|Content Description||See Pl E12/1-Pl E12/16 for more detailed descriptions.|
The core of these estates, based around Welbeck Abbey, was inherited by the 3rd Duke of Portland from his mother and from her Harley, Holles and Cavendish predecessors. Many adjacent farms and pieces of land were purchased or exchanged by the 4th Duke of Portland to consolidate the estates; but by the time of the 6th Duke of Portland large amounts of land were being sold either (in the case of existing farms or within villages) to sitting tenants, or (in the colliery areas) to individuals or to speculative builders in building lots, forming new streets.
Pl E12/1 comprises estate accounts and other financial material, plus general papers relating to the estates; Pl E12/2 relates to exchanges with the Duke of Rutland in the early 19th century, by which the Manor of Whitwell came to the Duke of Portland; Pl E12/3 to an exchange of land with the 5th Duke of Devonshire, executed in 1814, by which the Manors of Hucknall Torkard and Gringley-on-the-Hill (formerly owned by the Byron family) came to the Duke of Portland; Pl E12/4 to an exchange of lands in Edwinstowe and elsewhere with the 2nd Earl Manvers in 1828; and Pl E12/5 to small exchanges in the Mansfield area in 1827 and 1832.
Pl E12/6 is the largest section, comprising material relating to simple sales and purchases on the estates. Earlier bundles often include original title deeds or copies of documents pre-dating the Portlands' interest. Much of the section is made up of late 19th and early 20th century conveyancing bundles which include the draft deed and often a plan, sometimes a contract, additional legal papers and correspondence. The section is arranged alphabetically by parish, and within that chronologically.
The other main focus of this series is the working of coal and other minerals on the estates. Leases, licences, related papers and correspondence are found in section Pl E12/9; and mineral-related litigation in section Pl E12/10.
Smaller sections are:
Pl E12/7, bundles of manorial enfranchisements and related papers, late 19th to early 20th century; Pl E12/8, agricultural and other leases 1583-1793; Pl E12/11, material relating to public works (railways, tramways, gas and water undertakings etc.), 1800-1926; Pl E12/12, material relating to benefices and tithes belonging to the Dukes of Portland and their predecessors, 1634-1927;
Pl E12/13, material relating to litigation affecting the Welbeck estate, particularly manorial and common rights and enclosure, 1839-1910; Pl E12/14, material relating to improvements and rentcharges on the Welbeck estate, 1892-1920; Pl E12/15, material relating to Welbeck Abbey and grounds, 1856-1902; and Pl E12/16, miscellaneous material.
Correspondence relating to these estates in the 18th century may be found in series Pl C 1, Pl C 11, Pl C 17, Pl C 27, Pl C 28 and Pl C 41.
Additional 19th and early 20th century correspondence may be found in series Pl L4.