Fonds GB 0210 JAMIES - J. Conway Davies Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



J. Conway Davies Papers,


  • 1906-1971 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.564 cubic metres (90 boxes, 2 outsize volumes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Conway Davies (1891-1971), historian and palaeographer, was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. He was educated at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and Cardiff, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. From 1916 to 1918, he lectured on economic history at Holloway College, London. In 1917, he was for a while a short course lecturer in economic history at UCW, Aberystwyth, and in October the same year, he was appointed sixth form master and Head of Department of Civics at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After a career as Secretary of the Government Hospitality Fund, the War Cabinet Committee on Peace Celebrations and the secretary, 1918-1929, to Alfred Mond, Liberal MP, Minister of Heath and later Lord Melchett, Davies became an editor at the Public Record Office. In 1938, he was appointed Consultant Archivist to Monmouthshire County Council and Court of Quarter Sessions, and established the Monmouthshire County Record Office. He worked as an archivist in the National Library of Wales, 1941-1945. He served as honorary editor of the Historical Society of the Church in Wales, and honorary consulting archivist to the Church in Wales, 1946-1952. He was lecturer in Palaeography and Diplomatic in the University of Cambridge, 1945-1947, and appointed Reader in Palaeography and Diplomatic in the Durham College and Keeper of Archives to the Dean and Chapter of Durham. He was the first editor of the Journal of the Society of the Church in Wales and edited or published materials on medieval themes and official muniments, including Baronial opposition to Edward II (1918), The Welsh assize roll 1277-1284: assize roll no 1147 (Public Record Office) (1940), Abstracts of episcopal acts and cognate documents relating to the Welsh dioceses, 1066-1272 (2 vols, 1946-1948), A calendar of the records of the Court of Augmentations relating to Wales (with E. A. Lewis, 1954), Studies presented to Sir Hilary Jenkinson (1957), The cartae antiquae rolls 11-20 (Pipe Roll Society, 1960), Catalogue of manuscripts in the library of the honourable society of the Inner Temple (OUP, 3 vols, 1972).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Bequeathed in 1972.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Minute books relating to various Cambridge University societies, Llanelli Committee of Social Service for the Unemployed, Llanelli Park Lodge, Borough Road Chapel, London, etc., 1870-1933; undergraduate notes on history, English literature, Latin, and psychology, and miscellaneous papers relating to history and politics including 'Baronial opposition to Edward II', 1918; papers relating to Monmouthshire archives, 1937-1955; 'The Welsh assize roll 1277-1284: assize roll no. 1147', 1940; reports and preliminary reports, notes etc., on archives acquired by or to be acquired by NLW, 1941-1945; notes, drafts, proofs etc., of articles for the National Library of Wales Journal and items relating to archives in NLW, 1944; papers relating to the Committee on Welsh Calendar Customs, 1944-1947; papers relating to his post as lecturer in palaeography and diplomatic in the University of Cambridge, 1945-1947, and as reader in the same in the University of Durham, 1948-1962, including lectures notes; reports and notes on Welsh Church Commission documents to be deposited in NLW and items on Welsh church history, 1944-1963; episcopal and chapter records of the Welsh dioceses, including notes, drafts and proofs for 'Episcopal acts... Welsh dioceses 1066-1272' (2 vols, 1946 and 1948), and vol. III (Bangor and St Asaph) which was never published; papers as honorary editor of the Journal of the Historical Society of the Church in Wales, 1946-1952; papers relating to Giraldus Cambrensis; notes, photostats, transcripts and typescript of 'Professions of obedience to Canterbury c. 793-1420', proposed to be published by the Camden Society, 1947; miscellaneous papers on history and archives; 'Welsh and Marcher cases coram rege 1272-1307'; papers relating to indexing records at PRO, including transcripts and extracts from documents; notes for reports on the Exchequer records in the PRO; summaries and extracts from Assize Rolls; papers used in the preparation of 'Records of the court of augmentations relating to Wales and Monmouthshire', 1954, and 'The cartae antiquae rolls 11-20', 1960, and the unpublished 'Cartae antiquae rolls 21-30'; typescript and proof articles for 'Studies presented to Sir Hilary Jenkinson', 1957, together with correspondence between contributors and printers; papers relating to the Severn fisheries dispute and the seignory of Gower, 1957-1962; papers used in cataloguing the records of Guernsey, 1959-1969, and in the preparation of 'Catalogue of manuscripts in the library of the honourable society of the Inner Temple', 1972; miscellaneous papers relating to the history of Wales, 1908-1945; film script entitled 'The Black Prince'; diaries, 1946-1971; curricula vitae and papers relating to his personal life and career together with political articles by Prof. Curt Wachtel; photocopies of documents, personal photographs, plaster casts of seals etc.; papers received from Canon E. T. Davies, 1853-1940; uncatalogued correspondence bundles arranged by year, 1909-1971. Copies of his Welsh revolts of Edward II (Llanelli, 1912) and Medieval Northumberland (Llanelli, 1918), journals and offprints; documents relating to the manor of Swavesey, Cambridgeshire, 1623-1833; documents relating to Monmouthshire, 1616-late 19th century; miscellaneous documents relating to England and Wales, 1458-1848; papers and correspondence of Nathan Laski (1863-1941), Harold J. Laski, Professor of Political Science, University of London (1893-1950), Neville J. Laski, Q.C. (1890-1969), John L. Paton, High Master of Manchester Grammar School (1863-1946), Thomas F. Tout, Professor of History, Manchester University (1855-1929), and others including an autographed album.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records bequeathed to the National Library of Wales have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged by box.

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 regulations apply

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh, Latin.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

February 2003


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule J. Conway Davies manuscripts and papers, 1992; Stephens, Meic Oxford companion to literature of Wales (Oxford, 1986).

Accession area