Guide to the Papers of the Stanhope Family (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Stanhope Family
Papers of the Stanhope Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1700 - 1900
Collection Number
25 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Papers 1840-1843 of Philip Stanhope, Lord Mahon, referring to: motion of William Molesworth for abolition of transportation; land sales in South Australia; draft motion deploring increase in number of convicts on hulks; and convict discipline in Australia.

Letters 1863-1865 of Philip Stanhope while serving on HMS Sutlej on Pacific Station.

Papers 1886-1891 of Edward S. Stanhope. Subjects include: Australian divorce bills; admission of foreign troops and warships to colonies; New Guinea; Borneo; Adelaide International Exhibition 1887; Melbourne Centennial Exhibition 1888; defences of King George's Sound and Thursday Island; Samoa; Sir Henry Parkes; and Australian Federation. Correspondents include Lord Knutsford, Lord Salisbury, W.H. Smith, Lord Carrington, Lord Kintore, Sir Frederick Weld and Major Gen. J.B. Edwards.

Manuscript chart of coast of New Guinea 1700.

Letters 1791-1803 of William Pitt referring to Dutch East Indies, panopticon proposal of Jeremy Bentham, and conditions at Port Jackson.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, England, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1983 (AJCP Reel: M1904). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Kent History and Library Centre, James Whatman Way, Maidstone ME14 1XQ, England. For further information see Stanhope Family at the Kent Archives Office (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Adelaide International Exhibition (1887); Albany, Western Australia; Australia; Austalia: laws; Australia: defence; Australia: Federation; Bentham, Jeremy; Borneo; Convict ships; Convicts; Dutch East Indies; Edwards, J.B., Maj. Gen.; Gascoyne-Cecil, Robert A.T., 3rd Marquess of salisbury; Great Britain; Great Britain. War Office; Holland, Sir Henry T., 1st Viscount Knutsford; Keith-Falconer, Sir Algernon, 10th Earl of Kintore; Land: South Australia; Maps, plans and charts: Papua New Guinea; Melbourne International Exhibitions (1881); Molesworth, Sir William; New Zealand; New Zealand: army and defence; Papua New Guinea; Parkes, Sir Henry; Pitt, William; Politicians: Britain; Queensland: army and defence; Royal Navy: Pacific station; Samoa; Smith, W.H.; Stanhope Family; Stanhope, Edward; Stanhope, Philip, 1st Baron Weardale; Sutlej, HMS (ship); Sydney, New South Wales ; Thursday Island, Queensland; Transportation of convicts: cessation; Weld, Sir Frederick; Wynn-Carrington, Charles R.W., 1st Earl Carrington


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 434, pp169-170.

Biographical / Historical

James Stanhope (1674-1721), 1st Earl Stanhope (created 1718). M.P. 1701-1721. Minister to Spain 1706-1712, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Spain 1708-1712. Secretary of State 1714-1717. First Lord of Treasury and Chancellor of Exchequer 1717-1718, 1718-1721.

Charles Stanhope (1753-1816), 3rd Earl Stanhope (succeeded 1786). Scientist. Married Lady Hester Pitt (d. 1780), sister of William Pitt, Prime Minister in 1783-1801 and 1804-1806. Their daughter, Lady Hester Stanhope (1776-1839), was Pitt's secretary and housekeeper, and later a traveller and eccentric.

Philip Stanhope (1805-1875), 5th Earl Stanhope (succeeded 1855), styled Viscount Mahon, 1816-1855. Conservative M.P. 1830-1833, 1835-1852. Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1834-1835, Joint Secretary to India Board 1845-1846. President of Society of Antiquaries 1846-1875, President of Royal Literary Fund 1865-1875, Trustee of National Portrait Gallery, 1856-1875. Historian and biographer of Pitt.

Philip Stanhope (1838-1905), 6th Earl Stanhope (succeeded 1875). Served in Royal Navy on Pacific Station, 1863-1865. Conservative M.P. 1868-1875.

