Gnoll Estate Collection

Scope and Content

Deeds and Estate papers, n.d.-1857; Papers relating to probate, n.d.-1752; Accounts, n.d.-1861; Correspondence, n.d. and 1687-1868; Legal papers, n.d.-c.1799; Other collected papers of the Mackworth family, n.d.-1796; Papers relating to Neath, Glamorgan, n.d.-1763; Miscellaneous papers, n.d.-1884.

Administrative / Biographical History

Early in the seventeenth century, Gnoll was in the possession of the Evans family of Neath until, in 1686 the last of their line, Mary married Sir Humphrey Mackworth (1657-1727), knight, MP. and pioneer of the copper industry in South Wales. The Gnoll estate passed to the Mackworth family until the end of the eighteenth century. Herbert Mackworth (1689-1765) the son of Sir Humphrey was High Sheriff for Glamorgan 1733 and MP for the Glamorgan boroughs 1739-1765, his son Herbert who represented the boroughs from 1765 until 1790 was created a baronet in 1776. The second baronet Sir Robert Humphrey Mackworth died in 1794 and the estate passed to his widow Mary Ann (Molly) and her second husband Capel Hanbury Leigh, Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire. John Praed of Trevethoe spent most of his time in London due to his parliamentary duties. He drifted into financial difficulties and eventually to avoid arrest he sought assistance from Sir Humphrey Mackworth and went into hiding. John Praed died in 1717 and was succeeded at Trevethoe by William Morgan Mackworth He assumed the name Mackworth Praed. He had five children William, Humphrey, Bulkley, Arabella and Juliana Bridget. Much of the correspondence is to and from the Mackworth family steward, Pleydell Courteen. He was steward and land agent for about 17 years, between 1727 and 1743 when he died. He is buried at Neath Parish Church.


The collection was originally catalogued at University College Library, Swansea, where an interpretation of the original order was made. This catalogue lists the items chronologically under the headings stated in Scope and content.

Access Information

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information

The records were originally held at The Royal Institution of South Wales, Swansea. From 1966 onwards the records were moved to the library in the University College, Swansea in consignments. They were transferred to West Glamorgan Archive Service in the Spring of 2004 as part of The Royal Institution of South Wales Collection.


Compiled by Katie Millien for the West Glamorgan Archive Service.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records transferred to the West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

See also NAS Gn held at the Neath Mechanics Institute; D/D Gn held at the West Glamorgan Archive Service

Geographical Names