What is in this guide?

This guide is an aid to researching eighteenth century childhood at Chatsworth House, primarily focusing on the children of the Devonshire family.

The guide provides an overview of eighteenth century childhood in general, along with key individuals and themes that feature in the Devonshire Collection Archives.

This topic is spread over multiple collections, mainly the family papers at Chatsworth. It aims to be a starting point for researching the subject of childhood, listing the most relevant collections. It is not a comprehensive list of all the material held at Chatsworth but aims to include as many relevant sources as possible and explores the varying available avenues which may offer further traces.

The contents of the Devonshire Collection Archives reflect the typical elite childhood of the 1700s. However, the period following the marriage of Charlotte Boyle to the 4th Duke reflects a notable shift from these norms. Their collection of correspondence is a rich resource and reflects the shifting patterns linked to Romanticism and the ‘cult of motherhood’.

The guide is created for, but not exclusively, A level and university students, teachers, history groups, and any other parties who may be interested in exploring eighteenth century childhood at country houses such as Chatsworth.

Read the 18th Century Childhood at Chatsworth study guide.

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