Edward Stanhope (1840-1893), son of 5th Earl Stanhope. Educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. Conservative M.P. 1874-1893. Parliamentary Secretary to Board of Trade 1875-1878, Under-Secretary of State for India 1878-1880, President of Board of Trade 1885-1886, Secretary of State for Colonies August 1886-January 1887, Secretary of State for War 1887-1892.

Item Descriptions

Fonds C 296-477. Papers of Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope, and Lady Stanhope

6 items

Series C 316-380. General Correspondence: Correspondence with Lord Derby, 1840 - 1869

2 items
Correspondence between Lord Mahon (P. Stanhope) and Lord Stanley, May 1840 - August 1841 (File C 362/2)

Motion of W. Moleworth for abolition of transportation; views of E. Macarthur on need for convict labour; ticket of leave system; Molesworth Committee; amendment to report of Committee on land sales in South Australia.

(6 letters)

Correspondence between Lord Mahon and Lord Stanley, January 1843 - March 1843 (File C 362/3)

Offer of Governorship of Van Diemen's Land to J. Pakington (includes letter from Pakington declining appointment); convict discipline in Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island.

(5 letters)

Series C 381-400. Political letters and papers

1 item
Draft motion deploring increase in number of convicts on hulks. Correspondence between Lord Mahon and E. Macarthur, J.G. Howard, F.M. Innes, W. Mann, February 1841 - March 1841 (File C 387)

Discusses: transportation; shortage of labour in N.S.W.; Justice W. Burton; A. Maconochie; Van Diemen's Land; J. Backhouse.

(5 items).

Series C 537-611. Correspondence of Evelyn, 6th Countess Stanhope, 1845 - 1923

1 item
Lady Mary Lygon (Sydney) to Lady Stanhope, 25 June 1900 (File C 588)

Music; sends leaflet on Sydney Musical Competition; riding.

Series C 714. Papers of Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope, and Lady Stanhope, 1863 - 1865

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Correspondence from Philip Stanhope R.N. to his parents written while serving on H.M.S. Sutlej on Pacific Station, 1863 - 1865 (File C 714/26-28)
1 item
P. Stanhope (Equimault) to Lady Stanhope, 15 June 1864 (Item C 714/27)

Account of voyage to Pitairn Island and Tahiti.

Fonds 0219-342. Papers of Edward S. Stanhope

15 items

Miscellaneous Cabinet Papers (File 0231/4)

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Lord Knutsford. Memorandum on Australian divorce bills (4 pp.), February 1890 (Item)

Printed papers on imperial defence and other subjects, 1886 - 1891 (File 0235)

4 items

Filmed selectively.

General H. Brackenbury. Telegraphic communications with stations abroad from the point of view of imperial defence (15 pp.), 31 May 1889 (Item)
Commercial union between U.K. and the colonies (11 pp.), 9 February 1891 (Item)
Colonial Office. Postage to Australian colonies (2 pp.), 4 November 1886 (Item)
Colonial Defence Committee. Admission of foreign troops and warships to colonies (9 pp.), 23 July 1887 (Item 0235/4)

Printed papers on New Guinea and Borneo, 1886 - 1887 (File 0247)

Cabinet and Foreign Office papers, including correspondence on British New Guinea Protectorate, Nov. 1886 (32 pp.), distribution of Pacific Islands between Great Powers, 1 August 1887 (5 pp.), affairs of North Borneo, March 1887 (3 pp.), German protectorates in South Seas and elsewhere, July 1887 (4 pp.)

Printed papers on Australia, 1888 - 1889 (File 0248)

Colonial Office papers, including correspondence on appointment of Governors in South Australia and Queensland, Nov. 1888 (10 pp.), Chinese immigration into Australia, June 1888 (7 pp.), responsible government in Western Australia, 13 May 1889 (16 pp.).

