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Guide to the Ladies of Llangollen Collection, 1774-1991

Summary

In the late 18th century, Eleanor Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1832), also known as the Ladies of Llangollen, left their lives in the upper tiers of Anglo-Irish society and made a home for themselves in Llangollen, Wales, to the disapproval of both their families. Butler and Ponsonby appeared to have understood their relationship as a marriage, and they were known for dressing alike in masculine clothing. They were part of an emerging culture of 'romantic friendship' between same-sex couples. While they lived a life of rural retreat, the Ladies' relative celebrity and social status meant that their home Plas Newydd became a salon. They hosted the many of the intelligensia of the day, including poets such as Wordsworth and Byron, and the reigning Queen Charlotte. The collection is largely made up of letters by the Ladies, as well as materials about Llangollen, the cultural haven of Plas Newydd, and images of the Ladies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11554
Title
Ladies of Llangollen collection
Date
1774-1991
Extent
9.5 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The Ladies of Llangollen Collection is made up of materials both by and about Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby's life at their home, Plas Newydd, in Llangollen, Wales.

The largest part of the collection is the letters written by and to the Ladies. Most of the correspondence takes place between Sarah Ponsonby and her cousin Mrs. Sarah Tighe, along with letters from Eleanor Butler, their neighbor Ch. L. West, and the Fownes family, Sarah Ponsonby's cousins and former guardians. The manuscripts include poems by the Ladies, as well as an account written about the Ladies of Llangollen by Ch. L. West and an album by a visitor to Llangollen. The papers contain items and images of the Ladies of Llangollen, Llangollen Vale, and the traditions of Wales in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Guidebooks, maps, and printed materials make up the materials about the history of the Ladies' beloved Llangollen. The images of the Ladies and their home in Llangollen Vale make up the largest part of the image files.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

The Ladies of Llangollen Collection is arranged into three series: Letters and Manuscripts, Papers, and Objects. The Letters and Maunscripts series has two sub-series: letters and manuscripts. The letters are listed at the item level and are arranged chronologically. The Papers series contains images, albums, maps, guidebooks, materials about the history of Llangollen, and printed materials about the Ladies of Llangollen. The Objects series includes sourvenir objects with images of the Ladies of Llangollen or their home and town in Wales.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Ladies of Llangollen Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Letters and manuscripts, 1774-1830 and undated

The Letters and Manuscripts series is made up of letters from Eleanor Butler, Sarah Ponsonby and family, as well as poems written by the ladies, a biography by their neighbor Ch. L. West, and an album of a visitor to Llangollen.

Letters, 1774-1829

The letters sub-series contains letters from Eleanor Butler, Sarah Ponsonby, and Sarah Ponsonby's family. The early letters are from the Fownes, Sir William and Lady Betty, who took in Sarah Ponsonby after her father died. After Sarah eloped with Eleanor Butler to Llangollen, she wrote to her cousin, Sarah Tighe. The majority of the letters are from Sarah Ponsonby to Mrs. Tighe, recounting daily life in Llangollen Vale.

The letters are arranged chronologically. The letters correspond to transcripts, housed at the end of the letters sub-series.

E. Fownes (Dublin, Ireland) to Sir (unknown), 1774-06-21
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Lady Betty Fownes (unknown), 1775-08-15
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
E. Ponsonby (Dublin, Ireland) to Lady Kelly (Wicklow, Ireland), 1776-01-02
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Anna Marie Paulet (unknown) to Eleanor Butler (Llangollen), 1783-08-01
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen) to "cousin" (unknown), 1784-06-24
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1784-10-05
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1784-11-05
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1784-11-29
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-08-01
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-02-07
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-04-11
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-04-15
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-05-07
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Lucia Clifden (Gowran) to Eleanor Butler (Llangollen), 1785-06-20
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-07-30
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-09-11
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-09-27
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-11-15
(3 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1785-11-24
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-02-17
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-03-13
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-04-19
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-05-21
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-05-28
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-06-07
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-06-12
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-06-20
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-07-03
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-08-28
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-10
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-12-05
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-12-07
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1786-12-21
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-01-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-01-12
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-01-24
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-01-31
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-02-26
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-03-01
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-03-11
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-03-24
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-04-13
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-05-17
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-05-30
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-06-04
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-06-14
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1787-07-04
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-07-09
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1787-12-16
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-01-17
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-02-05
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Shrewbury) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-02-16
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-02-26
(2 Leaves)

