Wyon Family: Business and Personal Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 12 MS.Add.7651
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Physical Description
      10 boxes, 39 volumes, 5 envelopes, 2 packets

Scope and Content

The collection contains family and personal correspondence, and also genealogical papers mostly compiled by Walter J. Wyon. There are papers relating to the family's official work, and also to their private commissions as medallists, engravers and sculptors.

WYON 1/ Thomas Wyon senior

1/1 Chief Engraver: warrants, orders, etc.; 1/2 Thomas and Anne Wyon: personal papers.

WYON 2/ Thomas Wyon junior

2/1 Papers.

WYON 3/ Benjamin Wyon

3/1 Professional papers and letters; 3/2 legal papers, accounts; 3/3 Benjamin and Hannah Olive Wyon: other papers; 3/3 Benjamin and H. Olive Wyon: other papers; 3/4 Benjamin and H. Olive Wyon: personal letters; 3/5 Personal letters to Benjamin Wyon; 3/6 Letters to H. Olive Wyon and papers; 3/7 Letters to Joseph Shepherd from his parents and sister in Whitehaven, Cumberland.

WYON 4/ William Wyon

4/1 Miscellanea.

WYON 5/ Leonard Charles Wyon

5/1 Account book; 5/2 catalogue of coins and medals.

WYON 6/ Joseph Shepherd Wyon

6/1 Professional papers; 6/2 letters to J.S. Wyon and Alfred B. Wyon.

WYON 7/ Alfred Benjamin Wyon

7/1 Professional and personal letters and papers; 7/2 letters and papers of and about Thomas Wyon (1828-1881), eldest son of Benjamin Wyon; 7/3 J.S. Wyon and A.B. Wyon: autograph album; 7/4 publications.

WYON 8/ Allan Wyon

8/1 Professional ledgers, account and letter books (some carried over from J.S. and A.B. Wyon); 8/2 professional papers; 8/3 printed artwork, letterheads, cheques, etc., c.1800-1900; 8/4 testamentary, executorships, family trusts; 8/5 personal journals, diaries, notebooks; 8/6 personal papers; 8/7 travel and miscellaneous notes; 8/8 letters to Harriet Wyon.

WYON 9/ Walter James Wyon

9/1 Personal notebooks; 9/2 papers; 9/3 letters to him; 9/4 genealogical notes and papers; 9/5 genealogical correspondence; 9/6 miscellaneous papers; 9/7 papers as administrator of Miss A.E. Wyon's estate; 9/8 legal and business papers relating to H. Olive Wyon, apparently collected by Walter J. Wyon.

WYON 10/ William H. Wyon

10/1 Papers.

WYON 11/ Anne E. Wyon (Lily Wyon)

11/1 Letters to Lily Wyon.

WYON 12/ Allan Gairdner Wyon

12/1 Personal and parochial papers; 12/2 appointments, business books and accounts; 12/3 business letters and papers; 12/4 personal and parochial correspondence; 12/5 family letters and letters with no surname; 12/6 letters to his wife Eileen Wyon; 12/7 miscellanea.

WYON 13/ Kate Wyon

13/1 Commonplace books.

WYON 14/ Photograph albums, scrapbooks

WYON 15/ Miscellanea

Administrative / Biographical History

The Wyon family was descended from Georg Wyon, a silver-chaser working in Cologne in the early eighteenth-century. His third son, Peter George Wyon, silver-chaser, medallist and engraver, came to England during the reign of George II. From his son George Wyon sprang at least four lines of medallists and engravers. One line included William Wyon (1795-1851) and his son Leonard Charles Wyon (1826-1891), engravers at the Royal Mint for a large part of the nineteenth-century. With the exception of a single account book of L.C. Wyon, the Wyon Papers in this collection are of another branch of the family, who were successively Chief Engravers of Seals through the nineteenth-century. The first of these was Thomas Wyon (1767-1830). He was succeeded by his son Benjamin Wyon (1802-1858). Another son, Thomas Wyon (1792-1817), was briefly Chief Engraver at the Royal Mint, but died young. Benjamin Wyon was succeeded by his sons Joseph Shepherd Wyon (1836-1873), Alfred Benjamin Wyon (1837-1884) and Allan Wyon (1843-1907). Allan's son Allan Gairdner Wyon (1882-1962) succeeded him and was reappointed by George V in 1910.

The family also practised privately as medallists and engravers. Allan Gairdner Wyon was a sculptor, specialising latterly in ecclesiastical work. In 1933 he was ordained priest, and for several years he was Vicar of St. Paul's Newlyn, Cornwall, where he continued to design ecclesiastical sculpture. As a clergyman he followed his uncle, Walter James Wyon (1839-1929), who was for many years a Cowley Father under R.M. Benson, and latterly Rector of Ufford, Suffolk.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs. Eileen M. Wyon, widow of Allan Gairdner Wyon, 1963.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.


In 1917 Leonard Forrer produced a detailed biographical dictionary of the Wyons, with lists of coins, medals and sculptures, which was printed in the Biographical dictionary of medallists, volume VI, and reprinted as a booklet by Spink and Son Ltd. A copy of this booklet is included in the colllection (WYON 12/2/1).

Family Names