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Glamorgan Archives
Arthurs, solicitors, collection

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DART

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Arthurs, solicitors, collection

Short Title: Arthurs, solicitors, collection

Creation date(s): [c. 1720]-1976

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.84 cubic metres (29 boxes)

Name of creator(s): John Wood and Sons (attorneys and bankers); Thomas Dalton and Partners (solicitors).


Administrative/Biographical history: John Wood senior (1755-1817) practised as an attorney in Cardiff, Glamorgan, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. He began his legal career in the office of Thomas Edwards of Llandaff, the Clerk of the Peace for Glamorgan, and was later in partnership with William Vaughan of Swansea and Cardiff, before being joined by his sons John Wood junior and Nicholl Wood, attorneys in the legal practice of Wood & Sons. In his public career, John Wood senior held the following offices: County Treasurer (1785-1802), Town Clerk of Cardiff (1789-1804), Clerk of the Peace for Glamorgan (1797-1815), Clerk to the Glamorganshire Canal Co., Clerk to the Cardiff Turnpike Trust and Under-Sheriff of Glamorgan. He was also a founder of the Cardiff Bank of Wood, Evans & Co. (later Wood, Wood & Co.), an enterprise with which his son John was to become particularly involved. John Wood junior (1781-1846) and Nicholl Wood both joined the family legal practice, but in 1815 the partnership between the brothers was dissolved and John Wood junior concentrated on banking. The banking venture foundered, and in 1823, John Wood junior was declared a bankrupt. John Wood junior held a variety of public offices including those of County Treasurer (1802-1815), Town Clerk of Cardiff (1804-1878), and Clerk of the Peace (1815-1846). Thomas Dalton (1798-1878), solicitor of Cardiff, one of the commissioners in the bankruptcy proceedings against John Wood junior and solicitor to his assignees, subsequently took over the Woods' legal practice. Dalton was Deputy Clerk of the Peace, 1829-1846 and Clerk of the Peace for Glamorgan, 1846-1878. The firm of Dalton, later Dalton, Spencer and Corbett, then Spencer, Corbett & Evans, continued in practice in Cardiff into the twentieth century.


Scope and content/abstract: Newspapers and cuttings, 1765-1938; records relating to Glamorgan Quarter Sessions, 1788-1889, county roads and bridges, Turnpike Trusts, and County Roads Board, 1795-1888, Glamorganshire Canal and Aberdare Canal, 1790-1794, Cardiff Borough records, 1792-1909 and Acts of Parliament, 1834-1877; professional and business papers of the Wood Family, [late 18th century]-[late 19th century]; and pictorial material, printed books and other miscellanea, [c. 1720]-1976.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: The material arising from the Woods' activities as Clerk of the Peace of the County and as Town Clerk of Cardiff has been listed as an entity under the heading OFFICIAL. The bulk of the papers and parchments in the collections relate to some aspect of the Wood family's PROFESSIONAL or BUSINESS affairs. Such was the diversity of the Woods' activities and the complexity of their personal and professional involvement in many of the transactions documented, that the collections fall into few well-defined categories. In listing, an attempt has been made to assemble the material in a way that suggests its original provenance and highlights its main components. The following main headings have been employed: Wood Family and Business Papers; Roath Estate; Hurst Family and Estate Papers. The remainder of the collection represents the typical assortment of documents arising from a busy legal practice, and spans the careers of both the Wood and Dalton families. The material has been listed under the following headings: Clients and their Estates; Conveyances; Mineral Leases; Litigation; Solicitors Correspondence (Dalton). Where possible, items have been assigned to the estates of particular clients, and an attempt has been made to list material not thus identified under headings that reflect the diversity of legal practice involved in the creation of the documents, but some of the divisions are inevitably arbitrary (e.g. the separation of most Industrial Leases from the generality of Conveyances). The OUT-COUNTY material forms the final Section of the list. In most of the transactions documented, the Woods (or Dalton and his associates) acted as solicitors for one of the parties. But much of the Carmarthenshire material relates to the Phillips family of Llandeilo Fawr to whom John Wood junior was related by marriage, and as John Phillips was an attorney in Carmarthen this part of the collection contains a variety of family and legal/professional documents. Also received by the Glamorgan Record Office as part of the Arthurs Collection were various newspapers, pictorial items and printed material unconnected with the main 'Wood' collection. These have been listed separately as DART/N and DART/V.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Physical characteristics: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the Glamorgan Archives.

Finding aids: A full version of the catallogue can be searched online at


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Archives have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: Most of the items in this collection were originally part of the business and family papers of the Wood family of Cardiff and reflect the activities of a busy legal practice. Records compiled and amassed by the Wood (later Dalton) legal practice have been widely dispersed, some finding their way into the Glamorgan Record Office and the old Cardiff City (Central) Library, others appearing in salesrooms to be sold off piece-meal to various purchasers. The present collection has been brought together by a private individual by purchase for deposit in the Glamorgan Record Office.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by a private individual at various intervals between 1972 and 1994.


Related material: Related units of description at the Glamorgan Archives are DXEO & DEV 1-80, records relating to Edwards, Wood, Wood & Dalton, including Quarter Sessions; Turnpike Trusts; bankruptcy of John Wood junior; and general solicitors' practice.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. A collection of late eighteenth to early twentieth century correspondence (DART/C) withdrawn by the depositor, Sept. 1994. Other records withdrawn by the depositor include: (DART/V/275), (DART/V/277/1-34), (DART/V/278-280).

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue for the Arthurs Collection; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941-1970, (London, 2001).

Rules or conventions: This description follows Glamorgan Archives guidelines based on Archives Network Wales Guidelines for Fonds Level Descriptions and ISAD(G) second edition.

Date(s) of descriptions: November 2003; amended July 2004


Personal names
Dalton , Thomas , 1798-1878
Wood , John , 1755-1817
Wood , John , 1781-1846

Corporate names

Cardiff (Wales)
Glamorgan (Wales)

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