Fonds GB 0210 BRONWYDD - Bronwydd Estate Records

Identity area

Reference code



Bronwydd Estate Records


  • 1241-1933 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.34 cubic metres (47 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Owen family, lords of Cemais, descended from Martin de Tours, a Norman who conquered the cantref of Cemais c.1094 and founder of the marcher baronry of Cemais. By the 1870s, the barony of Cemais was the last surviving Lord Marcher title to exercise any authority, that of appointing the mayors of Newport, Pembrokeshire.

The estate descended to William Owen (d. 1574) of Henllys, the first of the family to adopt a surname, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Herbert of Swansea. Their son, the antiquarian George Owen (1552-1613) of Henllys, lord of Cemais, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of William Phillipps of Picton. George Owen was succeeded by his son, Alban Owen, who married Joan, daughter of William Bradshaw of St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire. Alban was succeeded by his son, David Owen of Henllys, who married Anne, daughter of Robert Corbet of Ynysymaengwyn, Merionethshire, and left a son, William Owen (d. 1721), whose issue terminated in a son William (dsp) and a daughter and heir Anne.

Anne Owen married Thomas Lloyd of Penpedwast in Pembrokeshire, who became lord of Cemais in right of his wife, and was succeeded by their son William Lloyd of Henllys and Penpedwast. William's daughter and heir, Anne, married Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd, who became lord of Cemais in right of his wife. The family abandoned Henllys as a residence in the 18th century, after which it was occupied by tenants.

The Rev. Thomas Lloyd, son of David ap Rhys ap Howel ap Rhys of Crynfryn, and rector of Llangynllo and vicar of Penbryn, was the first of the Lloyd family to live at Bronwydd, in the parish of Llangynllo, Cardiganshire, having bought the estate from his father-in-law, George Bryne of Pant Dafydd in the parish of Llanfair Treflygen, the father of his wife, Sage. In 1614, the Rev. Thomas Lloyd's estate comprised the capital messuage of Bronwydd and 31 other properties in the parishes of Llangynllo, Nancwnlle, Llangeitho, Caron, Betws Bledrws, Llangybi, Llanfair Clydogau, Llandysul, Llanfair Orllwyn and Llanddewibrefi. Rhys Lloyd (d. 1646), sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1632, succeeded to most of his father's estates, and was succeeded by his son Thomas Lloyd (d. 1663), who, in 1642, married Magdalen, daughter of William Robinson of Gwersyllt, Denbighshire. They were succeeded by their eldest son Thomas Lloyd- 'patriotic Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd'-as Carlisle described him. Thomas Lloyd was succeeded by his son, also named Thomas Lloyd (1679-c.1737), who sold Bronwydd to his uncle, John Lloyd of Cilrhiwe.

Thomas Lloyd (1703-1775), a barrister and sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1733, succeeded to Bronwydd in 1730, and through his marriage with Anne Lloyd acquired the Henllys and Penpedwast estates, and Monkton Hadley in Essex. In 1750 he bought a moiety of the barony of Cemais from John Laugharne of Llanrheithan, and henceforth called himself the Marcher Lord of Cemais.

Thomas was succeeded by his son, Thomas Lloyd (1736-1807), a captain in the 11th Regiment of Foot, and colonel of the Fishguard & Newport Volunteers in 1797. He in turn was succeeded by his son Thomas Lloyd (1788-1845) who was succeeded by his son Thomas Davies Lloyd (1820-1877) who was created a baronet in 1863.

According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Sir Thomas Davies Lloyd of Bronwydd owned an estimated 7,913 acres of land in Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire, with an estimated rental of £5,361. By 1881, the estate had grown to 7,964 acres, with a rental of £6,597.

Sir Marteine Owen Lloyd (1851-1933), 2nd baronet, was sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1881 and a captain in the Pembrokeshire Yeoman Cavalry. His only son, Marteine Kemes Arundel Lloyd (1890-1916), a captain in the Grenadier Guards Special Reserves, was killed in France during the First World War. The male line failed and the baronetcy became extinct with the 2nd baronet's death in 1933. He left four daughters, Nesta Constance Muriel (1879-1943), Peverel de Lormet (1887-1953, dsp), Joan Henllys (1897-1973) and Elizabeth Joan (b. 1926).

Nesta, wife of Frederick Edward Withington of Bicester, succeeded to the lordship of Cemais in 1933. In 1937 the Bronwydd estate of 2,072 acres was advertised for sale by auction in 98 lots. The mansion was bought by a contractor who stripped it of its doors, windows and fittings and left it to decay. By 1983 the house was a complete ruin, the roof and floors having fallen in.

