Baron Hill Manuscripts

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 222 BHILL
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      latin, english welsh
  • Physical Description
      50 linear metres Physical characteristics are noted in the catalogues alongside the description of the documents.

Scope and Content

A collection of 8933 items relating to the Bulkeley family of Baron Hill, Beaumaris and their estates in Anglesey, Caernarvonshire and Cheshire, 1329-1913. It is catalogued under the following main headings: family papers (wills, settlements, personalia, etc.), in which individuals are represented such as William Bulkeley the elder (will dated 10 June, 1490), the first of the family to emigrate to Anglesey from Cheshire; William Bulkeley the younger; Rowland Bulkeley; Sir Richard Bulkeley I; William Bulkeley of Porthamel; Sir Richard Bulkeley II; Sir Richard Bulkeley III (will dated 4 April 1614); George Bulkeley of Amlwch; William Bulkeley of Coedan; Thomas Bulkeley of Llanfairfechan (first Viscount Bulkeley, ob. 1659); Sir Richard Bulkeley IV (ob.1624); Richard Bulkeley; son of Sir Richard Bulkeley IV (will dated 2 March, 1639/40, ob. 1640); Richard Bulkeley, son of Thomas [Viscount] Bulkeley; Robert Bulkeley, 2nd Viscount, second son of Thomas Bulkeley; Thomas Bulkeley of Dinas, Llanwnda; Richard, 3rd Viscount and son and heir of Robert, 2nd Viscount; Richard, 4th Viscount Bulkeley and son and heir of Richard, 3rd Viscount; Richard 5th Viscount Bulkeley; Sir Hugh Williams, Bart. (third husband of Lady Emma Bulkeley, widow of James, 6th Viscount Bulkeley); Thomas James, 7th Viscount Bulkeley (ob.1822); Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams Bulkeley and Sir R. H. W. Bulkeley; deeds and other documents relating to properties in Aberalaw, Amlwch, Beaumaris, Berw, Bodafon, Bodedern, Bodegrihydd, Bodffordd, Bodelgady, Bodfilog, Bodhenlli, Bodlew, Bodwrog, Bryngwallen, Caerdegog, Cerriggwyddyl, Castell Bwlchgwyn, Cefn Alaw, Cemlyn, Cerrigceinwen, Cleifiog, Clorach, Clynnog Fechan, Conysiog Lan, Cornwy Lan, Dinsylwy Frenin, Dwyran Feuno, Dwyran Esgob, Eglwys Ail, Eiriannell, Gafrogwy, Heneglwys, Hirdre-faig, Llanbabo, Llanbedr-goch, Llanddeusant, Llanddona, Llanddyfnan, Llandegfan, Llandyfrydog, Llandysilio, Llaneilian, Llannerch-y-medd, Llanfachreth, Llanfaes, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf, Llanfair Mathafarn Wion, Llanfair-yng-Nghornwy, Llanfechell, Llanfihangel Dinsylwy, Llangefni, Llangoed, Llangristiolus, Llangwyllog, Llangyngar, Llaniestyn, Llanllibio, Llanol, Llanrhwydrys, Llanrhyddlad, Llansadwrn, Llantrisant, Llanynghenedl, Llechog, Lledwigan, Llechylched, Llwydiarth, Llysdulas, Nanmorfa, Newborough, Penhwnllys, Penmon, Penmynydd, Pentraeth, Pentre'r Gwyddyl, Perthior, Porthaethwy, Porthamel, Porthllongdy, Rhodogeidio, Rhosbeirio, Rhoscolyn, Trealaw'r Beirdd, Treednyfed, Trefadog, Trefarian, Trefarthen, Treferwydd, Trefdraeth Wastrodion, Trefor, Trefri, Trefyscawen, Tre'r-dryw, Tregarnedd, Trewalchmai, Tyndryfol and Ynys-gnud, co. Anglesey; Aber, Bangor, Beddgelert, Betws Garmon, Bodellog, Bodfaeo, Bodsilin, Bryn Goshall, Brynie, Caerhun, Caernarfon, Castellmai, Clynnog, Conwy, Creuddyn, Cyngreawdr, Dwygyfylchi, Eiriannws, Eirias, Elernion, Glasfryn, Gloddaith, Glyn, Gogarth, Gorddinog, Gweredros, Gyffin, Isheli, Llanbedrycennin, Llandudno, Llanengan, Llanfaglan, Llanfairfechan, Llanfair-is-gaer, Llangelynnin, Llangwnnadl, Llangystennin, Llanwnda, Llechan, Meyllteyrn, Penfro, Penllech, Penmaen-mawr, Penrhyn Creuddyn, Trecastell, Trefferi, Trefwarth, Tremorfa, Tydweiliog, Uwch-heli and Ultra Daron, co. Caernarfon (including the lands of Bartholomew de Bold in the commote of Arllechwedd Isaf); and in Ardswood, Ashley, Cheadle, Edgeley, Middlewich, Timperley and Whatcroft, co. Chester; rentals, 1527-1890; surveys and valuations, 1772-1857; estate, household and home farm accounts, 1709-1901; account books and personal memoranda of Sir Hugh Williams, 1781-1794, and of Sir Robert Williams, 1802-1830; documents and papers relating to the Civil War and its repercussions in Anglesey, 1642-1648, including letters from Archbishop John Williams, the Princes Rupert and Maurice and from various Cavalier and Parliamentary officers, mainly to Thomas, first Viscount Bulkeley; assessments and returns under the Militia Acts of the Restoration, etc., 1661-1711; papers relating to Anglesey elections in the 18th and 19th centuries, including letters, lists of freeholders, a poll book (1708), etc., 1708-1852; a group of papers, including letters relating to Jacobitism in North Wales, 1714-1716; a group of letters addressed to Sir Hugh Williams and Sir Robert Williams and relating to estate and domestic matters, 1748-1810; papers, including accounts, reports, maps and letters, relating to mines and quarries, including the Parys Mine, Amlwch; Cwm Eigia Slate Quarry, the Great Snowdon Mountain copper mine, the Britannia Copper Mine and the Anglesey lime works and Mona Marble Quarries (Penmon), 1853-1913; maps and plans, 1770-1890; miscellanea, of which the outstanding item is the original extent of the counties of Caernarfon and Anglesey, made in 1352 by John de Delves, Deputy Justice of North Wales and of the county of Merioneth. Copies of this were made in the 16th century, and it is from one of those copies (now held at the British Museum) that the Record of Caernarvon, edited by Sir Henry Ellis for the Record Commission in 1838, was based.

