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National Library of Wales
Brynbella, manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSBRYNBE

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Brynbella Manuscripts

Short Title: Brynbella, manuscripts

Creation date(s): 1756-1845

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 9 volumes

Name of creator(s): Hester Lynch Piozzi; Gabriele Piozzi; John Salusbury Piozzi.


Administrative/Biographical history: $a Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741-1821), author and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson, was born Hester Lynch Salusbury at Bodfel, near Pwllheli, Caernarvonshire, the daughter of John Salusbury of Bachygraig, Flintshire - through whom Hester claimed descendancy from 'Katheryn of Berain' ('Catrin o'r Berain') - and Hester Lynch Cotton (d. 1773) of Combermere and Llewenni. The young Hester showed a talent for writing and learning languages. Despite parental opposition, Hester married Henry Thrale in 1763; the couple settled in London, where they quickly came to know such notable individuals as Dr Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, David Garrick and Joshua Reynolds. Henry Thrale died in 1781 and Hester married, in 1784, the Italian music teacher Gabriele Piozzi: this time it was her late husband's family who initially opposed the marriage. In 1795 Hester and Gabriele settled at Brynbella near Tremeirchion in Flintshire. The couple also set to to renovate Bachygraig, near Denbigh, the house built by Sir Richard Clough, Katheryn of Berain's second husband. They adopted Gabriele's nephew, John (Giovanne) Piozzi, who would later become Sir John Piozzi Salusbury of Bachygraig. Gabriele died at Brynbella in 1809 and Hester made John her heir. As well as perhaps her most notable associate, Dr Johnson, Hester accumulated an extensive circle of acquaintances and correspondents, including Thomas Pennant, Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby (the 'Ladies of Llangollen'), and the famed actress Mrs Siddons. She spent much of her later years at Bath and died at Clifton in 1821. Her remains were returned to Wales and buried at Tremeirchion.


Scope and content/abstract: $a Papers largely by or relating to the Piozzi family of Brynbella and Bachygraig comprising part of the Brynbella 'Piozziana' presented to NLW in 1944. They include diaries, 1797-1812, with entries by Gabriel Piozzi and Hester Lynch Piozzi; correspondence, 1784-[1816], of Hester Lynch Piozzi; 'A Christmas Carol for Brynbella 1797' in the hand of Hester Lynch Piozzi?; papers relating to the Bachygraig estate in Flintshire, including correspondence, 1844-1845, of Sir John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury concerning claims upon and the title to the Bachygraig estate, a survey and valuation of Bachygraig taken in 1790 when in the possession of Gabriel Piozzi, and Bachygraig estate accounts in the hand of Gabriel Piozzi, 1788-1807, and Sir John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury, 1820-1824; and papers by or relating to Dr Samuel Johnson, including a proof copy of a circular, 1765, with corrections by Dr Johnson, a draft letter of thanks, [1765], from Henry Thrale in the hand of Dr Johnson, a bill, 1775, to Dr Johnson for stockings, correspondence, [1778, [1781], of Dr Johnson, and a letter, 1789, containing an epitaph to Dr Johnson.


Language/scripts of material: English, French.

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 11096-11104.

Conditions governing access:

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: Description based on Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961).


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Presented by Mrs K. M. Evans of St Asaph in 1944.


Related material: See also NLW Rolls 223, which forms another part of the Brynbella 'Piozziana' collection. See also an extensive collection of Hester Lynch Piozzi correspondence housed at Harvard University Library, USA which can be accessed vai OASIS (Online Archival Search Information System) on The collection comprises 183 letters to and from Hester Lynch Piozzi and include seven to Samuel Johnson, five to James Boswell, four to Charles Burney, five to Fanny Burney and one from Sir Joshua Reynolds. See also, e.g., Bloom, E. A. & Bloom, L. D. (eds): The Piozzi Letters ... Vols I-VI (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1989-2002).


Note: Previously known as Brynbella 1-9.

Archivist's note: Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography WWW site; Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940 (Llundain, 1953); Harvard University Library WWW site.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2009.


Personal names
Piozzi , Gabriele Mario , 1740-1809
Piozzi , Hester Lynch , 1741-1821
Salusbury , John Salusbury Piozzi , 1793-1858

Corporate names
Brynbella (Denbighshire, Wales: Dwelling)


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