Maenan Manuscripts

Scope and Content

A collection of 490 items, which include, family papers (including wills and settlements, etc.), 1560-1827; deeds relating to the parishes of Llanfair-yng-Nghornwy and Rhoscolyn, co. Anglesey; Caerhun, Conway, Gyffin, Maenan and Trefriw, co. Caernarfon; Abergele, Betws, Bryn Eglwys, Cefn, Cerrigydrudion, Chirk, Clocaenog, Derwen, Efenechtid, Eglwys-bach, Gresford, Y Gyffylliog, Henllan, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Llanddoged, Llandyrnog, Llanefydd, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Llanfair Talhaearn, Llanferres, Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Llanfwrog, Llangernyw, Llangollen, Llangwm, Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, Llan-rhudd, Llanrwst, Llansannan, Llanynys, Marchwiail, Rhuthun, Ruabon, Wigfair and Wrexham, co. Denbigh; Coleshill, Halkyn, Holywell, Nannerch and Ysgeifiog, co. Flint; Ffestiniog, Llandderfel, Llanfawr, Llanfihangel-y-traethau, Llanfrothen, Llanycil and Maentwrog, co. Merioneth; rentals and surveys, 1802- ca.1836; tithes, 1846-1847; accounts, 1658-1842; correspondence of the agent of the estate, 1821-1849; maps, ca.1745; and finally miscellaneous papers, 1570-1849.

Administrative / Biographical History

From the times of Henry VIII to the period of George III, eight successive squires kept the name Kyffin in the forefront of North Wales affairs. The early home of the Kyffins stood on monastic land. It was not until nine years after the Dissolution of the monasteries that Sir David Owen purchased Maenan, and that from two West Country land speculators. Its first known occupant was Maurice Kyffin, son of Sir David.

The Kyffin lands stretched in many directions, but particularly towards Llanddoged and Llanrwst, Denbighshire. Up the hill to the east of Llanrwst is Plas Ucha, which was the home of William Kyffin, Maurice's son and heir, and later of Richard Kyffin, Maurice's grandson, before they inherited the demesne of Maenan. As one generation followed another more estates were added so that there were Kyffin lands near Wrexham as well as in Flintshire, Anglesey, Merionethshire and Caernarvonshire.

Maurice Kyffin married twice. His first wife, Ales, was the daughter of John Wynne of Melai. By this marriage there was a daughter named Agnes. His second wife was Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Mostyn of Mostyn, by whom he had a large family. Maurice died in 1603 and was succeeded by his son and heir, William. William doesn't appear to have possessed the robust character of his father, but nevertheless seems to have been held in esteem. William Kyffin was succeeded by Richard Kyffin of Northop, born in 1610, the son and heir of William's brother, the Rev. Edward Kyffin who died in 1623. Richard first moved to Plas Ucha, near Llanrwst. He married Elin, daughter of Cadwaladr Wynne of Voelas. For his second wife Richard took Anne, daughter of William Owen of Bodeon, Anglesey, widow of William Glynne of Plas Newydd. Richard's son William (d.1637) had died before him, therefore on Richard's death the estate went to the children of William and his wife Ermine, Anne Kyffin and Roger Kyffin, to be held by them for 21 years. After the expiry of this period it passed to Richard, the eldest son of William and Ermine. Richard, born in 1659, married at the age of eighteen, Jane, daughter of Thomas Price of Giler and sister of Baron Price. Thomas, son and heir of Richard Kyffin and Jane, his wife, was born in 1678, was educated at Lincoln's Inn, and became Barrister-at-law. He married, at Beaumaris, Ellen, daughter of Owen Roberts of Caerau. Their firstborn was Ellen, born at her mother's home 16 November 1707. Thomas was made J.P. and served as Attorney-general for the counties of Anglesey, Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire. He had a legal practice at Wrexham in collaboration with his son. Thomas Kyffin was 63 when he died. His only son was Thomas, who was baptised in Eglwysbach Church 7 July 1710. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Salusbury of Ruthin. They also had a son called Thomas, who was born in 1739 and was the last of the male line. He died in 1784 at the age of 45. He too had entered the legal profession and, in addition, participated in public affairs. In 1762 the Lord Lieutenant of Denbighshire, Richard Myddelton Esq., of Chirk Castle, appointed Thomas Kyffin Deputy Lieutenant for the county and his post was renewed by the next Lord Lieutenant, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn in 1778. In 1772 he was made a Justice of the Peace. He received a knighthood in 1782. According to a mural in Llanddoged church, he and his wife had seven daughters, but three are recorded to have died at a young age.

The male line of Maenan ended with Sir Thomas Kyffin. Elizabeth, one of the surviving daughters, married William John Lenthal of Bessels Leigh Manor, co Berks., who became High Sheriff of Caernarfonshire in 1796. He was succeeded by his son, Kyffin John William Lenthal (1789-1870), who married Mary, daughter of John Ashton of the Grange, Chester. Ann Kyffin married the Rev. John Wynne Nanney and inherited Belmont, near Llanddoged, where she died in 1823, bequeathing her estate to her nephew, Kyffin John William Lenthal, son of her sister Elizabeth. Kyffin John William Lenthal died in 1870 and was succeeded by his eldest son Edmund Kyffin Lenthal. He died unmarried on 24 July 1907. He was succeeded by Katherine Ann Lenthal, his sister.

Access Information

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Custodial History

Deposited by Messrs Carter Vincent and Co., Bangor.

Related Material

Bangor Manuscripts 24515-24516, 28578-28733