A collection of 20,871 items consisting in the main of estate and family correspondence, but also including deeds, rentals, accounts and miscellaneous papers relating to Anglesey and Caernarvonshire and ranging in date from 1546 to 1930. Among the subjects covered in varying detail by the correspondence and papers are politics and electioneering in the two counties from 1784 to 1868 (the collection is particularly valuable for the light which it throws on the various Anglesey county elections between 1784 and 1868 and the borough elections, 1832-1868; the Caernarvon county elections of 1784, 1790, 1796 and 1826 and the borough elections from 1784 to 1833); the Anglesey militia and deputy-lieutenancy, 1782-1854; local administration in Anglesey between 1791 and 1854; social and economic conditions in Anglesey and Caernarvonshire (and Caernarfon town in particular), 1789-1856; the Menai Bridge project, 1784-1830; the establishment of schools in Anglesey in the 1840's; and industrial enterprises in which the first Marquess was interested; the Penrhyn Du lead mine (Llanengan, Lleyn), the Penrhyn Mawr colliery (Malltraeth, Anglesey), and the Gallt-y-llan slate quarry (Llanberis). Deeds in the collection refer to land and properties in Aberffraw, Amlwch, Bodlegady, Bodlew, Coedana, Clorach, Dinsylwy Rys, Heneglwys, Hirdre-faig, Holyhead, Llanbadrig, Llanddaniel-fab, Llanddyfnan, Llandrygarn, Llandyfrydog, Llanedwen, Llaneilian, Llanfaelog, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf, Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, Llanffinan, Llanfihangel-yn-Nhywyn, Llanfechell, Llangefni, Llangoed, Llangristiolus, Llanidan, Llansadwrn, Llanrhuddlad, Llysllew, Mathafarn Wion, Penmynydd, Penhwnllys, Porthaethwy, Porthamel, Trefdraeth, Tre-ifan, Tre'r-beirdd, Trewalchmai and Ysgeifiog, co. Anglesey; Aber, Bangor, Caerhun, Caernarfon, Castell, Llanbeblig, Llanbedr, Llanberis and Llanfairfechan, co. Caernarvon; Allington, Bodlith, Chirk, Cristionydd Cynrig, Gwern Halghton, Llansilin and Ruabon, co. Denbigh; Halkin, co. Flint and Penderyn, co. Brecon, 1546-1854. Personalities represented in the deeds include, Sir Henry Bagnall of Newry, Ireland (and Plas Newydd); his sons Arthur Bagnall and Griffith Bagnall; Piers Griffith of Penrhyn, Llandygai; Sir Richard Trefor of Trefalun (his will dated 28 October 1636 is included); Sir Edward Bayly, Sir Nicholas Bayly and the 1st and 2nd Earls of Uxbridge. There is also an extensive series of rentals of the Marquess's estate in Anglesey and Caernarvonshire, 1782-1930, and a few for the Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Somerset and Irish properties, 1789-1867. Series VIII consists of establishment papers, which includes household and home farm papers; estate papers of the Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll Agency and the Amlwch Agency, which include papers on Parys Mountain; maps and plans; and general estate papers. Series IX consists of property deeds and documents relating to the parishes of Amlwch, Holyhead, Llandysilio, Llanddaniel Fab, Llanedwen, Llanfihangel Ysgeifiog, Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, Llanffinan, Llansadwrn, and mixed parishes, co. Anglesey; Dorset, London, Sussex and Ireland; rental and rent receipt books; Inland Revenue papers; insurance papers; estate correspondence; domestic and household establishment papers, personal correspondence and papers; Letters Patents and other documents; papers relating to yachting and shipping; financial papers; maps and plans; and miscellaneous papers, which include papers relating to the Menai Bridge and Anglesey Waterworks, the Chester to Middlewich Canal and papers relating to family history.
Plas Newydd Manuscripts
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 222 PN
- Dates of Creationca.1340-1350, 1546-1978
- Language of Materialenglish latin
- Physical Description110 linear metres Physical characteristics are noted in the three catalogues alongside the description of the documents.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Plas Newydd is said to have been in existence since the 13th century, and is believed to have first been known as Llwyn-y-Moel. From about 1470, it belonged to the Griffith family of Penrhyn, and they built the house early in the following century. Many of the properties in Anglesey had come to Gwilym ap Griffith, by his marriage to Morfydd, daughter of Goronwy ap Tudur of Penmynydd.
