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National Library of Wales

Harpton Court Estate Records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 HARPTON

Held at:

Title: Harpton Court Estate Records

Short title: Harpton Court estate, records

Dates of creation: 1541-1952

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 1.16 cubic meters (45 boxes, 4 vols, 4 rolls)

Name of creator(s): Harpton Court estate


Administrative and biographical history: The Lewis family can be traced back to Harpton Court to the mid 16th century when a Thomas Lewis, sheriff of Radnorshire in 1555 was living there. Towards the close of the ensuing century another Thomas Lewis owned the estate. He was succeeded by yet another Thomas Lewis (b. 1690) who represented Radnorshire boroughs in Parliament from 1715 to 1768. He was succeeded by his nephew John Lewis whose second wife was Anne, daughter of Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland.
Their heir was Thomas Frankland Lewis, 1780-1855, who married Harriett, daughter of Sir George Cornewall of Moccas Court, Herefordshire, and sister of Caroline who married Sir William Duff Gordon. Thomas Frankland Lewis was MP for Beaumaris in 1812 and MP for Radnor 1847-1855. He served as Chairman of the Poor Law Commission, 1834-1839, and, in 1843, he also chaired the enquiry into the Rebecca riots. He was made a baronet in 1846.
He was succeeded by Sir George Cornewall Lewis, 2nd baronet, who was MP for Herefordshire, 1847-1852 and Radnor boroughs, 1855-1863. He served as Poor Law Commissioner from 1839 until its abolition in 1847, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1855-1858, Home Secretary 1859-1861, and Secretary of State for War, 1861-1863. He was also editor of the Edinburgh Review, 1852-1855.
On his death in 1863, the estate passed to his brother, the Rev. Sir Gilbert Frankland Lewis, 3rd baronet (b. 1819). He was canon of Worcester 1856, rector of Gladestry in Radnorshire 1832-1860, and of Monnington-on-Wye in Herefordshire, 1832-1864. His heir was Herbert Edmund Frankland (b. 1846). Sir Henry William Duff Gordon, 6th baronet, is noted as residing in Harpton Court in 1951.


Scope and content: Deeds and documents relating to the Harpton Court estate in Radnorshire and Breconshire, 1564-1910, but mainly eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including deeds relating to the Forest of Radnor, 1635-1732, deeds concerning the rectory and tithes of Old Radnor, 1607-1876; cash and account books, 1856-1889, and rent books, 1820-1857; papers relating to the corporation of New Radnor, 1699-1833, produced to a Commission of Enquiry, 1833; papers relating to parliamentary elections, 1741-1910, in Radnorshire, Radnor boroughs, Herefordshire, and Peterborough, including poll books for Radnorshire, 1741, Herefordshire, 1852, and Peterborough, 1852; manorial records for manors in Radnorshire, 1541-1926; and personal papers of various members of the Lewis family including the correspondence of Thomas Lewis, MP, John Lewis, Anne Frankland (later Lewis), Sir Thomas Frankland Lewis, and in particular corespondence and papers of Sir George Cornewall Lewis, including papers relating to Malta, 1830-1855, the Poor Law, 1827-1855, the War Office and India, 1861-1866.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into deeds and documents, correspondence, and title deeds

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 catalogues are available at NLW. An online catalogue can be accessed from
Further details relating to manorial records within the archive can be accessed online 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 Sir Douglas F. Duff Gordon of Kington in 1953


Related units of description: Further papers relating mainly to Sir George Cornewall Lewis and the Herefordshire election of 1852 are National Library of Wales, Sir George Cornewall Lewis Papers. Letters from him, 1841-1864, mainly to W. E. Gladstone, during the writer's tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1855-1888, Home Secretary, 1859-1961, and Secretary for War, 1861-1863, is NLW MS 21824C. A terra-cotta bust of Sir George Cornewall Lewis and four pamphlets relating to the Lewis family are also held at the National Library of Wales.


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: Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Burke's Landed Gentry (London 2 vols. 1846), vol. I; Thomas, Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales (London, 2 vols, 1872), vol. II; Debrett's Peerage (London, 1951); Debrett's Peerage (London, 2000).

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

Date(s) of description: May 2001



Elections | England | Herefordshire

Elections | England | Peterborough

Elections | Wales | New Radnor

Elections | Wales | Radnorshire

Estate administration | Wales | Breconshire

Great Britain. | War Office

Harpton Court Estate (Wales) | Archives

India | History | 18th century

Malta | History | 1798-1964

Manorial courts | Wales | Radnorshire

Manors | Wales | Radnorshire

Poor Laws

Tithes | Wales | Old Radnor

Personal names

Armytage, Lewis, 1853-1928

Duff Gordon family, of Halkin

Frankland, Anne, d. 1842

Lewis family, of Harpton Court

Lewis, John, 1738-1797

Lewis, Thomas Frankland

Lewis, Thomas, 1690-1777

Corporate names

Great Britain | War Office

Harpton Court Estate (Wales)

New Radnor (Wales : Borough)