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National Library of Wales
Downing estate, deeds

Reference code(s): GB 0210 DOWNING

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Downing Estate Deeds

Short Title: Downing estate, deeds

Creation date(s): 1352-1802

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 149 items

Name of creator(s): Downing estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The Pennant family held estates in the Whitford and Holywell areas of Flintshire continuously from the 1450's until the middle of the 19 cent., when the direct line of the family lapsed.

The Pennant family are descended from David Pennant ap Tudur ap Ithel (living in 1440) who was the first to adopt the surname Pennant. He married firstly Jonet, daughter of David of Trefcastle in Tegeingl, and secondly Agnes, daughter of John Done of Utkinton, Cheshire. From his fist marriage are descended the Pennants of Bychton, and the Pennants of Downing, the former being descended from Thomas Pennant, great-grandson of David Pennant, and the latter from Thomas's brother, Nicholas. From his second marriage are descended, through his son, Thomas Pennant, abbot of Basingwerk, the Pennants of Bagillt and the Pennants of Hendre Vigillt.

John Pennant, son of Nicholas, married Jane, the daughter and heiress of John Lloyd ap Llewellyn ap Rhys of Downing and brought the Downing Estate to this branch of the Pennant family. This branch became extinct with the death of Thomas Pennant without issue in 1724. He bequeathed the Downing estate to his kinsman, David Pennant (1685-1763), of Bychton. His son was Thomas Pennant (1726-1798), the naturalist, antiquary and traveller. Thomas's son, David Pennant died in 1841.


Scope and content/abstract: Deeds relating to the estates in Denbighshire and Flintshire, of the Pennant families of Bychton and Downing, 1352-1802, and a small number of draft letters from, and letters to, Thomas Pennant, [c. 1765]-1769, together with some of his notes and a notebook, [c. 1764-1765] and undated.


Language/scripts of material: English, Latin

System of arrangement: A typescript schedule of the deeds numbered A1-34 was prepared by Edward Owen before their receipt at NLW. A typescript schedule of the other 115 documents was prepared by NLW when the collection was received. The whole collection has been re-calendared for the present schedule, but the numbers given to the documents in the two previous schedules have been kept. The two sequences of deeds and documents have, however, been brought together and arranged chronologically in a single sequence.

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. 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: Much of the Pennant archive, including many of the papers of Thomas Pennant (1726-1798), has been dispersed at auction.

Immediate source of acquisition: Presented by the Earl of Denbigh, per Mr Edward Owen, Secretary of Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments for Wales.


Related material: Three groups of Pennant papers are NLW MSS 2521-98, 12706-20 and 15421-36. Most of the estate archive is Warwickshire County Record Office, CR 2017 and Flintshire Record Office, D/NA, D/BC/1-517.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following sources were used in the completion of this description: Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1952); Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (Wrexham, 1998 reprint); Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); NLW, Schedule of Downing Deeds (1978).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2002

Deeds | Wales | Denbighshire
Deeds | Wales | Flintshire
Downing Estate (Wales) | Records and correspondence

Personal names
Pennant , Thomas , 1726-1798
Pennant family , of Bychton and Downing

Corporate names
Downing Estate (Wales)


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