Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EDWIN family, of Llanfihangel or ‘Llanmihangel’, Glam.

The original owners of this estate, and the builders of its Tudor manor-house, were the THOMAS family, on whom see G. T. Clark , Limbus Patrum , 272-3; at some time before 1687 the estate was sold to HUMPHREY EDWIN ( 1642 - 1707 ), a very wealthy Londoner of whom a full account appears in the D.N.B . Sir Humphrey ( knighted , and sheriff of Glamorgan , in 1687 , lord mayor of London in 1697 ) was a Dissenter , and gave trouble by attending at his meetinghouse in full civic state (see T. Richards , Piwritaniaeth a Pholitics , 39-40, 47-8, 141). He was a Hereford man; attempts to trace his ancestry back to a 13th cent.thane ’ are not convincing, still less so his assumption of the ‘arms’ of the Welsh dynasty of Edwin of Tegeingl (d. 1073 ) . According to Ewenny MS. 2 at N.L.W. , Sir Humphrey 's father was a Welsh felt-maker at Llandilo, Carms. , who removed to Hereford and became a hatter there; he apprenticed his son to a Hereford tailor , but the boy soon went up to London . He d. at Llanfihangel , 14 Dec. 1707 . He had five sons and four daughters; the history of the family is fully related (by James Edwin-Cole , one of its members) in The Herald and Genealogist , vi, 1871 , 54-62, but apart from mentioning the second daughter Mary , who in 1703 m. Robert Jones of Fonmon (see under Jones , Philip , 1618? - 1674 ), the present notice will deal only with the direct Llanfihangel line. The eldest son, SAMUEL EDWIN , chr. 12 Dec. 1671 , d. at Llanfihangel 27 Sept. 1722 , m. Lady Catherine Montagu , daughter of the 2nd earl of Manchester , and had three children. Of these, CATHERINE EDWIN , b. at Llanfihangel 27 Nov. 1702 , became the heiress of one of her uncles, and d. unmarried at Bedford 23 July 1773 (the dates are from her tombstone); she had in 1756 become a member of the Moravian congregation at Bedford , was a considerable benefactor to it, and was buried in its graveyard. Samuel 's son, CHARLES EDWIN , b. 1699? , added to the estate, was sheriff of Northants. , 1738 , M.P. for Westminster 1742-7 , and for Glamorgan from 1747 till his death, 29 June 1756 . His wife, Lady Charlotte Edwin (daughter of the 4th duke of Hamilton ; she d. 5 Feb. 1774 ), is a figure in early Methodist history, and finds a place in the biographies of Lady Huntingdon and of George Whitefield , and the journals of John Wesley . It was she who presented David Jones ( 1736 - 1810 ) to the living of Llan-gan ( N.L.W. Llandaff papers, no. VIII ). In a Moravian source, the presentation is attributed to her sister-in-law (above) Catherine Edwin (see Traf. Cymd. Hanes Bed. , 1935 , 19-22); there has clearly been confusion here. Charles Edwin was succeeded at Llanfihangel by his sister ANN ( EDWIN ) , who m. THOMAS WYNDHAM , of Clearwell, Glos. These Wyndham s had in 1642 acquired Dunraven castle by purchase from the VAUGHANS , successors of the Norman BUTLERS (see Nicholas , Hist. of Glamorgan ); Thomas and Ann Wyndham had a son, CHARLES , who took the surname EDWIN , was M.P. for Glamorgan , 1780-9 , and d. 16 June 1801 . His son THOMAS resumed the surname WYNDHAM , restored Dunraven castle , was M.P. for Glamorgan from 1789 till his death, 8 Nov. 1814 , and left a daughter, CAROLINE , who in 1810 m. WINDHAM HENRY WINDHAM QUIN , later 2nd earl of Dunraven . The Edwin family in Llanfihangel was thus merged into the family of the earls of Dunraven .


  • To the sources mentioned above, add W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) ,
  • and Burke's … Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage ;
  • information from Mr. W. A. H. Fisher , of Aberthyn.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959