- 1660-nd [c 1853]
This part of the Bradfer-Lawrence papers relates to the Townshend family of Raynham Hall, Norfolk. These papers were presumably among those sold in 1911 and 1924 when the bulk of the great Raynham Hall archive, calendared by the Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1887, was dispersed. This dispersal is described by A. Hassell Smith in his introduction to The Bacon Letters (Norfolk Record Society, XLVI). Many of the papers passed into the hands of dealers who subsequently sold them in small lots. Harry Bradfer-Lawrence purchased a number of letters in batches, mainly in the 1920s and 1950s. The most significant of the Townshend papers catalogued here are the diplomatic papers of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1674-1738) and the papers of his grandson the 1st Marquess Townshend (1724-1807) relating to the raising of militia and yeomanry for the defence of East Anglia during the Napoleonic wars. Where possible, references to items listed in HMC 10: 11th R.IV (Townshend) have been given.
The seven great 'bailiwicks' of the Townshend estate were at: Stanhoe; Langham and Morston; Stibbard and Ryburgh; Stiffkey; South Creake; East and West Rudham; and East Raynham. The Bradfer-Lawrence collection contains a vast number of deeds for these areas, many of which are Townshend documents of title. However, because Bradfer-Lawrence acquired his papers from a number of sources it cannot be assumed that all deeds to land in parishes or in manors where the Townshends had property came originally from the Raynham Hall archive, and these bundles of deeds have not been transferred to this section. Similarly although many estate papers and some volumes of accounts are to be found in this list, others were included in Bradfer-Lawrence's original numbered groups and it has been thought best to leave these groups intact within the main Bradfer-Lawrence collection. All bundles catalogued in this list have been cross-referenced with their previous reference number from the main Bradfer-Lawrence list.
Harry Lawrence Bradfer-Lawrence; 1887-1965; antiquary; King's Lynn, Norfolk