- 1601-1959 / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.609 cubic metres (19 boxes, 10 volumes, 2 rolls).
Name of creator
John Vivian of Truro had an interest in the Cornish copper industry. His second son, John Henry, extended the family copper interests from Cornwall to the Swansea area of Glamorganshire, where he opened a copper smelting works near local coal sources. John Vivian's eldest son, Richard Hussey, had a distinguished army career and was eventually elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Vivian of Truro, but the youngest son, Thomas, died at the early age of 21. John Henry Vivian expanded his business interests in Swansea, and extended them further afield to Liverpool, Birmingham and London from 1810 until his death in 1855. During the last fifteen years of his life he was assisted in his work by his eldest son Henry Hussey Vivian. Like his father, Henry Hussey Vivian became an MP and divided his time between the family copper business and the House of Commons. He was raised to the peerage in 1893, taking his seat in the House of Lords as 1st Baron Swansea. He died in 1894. He married three times. His first wife, Jesse Dalrymple Goddard, whom he married in 1847, died in 1848 shortly after the birth of their son Ernest. He later married Caroline E. Cholmeley in 1853 but she died in 1868 after being an invalid for many years. He lastly married Averil Beaumont in 1870.
H. H. Vivian was succeeded by his eldest son, Ernest, of whom there is little or no mention in this archive. He died in 1922 leaving no direct heir and was succeeded by his step-brother Odo Vivian. The latter inherited a declining family business which he had run since his father's death in 1894. Ernest Vivian had shown little or no interest in the company's affairs.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Deposited by Sir John Hussey Hamilton Vivian, 4th Baron Swansea, Caer Beris, Builth Wells, in September 1966.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Records of the Vivian family, later barons Swansea, of Cornwall and Swansea, including records of the copper industry in Cornwall and Swansea (the Hafod works), 1720-1934; estate papers, 1853-1909; business and personal correspondence, 1807-1934, notably that of John Henry Vivian (1785-1855), and Henry Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Swansea (1821-1894). The archive is a major source for the 19th century history of Swansea.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records deposited at NLW have been retained.
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged into correspondence of the Vivian family, 1807-1934 (excluding H. H. Vivian); papers and diaries of the Vivian family, 1608-1934 (excluding H. H. Vivian); correspondence, papers and diaries of H. H. Vivian, ist Lord Swansea, 1763-1894; family wills, settlements and other documents, 1810-1934; industrial records, 1720-1934; estate papers, 1853-1909; pedigrees and personalia, 1601-1930s; household and private accounts, 1847-1921; miscellaneous, 1720-1959; maps and catalogues, 1767-1914; and printed matter, late 18th cent.-1910.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
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 catalogue are available at NLW and HMC.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Virtua system control number
GEAC system control number
Place access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Compiled by Mair James.
The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Vivian Papers;