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Gillett and Johnston: Bell and Tuning Books

Tuning at Gillett and Johnston was undertaken according to the 'five toned system, or 'Simpson principle, developed by Cyril Johnston from the writings of Canon Simpson. This was based on the concept that the chord rung by a bell comprised five distinct notes ('strike note, 'hum, 'nominal, 'third, and 'fifth), which had to be harmonised. After the two early rough notebooks (AR1/1/1-2), the main series of tuning books

(AR1/1/3-19) contain details of the tuning of each bell cast or re-cast by the company, including diameter, weight (as cast and as despatched), note, and vibrations (as cast and as tuned). Dates of entries appear to be those of casting rather than tuning, and entries are therefore not in strict chronological order. These books are all marked on the spine 'C.F.J.[ohnston], although they are completed in different hands. All volumes except AR1/1/1 contain indexes of place names.

Gillett and Johnston: Correspondence File

Maintained by J.M. Bowran of Cope Allman International Ltd: passed to S.Keeley in 1981. Contains general correspondence re the company bell records; including enquiries for information from them, and discussions re their future.

Byron Family: Personal Correspondence

This Series covers personal correspondence between nuclear and extended family members and those with whom the Byrons had social contact. With a timespan of 100 years, there are over 300 letters in the Series. The 1890s-1920s feature most prominently. This period covers the correspondence of Edmund Byron, his wife, Charlotte Emily, and their children Lucy, Thomas, Cecil and Mary Eva during their young adulthood in the 1890s onwards, both as the writers and recipients of letters.

All aspects of family life can be charted in this Series, including family issues, their relationships with each other, issues relating to employed staff at Coulsdon, affairs and events in Coulsdon, holidays and travel in the UK and across Europe and, for many years, annual fishing visits to Norway. Two of the children – Thomas and Cecil – migrated to Canada when young men, where they followed the life of cattle ranching. Their experiences for the whole period in Canada, from preparations for departure through to their deaths (Cecil in 1911; Tom in 1940) are covered in detail. The letters include detailed information on the financial/business side of Thomas’s ranching career.

This large collection of letters provides personal and, being written for private use only, unguarded insight into the family’s life, which serve to fill out the information to be garnered in the various items across all the other Series in this archive.

Available upon request: Supplementary papers to the catalogue including chronological listings of all the letters and detailed summaries of the letters found in AR1057/1/75, 77 & 172. These supplementary papers are ‘working papers’ compiled by members of The Bourne Society during the initial arrangement of the collection. The final catalogue reference numbering has been much refined since this work was done.

Byron Family: Valuations and Property Sales After 1921

This Series covers items relating to the sale of the Coulsdon estate by auction from 1921 onwards. The process took several years. The Series includes sales particulars, plans, maps and how the estate was divided into discrete sales plots.

There are inventories of the contents of Coulsdon Court, with detailed listings and information on how some of these domestic items, including some of significant value, were distributed within the family. These inventories overlap with an insurance inventory in AR1057/3.

To acquire a full picture of the sale of the estate, it is necessary to include items from AR1057/8 – Business Correspondence and Estate Management and AR1057/14 – Solicitors Accounts

Byron Family: Leases and Deeds

This Series covers a substantial volume of documents detailing the arrangements for letting the components of the Byron estate, all of which were owned freehold by the family.

Types of documents comprise leases, deeds, conveyancing particulars, tenancy and letting agreements and cover all properties on the estate both large and small.

AR384, which comprises an archive donated by Eric Byron to the Museum of Croydon in 1934, also includes a number of leases issued between 1795-1886.

Byron Family: Ledgers, Rental Income and Account Books

This Series comprises a substantial and varied volume of documents that provide detailed insight into the running of the Coulsdon estate, enabling a close examination of the nature of nineteenth century mixed farming.

Items in this Series include running rentals covering a succession of years from the large farms through to cottages and small holdings, account books covering maintenance and repair costs, sales of timber cuts and farm account books with running records of expenditure, sales, income and profitability. The account books cover a range of years from 1833 to 1922. An account book for 1916-1922 and a set of estate accounts/valuations for 1922 capture the very last years when the estate was intact through to the period when the estate was in the process of being sold.

AR1057/12 is complemented by items in AR1057/8 on the bailiffs and staff employed on the Coulsdon estate.

