Fonds GB 0210 MSDYER - Dyer family manuscripts and papers

Identity area

Reference code



Dyer family manuscripts and papers


  • [c. 1722]-1948 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

8 volumes.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

William Hylton Dyer Longstaffe (1826?-1898) of Gateshead and Darlington was a solicitor and antiquarian, known for his history of Darlington. He was the great-grandson of Elizabeth Gaunt, daughter of the poet John Dyer.

Archival history

The notes in Dyer's hand (NLW MSS 23294-23295) apparently came into the possession W. H. D. Longstaffe by direct descent but he also had sight of other manuscripts, now lost, perhaps through the Rev. John Meade, [?a descendant of John Dyer's brother Thomas]. The Dyer manuscripts and their dispersal are discussed in Ralph M. Williams, Poet, Painter and Parson: The Life of John Dyer (New York, 1956); see also John Dyer: Selected Poetry and Prose, ed. by John Goodridge (Nottingham, 2000).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

NLW MSS 23294-7: Mr Fabian T. Smith, great-grandson of W. H. D. Longstaffe; Cottingham, North Humberside; Donation; December 1994.
NLW ex 3067-70: Hawleys Auctioneers and Valuers; Brough; Purchased at auction, lot 1264, 1266 (part); 7 August 2021; 992294509902419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers, [c. 1722]-1948, of, or relating to, poet and artist John Dyer and his family, brought together by W. H. D Longstaffe, including notebooks, [c. 1722]-1756, of John Dyer; transcripts, [1847x1855], of his poems; a manuscript compiled by his nephew William Charles Dyer, 1761-1763; copies, [19 cent., second ΒΌ]-1854, of letters addressed to his nieces; genealogical notes, 1756-1948, by W. H. D. Longstaffe and others relating to the Dyer family; and a collection of engravings, dated 1736-1841.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW as follows: John Dyer manuscripts (NLW MSS 23294-7); Dyer family papers (NLW ex 3067-70).

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Thirty-three books purchased with NLW ex 3067-70 are also in the National Library of Wales (shelfmarks Wing B3637A; Wing U92; OXA 1849-53; OXB 585, 590; OA 4619-22, 4625-8, 4637; OB 1741-50, 1754-6, 1759; OC 1083-6; 2021 LDA 7322, 8106; 2021 LDB 9653, 9668; and 2021 LDC 1905).

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

March 2009 and June 2022.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IX (Aberystwyth, 2003); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography WWW site.

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Rhys Jones.

Accession area

Related subjects

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MSS 23294-23297.