Drane Family, Papers

Scope and Content

Drane Family papers letters and correspondence relating to various drane family members, 1843-1914;

Photographs and drawings, 1900-c1980.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Drane senior was an independent minister of the Church of Christ. He was born in 1799 and moved to Guestwick, Norfolk in 1824. He married Frances Anna Rudkin, also born in 1799. They had seven children, four of whom survived to adulthood: the eldest of these was Robert Drane junior.

Robert Drane junior was born on August 21 1833 in Norfolk. He trained as a chemist, and eventually took up a post in Cardiff, before opening his own shop in Bute Street in 1858. The business moved to Queen Street in 1868, and he lived above the shop.

Robert Drane junior was, as well as a chemist, a naturalist and antiquarian. He founded the Cardiff Naturalist Society, published a well-known paper entitled The Hare in Captivity, and is credited with discovering the Skomer Vole. His antiquarian interests led to an important collection of old Worcester pottery, and a role as honorary curator of the Cardiff Museum.

Robert Drane junior died in 1914 and a plaque was placed on the wall of his shop in Queen Street.

Little is known about the other three surviving Drane children. The next eldest, Anna Maria, was born October 14 1837. She married Henry H Skepper and they lived in Paris. They had at least one child, a girl named Emilie. Emily Drane (known to her family as Nem) was born June 29 1839 and remained a spinster, living with their father in Guestwick.

Robert senior and Emily moved to Cardiff to live with Robert junior in the 1870s, and both died there: Robert senior in 1877 and Emily in 1884. William Drane was born June 12 1841 and is known to have outlived his brother.

The collection includes two letters from Bernard Bolingbroke Woodward (1816-1869), librarian in ordinary to Queen Victoria at Windsor from 1860 until his death.


Drane Family papers arranged chronologically by record series

Conditions Governing Access

No Restrictions

Acquisition Information

Deposited by a private individual, 2003

Other Finding Aids

Handlist available at the Glamorgan Record Office

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Annabel Wickham for the ANW Project; Sources used: Glamorgan Record Office finding aids

Conditions Governing Use

Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply

Appraisal Information

All records offered have been accepted and listed

Custodial History



Accruals are possible

Related Material

See also DXIB (Robert Drane diaries and papers); DX89 (Robert Drane correspondence and other records); DXGC (Photographs of Dranes Collection of Pottery, porcelain and Glassware; DXQB (Prescription Books of EG Howell and Sons Chemist, Queen Street, Cardiff - formerly Robert Drane's); DAB31/5/56 (Letters from Robert Drane to Mr. Solomon Andrews regarding antiques)