Fonds GB 0210 GUESTMAB - Lady Charlotte Guest Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Lady Charlotte Guest Papers


  • 1827-1851, [?1873] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4 small boxes, 1 tin deed box.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Lady Charlotte Elizabeth Bertie (1812-1895) was born at Uffington House, Lincolnshire, on 19 May 1812, the daughter of Albermarle Bertie, 9th earl of Lindsey, and his wife Charlotte Susanna Elizabeth. In 1833 she married the Dowlais ironmaster Josiah John Guest (1785-1852), MP for Merthyr Tydfil. They had ten children. In 1846 the Guests purchased Canford Manor in Dorset.
Already an accomplished linguist, at Dowlais she studied Welsh and went on to translate into English the eleven Middle Welsh tales from the Red Book of Hergest collectively known (by her) as the Mabinogion. These were published in seven parts from 1838 to 1849 and collected as The Mabinogion, from the Llyfr Coch o Hergest, and other ancient Welsh Manuscripts…, 3 vols (London and Llandovery, 1849).
Following her husband's death in 1852 Lady Charlotte took on the running of the Dowlais ironworks, until April 1855 when she married her eldest son's tutor Charles Schreiber (1826-1884), a classicist and later a Tory MP. They spent much of their time travelling and collecting English and European china. She also collected fans and playing cards; in her last years, following Charles's death, she published five volumes describing and reproducing these collections.
Lady Charlotte Schreiber died 15 January 1895 at Canford Manor and was buried at Canford Church.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Ivor Churchill Guest, 1st Viscount Wimborne, grandson of Charlotte Guest; ?Donation/deposit; 1926.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Lady Charlotte Guest (née Bertie), 1827-1851, [?1873], comprising manuscripts of parts of her English translation of the Mabinogion and their accompanying notes, 1838-[1843]; other manuscripts directly related to her work on the Mabinogion, [?late 1830s]-1851; early notes compiled by Charlotte Bertie (later Guest), on a variety of subjects, 1827-[1830s]; and other miscellaneous items including a deed box.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW as follows: Mabinogion manuscripts; related manuscripts; early notes; miscellaneous items.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • Danish
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Icelandic
  • Italian
  • Persian
  • Swedish
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh, French, Persian, some German, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic and Italian.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See also NLW, Lady Charlotte Guest Manuscripts and NLW MSS 4963E, 5271B.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


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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

July 2017




The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Angela V. John, 'Schreiber, Lady Charlotte Elizabeth (1812-1895)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 [, viewed 11 May 2017]; Angela V. John, 'Guest, Sir (Josiah) John, first baronet (1785-1852)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 [, viewed 18 May 2017].

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Rhys M. Jones.

Accession area