Leeswood estate papers including deeds, 1431-1896, relating to lands mainly in Denbighshire, 1520-1826, Flintshire, 1571-1896, including coal and lead mines, 1726-1884, Cheshire, 1607-1715, and Shropshire, 1760-1827; rentals, 1672, 1721-1847, surveys and particulars, [17 cent.]-[c. 1878], accounts and vouchers, 1657-1967, mineral papers, 1638-[late 19 cent.], maps and plans, [early 18 cent.]-1977, papers relating to tithes, 1736-1814, and land tax, 1724-1866, and general correspondence, 1625-1964; and family papers, [16 cent.]-1981, including settlements, 1638-1869, wills and testamentary papers, 1675-1884, accounts, 1659-1928, diaries and notebooks, [c. 1800]-1927, correspondence, 1651-1981, mainly letters to Rev. Hope Wynne Eyton, 1793-1824, legal and financial papers, [17 cent.]-1938, and accounts and vouchers, 1699-1849. The archive also includes papers relating to the Nerquis Hall estate, 1470-1899, mainly deeds relating to lands in Flintshire, 1692-1899, and Cheshire, 1742-1855.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The history of the Leeswood estate, near Mold, and the families associated with it is a complex one. The late Mrs Violet Hope Fairbairn Wynne-Eyton, who died in 1980, was a descendant not only of the Eytons of Old Leeswood and of Trimley in Hope parish and of the Wynnes of Tower, also in Mold, but of the Wynnes of Leeswood Hall and the Hopes of Broughton, near Hawarden, as well. This collection includes records relating to all these families and their estates.
The Eytons of Old Leeswood had been established as a prominent family in the Mold area for at least six generations before they acquired in addition the estates of the Hopes of Broughton in the parishes of Hawarden and Hope by the marriage of Revd John Eyton to Penelope, only daughter of George Hope, in c. 1752. This was the second alliance between the two families as Revd John Eyton's great uncle had married Dorothy, widow of an earlier George Hope, in 1663. She was a daughter of Robert Davies of Gwysaney, another family into whom the Eytons had already married twice. They were also linked by marriage to several other well-known local families including the Pulestons, Herberts of Montgomeryshire, Powells of Horsley, Lloyds of Pentrehobin and Wynnes of Garthewin, before they succeeded to the Hope family properties in 1782. These include Trimley Hall in Hope parish, which several of the Eytons subsequently treated as their main residence
John and Penelope Eyton named their eldest son Hope in honour of his maternal ancestors and it was he who was responsible for augmenting the family's estates even further. In 1783 he married Margaret Roberts Wynne, the heiress of the Wynnes of Tower,* and from that date the name Wynne was added to his surname and passed down to all subsequent generations. He also began to consolidate his estates, selling off some outlying properties including his Montgomeryshire properties, and in 1813 purchasing the Leeswood Hall estate from Richard Garnons who had inherited it on the failure of the issue of Margaret, only surviving child of Sir George Wynne of Leeswood, his cousin by marriage. It was Sir George Wynne ( d 1756) who built the present Leeswood Hall and commissioned the famous White Gates, relying on the income he expected to derive from lead mines on the estates of his wife , Margaret Lloyd of Halkyn to pay for them. Unfortunately the mines soon became exhausted and he ended his days in a debtor's prison.
Hope Wynne Eyton ( b 1754) was a clergyman as well as a landed country gentleman, and was vicar of Mold from 1792 until his death in 1824. He was also a magistrate, and although he resided in Bath for a considerable period for the sake of the health of one of his daughters, he took a very active interest in Mold parish affairs and in county affairs generally, as evidenced by the large number of his letters and papers in this collection. It was a period of great change, hardship and unrest for the local population, particularly during the years of the Napoleonic Wars, so this material is especially interesting and valuable.
The more recent history of the family, though worthy, is far less colourful and, about the middle of the last century, it is obvious from the records that a certain amount of retrenchment was becoming necessary. Several properties in Mold, including the Bromfield estate were sold off, and later even some of the pictures, furniture and plate from Tower. Though they continued to serve as local magistrates and patrons of numerous local charities and societies, which earned them much affection and respect in the neighbourhood, their influence and interest in the wider world was steadily eroded. Mrs Violet Hope Fairbairn Wynne-Eyton who inherited the estate on the death of her father in 1911 lived into her nineties, but she was an only child, and had no children of her own. She had managed to keep the nucleus of the estate together, but after her death when it passed to her second cousin, the grandson of her father's youngest brother, Leeswood Hall was sold. However, Mr Wynne - Eyton continues to maintain his family home at Tower and it was he who deposited this collection in the Clwyd archives.
*Margaret Roberts Wynne herself had only adopted the surname Wynne on inheriting Tower. On the death of Roger Wynne without issue in 1776 the estate had passed under the terms of his will, first to his wife , Margaret, and then, on her death in 1780, to Thomas Cratchley of Deiniol's Ash, Hawarden. He also added the name Wynne to his own, but survived for only a few months before dying unmarried. In this event the will had stipulated that the estate should revert to Margaret Roberts, daughter of a Shropshire clergyman and his wife's god-daughter.
Arranged chronologically into the following: deeds; estate records; Mold parish papers; family papers; legal and financial papers; local affairs; miscellaneous; and Nerquis Hall estate - deeds; family records; estate records; and miscellaneous.
Conditions Governing Access
Data Protection Act restrictions will apply to any items less than 100 years old that contain personal information as defined by the Act.
Deposited by C. Wynne-Eyton, Tower, Mold, Clwyd, including documents previously on deposit at the National Library of Wales.
Please order documents using the alternative reference number (where provided).
Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1952); Flintshire Record Office, Schedule of Leeswood MSS
Other Finding Aids
Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Flintshire Record Office, National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives.
Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1952); Flintshire Record Office, Schedule of Leeswood MSS.
Input by Ann Davies.
Conditions Governing Use
Usual copyright regulations apply.
Usual copyright regulations apply
All records deposited at Flintshire Record Office have been retained.
Most of the Leeswood MSS were originally held at the National Library of Wales. They were transferred to Flintshire Record Office in 1990 and re-numbered there.
Accruals are not expected