Fonds GB 0210 BAKERGABB - Baker-Gabb Family Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Baker-Gabb Family Papers,


  • 1370-1941 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.551 cubic metres(19 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Both Baker and Gabb were old Catholic families from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. The Baker family claimed descent from Sir Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine, Herefordshire, and had held large estates in Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. The earliest deed relating to a member of the Baker family of Abergavenny is dated 1590. The family believed (probably wrongly) that David Lewis otherwise Charles Baker (1616-1679), a Jesuit priest and 'pretended bishop of Llandaff', was a member of the family. The Gabb family also owned property in the Abergavenny area. The earliest Gabb deed (of Grosmont, Monmouthshire) appears to be that dated 1660. The families were joined by the marriage of John Gabb (d. 1690) of Goytre, Grosmont, to Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry Baker of Bailey Baker, Abergavenny.

Thomas Gabb founded a solicitor's practice in Abergavenny in 1760. The firm of Gabb & Co. still practices out of the same offices in Abergavenny. Thomas Gabb practised on his own until 1781, when he was joined by Baker Gabb the elder (d. 1821), and in 1808 by his son, Baker Gabb the younger (d. 1858). There was a member of the Gabb family in the firm from 1760 until 1921.

From the 1850s, most family members seem to have either used Baker as a last christian name, or used a hyphonated Baker-Gabb surname.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited by Blanche Baker-Gabb in 1942, per Messrs Gabb, Price & Fisher, solicitors of Abergavenny, and by Messrs Gabb & Co. Nov. 1969.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Family papers and estate records, 1370-1941, of the Baker-Gabb family of The Chain, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, and their antecedents, mainly deeds and documents relating to lands in Monmouthshire and Herefordshire, mainly from the second half of the sixteenth century, when the Bakers first appear as stewards of the lordship of Abergavenny, including deeds relating to the town and castle of Abergavenny, the Priory of Abergavenny, and the Priory of Llanthony Prima; records of the following Monmouthshire manors: Cwmyoy, Llanthony, Stanton, Redcastle, Oldcastle, Triley, Abergavenny, Ewyas Lacy, Crickhowell, Hothneslade, and Newton or St Margaret's from 1632 onwards, including court books, perambulations and rentals; a breviary in the English style of the fourteenth-fifteenth century (NLW MS 16147A); papers relating to David Lewis, Catholic bishop of Llandaf, including his speech at the place of his execution, 1679; and diaries etc. of John Baker Gabb, private chamberlain to Pope Leo XIII, 1859-1892; a poll of burgesses of Monmouth, Newport and Usk, 1715, and material on the genealogy of the Baker Gabb family. -- Many of the letters and deeds belong to the solicitor's practice established by Thomas Gabb in 1760.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records deposited at NLW have been retained.


System of arrangement

Arranged into seven sections: correspondence, deeds and documents, maps, portraits, miscellaneous prints, sale catalogue received from Blanche Baker-Gabb, and supplementary deeds and documents received from Messrs Gabb, Price & Fisher.

Conditions of access and use area

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.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Latin.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Hard copies of the 1942 catalogue are available at NLW and HMC; the 1969 deposit remains uncatalogued.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further family papers and estate records are National Library of Wales, The Chain Papers. Transcripts of the diaries of John Baker Gabb (1826-93) and David Baker Gabb (1836-64) are NLW ex 2094. The maps and sale catalogue are in NLW Maps Collection. Further papers, 1873-1918, are Gwent Record Office, D1583. A breviary belonging to the family is NLW MS 16147A.

Publication note

Baker-Gabb, R. A Memoir of the families of Baker of Bailey Baker and Baker-Gabb, Abergavenny (Aberystwyth, 1903).

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

April 2001.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Stephen Benham.

Archivist's note

The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Baker-Gabb, R., A Memoir of the families of Baker of Bailey Baker and Baker-Gabb, Abergavenny (Aberystwyth, 1903);

Accession area