Scope and Content

Rhiwlas estate accounts, 1832-1950, correspondence, 1863-1930, leases and agreements, 1882-1927, rentals, 1794-1927, wage receipts and miscellaneous vouchers, 1870-1934, maps and plans, 1864-1925, miscellaneous papers, 1865-1928, and photographs, 1898-1911.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Price family of Rhiwlas, Llanfor, Merionethshire, claim descent from a distinguished line of uchelwyr who settled in south-west Denbighshire. The family included Rhys ap Maredudd, alias Rhys Mawr, who fought for Henry Tudor at Bosworth in 1485. His son, Sir Robert ap Rhys became chaplain to Cardinal Wolsey and benefited greatly following the dissolution of the monasteries through the acquisition of land. It was Robert's third son, Cadwaladr, who actually settled at and laid the foundation of the Rhiwlas estate during the second quarter of the sixteenth century. Much of the estate lands in Denbighshire and Flintshire were acquired by various members of the Price family through prudent marriages. The Crown lands of Pentyrch, Gest, and Rhedynogfelen in Eifionydd, Caernarfonshire, on the other hand, had originally been purchased by Charles Jones, the younger brother of Sir William Jones of Castellmarch, but eventually by a fortuitous failing of more direct heirs, passed to Colonel William Price, son of his sister, Eleanor, wife of John Price of Rhiwlas. William Price II (1690-1774), grandson of Col. William Price, married twice: firstly, Mary, daughter of Pryce Devereux, 9th Viscount Herefordshire, and secondly Elizabeth, daughter of Richard, Viscount Bulkeley, of Baron Hill, Anglesey. His eldest son, William Price III, died without issue in his father's lifetime (there was no issue from the second marriage) and the estate passed to William's brother, Richard Price Thelwall (1720-1775). He was unmarried but twenty years earlier he had fathered an illegitimate son in London, who was known by the name of Richard Tavistock Watkin. Richard Price Thelwall only lived to enjoy the benefits of his inheritance, the Rhiwlas estate, for a year, for he died in 1775 at the age of fifty-five. Thelwall left the Rhiwlas estate to his natural son, Richard Tavistock Watkin, who became known as Richard Tavistock Price. He married the daughter of Richard Kenrick of Nantclwyd, Denbighshire, and borrowed heavily, mainly through mortgaging parts of the estate. He was not to enjoy his inheritance for long as he died at the age of thirty-nine years in 1794, leaving his encumbered estate in trust for his thirteen year old son, Richard Watkin Price. Richard Watkin Price (1780-1860) married Frances, daughter of John Lloyd of Rhagad, near Corwen, heiress to the Rhiwaedog estate, Merioneth, through the will of Ann Sophia Iles, the last lineal descendant of the Lloyd family of Rhiwaedog. They had one son, Richard John Price, born in 1804. He married Charlotte, daughter of Edward Lloyd of Rhagad, in 1837. However, he was to die in 1842, at the age of thirty-eight years. In the following year a posthumous son was born to Charlotte, named Richard John Lloyd Price, who inherited the Rhiwlas estate at the age of seventeen years on the death of his grandfather, Richard Watkin Price, in 1860. He was a lifelong sportsman and lover of animals and something of an entrepreneur with a highly developed sense of marketing. He wrote several books and amongst his business ventures were the establishment of the Welsh Whisky Distillery at Fron-goch and the Rhiwlas Brush Works. He married Evelyn Gregge-Hopgood in 1869 and their son, Robert Kenrick Price, was born the following year. He died in 1927.


Arranged chronologically within the following sections: estate accounts; letters; leases and agreements; rents; wages receipts and miscellaneous vouchers; maps and plans; miscellaneous; and photographs.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions


Compiled by Stephen Benham for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (Wrexham, 1998 reprint); Meirionnydd Archives, Catalogue of Rhiwlas; NLW, Schedule of the Rhiwlas Estate Papers.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Meirionnydd Archives, the National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives. The catalogue can be accessed on-line.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at the Meirionnydd Archives have been retained


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Further Rhiwlas estate papers, 1563-1937, including the earliest extant title deeds, are National Library of Wales, Rhiwlas Estate Records. A number of early nineteenth century plans of Rhiwlas demesne and Waen y Bala Common are National Library of Wales, Map Collections, PG 6019.

Geographical Names