This rich and extensive archive documents the lives of four generations of a family who held positions of influence locally, nationally and across the British Empire and beyond. These include a Rear Admiral, an Admiral of the Fleet, a Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies and a Governor of Queensland. The collection also includes extensive correspondence and journals for the women of the family. The archive is of outstanding national, regional and local significance covering more than 200 years of our history. It tells the story of many significant naval, historical and social events, highlighting the role of Scots within the empire. It is also a wonderful portrayal of local, family and community identity. The archive provides a rich source of local history, documenting estate management and the lives of the many individuals who lived or worked on the estate.
Search FNL grants since 1931
In 2019 the Kent History and Library Centre was awarded a grant to acquire two contrasting items.
One is a title deed dated 6 January 1375 by which John Lowyn of Wincheap granted John Bertelot of Thanington four acres of land and one virgate of meadow in the parish of Thanington, now suburb of Canterbury to the south of the city. Before we acquired this deed, our earliest document relating to Thanington dated from 1429. The other document is a lavishly decorated map of lands in the parishes of Midley, Old Romney, Lydd, Kenardington, Warehorne and Woodchurch, dated 1687.
Greenock is often seen as a post-industrial town in decline and is overshadowed by its neighbour, Glasgow. These acquisitions help us explore the literary and artistic side of 19th-century Greenock in an attempt to show this unexplored history.
Sir Joseph Noel Paton was a Scottish artist, illustrator and sculptor. He had a great interest in, and knowledge of, Scottish folklore which is reflected in his paintings. Paton studied at the Royal Academy in London in 1843 and it was during this time that he met John Everett Millais. Allan Park Paton (1817 or 1818–1905), a writer and patron of the arts, was one of the most accomplished and eminent citizens of the 19th-century Greenock. He is probably best remembered as the Librarian of the Watt Library.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of National Libraries, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was able to obtain a number of drawings relating to the construction of Tower Bridge at auction.
Jenny Lane (1835-?) was the eldest daughter of George Lane, a market gardener in Pulborough, Sussex. She married twice, firstly to George Collins and then in 1885 to William Norton Western. In her younger years, Jenny was lady’s maid to Lucy Renshaw, travelling companion of Amelia A. B. Edwards. The journals describe in detail their various trips including the 1873–1874 journey through France and Italy, crossing from Brindisi to Alexandria on the Simla, thence up the Nile to Dendara, Karnak, Luxor, Aswan, Philae and Abu Simbel, and the return journey via Port Said, through Lebanon to Damascus, Baalbek and Beirut, Constantinople, Athens, and the Rhine. They contain vivid descriptions of the landscape, weather and peoples, and anecdotes and observations of fellow travellers and places visited. They cover the period from 4 September 1873 to 6 March 1876
This album is a unique 'visitors' book' compiled by Percy and Mary Bate between 1903 and 1948, and contains 109 silhouettes of their friends and acquaintances hand-cut from black paper. Sitters’ autographs also accompany the majority of the silhouettes.
Bate’s position at the Royal Glasgow Institute enabled him and his wife to cultivate a social circle of key luminaries of the Glasgow art scene of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This volume therefore provides a unique record of the informal creative networks that flourished in Scotland’s great industrial city during this period.
No sooner had we collected John Pattenden’s survey from Stowmarket than we were alerted to the appearance on eBay of another 17th-century map.
This map shows a sizeable Wealden estate consisting of a substantial yeoman’s house with two barns, agricultural buildings, an extensive orchard in three sections and 180 acres of land and woods, their names and acreages indicated in each parcel. The landscape is liberally dotted with ponds and pits, the result of the extraction of marl and iron ore. Typically of Wealden surveys of this period, the estate is mapped with south at the top and north at the bottom, confirming that in Sussex, men’s mental picture of their environment was focussed on the coastal plain and the sea and not on London, as would gradually become the case as communications improved. The accuracy of the survey is such that, despite extensive boundary-changes, each of the fields can still be readily plotted on a modern map.
Lambton was widely acknowledged in his lifetime as one of the foremost political figures of his generation. He was very well connected, regionally, nationally and internationally, through familial, personal and professional relationships; and his role in the campaign for reform placed him at the centre of English politics. Lambton is best known as one of the key figures responsible for the Great Reform Act of 1832.The most important section of the archive relates to this central concern of his life. The papers, including many hundreds of letters, drafts of speeches and other documents, provide a detailed insight into the politics of the period and the progress of the Bill.
A collection of paper and photographic records relating to the naval and maritime history of Portland which was at one time one of the country’s most important naval bases; a base for the Channel and Home fleets. The collection contains a series of photographs, some of them in the form of original glass plate negatives showing the very busy naval harbour and its range of installations, the ships that anchored there and men who crewed them. In addition, and perhaps most interestingly, are the original specifications and pricing for the Portland (outer) breakwater extension, dated 1897. These mammoth structures, now Grade II Listed, which took nine years to complete, were required in part to protect the base against torpedo attack, which by that time was clearly regarded as a serious threat to the integrity of the fleet.