Reference code(s): GB 0222 BOD
Title: Bodorgan Manuscripts
Short title: Bodorgan Manuscripts
Dates of creation: 1468-1966
Level of description: fonds
Extent and medium: 7.8 linear metres
Name of creator(s):
Administrative and biographical history: The Meyrick family of Bodorgan are not only owners of their ancestral estate, but also owners of lands once held by the Bolds of Tre'rddol and the Wood lands of Rhosmor. The Bolds, by a series of providential deaths firstly inherited the Wood lands. This was then followed by the death of Owen Bold in 1703 resulting in the devolution of his lands upon Owen Meyrick the elder, son of Jane, sister of Owen Bold. The lands of Bodorgan, Rhosmor and Tre'rddol, though not exactly contiguous, are situated so near to each other that the Bodorgan estate was one of the most compact in the whole country.
The Meyricks are descended from Cadfael, lord of Cedewain in Powys, but it was in the Tudor period that they first came into prominence. Llywelyn ap Heilyn fought under Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth; his son Meyrick served under Henry VIII, was promoted to be captain of the bodyguard, and was given the Crown Lease of the manor of Aberffraw. In the late sixteenth century trouble erupted between Richard Meyrick II (d.1596) and Hugh Owen of Bodeon concerning part of the Aberffraw manor lands. The Bodorgan estate was crushed by the cost of the litigation, and by 1590 a substantial portion had been sold to discharge Meyrick's debts. Richard Meyrick III (d.1644) was the first of the family to be appointed sheriff of Anglesey. It was Owen Meyrick (1682-1760,), who was the real founder of the later fortunes of the family. He was the second son of William Meyrick (1644-1717), and grandson of Richard Meyrick IV (d.1669). He was a keen supervisor of his estates and set it on a strong foundation. He looked after it ceaselessly and carefully, and considerably enlarged its boundaries. In the parliamentary election of 1708 for the county of Anglesey, he very seriously and almost successfully challenged the supremacy of the Bulkeleys and, although unsuccessful on this occasion, effectively challenged the Bulkeley supremacy on the island. For some years he did represent the county in Parliament (1715-1722). He was also High Sheriff in 1706, and Custos Rotulorum of Anglesey from 1715 till his death in 1759. Interestingly, he also commissioned Lewis Morris, the most famous of the three Morris brothers, to make a survey of the Bodorgan lands. Owen Meyrick was succeeded by his son Owen Meyrick (1705-1770), who married a wealthy heiress, the daughter of John Putland of London. His grandson, Owen Putland Meyrick (1752-1825) was also equally fortunate in his marriage to Clara, daughter and heiress to Richard Garth of Morden, Surrrey. The estate acquired additional wealth through the marriage of the latter's daughter and co-heiress, Clara, to Augustus Elliot Fuller of Ashdowne House, Sussex. Their son Owen Augustus Fuller (1804-1876) adopted the name Meyrick when he inherited the Bodorgan estate on the death of his grandfather.
In the course of time three other branches of the family were established at Gwyddelwern, Merioneth, at Cefn Coch, Llanfechell, co. Anglesey and at Monkton in Pembrokeshire. The strongest of these was the last, of which the founder was Rowland Meyrick (1505-1566), second son of Meurig ap Llywelyn and brother of Richard Meyrick I.
Scope and content: A collection of 1778 items comprising family papers (including settlements, wills, etc.) of the Meyricks of Bodorgan, Anglesey and the related family of Wood of Rhosmor represented by Ellen Wood (widow of William [de la] Wood); Owen Wood the elder, Owen Wood the younger, William Wood, Owen Meyrick the elder, Owen Meyrick the younger, Owen Putland Meyrick, O. J. A. F. Meyrick, Owen Fuller Meyrick and Sir G. E. M. T. G. Meyrick, 1570-1894; title deeds and documents relating to properties in Aberffraw, Amlwch, Beaumaris, Bodedern, Ceirchiog, Coedana, Heneglwys, Holyhead, Llanbadrig, Llanbedrgoch, Llanbeulan, Llanddeusant, Llanddyfnan, Llandrygarn, Llandyfrydog, Llanfaelog, Llanfaes, Llanfihangel Dinsylwy, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf, Llanfair-yng-Nghornwy, Llanfair-yn-neubwll, Llanfechell, Llangaffo, Llangoed, Llangristiolus, Llangwyfan, Llanrhwydrus, Llantrisant, Llechgynfarwy, Llechylched, Newborough, Penmon, Pentraeth, Rhoscolyn, Trefdraeth and Trewalchmai, 1468-1925; rentals of the Bodorgan estate, 1755-1918; accounts, including rebuilding accounts, correspondence and plans, 1779-84; household and home farm accounts, 1780-99 and general estate accounts, 1753-1868; maps and surveys (including a survey of the Bodorgan estate made by Lewis Morris, 1724-27), 1724-1872; documents (including correspondence, lists of suitors, papers concerning the perambulation of boundaries, extracts from records in the Public Record Office, etc.) relating to the manors of Aberffraw and Treberfydd, 1825-1925; additional manuscripts which include, log books of the school of Llangadwaladr, a volume of Welsh poetry from the mid-eighteenth century, letters by Lewis Morris [Llywelyn Ddu o Fon, 1701-1765], a copy of the Bible in Welsh by William Morgan published in 1588, and a great number of photocopies of documents belonging mostly to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
System of arrangement: Divided into two groups - pre 1760 and post 1760 and then arranged according to place, type of document, and chronologically. It was felt necessary and expedient to make a division of the documents in 1759, the year of the death of the elder Owen Meyrick. Each division includes a section of family papers such as wills, marriage settlements, arrangements for annuities, and deeds of appointment to offices of honour. Exchanges of land which operated within the confines of a single parish have been catalogued under that particular parish. In cases where the component parts of land exchanges are in different parishes, sometimes at a considerable distance from each other and even in different commotes, the documents have been gathered together into a special section. The parish of Rhoscolyn, though in Menai, has been listed in both sections under Llifon, because of its natural proximity to parishes in that commote.
Conditions governing access: Open to all users
Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics made at the discretion of the archivist.
Finding aids: Two catalogues, Bodorgan Manuscripts and Bodorgan Additional Manuscripts - at item level with some exceptions which are series level descriptions.
Accruals: None expected
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Sir George Meyrick in 1938; with additional manuscripts deposited ca.1987 by Sir George David Eliott Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick.
Related units of description: Llwydiarth Esgob Manuscripts
Dinam Hall Manuscripts
Bangor Manuscripts, 482, 551 and 26941
Publication note: J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families ; with their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and other parts , (Horncastle, 1914), pp. 126-127
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 under the Auspices of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , (London, 1959)
Emyr Gwynne Jones, 'Some Notes on the Principal County Families of Anglesey in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries', Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions , 1939, pp. 61-75, esp. 73-5.
Rules or conventions: Created following ISAD(G) and Archives Hub Data Creation Guidelines
Date(s) of description: Prior to 16-11-2004