- 1819-1996 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.401 cubic metres (12 boxes, 43 volumes)
Name of creator
Stuart Rendel, 1st Baron Rendel (1834-1913), was an industrialist and politician. He was born in Plymouth, Devon, the son of James Meadows Rendel (1799-1856), a civil engineer, and Catherine Jane Rendel (née Harris, 1797-1884). He went to Eton, and graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, in 1856. Despite being called to the Bar, he eventually became the manager of the Sir William Armstrong & Co. gunnery company, being vice-chairman of the company by the time of his death. The links he formed with foreign governments in this capacity became useful when he was involved in peace negotiations between China and France in 1885. In 1880 he was elected the Liberal Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire, becoming the chairman of the 'Welsh Parliamentary Party', 1888-1894. He was heavily involved with the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889, and with proposals for the disestablishment of the church in Wales. He was a close friend of W. E. Gladstone, and following Gladstone's resignation in 1894 he was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Rendel. He was president of University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1895-1913, contributing £1000 a year to the College. He also donated land in Aberystwyth to serve as the site for the National Library of Wales, in 1897. In 1857 he married Ellen Sophy Hubbard (died 1912), and they had four daughters. He died on 4 June 1913 in London. George Wightwick Rendel (1833-1902), Lord Rendel's elder brother, was a civil engineer. A partner in William Armstrong & Co., he directed the ordnance works at Elswick for 24 years and designed warships. He was Civil Lord of the Admiralty, 1882-1887. He married twice and had nine children, including Sir George William Rendel. He died at Sandown, Isle of Wight, on 9 October 1902. Sir George William Rendel (1889-1979) was a diplomat. He was educated at Downside and at Queen's College Oxford, graduating in Modern History in 1911. He then entered the Diplomatic Service, serving in various European capitals. Amongst other positions he was head of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office, 1930-1938, Ambassador to the Yugoslav Government in London, 1941-1943, and British Ambassador to Belgium, 1947-1950. He represented the United Kingdom on various committees of the United Nations. Although he retired in 1950, he was employed by the Foreign Office in various capacities, 1950-1964. In 1937, he crossed Arabia, travelling with his wife Geraldine (1884-1965). He wrote a volume of memoirs, The Sword and the Olive (1957). His daughter was Miss Rosemary Rendel. He was knighted in 1943 and died 6 May 1979. Lord Rendel's eldest daughter Rose Ellen married Professor H. C. Goodhart (died 1895) and they had one son, Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel (1887-1959), an architect and musician. He inherited the bulk of Lord Rendel's estate in 1913, and died, unmarried, in 1959.
Most of the papers seem to have stayed in the possession of the family. H. S. Goodhart-Rendel inherited the bulk of Lord Rendel's estate and Rosemary Rendel, who acquired some of the later Rendel family papers, is the grand-niece of Lord Rendel.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
NLW MSS 19440-67: H. S. Goodhart-Rendel, Lord Rendel's grandson; Donation; 1955.
Rendel Papers 1-1968: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; 1959 and 1967.
NLW MSS 20569-72: Sotheby's; London; Purchase; November 1969.
Classes A-V: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit (in nine groups); 1980-1986.
A39-45, C100-7, D73-7, L35-6, V4-5, X1: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; April 1989; C1989/24.
A46-7, C108-187, D78-92, L37-39, P9-12, S11, X2-10: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; August 1989; C1989/42.
P13-22, K2, X11: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; October 1991; C1991/27.
P23-6, T11, K3-4: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; March 1992; C1992/4.
C188-190: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; April 1992; C1992/12.
A48: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; June 1992; C1992/27.
R38-42: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; September 1994; C1994/92.
C191, R43: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; February 1997; C1997/5.
