Coldbrook MSS

Scope and Content

Personal papers of members of the Williams and Hanbury-Williams family, [18th century]-[19th century]; household papers relating to Coldbrook House, 17-18 High Street, Abergavenny, and Plas Derwen, 1866-1899; legal papers, 1783-1899; deeds relating to properties mainly in Monmouthshire, 1565-1959; estate administration papers, including leases, 1735-1882, rentals, 1744-1889, vouchers and accounts, 1757-1889, and plans relating to properties mainly in Monmouthshire.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Coldbrook estate, Monmouthshire, was sold in about 1730 to Major John Hanbury (1664-1734) of Pontypool. The Hanbury family of Pontypool were industrialists descended from the Hanbury family of Worcestershire. John Hanbury inherited the Pontypool estate with its ironworks on the death of his father, Capel Hanbury (1625-1704), and is acknowledged as the pioneer of the tin-plate industry. The Coldbrook estate was settled on John's fourth son Charles, afterwards known as Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams (1708-59). The additional name of Williams was assumed under the terms of a bequest from his godfather, Charles Williams (d. 1720) of Caerleon, Monmouthshire, who had left £70,000 to John Hanbury, part of which was to be invested in an estate for one of his sons, understood to be for Charles. This munificence was in gratitude for Hanbury's work in securing a royal pardon and safe return for Williams, who had fled Britain after killing his opponent in a duel. Charles Hanbury-Williams also owned the Hampton Court estate in Herefordshire in right of his wife, Frances, daughter and co-heir of Thomas, earl Conyngsby. He had two daughters, and on his death the Hampton Court estate passed to the eldest daughter, Frances, wife of William Anne Capel, earl of Essex, while the Coldbrook estate passed to his brother George Hanbury, who in turn adopted the surname Williams. The estate remained in the hands of the family until the death of Ferdinand Capel Hanbury-Williams in 1888, when it was sold. The mansion and the greater part of the estate were purchased by Lady Llanover and later sold to Arthur Herbert, a second son of the Herbert family of Llanarth. In May 1905 F. P. J. Hanbury-Williams gave up the name Hanbury-Williams and resumed the family name of Hanbury.


Arranged into the following: family papers and then by individuals; household; legal; estate.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Deposit. It is Gwent Record Office's policy to withold information about donors or depositors in view of possible misuse.


Compiled by Stephen Benham for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Bradney, Joseph, Sir, A History of Monmouthshire (London, 1991, facsimile ed), vol. 1, part 2a; Nicholas, Thomas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County families of Wales (London, 2 vols, 1872), vol. II; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Monmouthshire Record Office, Catalogue of documents relating to Coldbrook estate, Catalogue of documents relating to the Hanbury Williams family of Coldbrook, Monmouthshire.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Gwent Record Office, the National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Gwent Record Office have been retained.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Further papers relating to the 1889 sale of the Coldbrook estate to Lady Llanover, and relating to the estate since 1889 are held by the Gwent Record Office: D433A.


Locke, Amy Audrey, The Hanbury family (London, 1916); Pakington, Ferdinand, and John Hanbury, Coldbrook Park: the Hanbury and Herbert families (Newport, 1925); Tenison, Richard Hanbury, The Hanburys of Monmouthshire (Aberystwyth, 1995).

Geographical Names