Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EDWARDS family, of Stansty, Denbs.

This family boasted continuous occupation of the same area from 1317 , when David ap Meilir is said to have bought the manor of Stansty , to 1783 , when his direct line died out. The surname was first stabilized by JOHN EDWARDS ( 1573 - 1635 ), son of David ab Edward ; his executorship of the will under which his neighbour Sir William Meredith established a ‘lectureship’ at Wrexham suggests Puritan leanings, which reappeared in some of his descendants. His eldest son DAVID EDWARDS (d. 1635 ) expanded the estate and built in 1577 the family seat of Plas Isa , while two younger sons distinguished themselves at Oxford . JOHN EDWARDS (second son, b. 1612 ) was educated at Westminster ( 1629 ) and Christ Church (matriculated 26 Oct. 1632 ), graduating B.A. 1633 (6 Dec.) , M.B. 1635 , and becoming court physician to Charles I . As Fellow of Christ Church he refused to submit to the Parliamentary visitors in 1648 (10 May) , but there is no record of his expulsion. JONATHAN EDWARDS (third son, b. 1615 ) went to Jesus College , Oxford (matriculated 3 Feb. 1633 ), graduated B.A. 1634 (9 June) , became M.A. and Fellow 1637 (24 April) , and D.D. ( Nov. 1642 ). By 1679 he was archdeacon of Londonerry . Their sister MARGARET (d. 1651 ), an ardent disciple of Morgan Llwyd (q.v.) , m. John Jones ( 1597? - 1660 ) (q.v.) the regicide , whose son John was a friendly correspondent of the archdeacon . Another sister, CATHERINE , m. Watkin Kyffin , through whom her brother Jonathan tried in vain, on attaining his Fellowship , to induce the 2nd Sir Thomas Myddelton (q.v.) (to whom Kyffin was agent at Chirk ) to send his son to Jesus College with those of the earl of Pembroke (see under Herbert of Pembroke ) and ‘the best gentry of South Wales .’ The John Edwards who was thrust by the Triers ( 1650 ) into the living of Llangorse , Brecknock and ejected in 1660 ( T. Richards , Religious Developments , 45, 51, 386), is confused by Foster ( Alumni Oxon. ) with Jonathan , but cannot be fitted into the Stansty pedigree.

JOHN EDWARDS ( 1619 - 1673 ), son and heir of David Edwards , held the recordership of the lordship of Chirk under Sir Thomas Myddelton , but is said to have fought for Charles I , and certainly m. the widow of a Lancashire Royalist (daughter of Sir Thomas Powell of Horsley ), for whose claims on her first husband's estate (put up for sale by the Commonwealth ) John Jones the regicide himself put in a word, describing his nephew-by-marriage as ‘of an honest, harmless, sweet disposition.’ After the Restoration Edwards was presented by the churchwardens (including his brother David ) for non-attendance at church. He added further to the estate till it embraced most of Stansty township and extended into that of Gwersyllt , but on the death, without children, of his great-great-grandson PETER EDWARDS ( 1783 ), it went to the Lloyds of Pengwern , and was eventually sold to the iron-master Richard Thompson , who built Stansty Hall in 1830-32 .


  • A. N. Palmer , History of the thirteen country townships of the old parish of Wrexham, and of the townships of Burras Riffri, Erlas, & Erddig Being the fifth and last part of "A history of the town and parish of Wrexham" (1903) , 187-94;
  • J. B. Whitmore and G. R. Y. Radcliffe , The record of old Westminsters a biographical list of all those who are known to have been educated at Westminster school from the earliest times to 1927 (London, 1928) , i, 304, and supplement, 51;
  • M. Burrows , The Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford, 1647–58 (1881) , Camden Soc., 30, 33, 68;
  • NLW MSS 11440 (15, 22, 92), 11449 (6);
  • W. M. Myddelton , Chirk Castle Accounts , 1605-66 , 16-17, 27;
  • Plymouth deeds at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth , 908.


Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Published date: 1959