Fonds GB 0210 LEWWYN - Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries

Identity area

Reference code



Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries


  • 1817-1852 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

36 volumes ; all 185 x 120 mm.

/1-/19, /21-/36: Half leather commercial bindings. Marbled paper covers with gold lettering 'PRIVATE DIARY' on the spine of each volume, and printed labels, with date added in ink, on the front covers.
/20: Notebook with limp covers ('Journal 1836' written in ink on front cover).

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778-1855) was a naturalist and a Whig MP. He was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, the son of William Dillwyn (?1743-1824) of Walthamstow, and Sarah Weston of Essex. He attended the Friends' School in Tottenham, and in 1797 went to Dover to study botany. He ran the 'Cambrian Pottery' in Swansea, 1802-1817, living at Burrough Lodge and then Sketty Hall. He was a noted naturalist, publishing works on botany and conchology, and was elected FRS in 1804. He was a Justice of the Peace, sheriff of Glamorgan, 1818, mayor of Swansea, 1839, and MP for Glamorgan, 1832-1841. Among his publications were Natural History of British Confervae (1802-9), Botanist's Guide through England and Wales, written with Dawson Turner (1805), A Descriptive Catalogue of British Shells (2 vols, 1817), An Index to the Historia Conchyliorum of Lister (Oxford, 1923) and a short history of Swansea published in 1840. In 1807 he married Mary, daughter and heir of John Llewelyn of Penlle'rgaer, Llangyfelach, Glamorgan. They had two daughters and two sons, John Dillwyn-Llewelyn (1810-1882) of Penlle'rgaer and Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (1814-1892). Lewis Weston Dillwyn died on 31 August 1855.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited by the family of Lewis Weston Dillwyn.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Diaries, 1817-1852, of Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778-1855) of Penlle'rgaer, Glamorgan, containing entries relating to family and estate matters, his business interests, his work as a naturalist, together with his public duties as a magistrate and as a Member of Parliament. Also included is the journal of his tour on the Continent in 1836. Most of the volumes are partially indexed by him, and many contain appendices, some relating to events before 1817 (see file level descriptions for further details).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright in the diaries belongs to Richard Morris and the family of Lewis Weston Dillwyn. All requests for use or reproduction should be made to

Language of material

  • English

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

Related units of description

The diaries of his brother William Dillwyn are also held at the National Library of Wales. Further family papers are National Library of Wales, Penlle'rgaer Estate Records; Dillwyn Family Papers at Swansea University; and the Dillwyn-Llewelyn Collection at the West Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title compiled from content of fonds.


Partial transcripts of the diaries are available at the National Library of Wales (NLW, Calendar of Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries). Extracts have also been published in South Wales and Monmouth Record Society, Publications no. 5 (1963), eds. Henry John Randall and William Rees. The diaries have been fully transcribed by Richard Morris over a number of years, and are now available online for academic and research use from

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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

December 2011.


  • English



The following sources were used to compile this description: NLW, Calendar of Lewis Weston Dillwyn Diaries; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Dictionary of National Biography (London, 1885-1901); online transcripts of the diaries (, viewed December 2011.

Archivist's note

Compiled by Alwyn J. Roberts.

Accession area