Item NLW MS 23699E, ff. 135-137. - Letters of the Ladies of Llangollen,

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 23699E, ff. 135-137.


Letters of the Ladies of Llangollen,


  • 1817, 1827 / (Creation)

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3 ff.

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Biographical history

Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, better-known as the 'Ladies of Llangollen', were both members of Irish aristocratic families. Having quickly established a relationship following their meeting in 1768, the women escaped the scandalised animosity of their home circle by setting up home at Plasnewydd, a Gothic-style house situated near Llangollen, Denbighshire. For the next fifty years, they lived a secluded and often penurious existence, while nevertheless receiving such notable visitors as the landowner, traveller and writer Anne Lister and the poets Robert Southey, William Wordsworth and Percy Shelley. Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby are both buried in the grounds of St Collen's Church, Llangollen, while Plasnewydd is now a museum dedicated to their lives.

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Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

A.R. Heath Rare Books and Manuscripts; Bristol; Purchase; December 2000; B2000/16.

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Scope and content

A letter, 2 February 1817 (watermark 1801), to [the Rev. George] Robson, prebendary of St Asaph and rector of Erbistock (ff. 135-136), and another to his wife, 1 October 1827 (watermark 1823) (f. 137), from Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, 'The Ladies of Llangollen'. Both letters are in the hand of [?Eleanor Butler]. They are mainly concerned with local affairs, relating in particular to the parish clerk of Llangollen, [Robert Wynne-Eyton], and his wife (ff. 135-136).

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Arranged chronologically at NLW.

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Preferred citation: NLW MS 23699E, ff. 135-137.

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Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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  • Text: NLW MS 23699E, ff. 135-137.