|Administrative History||The Lyttelton family, Barons Lyttelton, between c 1250 and 1642 had its ancestral home in Frankley, once part of the parish of Halesowen, then a detached part of Shropshire. In 1642 Prince Rupert garrisoned Frankley Hall for the King, but when it could no longer be held, he had it burnt down to prevent the enemy from requisitioning it. Frankley Hall was not rebuilt and after that time the family resided at Over Arley in south Staffordshire (later Worcestershire), or at Hagley, Worcestershire. Arley manor had come into the Lyttelton family in 1465 and it remained with the Lytteltons until it was left to a nephew, son of Viscount Valentia, in 1779. It was the family's principal seat from 1660 to 1693. |
Much of the family's estate had previously belonged to Halesowen Abbey: the property of that abbey, dissolved in 1538, was first granted to John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and it subsequently descended via the Crown, Lady Joan the Duke's widow, Ambrose Dudley their son, Lord Robert Dudley Ambrose's brother, to Thomas Blount and George Tuckey, and was granted to John Lyttelton in 1558 with a confirmation of part following in 1560 [HH/9].
The Hagley estate was purchased by John Lyttelton in 1564 (knighted at Kenilworth by Queen Elizabeth in 1566), and it was Meriel, the widow of his grandson [John Lyttelton, MP], who made Hagley her principal residence. Her eldest son became Sir Thomas Lyttelton, first Baronet, and his grandson, Thomas, married Lady Christian Temple of Stowe in Buckinghamshire, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne, and it was through this line that the viscountcy of Cobham merged with the barony of Lytteltons in 1889, with Charles Lyttelton, 5th Baron Lyttelton, becoming the 8th Viscount Cobham. Hagley Hall was built by George, 1st Baron Lyttelton, between 1754 and 1760 to the designs of architect Sanderson Miller.
Isaac Jeayes visited Hagley Hall in 1892 and suggested to Lord Cobham that he made a chronological inventory of his muniments. Jeayes 's 'Descriptive Catalogue', published in 1893, describes 461 of the deeds at Hagley and it is there noted that there was a chest containing 500 'less important deeds' for which a manuscript list was left with Lord Cobham; this was not subsequently published. The whole collection which Jeayes saw spanned the period Henry II [1154-1189] to 1783. Previous to Jeayes, the Worcestershire historian T. R. Nash consulted the deeds and a number are printed in his 'Collections for the History of Worcestershire', published 1781-82.
Source: 'Descriptive Catalogue of the Charters and Muniments of the Lyttelton family at Hagley Hall, Worcestershire ' by Isaac Herbert Jeayes (London 1893) [Not available at Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections]
'The English Home' http://www.theenglishhome.co.uk/inspiring-people/guardians-of-history/the_guardians_of_hagley_hall_1_2307420 (accessed April 2015)