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National Library of Wales
Rendel, Lord, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 RENDEL

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Lord Rendel Papers

Short Title: Rendel, Lord, papers

Creation date(s): 1819-1996

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.401 cubic metres (12 boxes, 43 volumes)

Name of creator(s): Stuart Rendel, 1st Baron Rendel (1834-1913); Rendel family.


Administrative/Biographical history: Stuart Rendel, 1st Baron Rendel (1834-1913), was an industrialist and politician. He was born in Plymouth, Devon, the son of James Meadows Rendel (1799-1856), a civil engineer, and Catherine Jane Rendel (nee Harris, 1797-1884). He went to Eton, and graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, in 1856. Despite being called to the Bar, he eventually became the manager of the Sir William Armstrong & Co. gunnery company, being vice-chairman of the company by the time of his death. The links he formed with foreign governments in this capacity became useful when he was involved in peace negotiations between China and France in 1885. In 1880 he was elected the Liberal Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire, becoming the chairman of the 'Welsh Parliamentary Party', 1888-1894. He was heavily involved with the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889 and with proposals for the disestablishment of the church in Wales. He was a close friend of W. E. Gladstone, and, following Gladstone's resignation in 1894, he was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Rendel. He was president of University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1895-1913, contributing £1000 a year to the College. He also donated land in Aberystwyth to serve as the site for the National Library of Wales, in 1897. In 1857 he married Ellen Sophy Hubbard (died 1912), and they had four daughters. He died on 4 June 1913 in London. George Wightwick Rendel (1833-1902), Lord Rendel's elder brother, was a civil engineer. A partner in William Armstrong & Co., he directed the ordnance works at Elswick for 24 years and designed warships. He was Civil Lord of the Admiralty, 1882-1887. He married twice and had nine children, including Sir George William Rendel. He died at Sandown, Isle of Wight, on 9 October 1902. Sir George William Rendel (1889-1979) was a diplomat. He was educated at Downside and at Queen's College Oxford, graduating in Modern History in 1911. He then entered the Diplomatic Service, serving in various European capitals. Amongst other positions he was head of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office, 1930-1938, Ambassador to the Yugoslav Government in London, 1941-1943, and British Ambassador to Belgium, 1947-1950. He represented the United Kingdom on various committees of the United Nations. Although he retired in 1950, he was employed by the Foreign Office in various capacities, 1950-1964. In 1937, he crossed Arabia, travelling with his wife Geraldine (1884-1965). He wrote a volume of memoirs, The Sword and the Olive (1957). His daughter was Miss Rosemary Rendel. He was knighted in 1943 and died 6 May 1979. Lord Rendel's eldest daughter Rose Ellen married Professor H. C. Goodhart (died 1895) and they had one son, Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel (1887-1959), an architect and musician. He inherited the bulk of Lord Rendel's estate in 1913, and died, unmarried, in 1959.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of Stuart Rendel and family members, including papers relating to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the proposal to establish the National Library of Wales and its development during the early years of its existence, 1883-1916; speeches, addresses and political papers relating to disestablishment of the church in Wales and the 1889 Intermediate Education Act, 1882-1909; press cuttings, 1881-1913; photographs, 1892; miscellaneous letters, 1878-1912; letters to Stuart Rendel, 1853-1912, including letters from A. C. Humphreys Owen, 1877-1905, family letters, 1853-1902, and letters from prominent political figures and Welsh public figures; letters and copies of letters from Rendel, 1880-1912; diaries, mainly recording details of Stuart Rendel's business activities, 1863-1869; notes of conversations with W. E. Gladstone, John Morley and H. H. Asquith, 1888-1910; papers relating to Chinese affairs and French and Chinese peace talks, 1884-1886; papers of James Meadows Rendel, including letters, 1828-1856, and papers relating to his estate, 1856-1859; letters of Catherine Jane Rendel, 1845-1855; letters and papers of George Wightwick Rendel, 1871-1902; papers relating to Rendel's other brothers, 1841-1889, and his daughters, 1882-1910; letters and papers of Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel, 1898-1959, and other papers concerning him, 1963-1977; papers, mainly letters, of the Goodhart family, 1819-1957; papers of Miss Rosemary Rendel, 1986-1996; papers of Sir George William Rendel, including: Foreign Office papers, 1917-1967, correspondence, 1912-1973, papers relating to the Catholic Union of Great Britain, 1942-1979, lectures, diaries and notes, 1915-1954, personal and family papers, 1908-1980, and material relating to the book The Sword and the Olive (1957), 1954-1986.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: First deposit (now NLW MSS 19440-19467): letters and miscellaneous papers; letters to Stuart Rendel; letters from Stuart Rendel; letters from A. C. Humphreys Owen. Second deposit: correspondence of Lord Rendel; diaries and papers of Lord Rendel; Second deposit (additional): correspondence (Rendel Papers). Third deposit (now NLW MSS 20569-20572): letters; and papers. Fourth deposit: members of the Rendel and Goodhart families; Sir George William Rendel; and 1989-1999 deposits (Rendel Papers volume IV).

