Item NLW MS 23980F, ff. 24-25. - Ladies of Llangollen letters

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 23980F, ff. 24-25.


Ladies of Llangollen letters


  • 1819 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2 ff. (each originally folded as two leaves).

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator

Biographical history

Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, better-known as the 'Ladies of Llangollen', were both members of Irish aristocratic families. Having quickly established a relationship following their meeting in 1768, the women escaped the scandalised animosity of their home circle by setting up home at Plasnewydd, a Gothic-style house situated near Llangollen, Denbighshire. For the next fifty years, they lived a secluded and often penurious existence, while nevertheless receiving such notable visitors as the landowner, traveller and writer Anne Lister and the poets Robert Southey, William Wordsworth and Percy Shelley. Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby are both buried in the grounds of St Collen's Church, Llangollen, while Plasnewydd is now a museum dedicated to their lives.

Name of creator

Archival history

Previously sold at auction by Anderson & Garland, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 2010 (Summer Fine Art & Antiques Sale, lot 384).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

C. C. Bebbington; A Piece of History, Chichester; Purchase; September 2010; 006038841.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Two letters, one dated 19 November 1819, from Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, the Ladies of Llangollen, [?in the hand of Sarah Ponsonby], to Mrs [?Anne] Hurt Sitwell, staying at Gwersyllt Park, Wrexham, arranging to meet.

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Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Seal tears.

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Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 23980F, ff. 24-25.

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Virtua system control number


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 23980F, ff. 24-25; Seal tears