• Title
    W H Smith Estate Papers
  • Reference
  • Production date
  • Creator
  • Scope and Content
    This accumulation of records contains papers relating to the five estates purchased by William Henry Smith: a) Oxhey & Wiggenhall in Hertfordshire, bought in 1866, sold in 1872 or 1877. b) Greenlands (in Bucks) and Remenham (in Berks), bought in 1871. c) Hundon & Thurlow in Suffolk, bought in 1877, sold in 1906 or 1907. d) Silverton & Rewe in Devon, bought in 1878, sold in 1919. e) Moretonhampstead in Devon, bought in 1890, sold in 1928. There were other tidying-up purchases and sales over more extended periods, notably the acquisition of Culham Court (Berks) in 1894 and of Hambleden Manor (Bucks) in 1922, and records of these, and other smaller properties, are also to be found in the Smith Estate Papers. The papers include documents from many centuries prior to the acquisition of the estates by the Smith family, and comprise of title deeds, manorial documents including Court Rolls, surveys, inventories, terriers, wills, contracts, certificates, plans, maps and memoranda.
  • Extent
    8 sub-fonds
  • Level of description
  • Archival history
    Between 1866 and 1890 William Henry Smith bought five estates in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Hertfordshire and Suffolk. It would appear that the deeds were kept mainly in the town house at 3 Grosvenor Place from 1880 to 1930 (but see WHS A.302 (1901)), possibly also at 31 Belgrave Square after 1930. Latterly they were held by Bircham & Co at 46 Parliament Street. When that firm moved to 1 Dean Farrar Street in 1969 most of the present accumulation was passed to the British Records Association. It was there listed briefly under No 1633 and then transferred to W.H. Smith & Son Ltd in 1971. To these papers have were added a final series covering the Rt Hon W H Smith’s Settled Estates as a whole. This series, mainly trustee correspondence, was transferred from the strong room of the Company Secretary of W.H. Smith & Son Ltd in 1976. The entire archive was transferred to the University of Reading in 2011 and given the reference SEP.
  • System of arrangment
    The accumulation is divided into seven sub-fonds: SEP BER Berkshire (Remenham and Culham Court) Estate Papers SEP BUC Buckinghamshire (Greenlands and Hambleden) Estate Papers SEP DEV Devon (Moretonhampstead or North Bovey Manor / Silverton & Rewe) Estate Papers SEP HER Hertfordshire (Oxhey & Wiggenhall) Estate Papers SEP SUF Suffolk (Thurlow & Hundon / Wratting Hall) Estate Papers SEP VAR Estate Papers for miscellaneous properties in Middlesex, Oxfordshire and Somerset SEP XCT Papers relating to W.H. Smith's settled estates SEP SA Additional estate papers
  • Related objects
    HAM, WHS
  • External document