Posted - 08-05-2019


Tales from the solicitor’s office

Dusty old deeds and documents? Dull and tedious? You must be kidding! Yes, the outer wrappers are very grubby but the documents inside are pristine, barely touched for a century or more. These are files from the Longueville solicitors’ office in Oswestry.


They derive from routine work carried out for the Brogyntyn estate which was one of their major clients. They deal with sales and purchases of property, family wills and settlements, and the work of those who acted as trustees for the family of Ormsby Gore, Barons Harlech.


Several items of interest have emerged, including the wonderful inventory of Glyn Cywarch, 1876 (see previous blog). There are details of a property at 12, Grosvenor Crescent, London, leased to William Richard Ormsby Gore by the builder, Robert John Waller, with full specifications of the painter’s works and fixtures for the house, 1871. There are interesting sale catalogues which record the dispersal of the Brogyntyn holdings in North Wales in 1911. The properties included the pilot houses and several desirable building plots in Borth-y-gest, Caernarfonshire, so you can trace developments there since that date.



Above all, there are hundreds of deeds, mainly for the purchases of houses, farms and lands near Oswestry. One massive parcel contained 9 packets holding 99 ‘old deeds’ dated 1607-1894, recording purchases by the Peate family of Pentreclawdd Farm in Selatyn, sold to William Richard Ormsby Gore, second Baron Harlech, in 1899. Another large bundle relates to the Pentrepant estate, which was purchased by Brogyntyn for £29,000 from Ethel Mary Ttrollope of Crowcombe Court, Somerset, in 1894. Many deeds record transactions of the Payne family of the Brick Kilns and the Jones family of the Forest. Among the latter was discovered the death certificate of poor William Jones who committed suicide ‘during a fit of temporary insanity’ at Wenlock Borough Lunatic Asylum, Bicton Heath, aged 36. Yet another intriguing tale has been unearthed from the dusty depths of the solicitor’s office.

Hilary Peters
Assistant Archivist


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