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National Library of Wales
Dillwyn, Lewis Weston, diaries

Reference code(s): GB 0210 LEWWYN

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries

Short Title: Dillwyn, Lewis Weston, diaries

Creation date(s): 1817-1852

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 36 volumes

Name of creator(s): Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778-1855)


Administrative/Biographical history: Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778-1855) was a naturalist and a Whig MP. He was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, the son of William Dillwyn (?1743-1824) of Walthamstow, and Sarah Weston of Essex. He attended the Friends' School in Tottenham, and in 1797 went to Dover to study botany. He ran the 'Cambrian Pottery' in Swansea, 1802-1817, living at Burrough Lodge and then Sketty Hall. He was a noted naturalist, publishing works on botany and conchology, and was elected FRS in 1804. He was a Justice of the Peace, sheriff of Glamorgan, 1818, mayor of Swansea, 1839, and MP for Glamorgan, 1832-1841. Among his publications were Natural History of British Confervae (1802-9), Botanist's Guide through England and Wales, written with Dawson Turner (1805), A Descriptive Catalogue of British Shells (2 vols, 1817), An Index to the Historia Conchyliorum of Lister (Oxford, 1923) and a short history of Swansea published in 1840. In 1807 he married Mary, daughter and heir of John Llewelyn of Penlle'rgaer, Llangyfelach, Glamorgan. They had two daughters and two sons, John Dillwyn-Llewelyn (1810-1882) of Penlle'rgaer and Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (1814-1892). Lewis Weston Dillwyn died on 31 August 1855.


Scope and content/abstract: Diaries, 1817-1852, of Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778-1855) of Penlle'rgaer, Glamorgan, containing entries relating to family and estate matters, his business interests, his work as a naturalist, together with his public duties as a magistrate and as a Member of Parliament. Also included is the journal of his tour on the Continent in 1836. Most of the volumes are partially indexed by him, and many contain appendices, some relating to events before 1817 (see file level descriptions for further details).


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright in the diaries remains with the family and all requests for use should be made to

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue


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

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by the family of Lewis Weston Dillwyn.


Existence and location of copies: Partial transcripts of the diaries are available at the National Library of Wales (NLW, Calendar of Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries). Extracts have also been published in South Wales and Monmouth Record Society, Publications no. 5 (1963), eds. Henry John Randall and William Rees. The diaries have been fully transcribed by Richard Morris over a number of years, and are now available online for academic and research use from

Related material: The diaries of his brother William Dillwyn are also held at the National Library of Wales. Further family papers are National Library of Wales, Penlle'rgaer Estate Records; Dillwyn Family Papers at Swansea University; and the Dillwyn-Llewelyn Collection at the West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea.


Note: Title compiled from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Alwyn J. Roberts. The following sources were used to compile this description: NLW, Calendar of Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Dictionary of National Biography (London, 1885-1901); online transcripts of the diaries (, viewed December 2011.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2011.

Dillwyn, L. W. | (Lewis Weston), | 1778-1855 | Diaries
Glamorgan (Wales) | Politics and government | 19th century
Natural history | Great Britain
Naturalists | Great Britain

Personal names
Dillwyn , L. W. (Lewis Weston) , 1778-1855
Dillwyn , William , 1743-1824

Corporate names
Penlle'rgaer Estate (Wales)

Glamorgan (Wales)
Swansea (Wales)

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