File NLW MS 24076B - A catalogue of all the Earls of Pembroke

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 24076B


A catalogue of all the Earls of Pembroke


  • [?1624] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

52 ff. (ff. 1-6 verso, 7 verso-8, 44 verso-52 verso blank except for marginal rulings) ; 180 x 150 mm.

Contemporary limp vellum; crest of William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, stamped in gold on front and back covers; 'Lds Pembrock' (ink on front cover); gilded page edges.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator

Biographical history

George Owen (1552-1613), antiquary, was born at Henllys, near Newport, Pembrokeshire. His most important work, The Description of Penbrokshire, was begun in December 1602.

Name of creator

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Christie's; London; Purchased at auction, lot 29; 1 December 2015; 99632236002419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

'A catalogue of all the Earles of Penbroke that have been sythence the Conquest in order as they succeeded…', a volume of genealogy compiled, [?1624], in the hand of the herald George Owen the younger (1595-1665), based on the work of his father George Owen of Henllys (1552-1613), and presented to their kinsman William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke.
George Owen the elder's original intention was to catalogue the earls 'with their proper coat armour' and his son's stated aim (f. 9 recto-verso) was to complete his father's work. The main text (ff. 11-15 and 16-44 rectos only) is mostly that of George Owen of Henllys's 'Catalogue of all the Earles of Penbroke' (1601x1603) (later incorporated by him into chapter 2 of the Description of Pembrokeshire: see George Owen of Henllys, The Description of Penbrokshire, ed. by Henry Owen, 4 vols (London, 1892-1936), I (1892), 14-33; and B. G. Charles, George Owen of Henllys: A Welsh Elizabethan (Aberystwyth, 1973), pp. 160-1). The final two paragraphs (ff. 42, 43, 44), relating to the second and third earls, continue the narrative to about 1624 and were presumably written by George Owen the younger. Each section begins with a decorated initial of varying height. The pedigree, by George Owen the younger (ff. 15 verso-43 verso, versos only), runs in parallel with the main text and traces the descent of William Herbert, in relation to the Earls of Pembroke of the various previous creations only. It is arranged in two columns, with the earls represented in the left hand column and other family shown on the right, and includes fifty-eight coats of arms, fully emblazoned and painted. Also included is the full armorial achievement of William Herbert (f. 8 verso) and the scribe's dedicatory address to Herbert (ff. 9-10). There are marginal notes in pencil, [?19 cent.], on ff. 8 verso and 9 verso (erased). For George Owen the younger see H. Stanford Owen, 'George Owen, York Herald 1633-1663', Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1943 and 1944 [1946], 78-107.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Affected by dirt.

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Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

A volume whose description closely matches the present manuscript is Chippenham, Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre 2057/F1/2. Another volume of similar description is recorded as being in the library of Parham House, Sussex (see University of Toronto Libraries, British Armorial Bindings database). The earliest known manuscript copy of George Owen of Henllys's Catalogue in its original form is now London, College of Arms, Protheroe MSS, Box 36/XXI; it is not known if this is the copy used by his son to produce the present manuscript.

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Original title.

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Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

February 2017




Archivist's note

Description compiled by Rhys M. Jones.

Accession area