Regency family’s archive to be made accessible to public

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AN ARCHIVE from one of Yorkshire’s leading 18th century families which provides a fascinating insight into life in Regency England will now be accessible to the public for the first time.

The collection of 300 private papers chronicles events ranging from the ancient borough of Richmond in North Yorkshire to the Royal Court during the “madness of King George”.

The correspondence relates to the holders of the Dundas and Zetland titles and their families between 1764 and 1820, and has now been bought by North Yorkshire County Council for £4,000 from a private collector.

The documents are at the North Yorkshire County Record Office in Northallerton, and it is thought to be the first time that the collection has been opened up to the public. The main Dundas archive was deposited with the County Record Office in 1965, but an important group of papers had become separated and its whereabouts remained unknown until now.

The papers relate to the affairs of Sir Lawrence Dundas, his son Thomas Dundas, first Baron Dundas of Aske, and his grandson Lawrence Dundas, the first Earl of Zetland.

The family lived at Aske Hall, near Richmond, and took a keen interest in the political life of the nation. Sir Thomas, who was born in 1741 and died in 1820, was the MP for Richmond and an associate of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York.