This collection was purchased from C.R. Ferrers Esq. in July 1939 and is of interest for the history of Baddesley Clinton and the families living there from the early 13th century onwards. The Ferrers family, who acquired the property by marriage in the late 15th century, were amongst those who retained their Catholic faith after the Reformation. Henry Ferrers the antiquary (1549-1633), the representative of the family in the late 16th century, was an early contemporary of Sir William Dugdale. From the endorsements on some of the documents it is clear that various members of the family, notably Edward Ferrers (1585-1651) son of the antiquary, took a great interest in the preservation of the records of the estate. Edward Ferrers supplied Dugdale with an account of Baddesley Clinton, and Dugdale consulted Edward Ferrers about the incumbents of Baddesley church. Dugdale's comment on Edward's son Henry's refusal to participate in his scheme for illustrating his History of Warwickshire is well known, but Henry probably refused, not from lack of interest, but because of the financial difficulties which he had inherited from his father, and which had been accentuated by his losses during the Civil War. In the early 19th century William Hamper, the Birmingham antiquary, in the course of his official duties as a J.P. made the acquaintance of Edward Ferrers, and in a letter to his friend Thomas Sharp of Coventry dated 31 July 1812 wrote `Ed. Ferrers Esq supr;. of Baddesley was one of my associates on the Grand Jury, and on my being introduced to him by a mutual friend, he said he would be pleased to receive me at the old mansion house and to unlock his writings to me.' Hamper was not able to avail himself of this offer immediately, but on 16 January 1816 he wrote again to Sharp `On my way to the Sessions I spent two days with Major Ferrers at Baddesley Clinton, where from his general chest of deeds I have culled the most curious and brought them home for entry in my Dugdale.' Hamper endorsed these documents while he was studying them, and fortunately he returned them, otherwise they would have shared the fate of the rest of Hamper's collection which was destroyed in the disastrous fire at the Birmingham Reference Library in 1879. As it was, eight volumes of the notes of Henry Ferrers the antiquary which had found their way into the Staunton Collection were destroyed at this time. In addition to Hamper's endorsements, there is another there is another interesting series of endorsements written on a great number of the documents in or about 1839. So far it has proved impossible to identify the hand, but they may have been done by a member of the family or by an agent for the estate, as in some cases they reveal a knowledge of the working of the estate which would not have been easily available to an antiquarian. Henry Norris, who wrote his book on Baddesley Clinton, already quoted in 1897, as a friend of the family had access to the records and his work is based upon them. It was Norris who found in an early court roll of Baddesley dated 28 November 1389, one of the earliest known references to the name of Shakespeare in Warwickshire. It is believed that Norris arranged some of the documents, and the whole collection was numbered when it was sent to Westminster Abbey Library in July 1938. It has now been classified and re-numbered, though the old numbers have been preserved, and the present arrangement is as shown in the list of contents.