A piece of Australian history which has been under lock and key in Aylesbury returns to its roots today after 122 years in Buckinghamshire.
The fascinating Victorian memorabilia consist of 22 large presentation albums given to the third Lord Carrington when he came to the end of his five-year term as Governor of New South Wales in 1890.
Today Buckinghamshire’s archives team bid them farewell when they start their journey down under to the State Archives of New South Wales.
No fewer than 13 volumes contain collections of colourful hand-illuminated addresses from towns, cities, institutions and associations of New South Wales expressing gratitude to Lord Carrington as Governor.
Others contain original black-and-white photographs of places visited by Lord and Lady Carrington, and people they met.
Rupert Carington, son of Lord Carrington, of Bledlow, who consented to presenting the volumes to New South Wales, said: “It seems more appropriate that they should be in Australia, where they will be of high local interest, than here in Buckinghamshire.”
Buckinghamshire County Council archivist Sarah Charlton, who has been cataloguing the Carrington archives, said the collection was a valuable and fascinating late 19th century snapshot of New South Wales life and times.
“Clearly, the third Lord and Lady Carrington were much loved and honoured by the people of New South Wales,” she said.
“These volumes form a fascinating window on life in a developing corner of the old British Empire – a unique historical legacy, a nostalgic aroma of a long forgotten era, which we’ve been caring for over the past decades in the Carringtons’ county.”
The volumes were in the Carington family, who lived at Wycombe Abbey from 1799 to 1896 and later at Daws Hill, for many decades before being passed to the care of High Wycombe Library.
About 10 years ago they were transferred to the county archives at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, in Walton Street, Aylesbury, where they have been available for viewing.
The suggestion to repatriate the volumes was made after the Carrington archives were recatalogued last year.
The Carington family name is spelled with one ‘r’ while Lord Carrington’s title has two ‘r’s.