- 1397-2005. (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
16.82 cubic metres (580 boxes) (August 2006)
Name of creator
The Church in Wales came formally into being in 1920 when the disestablishment of the Church of England within Wales took effect. St Davids was one of the four original dioceses in Wales, along with Bangor, St Asaph and Llandaff, and broadly comprised the counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, and Breconshire, along with Swansea and the Gower. An Order in Council dated 30 July 1849 transferred the two Montgomeryshire parishes of Ceri and Mochdre from the diocese of St Davids to the diocese of St Asaph. Eight parishes were transferred to the diocese of Hereford by Order in Council dated 15 May 1852, namely Clodock, Craswall, Dulas, Ewyas Harold, Llanveynoe, Longtown, Rowlstone, and St Margaret. In 1923 the new diocese of Swansea and Brecon was created out of the existing diocese, consisting of Radnorshire, Breconshire, Swansea and the Gower.
The records were formerly kept in the Diocesan Registry, Diocesan Offices, Bishop's Palace, and St David's Cathedral.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Deposited by the Representative Body of the Church in Wales in 1944. Further deposits of records have been made since then from bishops of St Davids and the various diocesan and capitular offices. Material relating to the St Davids Diocesan Mothers' Union was donated by Mrs T. I. Ellis, Aberystwyth, April 1980.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Records relating to the administration of the diocese of St Davids and Dean and Chapter of St Davids Cathedral since 1397, comprising episcopal registers, bishops' transcripts, marriage bonds and affidavits, and chapter act books, as well as records relating to: the ordination, appointment and resignation of clergymen and other individuals; the licensing of curates and other individuals; the licensing and consecration of land and buildings; faculty papers; dilapidations and sequestrations; augmentations, the creation of new parishes and boundary changes; dissenters' meeting houses and Roman Catholic chapels; episcopal revenues and accounts; Brecon Collegiate Church; parochial returns; deeds; consistory courts; visitations; correspondence; and miscellaneous volumes and papers, including terriers and documents relating to episcopal elections.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: The archive has been appraised: details are given at the appropriate levels of description.
Accruals are expected
System of arrangement
Arranged as follows: Episcopal Registers; Subscription Books; Ordination Papers; Registers of Stipendiary Licences; Appointments to Stipendiary Curacies; Appointments to chaplaincies; Appointments to schools; Letters testimonial; Notices to quit curacies; Revocations of licences and inhibitions; Appointments to benefices (including cathedral offices); Petitions for holding two benefices; Resignations; Non-residence registers; Non-residence papers; Appointments of surrogates; Bishops's transcripts; Registers of marriage licences; Marriage bonds and affidavits; Orders in council; Schemes and representations; Instruments of Ecclesiastical Commissioners; Consecrations; Licences for the solemnisation of marriages; Licences for holding divine service; Licences for burials in non-consecrated ground; Faculties; Dilapidations; Registers of Sequestrations; Sequestration papers; Questionnaires relating to Queen Anne's Bounty; Queen Anne's Bounty Papers; Registration of Dissenters' Meeting Houses; Questionnaires for Privy Council Returns; Returns to Privy Council re Benefices; Episcopal Revenues and Accounts; Brecon Collegiate Church Papers; Returns of Catholics and Dissenters and of those who received the Sacrament; Court Leet Papers; Whitton Charity School Papers; Pembroke County Printed Notices; Miscellaneous Documents re Secular Courts and Justices of the Peace; Consecration Papers; Exchequer Returns; Rentals and Accounts; Papers concerning inclosures in the parishes of Llanybydder and Llanfihangel Rhos y Corn; Miscellaneous volumes; Miscellaneous deeds relating to church lands, rectories, advowsons etc.; Chapter manuscript books; Chapter Acts; Chapter proxies; Chapter accounts: Chapter bills, vouchers and receipts; Chapter deeds; Chapter letters; Chapter miscellanea (this class includes bonds, convocation papers, visitation records, draft nominations and presentations, documents relating to episcopal elections, and addenda); Consistory Court Records for the Archdeaconry of Brecon [Consistory Court Papers (general); Retainers of proctors (general); Citations (general); Monitions (general); Consistory Court Papers (probate); Retainers of proctors (probate); Citations (probate); Monitions (probate); Wills; Fiats for administration; Administration bonds; Tutorial bonds; Inventories; Inventories, bonds, wills and administrations (supplementary schedule); Citations (visitation); Miscellaneous documents (bound with citations); Brecon Registry fees; Glamorganshire Sessions Papers (bound with citations); Breconshire Sessions Papers (bound with citations); Radnorshire Sessions Papers (bound with citations); Miscellaneous Sessions Papers (bound with citations); Brecon County Court Papers (bound with citations); Brecon Borough Court Papers (bound with citations); Builth Manor Court Papers (bound with citations)]; Consistory Court Records for the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen [Consistory Court Papers (general); Citations (general); Monitions (general); Consistory Court Papers (probate); Citations (probate); Citations (probate) (continued); the like (bound with Swansea and Brecon citations); Monitions (probate); the like (bound with Swansea and Brecon citations); Wills; Caveats; Fiats for administration; Administration and tutorial bonds; Inventories; Citations (visitation); Miscellaneous documents (bound with Swansea and Brecon citations)]; Consistory Court Records for the Archdeaconry of Cardigan [Consistory Court papers (general); Citations (general); Monitions (general); Consistory Court papers (probate); Citations (probate); Wills; Fiats for administration; Inventories; Citations (visitation)]; Consistory Court records for the Archdeaconry of St. Davids [Consistory Court Papers (general); Citations (general); Monitions (general); Consistory Court papers (probate); Citations (probate); Monitions (probate); Wills; Fiats for administration; Administration bonds; Inventories; Citations (probate); Cardigan and St Davids registry fees]; Miscellanea; Visitation queries and answers; Visitation books (clergy); Visitation books (wardens); Visitation fee books; Presentments, wardens' declarations and receipts for fees; Statistics re. finance and church work; Letter books; Correspondence; Miscellaneous papers. There is also a supplementary catalogue of registers, returns, petitions etc., relating to Protestant Dissenters' meeting houses and Roman Catholic chapels in the diocese of St Davids.
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
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the catalogue is available at NLW
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Virtua system control number
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Description control area
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
Compiled by J. Graham Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW Church in Wales records: Diocese of St Davids