Bodrhyddan Manuscripts

Scope and Content

A collection of papers relating to the Bodrhyddan estate. Ranging in date from the 14th to the 20th centuries. They supply a valuable insight into the development and day-to-day business of the estate. It comprises family papers (wills, settlements, mortgages and personalia) of the Conwys, Shipley-Conwys, and Rowley-Conwys of Bodrhyddan 1544-1905, and of the Yonges of Bryn Iorcyn and Bodrhyddan, co. Flint, and Acton, co. Denbigh, 1488/9-1750; deeds, documents and papers, 1327-1926, concerning properties in Bangor Iscoed, Caerwys, Cilcain, Cwm, Dyserth, Flint, Gwaunysgor, Halkyn, Hope, Holywell, Llanasa, Mold, Leeswood, Newmarket, Northop, Penley, Rhuddlan (town and parish), Rhyl, St. Asaph, Tremeirchion, Treuddyn, Wellington, Worthenbury and Ysgeifiog, co. Flint; Acton, Broughton, Brymbo, Burton, Gresford, Gwersyllt, Holt, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Llandyrnog, Llanferres, Llys-y-Cil, Marchwiail, Ruabon and Wrexham, co. Denbigh; Penmynydd, co. Anglesey; Bodidda, Bodafon, Conway, Croes-yn-Eirias, Cyngreawdr, Dolwyddelan, Gwerydros, Llandudno and Merchllyn, co. Caernarfon; Ffestiniog, Penaran and Nantlleidiog, co. Meirioneth. This group contains papers relating to the Clwyd fisheries, the Hope colliery, the Hope paper mill, the Cilcain Mining Company, the Garthmeilio estate in cos Denbigh and Flint. The collection also contains deeds documents and papers relating to properties in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Essex, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Ireland, Lancashire, London, Shropshire, Somerset, Hampshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire; rentals 1732-1932; valuations, 1672-1913; schedules of deeds, 1788-1904; surveys, etc., 1682-1915; day and farm books, 1848-1914;maps and plans, 1780-1916; estate and miscellaneous accounts and cash books, 1560-1930; correspondence, 1613-1938; and letter books, 1860-1934; papers relating to the tithes of the township of Aberchwiler, the parish of Rhuddlan (including Rhyl) and the Bryn Iorcyn estate, 1803-1916; and miscellaneous papers including a Flint Plea Roll of 10/11 Edward II (1316-17).

Administrative / Biographical History

A collection of papers relating to the Bodrhyddan estate under its successive owners. The Conway family was descended from Sir William Conias and of English origin. In addition to the main stem at Bodrhyddan there were Conwys at Rhuddlan, Soughton, Perthkinsy, Brynywall and other Flintshire homes. It has not been precisely ascertained when the Conwys established themselves in North Wales, but it is thought that their appearance coincided with the Edwardian invasion of 1277. The name Conias (or Coniers) was altered to Conwy by Sir Hugh, (second son of the old Sir John, one of Sir William Conias's descendants), for which no explanation is given. His son Sir Henry Conway (d.1407), who married Ellen (or Angharad), daughter of Sir Hugh Crevecoer, Lord of Prestatyn, was the first known to have settled in Wales. In some sources it is said that Sir Henry died without an heir, and after his death in 1407, his wife held the manor for ten years. An inquisition is said to have taken place after the death of Dame Conwy where the jurors decided that the manor and township would pass on to Agnes de Hungtyngton who was the daughter of Gwenllian, Sir Henry's sister. However according to the pedigree in the catalogue he had a son called Richard (?d.1514/5).

The direct line ended with Sir John Conwy (1575-1641), on his death without issue, and William Conwy, his brother succeeded him at Bodrhyddan. It then passed to his son, Henry Conwy (1630-1669). It was he who decreed that his beneficiary would only inherit on the adoption of the surname Conwy. He was created a baronet by Charles II on 25 July 1660. In 1669, Sir John Conwy, second baronet (1663-1721) succeeded his father, Sir Henry Conwy. From his first marriage to Maria Margaretta he had two children, Henry and Maria Margaretta. In 1717 Henry died leaving Sir John without an heir. Following the death of his first wife he remarried in 1690 and the Conwys became linked to the famous family of Grenville. His second wife Penelope, daughter of Richard Grenville Esq., of Wotton, Underwood, Bucks bore him two daughters. Thus in 1721 when Sir John Conwy died the male line of the Conwys came to an end.

In 1731 Penelope Conwy (1705-after 1741) married James Russell Stapleton (d.1743). They had a daughter, Penelope, who in May 1753 married Ellis Yonge (1717-1787) of Bryn Iorcyn, co. Flint and Acton Hall, co. Denbigh. Ellis Yonge and Penelope had two children, Penelope and Barbara. In April 1777, Penelope Yonge married Rev William Davies Shipley, M.A., Dean and Chancellor of St Asaph (1745-1826). Their eldest son Colonel William Shipley is said to have been killed while out shooting at Hyeres in the South of France by the accidental discharge of his servant's gun. He was married to Charlotte, the second daughter of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., of Wynnstay. When he died he left a widow, a son and a daughter. Capt. William Shipley was his heir and it was he who first adopted the surname of Shipley-Conwy. He never married, and on his death, the estate passed on to his sister Charlotte. She was married to the Honourable Richard Thomas Rowley, the second son of Baron Langford of Somerhill, co. Meath. Their son and heir was born at Bodrhyddan in January 1841, Conwy Grenville Hercules Rowley-Conwy. In 1869 he married Marion, second daughter of Capt. Frederick Harford of Down Place, Windsor. In November 1869, he assumed the additional surname of Conwy, and in 1895 obtained 'Her Majesty's Royal Licence and authority that he and his issue might continue to use the surname of Conwy, in addition to and after that of Rowley, and that he and they might bear the arms of Conwy quarterly with his and their family arms. .', which is to be found in the collection. His son Rafe Grenville Rowley Conwy, died unmarried in April 1951, leaving the Bodrhyddan estate to his nephew Lord Langford.


According to type, and then chronologically, except for a few oddities.

Access Information


Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the Lt. Col. The Lord Langford of Bodrhyddan in June 1958, September 1971, and ca.1977.

Other Finding Aids

Three catalogues at item level; Bodrhyddan MSS, Bodrhyddan Additional MSS, and Bodrhyddan Further Additional MSS.

Separated Material

Court books, 1794-1841, and other records of the manor of Rhuddlan; records of the estates of Bodrhyddan, Aberkinsey and Bryniorkin in cos Flint and Denbigh, 1606-1794; correspondence, 18th-19th cent., including a group relating to plantations in Nevis and St Kitts in the West Indies at the National Library of Wales. Bodrhyddan Documents (1936), 17pp.; Bodrhyddan Correspondence (c. 1940), two vols of transcripts, 385 and 140pp. Also Maps. See also Annual Report of the National Library of Wales, 1935-36, p.48; 1938-39, p.44.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual conditions of copyright. Reprographics made at the discretion of the archivist


None expected

Related Material

Bangor Manuscripts 5785 and 14108-14115

Stapleton-Cotton Manuscripts 18 (v), 23 (v, vi), 24 (iii)


Norman Tucker, 'Bodrhyddan and the families of Conwy, Shipley-Conwy, and Rowley-Conwy, Part I & II', Flintshire Historical Society Publications, Volumes 19-20, 1961-62

J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families; with their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and other parts, (Horncastle, 1914), p. 260