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National Library of Wales
Dillwyn, William, diaries

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WILWYN

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: William Dillwyn Diaries

Short Title: Dillwyn, William, diaries

Creation date(s): 1774-1790

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 13 volumes

Name of creator(s): William Dillwyn ([1743]-1824)


Administrative/Biographical history: William Dillwyn ([1743]-1824) was a Quaker merchant, born in Philadelphia, USA. His grandfather, also William Dillwyn, had emigrated from Brecknockshire to America in about 1699. William Dillwyn (the grandson) came to England in 1774 to campaign against slavery, and helped to set up an anti-slavery committee in London in 1787. He married Sarah Weston in 1777, and they settled at Higham Lodge, Walthamstow, Essex. They had eight children, including Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778-1855), the naturalist and Whig MP. He died, aged 81, on 28 September 1824, and was buried in the Friends' Burial Ground in Tottenham, Middlesex.


Scope and content/abstract: Diaries and journals of tours of William Dillwyn, 1774-1775, 1777, 1781-1790, recording his departure from Pennsylvania for England, tours of parts of England and south Wales, his religious, political and business activities, the anti-slavery committee, and family business. [The diaries have been temporarily withdrawn from the Library (December 2011)].


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 sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of a calendar of the diaries and journals is available at the National Library of Wales. The calendars are available online.


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

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Not known


Related material: The diaries, 1817-1852, of Lewis Weston Dillwyn were held at NLW prior to their withdrawal by the depositor in 1978.


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: NLW, Calendar of William Dillwyn Diaries; NLW, Calendar of Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Dressed in Simplicity: 300 years of Quakers in Tottenham (, viewed 6 January 2004.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2003

Antislavery movements | Great Britain
Dillwyn, William, | 1743-1824 | Diaries
England | Description and travel
Pennsylvania | Description and travel
Quakers | England | London | Diaries
Wales, South | Description and travel

Personal names
Dillwyn , William , 1743-1824

Corporate names

Pennsylvania ()
Walthamstow (England)

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