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National Library of Wales
Glansevern estate, records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 GLAERN

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Glansevern Estate Records

Short Title: Glansevern estate, records

Creation date(s): [late 12 cent.]-[mid 20 cent.]

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 2.378 cubic metres (71 boxes, 69 vols, 3 cardboard pictures)

Name of creator(s): Glansevern estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The Owen family were descended from Cadifor ap Dinwal, Lord of Castell Hywel. The earlier generations were known as Owen of Glyngynwydd or as Owen of Cefn yr Hafodau. The Owen family fortune was built from the start of the 18th century with shrewd investments in land, mining and by marriage.
Owen Owen (d. 1719) owned property scattered around Montgomeryshire. Following his death, the estate was inherited by his son David Owen (1700-1777). David's eldest son and heir was Owen (1723-1789). By his marriage to Anne, daughter and heiress of Charles Davies of Llifor, he acquired the estates of Rhyd y carw in Trefeglwys and Glanrhiew and Tyn y coed in the parish of Berriew. In around 1760 he moved to Tyn y coed.
David Owen's (1700-1770) third son, William Owen (c. 1735-1778), was a captain in the navy. On the 30th September 1767 he was granted an island in Passamaquoddy Bay by Lord William Campbell, the British Governor of Campo Bello. William was only on the island for a year but pursued the colonization of the island in 1770-1771, creating the foundations upon which later generations of the Owen family built upon.
Owen Owen (1723-1789)'s eldest daughter Mary (1745-1814) married Thomas Jones of Garthmyl Hall, Montgomeryshire. His second son, David (1754-1829), emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, and controlled Compo Bello from 1787 until 1829, before the land passed to Captain William's second son, Admiral William FitzWilliam Owen. His eldest son, Arthur Davies Owen (1752-1816) acquired Lower Garthmel in 1796 and erected a mansion on the land which became known as Glansevern. Cefn Hafodau had been sold during this period. On Arthur's death without issue, the estate passed to his brother, William Owen (1758-1837), who retired there in 1821 from London where he was a distinguished barrister. William was chairman of the Montgomeryshire Quarter Sessions, a Whig, and was strongly in favour of the abolition of the Great Sessions of Wales. In 1823 he married Anne Warburton (1783-1876).
According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Anne Warburton Owen, of Glansevern owned an estimated 4,482 acres in Wales (all in Montgomeryshire) with an estimated rental of £4,368.
On Anne's death, in the absence of an heir, Glansevern estate devolved upon her husband's great-grand nephew, Arthur Charles Humphreys (1836-1905), great-grandson of Mary and Thomas Jones. On inheriting Glansevern, Arthur settled there and took on the additional surname of Owen. He was Liberal M.P. for Montgomeryshire 1894-1905, first chairman of the Mongomeryshire County Council, and played a prominent role in the politics of Wales and Montgomeryshire. He was succeeded by his son, Arthur Erskine Owen Humphreys-Owen (b. 1876), whose family remained at Glansevern until 1950. His son, Stephen P.F. Humphreys-Owen (1908-1960) died unmarried and the family became extinct in the male line.
In April 1951 the mansion and 110 acres of land were sold to Mr Robert Gordon Barker, a timber merchant.


Scope and content/abstract: The catalogued portion of the archive contains records of the family of Owen, later Humphreys-Owen, of Glansevern, and Johnes of Garthmyl, mainly comprising title deeds and documents, [late 12 cent.]-1929, mainly relating to property in Montgomeryshire; estate papers, 1767-1924, including rentals, accounts and surveys; records relating to Campobello island, New Brunswick, Canada, 1767-1902; substantial family correspondence, 1633-1926, political correspondence of Arthur Charles Humphreys-Owen, 1856-1905, including letters from Lord Rendel; naval papers of Captain William Owen, 1746-c.1797. The uncatalogued part of the archive includes correspondence of the Owen and Humphreys-Owen families, 1754-1905; pedigree of the Owen family, 1839; and material relating to S.P.F. Humphreys Owen, [c. mid 20 cent].


Language/scripts of material: English, Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged into correspondence, 1633-1926; deeds and documents, late 12 cent.-1927; Berriew Free School, 1652-1931; Campo Bello, 1767-1902; naval log books etc. of Captain William Owen, 1746-c.1797; estate records (rentals, letter books etc.), 1767-1925; miscellaneous volumes (diaries, recipe books etc.), 1667-1917; Over Gorther (co. Mont.) manorial records, 1658-c.1800; appointments and certificates, 1696-1820; printed matter and books, 1710-1961; pedigrees and genealogical material, 18 cent.-20 cent.; newspaper cuttings, 1877-1905; and 1971 additional deposit, c.1673-c.1905.

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: Part of the archive remains uncatalogued. Hard copies of available catalogues are available at NLW and HMC. An online catalogue can be accessed from


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

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: Some 188 early deeds were catalogued by A. F. Heintz in around 1920. The Heintz numbers given at the bottom left of the entries on the deeds and documents in vol. V of the catalogue refer to the numbers in his calendar, now NLW, Glansevern Estate Records 14895.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Mrs S. P. F. Humphreys-Owen, Glansevern, Montgomeryshire, per his aunts Misses Humphreys-Owen and Miss E. F. Humphreys-Owen between 1936 and 1994. Miss Elizabeth Humphreys-Owen converted these deposits into a donation in March 1994. A further deposit of Glansevern papers was received through the Borough of Llanidloes, per Mr J. E. Thomas, town clerk, in October 1962.


Related material: A number of maps are in NLW, Map Collections, Glansevern Collection, and a number of prints, portraits and photographs in NLW, Special Collections. Further papers relating to Captain William Owen are National Maritime Museum, Manuscripts Section, COO/1; and New York Public Library, Captain William Owen's Journal.

Publication note: Davies, Wayne K.D., 'Capt. William Owen and the settlement of Campobello: Montgomeryshire's connection with New Brunswick, Canada', National Library of Wales Journal, vol XXXI, no. 2 (Winter 1999), and vol. XXXI, no. 3 (Summer 2000); Davies, E.C.H., 'Glansevern', The Montgomeryshire Collections, vol. CXXVII, (1984).


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: Nicholas, Thomas, Annals & antiquities of the counties & county families of Wales (London, 2 vols, 1872); Davies, Wayne K. D., 'Capt. William Owen & the settlement of Campobello: Montgomeryshire's connection with New Brunswick, Canada', National Library of Wales Journal, vol. 31, no. 2 (Winter 1999) and no. 3 (Summer 2000); Davies, E.C.H., 'Glansevern', The Montgomeryshire Collections, vol. 72 (1984); James, Brian, 'The great landowners of Wales in 1873', National Library of Wales Journal, vol. 14 (1965-66).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2002

Election districts | Wales | Montgomeryshire | 19th century
Election districts | Wales | Montgomeryshire | 20th century
Estate administration | Wales | Montgomeryshire
Glansevern Estate (Wales) | Archives
Humphreys-Owen family, | of Glansevern | Archives
Owen family, | of Glansevern | Archives
Wales | Politics and government | 19th century
Wales | Politics and government | 20th century

Personal names
Humphreys-Owen , Arthur Charles , 1836-1905
Humphreys-Owen , S. P. F. (Stephen P. F.) , 1908-1960
Johnes family , of Garthmyl
Owen , William , d. 1778
Owen family , of Glansevern
Rendel , Stuart Rendel , 1834-1913 , Baron

Corporate names
Glansevern Estate (Wales)

Campobello Island (N. B.)

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