Catalogue description Papers from the Estate of the Late Marigold Smith

This record is held by Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre

Details of BM27
Reference: BM27
Title: Papers from the Estate of the Late Marigold Smith
Date: 19th - 20th centuries
Held by: Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Smith, Marigold, b 1914, of Breinton, Herefordshire

Physical description: 5 Series
Access conditions:

There is restricted access on this collection!



  • Wadworth Brewery, Devizes, Wiltshire
Administrative / biographical background:

Marigold Smith (née Lea) was the daughter of Brenda Wadworth and Gerald Lea, who was killed in September 1914 and buried in France. Brenda later married Robin Baily [see: BM22 for his diaries; AK22, T95 for those of his mother, Ruth Bourne] who was based in the Sudan from 1908 to 1932. This collection includes diaries and letters of both Brenda's and Robin's families as well as a large collection of photograph albums and loose photographs. There are also a few papers relating to Gerald Lea. Brenda's father, Harry Wadworth, was the founder of Wadworth Brewery of Devizes and there are miscellaneous papers relating to the business in this collection but the main body of records belonging to the company are at the company headquarters in Devizes.


Within the diaries and letters there is much material showing everyday life in the early 1900s for a typical middle class family; Robin in particular describes cricket and tennis matches as well as plays and books he has seen and read. Many are very revealing about the writers and give a very vivid picture of their lives. Brenda's first marriage almost did not take place because of differences in religious practice between their families - Brenda's father had taken the very unusual step for the time of cremating his eldest daughter after she died in a riding accident in 1901 and he and his wife blamed themselves for the differences between Brenda and Gerald. They eventually married in 1912 only for Gerald to die in September 1914, two months before Marigold's birth.


From Ruth Bourne's diaries it is clear that Robin's family initially opposed his marriage to Brenda, although he told them he had wanted to marry her for over ten years. They believed she would hold back his career as she was not willing to take Marigold to live in the Sudan. They were eventually reconciled to the marriage but never quite forgave her for preventing him from achieving greater heights of success. Brenda retained very close links with Gerald's family, even making Robin have dinner with several members of the family to gain their approval for her second marriage


After Robin's return to England in 1932 the family lived at Breinton Court, the Wadworth family home. Robin, Brenda and Marigold all kept up with their diaries at this time and it is interesting to compare them. Marigold's diary for October 1935 includes a description of a speech by Oswald Moseley who came to speak in Hereford; in May 1937 she was in London for the Coronation of George VI and gives a vivid and detailed description of the occasion. The photographs in this collection are particularly good. Many Herefordshire families are represented in the albums of the Bailys and the Wadworths. Robin had a large collection of photographs taken in the Sudan in the 1920s, showing places, people and events. Both families travelled abroad extensively and took many photographs which have survived in good condition for the most part.

Link to NRA Record:

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research