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Wrightson's of Cusworth

Information sourced from Access to Archives


Robert Wrightson (1629-1708), an attorney of Hemsworth purchased the manor of Cusworth in 1669. His second, and surviving son, William (1676-1760), married into two Tyneside families successively and inherited the Northumberland estates of his second wife. He was Tory M P for Newcastle from 1710 to 1722. Inheriting Cusworth in 1724, he built the present Cusworth Hall between 1740 and 1743, and commissioned James Paine make extensions and alterations in the following decade. William's only surviving child, his daughter Isabella, married John Battie, heir to the nearby Warmsworth estate. After inheriting Cusworth in 1760, Battie changed his name to Wrightson. He began extensive works to create landscaped gardens, but died young, probably from tuberculosis, six years later. His son, William, was M P for Aylesbury from 1784 to 1790, although virtually the only surviving records relate to his hunting activities in the area. He was chairman of Lord Milton's election committee in the Yorkshire election of 1807. His marriage into the Bland family added an estate at Hurworth (Co. Durham) to those already acquired by the family through marriage. On his death in 1827, the estates were inherited first by his elder son William Battie Wrightson, (MP for Hull, 1830 - 1831, and Northallerton, 1835-1865) and after the death of the elder, by his second son. Neither son produced an heir and the estates then passed to a relation by marriage, W H Thomas, who obtained licence to take the surname of Battie-Wrightson. At his relatively early death, his son and then his daughter, both childless, inherited the estates, which were gradually sold off. Cusworth Hall, after failing to find alternative use, was sold to the Doncaster Rural District Council for use as a museum in 1961. It became the property of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 1974. The archives were purchased by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 1997 with generous financial assistance from the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and the Friends of the National Libraries. Records including, Title Deeds: Cusworth, including the manor, about 1200 - 1786; Warmsworth, including the manor, about 1200-1832; Yorkshire (other) and Co. Durham property 1349-1892 Wills 1598-1904; Accounts Family and estate accounts 1725-1868, including the hunting accounts of William Wrightson 1783-1794, private accounts of W B Wrightson 1828-1871 and estate cash books 1788-1868; Accounts of the steward 1749-1872 and the agent 1892-1956; vouchers 1673-1913; Rentals and Surveys: 1584-1943; Estate Administration: miscellaneous 18th century - 20th century; including tithe award (with map) for Warmsworth 1841; Civil and Military Office and Public Affairs: 1634-1901, including Pipe Office records of William Wrightson 1701-1756; William Wrightson as M P for Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1715-1724; Yorkshire parliamentary election dispute 1742; balance sheet of William Wrightson for the Aylesbury parliamentary election 1785; memorandum book of lord Milton's election committee in the Yorkshire parliamentary election 1807; Yorkshire Light Dragoons, papers of Captain W Wrightson 1779; Doncaster Volunteer Infantry, papers of Lieut Col W Wrightson 1803-1814; W B Wrightson, papers as M P 1825-1874, including cash book for the Hull election 1833, poor law and tithe commutation papers, early 1830s; printed material on elections and politics and public office 1734-1874, including a petition for parliamentary reform 1793 and C Wyvill, 'Papers and Letters, Chiefly Respecting the Reformation of Parliament', (1816); Fabric and Grounds: 1740-1813, including estimates and accounts for building Cusworth Hall 1740-1748 and letters etc of James Paine and accounts for the chapel, library etc 1749-1754; memoranda etc for Thomas Colly[er] on landscaping 1763-1765, estimate and correspondence with Richard Woods and John Whitehurst of Derby on water features 1761, 1765; water supply 18th century - 1813; Hunting, Horse Racing and Cattle Breeding: 1748 - 1901, including stud book 1748 - 1771 and accounts of Doncaster race stewards 1775; Letters, Personal and Political: 1660-1879, including letters (8) to William and Isabella Wrightson from Rev Edmund Brown at Lisbon 1764-1765, letters (2) to William Wrightson from his agent for the Downton (Wilts) parliamentary election 1796, letters (2) From W B Wrightson to his father on the Retford parliamentary election 1825, letters to W B Wrightson 1812-1879, mostly on political affairs from 1823; Local Affairs: Conisbrough 1676-1677; Cusworth 1675-1726; Sprotbrough 1678-1697; Warmsworth, settlements 1715-1777 and census 1829; Edlington church restoration by Hurst and Moffat 1841; Mickley (Northumberland) Estate: deeds 1583-1817; accounts 1722-1849, 1897; rentals, surveys and valuation 1580, 1723-1812; steward's letters 1723-1800; Maps and Plans: Cusworth Hall 1743-1906, including engraving plates, about 1750; plans by S. Foster 1781-1782 and J. Rawstorne 1797; design of gardens 18th century; Yorkshire 18th century to 1950, Co. Durham 1834-1922, and Northumberland 18th century, to 1928, estates; Literary and Miscellaneous Papers: charades and riddles; occasional verses; recipes for food, drink and medicine 18th century and 19th century; Lady I Battie-Wrightson (nee Cecil): family photographs, late 19th century, Christmas cards sent to, early 20th century