Finding NoDDST
Extent0.22 cu.m. (22 boxes)
Date16th century-1985
DescriptionIncludes the papers of Sir Tatton Sykes, 5th baronet, 1863-1897; correspondence of Lady Jessica Sykes, 1872-1908 and her diaries, 1877-1906; the correspondence of Christopher Sykes, 1840s-1898 and his diaries, 1852-1859; the correspondence of William Pakenham, 1853-1924, his diaries, 1861-1894 which include his logbooks, 1876-1880 and his naval reports, 1902-1909; the correspondence of Margaret Strickland-Constable, 1881-1940, her diaries, 1915-1953 and household inventory [1922]; pedigrees covering 11th-20th century including Sir William Strickland grant of baronetcy 30 Jul 1641; photographs, 19th century-1922.
This catalogue was produced with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
AdminHistoryIncludes the papers of Sir Tatton Sykes, 5th baronet, 1863-1897; correspondence of Lady Jessica Sykes, 1872-1908 and her diaries, 1877-1906; the correspondence of Christopher Sykes, 1840s-1898 and his diaries, 1852-1859; the correspondence of William Pakenham, 1853-1923, his diaries, 1861-1894 which include his logbooks, 1876-1880 and his naval reports, 1902-1909; the correspondence of Margaret Strickland-Constable, 1881-1940, her diaries, 1915-1948; pedigrees covering 11th-20th century; photographs, 19th century-1922.

The Strickland-Constable papers were deposited in 1990 by Robert Frederick Strickland-Constable, son of Frederick Strickland-Constable of Wassand Hall and his wife, Margaret. They comprise the personal papers of three families: the Sykes, the Strickland-Constables and the Pakenhams. The marriage of Margaret, daughter of Sophia Sykes and Thomas Pakenham, to Frederick Strickland-Constable of Wassand Hall not only united these two families but also their respective family archives.

The Strickland-Constable family originated from and are descendents of William Strickland (d.1598) who founded this branch of the family in and around Bridlington. The pedigrees at DDST/2 show that the family can be traced back to the 16th century. In 1863 George Strickland took the name Constable in addition to Strickland, thus creating the Strickland-Constable name. The family succeeded by marriage to the Wassand estates of the Constable family. Wassand Hall, near Hornsea was rebuilt in the early nineteenth century using a design by Thomas Cundy. The house survives today. Sir Henry Marmaduke Strickland-Constable, Baronet (1900-1975) left the house to his widow, Lady (Ernestine) Strickland-Constable (d.1995) and she by her trustees, including her and Sir Henry's great-nephew Rupert Russell who still resides there today. The papers relating to the Wassand Hall estate are under reference DDWS.

William and Margaret were relatives of the Longford family as their uncle was 4th earl. The family originally hailed from County Westmeath in Ireland. The pedigree at DDST/2 reflects an ancient lineage back to the 11th century. William and Margaret were the children of Rear-Admiral Thomas Pakenham. In 1853 he married Sophia Sykes, the third daughter of Sir Tatton Sykes, 4th baronet. They had seven children, all of whom have an archival presence in this archive. The Pakenham family pedigree can be found at DDST/2/1/1/8 and traces the lineage back to c.1100.

The Sykes family are of merchant stock, finding their fortune in the eighteenth century. Richard Sykes (1678-1726) was a wealthy man when he married Mary Kirby, co-heiress to the estates of the third largest merchant in Hull, Mark Kirby. One of these inherited estates was Sledmere where the family still reside today.

The Strickland-Constable family archive includes hundreds of letters and many diaries. The catalogue has been structured so that the personal papers are listed under each individual and then within chronological order. It appears that Robert Frederick Strickland-Constable attempted to catalogue the papers himself and many documents have his reference numbers written on them. Each bundle retains its original format but they have been put in chronological order. This will explain why the depositor's reference numbers occasionally do not run in order.

Lady Christiana Anne Jessica Cavendish-Bentinck (1856-1912) married Sir Tatton Sykes (1826-1913) in 1874. Her archive comprises hundreds of letters and a few diaries. Her correspondents include George 'Bay' Middleton, Lucien de Hirsch, Jack Gorst, Magens Frijs and Lord Dufferin (1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple Blackwood). Although the subject matter concerns mainly day to day matters, her crumbling marriage and her extra-marital affairs, they also provide evidence of her talent as a watercolourist. She travelled widely, was well read and an author in her own right. In 1900 'Sidelights on the War' was published based on her experience travelling to South Africa to attempt nursing during the Boer War. The diary and manuscript which formed the basis for this book is at DDST/1/2/2/3 and DDST/1/2/2/4. Jessica formally separated from Tatton in 1898, and, although there are affidavits relating to this, they do not appear to have divorced. The marriage produced one son Mark (1879-1919) who played an important role in Middle Eastern affairs (the Sykes-Picot agreement). There are a few letters and articles written by Mark at DDST/1/2/1/26 and 29. There are few items relating to his father Tatton Sykes except some financial papers and a few papers relating to church building.

