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National Library of Wales
Davies, J. Conway, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 JAMIES

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: J. Conway Davies Papers

Short Title: Davies, J. Conway, papers

Creation date(s): 1906-1971

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 2.564 cubic metres (90 boxes, 2 outsize volumes)

Name of creator(s): James Conway Davies


Administrative/Biographical history: James Conway Davies (1891-1971), historian and palaeographer, was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. He was educated at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and Cardiff, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. From 1916 to 1918, he lectured on economic history at Holloway College, London. In 1917, he was for a while a short course lecturer in economic history at UCW, Aberystwyth, and in October the same year, he was appointed sixth form master and Head of Department of Civics at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After a career as Secretary of the Government Hospitality Fund, the War Cabinet Committee on Peace Celebrations and the secretary, 1918-1929, to Alfred Mond, Liberal MP, Minister of Heath and later Lord Melchett, Davies became an editor at the Public Record Office. In 1938, he was appointed Consultant Archivist to Monmouthshire County Council and Court of Quarter Sessions, and established the Monmouthshire County Record Office. He worked as an archivist in the National Library of Wales, 1941-1945. He served as honorary editor of the Historical Society of the Church in Wales, and honorary consulting archivist to the Church in Wales, 1946-1952. He was lecturer in Palaeography and Diplomatic in the University of Cambridge, 1945-1947, and appointed Reader in Palaeography and Diplomatic in the Durham College and Keeper of Archives to the Dean and Chapter of Durham. He was the first editor of the Journal of the Society of the Church in Wales and edited or published materials on medieval themes and official muniments, including Baronial opposition to Edward II (1918), The Welsh assize roll 1277-1284: assize roll no 1147 (Public Record Office) (1940), Abstracts of episcopal acts and cognate documents relating to the Welsh dioceses, 1066-1272 (2 vols, 1946-1948), A calendar of the records of the Court of Augmentations relating to Wales (with E. A. Lewis, 1954), Studies presented to Sir Hilary Jenkinson (1957), The cartae antiquae rolls 11-20 (Pipe Roll Society, 1960), Catalogue of manuscripts in the library of the honourable society of the Inner Temple (OUP, 3 vols, 1972).


Scope and content/abstract: Minute books relating to various Cambridge University societies, Llanelli Committee of Social Service for the Unemployed, Llanelli Park Lodge, Borough Road Chapel, London, etc., 1870-1933; undergraduate notes on history, English literature, Latin, and psychology, and miscellaneous papers relating to history and politics including 'Baronial opposition to Edward II', 1918; papers relating to Monmouthshire archives, 1937-1955; 'The Welsh assize roll 1277-1284: assize roll no. 1147', 1940; reports and preliminary reports, notes etc., on archives acquired by or to be acquired by NLW, 1941-1945; notes, drafts, proofs etc., of articles for the National Library of Wales Journal and items relating to archives in NLW, 1944; papers relating to the Committee on Welsh Calendar Customs, 1944-1947; papers relating to his post as lecturer in palaeography and diplomatic in the University of Cambridge, 1945-1947, and as reader in the same in the University of Durham, 1948-1962, including lectures notes; reports and notes on Welsh Church Commission documents to be deposited in NLW and items on Welsh church history, 1944-1963; episcopal and chapter records of the Welsh dioceses, including notes, drafts and proofs for 'Episcopal acts... Welsh dioceses 1066-1272' (2 vols, 1946 and 1948), and vol. III (Bangor and St Asaph) which was never published; papers as honorary editor of the Journal of the Historical Society of the Church in Wales, 1946-1952; papers relating to Giraldus Cambrensis; notes, photostats, transcripts and typescript of 'Professions of obedience to Canterbury c. 793-1420', proposed to be published by the Camden Society, 1947; miscellaneous papers on history and archives; 'Welsh and Marcher cases coram rege 1272-1307'; papers relating to indexing records at PRO, including transcripts and extracts from documents; notes for reports on the Exchequer records in the PRO; summaries and extracts from Assize Rolls; papers used in the preparation of 'Records of the court of augmentations relating to Wales and Monmouthshire', 1954, and 'The cartae antiquae rolls 11-20', 1960, and the unpublished 'Cartae antiquae rolls 21-30'; typescript and proof articles for 'Studies presented to Sir Hilary Jenkinson', 1957, together with correspondence between contributors and printers; papers relating to the Severn fisheries dispute and the seignory of Gower, 1957-1962; papers used in cataloguing the records of Guernsey, 1959-1969, and in the preparation of 'Catalogue of manuscripts in the library of the honourable society of the Inner Temple', 1972; miscellaneous papers relating to the history of Wales, 1908-1945; film script entitled 'The Black Prince'; diaries, 1946-1971; curricula vitae and papers relating to his personal life and career together with political articles by Prof. Curt Wachtel; photocopies of documents, personal photographs, plaster casts of seals etc.; papers received from Canon E. T. Davies, 1853-1940; uncatalogued correspondence bundles arranged by year, 1909-1971. Copies of his Welsh revolts of Edward II (Llanelli, 1912) and Medieval Northumberland (Llanelli, 1918), journals and offprints; documents relating to the manor of Swavesey, Cambridgeshire, 1623-1833; documents relating to Monmouthshire, 1616-late 19th century; miscellaneous documents relating to England and Wales, 1458-1848; papers and correspondence of Nathan Laski (1863-1941), Harold J. Laski, Professor of Political Science, University of London (1893-1950), Neville J. Laski, Q.C. (1890-1969), John L. Paton, High Master of Manchester Grammar School (1863-1946), Thomas F. Tout, Professor of History, Manchester University (1855-1929), and others including an autographed album.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh, Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged by box.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue is available online.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records bequeathed to the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Bequeathed in 1972.



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule J. Conway Davies manuscripts and papers, 1992; Stephens, Meic Oxford companion to literature of Wales (Oxford, 1986).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2003

Committee on Welsh Calendar Customs | Records and correspondence
Davies, J. Conway | (James Conway), | 1891-1971 | Archives
Davies, J. Conway | (James Conway), | 1891-1971 | Diaries
Deeds | Wales | Monmouthshire
Fisheries | Wales | Severn, River
Historians | Wales | Archives
Historians | Wales | Diaries
Laski, Harold Joseph, | 1893-1950 | Correspondence
Laski, Nathan, | 1863-1941 | Correspondence
Laski, Neville Jones, | 1890-1969 | Correspondence
Paleography | Study and teaching
Paton, John L. | (John Lewis), | high master of Manchester Grammar School, | 1863-1946 | Correspondence
Tout, T. F. | (Thomas Frederick), | 1855-1929 | Correspondence
University of Cambridge | Societies, etc.
Welsh Church Commission | Archives
Welsh Church | History | Sources

Personal names
Davies , J. Conway (James Conway) , 1891-1971

Corporate names
Gower Seigniory (Wales)
Swavesey Manor (England)
University of Cambridge


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