WH Smith Estate Papers

Between 1866 and 1890 William Henry Smith (1825-1891, newsagent and politician) bought five estates:

  • Oxhey & Wiggenhall in Hertfordshire, bought in 1866, sold in 1872 or 1877.
  • Greenlands (in Bucks) and Remenham (in Berks), bought in 1871 (Greenlands is now part of the University's Henley Business School.
  • Hundon & Thurlow in Suffolk, bought in 1877, sold in 1906 or 1907.
  • Silverton & Rewe in Devon, bought in 1878, sold in 1919.
  • Moretonhampstead in Devon, bought in 1890, sold in 1928.

Other properties were added later, notably Culham Court (Berks) in 1894 and of Hambleden Manor (Bucks) in 1922, and records of these are also to be found in the Smith Estate Papers.

The Hertfordshire properties were simple investments, portions being resold as building lots. The Devon and Suffolk properties were partly of sporting interest; Great Thurlow Hall was occupied from time to time and the Manor House at North Bovey (now a hotel) built by the Hon W F D Smith in 1906-07. Greenlands was the principal country seat of the family, and is now part of the University's Henley Business School.

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.


More information

  • A handlist is available at the Speical Collections Service or download a pdf here (1.07 MB)
  • Archive reference: SEP
  • A full description is available from our online database
publishing history correspondence, business records Y Smith, WH

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