Fonds GB 0210 HERBLEW - Sir John Herbert Lewis papers

Identity area

Reference code



Sir John Herbert Lewis papers


  • 1442-1933 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.058 cubic metres (55 boxes and 10 volumes, and 1 file)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sir John Herbert Lewis (1858-1933) served as the Liberal MP for the Flint Boroughs, 1892-1906, Flintshire, 1906-18, and the University of Wales, 1918-22. Together with his close political associates, Tom Ellis and David Lloyd George, Lewis took advantage of every opportunity of bringing Welsh issues to the attention of Parliament. He played an important role in the campaigns to secure government grants for the setting up and maintenance of a national museum and library for Wales, and helped to ensure that the new national library was one of the beneficiaries of the 1911 Copyright Act. He was chosen Liberal Whip in 1905, became Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board in 1909, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education in 1915. He remained keenly interested in educational matters throughout his life, taking a particular interest in the development of the University of Wales and in the securing of grants for ex-service men. His public life was brought to an abrupt end by an accident at Aberystwyth in 1925, although he survived, a bed-ridden invalid at Plas Penucha, Caerwys, until 1933.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Lady Lewis and Mrs Kitty Idwal Jones; Deposit; 1936-1990.
Mrs Nest Price, Mr David Idwal Jones and Mrs Olwen Foreman; Deposit; January 1990; C1990/7.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection comprises correspondence, including general correspondence to Sir J. Herbert Lewis, 1886-1933, drafts and copies of correspondence from Sir J. Herbert Lewis, 1887-1933, letters from Sir J. Herbert Lewis to Adelaide, his first wife, 1891-1893, letters from Sir J. Herbert Lewis to Ruth, his second wife, 1902-1933, letters from Sir J. Herbert Lewis to his daughter Kitty, 1915-1925, letters from Lady Lewis to Sir J. Herbert Lewis, 1899-1930, letters to Lady Lewis, 1901-1939, and miscellaneous correspondence, 1890-1920; diaries, 1872-1933; Liberal Party in Wales, 1889-1896; subject files (including correspondence), 1865-1933; press cuttings, 1879-1933; deeds and documents, 1442-1864; miscellaneous papers, 1750-1949; and photographs, c. 1890-1929.

Article by Ruth Lewis - 'Early Memories'; letters between Saunders Lewis and Sir Herbert Lewis and other letters; article by Kitty Idwal Jones - 'Early Memories'; article by Olwen Foreman - ''Wartime and College Memories', deposited by Mrs Olwen Foreman, February 2008.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records have been retained.


Further papers are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged as follows: correspondence, diaries, Liberal Party in Wales, subject files (including correspondence), press cuttings, deeds and documents, miscellaneous papers, and photographs.

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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

In addition to the papers listed here a small group of the papers of Sir John Herbert Lewis's daughter, Mrs Kitty Idwal Jones, was deposited at the library in January 1990. A separate list of the Kitty Idwal Jones Papers has been prepared. Mrs Kitty Idwal Jones loaned to Dr Leslie Wynne Evans a substantial group of papers, 1916-23, relating primarily to her father's work as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, and further correspondence, 1907-11, from O. M. Edwards discussing his work as the first Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales. These were evidently never returned to Mrs Jones, and were among the papers of Leslie Wynne Evans donated to the library in November 1985 by Mrs Megan Wynne Evans following her husband's death. They now constitute files 7 and 8 in the Leslie Wynne Evans Papers (see Minor Lists and Summaries 1986, pp 18-25). There are further papers relating to Sir John Herbert Lewis in the custody of the Flintshire Record Office at Hawarden.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


Early deeds and documents and miscellaneous papers were passed down within the family and inherited by Sir John Herbert Lewis. A few papers concerning the administration of his estate post-date his death in 1933.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Subject 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

July 2006.


  • English



The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of the Sir John Herbert Lewis Papers

Archivist's note

Compiled by J. Graham Jones for the ANW project.

Accession area