Garthewin Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 222 GARTH
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      latin, english welsh
  • Physical Description
      8.5 linear metres Mss nos. 31, 704, 780, 851 and 952 are torn; mss nos. 672 and 700 are blurred, ms. no. 663 is indistinct in parts and the lower part of ms. no. 656 is missing.

Scope and Content

A collection of 4441 items consisting of title deeds, documents and papers relating to the Wynne family of Garthewin. They are grouped as follows; family papers, including marriage settlements and wills, 1610-1837; title deeds and documents relating to properties in Abergele, Acton, Betws Abergele, Bodrychwyn, Borras, Brymbo, Denbigh, Dutton Diffeth, Erbistock, Eyton, Gresford, Gwytherin, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Llanddulas, Llaneilian, Llangernyw, Llannefydd, Llanrhaiadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, Stansty, Sutton (Holt), Llysfaen, Marchwiail and Wrexham, co. Denbigh, 1536-1839; the Llannerch Fawr, Rhosgyll and other estates in Aber-erch, Abercain, Bodfean, Botwnnog, Cricieth, Deneio, Elernion, Glasfryn, Llanengan, Llangian, Llannor, Llecheiddior, Llithfaen, Madryn, Pencoed, Penmaen Beuno, Pennant, Penyfed, Pwllheli, Rhwng Dwyfor a Dwyfach and Treflys, co. Caernarvon and in Harlech, Llanfair, Llanenddwyn, Penrhyndeudraeth and Trawsfynydd, co. Merioneth, 1426-1819; lands in Worthenbury, co. Flint and in Sweeney, Tilley and Wem, co. Salop; papers relating to ecclesiastical matters, including the promotions of Dr. Robert Wynne, leases of prebendal profits (Llanfair Talhaearn, Llanefydd and Tiryrabad and Meifod), controversies regarding tithes and church pews, 1583-1766; papers in actions in Chancery and the Exchequer involving members of the Wynne family, 1641-1757; legal papers of Richard Wynne, attorney, brother of Chancellor Robert Wynne, including those accumulated during his tenure of office as clerk to the protonotary of the Great Sessions of Glamorgan, Brecknock and Radnor, 1681-1720; miscellanea, including a view of frankpledge held before Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Baron of Denbigh and his steward, Sir John Salusbury of Llewenni, 1580-1; orders of the Denbighshire quarter sessions relating to Llanrwst bridge, 1681 and 1703 and assessments on various Denbighshire townships towards the repair of highways, 1723.

The Garthewin Additional papers are grouped as, estate papers, including deeds and documents and administration papers; family papers, which include deeds and documents, personalia, correspondence, and papers belonging to specific individuals, those being, Robert Oliver Francis Wynne, Frances Anna [Nanette] Wynne, Anita Kathleen Mary [Nina] Wynne, Menna Wynne, Gwyneth [Lowri] Wynne; and papers of the Crowe family.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Wynnes of Garthewin are descendants of a younger branch of the house of Melai, which began to operate effectively in the middle decades of the seventeenth century; but the family are believed to be of a very ancient lineage, being of direct descent in the male line from, Marchudd ap Cynan, Lord of Bryn Ffanigl and founder of the eighth Noble Tribe of North Wales and Powys. This ninth-century chieftain was ancestor of Ednyfed Vychan, the famous seneschal of Llywelyn the Great and progenitor of the royal house of Tudor.

The Garthewin Estate came to the Wynne's through Col. Wynne's brother Robert (1636-1679), who became possessed of Garthewin through his marriage with Margaret Price. His son, Dr. Robert Wynne, canon of Bangor succeeded him, and it was he who is considered to be the real architect of the Garthewin fortunes. He became Chancellor of the diocese of St. Asaph in 1690 and received several other substantial promotions in the church. He gradually developed into being one of the most vigorous and influential personalities throughout North Wales. Before his death in 1743, he held not only the original Garthewin inheritance, considerably extended by his discreet purchases, but had also become the owner of the Llannerch estate in Lleyn by the will of his cousin Elizabeth in 1722. Three years before that, he had come to a large sum of money by the will of his brother Richard. He had made two prosperous marriages, allying himself first with the house of Segrwyd in Denbighshire, and secondly with the Owen family of Penrhos in Anglesey.