This lack of material on Tatton Sykes is partially compensated for by the amount of material relating to his brother Christopher. The presence of the Sykes papers in this collection was initially a mystery until it was discovered that William Pakenham was executor to the wills of both Christopher Sykes and Jessica Sykes. William probably gave the archives to his sister Margaret, who, after marrying Frederick Strickland-Constable bought the papers into the Strickland-Constable family. This probably explains their presence in this collection.

Christopher Sykes (1831-1898) was the younger brother of Tatton and as the second son sought to find a purpose to his life. He took Brantinghamthorpe in Brough as a residence and entertained royalty and peers during the 1870s and 1880s. He was also MP for the East Riding and was responsible for the passing of the Protection of Seabirds Bill in 1869. From 1865 to 1868 he was Conservative MP for Beverley and represented the East Riding of Yorkshire from 1868 to 1885 and the Buckrose constituency from 1886 to 1892. His archive comprises mainly letters and diaries. The diaries date from the 1850s when he was trying to establish himself as a man of fashion and learning and they relate his thoughts and experiences when travelling on the continent. In one diary he writes about his visit to Balaklava during the Crimean War. The archive relates little to his political career although there are a few letters from Claud Hamilton MP. The letters span his life from his mid-teens to his death and include letters to and from his sister, Mary, who died young and letters from the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII). These letters highlight the social network in which he existed and attempted to survive and includes correspondence from Francis Knollys and Lord Roseberry amongst others. Christopher became an expert in books, china and furniture. The sale catalogues at DDST/1/3/3 which were produced after his death reveal the extent of Christopher's collections.

William Pakenham (1861-1933) joined the navy in 1874 as a cadet when 13 years old. When he died in 1933 he was Rear-Admiral. His naval career was internationally renowned having fought at the Battle of Jutland, having been 'mentioned in despatches'. His correspondence includes many letters to his mother Sophia Pakenham, the daughter of Tatton Sykes, 4th baronet, many of which were written whilst on board ship. The arrangement reflects the physical nature of the archive when it was deposited as the bundles of letters from William to his father and mother were boxed together with the letters he received from them. It seems that on their death the letters were returned to him. For this reason they have been arranged within Pakenham's archive and in chronological order. His log books were compiled in the 1870s when he was 15 years old, they contain some fine watercolours and are meticulously written. His diaries written whilst sailing around Australia and New Zealand illustrate life in the colonies. Newspaper cuttings at DDST/1/5/4 provide a detailed account of William Pakenham's career. However, his role as naval attaché to the Japanese fleet during the Russo-Japanese war was his most notable position. He was based mainly on the battleship the 'Asahi' but was also onboard the flagship the 'Mikasa' during the Battle of Tsushima (known as the Battle of Japan). The draft and copy reports noting his observations that were sent back to England can be found at DDST/1/5/3. The photographic evidence of his career his particularly revealing as there a many photos of his Japanese naval colleagues and their families and there are a large number of photographs taken whilst on board Japanese ships and during his post as naval attaché. Some photographs appear to have been taken during battle. There is one photograph of Admiral Heihachiro Togo of the Japanese fleet with a dedication to Pakenham. The archive also contains the wills of his brother, Edward Tatton Pakenham and sister, Selina Frances Pakenham.

William Pakenham's sister, Margaret Strickland-Constable (1873-1961) married Frederick Strickland-Constable (1860-1917), the heir to Wassand Hall in 1898. They had three children: Henry Marmaduke, Robert (the depositor of these papers) and Lettice, their only daughter. Her papers include correspondence from her brother who wrote much of his correspondence from on board ship and they provide a useful insight into William Pakenham's own thoughts on national and international events. For example he reveals his personal thoughts on important naval matters such as the Battle of Jutland and Beatty's promotion as Admiral of the Fleet. Her diaries are particularly important in giving a first hand experience of nursing in Hornsea and Cottingham during the First World War and she also gives her own account of the Zeppelin attacks on Hull. Her interest in the cost (both financial and personal) of the War is reflected in her scrapbooks. They also reveal that she may have worked in the Censor Department during the First World War as she had a good knowledge of German, French, Swedish, Danish and Norweigan. There is some correspondence between Margaret and her children but little relates to her husband except some watercolour paintings at DDST/3/1/1 and a few letters from his eccentric cousin, Walter Strickland, known as the 'wandering baronet' who relinquished his baronetcy which was later inherited by Margaret's eldest son Henry Marmaduke.

The main Sykes of Sledmere collection is located at Hull University Archives under reference DDSY.
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