Archer, Simon, Sir (1581 -1662)
Sir Simon Archer was the eldest son of Andrew Archer, of Umberslade in the parish of Tanworth in Warwickshire, and Margaret, daughter of Simon Raleigh, of Farnborough. His family descended from a `Robert Saggitarius' who received Umberslade from the Earl of Warwick's steward in the reign of Henry II. He was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1602, helped his father to run their growing estates, married Anne, one of the daughters of Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth Castle in 1614, was knighted, became a Justice of the Peace in 1624, and was Member of Parliament for Tamworth in 1640. One of his principal interests was the history of his family and his estates and this led him to collect materials for a history of Warwickshire. To this end he employed Sir William Dugdale, who eventually completed the work and published his Antiquities of Warwickshire in 1656. Sir Simon was succeeded by his son Thomas (1619 1685) who again expanded the estates and opened an iron forge at Clifford. His son Andrew (1659 1741) was an agricultural improver, and his son Thomas was raised to the peerage as Baron Archer of Umberslade in 1747. Sarah the heir of the last Lord Archer married the fifth Earl of Plymouth in 1788. Part of Sir Simon Archer's collection of transcripts perished in a fire at Birmingham Reference Library in 1879. Another part was sold by Sotheby, Leigh, Sotheby and John Wilkinson on 20 November 1862 in a Sale of the manuscripts of Sir Francis Palgrave and original manuscripts and collections of Sir Simon Archer and Sir William Dugdale, and part of these are now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, while the family archives remain at Hewell Grange, the home of the present Earl of Plymouth.