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National Library of Wales
Chain, The, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 CHAIN

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: The Chain Papers

Short Title: Chain, The, papers

Creation date(s): 1780-1972

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.4 cubic metres (14 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. 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 practiced 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 hyphenated Baker-Gabb surname.


Scope and content/abstract: Family and estate records of Baker-Gabb of The Chain, Abergavenny, and papers relating to Gabb & Co., solicitors of Abergavenny, including estate rentals, 1876-1918, including the Grovefield and Latham estates, [both in the parish of Abergavenny?], and the Ffawyddog estate in the parish of Cwm-iou, Monmouthshire; papers, 1908-1918, relating to the Grwyne Fawr reservoir in the parish of Llaneleu, Breconshire; family and household papers include registers of meteorological readings (thermometer, barometer and rain gauge) at The Chain, 1881-1947, which also contain numerous diary entries; newspaper cuttings and other ephemera of local and family interest; cellar books, 1884-1932; diaries of tours, including to the Austrian Tyrol, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Sicily, Switzerland, 1893-1908; papers relating to the Monmouthshire Polo Club, 1872-1888, to Patrishow church, Breconshire, 1856-1963, and to St Mary's Church and Priory, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, 1925-1949, and papers, 1902-1960, relating to the history of the firm of Gabb & Co., solicitors.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into: estate records; Gabb & Co.; personal papers; papers relating to churches; sport; ephemera, and printed material.

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 are available at NLW and HMC. The catalogue can be accessed online.


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 Iain Paterson in 1984


Related material: Artefacts and visual material such as drawings, photographs, postcards, prints, printers' plates, and watercolours are National Library of Wales, Special Collections, PG 4189-4209. Further papers are National Library of Wales, Baker-Gabb Estate Records and Baker-Gabb 1969 deposit which remains uncatalogued, and Gwent Record Office, D1583 which cover 1873-1918. Transcripts of the diaries of John Baker Gabb (1826-93) and David Baker Gabb (1836-64) are NLW ex 2094.

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

Chain (Abergavenny, Wales) | Archives
Estate administration | Wales | Monmouthshire
Ireland | Description and travel
Italy | Description and travel
Law firms | Wales | Abergavenny
Meteorology | Wales | Abergavenny
Norway | Description and travel
Reservoirs | Wales | Llaneleu
Scotland | Description and travel
Sicily (Italy) | Description and travel
Switzerland | Description and travel
Tyrol (Austria) | Description and travel

Personal names
Baker-Gabb family , of Abergavenny

Corporate names
Chain Estate (Wales)
Ffawyddog Estate (Wales)
Gabb & Co.
Grovefield Estate (Wales)
Latham Estate (Wales)
Monmouthshire Polo Club (Wales)
Partrishow Church (Partrishow, Wales)
St Mary's Priory Church (Abergavenny, Wales)

Grwyne Fawr Reservoir (Wales)

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