolor sketches of the property lines, including a beautifully executed copy plan of 1857 regarding an exchange between the then owner, Sir Charles James Freake, and the Royal Commissioners for the exhibition of 1851.

Normanton was one of the trustees of his father, the 2nd Earl, along with the 3rd Earl Nelson (his brother-in-law) and the Earl of Powis. There are several letters by the former, the great-nephew of the famous Admiral on this topic as well as a substantial amount of trustee business such as accounts and related financial affairs. The 2nd Earl's will provided for a bequest of [sterling]100,000 to the Hon. H. [Harry] W. E. Agar, a subject of some concern to the trustees in that at one point Harry Agar could not be located and was last heard of in western Canada.

Lord Normanton spent considerable time over the division of his own estate. There are numerous copies of wills with codicils, from various stages of his life, and a large collection of correspondence with his solicitor, Mr. Procter, on this subject. There is one especially moving memo to Lady Normanton from Lord Normanton, dated 21 December, 1891 (Box 4, folder 5), stating that upon his death "upon no pretence is Lord Somerton [his eldest son and heir] to be allowed to take possession of any keys, papers, etc. belonging to me now or now at Somerley (in the strong room or elsewhere) or in Princes Gardens. ...Procter must be sent for ... on no account to let anything get into the hands of Lord S... Again, I repeat, send for Procter & put everything into his hands... Lord Somerton has a right to nothing and nothing belongs to him, except the heirlooms, and what is left to him by my will. There must be no misunderstanding on this matter, otherwise great trouble, difficulty and annoyance, to say nothing of great waste and expense will surely and certainly be the consequence." Normanton's concern was unnecessary as Lord Somerton predeceased him, dying in 1894, and the younger son, Sidney James Agar, succeeded to the Earldom after the 3rd Earl's death in 1896.

This collection is of importance to art historians as well as to historians of English history and culture. It would be invaluable for any studies of the Agar family; 19th century London (especially the Victoria and Albert Museum and Kensingtron Park areas); English legal history; and the history of Hampshire county.

* * * * * * *

Number of Boxes: 6 (including 2 oversized boxes)
Extent: 3.0 linear feet
Provenance: Gift of Nicholas B. Scheetz, 1986 and 1987.
Date Span: 1840 - 12 December, 1908
Processed by: Michael J. North
Date: November 8, 1988

* * * * * * *

Abbreviations

ADS....................Autograph document signed by the author

ALS......................Autograph letter signed by the author

AN..............................................Autograph note


FOLDER LISTING

Box 1 Folder 1
2nd Earl of Normanton's Estate - Correspondence
Date span: 23 Jan 1869 - 28 Apr 1879
Description: 13 letters mostly between Tatham, Procter & Co. and the executors of the 2nd Earl of Normanton's will regarding settlement of the 2nd Earl's estate. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
20 Dec 1871
ALS from Earl Nelson to Procter.
16 Nov 1878
ALS from Earl Nelson to Procter.
18 Nov 1878
ALS (enclosure, copy) from Earl Nelson to the Nat'l Prov. Bank.
23 Jan 1869


Box 1 Folder 2
2nd Earl of Normanton's Estate - Correspondence re Harry Agar
Date span: 20 Feb 1882 - 2 Apr 1882
Description: 7 letters concerning [sterling]100,000 the 2nd Earl of Normanton left to H. W. E. "Harry" Agar. The executors cannot find Harry Agar, who appears to have moved to Canada. Includes a copy of a letter from a Henry Agar in Ontario. Includes the following items:
ALS form 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
20 Feb 1882
ALS from 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
4 Mar 1882
ALS from 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
2 Apr 1882


Box 1 Folder 3
2nd Earl of Normanton's Estate - Legal Documents
Date span: 13 Dec 1879
Description: 3 legal documents regarding the estate of the 2nd Earl of Normanton: includes instructions for release and a draft of a release labelled "to the Earl Nelson & the Earl of Powis."


Box 1 Folder 4
2nd Earl of Normanton's Estate - Accounts
Date span: Jan 1868 - Dec 1879
Description: 12 documents listing accounts, notes on accounts and queries related to the accounts of the estate of the 2nd Earl of Normanton.


Box 1 Folder 5
3rd Earl of Normanton - Wills - Correspondence
Date span: 31 Mar 1869 - 18 Dec 1891
Description: 8 letters between the 3rd Earl of Normanton and Procter regarding the Earl's will. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
12 Apr 1870
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
12 Dec 1876
A copy of a letter from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
27 Jul 1879
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
2 Dec 1879
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
17 Apr 1886
A copy of a letter from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to an unknown party.
29 Nov 1888
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
18 Dec 1891


Box 1 Folder 6
3rd Earl of Normanton's Estate
Date span: 4 Aug 1898
Description: 3 documents regarding the settlement of the 3rd Earl of Normanton's estate. Includes a sketch of one of the Earl's estates.


