Fonds GB 0210 GLAERN - Glansevern Estate Records

Identity area

Reference code



Glansevern Estate Records


  • [late 12 cent.]-[mid 20 cent.] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.378 cubic metres (71 boxes, 69 volumes, 3 cardboard pictures)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Owen family were descended from Cadifor ap Dinwal, Lord of Castell Hywel. The earlier generations were known as Owen of Glyngynwydd or as Owen of Cefn yr Hafodau. The Owen family fortune was built from the start of the 18th century with shrewd investments in land, mining and by marriage.
Owen Owen (d. 1719) owned property scattered around Montgomeryshire. Following his death, the estate was inherited by his son David Owen (1700-1777). David's eldest son and heir was Owen (1723-1789). By his marriage to Anne, daughter and heiress of Charles Davies of Llifor, he acquired the estates of Rhyd y carw in Trefeglwys and Glanrhiew and Tyn y coed in the parish of Berriew. In around 1760 he moved to Tyn y coed.
David Owen's (1700-1770) third son, William Owen (c. 1735-1778), was a captain in the navy. On the 30th September 1767 he was granted an island in Passamaquoddy Bay by Lord William Campbell, the British Governor of Campo Bello. William was only on the island for a year but pursued the colonization of the island in 1770-1771, creating the foundations upon which later generations of the Owen family built upon.
Owen Owen (1723-1789)'s eldest daughter Mary (1745-1814) married Thomas Jones of Garthmyl Hall, Montgomeryshire. His second son, David (1754-1829), emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, and controlled Campo Bello from 1787 until 1829, before the land passed to Captain William's second son, Admiral William FitzWilliam Owen. His eldest son, Arthur Davies Owen (1752-1816) acquired Lower Garthmel in 1796 and erected a mansion on the land which became known as Glansevern. Cefn Hafodau had been sold during this period. On Arthur's death without issue, the estate passed to his brother, William Owen (1758-1837), who retired there in 1821 from London where he was a distinguished barrister. William was chairman of the Montgomeryshire Quarter Sessions, a Whig, and was strongly in favour of the abolition of the Great Sessions of Wales. In 1823 he married Anne Warburton (1783-1876).
According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Anne Warburton Owen, of Glansevern owned an estimated 4,482 acres in Wales (all in Montgomeryshire) with an estimated rental of £4,368.
On Anne's death, in the absence of an heir, Glansevern estate devolved upon her husband's great-grand nephew, Arthur Charles Humphreys (1836-1905), great-grandson of Mary and Thomas Jones. On inheriting Glansevern, Arthur settled there and took on the additional surname of Owen. He was Liberal M.P. for Montgomeryshire 1894-1905, first chairman of the Mongomeryshire County Council, and played a prominent role in the politics of Wales and Montgomeryshire. He was succeeded by his son, Arthur Erskine Owen Humphreys-Owen (b. 1876), whose family remained at Glansevern until 1950. His son, Stephen P.F. Humphreys-Owen (1908-1960) died unmarried and the family became extinct in the male line.
In April 1951 the mansion and 110 acres of land were sold to Mr Robert Gordon Barker, a timber merchant.

Archival history

Some 188 early deeds were catalogued by A. F. Heintz in around 1920. The Heintz numbers given at the bottom left of the entries on the deeds and documents in vol. V of the catalogue refer to the numbers in his calendar, now NLW, Glansevern Estate Records 14895.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited by Mrs S. P. F. Humphreys-Owen, Glansevern, Montgomeryshire, per his aunts Misses Humphreys-Owen and Miss E. F. Humphreys-Owen between 1936 and 1994. Miss Elizabeth Humphreys-Owen converted these deposits into a donation in March 1994.
A further deposit of Glansevern papers was received through the Borough of Llanidloes, per Mr J. E. Thomas, Town Clerk, in October 1962.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The catalogued portion of the archive contains records of the family of Owen, later Humphreys-Owen, of Glansevern, and Johnes of Garthmyl, mainly comprising title deeds and documents, [late 12 cent.]-1929, mainly relating to property in Montgomeryshire; estate papers, 1767-1924, including rentals, accounts and surveys; records relating to Campobello island, New Brunswick, Canada, 1767-1902; substantial family correspondence, 1633-1926, political correspondence of Arthur Charles Humphreys-Owen, 1856-1905, including letters from Lord Rendel; naval papers of Captain William Owen, 1746-1778, [c. 1797]. The uncatalogued part of the archive includes correspondence of the Owen and Humphreys-Owen families, 1754-1905; pedigree of the Owen family, 1839; and material relating to S. P. F. Humphreys Owen, [c. mid 20 cent].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records deposited at NLW have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged as follows: correspondence of Arthur Charles Humphreys-Owen - letters from Lord Rendel, and letters arranged alphabetically by sender; correspondence arranged by recipient of letters, and then arranged alphabetically by sender, with a group of miscellaneous letters arranged chronologically; deeds and documents arranged chronologically, Berriew Free School; Campo Bello; naval log books of Capt. William Owen; estate rentals, accounts, etc.; family diaries, recipe books, etc.; manorial records; appointments and certificates; printed matter; pedigrees and genealogical material, newspaper cuttings, and additional deposit, 1971.

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

English, Latin.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Part of the archive remains uncatalogued. Hard copies of available catalogues are available at NLW and HMC.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

A number of maps are in National Library of Wales, Map Collections, Glansevern Collection, and a number of prints, portraits and photographs in National Library of Wales, Special Collections. The first volume of Captain William Owen's memoirs is now NLW MS 24132E. Further papers relating to Capt. Owen and his sons are Greenwich, National Maritime Museum, Manuscripts Collection, COO; this includes the second volume of his memoirs (COO/1), a photostat copy of which is in the New York Public Library.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Wayne K. D. Davies, 'Capt. William Owen and the settlement of Campobello: Montgomeryshire's connection with New Brunswick, Canada', National Library of Wales Journal, 31.2 (Winter 1999), 189-213, and 31.3 (Summer 2000), 217-241.

Publication note

E. C. H. Davies, 'Glansevern', Montgomeryshire Collections, 72 (1984), 53-62.

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


The Glansevern (Borough of Llanidloes) papers are currently uncatalogued; they comprise three volumes of letters of sympathy addressed to Mrs. M. Humphreys-Owen upon the death of her husband, A. C. Humphreys-Owen, together with over 300 other family letters.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

April 2002.


  • English



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), vol. II; Campobello Island (Emediate Access) WWW site, viewed April 2002; Wayne K. D. Davies, 'Capt. William Owen and the settlement of Campobello: Montgomeryshire's connection with New Brunswick, Canada', National Library of Wales Journal, 31.2 (Winter 1999), 189-213, and 31.3 (Summer 2000), 217-241; E. C. H. Davies, 'Glansevern', Montgomeryshire Collections, 72 (1984), 53-62; Brian James, 'The Great Landowners of Wales in 1873', National Library of Wales Journal, 14 (1965-66), 301-320.

Archivist's note

Compiled by Mair James.

Accession area