Byron Family: Shares and Bond Holdings

The Series is small with the information somewhat scattered in nature, lacking coherence at times. The material consists of such items as notices of purchase and sales.

It provides an indication of the importance of share and bond holdings in the Byrons’ overall wealth and annual income. Tax schedules, listed under AR1057/8, show that the greater part of Edmund’s annual income was from shares and bonds, which exceeded what he received from rental and farming income.

Byron Family: Solicitors' Accounts and Charges

This Series covers the accounts rendered by the Byron’s solicitors, predominantly Tylee & Co.

The records in this Series are highly detailed and comprehensive, recording all the substance of all contacts and time spent in dealing with the family’s affairs and the fees charged. It amounts to a substantial quantity of documentation which provides insight into the family’s business and personal life, for example, legal advice and services provided for the purchase and sale of land, for a range of business transactions and disputes, for settling wills and handling trusts.

There is particular strength for the period following Edmund Byron’s death, with advice by Tylee and Co, the executors, to the trustees of the will, Eric Byron and Theodore Hall Hall (husband of Lucy Byron) concerning the sale of the estate. This includes information on the actual sales options available to the family, the decision making on these land sales and the pricing of individual lots, distribution of the contents of Coulsdon Court amongst family members, handling family trusts arising from the will and dealing with the queries of the trustees about the whole complex process. Handwritten marginalia throw light on Eric’s private response to some of the issues raised.

This Series provides additional sources of information for a good part of the archive, notably AR1057/2, 3, 8-13.

Byron Family: Family and Non-Family Settlements-Marriage, Wills and Trusts

This Series covers a range of marriage settlements, wills, probate and trusts for the Coulsdon Byrons, extended family and others with whom the Byrons were closely associated, the earliest substantial document being the will of Richard (1741-1798), brother of the Thomas Byron (1738-1821) who acquired the Manor of Coulsdon. There is a variety of documents of key family members, including the marriage settlement and will for Edmund Byron (1843-1921), and estate valuations for Thomas and Cecil Byron following their deaths in Canada.

A strength of this collection lies in the settlements following Edmund’s death, including the Trusts that were set up for children Lucy Hall and Mary Eva Hilton and grandchild, Arthur Byron.

The Series includes documentation on the Evans Williams Trust and the associated legal proceedings (1899-1905) after one of the trustees, the solicitor Mr Harrison, defrauded the Trust. Edmund Byron, also a trustee, held partial liability for the losses entailed.

Byron Family: Domestic and Family Expenses and Accounts

This Series covers the domestic life and running of the household of the Byron’s at Coulsdon Court. It includes a wages book covering the appointment, length of service and other information on all the core domestic staff appointed between 1890-1921. There are receipts and other papers relating to a wide range of domestic purchases and household items. Edmund Byron was a collector of fine art, furniture, and artefacts and many of these purchases are detailed, including how they were hung and distributed around the house.

There is a set of receipts detailing nursing expenses during Edmund’s final illness in 1921.

There is a valuation of the furniture and contents of Coulsdon Court, listing items room by room, produced for insurance purposes in 1905.

There is overlap between this item and AR1057/10, which covers the sale of the estate, including that of Coulsdon Court itself including more inventories and sales particulars of the contents of Coulsdon Court, with lists room by room. These documents together give an insight into the house itself and how it was furnished, both in the domestic spaces as well as the more public rooms.

Byron Family: Outdoor Sports

This Series provides insight into the sporting activities of a landed gentry family during the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries. It features a game book of shoots, fox hunting journal and a fishing book providing details of one of Edmund Byron’s fishing visits to Norway. There is also some information on cricket in Coulsdon.

There is extensive documentation on the Old Surrey Fox Hounds, focusing on Edmund’s period as Master for 25 years up to his retirement from the role in 1902. But, with newspaper cuttings and other miscellaneous material, a picture of the hunt is provided covering much of the nineteenth century.

Additional information on the Byron’s sporting activities may be acquired from AR1057/1 – Personal Correspondence and AR1057/6/112 – Journal kept by Charlotte Emily and Edmund Byron, 1865-1875.