In 1553, Ellen Griffith of Penrhyn married Sir Nicholas Bagnall, who consequently added Plas Newydd to his estates in Ireland. Their granddaughter Ann married Lewis Bayly, Bishop of Bangor and the house became the home of the Bayly family until the 17th century. Lewis Bayly was the first to alter the house built by Robert Griffith of Penrhyn, and was the first to change the name to Plas Newydd. He died in 1631 and his estate went to his wife, and then to their son, Nicholas Bayly. Nicholas Bayly was Governor of Galway and the Isles of Arran as well as Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles II. He had a son, Edward, who was created a Baronet in 1730. Edward's estates was passed to his son, Sir Nicholas Bayly, following his death in 1741. Sir Nicholas Bayly became one of the most influential men on the island. In 1737, he married Caroline Paget, and thus united two of the most influential families of the time. Caroline Paget, was the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of William, the first Baron Paget de Beaudesert in Staffordshire. She was also the heir to his title and estate.
The second son of Sir Nicholas and Caroline, Henry (1744-1812), inherited the lands and fortunes of the family. He also inherited the large estate of Burton-upon-Trent, which the first Baron had acquired. In 1725, Henry gained a second inheritance following the death of a wealthy West Country landowner, Peter Walter, who had stated in his will that if his own male line was to die out, all his possessions should pass to the heir of Sir Nicholas Bayly. Henry became the 9th Baron Paget of Beaudesert and took the name Paget upon succeeding to the baronetcy. In 1784, he was created Earl of Uxbridge. He extended his fortunes by forming the Mona Mine Company in 1785 together with Thomas Williams of Llanidan (1737-1802), to work the rich deposits of copper discovered on the eastern side of Parys Mountain, near Amlwch. He also owned half of the Parys Mine Company. Henry died in 1812 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry William Paget (1768-1854).
Henry William Paget became the most famous member of the family as he was created first Marquess of Anglesey in 1814 as a reward for his military achievements on the field of Waterloo, where he lost a leg. He was M.P. for Caernarfon, 1790-1796, constable of Caernarfon Castle, 1812, 1831 and 1837, and Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey from 1812 to his death in 1854. He had eighteen children who presented him with 73 grandchildren. Little is known of the 2nd and 3rd Marquesses except that both participated in local government, and that the 2nd was also appointed Lord Chamberlain of Her Majesty's Household. The third Marquess died without issue, and the estate was inherited by his half brother, who became the 4th Marquess of Anglesey in 1880. He was a model landlord and was admired by his tenants. He died in 1898 and was succeeded by his son by his second wife, Henry Cyril Paget (1875-1905).
The 5th Marquess nearly destroyed the estate financially. He died at the age of 29 years and the estate passed to his cousin, Charles Henry Alexander Paget. He made considerable changes in order to try and secure the estate. He died in 1947 and left the estate to his son and heir, who became the 7th Marquess. He eventually gave Plas Newydd to the National Trust.
Arranged according to type of records, then listed chronologically mainly.
Conditions Governing Access
Open to all users
Series I-VII were deposited by the Marquess of Anglesey and his heir the Earl of Uxbridge, George Charles Henry Victor Paget the 7th Marquess, Plas Newydd, Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, between 1946 and 1956. Series VIII was deposited at a later date, ca. 1983, and series IX was deposited by the 7th Marquess of Anglesey, ca. 1998.
Other Finding Aids
Three catalogues at item level mainly.
See index of National Library of Wales Handlist of Manuscripts, volumes I, II and IV, under Plas Newydd, and volumes I, II, III and IV under Paget; and volumes I and II under Bagnall, Nicholas. Other related papers are also held at the Caernarfon Area Record Office, Gwynedd, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service - Staffordshire Record Office, the London Metropolitan Archives, the Dorset Record Office and the Buckinghamshire Record Office.
Conditions Governing Use
Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics made at the discretion of the archivist.
Tucker, Norman, 'Bagnall and Bayly in the Rising of 1655', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions (1962), pp. 23-34. Grey, Hermon, 'The Marquess and the 'Pearl'', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions (1993), pp. 55-68. Anglesey, George Charles Henry Victor Paget, Marquess of, 'The gardens of Plas Newydd', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions (1991), pp. 39-45. Jackson-Stops, Gervase, Plas Newydd, (London, National Trust, 19--?). National Trust (Great Britain), Plas Newydd, Isle of Anglesey, (London, National Trust, 1976). Jones, Nia Lynn Powell, Plas Newydd: the study of a landed estate, (Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Wales Bangor (History and Welsh History), 1999). Thomas, Peter David Garner, 'The rise of Plas Newydd: Sir Nicholas Bayly and county elections in Anglesey, 1734-1784', Welsh History Review 16 (1992), pp. 160-76. Anglesey, George Charles Henry Victor Paget, Marquis of, One-leg; the life and letters of Henry William Paget, first Marquess of Anglesey, K. G., 1768-1854, (London, J. Cape, 1961). The Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940, under the Auspices of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, (London, 1959). J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families; with their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and other parts, (Horncastle, 1914), pp. 56-57. Access Points