From the Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Accumulated from more than five centuries of activity in national and regional affairs, the Hastings family papers are a wealth of diverse material for research not only into English history, but also into Irish and Colonial American history.
The correspondence consists of thousands of letters dated from 1477 to 1828. Every conceivable aspect of the aristocratic family's affairs and its involvement in significant national and local issues is illuminated here. There are letters about military affairs, taxation, elections, Jacobite politics, plantations in America, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, marriages, estate matters, debts and education. The correspondents range from monarchs (for example, 17 letters from Elizabeth I and 34 from Charles I), politicians and public figures, churchmen, bankers and businessmen to tenants, estate agents and family friends.
The collection also contains an equally valuable and numerous series of financial papers. These documents illuminate the running of the estate and household from the Middle Ages (the first document is dated 1281) to the 19th century, and include many personal accounts. There is a great deal of information on building and repairs, wages, estate and household expenses, collieries, mills, transport, legal costs, debt and bankruptcy. Combined with public accounts, wills, inventories, personal material and a voluminous collection of legal papers covering six centuries, these documents offer a full picture of upper class social and family life over several centuries of the landed aristocracy's dominance.
Part One: The Hastings Correspondence, 1477-1701
Part Two: The Hastings Correspondence, 1701-1828
Complete Collection: 39 reels