Box 1 Folder 7
Charity Cases
Date span: 30 Dec 1884 - 28 Jan 1885
Description: 3 letters to the 3rd Earl of Normanton regarding charity cases, including one from the Mendicity Society.


Box 1 Folder 8
Marriage Settlement - Caroline Agar & Earl of Clarendon
Date span: undated
Description: 2 copies of proposals for the marriage settlement between Caroline Agar, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Normanton, and the Earl of Clarendon.


Box 1 Folder 9
Albert Mansions
Date span: 23 Jun 1879 - 7 Feb 1880
Description: 5 documents and 1 letter regarding the lease of No. 1 Albert Estates by the Earl of Normanton.


Box 1 Folder 10
Beechwood and Hook End Estates
Date span: 30 Sep 1884 - 12 Jul 1885
Description: 5 documents regarding the lease, mortgage and submortgage of Hook End and Beechwood Estates.


Box 1 Folder 11
Blashford
Date span: 1877
Description: 2 documents concerning the purchase and deed schedule of Blashford, a farm in Ellingham.


Box 1 Folder 12
Crowland Estates - Correspondence
Date span: 15 Apr 1884 - 3 May 1886
Description: 18 letters, mostly from Procter to the 3rd Earl of Normanton, regarding the leasing of Crowland Estates.


Box 2 Folder 13
Crowland Estates - Tenant Reductions and Indentures
Date span: 8 Sep 1884 - 9 Jun 1886
Description: 23 documents labelled "draft Deed for reducing rent and varying terms of an indenture..." for Crowland Estates, most with different dates.


Box 2 Folder 14
Croyland Abbey
Date span: 9 Mar 1888 - 23 Mar 1888
Description: 4 letters regarding the lease of Croyland Abbey and Croyland Rectory.


Box 2 Folder 15
Highwood
Date span: 1877 - 1879
Description: 4 documents regarding the receipt of deeds and the schedule of deeds of Highwood.


Box 2 Folder 16
Killeennagillive
Date span: 12 Feb 1891 - 24 Mar 1891
Description: 2 documents regarding the transfer of property in Killeennagillive, County Limerick.


Box 2 Folder 17
Postland Estate Roads- 1884 Case - Correspondence
Date span: 17 Oct 1883 - 15 May 1884
Description: 22 letters from the 3rd Earl of Normanton's lawyers in Spalding, Lincoln to the Earl and his lawyers in London regarding the case between the Earl and the county government over public use of roads on his properties (Postland Estates).


Box 2 Folder 18
Postland Estate Roads- 1884 Case - Documents
Date span: 15 Oct 1883 - 14 May 1884
Description: 13 documents involving the case between the 3rd Earl of Normanton and the government of Lincoln County over public use of roads on the Earl's land (Postland Estate, in Spalding).


Box 2 Folder 19
Postland Estate Roads - 1891 Case - Correspondence
Date span: 16 Jun 1891 - 23 Apr 1892
Description: 39 letters mostly from the 3rd Earl of Normanton's lawyers in Spalding, Lincoln to the Earl and his lawyers in London regarding a case between David Butler and the county government over public use of roads on the Earl's property (Postland Estate).


Box 2 Folder 20
Postland Estate Roads - 1891 Case - Documents
Date span: 14 May 1891 - 19 Oct 1891
Description: 9 documents concerning the case between David Butler and the government of Spalding, Lincoln over public use of lands held by the 3rd Earl of Normanton (Postland Estate). Includes accounts of the Earl's legal fees.


Box 2 Folder 21
Postland Estate Roads - 1891 Case - Clippings
Date span: 24 Oct 1891
Description: 3 copies of the Spalding Guardian, October 24, 1891, which contains an article on a case between David Butler and the government of Spalding, Lincoln over public use of roads on the 3rd Earl of Normanton's property (Postland Estate). 1 xerox of article.


Box 2 Folder 22
7 Princes Gardens - Correspondence
Date span: 21 Apr 1870 - 22 Feb 1895
Description: 7 letters regarding the 3rd Earl of Normanton's leasehold of 7 Princes Gardens. Reference to 16 Princes Mews.


Box 2 Folder 23
7 Princes Gardens - Maps
Date span: 19 Mar 1857 - Dec 1880
Description: 3 watercolor sketches of the property lines of Princes Gardens. Includes a copy plan from 1857 regarding an exchange between the then owner, Sir Charles James Freake, and the Royal Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851.


