ANW logo

Archives Network Wales

Search the collections:        Search help | Advanced search   | Browse by repository

Browse the indices: Combined(searchable) Personal names Corporate names Places Subjects



[New to Archives?]

[Family history]

[Admin menu]

List of repositories  |  List of collections at National Library of Wales  |  Repository home page  |  Contact details

National Library of Wales
Courtfield estate, records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 COUELD

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Courtfield Estate Records

Short Title: Courtfield estate, records

Creation date(s): [13 cent.]-[20 cent.]

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.572 cubic metres (20 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Courtfield estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The Vaughan family established itself at Courtfield, Monmouthshire, when John Gwillym purchased the estate for £800 in 1562, and when his only daughter Sybil married James Vaughan of Llangattock. James and Sybil's heir was their second son, William (d. 1601), who married Jane, daughter of Richard Clarke of Wellington, near Hereford. William and Jane were the first members of the family to face persecution for their allegiance to the Roman Catholic faith. Jane appeared on the recusant rolls for Welsh Bicknor from 1592 to 1619 and associated herself with an early act of public resistance at Hereford in 1605 when a number of people were prosecuted for hearing Mass at the Darren on the Herefordshire slope of the river Monnow.
In 1601 Courtfield was inherited by their son, John Vaughan (1575-1639). His recusancy earned him monthly fines and the confiscation of two-thirds of his land. He was eventually forced to sell extensive parts of the estate. He was imprisoned for a period, but later pardoned by Charles I.
John's son and heir, Richard Vaughan (1600-1697) was known as 'The Grand Old Man of Courtfield'. The family lost more than half of its ancestral land in confiscation during this time. In 1651, the manor of Welsh Bicknor with the mansion house of Courtfield was sequestered. The goods and livestock were auctioned, leaving Richard with a notional freehold and one third of the rental income. He married Agatha, daughter of John Berington of Cowaine Court, Herefordshire.
On his death, Richard left a son, John Vaughan (1675-1754). John married secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Jones of Llanarth Court, another Catholic family. Besides succeeding to the manor of Welsh Bicknor, he also inherited the manors of Ruardean, Gloucestershire, and Clyro, Radnorshire, as heir to his childless half-brothers, John and Richard Vaughan. A 1718 parliamentary survey of his lands valued his estates in four neighbouring counties at £996. Two of his sons, Richard and William were actively associated with the Jacobites. Both fought at Culloden, and fled to Spain after the final defeat of Charles Edward Stuart's forces. They were excluded from the general pardon given by George II in 1747 and their property was seized. Their elder brother, John (d. 1780) inherited Courtfield, but on his death without issue the estate passed to William Vaughan (1738-1796), son of Richard.
William's son, William Michael Thomas John Vaughan (1781-1861) married Teresa Maria Weld in 1803. The couple re-built Courtfield. His heir was his eldest son, John Francis Vaughan (1808-1880). He purchased property in Ireland, and served as a Justice for Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Radnorshire, and County Mayo, the extent of his offices reflecting the spread of his estates. The estate then descended in the male line until Joseph Herbert Vaughan (b. 1910), who sold the Courtfield house with about 50 acres to the Mill Hill Missionary Society.


Scope and content/abstract: Estate records of the Vaughan family of Courtfield, Welsh Bicknor, Herefordshire, and associated families of Vaughan of Ruardean, Gloucestershire, and Weld of Lulworth, Dorset, 13 cent.-20 cent.; almost all title deeds relating to lands chiefly in Monmouthshire, Radnorshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire,[temp Edward I]-1916; and manorial records, 1454-1792. The Vaughans were notable adherents to Catholics and the archive includes acquittances to Joan Vaughan of Ruardean, a Catholic recusant, for the payment of fines, 1620-1644, and papal licences and instruments of possession of Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, Archbishop of Westminster.


Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically

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: The J. Hobson Mathews catalogue (1905) is available at NLW and HMC, but does not cover all the records at NLW. A working list of some of the papers not catalogued by Mathews is available at NLW.


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

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: Part of the archive was listed by J. Hobson Mathews in 1905 before the records were deposited at NLW.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Major Joseph H. Vaughan, Courtfield, in April 1949


Related material: Further papers relating to the Courtfield estate are National Library of Wales, Sir Leonard Twiston Davies Papers, 1142-1842.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Lewis, G.J., ed., The Old Catholic Families: The Vaughans of Courtfield (Cardiff, [2001?]); The Dictinary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1952).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2002

Catholics | Wales
Vaughan family, | of Courtfield | Archives

Personal names
Vaughan , Herbert , 1832-1903
Vaughan , Joan
Vaughan family , of Courtfield
Vaughan family , of Ruardean
Weld family , of Lulworth

Corporate names
Courtfield Estate (Herefordshire, England)


List of repositories  |  List of collections at National Library of Wales  |  Repository home page  |  Contact details