Malet Family papers, 1808-1937

Navigate the Collection

Using These Materials Teaser

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials

Collection is open for research.
More about accessing and using these materials...


Malet family
15 Linear Feet
7,000 Items
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The papers of the Malet family span the dates 1808-1937, with most of the papers being dated between 1824 and 1908. The papers consist chiefly of correspondence among members of the Malet family, particularly Sir Charles Warre Malet, Sir Alexander Malet and his wife Lady Marian Dora Malet, Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet, and Sir Edward Baldwin Malet, and their friends and diplomatic associates. Notable correspondents include Queen Sophia of the Netherlands, Sidney Herbert, Lord Clarendon, Lord Napier, Lord Stuart de Rochesay, Lord Brougham, Sir Rennell Rodd, Lord Lyons, Lord Granville and Lord Dufferin. The papers also include printed material, writings, financial papers, clippings, photographs, Lady Marian Dora Malet's diary (1831-1833), Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet's album of illustrations of his service in the Crimean War, and miscellaneous papers. The collection is particularly rich in material concerning 19th-century British diplomacy. The letters of Sir Alexander and Sir Edward Malet thoroughly document British relations with Russia, Portugal, Holland, Austria, Germany, the United States, France, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Belgium, China, and Egypt. The letters and album of Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet in the Malet Family Correspondence Series provide detailed information about the Crimean War, particularly the siege of Sevastopol.

The Queen Sophia Series contains around 900 letters (1842-1877) from Queen Sophia of the Netherlands to Lady Malet relating to political and diplomatic matters with references to Emperor Napoleon III, Empress Eugénie, and Prince Napoleon, of France; King William II, King William III, and Queen Anna, of the Netherlands; King William I and Queen Olga of Württemberg; Francis Napier, Baron Napier; Edward Henry Stanley, Earl of Derby; George William Frederick Villiers, Earl of Clarendon; Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, Earl Cowley; and to other members of the royal families of England, France, the Netherlands, and Württemberg.

In the Alexander and Edward Malet Correspondence Series, Sir Alexander Malet's letters to his mother chronicle his duty in Russia (1824-1827), Portugal (1833-1835), Holland (1836-1843), and Austria and Germany (1844-1845). Three letterbooks contain copies of dispatches that he wrote to the Foreign Office while acting as envoy to the Germanic Confederation at Frankfurt from 1852-1866. Bismarck, a friend of the family, was at Frankfurt between 1851 and 1858, and conversations with him were reported in the correspondence.

The letters of Sir Edward Malet in the Alexander and Edward Malet Correspondence Series cover his entire diplomatic career. He was in Washington, D.C. during the American Civil War, in Paris during the Franco-Prussian War and Commune, in Constantinople at the end of the Russo-Turkish War, and in Egypt as agent and consul-general from 1879-1883. Peking (1873), Athens (1874), Rome (1875-1876), Brussels (1884), and Berlin (1884-1895) were also on his tour of duty. One volume contains copies of Malet's dispatches from Egypt from 1881-1883. Around 4,000 letters span his career, documenting political events of the period.

The Malet Family Printed Material Series includes material concerning the marriage of Princess Louise of Schleswig-Holstein in 1891 and for the visit on that occasion of the Emperor and Empress of Germany. The Alexander and Edward Malet Writings Series includes Sir Edward's Shifting Scenes (1901) in both print and manuscript format and proofs and manuscripts of Sir Alexander's The Overthrow of the Germanic Federations by Prussia in 1866 (1870)

