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National Library of Wales
Baker, Elizabeth, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 ELIKER

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Elizabeth Baker Papers

Short Title: Baker, Elizabeth, papers

Creation date(s): 1740-1798

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.018 cubic metres (2 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Elizabeth Baker (c. 1720-1799)


Administrative/Biographical history: Elizabeth Baker ([c. 1720]-1799) was the daughter of a clergyman in the Midlands; she lived at one point in Coventry, Warwickshire. Her later life was spent in Merionethshire, in and around the parish of Llanegryn. In 1770, she was a partner in prospecting for metal ores in the area between Dolgellau and Llanuwchllyn, which proved unsuccessful; a lawsuit concerning the partnership later arose. She later lived at the houses of Hengwrt (1771-1778) (as secretary to Hugh Vaughan), Doluwcheogryd (until 1780), and Bryn Adda (until 1784), after which she remained in Dolgellau until her death in 1799. She kept a series of diaries, reflecting the difficulties faced by the Hengwrt house and estate, and collected and transcribed contemporary verses. She also attempted to breed silk worms.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of Elizabeth Baker, 1740-1798, comprising correspondence, 1743-1798; copies of verses, including some relating to the impeachment of Warren Hastings; correspondence relating to legal matters arising from the mining partnership and the ownership of the Nannau estate, 1779-1781; journals relating to silk worms, 1779-1782; and papers concerning politics, literature, and current events, 1740-1798.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged as follows: verse of general interest, Simpkin and Simon and other political verse; printed papers; legal papers, etc.; letters to Mrs Baker; miscellaneous letters and copy letters; papers of Welsh interest; prose extracts; and miscellaneous papers, accounts of trials, inscriptions and anecdotes.

Conditions governing access:

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records purchased by the National Library of Wales have been retained. The material was partially catalogued in 1957, under the reference Peniarth 663/1-591. The Baker material was renumbered and recatalogued as a separate archive in 1997.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: It appears that the papers of Elizabeth Baker were acquired by the Victorian antiquarian W. W. E. Wynne, Peniarth.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited with the Peniarth estate papers in 1954-1956, and subsequently purchased in 1980.


Related material: See also NLW, Peniarth MSS 307, 377, 416, 418, 485, 501.


Note: Title based on contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley and Martin Locock for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); National Library of Wales Journal, 1943-1944 (note that the Dictionary gives the date of death of Baker as 1789; the NLW cataloguer notes that from Peniarth MS 501D, this must be incorrect, since her letters continue to 1797, and suggests that the Elizabeth Baker buried in Dolgellau in 1799 may be the same individual).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2003; revised April 2005

Baker, Elizabeth, | ca. 1720-1799 | Archives
English poetry | 18th century
Gentry | Wales | Gwynedd
Hastings, Warren, | 1732-1818 | Poetry
Sericulture | Wales | Dolgellau
Silkworms | Wales | Dolgellau
Wales | Politics and government | 18th century
Women | Wales | Diaries
Women | Wales | Dolgellau | Diaries

Personal names
Baker , Elizabeth , ca.1720-1799

Corporate names

Dolgellau (Wales)
Llanegryn (Wales)
Merioneth (Wales)

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