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National Library of Wales
Welsh Methodist (Wesleyan) archives

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WELIST

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Welsh Methodist (Wesleyan) Archives

Short Title: Welsh Methodist (Wesleyan) archives

Creation date(s): 1770-1974

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 3.391 cubic metres (198 boxes, 381 volumes, 6 files, 4 bundles, 2 rolls, 1 envelope)

Name of creator(s): Welsh (Wesleyan) Methodist Connexion


Administrative/Biographical history: The Methodist Church is organised as a single Connexion, with an annual Conference, subdivided into Districts and Circuits of individual chapels. The name Welseyan Methodism is used to distinguish the church from Calvinistic Methodism (now the Presbyterian Church in Wales); the prefix Welsh denotes the language of preaching. In Wales, English- and Welsh-language Wesleyan churches were administered as separate Districts; each District was administered by a Committee; in 1892 this was re-named the District Synod. The organisation of Wesleyan Methodism in Wales started in 1800, when a Welsh Mission to Welsh speakers was launched, based in Ruthin, Denbighshire, although some chapels pre-date this. The District organisation in Wales has undergone a series of changes in structure and name: a single North Wales District was established in 1803 (Welsh); in 1817, this became the Second Welsh District, the First Welsh District being of English churches; in 1828, the Second Welsh District became the North Wales District again, and in South Wales a First District (English) and Second District (Welsh) were created. In 1860, the Second South Wales District became known as the South Wales District; in 1902 North Wales was divided into First and Second Districts (both Welsh); in the 20th century, these three Welsh Districts became known as the Welsh (Wesleyan) Methodist Connexion. In 1974, they were combined into a single Cymru District, alongside two English districts, for North Wales and South Wales. In 1899, a Welsh Assembly had been formed as a representative body of the three Welsh Districts. In 1974 a Council for Methodism in Wales was created, covering both English and Welsh Districts. The District and Circuit structure is important because many of the records were held by these bodies rather than the individual churches. The Circuit structure was often changed to reflect the levels of activity in an area, leading to many mergers and demergers. In addition to the established Circuits in Wales, there were Missions, some of which developed into Circuits; there were also Circuits of Welsh-language chapels in London, in Liverpool and Manchester, Lancashire, in Hanley, Staffordshire, Leeds, Yorkshire, and in Stockton-on-Tees, Durham.


