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National Library of Wales
Plas Power estate, records and papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 PLASPOWER

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Plas Power Estate Records and Papers

Short Title: Plas Power estate, records and papers

Creation date(s): [c.1300], 1414-[?c.1960]

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.7729 cubic metres (18 boxes; 27 small boxes; 140 volumes).

Name of creator(s): Myddelton family of Chirk, and Lloyd and FitzHugh families of Plas Power

CONTEXT

Administrative/Biographical history: The Plas Power estate was established in the early seventeenth century, and eventually comprised lands in Denbighshire, Merionethshire, Flintshire, Cheshire, Montgomeryshire, Shropshire and Lancashire. Its focal point was the area around Wrexham, especially the townships of Bersham, Esclusham and Minera, where there were thriving collieries, quarries and mineral works. Ownership of the estate passed through the hands of several families, none of them holding on to it for more than a few generations. The nucleus of the estate appears to have been established by Sir Henry Power, an Irish landowner who was at Bersham in 1620, but by the end of the century his grandson, John Power, had moved to Dover, and the lands in Bersham were sold to William Fownes of Dublin. In 1733, the Plas Power estate was sold to Mary Myddelton, daughter of Sir Richard Myddelton of Chirk Castle. Plas Power was thereby added to the estates that Mary Myddelton had already inherited from her mother, Frances Whitmore, which she held separately from the Chirk estate. The Plas Power estate now included Bersham, Minera, Broughton, Brymbo and Esclusham (all in Denbighshire) and Bodfari (Flintshire), many of which were rich in mineral deposits. From 1720, the sitting tenant at Plas Power was Rev. Thomas Lloyd, whose mother was Elizabeth Myddelton of the Plas Cadwgan branch of the Chirk family; he had been tutor at Chirk under Richard Myddelton, served Mary Myddelton as chaplain, and also acted on behalf of both of them in estate matters throughout his life. Mary Myddelton never lived at Plas Power herself, preferring to stay at Croes Newydd, near Wrexham, where she moved in 1719. On Thomas Lloyd's death in 1734, therefore, his son, William, succeeded him as the sitting tenant at Plas Power, and on Mary Myddelton's death in 1747 she bequeathed Plas Power to him, also making him a trustee of the Chirk estate; links between Plas Power and Chirk remained close for many years, resulting in the presence of many Chirk papers from all periods in this archive. William Lloyd's second son, also named William, succeeded him at Plas Power, and on his death without issue in 1816 the estate passed to his nephew, Thomas FitzHugh, son of Thomas FitzHugh of Portland Place, Marylebone, London, and Mary, the sister of William Lloyd (junior). Plas Power remained in the possession of the FitzHugh family, who also held lands in Middlesex and Essex, until the twentieth century, and eventually passed to Thomas's great-grandson, Lieutenant Colonel G. E. FitzHugh.

CONTENT

Scope and content/abstract: Estate, financial, legal, personal, domestic, industrial and commercial papers of the several families who held the Plas Power estate, notably the Myddeltons, Lloyds and FitzHughs, including some papers relating to the Myddelton family of Chirk and their estates.

ACCESS AND USE

Language/scripts of material: English, Latin, French, Welsh and Greek

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW into four groups: Estate records; Letters; Family papers; and Public administration. Because of the close relationship between the various branches of the Myddelton and Lloyd families and their households during the lifetime of Mary Myddelton, whose household at Croes Newydd included a number of individuals closely associated with Chirk, it has not always been possible to disentangle the provenance of some documents with absolute certainty. Furthermore, because of the variety of ways in which the documents were created and accumulated, it has not proved practical to create a separate group of Chirk Castle papers; care has been taken, however, to identify such documents where appropriate. Further details are given at the appropriate levels of description.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: The catalogue is available online.

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: The archive was kept at Plas Power until the bulk of it was transferred in 1970 to NLW, which had already bought a number of literary manuscripts from the house. This initial deposit was purchased by the Library in 1974, and smaller deposits were made subsequently.

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased from: Lieutenant Colonel Godfrey Edmund FitzHugh, O.B.E., T.D, Plas Power, 1974; Sotheby's auctioneers, London, November 1985; Phillips auctioneers, London, March and October 1989 and March 1990; and Mr E. F. Lloyd FitzHugh, O.B.E., D.L., J.P., Plas Power, Wrexham, November 2001. Also donated by Bersham Industrial Heritage Centre, Wrexham, 1987 and June 1991.

ALLIED MATERIALS

Related material: Further estate records, legal records, family papers, and business and industrial papers relating to the Plas Power and Chirk Castle estates and their proprietors are NLW Deeds 1439-44, NLW MS 22097E and Denbighshire Record Office, Plas Power MSS, and the bulk of records relating to the Chirk Castle estate are NLW, Chirk Castle Estate Records; additional material of a similar nature may be found in NLW, Henry Robertson Papers, Harrison and Sons Papers, Benjamin Piercy Papers, Benjamin Piercy Maps, Smallwood Collection of Deeds and Papers, Ruthin Lordship Records, Bathafarn and Llanbedr Estate Records, Coed Coch and Trovarth Estates Records, Davies and Charles (Brymbo) Family Papers, John Garnons (Solicitor) Collection of Deeds, Robert Rawley Collection of Deeds, Fronheulog Estate Records, and Caerynwch Estate Records. Literary manuscripts from the library at Plas Power are NLW MSS 716-36 and NLW Minor Deposits 1389-90, and NLW also holds a considerable number of printed volumes that were formerly at Plas Power.

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Note: Title supplied from contents.

Archivist's note: Description compiled by David Moore. -- The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London 1959); Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales (2 vols, London : 1872) i; D. Leslie Davies and Robert Davies, The Myddelton-Lloyd papers of Plas Power (Transactions of the Denbighshire Historical Society xx 1971) 256-60; D. Leslie Davies, Miss Myddelton of Croesnewydd and the Plas Power papers (Transactions of the Denbighshire Historical Society xxii 1973) 121-65; Report on the family and estate papers of the FitzHugh family of Plas Power (Clwyd Record Office : 1983); Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1952); documents within the archive.

Rules or conventions: ANW guidelines conforming to AACR2 and NCA rules

Date(s) of descriptions: August 2013


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Chirk Castle Estate (Wales) | Records and correspondence
Estate administration | Wales | Chirk Castle
Estate administration | Wales | Plas Power
FitzHugh family, | of Plas Power | Archives
Lloyd family, | of Plas Power | Archives
Myddelton family, | of Gwaenynog, Denbigh, Chirk and Ruthin | Archives
Plas Power Estate (Wales) | Records and correspondence

Personal names
FitzHugh family , of Plas Power
Lloyd family , of Plas Power
Myddelton family , of Chirk , Denbigh , Ruthin , Gwaenynog , London and Essex

Corporate names
Chirk Castle Estate (Wales)
Plas Power Estate (Wales)

Places
Wrexham (Wales)

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