Box 3 Folder 24
7 Princes Gardens - Inventories
Date span: Jan 1870 - 24 May 1870
Description: 4 inventory lists and 1 booklet of inventories of the property of the 3rd Earl of Normanton and of Sir Charles Freake, owner of 7 Princes Gardens.


Box 3 Folder 25
7 Princes Gardens - Documents, 1870
Date span: 21 Feb 1870 - 22 Apr 1870
Description: 9 documents mostly regarding the sale of 7 Princes Garden and 16 Princes Mews to the 3rd Earl of Normanton by Sir Charles Freake in 1870.


Box 3 Folder 26
7 Princes Gardens - Documents, 1890 - 1893
Date span: 24 Feb 1890 - 18 May 1893
Description: 17 documents mostly regarding the release of the 3rd Earl of Normanton's mortgage on 7 Princes Garden and 16 Princes Mews. Includes the following items:
ADS by the 3rd Earl of Normanton, notice of intention to pay off mortgage.
14 Feb 1893


Box 3 Folder 27
5 Princes Mews
Date span: 11 Sep 1875 - 29 Oct 1879
Description: 10 documents and letters regarding the lease held by the 3rd Earl of Normanton on 5 Princes Mews.


Box 3 Folder 28
Rushall Estate
Date span: 30 Mar 1898 - 16 May 1898
Description: 4 letters concerning the Rushall Estates. 1 watercolor sketch of the property. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 4th Earl of Normanton to his lawyer.
16 May 1898


Box 3 Folder 29
Ringwood Mills - Correspondence
Date span: 7 Dec 1880 - 14 Dec 1894
Description: 57 letters concerning the Ringwood Flour Mills, owned by the 3rd Earl of Normanton.


Box 3 Folder 30
Ringwood Mills - Inventories
Date span: Jun 1894 - 24 Oct 1895
Description: 5 inventory lists for the Ringwood Flour Mills by the 3rd Earl of Normanton.


Box 4 Folder 31
Ringwood Mills - Documents
Date span: 18 Apr 1889 - 22 Oct 1895
Description: 8 documents regarding the leasing of Ringwood Flour Mill by the 3rd Earl of Normanton.


Box 4 Folder 32
Ringwood Mills - Fishery
Date span: 4 Aug 1874 - 15 Dec 1886
Description: 8 letters and 4 documents regarding the fishery at Ringwood Mills, especially respecting fishing rights and laws. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
15 Dec 1886


Box 4 Folder 33
Somerley - Bridge Building
Date span: 8 Jul 1873
Description: 3 documents regarding the construction of a bridge at the Earl of Normanton's property at Somerley. Includes a bid and two copies of the draft contract.


Box 4 Folder 34
Wiltshire
Date span: 20 Dec 1893
Description: 2 letters regarding property in Wiltshire on which the Earl of Normanton was planning to build a mansion.


Box 4 Folder 35
Navigation of the River Avon
Date span: 4 Jun 1884 - 19 Sep 1884
Description: 4 letters and numerous extracts from the minutes of the House of Commons regarding legislation to declare the River Avon navigable, and hence a public waterway. King Charles II is mentioned often as the instigator of the legislation.


Box 4 Folder 36
Clavey Coal Case
Date span: 7 Dec 1892 - 3 Nov 1893
Description: 15 letters concerning the Clavey Coal Case, which involves the bankruptcy of I. Clavey, a man with whom the 3rd Earl of Normanton had business dealings.


Box 4 Folder 37
Insurance - Correspondence
Date span: 26 Jun 1885 - 27 Jun 1892
Description: 18 letters regarding insurance on the life and property, especially the art collection, of the 3rd Earl of Normanton. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to an unknown party.
26 Jun 1885
ALS fro the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
28 Jun 1892


Box 4 Folder 38
Insurance - Correspondence re the 3rd Earl's Estate
Date span: 28 Jun 1897 - 2 Apr 1898
Description: 10 letters regarding the estate of the 3rd Earl of Normanton.


Box 4 Folder 39
Insurance - Art Collection - Lists & Policies
Date span: 9 Jul 1885 - 4 Jan 1892
Description: 10 lists of art insured and insurance policies. Includes the following items:
Autograph note in the hand of the 3rd Earl of Normanton.
undated
Short period policy for Venus & Adonis by Titian, insuring it during its restoration.
5 Aug 1887


Box 4 Folder 40
Insurance - Jewelry, Glass - Lists & Policies
Date span: 3 Aug 1870 - Jan 1888
Description: 10 lists of jewelry and glass and insurance policies fro them. Includes a policy for [sterling]150 for elaborately ornamented chimney glass.