The Baron Hill Further Additional Manuscripts include, deeds and documents relating to Beaumaris, Holyhead, Llanbabo, Llandegfan, Llanddona, Llanfaes, Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, Llanfihangel Dinsylwy, Llangefni, Llangoed, Llangristiolus, Llangwyllog, Llaniestyn, Llanrhuddlad, Llansadwrn, Llanynghenedl, Penmon, Pentraeth, co. Anglesey; Beddgelert, Betws Garmon, Caerhun, Henryd and Llanwnda, co. Caernarfon; co. Cheshire and co. Middlesex; other deeds and documents, include marriage settlements and wills; rentals, surveys, valuations and particulars, relating to co. Anglesey, Caernarfon, Chester and London; estate correspondence, papers and diaries; financial papers, which include, financial ledgers and account books, cheque books, statements and saving books, taxation papers, investments and shares papers, insurance papers and vouchers; home farm papers, including vouchers, accounts, correspondence and papers; papers relating to estate workers and employees; maps and plans; permit and parking books, for Penmon; personal and family papers; papers relating to associations, societies and clubs; and miscellaneous papers, which include printed material and newspaper cuttings, photographs and prints, Anglesey and Gwynedd County Council papers, Beaumaris Town Council papers, parish records, tithes and various other items.

Administrative / Biographical History

It cannot be stated exactly when the Bulkeleys of Baron Hill, Beaumaris first arrived in Anglesey from Cheshire, but it is believed that they were settled in Anglesey before 1450. Their arrival is usually credited to William Bulkeley the elder, who married one of the daughters of the old Penrhyn family of Griffith. They rapidly acquired farms in Anglesey and Caernarvonshire and soon became one of the most powerful families in North Wales. When at its most powerful the family had lands in all six commotes of Anglesey, and important interests in the Creuddyn peninsula, in the town of Conwy, and in the eastern and western districts of Arllechwedd, Caernarvonshire. They also had much property on the Hirael foreshore in Bangor and in the town of Caernarfon. In 1448, William, the son of William Bulkeley the elder, married Alice, daughter of Bartholomew de Bolde, and it was this all-important marriage that laid the foundation of the compact Bulkeley possessions in the two commotes of Isaf and Uchaf in Arllechwedd. Also, in 1749, by the marriage of James, 6th Lord Viscount Bulkeley to Emma, daughter and heiress of Thomas Rowlands of Caerau, the family gained the Caerau estate in north-west Anglesey and the Plas-y-nant lands near Betws Garmon that stretched past Rhyd-ddu to the slopes and summit of Snowdon. Younger branches of the family also developed, and became important families in their own right, such as the Bulkeleys of Porthamel, the Bulkeleys of Gronant and Dronwy, the Bulkeleys of Brynddu and later on, the Bulkeleys of Cremlyn, Cleifiog, Plas Goronwy and Ty'n-y-caeau.

There was no surviving heir to the marriage of William Bulkeley the younger and Alice, and therefore his brother, Rowland Bulkeley, inherited the Caernarvonshire and Anglesey lands. With the accession of the third Richard Bulkeley in 1572, we come to one of the greatest personalities of the house of Bulkeley, who was knighted, in ca. 1534. With his death in 1621, the affairs of the Bulkeleys of Baron Hill took a downward turn. It was alleged that the fourth knight, Richard (d.1645), was poisoned by Sir Thomas Cheadle in order that Cheadle could marry his widow. The accusations were never proven, and the affair subsided into a personal vendetta, which resulted in a dual on Lavan Sands early in 1650, in which Captain Richard Bulkeley was killed. Cheadle was later executed at Conway Castle.

