Detail from U DDLG-33-75

Political and economic history in the family and estate collections

The collection with the broadest significance for English state affairs is that of the Hotham family (U DDHO), whose papers are useful to researchers of the English civil wars of the seventeenth century, as well as the military, diplomatic and colonial history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England. It includes documents relating to Sir John Hotham, governor of Hull at the outbreak of the English Civil War, and his son John, both of whom were executed for treason; Sir Charles Hotham, sent as a special envoy to Berlin by George II; Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, naval officer; and his nephew Sir Charles Hotham, a naval officer and governor of the Australian colony of Victoria.

The papers of the Maister family (U DAS/26) are the single most important set of papers for Hull's eighteenth-century mercantile history. The collection contains correspondence between Nathaniel Maister and Henry Maister, and letters from Henry and Nathaniel to their friends and business associates, the Grimstons. There are also family papers, including copies of wills and marriage settlements.

The Maxwell papers (U DDEV) are an important source for medieval and early modern Scottish history: U DDEV/71-81 contain Nithsdale and Maxwell family papers relating to their Scottish estates at Caerlaverock Castle and Terregles.

The papers of Mark Sykes (U DDSY2) are a good source for the diplomatic history of the First World War. Sykes was instrumental in the development of the Sykes-Picot agreement (1916), which laid out British and French plans for the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. For papers relating specifically to the Sykes-Picot agreement see U DDSY2/11. The Mark Sykes papers include over 20,000 items, including incoming correspondence from hundreds of correspondents, some outgoing correspondence (mainly to his wife and family), maps, notebooks, financial records, and papers relating to his political career.

Elsewhere in the Sykes collection, there is a series of letters to Richard Sykes in his role as Captain of the Hull Volunteers about the Jacobite rising of 1745 (U DDSY3/1). 

Return to the family and estates introduction, or see tips on researching family history, local history, or social and women’s history.