Letters of Lord Salisbury, 1886 (File 0249/1)

2 items
Stanhope to Lord Salisbury, 31 August 1886 (Item)

Recommends Royal Commission be appointed in London to promote Adelaide International Exhibition.

Lord Salisbury to Queen Victoria, 31 August 1886 (Item)

Recommends appointment of Royal Commission.

Correspondence with Queen Victoria, 1886 - 1892 (File 0250/1)

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Stanhope to Queen Victoria, 29 October 1886 (Item)

Recommendations for honours, including W. Buller of New Zealand and J. Mason of Fiji.

Stanhope to Queen Victoria, 16 November 1886 (Item)

Recommends appointment of Sir Robert Hamilton as Governor of Tasmania.

Letters from Sir Robert Herbert, 1886 (File 0288)

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Sir Robert Herbert to Stanhope, 23 November 1886 (Item)

Request of Sir George Bowen for baronetcy.

Sir Robert Hamilton (Dublin) to Stanhope, 26 November 1886 (Item)

Thanks for letter; plans for leaving Ireland.

Sir Robert Herbert to Stanhope, 4 December 1886 (Item)

Imperial Conference; telegram on New Guinea; appointment of Sir Robert Hamilton as Governor of Tasmania.

Letters from Lord Knutsford, 1886 - 1892 (File 0292/1)

10 items

Filmed selectively.

E. Wingfield (Colonial Office) to Stanhope, 27 May 1887 (Item)

Invitation to serve on Royal Commission to promote Melbourne Centennial Exhibition.

[Wanton?] to Stanhope, 17 December 1887 (Item)

Regarding Chief Justice Onslow's suspension and [Wanton's] application for his position. Asking for assistance in gaining the position.

Sir Henry Holland to Stanhope, 23 January [1888] (Item)

Impossibility of appointing A. Warton Chief Justice of Western Australia; opposition to responsible government in Western Australia.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 26 January 1888 (Item)

Speech given regarding the postion of the Office.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 22 May [1889] (Item)

Suggestion of Sir Henry Loch that Australian volunteer or militia force serve in India.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 24 May [1889] (Item)

Arranges interview with Sir Henry Loch; suggestion of Lord Lamington imperial troops be sent to Australia.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 4 June 1889 (Item)

Sends extract from Lord Onslow on Australian defences.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 15 October [1889] (Item)

Lord Onslow urges J. Edwards to inspect New Zealand volunteers.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 25 October [1889] (Item)

Visit of J. Edwards to New Zealand; stationing of Royal Engineers at Straits Settlements.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 24 April 1890 (Item)

Opposes decision not to send Royal Engineers to Singapore.

Letters from Lord Knutsford (File 0292/2)

7 items

Filmed selectively.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 6 January 1891 (Item)

Defences of King George's Sound and Thursday Island.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 14 January 1891 (Item)

Letter from Capt. Moore on Australian defences.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 16 February 1891 (Item)

Letter from Capt. Moore on Australian defences.

Stanhope to Lord Knutsford, 17 March 1891 (Item)

Defences of King George's Sound and Thursday Island.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 30 June 1891 (Item)

Parliamentary question on military contribution of Straits Settlements.

Lord Wolseley to Duke of Cambridge, 26 October 1888 (Item)

Criticisms by Stanhope of minute on garrisons for Torres Strait and King George's Sound.

Lord Knutsford to Stanhope, 22 January 1891 (Item)

Armed expeditions.

Letters from Lord Salisbury, 1878 - 1892 (File 0308)

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Lord Salisbury to Stanhope, 4 December 1886 (Item)

New Zealand's 'monstrous' claims to Samoa.

Stanhope to Lord Salisbury, 2 December 1886 (Item)

Suggests joint control of Samoa between Britain, United States and Germany; need to wait for report of Sir John Thurston.

Lord Salisbury to Stanhope, 10 May 1891 (Item)

Refers to deputation on federation.

Letters from W.H. Smith, 1875 - 1897 (File 0310/1)

2 items

Filmed selectively.