Scope and content/abstract: Baptism registers: Dinas Mawddwy Circuit, 1897-1966; Machynlleth Circuit, 1808-1897; Llandeilo Circuit, 1814-1863; Merthyr Tudful (Merthyr Tydfil) Circuit, 1837-1867; Bryn-Mawr Circuit, 1843-1882; Aberdare Circuit, 1857-1933; Tredegar Circuit, 1843-1916; Hanley (Staffordshire), Welsh Circuit, 1893-1924; and Stockton-on-Tees (Durham), Welsh circuit, 1872-1903; burial registers, Bont-goch, 1882-1931, and Tregaron, 1830-1944; Welsh Assembly, agendas, 1899-1917, and minutes, 1899-1902; North Wales District, District Committee minutes, 1816-1892, and Synod minutes, 1892-1902; trust-property schedules, 1860-1893; Home Mission Fund accounts and papers, 1875-1903; and Sunday Schools schedules, 1868-1880; First North Wales District, Synod minutes, 1903-1944; Home Mission Fund accounts, 1929-1967; trust-property returns, 1943-1955, and Ministers Allowance Fund accounts, 1918-1921; Second North Wales District, Synod minutes, 1903-1940; First and Second North Wales Districts, Home Mission Fund and Chapel Fund papers, 1903-1927; South Wales District, District Committee and Synod minutes, 1829-1974; Chapel Fund accounts, 1858-1951; Chapel Committee minutes and reports, 1858-1894; trust-property schedules and returns, 1860-1962; and Foreign Mission reports, 1846-1917; Circuit records, comprising Quarterly Meeting minutes, accounts, circuit-schedule book, trust-property schedules, Sunday School schedules, Temperance schedules, circuit plans and membership lists, for Abercynon Circuit, 1928-1931; Aberdare Circuit, 1857-1960; Aberdare & Abercynon Circuit, 1960-1968; Abergele Circuit, 1951-1960; Aberystwyth Circuit, 1845-1971; Amlwch Circuit, 1871-1873; Bagillt Circuit, 1895-1898; Bangor Circuit, 1843-1890; Beaumaris Circuit, 1892-1895; Blaenau Ffestiniog Circuit, 1867-1920; Bryn-Mawr Circuit, 1873-1969; Bryn-Mawr and Tredegar Circuit, 1928-1968; Cardiff Circuit, 1847-1889; Cardigan Circuit, 1810-1838; Cilfynydd Circuit, 1891-1898; Conwy Circuit, 1868-1871; Corwen Circuit, 1864; Crickhowell Circuit, 1851-1852; Denbigh & Llanrwst Circuit, (copy) 1818-1819; Dinas Mawddwy Circuit, 1907; Ebbw Vale & Crickhowell Circuit, 1860-1873; Ferndale Circuit, 1881-1909; Glamorgan Mission, 1943-1948; Hanley (Staffordshire) Circuit, 1873-1926; Holyhead Circuit, 1867-1879; Holywell Circuit, 1814-1871; Holywell & Mold Circuit, 1834-1835; Lampeter Circuit, 1871-1933; Lancashire Welsh Mission, 1906-1939; Leeds Welsh Mission, 1906-1923; Liverpool Welsh Circuit, 1845-1871; Liverpool Shaw Street Circuit, 1878-1907; Liverpool Oakfield Road Circuit, 1907-1954; Liverpool Chester Street Circuit, 1871-1881; Liverpool Mount Zion Circuit, 1881-1955; Llandeilo Circuit, 1824-1952; Llandeilo & Brecon Circuit, 1824-1831; Llanelli Circuit, 1894; Llanfair Caereinion Circuit, 1839-1895; Llanfyllin Circuit, 1845-1914; Llanidloes Circuit, 1832-1948; Llanrwst Circuit, 1885-1902; London Welsh Circuit, 1877-1878; Machynlleth Circuit, 1848-1968; Manchester Welsh Circuit, 1879-1961; Merthyr Tudful (Merthyr Tydfil) Circuit, 1873-1940; Mold Circuit, 1851-1877; Pont-y-pridd (Pontypridd) Circuit, 1898-1925; Porthmadog Circuit, 1889-1892; Pwllheli Circuit, 1877-1932; Ruthin Circuit, 1830-1868; Ruthin & Corwen Circuit, 1856-1863; St David's Circuit, 1894; South Wales Mission, Pont-y-pridd, 1893-1898; Swansea Circuit, 1823-1913; Swansea & Llanelli, 1961; Towyn Circuit (Tywyn, Merionethshire), 1898-1970; Tredegar Circuit, 1866-1928; Tregarth Circuit, 1865-1867; Ystumtuen Circuit, 1862-1946; Caernarfon & Bangor English Circuit, 1857-1861; Holyhead English Circuit, 1859-1859; Newtown English Circuit, 1868-1870; Swansea English Circuit, 1859-1860; and Wrexham English Circuit, 1845-1847; chapel records, comprising miscellaneous leases, accounts, Sunday School registers, membership lists and other papers, for: Aberareon, Aberaman, Abercegor, Abercynon, Aberdare, Aberdaron, Aberdyfi, Aberystwyth, Ammanford, Bangor, Barmouth, Bedlinog, Birkenhead, Blaenau (Crickhowell), Blaenau Ffestiniog, Bont-goch, Brontecwyn, Bryneglwys, Caerau (Treorci circuit), Caernarfon, Caersws, Caerwys, Capel Dewi, Capel Ficer, Cardigan, Cefncoedycymmer, Cendl, Cilfynydd, Cilgwyn, Cnwch-coch, Coundon (Durham), Crickhowell, Cwmbrwyno, Cwmllinau, Dinas Mawddwy, Dowlais, Ebbw vale, Eglwys-bach; Eglyws-fach; Glaspwll; Gurnos; Hanley (Staffordshire); Hirwaun; Holyhead; Lampeter; Leeds; Liverpool (Shaw Street, Oakfield Road, Plimsoll Street, Spellow Lane, Bootle, Mynydd Seion, and Garston); Llanarmon-yn-Ial; Llandeilo; Llandybie; Llandysul (Lampeter circuit); Llanelli (Brecknockshire); Llanelli (Carmarthenhire); Llanerfyl; Llanfairfechan; Llanrwst; Llagynidr; Llawr-y-glyn; London (Wilson Street); Machynlleth; Manchester (Hardman Street and Gore Street); Manod; Merthyr Tydfil; Merthyr Vale; Mountain Ash; Mynydd Bach (Cardiganshire); Mynydd-bach (Carmarthenshire); Nant-y-glo; Neath Abbey; Nebo; Newcastle Emlyn; New Quay; Pembrey; Pennal; Pen-y-craig; Pontgadfan; Pontlotyn; Pont-rhyd-y-groes; Pontypridd; Porthaethwy (Menai Bridge); Pwllheli; Quakers Yard; Rhigos; Rhostryfan; Rhyd-y-foel; Ruthin; St David's; Senghennydd; Stockton-on-Tees; Swansea (Tontine Street and Alexandra Road); Tafarnau Bach; Talwrn; Tonypandy; Towyn (Tywyn); Tregaron; Treharris; Tre'r-ddôl; Widnes; Ynysybwl; Ystalyfera; and Ystumtuen, 1820-1976; Methodist Book-Room, Bangor, accounts, minutes and correspondence, 1824-1939; and copies of printed diaries, with entries, 1840-1908, and Methodist Pocket Book, with entries, 1812.


