Historic Sandford family collection returns to Shropshire
A unique and valuable collection of records from the Sandford family has returned to Shropshire after being purchased by Shropshire Council’s Shropshire Archives service in a recent London auction.
Shropshire Archives already holds a fantastic collection of records relating to the Sandford family of Sandford Hall, near Whitchurch. They are one of the oldest and most prolific of Shropshire families who trace their roots back to a Thomas ‘de Saundford’, a Norman lord mentioned in Domesday book in 1086.
The collection of 150 records range from 1604 to 1777 and includes personal and political letters. There are letters and papers detailing troop movements and strategy in the Civil War, as well as more personal items. Among these are a number of love letters addressed to ‘Sweete Harte’ from Francis Sandford to his wife.
The collection also includes a selection of property documents including title deeds which chart the family’s source of wealth. Altogether the records shed light on the public and private aspects of life for an important family living in the county over a period of more than 150 hundred years.
These records are a very valuable addition to the overall collection and will fill in gaps in the family stories. Archives staff and volunteers are beginning work researching and cataloguing the records to make them accessible to the public.
The collection of records was purchased with the help of funding from the V & A purchase grant fund, the Friends of the National Libraries, Shropshire Family History Society and the Friends of Shropshire Archives.
Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member responsible for visitor economy, said:
“We are very grateful to all our funders for enabling us to bring these fascinating Sandford archives back to Shropshire. They represent an important part of our county’s story and will soon be available for research and study by everyone.”
The V&A Purchase Grant Fund is a Government fund that helps regional museums, record offices and specialist libraries in England and Wales to acquire objects relating to the arts, literature and history.
It was established at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in 1881 and continues to be part of its nationwide work. The annual grants budget, currently £750,000, is provided by Arts Council England (ACE). Each year, the Purchase Grant Fund considers some 200 applications and awards grants to around 100 organisations, enabling acquisitions of over £3 million to go ahead. www.vam.ac.uk/purchasegrantfund