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Glamorgan Archives
Bute, Lord, Glamorgan Estate collection

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DA

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Glamorgan Estate of Lord Bute collection

Short Title: Bute, Lord, Glamorgan Estate collection

Creation date(s): 1740-1916

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.32 cubic metres (c 2200 items)

Name of creator(s): Bute Estate


Administrative/Biographical history: John Stuart, lord Mountstuart (1767-94), was the eldest of the seven sons and two daughters of the first marriage of John Stuart, 1st marquis of Bute (1744-1814), to Charlotte Jane, daughter and eventual sole heir of Herbert Hickman-Windsor, viscount Windsor. In 1792, Mountstuart married Elizabeth (1772-97), the daughter of Patrick Mackdowall-Crichton, 6th earl of Dumfries (1729-1803), and heiress to about 64,000 acres in Ayrshire and Galloway. Mountstuart died in 1794, leaving a son, John Crichton-Stuart (1793-1848). John spent his infancy in the care of his mother and her parents at Dumfries House. After the death of his mother in 1797 and of his grandmother in 1799, Windsor, as he was then known, came into the charge of his grandfather Bute. When Dumfries died in 1803, his grandson Windsor inherited his titles and lands. The Windsor estate and the titles were strictly settled, and passed to Dumfries on the death of the 1st marquis of Bute in Geneva in 1814. However, he was able to dispose of his substantial purchases as he pleased. Between 1780 and 1814 he had purchased lands with a rental of £1,415 in South Wales. The 1st marquis left almost all of his personal estate to his second wife, with the remainder to her son, Lord Douglas Coutts Stuart; the estate was bought back by the 2nd marquis for £32,000. His father having died before signing his will and marriage settlement, the 2nd marquis inherited almost all of his landed possessions in fee simple. On his marriage in 1818 to Maria North, he restricted his freedom by granting his estates in Wales and England to trustees. The marquis made further extensive purchases of land in Glamorgan. After the death of his wife, in 1845, he married Sophia, daughter of the 1st marquis of Hastings. When his wife was pregnant, Bute drew up an elaborate will bequeathing his Glamorgan estate to the heir of his body and placing two trustees in charge of it. It was under these powers that the estate was to be administered during the long years of the 3rd marquis's minority following the death of Bute in 1848. John, 3rd marquis of Bute (1847-1900), was an infant on the death of his father. His mother died in 1859 and recommended he become the joint guardianship of Lady Elizabeth Moore and General Charles Stuart. A quarrel regarding the guardianship arose and the boy was smuggled into Scotland. Following the dispute General Stuart was made sole guardian. Bute was received into the Catholic church in 1868. In 1872, he married Gwendoline, daughter of Edward Fitzalan Howard, first baron Howard of Glossop, linking the Stuarts with the most eminent Catholic house in Britain. He was president of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion from 1890 until his death. He re-decorated Cardiff Castle and re-built and re-designed Castell Coch, Tongwynlais. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Bute estate spent £200,000 on land purchases in Glamorgan, and received a similar amount in land sales. The sale consisted of £159,323 received for the 57 acres of Cathays Park and over £40,000 for land sold to railway companies and other public utilities. The 3rd marquis also received the Pwllypant estate from W. E. Williams as a bequest in 1870. He accepted the property and divided the personal estate amongst Williams's relations. Bute died in 1900, by which time the Glamorgan estate amounted to 22,000 acres. A number of the 3rd marquis's estates were divided among his children. The Glamorgan estate was divided unequally between John, 4th marquis (1881-1947) and Colum, the youngest son, who received most of the Bute property in the Vale of Glamorgan. During the 4th marquis's lifetime the Bute family lost a number of their interests in Glamorgan. This began with the sale of urban land in 1909, followed by the sale of the Bute collieries and, in 1923-1924, a considerable portion of the farms and other freehold property within the coalfields was sold. In 1922, the Bute docks and the Cardiff Railway Company were absorbed by the Great Western Railway. In 1926, the remaining Bute property was incorporated under a private family company called Mountjoy Ltd. In 1938 Mountjoy sold its leasehold interests to the Western Ground Rents Company, and in the same year mineral reserves were nationalized. Therefore, the major departments of the estate administration had been extinguished before the last war. By Bute's death in 1947, his son's inheritance in the county consisted of no more than Cardiff Castle and its 434 acre park. Later in 1947 John, 5th marquis (1907-1956), presented the castle and park to the city of Cardiff.


Scope and content/abstract: The archive includes official papers, 1740-1864, including Cardiff alehouse recognizances, 1740-1781; receipts and accounts, 1771-1872; correspondence, 1787-1910 (mainly 1817-1863), mainly relating to the administration and development of the Bute estate, and to borough politics at Cardiff, Llantrisant and Merthyr Tydfil, all in Glamorgan; and papers and plans relating to industry and business, 1833-1916, including Cardiff docks, 1835-1897, and railways, mainly Glamorgan, 1896-1916.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged by record type.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply.

Finding aids: Hard copies of the catalogue are available at the Glamorgan Record Office, National Library of Wales, and the National Register of Archives.


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

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Related material: The main collection of papers relating to the Bute estates in Wales is National Library of Wales, Bute Estate Records. A collection of papers is held in Cardiff Central Library. A further collection of Glamorgan estate records, 1793-1961, is Glamorgan Record Office, DB, and a collection of letters, 1841-1845, of Lieutenant F. Dornford, dockmaster at the Bute docks, is Glamorgan Record Office, DXJO.

Publication note: Davies, John, Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute (Cardiff, 1981).


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Stephen Benham for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Principal family and estate collections, L-W, (London, 1999), Davies, John, Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute, (Cardiff, 1981), NLW, Schedule of Bute Estate Records.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2001

Bute Estate (Wales) | Archives
Cardiff (Wales) | Politics and government
Docks | Wales | Cardiff
Industries | Wales | Glamorgan
Railway companies | Wales | Glamorgan
Railways | Wales | Glamorgan

Personal names

Corporate names
Bute Estate (Wales)

Cardiff (Wales)
Llantrisant (Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales)
Merthyr Tydfil (Wales)

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