Document ReferencePw 2
TitlePapers of the Holles Family, 1571-1728, in the Portland (Welbeck) Collection
Extent5 boxes and part of 1 oversize box
AbstractCorrespondence, estate papers
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers.
Admin HistoryThe presence of the Holles papers in the Portland of Welbeck Collection is the result of a series of marriages and inheritances in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. John Holles, 4th Earl of Clare (1662-1711), married his cousin Margaret Cavendish (1661-1716), daughter of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne, through whom much of the Cavendish inheritance descended. The 2nd Duke died without male heirs and in 1691 Holles became the 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne. Their daughter, Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles (1694-1755), who inherited the bulk of the Cavendish estates after litigation, married Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford (1689-1741). When, in 1734 their daughter, Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley (1715-1785) was married to William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland (1709-1762) the Holles papers passed into the Portland Collection.

The papers particularly reflect the activities and contacts of John Holles, the 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne and his wife, Margaret Cavendish. He was an able politician, whose local influence and properties gave him considerable power during elections. In 1705 he was appointed Lord Privy Seal, and was an influential figure in the discussions which ultimately led to the Treaty of Union (with Scotland) in 1707.
Custodial HistoryThese papers constitute part of the Portland (Welbeck) Collection ( Pw) and were received from the 7th Duke of Portland in the first deposit from Welbeck Abbey in 1949. By the Duke's express wish the family archives were divided between The University of Nottingham (political and family correspondence); Nottinghamshire Archives Office (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Northumberland estate papers); British Library (Harley family papers); Hampshire Record Office (papers relating to the Dukes' Hampshire estate) and the Bodleian Library (Civil War papers of Reverend John Nalson). The entire Portland archive from Welbeck was accepted by the state in lieu of estate duty in 1986.
DescriptionThe papers of John Holles, 4th Earl of Clare and 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne are mostly in the form of correspondence, supplemented by series of miscellaneous records which includes a number of estate papers. Almost seventy letters to his wife, Margaret Cavendish Holles are present. The estate records include some reference to the Cavendish Northumberland estates, together with correspondence of Ralph Gowland, the Northumberland agent. The few Nottinghamshire estate references include several documents concerning forest rights and bounds.

The Collection also contains papers of other earlier family members, including John Holles, 1st Earl of Clare, Denzel Holles, younger brother of the 2nd Earl and Gilbert Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare. These in part reflect the Holles associations with London, including for instance a petition of the tenants of Clare Market. Other miscellaneous items include references to pictures and other household furnishings.
MgtGroupFamily and estate collections
Political and diplomatic papers
ArrangementThe Collection is arranged in two sections; correspondence and miscellaneous records. The correspondence is listed chronologically within an alphabetical sequence by correspondent. Many of the miscellaneous papers, which in fact include several series of letters, are undated.
TermGreat Britain - Politics and government - 17th century
Great Britain - Politics and government - 18th century
Great Britain - Social life and customs - 17th century
Great Britain - Social life and customs - 18th century
Administration of estates - Great Britain
FindingAidsCopyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript Catalogue, 32 pp At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew: Typescript Catalogue, 32 pp Online: Catalogue available through the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Access to the old typescript catalogue was also made available online during the national Access to Archives (A2A) project in 2000-2004. This catalogue is now available through Discovery, hosted by The National Archives ( The version on our own Manuscripts Online Catalogue will be more up to date.
ReprodnNotePhotocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialSee the fonds record for the Portland (Welbeck) Collection as a whole (Pw); and also the separate records for each of the other constituent subfonds (Pw 1, Pw 2 Hy, Pw A, Pw B, Pw C, Pw D, Pw E, Pw F, Pw G, Pw H, Pw J, Pw K, Pw L, Pw M, Pw N, Pw V)
Papers of Sir Francis Molyneux and the Molyneux Family of Teversal, Nottinghamshire, 1706-1901 (Molt)
Papers of Henry Walter of Haughton, agent to the Earls of Clare in Nottinghamshire, 1666-1696 (NS)
Several collections of Holles papers are in Nottinghamshire Archives
Related RecordMolt

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA488Holles; John (1662-1711); 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne; cr. Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne 1694, 1st Duke of second creation; also 4th Earl of Clare1662-1711
NA592Holles; Margaret (1661-1716); Duchess of Newcastle upon Tyne; née Cavendish; dau. of 2nd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne; m 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne 16901661-1716
NA1048Harley; Henrietta Cavendish (1694-1755); Countess of Oxford and Mortimer; née Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles wife of the 2nd Earl of Oxford1694-1755
NA1079Bentinck; Margaret Cavendish (1715-1785); Duchess of Portland; née Cavendish-Harley; dau. of 2nd Earl of Oxford; m 2nd Duke of Portland 17341715-1785
NA488Holles; John (1662-1711); 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne; cr. Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne 1694, 1st Duke of second creation; also 4th Earl of Clare1662-1711
NA592Holles; Margaret (1661-1716); Duchess of Newcastle upon Tyne; née Cavendish; dau. of 2nd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne; m 3rd Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne 16901661-1716
NA971Holles; John (1564-1637); 1st Earl of Clare; of Haughton Notts; M.P. Nottinghamshire 1604-11 and 1614; Comptroller of Household to Prince of Wales 1610-16121564-1637
NA1138Holles; Gilbert (1633-1689); 3rd Earl of Clare; M.P. Nottinghamshire 1660; succ. 16661633-1689
NA75927Cavendish-Bentinck; family; of Welbeck, Nottinghamshire; Dukes of Portland
NA75942Holles; family; Earls of Clare
NA75960Holles; family; Dukes of Newcastle upon Tyne
NA24193Holles; Denzell (1599-1680); 1st Baron Holles; cr. Baron Holles of Irfield 1661; son of 1st Earl of Clare1599-1680
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