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National Library of Wales
John, W. Goscombe, manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSGOSCOMBE

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: W. Goscombe John Manuscripts

Short Title: John, W. Goscombe, manuscripts

Creation date(s): 1822-1952, [1970x1990]

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 2 vols.

Name of creator(s): W. Goscombe John


Administrative/Biographical history: Sir William Goscombe John (1860-1952), sculptor and medallist, was born in Cardiff on 21 February 1860. He attended Llandaff National School and Cardiff Art School, 1871-1881, the City and Guilds Kennington School of Art, 1881-1884, and the Royal Academy Schools from 1884. In 1888-1890 he travelled in Europe and North Africa, funded by friends in Cardiff and the Royal Academy's 1889 gold medal. He spent 1890-1891 in Paris and studied under Rodin. He then settled in London, living in St John's Wood from 1892 until his death.
Among his works are statues of the 7th Duke of Devonshire in Eastbourne (1901), Edward VII in Cape Town (1904), Viscount Tredegar in Cardiff (1909) and the 4th Earl of Minto in Calcutta (1913), a monument to the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury in Hatfield (1912), the King's Regiment memorial (1905) and Engine-Room Heroes memorial (1916), both in Liverpool, and the statue of St David in Cardiff City Hall (1916). He also designed the Hirlas Horn for the National Eisteddfod (1898), the regalia for the investiture of the Prince of Wales (1911) and the great seal of Edward VIII (1936).
W. Goscombe John was made a Royal Academician in 1909 and was knighted in 1911; he became an honorary freeman of Cardiff in 1936. In 1890 he married Anna Marthe Weiss (d. 1923) and they had one daughter, Muriel (1892-1955), who married the son of Sir Luke Fildes. Sir W. Goscombe John died in London on 15 December 1952 at the age of 92.


Scope and content/abstract: Personal and family papers of Sir W. Goscombe John, 1822-1953, comprising letters and cards, 1889-1953; other personal papers, 1870-1952; and genealogical notes and memoranda, partly in his hand, 1822-1952, with additional notes accumulatd by a later family historian, [1970x1990].


Language/scripts of material: English, some French.

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 23749-50E.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids:


Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: Sold at auction with other items relating to W. Goscombe John which were purchased by the National Museum of Wales.

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased at auction (Sale of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art, Lot 79) at W. & F. C. Bonham & Sons Limited (Bonhams), London, 11 November 1998 (B1998/37).



Note: Title based on contents. A few items postdate his death. Last date surmised from handwriting and paper.

Archivist's note: Description revised by Rhys Morgan Jones. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography website (, viewed 4 May 2010; Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig 1951-1970 (London, 1997).

Rules or conventions: Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2010

John, William Goscombe, | Sir, | 1860-1952 | Archives
John, William Goscombe, | Sir, | 1860-1952 | Family

Personal names
John , William Goscombe , 1860-1952 , Sir

Corporate names


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