What’s in a name?

We’ve had a productive week, working through the papers of Sir Bellingham Graham, 7th Bt (1789-1866), plus those of Sir Guy Graham, 9th Bt (1878-1940) and of his wife, Lady Katherine, nee Stobart (1887-1966).

The papers of Sir Bellingham comprise letters written to him relating to estate matters and financial affairs including one relating to his son, also called Bellingham, who seems to have become embroiled in a potential blackmail scenario by a young lady, whilst engaged to Miss Emily Cottam.  What was initially odd about this letter was the fact that Sir Bellingham married a second time, to a Miss Harriet Cottam.  In effect, Sir Bellingham introduced his son to the sister of his daughter-in-law. Most confusing!

ZKZ Norton Conyers Collection

A selection of papers from the Graham Family Archive. Copyright: North Yorkshire County Record Office

Sir Guy’s papers mostly relate to the Norton Conyers Estate and contain Estate Vouchers which are and invoice plus receipt attached together. As well as the usual bills for goods and services, there are agricultural returns, war damage contributions and licences for bearing armorial arms, owing a dog and employing a game keeper and man servant.  What is somewhat disconcerting is that the cost of the licence for the manservant is the same as for owning a dog, which seems rather unfortunate. In later years this was amended so that you could own two dogs for the cost of employing a manservant.

Lady Katherine’s papers offer a different insight as they mainly comprise letters received by her sons Richard, later 10th Bt, Alastair, Patrick and Jeremy. The letters from Richard are a fabulous source in understanding the educational process at Eton and Cambridge in the 1930s, including its cost – he seems to have had a most sober time of it, or rather, kept such things hidden from Munty, as Lady Katherine is affectionately known.

Looking forward to sharing further insights with you next week!


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