The Broadlands Archives: family and estate papers of the Temple (Palmerston), Ashley, Cassel and Mountbatten families

Item date: 16th to 20th centuries
Grant Value: £25,000
Item cost: £2,850,000
Item date acquired: 2010
Item institution: Southampton University
Town/City: Southampton
County: Hampshire

The 4,000 boxes containing the Broadlands Archives, dating from the 16-20th centuries, are one of the UK’s most important family and estate collections. The collection centres on the Temple (Palmerston), Ashley, Cassel and Mountbatten families: a whole series of individuals from these families have had important associations with national life, and the archives in consequence contain material of the greatest importance for the history of the UK and its relations with its colonies and foreign powers, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Of exceptional interest are the papers of the 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865), at various times Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary and Prime Minister, containing about 40,000 letters, most of which date from his service as Foreign Secretary; Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-79), the last Viceroy of India, containing about 250,000 items and 50,000 photographs; and the 14 diaries of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-85), social reformer and philanthropist, which constitute one of the great monuments to social progress in Victorian England. From 1838 until his death in 1885, Shaftesbury’s diary is the prime source for his thoughts, his assessment of the reform and religious movements that he championed, along with his political notes, commentary and powerful opinions on the issues of the day.

 Items from the Broadlands items on display in the Special Collections Gallery at the University of Southampton
Items from the Broadlands items on display in the Special Collections Gallery at the University of Southampton
Gandhi’s first ever meal at the Viceroy’s House, New Delhi, with Lord Mountbatten, April 1947. FNL grant to Southampton University 2010.
Gandhi’s first ever meal at the Viceroy’s House, New Delhi, with Lord Mountbatten, April 1947. FNL grant to Southampton University 2010.