Sketchbooks, Maps and Minute Books: a busy week in the Reading Room

Sketch of E.H.Dering and Georgiana Lady Chatterton

Sketch of E.H.Dering and Georgiana Lady Chatterton

Drawings of Mrs. Malaprop and Sir John Falstaff

Drawings of Mrs. Malaprop and Sir John Falstaff

It was another busy week in the Reading Room last week, and our readers were studying a range of topics. We had welcomed a group of volunteers from Baddesley Clinton, a local National Trust property which was home to the Ferrers family. They were looking at materials such as letters and personal papers including some beautiful sketchbooks from around 1825 belonging to Lady Chatterton and Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen as well as the diary of Henry Ferrers. The Baddesley

Clinton collection comprises primarily the estate and personal papers of the Ferrers family who acquired the house by marriage in the early sixteenth century and who held it until 1939

1736 map of Compton Verney

1736 map of Compton Verney

when it was sold to Thomas Walker (later Ferrers). The relationships between the different characters who inhabited Baddesley Clinton during the mid and late nineteenth century became quite complicated! There was Marmion Edward Ferrers, his wife Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen, her aunt Georgiana, Lady Chatterton, widow of Sir William, and her husband Edward Heneage Dering. After the deaths of Marmion Edward Ferrers and Lady Chatterton, Rebecca Ferrers became the wife of Edward Heneage Dering and lived at Baddesley until her death in 1923. The collection contains some fascinating material which documents their lives at the time and the sketch books are full of illustrations and accounts  from their travels.

I spoke with another researcher, Rosemary, about work that she had completed where she followed the stories of boys who came from the Stratford-on-Avon union work house and were sent to Grimsby to work as apprentices aboard the ships. She explained how Stratford’s workhouse was unusual in that it was benevolent towards the inmates, and were more concerned

Madeleine Cox with the Wolf Hall archive display

Madeleine Cox with the Wolf Hall archive display

Sketch of Hever Castle, family home of Anne Boleyn, from Lady Chatterton's sketchbook

Sketch of Hever Castle, family home of Anne Boleyn, from Lady Chatterton’s sketchbook

with reforming them than punishing them when they behaved badly. It was wonderful to hear about how she had continued her work in Grimsby to track their lives and continue their story as she discovered how for some it was the making of them and for others it was a sad life and going from living in the Midlands to working out at sea was quite a shock.

We also had readers researching the performance materials from Les Misérables, foreign performances of Midsummer Night’s Dream and the estate maps of Compton Verney.

Meanwhile Maddie and Emily were taking part in the Winter School event with a display of archive material relating to Wolf Hall. Keep an eye out for future blogs on the materials they displayed.

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