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National Library of Wales
Spurrell family, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 SPUELL

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Spurrell Family Papers

Short Title: Spurrell family, papers

Creation date(s): 1817-1984

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 2 boxes

Name of creator(s): Spurrell family of Carmarthen


Administrative/Biographical history: The House of Spurrell, printers and publishers, was founded in 1840 by William Spurrell (1813-89), the third son of Richard Spurrell and Elizabeth Thomas of Carmarthen. He worked for Bradley & Evans, London printers and publishers, 1835-1840, before returning to Carmarthen to set up his own business. Among his most important publications were his Welsh-English dictionary (1848), the English-Welsh dictionary (1853) and Carmarthen and its neighbourhood (1860). He also owned and edited Yr Haul, 1857-1884. He married Sarah Walter in 1846, and they had several children including Edith Spurrell (1848-1908), Dr Charles Spurrell (1866-1949) and Walter Spurrell (1858-1934). Walter joined the family business and in due course succeeded his father. He issued the West Wales Historical Records (14 vols, 1911-1929), the Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society and John Bodvan Anwyl's revised editions of the Welsh-English (1914) and English-Welsh (1916) dictionaries. He married Florence Mary Turner of Stoke Newington, London, in 1893 and they had a son, H. W. Spurrell. Following Walter's death in 1934 the business passed out of the hands of the family. H. W. Spurrell inherited the family papers.


Scope and content/abstract: Personal and family papers, including letters to William Spurrell on phonetics and spelling reform, 1848-1885, and Spurrell family history, 1873-1885; letters from Sir James and Lady Hills-Johnes of Dolaucothi, 1885-1917; printed material regarding Welsh mutations and spelling reform, 1876-1889; notes on the Rebecca riots and Carmarthen history, 1872, with additions by H. W. Spurrell, [20th century]; personal papers of, and letters from, Walter Spurrell, 1858-1900; papers relating to Dr Charles Spurrell, including a volume of family pedigrees; letters concerning possible evidence for Welsh Indians, 1891-1892; a diary of Edith Spurrell, 1865; papers relating to Elizabeth Thomas's family, 1817-1839; travel journals and accounts of members of Florence Mary Turner's family, 1821-1902; and miscellaneous papers of H. W. Spurrell, [c.1900]-1984.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Thomas family papers; papers of William Spurrell; papers of William Spurrell's children; Turner family papers; papers of Col. H. W. Spurrell; and miscellaneous.

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 the catalogue is available in NLW, Minor lists & summaries 1987, pp. 108-112. The catalogue is also available online.

Detailed catalogue


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

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: These papers were in the possession of Lt-Col H. W. Spurrell, MC (1894-1985), Aberporth, son of Walter Spurrell.

Immediate source of acquisition: Nos 1-7, 10-30 were donated by Lt.-Col. H. W. Spurrell's niece, Mrs Joan Kovats, London, in 1987. Nos 8-9 (and NLW MS 22364C) were purchased from Mrs Kovats in 1987.


Related material: Family photographs, maps and photographic albums are in NLW, Special Collections, PE5215-16. Spurrell business papers, 1920-1949, are held by the Carmarthenshire Archives Service, DB16, DB68 and DB107.

Publication note: Richard E. Huws, "A History of the House of Spurrell, Carmarthen, 1840-1969", F.L.A. thesis, 1981; copy available at Carmarthenshire Archives Service, DB37, and facsimile copy available at NLW, XZ 325 H89.


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, Minor lists & summaries 1987; Dictionary of Welsh biography down to 1940 (1959).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2003

Rebecca Riots, 1839-1844
Spurrell family, | of Carmarthen | Archives
Spurrell, Walter, | 1858-1934 | Correspondence
Spurrell, William, | 1813-1889 | Correspondence
Welsh Indians
Welsh language | Research
Welsh language | Transcription

Personal names
Spurrell , Walter , 1858-1934
Spurrell , William , 1813-1889
Spurrell family , of Carmarthen

Corporate names

Carmarthen (Wales)

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