Fonds GB 0210 BONSAL - Bonsall family papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Bonsall family papers,


  • 1674-1919 (mainly 1752-1919) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.229 cubic metres (8 boxes, 7 volumes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Fronfraith estate, Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire, was purchased by Sir Thomas Bonsall (1730-1808) in 1784. He was the son of George and Mary Bonsall of Ecton, Staffordshire, who came to the Ysbyty Ystwyth area to work the Cwmystwyth mines as a manager, and later as lessee. He is estimated to have made a profit of £40,000 mining in north Cardiganshire. The family acquired the Galltyllan estate in Montgomeryshire through the marriage of John George William Bonsall (1817-1900) with Frances, daughter of Joseph Davies of Galltyllan in May 1853. His son, John Joseph Bonsall of Fronfraith and Galltyllan, married Emily Hughes of Glanrheidol. In 1873 the Fronfraith estate comprised 1,658 acres, yielding an annual rental of £1818.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

MSS and items 1-110; Mrs Hugh Bonsall; Donation; November 1932

Items 111-124; Mrs Janet Joel-Edwards; Y Ferwig; Donation; November 1991; A1991/159.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of the Bonsall family of Fronfraith, 1674-1919, comprising manuscripts, 1785-1891; deeds, plans, and particulars of sale relating to the Galltyllan estate in the parishes of Machynlleth, Penegoes and Darowen, Montgomeryshire, 1674-1919; a much smaller number of deeds relating to the Fronfraith estate in Cardiganshire, 1790-[early 1900s]; and precedent books, [early 19 cent.].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records donated to NLW have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW as follows: manuscripts; deeds, documents, maps and plans.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Hard copies of the catalogues are available at NLW; the 1991 donation is described in NLW, Minor Lists and Summaries, 1992, pp. 4-6; the manuscript volumes are listed in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume I (Aberystwyth, 1943). The catalogues are available online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For further papers relating to the Bonsall family see NLW, Henry Bonsall diaries (uncatalogued) and NLW, Roberts and Evans, Aberystwyth, solicitors CM10/1/3. See also NLW, MS Maps Vol. 9 (formerly NLW MS 3114C).

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

April 2001.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Mair James. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales, 2 vols (London, 1872); Francis Jones, Historic Cardiganshire Homes and their Families (Newport, 2000);

Accession area