Conditions governing access: Permission to consult the papers contained in the 1998-1999 deposits must be obtained from Miss Rosemary Rendel, 43 Lansdowne Road, London, W11 2LQ. 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 regulations apply.

Finding aids: The catalogue can be accessed online. A hard copy of the catalogue is available at NLW, as is a copy of a superseded but more detailed catalogue to the first and third deposits (NLW MSS 19440-19467 and 20569-20572).

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records acquired by the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are likely.

Archival history: Most of the papers seem to have stayed in the possession of the family. H. S. Goodhart-Rendel inherited the bulk of Lord Rendel's estate and Rosemary Rendel, who acquired some of the later Rendel family papers, is the grand-niece of Lord Rendel.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Lord Rendel's grandson H. S. Goodhart-Rendel, 1955 (Rendel Papers, Volume I); purchased, 1969 (Rendel Papers, Volume III); deposited by Miss Rosemary Rendel, daughter of Sir George William Rendel, 1959-1999 (Rendel Papers, Volume II, Volume II(Appendix) and Volume IV); purchased from John Wilson, Cheltenham, 1997.


Related material: Further papers of the Rendel family are National Library of Wales, Sir Alexander M. Rendel Journals, NLW MSS 23028-23035, Thomas Charles Edwards Papers, Glansevern Estate Records; Tyne and Wear Archives Service, 3, Accession 31 and DF.NOB; Cambridge University: Churchill Archives Centre, SPRS; Oxford University: St Antony's College, Middle East Centre; Royal Institute of British Architects Library, C-ReH, BIO 755-786; Surrey History Centre, 1791; St Deiniol's Library, Glynne-Gladstone MSS 907, 918-919, 1850-1865; Herefordshire Record Office, BA97; British Library, Manuscript Collections, Add MSS 56053-56067; and Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, MSS Harcourt.

Publication note: Hamer, F. E., The Personal Papers of Lord Rendel (London, 1931).


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used to compile this description: National Library of Wales, Schedules of Letters and Papers of Lord Rendel (4 vols, 1955-1999); Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Dictionary of National Biography; Dictionary of National Biography Missing Persons (Oxford, 1993); Who Was Who, vol. VII (London, 1981).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2003

Catholic Church | Great Britain
Catholics | Great Britain
Church of England | Establishment and disestablishment | Wales
Diplomatic negotiations in international disputes
Education | Wales
Education, Primary | Law and legislation | Wales
Great Britain | Politics and government | 19th century
Great Britain | Politics and government | 20th century
Liberal Party (Great Britain)
National Library of Wales
Political parties | Great Britain
Politicians | Great Britain | Archives
Politicians | Wales | Archives
Politicians | Wales | Correspondence
Politicians | Wales | Diaries
Rendel family | Archives
Rendel, George, | Sir | Archives
Rendel, Stuart Rendel, | Baron, | 1834-1913 | Correspondence
Rendel, Stuart Rendel, | Baron, | 1834-1913 | Diaries
University College of Wales (Aberystwyth, Wales) | Archives
Wales | Politics and government | 19th century
Wales | Politics and government | 20th century

Personal names
Asquith , H. H. (Herbert Henry) , 1852-1928
Gladstone , W. E. (William Ewart) , 1809-1898
Goodhart family , of Hatchlands
Goodhart-Rendel , H. S. (Harry Stuart) , b. 1887
Humphreys-Owen , Arthur Charles , 1836-1905
Morley , John , 1838-1923
Rendel , George , Sir
Rendel , George Wightwick , 1833-1902
Rendel , James Meadows , 1799-1856
Rendel , Stuart Rendel , 1834-1913 , Baron
Rendel family

Corporate names
Catholic Union of Great Britain
Great Britain | Foreign Office
Liberal Party (Great Britain)
National Library of Wales
University College of Wales (Aberystwyth, Wales)

China ()
Montgomeryshire (Wales)

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