National Library of Wales

Duchy of Cornwall Welsh Records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 DUCHY

Held at:

Title: Duchy of Cornwall Welsh Records

Short title: Duchy of Cornwall, Welsh records

Dates of creation: 1391-1895

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.099 cubic metres (11 boxes, 1 loose document)

Name of creator(s): Duchy of Cornwall


Administrative and biographical history: From 1282 until to 1536 Wales was divided into three parts: the Principality of North Wales; the Principality of South Wales (both of which were owned by the Crown); and the marcher lordships. The first fell to the Crown following the defeat of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282 whilst the acquisition of the principality of South Wales was piecemeal, haphazard and protracted. The acquisition of the marcher lordships was also a very lengthy process.
Only two lordships are represented in this archive: Bromfield and Yale and the earldom of the March. The earldom of March, which included the constituent lordships of Denbigh, Montgomery, Ceri and Cydewain came to the Crown as a consequence of the death of Edmund Mortimer, the 5th Earl without male heirs in 1425. The earldom was inherited by his nephew, Richard Plantagenet, duke of York, whose son Edward became King of England in 1461.
The lordship of Bromfield and Yale did not come into the hands of the Crown until 1483. Until 1415 it belonged to the Fitzalans, earls of Arundel. Following the death of Thomas Fitzalan in that year the estate was divided between his three sisters, thus passing to the Mowbrays dukes of Norfolk, the Beauchammps, lords Bergavenny and the Lenthalls. By 1451, the Lenthall portion had passed to John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, and George Neville, Lord Bergavenny. The Mowbray inheritance was surrendered to the Crown, and the Lord Bergavenny portion had passed to the Crown by 1483.
In December 1484 the entire lordship was granted to Sir William Stanley. Stanley was however executed in 1495 and the lordship was forfeited to the Crown. By 1536 and the so called Second Act of Union, practically all the marcher lordships were in the possession of the Crown. The 1536 Act abolished them all and their jurisdiction.
The Crown's holdings in Wales dwindled over the centuries so that by the 1980s only two or three farms survived in its possession.


Scope and content: Records of the Welsh portion of the Duchy of Cornwall estate including include ministers' accounts, 1461-1552, of various lordships, including Bromfield and Yale and the March, including its constituent lordships mainly Montgomery; chamberlain's accounts for North and South Wales, 1487, 1520; receivers' accounts, 1544-1620; accounts of receivers of fines and amercements in the Council of Wales and the Marches, 1597-1616; accounts of receivers of Queen Henrietta Maria, 1671-1672; rentals and valuations, 1391-1698, including a rental of the rhingyllship of Iscoed, Denbighshire, 1391; petitions, 1620-[?1723]; certificates of survey, 1618-1695; surveys of castles, 1618-1625, including Carew, Caernarfon, Brecon, Holt, Beaumaris, Ruthin, Flint and Rhuddlan castles, deeds, 1563-1723; commissions and warrants, 1637-1727; ecclesiastical papers, 1804-1895, mainly relating to a dispute between the Prince of Wales and the Lord Chancellor over the right to patronage to certain ecclesiastical livings in Wales in 1863-1865; and manuscript plans, [c. 1600]-[1650], including a manuscript plan of Holt Castle.


Language/script: English, Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically by record type

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

Finding aids: Hard copies of the catalogue are available at NLW and HMC. An on-line catalogue can be accessed from

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at NLW have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in 1984.


Existence and location of copies: Microfilm and positive photostat copies of many of these records are available at NLW: NLW Microfilms 310-11, NLW Facsimiles 86

Related units of description: Papers relating to the Duchy of Cornwall's English records are held at the Duchy of Cornwall Office and Cornwall Record Office.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Duchy of Cornwall Welsh records.

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

Date(s) of description: October 2002



Castles | Wales

Personal names

Corporate names

Brecon Castle (Wales)

Bromfield and Yale Lordship (Wales)

Caernarfon Castle (Caernarfon, Wales)

Carew Castle (Carew, Wales)

England and Wales | Council of Wales and the Marches

Flint Castle (Wales)

Holt Castle (Wales)

Is-y-Coed Manor (Denbighshire, Wales)

March (England and Wales : Earldom)

Montgomery Manor, Borough and Lordship (Wales)

Rhuddlan Castle (Rhuddlan, Wales)