Box 4 Folder 41
Miscellaneous
Date span: 15 Nov 1878 - 12 Dec 1908
Description: 7 pieces of miscellaneous material. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
24 Dec 1880
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
4 May 1881
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
22 Nov 1890
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to Procter.
23 Nov 1890



OVERSIZED DOCUMENTS SERIES


Box 5 Folder 1
Settlement of the Somerley, Rushall & Welford Estates
Date span: 25 Jun 1840
Description: A copy of a large document regarding the settlement of the Somerley, Rushall and Welford Estates by the 2nd Earl of Normanton.


Box 5 Folder 2
7 Princes Gardens - Abstract of the Title
Date span: 1870
Description: 2 copies of a large document: the abstract of the title for 7 Princes Gardens and 16 Princes Mews, in reference to their sale to the 3rd Earl of Normanton by Sir Charles Freake.


Box 6 Folder 1
2nd Earl of Normanton's Will - Executors' Accounts
Date span: 1879
Description: A large document, the accounts of the Executors of the 2nd Earl of Normanton's estate.


Box 6 Folder 2
3rd Earl of Normanton - Wills
Date span: 1869 - 22 Oct 1888
Description: 6 drafts and 4 copies of the 3rd Earl of Normanton's will.


Box 6 Folder 3
3rd Earl of Normanton - Wills - Codicils
Date span: 16 Jul 1873 - 8 Jun 1891
Description: 13 copies and drafts of codicils of the 3rd Earl of Normanton's wills. Includes the following items:
ALS from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to an unknown party attached to a codicil of
12 Apr 1884


Box 6 Folder 4
3rd Earl of Normanton - Wills - Epitomes
Date span: 25 Aug 1879 - 13 Jun 1893
Description: 7 copies of epitomes of the wills of the 3rd Earl of Normanton. Includes the following items:
AL from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to an unknown party.
undated


Box 6 Folder 5
3rd Earl of Normanton - Wills - Instructions, etc.
Date span: 21 Dec 1891
Description: 11 miscellaneous items related to the wills of the 3rd Earl of Normanton, inluding instructions and heads of the proposed will. Also includes a copy of a memo from the 3rd Earl to his wife demanding that his son, Sir Charles George W. E. Agar, the Viscount Somerley, be denied access to his papers and personal possessions after his death. Includes the following items:
Memo from the 3rd Earl of Normanton to his wife regarding their son (not signed).
21 Dec 1891



INDEX

Agar, Caroline marriage 1: 8

Agar, Charles G. W. E. reference 6: 5

Agar, H. W. E. "Harry" reference 1: 2

Albert Estates documents 1: 9

Avon, River documents 4: 35

Beechwood Estates documents 1: 10

Blashford documents 1: 11

Butler, David clippings 2: 21
- documents 2: 19 - 2: 20

Charles II reference 4: 35

Clarendon, Countess of marriage 1: 8
(Also see Caroline Agar)

Clarendon, Earl of marriage 1: 8

Crowland Estates documents 1: 12 - 2: 13

Croyland Abbey documents 2: 14

Highwood documents 2: 15

Hook End documents 1: 10

Killeennagillive documents 2: 16

Limerick documents 2: 16

Lincoln clippings 2: 21
- documents 2: 17 - 2: 20

Mendicity Society memo 1: 7

Nelson, Earl of ALS 1: 1
- reference 1: 3

Normanton, 2nd Earl of documents 5: 1
- estate 1: 1 - 1: 4
- 6: 1

Normanton, 3rd Earl of ALS 1: 1 - 1: 2
- 1: 5
- 4: 32
- 4: 37
- 4: 39
- 4: 41
- estate 1: 6
- 4: 38
- 6: 2 - 6: 5

Normanton, 4th Earl of ALS 3: 28

Postland Estate Roads clippings 2: 21
- documents 2: 17 - 2: 20

Powis, Earl of reference 1: 3

Princes Gardens, No. 7 documents 2: 22
- 3: 24 - 3: 26
- 5: 2
- sketches 2: 23

Princes Mews, No. 16 documents 2: 22
- 3: 25 - 3: 26
- 5: 2

Princes Mews, No. 5 documents 3: 27

Ringwood Mills documents 3: 29 - 3: 32

Rushall Estates documents 3: 28

Somerley documents 3: 33

Somerley, Viscount of see Agar, Charles G. W. E.

Spalding clippings 2: 21
- documents 2: 17 - 2: 20

Spalding Guardian clippings 2: 21

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) reference 4: 39

Venus and Adonis documents 4: 39

Wiltshire documents 4: 34



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