- [c. 1722]-1948 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
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.
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 ¼]-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
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Generated finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents of fonds.
Virtua system control number
Subject access points
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Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
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.
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.
Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Rhys Jones.