National Library of Wales

H. Clarence Whaite and Lily F. Whaite Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WHAITE

Held at:

Title: H. Clarence Whaite and Lily F. Whaite Papers

Short title: Whaite, H. Clarence, and Lily F. Whaite, papers

Dates of creation: 1825-1913

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 85 boxes

Name of creator(s): H. Clarence Whaite and Lily F. Whaite


Administrative and biographical history: Henry Clarence Whaite, who had a long and distinguished career as a painter, was one of the founders and president of both the Royal Cambrian Academy and of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. He was born in Bridge Street, Manchester, in 1828 and attended several private schools, becoming a scholar at the Manchester Grammar School, where he received the greater part of his education. He early displayed a taste for drawing and painting, and became a student at the Manchester School of Design, where he remained for some years before proceeding to London. Here, he attended Leigh's celebrated school in Newman Street, and also became a student at the art school at Somerset House and at the Royal Academy Schools. A visit to Switzerland at the beginning of the 1850s, where the grandeur of the Alps greatly impressed Whaite, awoke in him the love of mountain scenery which became so characteristic of his work. It was this love which led Whaite to Wales in 1851, and eventually to make his home in the Conwy valley, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He married a local girl, Jane Alice Griffith, in 1876, and they had one daughter, Lily Florence Whaite. Clarence Whaite died in 1912. Lily, born in 1876, was introduced to art at an early age by her father and became an exhibiting artist in her own right. She studied at the Royal College of Art, as well as having studied under her father from childhood. She exhibited at various venues, including the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Institute of Arts, London, at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and in particular at the Mostyn Art Gallery, Llandudno, which became the home of the Gwynedd Ladies' Art Society. Lily Whaite was an active member of the Society, established in 1895 under the presidency of Lady Augusta Mostyn. In 1904 Lily Whaite married the Reverend John Harries who died three months later. Lily died in 1959.


Scope and content: Papers, 1825-1912, of, or acquired by, the painter Henry Clarence Whaite, including correspondence, bills and vouchers, press cuttings, exhibition catalogues and related printed material, reflecting his work as an artist and as President of both the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Cambrian Academy; together with papers, 1825-1862, of the Whaite family of Manchester, and papers, 1873-1913, of the artist's daughter, Lily Whaite, a member of the Gwynedd Ladies' Art Society.


Language/script: English

Physical characteristics and technical requirements: See series level descriptions

System of arrangement: Arranged in two groups: H. Clarence Whaite Papers and Lily F. Whaite Papers

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: Copyright in the papers of Clarence Whaite and other members of the family belongs to David Mortimer-Jones, Tyddyn Cynal, Conwy, October 2001. Usual copyright laws apply to the correspondence.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at NLW.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All of Whaite's papers donated to NLW have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: Clarence Whaite acquired his parents' personal correspondence following the death of his father, Henry Whaite in 1869.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Clarence Whaite's great-grandson, Mr David Mortimer-Jones, Conwy, August 1998.


Related units of description: Printed maps, 1837-1897, (acc. no. 0200113196), are in NLW, Map Collections, and personal photographs, [c. 1860-c. 1920], (acc. no. 0200113201), and sketches, [c. 1880-c. 1930], (acc. no. 0200113204), are in NLW, Special Collections. His personal copies of some printed publications are also at NLW.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhiannon Michaelson-Yeates.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Manchester Faces and Places, 1893; Peter Lord, Clarence Whaite and the Welsh art world: the Betws-y-coed artists' colony, 1844-1914 (Aberystwyth, 1998).

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: November 2001



Art | Great Britain

Artists | Great Britain

Artists | Wales, North | Betws-y-Coed

Whaite, Clarence, | 1828-1912 | Archives

Whaite, Lily, | 1876-1959 | Archives

Personal names

Whaite, Clarence, 1828-1912

Whaite, Lily, 1876-1959

Corporate names