ANW logo

Archives Network Wales

Search the collections:        Search help | Advanced search   | Browse by repository

Browse the indices: Combined(searchable) Personal names Corporate names Places Subjects



[New to Archives?]

[Family history]

[Admin menu]

List of repositories  |  List of collections at Flintshire Record Office  |  Repository home page  |  Contact details

Flintshire Record Office
Gwysaney manuscripts (Bangor collection)

Reference code(s): GB 0208 D/GW/B

Held at: Flintshire Record Office

Title: Gwysaney (Bangor) MSS

Short Title: Gwysaney manuscripts (Bangor collection)

Creation date(s): 1328-1928

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 1045 items

Name of creator(s): Gwysaney estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The Davies family of Gwysaney descend directly from Cynric Efell, elder son of Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys in the 13th century, although the surname Davies was not used until John ap David in the 16th century. He married Jane, widow of Richard Mostyn and daughter of Thomas Salisbury of Leadbrook, Flintshire. Their eldest son, Robert (1555-1602), inherited the estate and was the first of a long line of sons named Robert through whose hands it passed. His eldest son, Robert Davies II (1581-1633), served as sheriff of Flintshire in 1607, and his second son, Thomas, became a lieutenant-colonel for Charles I and Constable of Hawarden Castle in 1643. Later, he also commanded a regiment under Sir Charles Morgan, lord-general of Christian V of Denmark. The estate passed to Robert Davies III (1616-1666) who married Anne, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Peter Mutton, and it was as a result of this marriage that the Llanerch estate in Denbighshire was added to the Davies estate. Robert III was a staunch royalist and during the Civil War was besieged at Gwysaney by the forces of Sir William Brereton, and imprisoned at Chester, but was later released. Robert's son, Mutton Davies, served as M.P. for Flintshire, 1678-1681. Gwysaney and Llanerch continued to pass down the male line until 1785, when John Davies, only son of Robert Davies VI (1710-1745), died unmarried. The estate was then divided between his two sisters, Letitia inheriting the Llanerch estate, and Mary the Gwysaney estate. In 1764, Mary had married Philip Puleston of Hafod-y-Wern, Wrexham, Flintshire. Their only daughter, Frances, married Bryan Cooke, who had inherited the Owston estate in Yorkshire, in 1786. Frances and Bryan's son, Philip Davies Cooke, therefore inherited estates in Flintshire, Denbighshire and Yorkshire on the death of his father in 1820. Hafod-y-Wern was leased out as a farmstead, and later to the Wrexham Corporation as a sewage farm, but Owston and Gwysaney were restored and developed. Interests in industrial enterprises in Flintshire, including lead mines, coal mines, potteries and brickworks, were expanded. Gwysaney estate is still held by the family, but the Owston estate was sold in 1981. According to the 1873 return of owners of land Philip Bryan Davies-Cooke owned an estimated 3,454 acres in Flintshire and Denbighshire, with an estimated rental of £8,503.


Scope and content/abstract: Deeds, 1416-1835, relating mainly to lands in Flintshire and Denbighshire, family settlements and wills, 1553-1897, rentals, valuations and surveys, 1588-1905, estate accounts, 1630-1904, deeds relating to lead and coal mines in Flintshire, 1626-1877, and family and estate correspondence, 1633-1912.


Language/scripts of material: English, Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged at the Department of Manuscripts and Archives, University of Wales Bangor, into the following groups: Family, Welsh estate, English estate, Geneaological material ,Correspondence and Miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access: Data Protection Act restrictions will apply to any items less than 100 years old that contain sensitive personal information as defined by the Act.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: Hard copies of the catalogues are available at Flintshire Record Office, Natonal Library of Wales and University of Wales Bangor, Department of Manuscripts and Archives.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at Flintshire Record Office have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: This collection of manuscripts was originally deposited in the library of the University College of North Wales, Bangor, by Lt Col P R Davies-Cooke, TD., DL of Gwysaney, Mold. It included material relating to his family's estates both in Wales and in Yorkshire and was catalogued at Bangor as one collection. After the sale of the Yorkshire estates, Capt. P P Davies-Cooke, son of the original depositor, decided to transfer all the records relating to Yorkshire to the Archives Department of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and all Welsh records from Bangor to the Clwyd Record Office at Hawarden. Consequently the collection has had to be split but the numbering of the items has been retained and there are therefore large gaps in the sequence numbers in this schedule, A copy of the original complete schedule is available in the Search Room library at Hawarden.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Related material: Further papers relating to the Gwysaney estate and the Davies-Cooke family are Flintshire Record Office, D/GW; National Library of Wales, MSS 17110-17162, National Library of Wales, Kinmel Deeds; and Doncaster Archives Department, DD.DC, and DX.Bax/61191.

Publication note: Usher, G. A., Gwysaney and Owston: a history of the family of Davies-Cooke of Gwysaney, Flintshire, and Owston, West Riding of Yorkshire (Denbigh, 1964)


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project and amended by Elizabeth Pettitt of Flintshire Record Office. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Veysey, A.G. (ed.), Guide to the Flintshire Record Office (Flintshire County Council, 1974); Nicholas, Thomas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County families of Wales (London, 2 vols, 1872,) vol. 1; James, Brian, 'The Great Landowners of Wales in 1873', National Library of Wales Journal, XIV (1965-6); Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Department of Manuscripts and Archives, University of Wales Bangor, Catalogue of Gwysaney.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2 and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: September 2002; August 2005

Coal mines and mining | Wales | Flintshire
Deeds | Wales | Denbighshire
Estate administration | Wales | Flintshire
Gwysaney (Wales: Estate) | Archives
Lead mines and mining | Wales | Flintshire

Personal names
Cooke , Bryan , 1756-1821
Davies family , of Gwysaney
Davies-Cooke , A. G. K.
Davies-Cooke , Philip , 1793-1853
Davies-Cooke family , of Gwysaney and Owston

Corporate names
Ewloe Manor (Wales)

Carmarthenshire (Wales)
Denbighshire (Wales)
Flintshire (Wales)

List of repositories  |  List of collections at Flintshire Record Office  |  Repository home page  |  Contact details