In an event at the Hornby Library tonight, 7th January 2016, letters to the Earls of Derby from members of the Royal Family and other prominent figures are being made available at Liverpool Central Library for the first time.

Thousands of papers, which also include diaries and other documents written in the 1800s and belonging to the 13th, 14th and 15th Earls of Derby, have been deciphered over a 20 month period by experienced archivists.

The Earls of Derby, based at Knowsley Hall, have had a significant impact as national politicians and local magnates and landowners in Lancashire, affecting education, hospitals, law, agriculture, trade and Art.

The documents include correspondence from Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, Horatio Nelson, Edward Lear, the Duke of Wellington, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Catherine Gladstone, Florence Nightingale and Herbert Spencer.

The letters are now catalogued in detail and fully accessible at Liverpool Record Office in Central Library and also available and searchable online.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Cllr Tony Concepcion and Ann Concepcion examine original letters to the Earls of Derby