Byron Family: Public Offices and Family Philanthropy

This Series covers documents concerning Edmund Byron’s involvement in public offices, with some items which reveal aspects of his philanthropy within the Coulsdon community. The strength of the Series lies in detailed documentation of his candidature in the Surrey County Council elections from 1888, when he was elected as a County Councillor, through to 1898, when he initially stood for election but withdrew when opposed by a late-entry and strong alternative candidate.

There are also documents relating to St. John’s church, Coulsdon, and Edmund’s appointment as a Justice of the Peace. Contributions to the church are also recorded in AR1057/3/163/11 – Domestic and Family Expenses and Accounts.

There is significant overlap with AR1057/1 – Personal Correspondence and AR1057/6 – Journals and Memoirs. Together with these other sources, a full picture of the family’s public and philanthropic roles in Coulsdon and the wider county community may be acquired. Researchers are particularly referred to AR1057/6/112 – Journal kept by Charlotte Emily and Edmund Byron, 1867-1875.

Byron Family: Journals and Memoirs

This Series has three items. The most significant is the detailed daily Journal or diary kept primarily by Charlotte Emily Byron, with some contributions from Edmund, covering the years 1867-1875. It covers the early years of their marriage and provides a record of the lives of a landed gentry family. There is information on domestic and family life, a vivid picture of their social and philanthropic activities within their village of Coulsdon, their hunting and other sporting activities, their wider social world and their extensive travels around Great Britain and Europe, including the early years of their annual summer fishing visits to Norway.

The information in Charlotte Emily’s Journal is greatly supplemented by AR1057/1 – Personal Correspondence, which often fills out the ‘backstory’ to the entries in the Journal.

This Series also includes a memoir of the old village of Coulsdon, when it was still a remote and rural community, written by Edmund’s son, Eric Byron, in 1926 at the age of 87.

There is also an extremely detailed travel journal kept by an unknown author. How it relates to the Byron family is unclear.

Byron Family: Personal Records and Ephemera

This Series has much miscellaneous material. The most substantive set of documentation concerns Edmund Byron’s years as a pupil at Eton College in the 1880s. This set includes Eton calendars, Eton College lists and a large number of Eton termly bills, which list school fees and Edmund’s personal expenditure as a boarder at the school, and some correspondence between the school and parents.

Other items include family photographs, documents on the building of Coulsdon Court, some books, a fine testimonial to Edmund on the occasion of his 21st birthday presented by the domestic staff, and other items of a similarly personal nature, such as hair cuttings. There are items concerning the building of the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway: Eric Byron was a railway engineer and surveyor and he worked on the construction of this line. There is a copy of the Calgary Land District Map, 1907, identifying the land held by Thomas and Cecil Byron in Canada.

Byron Family: Business Correspondence and Estate Management

A significant element of this Series is a comprehensive bundle of papers concerning the appointment and employment of bailiffs on the estate from 1880 to the sale of the estate in 1921. The bundle includes a memoir of John Gilbert, bailiff to the Byrons from 1839 to 1880, written by Edmund Byron probably on John’s death in 1889.

There is also a set of correspondence concerning the case of Hall v Byron, a legal challenge brought against Edmund’s plans to enclose Farthing Downs. The case was heard before Chancery in 1873. The Series also includes documentation concerning the subsequent sale of the Coulsdon Commons to the City of London in 1883. It is recommended that researchers consult collection AR384 in conjunction with these papers. (AR384 comprises an archive donated by Eric Byron to the Museum of Croydon in 1934).

There is correspondence with solicitors, other professionals, and companies and individuals who had some involvement with the estate, including matters of dispute.

There are schedules listing details of the land held and tax schedules; the tax schedules give snapshots of the overall sources and taxable value of Edmund’s annual income.

The extent of the Byrons’ land holdings is highlighted, with land held in Golders Green and Hendon as well as in Coulsdon.

Byron Family: Property Purchases and Valuations and Property Sales Before 1921

This Series covers transactions regarding properties on the estate before the death of Edmund Byron in 1921 and the sale of the entire estate. It covers properties in Golders Green and Hendon as well as Coulsdon. Sales particulars, correspondence illustrating the associated negotiations and valuations of the entire estate are included in the Series.

There is overlap with AR1057/14 – Solicitors Accounts; these itemise the fees charged by solicitors from which transactions regarding property can also be gathered.

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