The Archives at Claydon are owned and managed by the Claydon House Trust, an independent charitable trust (Reg Charity no: 326677) set up in 1984.
The archives contain a fascinating collection of letters, papers and historic documents from centuries of Verney and Nightingale family history.
The Verney papers comprise the Verney letters and the records of the Verney estate.
Dating from the 17th and 18th century they are recognized as one of the most significant series of personal correspondence in the world. They consist largely of the correspondence of Sir Ralph Verney, who seems to have kept every letter ever written to him, and some drafts of his answers as well. The letters provide a fascinating insight into the social and political climate of the day, especially during the Civil War, when Sir Ralph and his father, Sir Edmund, the King’s Standard Bearer, found themselves on opposing sides.
There is no catalogue of the Verney letters, but many of them were published in Memoirs of the Verney Family edited by Parthenope Lady Verney and Margaret Lady Verney.
Microfilms of the letters are available at the British Library, the Bodleian Library and the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies in Aylesbury; and also at Yale University.
The records of the Verney estate include deeds, maps, rentals, estate correspondence, recipe books, drawings, personal papers and other documents one would expect a country house and its occupants to produce.
The Nightingale papers comprise letters of Florence Nightingale to her sister, Parthenope, and brother-in-law, Sir Harry Verney, and family papers and letters of Parthenope and her parents, W E and Fanny Nightingale. Copies of the letters from Florence Nightingale are available at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.
Copies of the catalogues are available at the National Archives, the British Library and the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies as well as at Claydon. The catalogue of the Nightingale papers is also available at the Wellcome Institute and the Derbyshire and Hampshire Record Offices.
The Archive is open by appointment once a month on a Saturday. There is a fee for access to the Archive, currently £30 per person per visit.
For enquiries and details of available appointments, please write to:
Mrs Sue Baxter
Claydon House Trust
e-mail: [email protected]
Please include your postal address when requesting an appointment