Francis, George Grant

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

'The Grant Francis Charters' including Swansea deeds and documents 1305/06-1741; Neath deeds and documents 1220-1663; Vale of Glamorgan deeds and documents 1304-1721; Cowbridge title deeds 1487-1603; miscellaneous Glamorgan title deeds 1432-1671; Breconshire conveyances 1374-1623; Carmarthenshire title deeds 1539-1731; Somerset (Bridgwater) title deeds 1399-1479; Devon (Barnstaple) title deeds, 1580-1585; miscellaneous deeds 1282-1500: bonds 1305-1665; Royal Confirmation of the office of Chamberlain of the County Palantine of Chester to Sir Richard Mansel 1549; inventory of the goods of William Smallwood of London, deceased 1658; deed of remission by Jehan (?Ploiebanc) Garde de la Provoste of Paris, of certain penalties and exactions 1315.

Original documents collected and bound by George Grant Francis, including 'The Bennett Pedigree Book': a collection of pedigrees, charters and surveys relating to Glamorgan and Gower including Bennett pedigrees, surveys of Reynoldson and Priorstown 1580-1650 (c), note of land at Landimore 1675, account of Llanmadoc Marsh adjustment 1667, copies of Swansea, Cardiff, Neath and Avan Argoed charters, list of Sheriffs and Under-Sheriffs 1542-1699; original deeds connected with Swansea, Glamorganshire c1200-1730; copies of the surveys of Gower for 1555 and 1583 with survey of Kilvey 1650; Gabriel Powell's Survey of Gower 1764; miscellaneous illustrative and extraneous material formerly bound up with the Gabriel Powell Survey; broad sheets relating to municipal politics, county elections, theatre etc in Swansea and Glamorgan 1772-1820; minutes of the Swansea Commercial Society 1824-1834; volume containing the bill of legal charges in an action taken by the Corporation against certain tradesmen who had resisted the payment of Corporation dues 1830-1835.

Transcripts of original documents made or collected by George Grant Francis including pedigrees, charters etc relating to Glamorganshire collected by David Jenkin of Swansea, c1200-1700; title deeds of the Duke of Beaufort to his estates in the Lordship of Gower and Glamorgan 1750-1863; charters, extracts and proceedings relative to the rights of the borough of Swansea collected as evidence in a legal action over borough tolls and dues c1305-1826; collection of grants and charters for Swansea, Gower, Brecon, Cardiff and Neath and the estates of the Earl of Pembroke, Earl of Worcester and Sir George Herbert etc 1305-1686; a collection of copies of interesting original documents relating to Swansea and Glamorganshire brought together by Colonel Francis 1230-1843; extracts relating to Swansea from the Commonhall Books, Vestry books etc 1650.

Material relating to the Mines Royal Society 1604-1709; correspondence of George Grant Francis 1835-1896; files of antiquarian notes, printed scraps , press cuttings etc relating to local history and affairs of Swansea and South Wales 1642-1937.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Grant Francis (1814-1882) was a business man, local historian and antiquary. He was born in 1814 and educated in Swansea and spent most of his life there. In 1840 he married Sarah Richardson and they had three sons.

He was involved in the foundation of the Royal Institution of South Wales at Swansea in 1835. He was a founder member of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1846. In 1853-1854 he was Mayor of Swansea. George Grant Francis was involved in numerous schemes for local improvements and was instrumental in the restoration of Swansea Grammar School and the preservation of Oystermouth Castle. He published many books and articles on local history including 'Original Charters and Materials for a History of Neath and its Abbey' (1845); 'The Free Grammar School, Swansea' (1867) and 'The Smelting of Copper in the Swansea District of South Wales, from the time of Elizabeth to the Present Day' (1867, second edition 1881) and 'Charters Granted to Swansea' (1867/1873). He was a keen collector of manuscripts, coins, seals and medals and out of concern for records which he could see were literally 'crumbling away' he collected any literature and documents relating to the Swansea and Glamorgan area he could find and was also instrumental in the preservation of the muniments of the borough of Swansea. In 1845 he became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He died in London in 1882 and was buried in Swansea.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to repository.

Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to repository.

Custodial History

This collection forms part of the Royal Institution of South Wales Collection and was transferred from the Archives at University of Wales Swansea to West Glamorgan Archive Service in April 2004.

Family Names