Letter has a transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-04-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has a transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-04-11
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-04-21
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), 1788-05-08
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1788-12-19
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1789-02-22
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Ch. L. West (Dublin, Ireland) to Mrs. Tighe (Inistioge, ireland), 1789-04-02
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1789-04-15
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1789-11-23
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1789-12-25
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 1
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1791-04-20
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1791-07-24
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1793
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1793-03-26
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1793-04-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1793-07-22
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1793-08-07
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1793-10-25
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1793-11-24
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1794-01-25
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1794-02-17
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1794-05-01
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (London), 1794-06-20
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1795-02-10
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1796-04-02
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1796-06-25
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Shrewbury) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1796-09-26
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1796-12-11
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1797-01-07
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1797-03-03
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1797-10-27
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Transcription of speech given by Dr. Blair, 1797-11-12
(2 Leaves)

Speech has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1798-04-14
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1798-06-07
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-06-13
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-06-16
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-06-23
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-07-17
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-08
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-09-14
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-10-31
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1798-12-07
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1799-02-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Dublin, Ireland), 1799-04-22
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1799-06-27
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1799-08-15
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1799-11-26
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1800-09-24
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1801-07-08
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1801-07-30
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1802-02-11
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1802-03-24
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1802-04-20
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1802-05-17
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1802-07-03
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1802-08-12
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1802-08-23
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1803-03-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1803-06-26
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1803-08-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1804-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1804-08-10
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1805-01-04
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1805-03-27
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 06-13-1806
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1805-10-20
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1806-01-10
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1806-06-13
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1806-07-05
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1806-11-05
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1807-03-23
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (Ireland), 1807-05-12
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1807-06-13
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Letter from a creditor to Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, 1808-08-14
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1809-12-27
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 08-13-1818
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1810-12-30
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), 1811-12-24
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Mrs. Tighe (Wicklow, Ireland), 1813-08-13
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby (Llangollen Vale) to Lady Mark Kerr (Henley upon Themes), 1829-07-09
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Wrexham) to Mrs. Tighe (London), n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), n.d.
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), n.d.
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Unknown, n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Bonaparte's Speech in Brabrant, n.d.
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Unknown, n.d.
(2 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (Oswestry) to Mrs. Tighe (Middlesex), n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Mrs. Tighe (unknown), n.d.
(2 Leaves)

Letter has transcript.

Box 2
J.M. Dawson (unknown) to Lady Betty Fownes (Wicklow, Ireland), n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Sarah Ponsonby (unknown) to Lady Betty Fownes (unknown), n.d.
(1 Leaves)

Letter has no transcript.

Box 2
Transcripts, 1776-1813, n.d.
(4 folders)

The transcripts of the letters are found in four folders: Folder 1: 1776-1786 Folder 2: 1787-1793 Folder 3: 1794-1799 folder 4: 1801-1813 and undated transcripts. In addition, all folders contain transcripts with no corresponding original: Folder 1: February 2, 1784, April 15, 1784, May 30, 1784, June 4, 1784, and November 26, 1784. Folder 2: April 12, 1786 and December 20, 1786 Folder 3: October 21, 1794 Folder 4: June 27, 1806 and August 4, 1883

Box 3

Manuscripts, 1784-1826, n.d.

The manuscripts sub-series includes poems and proverbs written by Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, an account of the Ladies of Llangollen written by their neighbor Ch. L. West, and an album compiled by a visitor to Llangollen Vale.

Poems by Sarah Ponsonby, 1784-1787

Poems and a set of verses written by Sarah Ponsonby.

Box 3
Poems and Proverbs by Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, n.d.

Poem copied by Sarah Ponsonby and poems written by Eleanor Butler.

Box 3
An Account of the Ladies of Llangollen by Ch. L. West, 1826

Manuscript written by Ch. L. West, a neighbor of Butler and Ponsonby. An account of the life of the two women in their home in Llangollen.

Box 3
Album: Llangollen Vale, c. 1830s

A scrapbook with descriptions and images of Llangollen and the major architectural points. Obituaries for Mary Carroll and Eleanor Butler.

Box 5

2. Papers, 1793-1991, n.d.

The Ladies of Llangollen Papers series contains materials related to the ladies and their home in Llangollen.

The Ladies of Llangollen Papers Series is arranged into Images, Albums, Guidebooks, Map, History of Llangollen, and Ladies of Llangollen Printed Material groupings. Items from Images and the Ladies of Llangollen Printed Matierals are housed in oversize box 6.

Images, n.d.
(12 folders)

Images of the Ladies of Llangollen, their home Plas Newydd, 3 engravings of the ladies, book "168 Views of the Picturesque Vale of Llangollen," "Llangollen" book of pictures, 12 postcards, Souvenir of Llangollen book of postcards. 2 images of The Ladies of Llangollen. In the oversize box are 2 images of Plas Newydd near Llangollen: The Seat of the Late Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby, an image of Mrs. Mary Carol for Many Years Servant to the Ladies of Llangollen and Six Views of the Neighbourhood of Llangollen and Bala.

