- nd [12th century]-1935
The archive is extremely rich in medieval title deeds for property in Kimberley and nearby parishes (KIM 2). There is also an extensive collection of later title deeds for estates in the same area of the county and also for the Witton area in North east Norfolk where the family acquired land on marrying into the Norris family in 1796 (KIM 3-4). There are manor court records for manors in both areas (KIM 1).
There are many records of the family's involvement in county politics (KIM 6). They include a letter book of Sir Philip Wodehouse concerning the county militia, 1599-1602 (KIM 6/2); poll book for the county election of 1700 (KIM 6/7); details of election business and expenses 1728-1893 (KIM 6/14-33); letters concerning the riots of 1830 (KIM 6/38); papers re Forehoe House of Industry, 1770-1782 (KIM 6/10); papers re the building of Carleton Bridge, 1815 (KIM 6/13).
There are some papers relating to international affairs including St Petersburg in the 1850s and the siege of Paris in 1870 (KIM 7). However the main body of the political papers of the first Earl of Kimberley is at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. (There are also smaller groups in the British Library and in the National Library of Scotland.). The family correspondence includes a very detailed series of letters written from Sheerness during the naval mutiny there in 1797 (KIM 14/5/4).
The family kept no register of leases they issued on farms that they owned but there are many hundreds of counterpart leases (KIM 11). The estate's financial records (KIM 5) are also very extensive, especially for the second half of the nineteenth century: the Kimberley estate has probably the most detailed records for this period of any large Norfolk estate.
The collection includes family letters, journals and poetry (KIM 9, 14). These include some relating to the 'Grand Tour' of Europe (KIM 9/7-10; KIM 14/5/21-22). There are papers relating to work on Kimberley Hall itself, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries (KIM 8). The first Earl took a great interest in the history of the family and there is a large quantity of genealogical material (KIM 13).
Wodehouse family; 1415-20th century; Earl of Kimberley