Sir Herbert Mackworth Collection of Opera Scores

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Mackworth Collection contains full scores of operas by Giovanni Bononcini, Nicola Porpora and Alessandro Scarlatti as well as numerous operatic arias by Johann Adolf Hasse, Leonardo Vinci, George Frideric Handel and others. The collection features sonatas by Nicholas Dôthel and John Christopher Pepusch, Spanish cantatas by Joseph de Torres, Italian cantatas by Pietro Giuseppe Sandoni, and a large number of English hymns, songs, airs, theatre suites and dances.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Herbert Mackworth, 1st Baronet (1 January 1737-25 October 1791) was a British landowner and politician. He was born the only son of Herbert Mackworth of the Gnoll, Glamorgan and educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College, Oxford. He then studied law at Lincoln's Inn, was called to the bar in 1759 and practiced as a barrister. He inherited the Gnoll estate on the death of his father in 1765 and continued to develop the estates industrial assets such as the Gnoll copper works at Neath. [1]

He was first elected Member of Parliament for Cardiff in 1766 and represented the borough in five consecutive parliaments until 1790. He was created a baronet in 1776. [1]

He was Major and then Lieutenant-colonel of the Glamorgan Militia between 1761 and 1791 and was a vice-president of the Marine Society. In 1777 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as a "gentleman well versed in Natural history and every branch of Mathematical and Philosophical learning" [2]

He died at his seat at Gnoll Castle in 1791. "His death was occasioned by a thorn breaking in his finger, which brought on a violent inflammation and swelling in the hand and arm, no medical assistance being called in till a month after the accident happened". He had married Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert Cotton Trefusis of Trefusis, Cornwall and with her had two sons and a daughter. [William Betham, The Baronetage of England, Or the History of the English Baronets, volume 4 (Ipswich: Printed by Burrell and Bransby, for William Miller, 1804), p. 12.]


Volumes are arranged according to volume numbers assigned when the collection was catalogued by Sarah McCleave, Cardiff University.

Items are also marked with classmarks beginning 'Mc', which were assigned by Cardiff Central Library. These early classmarks may be cited in some secondary sources.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

Custodial History

The Mackworth collection was assembled by Sir Herbert Mackworth (1737-1791), with other volumes added later by family members.

The Collection was bought by R. Bonner Morgan, a Cardiff optician, in 1919, and was subsequently presented to the Cardiff Central Library, which created the first extant catalogue of the collection. The Mackworth Collection was placed on permanent loan in the care of Cardiff University Library in 1989.

Related Material

For a guide to abbreviations used in these records, please consult Oxford Music Online


Malcolm Boyd, 'Spanish cantatas in the Mackworth collection at Cardiff', in Malcolm Boyd; Juan José Carreras López, Music in Spain during the eighteenth century (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 108-124

Felicity Clarke, Harmonious relations : an investigation of dedications and subscriptions in eighteenth-century musical society, as exemplified by the works in the Mackworth Collection (The author, 2004)

Sarah McCleave, 'The Mackworth Collection : a social and bibliographical resource', in David Wyn Jones, Music in eighteenth-century Britain (Aldershot; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2000), pp. 213-233