Fonds BUL - Bulwer of Heydon Family Papers

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Bulwer of Heydon Family Papers


  • early 13th century-1979 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

54 series

Context area

Name of creator

(early 13th century-20th century)

Biographical history

The Earle family became the principal landowners at Heydon with Serjeant Erasmus Earle (1590-1667). In 1762 the estate passed to an heiress, Mary Earle, the wife of William Wiggett who had taken the name Bulwer on succeeding to the estate of his uncle William Bulwer of Wood Dalling in 1755. The additional surname of Lytton was used by the descendants of William Earle Bulwer and Barbara Lytton, who married in 1798. These marriages account for the presence of pre-1755 Bulwer papers and a few Wiggett and Lytton documents. Other papers acquired by marriage include some of the Blaicklocks of Seascale, Cumberland, and of the Bagge/Lee Warner family of East Dereham and the Derings of Denver.

Archival history

BUL 2-14 covers the Bulwer of Heydon family and estate papers deposited in the Norfolk Record Office except the papers of Henry Bulwer, 1st Lord Dalling, the ambassador, listed separately as BUL 1, and except also earlier deposits mainly of deeds and manorial records received from the executors of Colonel Bulwer in 1937-1939 and through the Norfolk Record Society in 1953-1956. These were placed in the Norwich Central Library and transferred to the Norfolk Record Office on its inception in 1963.
These earlier deposits include: deeds of the Norfolk estates from the 13th century onwards; records of manors in Briston, 1329-1688, Cawston, 1421-1769, Heydon and Stinton, 1422-1740, Reepham, 1566-1633, Salle, 1327-1683, and Thurning, 1319-1630; a personal and farming account book of the Bulwer family, 1620s-1720s; husbandry leases of the 17th and 18th centuries; 17th and 18th century cookery and medicinal recipes; window tax returns for Cawston and Erpingham, 1758; an account between Erasmus Earle and his guardian Nicholas Hare, 1688; papers of George Sawer of Cawston landsurveyor and parish officer, c 1590-1610, including a map of Felbrigg, 1598; a 17th-century law book, probably of Erasmus Earle; letters etc. of Augustine Earle when an ensign at Gilbraltar, 1712-1713, and his infantry notebook, 1722; letters to Augustine Earle from John Christian on excise office matters, 1758; an inventory of the goods of William Bulwer of Wood Dalling, 1735; Wood Dalling churchwardens' accounts, 1662-1743; letters between W.W. Bulwer and his son John in the 51st Regiment, 1784-1787, 1790; Bulwer and Earle estate accounts, 1741-1763; and drawings of the 1790s for alterations to Heydon Hall and for estate buildings.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 19 July 1968, 26 May and 25 June 1982 (MS 21817 numbered BUL 1/1/1/1-37-BUL 1/423), 27 June 1989 (MS 22953 numbered BUL 1/424-427), 4 December 1990 (MS 23092 numbered BUL 1/428-438), 26 May and 25 June 1982 (MS 21938 numbered BUL 2/1-BUL 14/55), 27 June 1989 (MS 22954 numbered BUL 15/1-127), 4 December 1990 (MS 23093 numbered BUL 16/1-319).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

BUL 1 Diplomatic Papers of William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer, Baron Dalling and Bulwer (1801-1872)
BUL 2 Title Deeds: Norfolk Suffolk and General
BUL 3 Settlements and Mortgages
BUL 4 Family Papers: Earle, Earle Bulwer and Lytton Bulwer
BUL 5 Family Papers: Bulwer of Wood Dalling and Guestwick
BUL 6 Family Papers: Wiggett of Guestwick and elsewhere
BUL 7 Family Papers: Bagge/Lee Warner of Quebec House, East Dereham
BUL 8 Family Papers: Dering of Denver, Norfolk, and of Kent
BUL 9 Family and Estate: Lytton of Knebworth, Herts.
BUL 10 Manorial
BUL 11 Estate Records
BUL 12 Antiquarian Collections
BUL 13 Miscellaneous: Dashwood of Wimbotsham and elsewhere
BUL 14 Miscellaneous
BUL 15 Additional Family and Estate papers (1696-1949)
BUL 16 Further Additional Family and Estate papers (c 1500-1979)

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The Collection was last arranged by E.A.E. Bulwer in the early part of this century, many of whose endorsements and notes remain with the documents. Bulwer and his father W.E.G.L. Bulwer also bought in a number of documents of antiquarian or genealogical interest. These are placed in a separate section, so far as they can now be identified.

Numbers not used- BUL 11/67, BUL 11/78, BUL 15/29

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Related units of description

Cellar book, 1796-1803 (1 volume); Typescript 'It happened at Heydon 1640-1936' by Mrs Edward Bulwer, mainly a perambulation of the parish with references to estate map of 1693 (1 file); 'Memoirs & Verses relating to the family collected at different Times by William Earle Lytton Bulwer 1821' inc. verse probably by Messenger Monsey, epitaphs, the legend of a white pigeon appearing as an omen of death at Heydon. Inserted, MS verses (Latin and English) by Holmes master of Holt School on the marriage of W.W. Bulwer and Mary Earle, 1756, with letter from J.T.B. Hales presenting same, 1891, engraving of Monsey, 1789, verses [? by Monsey] to Fleanora [? Earle] at Heydon with verse reply; copy letter from Lord Nelson to W.E. Bulwer referring to their schooldays at North Walsham and promising to seek promotion for officer Mr. Johnson, 1801, correspondence re right of the Earles over the advowsons of Cawston and Salle in relation to Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1932 (1 volume). On microfilm MF/RO 334/1, 3.

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