The estate was further consolidated and developed by Dr Robert Wynne's son Robert (the elder) and grandson Robert (the younger). Robert the elder was a legal man, who had inherited the law books and papers of his uncle Richard. Both Roberts in turn made prosperous marriages. The elder married the grand-daughter of a rich London merchant, whilst the younger married Elizabeth Dymock of Acton. Their son then held property not only in Hiraethog and Lleyn and the lowlands of Is-dulas, but also in Wem and Sweeney in Salop, in English Flint, and in the lands around Wrexham, with their great possibilities for development.

The Garthewin Estate had a troubled succession in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When Robert William Wynne (Colonel Wynne), son of Robert Wynne the younger, died without children in 1842, the decent of the lands was governed by his will. The core of the estate around Garthewin in Denbighshire, and his lands near Wrexham passed to his first cousin twice removed, Brownlow Wynne Cumming, on the condition that he assume the name and arms of Wynne. The other half of the estate, lands in and around Llanddulas and the lands on the Lleyn Peninsula passed to a rather more distant relative, Robert Wynne of Bronywendon (1786-1858). The estate was reunited when Robert Wynne's grandson, Robert William Wynne (1857-1933) inherited Brownlow Wynne Wynne's moiety on his death in 1882. Robert William Wynne also died childless, after a long illness, during which the estate was put into receivership under his brother Richard (1858-1932) and then under his nephew Robert Oliver Francis (1907-1993), to whom the whole estate eventually passed.

Robert O. F. Wynne was an extraordinary mixture of influences. He converted to Catholicism in his early adulthood, became a leading thinker in the Welsh Nationalist movement, and was a poet and writer, publishing a volume of poetry in 1930, and a number of articles for journals and magazines. Welsh writer Saunders Lewis was a key collaborator with Robert O. F. Wynne in setting up a theatre in an old barn at Garthewin. Robert O. F. Wynne was also a leading member of 'Y Cylch Catholig', which was an organisation set up to promote Catholicism in Wales.


According to type then mainly chronologically.

Access Information


Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1939 by Mr R. O. F. Wynne of Garthewin. The additional papers were deposited by his daughter, Menna Macbain ca.1996.


Transcripts are available in Saunders Lewis a Theatr Garthewin, for mss nos., 948-949, 951-958, 960-964, 967-968, 970-976, 978-979, 981-990, 992-1004, 1006, 1009, 1015-1016, 1018, 1020-1023, 1025-1031, 1033, 1036, 1038, 1044, 1046-1050, 1053-1066, 1072-1075, 1077-1087, 1089-1104. Access Points

Other Finding Aids

Two catalogues at item and series level, Garthewin Papers and Garthewin Additional Papers.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Appraisal Information

The Garthewin Additional Collection has been arranged into artificial series, as it was very disorganised on deposit, but as a rule, original bundles have been kept together. The personal correspondence of Robert Oliver Francis Wynne with other people (Section B. 4.iii.b.) was originally loose and in disarray, but has now been arranged in bundles by correspondent.


None expected

Related Material

Bangor Manuscripts 38116-38117


J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families ; with their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and other parts, (Horncastle, 1914), p.167. R. O. F. Wynne, 'The Wynne Family of Melai and Garthewin', Denbighshire Historical Society Transactions, vol. 5, 1956. R. O. F. Wynne, Guide to Garthewin: Llanfair Talhaiarn, Abergele, N. Wales, Llanfair Talhaearn, 195-? Conway: pr. by R.E. Jones. Hazel Walford Davies, Saunders Lewis a Theatr Garthewin, Llandysul, Gomer, 1995.

Additional Information

Transcripts are available in Saunders Lewis a Theatr Garthewin, for mss nos., 948-949, 951-958, 960-964, 967-968, 970-976, 978-979, 981-990, 992-1004, 1006, 1009, 1015-1016, 1018, 1020-1023, 1025-1031, 1033, 1036, 1038, 1044, 1046-1050, 1053-1066, 1072-1075, 1077-1087, 1089-1104. Access Points