The Leveson-Gower family did not pursue political power on the national stage for its own sake. However, their wealth and position in Staffordshire society meant that they were engaged in local politics and occupied positions of influence and responsibility on the national stage.
The Sutherland Papers contain many fascinating documents relating to Staffordshire politics during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including voting records from Newcastle in the 1790s and press cuttings relating to the Federation of the six Potteries towns of North Staffordshire in 1910.
The Leveson-Gower family were also involved in national military campaigns and philanthropic work. Sir John Leveson (1555-1615) played a major role in military preparations against Spanish invasion during the Armada in the late sixteenth century. The Sutherland Papers contain the wartime correspondence of Sir Richard Leveson (1598-1661), a leading Royalist commander during the Civil War. Papers also survive relating to the Leveson-Gower family's controversial involvement in the Highland Clearances during the early 1800s. Later in the nineteenth century George Granville William Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1828-1892), the third Duke of Sutherland, was involved with the Stafford House and Mansion House committees - two voluntary associations established for philanthropic work and for furthering the development of the Commonwealth. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Millicent Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1867-1955), the fourth Duchess of Sutherland, travelled to Belgium where she established a medical unit which served wounded soldiers throughout the First World War. The Sutherland Papers contain battle accounts, scrapbooks, correspondence and newsletters relating to the Leveson-Gower family's involvment in national events and campaigns from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.
Click on the links below to learn more about Staffordshire politics and national events in the Sutherland Papers
First World War
Stafford House Committee
Mansion House Committee