The Cavenagh Family fonds is comprised of documents relating primarily to army officer and colonial governor Sir William Orfeur Cavenagh (1820–1891), who served as the last India-appointed Governor of the Straits Settlements (now Singapore and Malaysia). The collection also contains material relating to two of his seven siblings, Gordon Cavenagh and Matthew Cavenagh (d. 1864), and their father James Gordon Cavenagh (1766–1844), who was an army surgeon.
Correspondence, commissions, letter books, diaries, printed material, certificates and other documents provide insight into Sir William Orfeur Cavenagh’s military career in India and Nepal (1837 -1858) and his tenure as Governor of the Straits Settlements (1859-1867).
Material relating to Gordon Cavenagh (who served with the Bengal Infantry) and Matthew Cavenagh (who emigrated to Canada and died in 1864) can also be found in the fonds. Correspondence from 1864 to 1867 between the Cavenagh family and various correspondents (including R. Calvert) relate to Matthew Cavenagh's estate in Canada. The fonds also includes letter books of Henry William Dent dating from 1881 to 1893.