Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 13.13.00Historians will be discovering the day to day life of a Georgian era gentleman at a talk on the letters of the Queen’s great great great great great grandfather.

George Bowes of Gibside – who was an ancestor of the late Queen Mother – received regular correspondence from his cousin in London, giving fascinating insights into the problems of eighteenth century life.

Dawn Layland, education and outreach archivist at Durham County Council, said: “From unwanted wedding presents and awkward travelling companions to highwaymen and striking miners the letters offer a fantastic glimpse into what the world was like 300 years ago.”

George Bowes was born to a wealthy family in 1701 and in 1722 he inherited both Streatlam Castle, once located near Barnard Castle, and Gibside, which is still open as a National Trust property near Rowlands Gill in Gateshead.

He also inherited a good deal of wealth, much of it centred in the coal industry, and he was a key figure in the early regulation of the coal trade.

George was elected as MP for Durham in 1727 and he went on to commission significant improvements to the gardens at Gibside.

The archives featured in the Highwaymen and striking miners: Letters to George Bowes talk are held and cared for at the Durham County Record Office.

The Record Office holds a range of archives relating to the Bowes family, including correspondence, deeds, records relating to the foundation of Bowes Museum – which was established by George’s great-grandson John – and manorial records dating from as far back as the 16th century.

The talk takes place at County Hall in Durham on Thursday 17 March, from 7pm to 8.30pm.

Booking is essential and tickets, priced £5, are available by calling 03000 267626.