Nesta left an only daughter, Morfa Audley Withington (1920-1958, dsp), who succeeded her mother in 1943, married Captain Peter Winser in 1956, and died without issue in 1958. Peverel, wife (m. 1914) of Roger Edward John Lloyd of Plas Tregayan, Anglesey, had already died without issue in 1953. Morfa was succeeded by her aunt Joan, wife (m. 1921) of Philip Saxon Gregson Ellis of Plas Clough, co. Denb. When Joan died in 1973 she was succeeded by her elder daughter Hyacinthe, wife (m. 1943) of John Stanley Hawkesworth. Their son, John Philip Cemaes Hawkesworth (b. 1947), was succeded by his son Alexander.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The main part of the archive was deposited in two groups by Sir Marteine and Lady Lloyd in 1933 (seven boxes) and by Miss Morfa Audley Whittington in 1941 (34 boxes). Three further deposits have been merged to form the Bronwydd Additional Records: a donation by Chris Blagg of Llanybydder in June 1991 (nine files in 4 boxes)

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscripts and papers relating to the Lloyd family of Bronwydd, Cardiganshire, and their ancestors, the Owen family of Henllys, Pembrokeshire, and records relating to the Bronwydd estate, including an early 17th century book of South Wales pedigrees, the literary, genealogical and historical manuscripts of George Owen of Henllys (c.1552-1613), including his Vairdre Book and a copy of his Description of Pembrokeshire; estate records including manorial records of Pembrokeshire manors including the barony of Cemais, including court rolls, 1381-1771, estreat rolls, 1474-1748, and court leet presentments, 1660-1885; records relating to the borough of Newport, Pembrokeshire, 1434-1847; toll books of Eglwyswrw and Newport fairs, 1599-1603; title deeds, 1241-1933, but mostly 16-18 cent.; rentals, 1682-1873; and estate correspondence, mainly [late 19]-[early 20 cent.].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records deposited at NLW have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into literary, genealogical and historical mss. volumes and tracts; manorial records; papers relating to local government of the barony of Kemes; feet of fines and other deeds; legal papers; miscellaneous papers, accounts and correspondence; previously known collectively as Bronwydd Group I. There is also a main group of deeds (Group II), and Bronwydd Additional Records.

Conditions of access and use area

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 laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Latin, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Further details relating to manorial records within the archive can be accessed online from The National Archives Manorial Documents Register.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further individual papers relating to Bronwydd are found in several NLW collections.

Related descriptions

Publication note

The contents of the 1933 deposit are reviewed in Owens, B. G., 'Deposited Collections, 10, The Bronwydd manuscripts and records', National Library of Wales Journal, III, (1943-44), pp. 33-35. The contents of the 1941 deposit are reviewed in Charles, B. G., 'Deposited Collections, 23, The Bronwydd manuscripts and records (Group II)', National Library of Wales Journal,VII (1951-52), pp. 67-69. Bronwydd 322-325 have been published by Lewis, E. A., 'The toll books of some north Pembrokeshire fairs (1599-1603)', Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, 7 (1933-35), pp. 284-318. There is a biography of George Owen (1552-1613) of Henllys by Charles, Dr B. G., George Owen of Henllys: a Welsh Elizabethan (1973). His historical and topographical manuscripts are reviewed in Charles, B. G., 'Manuscripts of George Owen of Henllys', National Library of Wales Journal, 1 (1939-40), pp. 226-7. A further four manuscripts are discussed in Charles, B. G., 'George Owen of Henllys: addenda', National Library of Wales Journal, XXIII.(1983-84), pp. 37-44. Extracts of several of the manuscripts have been published in Prooffes out of auntient recordes, writings, & other matters, that the Lordshipp of Kemes is a Lordshippe marcher (Archaeologia Cambrensis supplement for 1861); The description of Penbrokshire by George Owen of Henllys, lord of Kemes, ed. Henry Owen (Cymmrodorion Record Series, 4 parts, 1892-1936); and The taylor's cussion, ed. E. M. Pritchard (1906).

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

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

November 2001.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Stephen Benham.

Archivist's note

The following sources were used in the compilation of this record: 'Burke's landed gentry' (London, 1846); Thomas Nicholas, 'Annals & antiquities of the counties and county families of Wales' (London, 2 vols, 1872), vol. II; 'Debrett's peerage' (1951); Dillwyn Miles, 'The lords of Cemais' (1997); Francis Jones, 'Historic Cardiganshire homes and their families' (Newport, 2000).

Accession area