1997 Purchase 1-299: John Wilson; Cheltenham; Purchase; May 1997; B1997/26.
R44-47: Miss Rosemary Rendel; Deposit; September 1999; C1999/10.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers of Stuart Rendel and family members, including papers relating to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the proposal to establish the National Library of Wales and its development during the early years of its existence, 1883-1916; speeches, addresses and political papers relating to disestablishment of the church in Wales and the 1889 Intermediate Education Act, 1882-1909; press cuttings, 1881-1913; photographs, 1892; miscellaneous letters, 1878-1912; letters to Stuart Rendel, 1853-1912, including letters from A. C. Humphreys Owen, 1877-1905, family letters, 1853-1902, and letters from prominent political figures and Welsh public figures; letters and copies of letters from Rendel, 1880-1912; diaries, mainly recording details of Stuart Rendel's business activities, 1863-1869; notes of conversations with W. E. Gladstone, John Morley and H. H. Asquith, 1888-1910; papers relating to Chinese affairs and French and Chinese peace talks, 1884-1886; papers of James Meadows Rendel, including letters, 1828-1856, and papers relating to his estate, 1856-1859; letters of Catherine Jane Rendel, 1845-1855; letters and papers of George Wightwick Rendel, 1871-1902; papers relating to Rendel's other brothers, 1841-1889, and his daughters, 1882-1910; letters and papers of Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel, 1898-1959, and other papers concerning him, 1963-1977; papers, mainly letters, of the Goodhart family, 1819-1957; papers of Miss Rosemary Rendel, 1986-1996; papers of Sir George William Rendel, including: Foreign Office papers, 1917-1967, correspondence, 1912-1973, papers relating to the Catholic Union of Great Britain, 1942-1979, lectures, diaries and notes, 1915-1954, personal and family papers, 1908-1980, and material relating to the book The Sword and the Olive (1957), 1954-1986.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
All records acquired by the National Library of Wales have been retained.
Accruals are likely.
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW as follows: manuscripts; 1959 and 1967 deposits; 1980-1999 deposits; 1997 purchase.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Permission to consult the papers contained in the 1998-1999 deposits must be obtained from Miss Rosemary Rendel, 43 Lansdowne Road, London, W11 2LQ.
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
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Hard copies of the catalogues, in six volumes (Vols I-II, II (Appendix), III-IV and Minor Lists and Summaries, 1998), are available at the National Library of Wales.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
F. E. Hamer, The Personal Papers of Lord Rendel (London, 1931)
Title based on contents of fonds.
Virtua system control number
Subject access points
- Political parties -- Great Britain.
- Education -- Wales.
- Catholics -- Great Britain.
- Politicians -- Great Britain -- Archives.
- Politicians -- Wales -- Archives.
- Education, Primary -- Law and legislation -- Wales.
- Politicians -- Wales -- Correspondence.
- Politicians -- Wales -- Diaries.
- Montgomeryshire (Wales).
- Wales -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
- Wales -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
- Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
- Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
Place access points
Name access points
- Church of England -- Establishment and disestablishment -- Wales. (Subject)
- Catholic Church -- Great Britain (Subject)
- University College of Wales (Aberystwyth, Wales). (Subject)
- Catholic Union of Great Britain. (Subject)
- Great Britain. Foreign Office. (Subject)
- Liberal Party (Great Britain) (Subject)
- National Library of Wales. (Subject)
- Rendel, George, Sir -- Archives. (Subject)
- Rendel, Stuart Rendel, Baron, 1834-1913 -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Rendel, Stuart Rendel, Baron, 1834-1913 -- Diaries. (Subject)
- Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898. (Subject)
- Rendel, George Wightwick, 1833-1902. (Subject)
- Goodhart-Rendel, H. S. (Harry Stuart), b. 1887 (Subject)
- Rendel, James Meadows, 1799-1856. (Subject)
- Rendel, George William, Sir, 1889-1979 (Subject)
- Humphreys-Owen, Arthur Charles (Subject)
- Asquith, H. H. (Herbert Henry), 1852-1928. (Subject)
- Morley, John, 1838-1923. (Subject)
- Goodhart family, of Hatchlands. (Subject)
- Rendel family. (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
March 2003 and February 2020.
The following sources were used to compile this description: National Library of Wales, Schedules of Letters and Papers of Lord Rendel (4 vols, 1955-1999); Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Dictionary of National Biography; Dictionary of National Biography Missing Persons (Oxford, 1993); Who Was Who, vol. VII (London, 1981).
Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project, and revised by Rhys Jones.