Fonds GB 0210 EDWWEN - Edward Owen Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Edward Owen Papers,


  • 1463-1943 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.058 cubic metres (2 boxes), 29 manuscripts

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Edward Owen (1853-1943), journalist, barrister and antiquarian, was born at Menai Bridge, Anglesey, the only son of Edward and Sarah Owen. He was the first Welshman to enter the Civil Service by public examination, and was appointed to the India Office in c. 1873. He contributed regularly to the Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (which published his Catalogue of the Manuscripts Relating to Wales in the British Museum) and Archaeologia Cambrensis. In 1896, his work on changes in land tenure in medieval Wales appeared as an Appendix to the Royal Commission's Report on Land in Wales, followed by the publication of Ancient tenures of land in North Wales and the Marches, with Alfred Neobard Palmer of Wrexham, in 1910. When the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments of Wales was established in 1908, he was appointed as the first secretary and editor of its volumes and inventories. He was Reader in Welsh Medieval Antiquities at the University of Liverpool, 1921-1943. He died 8th November 1943 and was buried in St Seirol's Churchyard, Holyhead.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Bequeathed by Edward Owen, Menai Bridge, [1943].

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscripts comprising drafts of the hitherto-unpublished portions of Edward Owen's Catalogue of manuscripts relating to Wales in the British Museum, with draft indexes; reports prepared by Edward Owen on Liverpool Town Dues and related papers, 1931; essays written by him for the London Eisteddfod, 1887, and the National Eisteddfod at Caernarfon, 1894; notes, pedigrees, transcripts and letters relating to Welsh history, antiquities, county history, families and individuals such as John Edwards of Chirk, and historical figures including Owain Glyndwr [some items published 1893-1935]; transcripts and extracts relating to the history of Wales taken from public records by Edward Owen, E.A. Lewis and others, including several land surveys, at least one of which was used as evidence before the Royal Commission on Land in Wales, 1895; transcripts of papers by or relating to Alfred Neobard Palmer, Wrexham, 1885-1922; facsimiles and original documents including Privy Purse Accounts of Queen Anne, 1702-1710, and a holograph letter from Queen Anne to Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, 1710; letters mainly addressed to William Edwards of Chirk Hall, 1675-1677; autograph letters, mostly addressed to Edward Owen, 1886-1943; and deeds, 1463-1769, the majority of which relate to the estates of the families of Edwards of Plas Newydd and Puleston of Emrall in cos. Denbigh and Flint.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records bequeathed to the National Library of Wales have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into manuscripts (NLW MSS 17974-18093); correspondence, subdivided into Chirk Hall correspondence and letters addressed to Edward Owen (NLW MSS 18094-18102); and deeds and documents arranged chronologically.

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 regulations apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh, Latin, French.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Facsimiles have been transferred to NLW Facsimiles, as NLW Facs 8-11.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title compiled from content of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


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

Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.;AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

March 2003


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used for the preparation of the description: NLW, Schedule of the Edward Owen Bequest, Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959).

Accession area