File NLW MS 17420D. - Letters to Thomas and David Pennant,

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 17420D.


Letters to Thomas and David Pennant,


  • 1764-[?1835]. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

19 ff. ; 305 x 205 mm. and less.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Thomas Pennant, naturalist, antiquary and traveller, was born on the Downing estate in Flintshire. He was educated at Wrexham and London before entering Queen's College, Oxford aged eighteen. Thomas developed a love of the natural world at school and began travelling whilst at Oxford; in the following years he travelled widely throughout Britain and Europe. The Outlines of the Globe was Thomas's most ambitious literary project. The work originally took up twenty-two volumes but only four of these were published - two by Pennant himself and two by his son, David.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Source unknown.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Seven letters with related papers, 1764-[c. 1835], addressed to Thomas Pennant (ff. 3-10), his son David Pennant (ff. 13-17, 19) and David's wife, Louisa (ff. 11-12, 18) of Downing, Flintshire, on subjects including ornithology, zoology and wildlife drawings.
The correspondents are W[illiam] Myddelton, 2 March 1775, enclosing a note of hand of Thomas Pennant, 22 July 1774 (signature cut), donating £100 to a Welsh charity school in Gray's Inn Road (ff. 3-5); the Rev. Edward Williams, 24 August [?1795] (watermark 1794), including a watercolour drawing of a half-timbered house in Shrewsbury, and 26 September [1797] (watermark 1795), concerning the death of Mrs Emma-Elizabeth Corbet of Sundorne Castle (ff. 6-10); Katherine Plymley, Longnor, 18 January 1811 (ff. 11-12); Hugh Davies, Beaumaris, 5 November 1816, enclosing three pencil drawings of puffins (ff. 13-17); Margaret Roscoe, [12] August 1829 (f. 18); and [Canon] William Williams, Ysceifiog Rectory, 1 March [?1835], concerning the dilapidated state of the church at Ysceifiog (f. 19). Also included are financial accounts, 1764-1765, of the artist Peter Paillou relating to drawings purchased by Thomas Pennant (ff. 1-2).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically at NLW.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Digital version available (January 2022)

Related units of description

For further Pennant family correspondence see NLW MSS 2571C, 2591E, 5500C, 12716-7, 12719E, 15421-4.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Previously 12 numbered items; rearranged and foliated, October 2013.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 17420D.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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

May 2007 and October 2013.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Rhys Morgan Jones;

Accession area