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National Library of Wales
Bettisfield estate, records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 BETELD

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Bettisfield Estate Records

Short Title: Bettisfield estate, records

Creation date(s): [c . 1240]-1951

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.733 m3 (23 boxes, 12 rols, 1 volume)

Name of creator(s): Bettisfield estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The Hanmers claimed descent from Sir Thomas de Macclesfield, an officer of Edward I, who settled in Flintshire. The estate was forfeited to the Crown following the family's support for Owain Glyn Dwr's rebellion (Owain had married Margaret, daughter of Sir David Hanmer, who was a justice of the King's Bench). John Hanmer was pardoned for his role in the rebellion in 1411 and he subsequently divided the estate between his four sons. His eldest son was awarded Hanmer and the others received Halton, Fens in Norfolk, and Bettisfield respectively. The male line of the Halton Hanmers ended with Sir Edward Hanmer in the early 16 cent.; the Bettisfield Hanmers ended in 1623. Both estates reverted to the senior line. Sir Thomas Hanmer of Hanmer acquired the manorial rights of Maelor Saesneg in 1651. All of the Hanmer estates were settled in 1746 in the Fens branch of the Hanmer family. The family continued until at least the eighth baronet who was alive in 1977. Various members of the family served as MPs for Flintshire or Flintshire boroughs; Sir Thomas Hanmer (1677-1746) was elected speaker of the House of Commons in 1713.


Scope and content/abstract: The archive consists almost entirely of deeds relating to the Bettisfield estate in Flintshire, [c .1240]-1951, and estate and family letters, 1588-1889. The remainder of the archive includes two medieval French vellum rolls, one containing a metrical version of the life of St Melor, written about the end of the thirteenth century, and the other a short religious poem, [15th cent.]; draft sheets of Sir Thomas Hanmer's 'Garden Book' [17th cent.]; pedigree rolls; rolls of proceedings at sheriffs' tourns and manorial courts of the lordship of Maelor Saesneg, 1413 and 1444; court rolls of the manor of Overton, 1618, and of the manor of Overton and hundred of Maelor Saesneg, 1672-1720; letters and warrants relating to the Civil War, 1642-1650; letters relating to Richard Steele, Puritan minister at Hanmer, 1660, and papers relating to the Bagillt, Kelsterton, Flint Mill, Boars Head, Flint Marsh, Englefield, Soughton Mountain, Dee Bank and Lletty collieries, Flintshire, 1794-1846.


Language/scripts of material: English , Latin , French

System of arrangement: Arranged into three sections: manuscript volumes, autograph letters, and deeds and documents.

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 catalogue of the 1938 deposit are available at NLW and HMC; the other deposits remain uncatalogued. An online description of the 1938 deposit 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 Edward Hanmer, 7th baronet, in December 1938 and September 1962, and by the British Records Association in 1949 and August 1994.


Related material: Further papers relating to the Hanmer family and the Bettisfield estate are among the Plas Yolyn MSS (NLW MSS 11462-640). Further, miscellaneous family, personal and estate papers, are Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch, E18/600 and Lancashire Record Office, DDX/665. Twenty maps and plans, 1740-1870, including mining and railway plans, are in NLW, Map Collections.

Publication note: Jenkins, David, 'Deposited Collections 16. Hanmer of Bettisfield ', National Library of Wales Journal , V (1947-1948) , p.57; Hanmer, John, Lord , A memorial of the parish and family of Hanme r in Flintshire out of the thirteenth into the nineteenth century (London, 1876).


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Stephen Benham.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (Wrexham, 1998 reprint), Kelly's Handbook (London, 1977, Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2001

Bettisfield Estate (Wales) | Archives
Coal mines and mining | Wales | Flintshire
Estate administration | Wales | Flintshire
Gardening | Early works to 1800
Gardening | History | Wales | Bettisfield
Hanmer family | Archives
Manorial courts | Wales | Flintshire
Manors | Wales | Flintshire

Personal names
Hanmer , Thomas , 1612-1678 , Sir
Hanmer family
Melor , d. 7th cent. , Saint
Steele , Richard , 1629-1692

Corporate names
Bettisfield Estate (Wales)
Maelor Saesneg Manor (Wales)
Overton Manor (Wales)

Flintshire (Wales)
Pencrug (Breconshire, Wales)

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