Family and Estate Records in the Leicester Records Office

by Heather E. Broughton - 1991

In 1949 Sir Roger Conant, Bt. deposited with the Records Office a quantity of Estate and Family papers. They are mentioned in the Records Office book by Heather E. Broughton. The article is reproduced below:-

  Seat: Lyndon Hall
  Grid Ref: Collection Ref: DGI 1 SK 906043
  Collection Ref: DGI 1
  Covering Dates: 1254-1903
  No. of Documents: c. 1300
  State: Catalogued
  Access: No restrictions
  [Excluding collection retained at Lyndon Hall]

The precursors of the Conant family, the Barkers, purchased the manor of Lyndon in 1662. Abel Barker, a wool grazier, bought the Old Hall of Hambleton in 1634 and increased prosperity led his son Abel to build a new house at nearby Lyndon. This became the family's seat, although possession of Hambleton Old Hall continued until the Barker family died out in 1845. The family took an active interest in county affairs and Abel the son, who died in 1679, was sheriff of Rutland in 1646-7, M.P. in 1656-8 and 1679 and created a baronet in 1665. His son and successor Sir Thomas, sheriff of the county 1670/1 and 1680/1, died childless in 1707 and was buried at Lyndon. By his death the title became extinct and the estates devolved on the descendant of his great-uncle, Samuel Barker of North Luffenham. Samuel Barker, 'the Hebraist', came to live at Lyndon and married the daughter of the celebrated divine William Whiston, who died at Lyndon House in 1752. Thomas, his son and heir, married Ann, sister of Gilbert White of Selbourne, and was himself noted for his scientific writings. On his death in 1809 at the age of 87, he was succeeded by his son Samuel. At his death in 1835 the estate passed to his daughters and co-heirs Mary and Ann Barker, in accordance with whose will the estate was purchased in due course by their cousin Rev. Edward Brown. Upon his death in 1862, he was succeeded by his nephew Edward Nathaniel Conant (d. 1901), whose direct descendants have held the estate ever since.

The family papers which survive fall into three groups: first the Barker and Whiston papers (DE 730) which comprise the private letter books and correspondence of Abel Barker, 1642-1665, and of the Barker family 1604- 1827, correspondence of the White and Barker families and memoranda and observations of nature, weather etc. Many of the 40 or so papers and volumes in this collection are listed in detail by the HMC5th Report pp. 387-404. The second group of papers comprises the estate records of the family from 1254-1866. Of the 1183 documents in this group, 905 are deeds of title relating to the Barker and other family holdings in Lyndon, Hambleton, North Luffenham, Barrowden, Ketton, Lyddington, Morcott, Pilton, Tickencote and Uppingham, Rutland and of land in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. The remainder of the collection contains probate papers (1459- 1870) of the Barker, Whiston, Antrobus and Conant families among others, estate accounts and vouchers covering the period 1475-1725, terriers, surveys and plans of Lyndon, Hambleton, North and South Luffenharn and a series of personal papers and appointments (1481-1846).

The third group of family papers relates almost exclusively to the life of Sir Roger Conant, Bt., including correspondence regarding estate matters, property owned in British Columbia, and general county matters, for the period 1950-1953. This collection of papers is retained at Lyndon Hall and a full list of its contents is available at the Record Office.

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With the following listed:-

Collection   CONANT OF LYNDON HALL 1254-1903
Level Section
Ref   DG11 (DE53)
Title   Collection of Muniments relating to the Conant Family Estate
Description   Title Deeds of family holdings in Lyndon, Hambleton, North Luffenham, Barrowden, Ketton, Lyddington, Morcott, Pilton, Tickencote and Uppingham, co Rutland and Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.
Probate Papers of the Barker, Whiston, Antrobus and Conant families, 1459-1870
Estate Accounts and Vouchers, 1475-1725
Terriers, surveys and plans of Lyndon, Hambleton and South Luffenham
Personal Papers and Appointments, 1481-1846
Date   1254-1866
Extent   1183 items
AccessStatus   Open
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