Haverfordwest Borough Records

Scope and Content

Records of Haverfordwest Borough, Pembrokeshire, 1291-1973, including mayoral accounts, 1565-1712; chamber reeve's accounts, 1583-1724; sergeants' accounts, 1585-1673; bailiffs' accounts, 1583-1673; sheriffs' accounts, 1659-1904; papers relating to the Church of St Mary, 1586-1717; petitions, 1623]-1794; Haverfordwest rates, 1574-1693; minutes of the meetings of the Corporation, 1574-1693; charters and letters patent, 1291-1694; records of the unreformed (pre-1835) Corporation of Haverfordwest, 1572-1827; records of Prendergast Burial Board, 1966-1976; maps and plans, 1846-1968; photographs, 1948-1972; records relating to the Borough Surveyor's Department, 1840-1974; negatives, 1832-1941; minutes of the Corporation, 1539-1968; minutes of Haverfordwest Borough Council, 1939-1974; attendance and declaration books, 1900-1958; registers, 1947-1957; records relating to the freemen of the Borough, [1835]-1992; town clerk files, 1884-1973; photographs, plans, 1761-1918; deeds and documents, 1837-1966; records relating to wages, 1835-1870; records relating to paving, 1835-1868; records relating to lightning and gas works, 1836-1914; correspondence, 1835-1877; deeds and papers relating to the Prust family, 1577-1890; records of Haverfordwest Borough Council (acting as Burial Board), 1927-1971; and records of Haverfordwest Borough Treasurer's Department, 1825-1968.

Administrative / Biographical History

The town Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, was created by Flemish immigrants, as an initiative of Henry I. Haverfordwest received its first charter from Henry II (1154-1189). Later charters were issued by monarchs and by the Earls of Pembroke. The town was a corporation, governed by a mayor, who also had the title of Admiral of the Port. The town became the most important trading centre in Pembrokeshire. In 1479, it was granted the right to have a sheriff and two bailiffs. In 1545, Henry VIII made it a 'town and county of itself'. In 1609 it was granted county status by charter. In 1835, it was reformed. Until 23 December 1835, the Corporation was described as the Mayor and Common Council, or the Mayor and Council of the Town and County of Haverfordwest. From 26th December 1835, it was normally called the Council of the Borough of Haverfordwest. The Borough Council was granted additional powers as an Urban District Council by the Local Government Act 1894. In 1974, as part of local government reorganisation, most of the Borough Council's power were transferred to Presceli District Council, although there was also a Haverfordwest Community Council, having the dignity of Town Council. The Town Council took over responsibility for the Prendergast Burial Board in 1988. The Council's papers had become dispersed, and have been re-united. They include a collection of deeds of the Prust family, which do not appear to be related to Haverfordwest. Haverfordwest is a seaport, borough and market town comprising the parishes of St Mary, St Thomas, St Martin, and Prendergast. The castle was an English foundation, established by Gilbert de Clare. The Free Grammar School was founded by Thomas Lloyd in 1612. The corporation consists of a mayor, sheriff, two bailiffs, and twenty-four common-councilmen. By an ancient grant of the crown, Haverfordwest is the only town in Britain which has a lord-lieutenant of the town and county of the town. The mayor is admiral of the port, coroner, escheator, and clerk of the market. There is an election from the common councilmen every year.


Arranged into the following: Unreformed Borough (up to 1835); and Reformed Corporation (post 1835).

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Transferred from Preseli District Council in 1979 and deposited via the Records Management Unit in 2001.


Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description : Haverfordwest Borough Records; Jones, Francis, Treasury of Historic Pembrokeshire (Newport, 1998); Haverfordwest Rural District Council, Haverfordwest Rural District, The Official Guide.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Pembrokeshire Record Office and the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained

Custodial History

The records fall into three groups. Some were deposited in the National Library of Wales in 1948 and were transferred to Pembrokeshire Record Office in 1971. Other records were received from various departments of the Borough Council from 1971 onwards. The third group of papers was found among the papers of R. T. P. Williams, solicitors, arising from his role as town clerk for a long period. The NLW material consists of the earlier material, from 13th century to 19th century. The records from the Council Offices are mainly 20th century. The records from R. T. P. Williams cover the period from 13th century to 20th century. The deeds and papers apparently relating to the estates of the Prust Family, which was received from the Town Clerk's Office, has, apparently, no direct connection with the Corporation: it is possible that they were a part of the records of the private Solicitor's practice of one of the former Town Clerks, and came into the possession of the Borough by those means.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

Further papers are NLW, Eaton-Evans and Williams, Pembrokeshire Record Office HAM/11, HDX/1092/3 and D/RTP/W C A Philipps/6/36. Further papers relating to Prendergast Burial Board will be found under Pembrokeshire Record Office D/RKL, Q12/65 and HDX/1127/2.


Many of the documents have been published in Charles, B.G., Calendar of the Records of the Borough of Haverfordwest, 1539-1660 (Cardiff, 1967).

Family Names

Geographical Names