After 1621, the Baron Hill lands, by a series of untimely deaths, fell into the hands of Thomas Bulkeley (d.1659). Soon after his accession, the Civil War broke out and he became the leader of the King's men in Anglesey. In doing so he pleased the Cavaliers and was created Viscount Bulkeley of Cashel in Ireland in 1644. Thomas was also the head and front of the Anglesey insurrection of 1648, and he no doubt paid the highest proportion of the D9,000 composition fine fixed upon the island by a decree of parliament. The Civil War and its vicissitudes greatly impoverished the Bulkeley interest. The son of Thomas Bulkeley, Robert (second Viscount, d.1659) married Sarah Harvey, daughter of a rich alderman of the City of London in 1654. There are mixed views as to whether this marriage was a marriage of convenience to secure the dowry of D7000 or not.

With the advent of the Restoration, the Bulkeleys came into their own again. Robert, 2nd Viscount, became Deputy Lieutenant of the six counties of North Wales, while the 3rd and 4th Viscounts made brilliant marriages, one with the Egertons of Oulton in Cheshire, the other with a daughter of the Earl of Abingdon. These two, the 3rd and 4th, were confirmed tories, High Churchmen and Jacobite in sympathy. The result was that the age-long monopoly of the Bulkeleys in the representation of Anglesey and its boroughs was challenged. The opposing factions were led by the Owens of Bodeon, the Meyricks of Bodorgan, and by Lloyd Bodvell of Bodfan. Owen Meyrick of Bodorgan fought four county elections against the 4th Viscount. The Bulkeleys were successful, but only just. Meyrick failed in 1708 and 1710, but won in 1715, then lost again in 1722. Little happened during the tenure of the 5th and 6th Viscounts. The latter died in May 1752, and his son Thomas James, the 7th, was born posthumously in the following December. He grew to be a powerful personality like some of his ancestors. With him the peerage in Ireland ceased, but in 1784 he was created a peer of the United Kingdom under the title of Lord Bulkeley of Beaumaris. Unfortunately, he died without issue in 1822, and the peerage therefore also became extinct and the long line of Bulkeleys of Baron Hill came to an end, after an unbroken descent from William Bulkeley the elder. Lord Bulkeley was succeeded to the estate by his nephew, Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams (1801-1875) who was the son of his half brother, Sir Robert Williams. The 7th Viscount's mother, Emma, Viscountess Bulkeley had married, as a second husband, Sir Hugh Williams of Arianwst, and it was their grandson who succeeded to the estate in 1822. In 1827, Richard Bulkeley Williams received the King's special permission to assume the additional surname of Bulkeley, to become Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams-Bulkeley. He inherited not only the main Bulkeley lands in the counties of Anglesey and Caernarvonshire, but the Talybolion and Gwyrfai interests brought in as dower to the 6th Viscount by Emma Rowlands of Caera, Llanfair yng Nghornwy. He also came into possession of the Arianwst lands in commote Isaf, which had been inherited by Sir Hugh Williams.


