Catalogue ReferenceD/EMP
TitlePapers of Morrell, Peel and Gamlen of Oxford, solicitors, relating to their clients, the Bowles family of Milton and Streatley, and the Leveson-Gower family of Bill Hill, Wokingham
DescriptionThe majority of the archives of Morrell, Peel and Gamlen of Oxford, solicitors, are held at Oxfordshire Archives (references MOR for clients' papers and MORRELL for family records). The papers deposited here relate to their Berkshire clients, the Bowles family of Milton Hill and the Leveson-Gower family of Bill Hill, Hurst and Wokingham. For an additional deposit of papers of the firm, see D/EX 859.


ESTATE RECORDS : Bill Hill estate papers (Leveson-Gower family), Barkham, Hurst and Wokingham, c.1798-1886, including letter books, 1807-1808; sale particulars of Woose Hill Farm, Wokingham, 1807; particulars of letting of Bill Hill mansion, 1854; report on condition of gardens, 1868; correspondence re sale of Warren Lodge, Finchampstead, 1885; rental of estate at Ottery St Mary, Devon, 1780; draft valuation of estate in Norfolk, 1806; Streatley estate papers (Bowles family), 1692-1838, including rental, 1805.

FAMILY PAPERS : Leveson-Gower family papers, 1752-1891, including papers re stud of General John Leveson-Gower, 1801-1820; passports of John and John Edward Leveson-Gower, 1838-1839, 1850; letters to John Leveson-Gower from his wife, 1840-1849; letters to John Edward Leveson-Gower from his fiancée, 1849; housekeeping accounts of Harriet Jane Leveson-Gower, 1850-1852; papers re debts of Sackville Leveson-Gower, 1874-1876; papers re the Acorn yacht, 1876-1891 including sale particulars, 1876, and log, 1889; copy wills of William Cheyne, Viscount Newhaven, 1728, Gertrude, Viscountess Newhaven, 1730, and Gertrude Tolhurst, 1732; probate accounts of Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Montagu, 1734-1741; papers re debt owed to Emily Harriett Bowles, 1858-1866; marriage settlement of Martin Tomkins and Sarah Dyer, 1732.

LEGAL PAPERS : papers of Mary, Countess Gower, re claim to barony of Clifford, 1775; solicitor's bills for work done for John Leveson-Gower, 1850-1851, 1875-1876; correspondence of John Leveson-Gower re disputed legal bills, 1852-1856, 1874-1875; copy opinion re sale of Barkham House, [1875]; correspondence of Emily Harriett Bowles with solicitors re monies spent by trustee, 1854-1857; miscellaneous correspondence of Bowles family on legal matters, 1854-1864.

OFFICIAL RECORDS : navy gunboat manning log, late 18c.; military records kept by General John Leveson-Gower, 1798-1824, including memoranda and copy correspondence re body of Volunteers in Suffolk, 1798-1799; copy letter book mentioning Royal East Middlesex Brigade and 10th Reserve [Battalion] (Devon); 1803-1804; papers re 10th Battalion of Reserve, 1803-1805; papers re manœuvres in Devon and Dorset, 1804; court martial proceedings, 1804, 1806; papers re Bedfordshire Militia, 1804; reports on 45th Regiment of Foot, 1806; letters and reports from Colonel Charles W Maxwell re defences of island of Goree and capture of Senegal, West Africa, 1808-1810; and returns of local militia in Lancashire and Cheshire, 1811; Quarter Sessions papers re repair of Datchet Bridge, 1810-1811; letters to John Leveson-Gower re army preferment, 1844-1845; nominal roll, accounts and papers of No 1 Company [50th Queen's Own Regiment], kept by Captain John Edward Leveson-Gower, 1849-1852; abstracts of examination of accounts of 1st Derby Regiment of Militia, 1854-1856.

PARISH AND CHARITY RECORDS : Broad Hinton liberty (Hurst) overseer's accounts, including list of poor families, 1801.

TITLE DEEDS : Leveson-Gower settled estates in Barkham, Hurst and Wokingham, 1875-1878; Pibworth Farm, Aldworth, 1732-1793; various properties in Streatley, 1616-1863, and Everton, Lancs, 1846-1886 (all Bowles estate), and property in Appleton, 1826-1858; Ashbury, 1687; Basildon, 18c.; Bradfield, 18c.; Shrivenham, 1594-1696; Thatcham, 1759-1816; Wantage, 1687; Devon, 18c.; Ireland, 18c.; Oxfordshire, 1757-1858; Wiltshire, 1687.

MISCELLANEOUS : 1669, c.1800.
RepositoryBerkshire Record Office (code: GB 005)
Extent17 vols, 91 bdls, 23 docs
Admin HistoryThomas Bowles of Abingdon built Milton Hill House in the late 18th century. The estate was enlarged in 1804 by the purchase, by the trustees of his son Thomas Bowles, of Streatley manor. The Milton estate was sold in 1905. The majority of the deposited papers consist of deeds of the Streatley estate, with a few estate and family papers.

The Leveson-Gower papers, in contrast, are full for family and official papers, but have almost no deeds. The family descended from the youngest son of the first Earl Gower by his third wife Mary, who purchased the Bill Hill estate in 1734, before her marriage to Lord Gower. According to the Victoria County History, on Lady Gower's death in 1785, a lawsuit was brought by her stepson, Lord Gower, for the possession of Bill Hill, but the case was declared in favour of Lady Gower's own son, Admiral John Leveson-Gower.

Lady Gower was the daughter and co-heiress of the Earl of Thanet, and a grand-daughter of Henry, 2nd Duke of Newcastle. Her first husband was the Earl of Harold, her sisters included the Countesses of Salisbury and Leicester, and relatives appearing in the family papers deposited here include her mother's sister, the Duchess of Montagu, and first cousin William Cheyne, 2nd Viscount Newhaven.

The Leveson-Gowers of Bill Hill had distinguished careers in public service, reflected in the records deposited. In particular, there are records relating to the military career of General John Leveson-Gower (1774-1816), who is best known as second-in-command of the disastrous La Plata expedition of 1805.

On the death of Lieutenant John Henry Leveson-Gower in 1912, the estate passed to his sister Idonea Gertrude Hodgson.

[For pedigrees of the families see paper catalogue in Berkshire Record Office searchroom.]
AcquisitionDeposited in March 1970 (acc. 1550)
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