- 1755 - 1975 (Creation)
Level of description
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Name of creator
The Bryons were Lords of the Manor and residents of Coulsdon from the purchase of the Manor in 1782 until the sale of the estate and its dispersal in 1921.
Thomas (1) had no children and the manor was inherited by his nephew, Thomas (2) (1772-1845) before passing to the eldest son, Thomas (3) (1809-1863). Thomas married his cousin, Julia Jeffreys (1813-1899), daughter of Thomas’s aunt, Charlotte, who married Revd. John Jeffreys. Thomas and Julia are the first members of the family to feature significantly in the Byron Collection AR1057.
Thomas and Julia’s only child, Edmund (1843-1921) inherited the estate in 1863. He married Charlotte Jeffreys (1845-1908) in 1867. This was also a first cousin marriage into the Jeffreys family, Charlotte being the daughter of her Edmund’s uncle, Gen. Edmund Jeffreys. Consequently, they, and their five children who survived into adulthood (one daughter died at the age of 5) and the grandchildren, features relatively prominently in the Byron Collection
The manor and all the estate were sold and dispersed upon Edmund’s death in 1921 with his children as the primary inheritors.
The children of Edmund and Charlotte were:
Lucy (1868-1967), who married Theodore Hall Hall. They had one child, Owen.
Thomas (1869-1940), who did not marry. Emigrated to Canada.
Cecil (1870-1911), who married Katharine McAfee. They emigrated to Canada. Two children died in infancy; one son survived into adulthood, Arthur (1906-1984). Arthur wrote a family history, which was privately printed and a copy is held by Croydon Museum and Archives.
Eric (1875-1964), who married Margaret Daisy Robinson. Eric stayed in England; he is the main recipient of personal family letters held by the archive and he is the one who essentially amassed and preserved the Byron archives. He donated an important archive to the Museum of Croydon in 1934, AR384.
Eric and Margaret Daisy had three children. The oldest, Robert (1905-1941), did not marry. He was a renowned author of travel books, art historian and political campaigner; the second was Anne (1909-1977), who married Percy Charlesworth; and the youngest was Lucy (1912-2009). It was Lucy who took on custodianship of the archive.
Mary Eva (1880-1964), who married Charles Hilton. Eva was the youngest child of Edmund and Charlotte. Eva and Charles had no children.
Lucy Byron later married Ewan Butler (married 1934-1955) and Ewan’s brother, Rohan (married 1956); Lucy and Ewan had three daughters, the youngest of whom, Setitia (1946-2017), donated the archive (AR1057) to Croydon Museum over 2010-2012. Following her death, her husband, Anthony Simmonds, assumed any copyright issues relating to the Byron papers and archives.
Family trees are available in:
• Elliott, Nigel (2020) The Byrons of Coulsdon: Abroad and at Home, Bourne Society, Surrey, p.XIX.
• Scales, Ian (2000) ‘The Byrons of Coulsdon’ in Ian Scales (ed.) Bourne Society Village Histories 5: Coulsdon, Bourne Society, Surrey, p.48. These two family trees serve to complement each other in the periods covered. The volume by Elliott has a specific focus on the Byron archive, drawing extensively upon it.
• The Museum of Croydon holds a copy of a handwritten and comprehensive family tree running from the seventeenth century through to the 1970s/1990s, including the ties with the Jeffreys family. This was produced as a working research document and may be used in conjunction with the published family trees.
• Byron, Arthur (1982) A Short History of the Byron and Jeffrey Families, privately printed. This work may also be consulted for reference. The book is primarily text based rather than providing family trees but it takes the reader through the generations of these two families in a structured manner. A copy is held by the Museum of Croydon.
Donor is great granddaughter of Edmund Byron. Her mother Mrs Lucy Butler, died on October 15 2009.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
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Scope and content
The Byron Family were Lords of the Manor and residents of Coulsdon from the purchase of the Manor in 1782 until the sale of the estate and its dispersal in 1921. The archive covers the entire period and continues beyond the sale of Coulsdon estate, with documents through to 1962.
The Byron Archival Collection (AR1057) is a substantial collection of papers covering the domestic, social, business and farming history of the family, their role and relationship as local squires with the wider community of Coulsdon and Surrey, and the extensive foreign travels undertaken by members of the family.
Papers relating to the early decades are relatively sparse and the strength of the archive lies with the years when Thomas and then Edmund Byron held the Manor and estate, 1845-1921, continuing with Edmund’s children through to the 1940s. During these years, the archive has the breadth and depth for thorough and detailed research into this middle squirearchy landed family who were deeply rooted in and committed to the small rural community which was their home. Attention is particularly drawn to Edmund’s six decades as Lord of the Manor. To him lies the distinction of preserving the traditional – and in many respects patriarchal – rural life of the village from 1863 until his death in 1921. The archive is very strong in its coverage of Edmund’s eventful life and that of his four children, as is indicated in the Series descriptions of the archive.
The archive was originally read, noted and arranged by members of The Bourne Society, Surrey and this work has provided a number of papers that supplement the catalogue entries. These papers include Excel spreadsheets, some of which are quite detailed, covering nearly the whole archive, and summaries of a large part of the personal family correspondence. Produced for the purpose of developing the catalogue, these entries identify only the name of the relevant Series for each item and the item accession number and there has been much further refinement in catalogue numbering since their production. They are available on request to support specific areas of interest and research.
The Collection consists of 14 series:
AR1057/1- Personal Correspondence
AR1057/2- Family and Non-Family Settlements-Marriage, Wills and Trusts
AR1057/3- Domestic and Family Expenses and Accounts
AR1057/4- Outdoor Sports
AR1057/5- Public Offices and Family Philanthropy
AR1057/6- Journal and Memoirs
AR1057/7- Personal Records and Ephemera
AR1057/8- Business Correspondence and Estate Management
AR1057/9- Property Purchases and Valuations and Property Sales Before 1921
AR1057/10- Valuations and Property Sales After 1921
AR1057/11- Leases and Deeds
AR1057/12- Ledgers, Rental Income and Account Books
AR1057/13- Shares and Bond Holdings
AR1057/14- Solicitors' Accounts
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
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Related units of description
Elliott, Nigel (2020) The Byrons of Coulsdon: Abroad and at Home, Bourne Society, Surrey.
Scales, Ian (2000) ‘The Byrons of Coulsdon’ in Ian Scales (ed.) Bourne Society Village Histories 5: Coulsdon, Bourne Society, Surrey, pp.43-49.
These volumes each contain a family tree, which serve to complement the other in the periods covered. The volume by Elliott has a specific focus on the Byron archive, drawing extensively upon it.
This collection was initially divided into two SubCollections: Family Papers and Business and Estate Papers.
The Series 'Domestic and Estate Staff' was initially created but later merged with 'Domestic and Family Expenses and Accounts' and 'Business Correspondence and Estate Management' after arrangement was complete..
AR1057/4 was previously titled 'Recreational Travel and Outdoor Sports' but upon further assessment of the contents during the cataloguing process was renamed 'Outdoor Sports'