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National Library of Wales
Harpton Court estate, records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 HARPTON

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Harpton Court Estate Records

Short Title: Harpton Court estate, records

Creation date(s): 1541-1952

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 1.16 cubic meters (45 boxes, 4 vols, 4 rolls)

Name of creator(s): Harpton Court estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The Lewis family can be traced back to Harpton Court to the mid 16th century when a Thomas Lewis, sheriff of Radnorshire in 1555 was living there. Towards the close of the ensuing century another Thomas Lewis owned the estate. He was succeeded by yet another Thomas Lewis (b. 1690) who represented Radnorshire boroughs in Parliament from 1715 to 1768. He was succeeded by his nephew John Lewis whose second wife was Anne, daughter of Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland.
Their heir was Thomas Frankland Lewis, 1780-1855, who married Harriett, daughter of Sir George Cornewall of Moccas Court, Herefordshire, and sister of Caroline who married Sir William Duff Gordon. Thomas Frankland Lewis was MP for Beaumaris in 1812 and MP for Radnor 1847-1855. He served as Chairman of the Poor Law Commission, 1834-1839, and, in 1843, he also chaired the enquiry into the Rebecca riots. He was made a baronet in 1846.
He was succeeded by Sir George Cornewall Lewis, 2nd baronet, who was MP for Herefordshire, 1847-1852 and Radnor boroughs, 1855-1863. He served as Poor Law Commissioner from 1839 until its abolition in 1847, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1855-1858, Home Secretary 1859-1861, and Secretary of State for War, 1861-1863. He was also editor of the Edinburgh Review, 1852-1855.
On his death in 1863, the estate passed to his brother, the Rev. Sir Gilbert Frankland Lewis, 3rd baronet (b. 1819). He was canon of Worcester 1856, rector of Gladestry in Radnorshire 1832-1860, and of Monnington-on-Wye in Herefordshire, 1832-1864. His heir was Herbert Edmund Frankland (b. 1846). Sir Henry William Duff Gordon, 6th baronet, is noted as residing in Harpton Court in 1951.


Scope and content/abstract: Deeds and documents relating to the Harpton Court estate in Radnorshire and Breconshire, 1564-1910, but mainly eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including deeds relating to the Forest of Radnor, 1635-1732, deeds concerning the rectory and tithes of Old Radnor, 1607-1876; cash and account books, 1856-1889, and rent books, 1820-1857; papers relating to the corporation of New Radnor, 1699-1833, produced to a Commission of Enquiry, 1833; papers relating to parliamentary elections, 1741-1910, in Radnorshire, Radnor boroughs, Herefordshire, and Peterborough, including poll books for Radnorshire, 1741, Herefordshire, 1852, and Peterborough, 1852; manorial records for manors in Radnorshire, 1541-1926; and personal papers of various members of the Lewis family including the correspondence of Thomas Lewis, MP, John Lewis, Anne Frankland (later Lewis), Sir Thomas Frankland Lewis, and in particular corespondence and papers of Sir George Cornewall Lewis, including papers relating to Malta, 1830-1855, the Poor Law, 1827-1855, the War Office and India, 1861-1866.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into deeds and documents, correspondence, and title deeds

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 laws apply

Finding aids: Hard copies of the catalogues are available at NLW. An online catalogue can be accessed from
Further details relating to manorial records within the archive can be accessed online from


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at NLW have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Sir Douglas F. Duff Gordon of Kington in 1953


Related material: Further papers relating mainly to Sir George Cornewall Lewis and the Herefordshire election of 1852 are National Library of Wales, Sir George Cornewall Lewis Papers. Letters from him, 1841-1864, mainly to W. E. Gladstone, during the writer's tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1855-1888, Home Secretary, 1859-1961, and Secretary for War, 1861-1863, is NLW MS 21824C. A terra-cotta bust of Sir George Cornewall Lewis and four pamphlets relating to the Lewis family are also held at the National Library of Wales.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Burke's Landed Gentry (London 2 vols. 1846), vol. I; Thomas, Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales (London, 2 vols, 1872), vol. II; Debrett's Peerage (London, 1951); Debrett's Peerage (London, 2000).

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2001

Elections | England | Herefordshire
Elections | England | Peterborough
Elections | Wales | New Radnor
Elections | Wales | Radnorshire
Estate administration | Wales | Breconshire
Great Britain. | War Office
Harpton Court Estate (Wales) | Archives
India | History | 18th century
Malta | History | 1798-1964
Manorial courts | Wales | Radnorshire
Manors | Wales | Radnorshire
Poor Laws
Tithes | Wales | Old Radnor

Personal names
Armytage , Lewis , 1853-1928
Duff Gordon family , of Halkin
Frankland , Anne , d. 1842
Lewis , John , 1738-1797
Lewis , Thomas , 1690-1777
Lewis , Thomas Frankland
Lewis family , of Harpton Court

Corporate names
Great Britain | War Office
Harpton Court Estate (Wales)
New Radnor (Wales : Borough)

Breconshire (Wales)
Radnorshire (Wales)

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