Listed according to type of documents, then subject/geographical area, then chronologically.

Access Information


Open to all users.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1937, 1942 and 1949 by Sir Richard Williams Bulkeley of Baron Hill (and Plas Meigan), Beaumaris. The further additional manuscripts were deposited ca.1996, by Sir Richard Thomas Williams-Bulkeley.

Other Finding Aids

Six catalogues at item level mainly.

Separated Material

See index of National Library of Wales Handlist of Manuscripts, volumes I, II, III and IV under Bulkeley, and also under Baron Hill in volume IV.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics made at the discretion of the archivist.

Appraisal Information

It was deemed expedient to fix a date of demarcation in the schedule at 1752, partly because of the reform of the calendar in that year, but far more because of the death of the 6th Viscount, and the changes that arose out of his widow's remarriage and the fact that her son by the first marriage died without issue. The documents up to 1752 have been divided into two sections, one being family documents, the other being deeds pertaining to the Cheshire lands, and all the Anglesey manuscripts. The second volume includes all the Caernarvonshire papers and the third includes family and conveyancing documents, 1753-1910, divided between the counties of Caernarfon and Anglesey, and subdivided into parishes and groups of parishes. Volumes IV to VII deal with various aspects of the estate administration, the participation of the Bulkeleys in war and politics, the correspondence of Sir Hugh and Sir Robert Williams, together with sundry forms of miscellanea.


Additional documents have been received but have not yet been scheduled.

Related Material

Bangor Manuscripts 643, 17134 (A), 25943, 28799, 29362, 34582 (33), 36383, 36398, 365547, 36548, 37269-37274.


Jones, David Cyril, The Bulkeleys of Baron Hill, 1440-1621, (Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Wales (U.C.N.W., Bangor: History))

Richards, Thomas, 'The Anglesey Election of 1708', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1943), pp. 23-34

Roberts, B. Dew, 'Cheadles against the Bulkeleys', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1945), pp. 25-37.

Jones, E. Gwynne Jones (ed), '"History of the Bulkeley Family" (NLW MS 9080 E)', with Introduction by B. Dew Roberts, Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1948), pp. 1-99

Roberts, B. Dew, 'Bulkeleys in Exile', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1950), pp. 91-93

Dodd, A. H., 'Anglesey in the Civil War', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1952), pp. 1-33

Jones, D. Cyril, 'The Bulkeleys of Beaumaris, 1440-1547', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1961), pp. 1-20

Tucker, Norman, 'The Military Activity of Colonel Richard Bulkeley', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1965), pp. 7-24

Thomas, Peter D. G., 'Sir Hugh Williams and Lady Bulkeley : love and politics in mid-eighteenth-century Anglesey', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1992), pp. 51-62

Hughes, Elen Wyn, 'A summary of the Baron Hill further additional collection at the University of Wales, Bangor', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, (1998), pp. 79-86

Wiliam, Dafydd Wyn, Y canu mawl i deulu Baron Hill,(Bodedern: [Dafydd Wyn Wiliam], 1995)

Conditions of farm letting on the Baron Hill Estate: the property of Sir R.B. Williams Bulkeley, Baronet ([Beaumaris?: Baron Hill Estate, 1847])

Conditions on which Sir R.B. Williams Bulkeley, Baronet, agrees to let his lands, farms, and premises ([Beaumaris?: Baron Hill Estate, 1859])

Can o fawl a dymuniad o lwyddiant i Syr Richard Bulkeley Williams a olygir yn gyfiawn aer ar Baronhill yr hwn a ddaeth i'w oed Medi 23, 1822 ([S.l. : s.n., 18--?] Caernarfon: P. Evans)

J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families; with their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and other parts, (Horncastle, 1914), pp. 42-43.

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 under the Auspices of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, (London, 1959)

Burke, Sir Bernard, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, the Privy Council, Knightage and Companionage