Language/scripts of material: Welsh, English

System of arrangement: Arranged by deposit and into the following: manuscripts and records, and printed material. The manuscripts and records are arranged into a numbered sequence with letter suffix, possibly deriving from arrangement prior to deposit.

Conditions governing access: Restricted access. The District Committee and Synod Minute Books are not to be issued to Readers without the written consent of the Chairman of Talaith Cymru, including the correspondence and papers relating to Conscientious Objectors in the Machynlleth (Wesleyan) Methodist circuit, 1947-1955. 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 the catalogue, in two volumes, is available at the National Library of Wales; this includes an index listing items by class, District, Circuit and chapel. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Detailed catalogue


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

Accruals: Accruals are expected.

Archival history: Records held by superintendent ministers, circuit and chapel officers, and other individuals, were collected by Mr R. J. Thomas, for the Amgueddfa'r Hen Gapel, Tre'r-ddôl, Caernarfon, and later as archivist of the Welsh (Wesleyan) Methodist Connexion, and by his successor as archivist, Elfyn Jenkins, including records previously held by the Methodist Book-Room, Bangor, Caernarfonshire, until its closure in 1977 relating to Welsh Districts (records for English Districts were transferred to John Rylands University Library and County Records Offices).

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by (Wesleyan) Methodist Welsh Assembly per Mr R. J. Thomas, 1966-1976; and per Mr Elfyn Jenkins, 1976-1977.


Related material: Central records of the Methodist Church are in John Rylands University Library, Methodist Archives and Research Centre. Records of Circuits of English Districts, and individual chapels, are held by County Record Offices. Further records of Circuits and chapels are held in NLW MS and Minor Deposit collections; a list was prepared in 1978.

Publication note: The archive was used by A. H. Williams for 'Welsh Wesleyan Methodism, 1800-1858' (Bangor, 1935).


Note: Title compiled from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Martin Locock for the ANW Project. The following sources were used for the preparation of the description: NLW, Schedule of the Welsh Methodist (Wesleyan) Archives; A. H. Williams, 'Welsh Wesleyan Methodism, 1800-1858' (Bangor, 1935).

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

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

Church records and registers | Wales
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Welsh Methodist Connexion | Archives
Religious institutions | England | Liverpool
Religious institutions | Wales | Archives

Personal names
Williams , A. H. (Albert Hughes)

Corporate names
Llyfrfa Wesleyaidd (Bangor, Wales)
Methodist Church (Great Britain)
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Aberdare & Abercynon Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Aberdare Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Abergele Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Aberystwyth Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Bryn-Mawr Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Bryn-Mawr and Tredegar Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Dinas Mawddwy Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Glamorgan Mission
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Lampeter Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Lancashire Welsh Mission
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Liverpool Mount Zion Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Liverpool Oakfield Road Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Llandeilo Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Llanidloes Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Machynlleth Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Manchester Welsh Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Merthyr Tydfil Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | North Wales First District
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | North Wales Second District
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | South Wales District
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Swansea & Llanelli Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Towyn Circuit
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Welsh Methodist Connexion
Methodist Church (Great Britain) | Ystumtuen Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Abercynon Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Aberdare Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Aberystwyth Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Blaenau Ffestiniog Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Bryn-Mawr Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Bryn-Mawr and Tredegar Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Caernarfon & Bangor English Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cardiff Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cardigan Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cilfynydd Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Conwy Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Crickhowell Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Abertawe
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Amlwch
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Bagillt
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Bangor
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Beaumaris
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Corwen
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Llanfair-Caereinion
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Llanfyllin
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Llanidloes
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Llanrwst
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Machynlleth
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Porthmadog
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Pwllheli
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Rhuthyn
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Rhuthyn a Chorwen
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Treffynnon
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Tregarth
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Wyddgrug
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Cylchdaith Ystumtuen
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Denbigh & Llanrwst Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Dinas Mawddwy Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Ebbw Vale & Crickhowell Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Ferndale Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Hanley Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Holyhead Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Holyhead English Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Holywell & Mold Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Lampeter Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Lancashire Welsh Mission
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Leeds Welsh Mission
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Liverpool Chester Street Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Liverpool Mount Zion Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Liverpool Oakfield Road Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Liverpool Shaw Street Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Liverpool Welsh Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Llandeilo & Brecon Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Llandeilo Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Llanelli Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | London Welsh Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Manchester Welsh Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Merthyr Tydfil Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Newtown English Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Pont-y-pridd Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Second North Wales District
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Second South Wales District
Wesleyan Methodist Church | South Wales District
Wesleyan Methodist Church | South Wales Mission. | Pont-y-pridd
Wesleyan Methodist Church | St David's Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Stockton-on-Tees Welsh Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Swansea English Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Talaeth Gogledd Cymru
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Talaeth Gyntaf Gogledd Cymru
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Towyn Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Tredegar Circuit
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Welsh Assembly
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Welsh Methodist Connexion
Wesleyan Methodist Church | Wrexham English Circuit

Liverpool (England)
Wales ()

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