Biographical / historical:
Sir Charles Warre Malet, 1st Baronet
Date Event
1752, Dec. 30
1791, Feb. 24
Was created a baronet
1799, Sept. 23
Married Susanna Wales
1815, Dec. 15
Died and was succeeded by son Alexander Malet
Sir Alexander Malet, 2nd Baronet
Date Event
1800, July 23
1834, Dec. 22
Married Marian Dora Spalding (d. 1891, Jan. 2)
1886, Nov. 28
Died and was succeeded by son Henry Charles Eden Malet
Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet, 3rd Baronet
Date Event
1835, Sept. 25
1873, Feb. 19
Married Laura Jane Hamilton (d. 1922, May 9)
1904, Jan 12
Died and was succeeded by brother Edward Baldwin Malet
Sir Edward Baldwin Malet, 4th Baronet
Date Event
1837, Oct. 10
1885, Mar. 19
Married Lady Ermyntrude Sackville Russell (d. 1927, Mar. 22)
1908, June 29
Died and was succeeded by cousin Edward St. Lo Malet
Sir Charles Warre Malet, 1st Baronet
Date Event
Resident minister at Poona, India
Was created a baronet for his services at Poona, India
Acting Governor of Bombay
Retired and returned to England
Sir Alexander Malet, 2nd Baronet
Date Event
1800, June
Born at Hartham Park, Wiltshire
Succeeded to baronetcy
BA, Christ Church, Oxford
Entered diplomatic service as attaché at St. Petersburg
Secretary of Legation at Lisbon under Lord Howden
Married Marian Dora Spalding
Secretary of the Embassy at the Hague
Became Minister Plenipotentiary to the Germanic confederation at Frankfurt
Author of The Conquest of England
Author of The Overthrow of the German Confederation by Prussia in 1866
1886, Nov. 28
Died in London
Marian Dora Spalding, Lady Malet
Date Event
Born to Thomas Spalding and Mary Anne Eden
1834, Dec. 22
Married Sir Alexander Malet
Gave birth to Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet, 3rd Baronet
Anonymously published Violet, or The Danseuse: A Portraiture of Human Passions and Character, a satirical novel
ca. 1836
Became friends with Queen Sophia of Holland, with whom she corresponded until the Queen's death in 1877
1837, Oct. 10
Gave birth to Sir Edward Baldwin Malet, 4th Baronet
1891, Jan. 2
Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet, 3rd Baronet
Date Event
Born to Sir Alexander Malet and Marian Dora (Spalding) Malet
Commissioned in the Grenadier Guards
Served in the Crimean War
Was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel
Sir Edward Malet
Date Event
1837, Oct. 10
Born to Marian and Alexander Malet
Appointed attaché at Frankfurt at age seventeen
Appointed to the British Legation at Parana in the Argentine
Transferred to Brazil
Changed positions with William Brodie, attaché at Washington, D.C.
Returned to England as Head of Chancery
Transferred to Constantinople
Transferred to Paris
Promoted to Secretary of Legation at Peking
Accepted appointment as Secretary of the Athens Legation and transferred to Greece
Accepted appointment as Secretary of the Rome Legation and moved to Italy
Promoted to Secretary of Embassy
Appointed to Constantinople
Appointed Agent and Consul General in Egypt and transferred to Alexandria
Promoted to Minister at Brussels and transferred to Belgium
Appointed to Berlin as ambassador
Married Ermyntrude Hastings
Retired and returned to England
Published Shifting Scenes
1908, June
Died at the Chorleywood home of his sister-in-law, Lady Ella Russell
Acquisition information:
The papers of the Malet family were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library of Duke University between 1970 and 1990.
Processing information:

Processed by: Melissa Delbridge, William Erwin, Allan Freyer, Akira Ishii, Elizabeth Scott, Lisa Stark

Completed September 24, 1996

Encoded by Stephen D. Miller

When Duke University acquired the Malet family papers, dates had been penciled on some of the letters and documents. Researchers should be aware that some of these dates may not be accurate. No attempt has been made in the processing of the collection to change or verify them.

The name of Lady Marian Dora (Spalding) Malet is sometimes given as "Mary Anne" or "Marianne." In processing, the name "Marian" is used after the form used in the OCLC Name Authority File.

The papers of Alexander and Edward Malet were housed in acidic folders upon their arrival at Duke University. The notes on these folders have been photocopied and can be found in the Inventory Drawer in the Research Room, and may provide additional information about the material in the Alexander and Edward Malet section of the Malet Family Papers.

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

copyright interests in the papers of the Malet family have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.