National Library of Wales

Edward Owen Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 EDWWEN

Held at: NLW

Title: Edward Owen Papers

Short title: Owen, Edward, papers

Dates of creation: 1463-1943

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.058 cubic metres (2 boxes), 29 manuscripts

Name of creator(s): Edward Owen (1853-1943)


Administrative and biographical history: Edward Owen (1853-1943), journalist, barrister and antiquarian, was born at Menai Bridge, Anglesey, the only son of Edward and Sarah Owen. He was the first Welshman to enter the Civil Service by public examination, and was appointed to the India Office in c. 1873. He contributed regularly to the Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (which published his Catalogue of the Manuscripts Relating to Wales in the British Museum) and Archaeologia Cambrensis. In 1896, his work on changes in land tenure in medieval Wales appeared as an Appendix to the Royal Commission's Report on Land in Wales, followed by the publication of Ancient tenures of land in North Wales and the Marches, with Alfred Neobard Palmer of Wrexham, in 1910. When the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments of Wales was established in 1908, he was appointed as the first secretary and editor of its volumes and inventories. He was Reader in Welsh Medieval Antiquities at the University of Liverpool, 1921-1943. He died 8th November 1943 and was buried in St Seirol's Churchyard, Holyhead.


Scope and content: Manuscripts comprising drafts of the hitherto-unpublished portions of Edward Owen's Catalogue of manuscripts relating to Wales in the British Museum, with draft indexes; reports prepared by Edward Owen on Liverpool Town Dues and related papers, 1931; essays written by him for the London Eisteddfod, 1887, and the National Eisteddfod at Caernarfon, 1894; notes, pedigrees, transcripts and letters relating to Welsh history, antiquities, county history, families and individuals such as John Edwards of Chirk, and historical figures including Owain Glyndwr [some items published 1893-1935]; transcripts and extracts relating to the history of Wales taken from public records by Edward Owen, E.A. Lewis and others, including several land surveys, at least one of which was used as evidence before the Royal Commission on Land in Wales, 1895; transcripts of papers by or relating to Alfred Neobard Palmer, Wrexham, 1885-1922; facsimiles and original documents including Privy Purse Accounts of Queen Anne, 1702-1710, and a holograph letter from Queen Anne to Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, 1710; letters mainly addressed to William Edwards of Chirk Hall, 1675-1677; autograph letters, mostly addressed to Edward Owen, 1886-1943; and deeds, 1463-1769, the majority of which relate to the estates of the families of Edwards of Plas Newydd and Puleston of Emrall in cos. Denbigh and Flint.


Language/script: English, Welsh, Latin, French.

System of arrangement: Arrangement: manuscripts arranged as NLW MSS 17974-18093; correspondence, subdivided into Chirk Hall correspondence and letters addressed to Edward Owen, arranged as NLW MSS 18094-18102; facsimiles arranged as NLW Facs 8-11; and Edward Owen deeds and documents arranged chronologically.

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 regulations apply.

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


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records bequeathed to the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Immediate source of acquisition: Bequeathed by Edward Owen, Menai Bridge, [1943]



Note: Title compiled from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used for the preparation of the description: NLW, Schedule of the Edward Owen Bequest, Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2 and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: March 2003



Anne, | Queen of Great Britain, | 1665-1714 | Correspondence

Citation of public records | Wales

Edwards family, | of Plas Newydd, Chirk | Archives

Manuscripts | Catalogs | Wales

Municipal corporations | Taxation | England | Liverpool

Owen, Edward, | 1853-1943 | Archives

Palmer, Alfred Neobard | Archives

Puleston family, | of Emral | Archives

Royal households | Great Britain | Accounting

Surveys | Wales

Wales | Antiquities

Personal names

Anne, 1665-1714, Queen of Great Britain

Edwards family, of Plas Newydd, Chirk

Edwards, John, d. 1625, of Plas Newydd

Edwards, William, of Plas Newydd, Chirk

Glendower, Owen, ca. 1354-1416

Lewis, E. A. (Edward Arthur), 1880-1942

Marlborough, Sarah Jennings Churchill, 1660-1744, Duchess of

Owen, Edward, 1853-1943

Palmer, Alfred Neobard

Puleston family, of Emral

Corporate names

Emral Estate (Wales)






Plas Newydd