Rawson Family and Estate Archive – Listed and Available!

WYAS is delighted to announce that the 405 page catalogue of the family and estate papers of various branches of the Rawson family of Sowerby, Halifax, etc has now been completed and the records are available for public consultation. 

This sees the final stage in a process which began with a survey of the records in the owner’s house, followed by conservation work which primarily took the form of freeze drying of the records at risk. 

The 113 boxes of records cover the years 1216-2005 and include a wide variety of records relating to the Rawson family and to many other distinguished local families with whom the Rawson family intermarried, such as the Saltmarshes of Saltmarshe, the Stansfelds of Field House, the Waterhouses of Well Head, the Empsons of Knaresborough, and the Prestons of Green Royd, Skircoat. A particularly large number of documents covering the years 1734-1894 originate with the Priestleys of White Windows with whom the Rawsons of Sowerby married three times, in two consecutive generations and the Walker family.

Golden Wedding of William Henry Rawson and Mary, nee Priestly 1856


The following selected items in the collection will hopefully show the range of records now available!

Deeds 1407-1952; wills, testamentary papers and marriage settlements 1614-1949; business records 1758-1951; list of subscriptions offered to enable raising of men to assist ‘His Majesty’s endeavours to put a stop to the unnatural rebellion in America’ c1777; genealogical notes 1777-1998; plans c1790-1951; roll of signatures of recruits for a Volunteer Corps for the security and protection of the neighbourhood of Halifax 1794; household notes and recipes c1800-1900; travel journals 1817-1890s, including visits to India, China, South America, etc; note book on musical matters 1823-1836 compiled by William Priestley (1779-1860), founder of the Halifax Choral Society; Sowerby Almshouses records 1854-1930 including register of inmates 1854-1930 and minutes 190-1912; photographs 1856-1936; goat registration cards 1890; records c1900-1938 relating to the distinguished career of  Admiral Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson (1843-1910), Governor of New South Wales 1902-1909; letter of condolence from Princess Marie-Louise of Schleswig-Holstein to Alice Rawson on the death of her mother in the Suez Canal 1905; press cutting of the Local News Section of the Halifax Courier including article relating to the awards for F P S Rawson after his attempt to save two lives at Zennor, Cornwall; records relating to St John’s Thorpe, Triangle 1856-1930; Sowerby Division Conservative Association minutes 1885-1953.


To view this collection please contact WYAS Calderdale


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