W.H. Smith to Stanhope, 6 November 1886 (Item)

Inquires about arrangements in Australian colonies during absence of governor.

W.H. Smith to Stanhope, 18 November 1886 (Item)

Requests introductions to Canada and New Zealand for son of W. Mackenzie.

Letters from Australian Governors (6 letters), 1886 - 1891 (File 0321)

4 items
Lord Carrington (Sydney) to Stanhope, August 1886 - February 1887 (Item)

Sir Henry Loch; Naval Defence Scheme; N.S.W. politics; memorials to Sir Joseph Banks in N.S.W.; Sir Henry Parkes; Sir Patrick Jennings; honours. (3 letters)

Lord Carrington (High Wycombe) to Stanhope, 29 January 1891 (Item)

Work of Major-General J.B. Edwards in Australia.

Sir William Robinson (Adelaide) to Stanhope, 27 January 1887 (Item)

Queen's Jubilee; Imperial Conference.

Sir Frederick Broome (Perth) to Stanhope, 20 November 1886 (Item)

Seeks governorship of Tasmania; financial difficulties.

Letters from Colonial Governors, 1886 - 1890 (File 0322)

4 items

Filmed selectively.

Lord Kintore (Melbourne) to Stanhope, 16 January 1890 (Item)

Visit to New Zealand; Sir Joseph Banks Islands in South Australia.

Lord Kintore (Adelaide) to Stanhope, 23 September 1889 (Item)

Visit of Major-General J.B. Edwards.

Sir Frederick Weld (Singapore) to Stanhope, 31 August 1886 (Item)

Seeks governorship of Ceylon; work as Premier of New Zealand; tour of Native States; Sultan of Johore.

Lord Kintore (Adelaide) to Stanhope, 6 May 1889 (Item)

General Downes; short comings of South Australian militia.

Letters from Bishops, 1867 - 1892 (File 0326)

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Archbishop E. Benson to Stanhope, 27 November 1886 (Item)

Sends letter from Bishop A. Barry urging Royal Assent be witheld from N.S.W. Divorce Extension Bill.

Correspondence with War Office officials, 1887 - 1892 (File 0331)

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Major-General J.B. Edwards (Sydney) to Stanhope, 18 November 1889 (Item)

Tour of Australia; necessity for federation; Sir Henry Parkes; responsible government in Western Australia.

Major-General J.B. Edwards (Hong Kong) to Stanhope, 15 March 1890 (Item)

Australian tour; Sir Henry Parkes; resignation.

Fonds P. Maps and plans

1 item

Manuscript chart of coast of New Guinea, c. 1700 (File P56)

The chart, 37" × 20", shows the route of a voyage, presumably that of William Dampier in the Roebuck, from Timor to Ceram, Banda Island, along the western coast of New Guinea (Cape Maba, Goram), and the coast of New Britain. It refers to the discovery of Dampier Strait between New Guinea and New Britain, 25 march 1700.

Fonds S5. Papers of William Pitt

3 items

Letters of Lord Malmesbury (File S5. 03/3)

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Lord Malmesbury to [Pitt], 15 January 1803 (Item)

Resources of United Provinces; decline of Dutch East India Company; low profits of spice trade; possibility of Bandas, Fernate or Celebes being used as military or colonizing bases. (12 pp.)

J. Bentham to Pitt, 23 January 1791 (File S5 06/7)

Sends papers on panopticon penitentiary house; refers to bad news of N.S.W. establishment; failure of convict hulks.

Enclosure: Outline of plan of construction of a panopticon penitentiary house. (8 ff.)

M. Margarot (Pt. Jackson) to Pitt, 1 October 1800 (File S5 06/43)

Governor J. Hunter; high cost of penal settlement; impossibility of defending Sydney; need for soldiers to be employed on civil works; lack of progress of colony; qualities needed in governor; need for code of laws, better educational system, better communications with England. (11 pp.)