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The collection consists of family and estate records of the Hengrave estate from the 16th century to the late 19th century, and the extensive antiquarian records of later members of the Gage family.  There are significant collections of 16th and 17th century correspondence, household accounts and inventories for Hengrave Hall, and papers relating to the Kytson, Gage and Rokewode families.  The Gages intermarried with the Rokewode/Rookwood family and became known as Rookwood Gage in the mid-19th century.  All three families were Recusant Catholics and the collection provides an insight into the lives of the Catholic gentry.

The antiquarian and natural history collections of Sir Thomas Gage, 7th Baronet, and the literary and antiquarian correspondence of his brother, John Gage, form the main part of the collection.  John Gage was a notable antiquarian and published works on the history of Hengrave Hall and the history and topography of Suffolk.  He also collected the works of earlier antiquarians and used this information in his own publications.  Of particular note are the twenty large volumes of aggregated historical information about Suffolk, arranged by hundred and parish.  There are also individual volumes and many loose documents (included several boxes of medieval title deeds) relating to the family estates and to Suffolk.

On a more personal level, there are a number of journals and sketches of nineteenth century continental tours by the Gage family with much information about flora and fauna. Further sketchbooks of Sir Thomas Gage are at MSS Add. 8813-15.

A draft listing of the collection is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.  There is a name index to the collection as well as a detailed list of the 16th and 17th century correspondence.

These papers, formerly held at Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, were deposited in the University Library in 1952. Since that date, further material has been received from, and some items transferred to, the West Suffolk Record Office at Bury St Edmunds. The collection was purchased by the University Library, with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other donors, in 2006

Contact: Sian Collins (01223 333141; sec93@cam.ac.uk)