Papers of the Davies Bryan family (Caernarfon and Cairo)

Scope and Content

Letters of the Davies Bryan family of Caernarfon and Cairo, 1870-1950; financial papers, 1872-1888, 1910; poems, 1895-1920; lectures/essays etc., 1877-1885, 1951; newspaper cuttings, 1878-1945; and printed books, 1790, 1908, 1936, together with photographs, [19 century]-[20 century], including military photographs and photographs taken in Aden, Colombo and the Suez Canal, and postcards of Egypt.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Bryan (1858-1920) was the son of Edward and Elinor Bryan. Until 1903, he lived mainly in Wrexham and Marchwiel, Denbighshire. From this period onwards he spent the winters in Egypt, returning to his brother's house in Caernarfon in the summer. In 1901 he published a volume of poems, 'Odlau can', and 'Tua'r Wawr' was published in 1921, after his death. Robert's eldest brother was John Davies Bryan (d. 1888) who founded a small shop in Cairo in 1886, where he was joined by his second brother, Joseph (d. 1935), and in 1888 by his third brother, Edward (d. 1929). The firm expanded, eventually owning large stores in Cairo and Alexandria, with branches in Port Said and Khartoum. The business was closed in 1934. Joseph was a prominent member of the British community in Egypt. John's letters to the periodical, 'Y Genedl Gymreig', in 1887, were subsequently republished in book form with a biographical note by Robert Bryan as 'O'r Aifft'.


Arranged chronologically into the following:: letters; financial papers; poems; lectures/essays etc.; miscellaneous; newspaper cuttings; printed books; Curios (XM8322); and photographs (XS 3534).

Access Information

No restrictions


Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940, (London, 1959).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Caernarfon Record Office and the National Register of Archives

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Caernarfon Record Office have been retained.


Accruals are not expected