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National Library of Wales
Baker-Gabb family, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 BAKERGABB

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Baker-Gabb Family Papers

Short Title: Baker-Gabb family, papers

Creation date(s): 1370-1941

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.551 cubic metres(19 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Baker-Gabb Family of the Chain, Abergavenny


Administrative/Biographical history: Both Baker and Gabb were old Catholic families from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. The Baker family claimed descent from Sir Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine, Herefordshire, and had held large estates in Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. The earliest deed relating to a member of the Baker family of Abergavenny is dated 1590. The family believed (probably wrongly) that David Lewis otherwise Charles Baker (1616-1679), a Jesuit priest and 'pretended bishop of Llandaff', was a member of the family. The Gabb family also owned property in the Abergavenny area. The earliest Gabb deed (of Grosmont, Monmouthshire) appears to be that dated 1660. The families were joined by the marriage of John Gabb (d. 1690) of Goytre, Grosmont, to Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry Baker of Bailey Baker, Abergavenny.
Thomas Gabb founded a solicitor's practice in Abergavenny in 1760. The firm of Gabb & Co. still practices out of the same offices in Abergavenny. Thomas Gabb practised on his own until 1781, when he was joined by Baker Gabb the elder (d. 1821), and in 1808 by his son, Baker Gabb the younger (d. 1858). There was a member of the Gabb family in the firm from 1760 until 1921.
From the 1850s, most family members seem to have either used Baker as a last christian name, or used a hyphonated Baker-Gabb surname.


Scope and content/abstract: Family papers and estate records, 1370-1941, of the Baker-Gabb family of The Chain, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, and their antecedents, mainly deeds and documents relating to lands in Monmouthshire and Herefordshire, mostly from the second half of the sixteenth century, when the Bakers first appear as stewards of the lordship of Abergavenny; records of several Monmouthshire manors from 1630 onwards, including court books, perambulations and rentals; a breviary in the English style of the fourteenth-fifteenth century (NLW MS 16147A); letters and papers relating to David Lewis, Catholic bishop of Llandaf, including his speech at the place of his execution, 1679; personal and family papers; and material on the genealogy of the Baker Gabb family.
Many of the letters and deeds belong to the solicitor's practice established by Thomas Gabb in 1760.


Language/scripts of material: English , Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged into seven sections: correspondence, deeds and documents, supplementary deeds, maps, portraits, miscellaneous prints, and a sale catalogue. A breviary belonging to the family is now NLW MS 16147A.

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 1942 catalogue are available at NLW and HMC; the 1969 deposit remains uncatalogued. The catalogue can be accessed online from


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

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Blanche Baker-Gabb in 1942, per Messrs Gabb, Price & Fisher, solicitors of Abergavenny, and by Messrs Gabb & Co. Nov. 1969.


Related material: Further family papers and estate records are National Library of Wales, The Chain Papers. Transcripts of the diaries of John Baker Gabb (1826-93) and David Baker Gabb (1836-64) are NLW ex 2094. The maps and sale catalogue have been transferred to NLW maps Collection. Further papers, 1873-1918, are Gwent Record Office, D1583.

Publication note: Baker-Gabb, R. A Memoir of the families of Baker of Bailey Baker and Baker-Gabb, Abergavenny (Aberystwyth, 1903).


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Stephen Benham.
The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Baker-Gabb, R., A Memoir of the families of Baker of Bailey Baker and Baker-Gabb , Abergavenny (Aberystwyth, 1903).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2001

Baker family, | of Abergavenny | Archives
Baker-Gabb family, | of Abergavenny | Archives
Estate administration | Wales | Monmouthshire
Gabb family, | of Abergavenny | Archives
Law firms | Wales | Abergavenny
Manorial courts | Wales | Monmouthshire
Manors | Wales | Monmouthshire
The Chain estate | Archives

Personal names
Baker family , of Abergavenny
Baker-Gabb family , of Abergavenny
Gabb family , of Abergavenny
Lewis , David , 1617-1679

Corporate names
Chain Estate (Wales)
Gabb & Co.

Abergavenny (Wales)
Monmouthshire (Wales)

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