The connecting thread in this collection of records of remarkable diversity is provided by the Lovell family. The earliest material dating from the mid 17th century is of Thomas Lovell [d.1691] of Axbridge, Somerset, who served as mayor of the borough in 1681. The accumulation of records of the family's estates in North Somerset was continued by his son Peter [1686-1767]. It was the marriage of his son John to Sarah, the daughter of Audley Harvey of Cole Park, Malmesbury, in 1757 which led to that estate passing to the Lovell family.
John Lovell was actively involved in the family affairs of his father-in-law notably the estates of Audley Harvey's sister Mrs. Mary Smith of Shaw, Melksham and Simon Crane, a distant cousin, who both died intestate. This explains the presence of family records of those two in the collection.
The marriage of John's son Peter Harvey Lovell to Charlotte Willes brought a large accumulation of papers, in particular of her grandfather Edward Willes, bishop of Bath and Wells, and his sons into this archive.
Records of David Pugh, M.P. for Montgomery, notably his diaries for the years 1843-1861 accrued in this collection through his son-in-law Peter Audley Lovell.
DEEDS: of the estates of the Lovell, Willes and Harvey families chiefly in Somerset and Wiltshire, but also in the counties of Bedford, Essex, Hertford, Huntingdon, Stafford and elsewhere.
RECORDS OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT
Surveys: of Hitchin, Ickleford, Ippollitts, Pirton, all Herts.; Shillington, Beds.; Godmanchester, Hunts.; Allerton, Compton Bishop, Huish and elsewhere in Somerset.
Accounts: chiefly of the Somerset, Wiltshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire property.
Plans: of property at Hitchin, London, Stevenage, Malmesbury, Lea and Cleverton, Little Somerford.
RECORDS OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT
Accounts: at Axbridge, Som.; St. Ibbs, Herts., and Llanerchydol, Montgom.
Library catalogue of Sir Francis Willes at St. Ibbs.
Correspondence: of the Lovell family concerning parish business, executorships, turnpikes, the Crane family, elections.
Documents relating to the estate of Mrs. Mary Smith of Melksham, dec'd.
Correspondence: concerning the payment of tithes for Cole Park, school life, elections, domestic matters, travel, gamekeeping, ciphers, the Harvey family, Simon Crane.
Willes and Lovell families: deciphering, enclosure, travel in Russia and Spain, Visas, diocesan business, mines in Flint, correspondence re engagements off Cape Finisterre and in India (1747-9), fishing rights.
Commissions, licences, grants of arms: Willes, Lovell.
Lists and notes re repair of Highbridge river banks, Som., etc.
Ecclesiastical administration: Lincoln, Bath and Wells, Salisbury (Willes family).
Pedigrees and genealogical notes: Veale, Vaughan, Lovell, Pugh, Harvey and Willes families.
Accounts: of and concerning members of the Willes, Crane, Lovell, Harvey, Chapman families.
Journals, diaries, almanacs: of Thomas Smith of Shaw House, Melksham, 1715-1722; Thomas Lovell of Axbridge, Som., 1677-1680; Sir Francis Willes, 1818; Charlotte Lovell, 1837-1841; David Pugh of Llanerchydol, Montgom., 1843-1861; etc.
Legal papers: concerning Wiltshire and Somerset estates.
Plans, sketches, enclosure and other acts, pamphlets, legal and farm account books.
Account book of Hawkhurst, Kent charity.
Accounts of Thomas Lovell for the Borough of Axbridge, Som.
Farm accounts of Peter Lovell, Axbridge.
Parish records: Compton Bishop and Axbridge, Som, Cole Park and Malmesbury, Wilts.
Land Tax Office: Collectors' records.
Diocesan Registrar, Bath and Wells: accounts and letters.
Chancery prothonotary records.
Diocesan and archidiaconal records, Bath and Wells and St. David's Dioceses.
Miscellaneous ecclesiastical papers.
Addenda - mainly correspondence.