Lydia Catherine Van Hattem Davall Brydges, Duchess of Chandos (1693-1750), was the daughter of John Vanhattem, an Anglo-Dutch merchant. Her first marriage was to Thomas Davall (1682-1714), a London merchant and M.P. for Harwich, who was also her cousin. He was knighted in June 1713 and died less than a year later in April 1714, leaving Catherine, a wealthy widow with a son, Thomas who died in 1718, thus ending the Davall line. Lydia Catherine became the third Duchess of Chandos on her marriage to James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos (1674-1744). The Duke died in 1744, leaving Lydia, for the next six years, to settle his accounts and auction art, furniture, and other household items in order to pay off his debts before her own death in November 1750.
Scope and Content
The collection, which spans from 1538-2002 (bulk 1548-1780), contains 927 items pertaining chiefly to Duchess Lydia's business and financial activities in the intervening six years between her husband's death and her own, as well as the activities of her extended family. In addition, there is correspondence with her family, lawyers, and estate officials, information about the Cannons auctions and the sale of other Brydges properties, and some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century records pertaining to her own family and the Mayne and Goodall families who once lived at the Van Hattem seat at Dinton Hall in Buckinghamshire. There are also a large number of papers and deeds concerning various properties held by the family, including Cannons, Shaw and Speen. Some pieces are in Latin.
Organized in the following manner: 1. Correspondence (Boxes 1-12); 2. Accounts and Financial (Boxes 13-15); 3. Deeds (Boxes 16-31); 4. Manorial and Estate (Boxes 32-34); 5. Personal Papers (Boxes 35-38); 6. Misc., Including Legal (Box 39); 7. Ephemera (Boxes 40-41); arranged alphabetically and chronologically. The spelling of Lydia Catherine Brydges' family name of Van Hattem was spelled variously: Vanhattem, Vanhattum, van Hatten. For purposes of consistency, Lydia Catherine's name was spelled Van Hattem, regardless of how it is spelled by the author of a letter or deed. The same is true for her married name of Davall, variously spelled in the collection as Davall, Devall, Davale, Devoll; on the folders and in the Finding Aid the name has been spelled Davall. Related to Brydges Family Papers, 1382-1910 (bulk 1600-1800), a sub-collection of the Stowe Archive.