Box 3
Box 6
Albums, 1853, n.d.
(2 folders)

5 albums of Welsh Costumes. The Ladies of Llangollen are pictured as examples of Welsh attire.

Box 4
Guidebooks, 1888-1960
(5 folders)

Darlington's Handbooks: The Vale of Llangollen and the Course of the Dee (1888), "The Official Guide: Llangollen, two travel guides to Llangollen (1960s), Llangollen Mini Guide, "Llangollen Town & Country Walks" (1972), three catalogs of Llangollen.

Box 4
Map, 1979
(1 folder)

Reprint of the first edition of the one-inch Ordnance Survey of England and Wales: Llangollen.

Box 4
History of Llangollen, 1934-1990, n.d.
(6 folders)

"Legends of North Wales and Reminiscenes of a Short Visit to the Vale of Llangollen, newspaper clippings, "The Prince's Album of the Vale of Llangollen," "Simpson's Account of Llangollen" (1845), The National Library of Wales Journal (1948), "A Hurried History of Llangollen" (1990).

Box 4
Ladies of Llangollen Printed Material, 1934-1991, n.d.
(7 folders)

"Plas Newydd: As it was and As it is; with A Catalogue of its Contents; and a Few Reminiscence of the Old Ladies","3 memoirs of the Ladies of Llangollen by Rev. J. Prichard, "Plas Newydd and the Ladies of Llangollen", (1980 and 1988) "Some Letters from the Ladies of Llangollen" (1966), Llangollen Blue Guide Sheets: Plas Newydd and the Ladies (1964, 1973, 1975), newspaper clippings of the sale of Plas Newydd.

Box 4
Box 6
Pitcher, black and white with images of Ladies
(11.5cm x 8.5cm x 7 cm)
Box 7
Pitcher, green and white with relief images of Ladies
(11.5cm x 8.5cm x 10cm)
Box 7
Mug, white with color image of Ladies
(10.5cm x 8 cm x 9cm)
Box 7
Teacup, black and white with images of Ladies
(8cm x 6.5 cm x 6.5cm)
Box 7
Saucer, black and white with image of Plas Newydd
(13cm x 13cm x 2cm)
Box 7
Saucer, black and white with image of Castle Dinas Bran
(12cm x 12cm x 2.5 cm)
Box 7
Saucer, black and white with image of Plas Newydd
(14.5cm by 14.5cm x 2.5cm)
Box 7
Creamer, blue and white with "Ladies" pattern
(17.5cm x 8 cm x 8 cm)
Box 7
Figurine of two Ladies, "Ladies of Llangollen" in black script on base, bronzed coloring with gold-colored highlights
(8cm x 4cm x 15.5cm)
Box 7
Figurine of two Ladies, "Ladies of Llangollen" in black print on base, black coloring with copper-colored highlights
(8cm x 3.5cm x 15cm)
Box 7
Figurine of two Ladies, "Ladies of Llangollen" in white print on base, white coloring with black highlights
(6cm x 3cm x 9.5cm)
Box 7
Porcelain basket, white with traces of gold-colored gilding, color image of "The Ladies of Langollen" in center
(19.5cm x 13.5cm x 4c,)
Box 7
Cup or mug without handle, green and white with relief images of "Ladies of Langollen" on one side and "Welsh Costumes" on the other; chip at rim
(10cm x 10cm x 8.5cm)
Box 7
 

Historical Note

Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, better known as the Ladies of Llangollen, eloped from Ireland to Wales in 1778 and setttled in a cottage, Plas Newydd, that was transformed into a salon for visitors inhabiting the highest echelons of literary and social society, such as William Wordsworth, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Byron, and Anne Lister.

Butler and Ponsonby had originally lived near each other in Wicklow, Ireland, and had struck up a friendship in 1768. For the next ten years, Eleanor and Sarah dreamed of leaving Ireland together. They wished to escape a life in a convent for Eleanor, and the unwanted sexual advances of Sarah's guardian and cousin Sir William Fownes. After their successful elopment and move to Llangollen, Wales, with the help of their beloved maid Mary Carryl, they lived in their home, Plas Newydd, for many years. Lady Eleanor died in 1829 at age 91, and two years later, Sarah died at age 74. Opinions differ as to whether their relationship was sexual, but they were clearly ahead of their time in their ability to successfully establish a domestic partnership as a same-sex couple. Recent scholarship has begun to examine them in light of their sexual transgressiveness.


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Provenance

The Ladies of Llangollen Collection was received as part of the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Tracy Jackson, Heather McGowan, and Megan Lewis November 2017.

Accessions described in this collection guide: RL-11554