Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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PRICE family, of Rhiwlas , in the parish of Llanfor, Mer. The older pedigrees trace the ancestry of this family to Marchweithian .

A fairly early ancestor who achieved some prominence was RHYS AP MEREDYDD (‘ Rhys Fawr ’) who lived somewhere at the foot of the south-western slopes of Mynydd Hiraethog , Denbighshire ; it is thought that the old mansion of Foelas was his home. He was influential, rich, and a strong military leader . He raised a band of men from ‘Y Berfeddwlad’ and led it to Bosworth Field ( 1485 ) to join men from South Wales under Sir Rhys ap Thomas . By reason of his prowess at Bosworth , he received many favours at the hand of the new king ( Henry VII ). (Alabaster effigies of ‘ Rhys Fawr ’ and his wife, Lowry , are in Ysbyty Ifan church).


His son, Sir ROBERT AP RHYS — the ‘sir’ in this case denoting an ecclesiastic — became one of the chaplains at the court of Henry VII , continuing to serve in that capacity under Henry VIII . After the dissolution of the monasteries he acquired much land ( Dôl Gynwal ) in Ysbyty Ifan . According to letters from him to Henry VIII he also held much land in the parish of Llanfor . Sir Robert 's wife was Mared ( Margaret ) , daughter of Rhys ( Rhydderch ? ) Llwyd , Gydros , Llanfor ; their numerous children included the heir, CADWALADR ( Price ) (below), Dr. Elis Prys , Plas Iolyn, Denbs. , Thomas Vaughan , Pant Glas (see under Vaughan , Pant Glas ), and two other sons who became abbots of Aberconway ( Griffith , Pedigrees , 204). Sir Robert , who became cross-bearer to Cardinal Wolsey , d. before or in 1534 ; his will was proved at the P.C.C. of Canterbury ; he also was buried in Ysbyty Ifan church.


Cadwaladr ( Price ) , of Rhiwlas , is described as the third son of Sir Robert ap Rhys . He m. Jane , daughter of Meredydd ap Ieuan ap Robert of Gwydir . To him came much land which belonged formerly to the abbey of Strata Marcella ( Ystrad Marchell ), near Welshpool . Cadwaladr held lands in the commote of Penllyn in the time of Philip and Mary . The bard and herald Gruffudd Hiraethog sent him a cywydd ( c. 1530 ) requesting him to send a ram to Mrs. Mostyn .


When Lewis Dwnn , deputy herald at arms , visited Rhiwlas on 21 July 1588 , he received the pedigree of the family at the hands of ‘ John Cadd ,’ i.e., John (Wynn) ap Cadwaladr ap Robert ap Rhys (son of Cadwaladr Price ) ( Visitations , ii, 228-9). He was high sheriff of Merioneth , 1576-7 and 1585-6 , and Member of Parliament for the county in 1559 . He m. Jane , daughter and heiress of Thomas ap Robert , Llwyn Dedwydd , Llangwm, Denbs. Siôn Tudur wrote a cywydd in which he asks John Wynn to give a gun to Humphrey Thomas of Bodelwyddan .


His son was CADWALADR WYNN , called ‘ Cadwaladr fab Siôn ap Cadwaladr ’ by the poet Edward Urien and ‘ Cadwaladr Prys ’ by two other poets — Siôn ap William Griffith and Ieuan Tew Brydydd . W. W. E. Wynne ( Breese , Kalendars ) says that he adopted the surname Price . He was Member of Parliament for Merioneth , 1585-6 , and high sheriff , 1592-3 . Ieuan Tew Brydydd was ‘ family bard ’ at Rhiwlas in his time. Cadwaladr Wynn , i.e. Cadwaladr Price , m. Catherine , daughter of Sir Ieuan Lloyd , Bodidris-yn-Iâl, Denbs. ; their eldest son was JOHN PRICE I (d. 1613 ), high sheriff of Merioneth , 1608-9 ; he m. Ann , daughter and heiress of John Lloyd , of Vaynol , S. Asaph , registrar of the diocese of S. Asaph . This John Price was succeeded by his eldest son, JOHN PRICE II (d. 1629 ) ( ROBERT PRICE , vicar of Towyn , chancellor of Bangor , etc., was a brother to John Price II ). The wife of John Price II was Elinor , daughter of Sir William Jones , Castellmarch, Caerns. , and the eldest son of the marriage was


WILLIAM PRICE ( 1619 - 1691 ), Royalist colonel . Admitted to Christ Church , Oxford , May 1636 , he was Member of Parliament for Merioneth from 1640 to 1644 when he was ‘disabled’ from sitting, colonel John Jones , Maesygarnedd , the regicide , replacing him; he represented the county again ( 1673-9 ). It has been suggested that as his wife, Mary , daughter and coheiress of David Holland , was sister to the wife of Sir John Carter , Parliamentary commander , colonel Price retained the Rhiwlas estate because of this connection; he was, however, fined £200. He was the Price who welcomed the duke of Beaufort in 1684 .

The eldest son of colonel William Price was JOHN PRICE III ( 1644 - 1685 ). He matriculated as from S. John's College , Oxford , in 1661 . He d., without male issue, before his father and the estate passed to his brother, ROGER PRICE ( 1653/4? - 1719 ); high sheriff of Merioneth , 1709-10 , high sheriff of Caernarvon , 1710-11 . He d. 17 Oct. 1719 . His wife was Martha , daughter of Robert , viscount Bulkeley , of Baron Hill , Anglesey ; by her he was the father of



WILLIAM PRICE II ( 1690 - 1774 ), who matriculated, as from Jesus College , Oxford , in 1707 . He was high sheriff of Merioneth , 1730-1 , and Caernarvon , where he had extensive property, 1731-2 . He was an antiquary ; letters written by him to Charles Lyttleton between March 1745 and 1757 , and dealing with antiquarian remains and with the eisteddfod held at Bala in 1747 , survive in the Stowe collection in the British Museum . Five bards composed eulogistic englynion to him at an eisteddfod held at Bala , Whitsuntide, 1738 . William Price II , who d. 4 July 1774 , was m. twice — (1) to Mary , daughter of Price Devereux , 9th viscount Hereford , and (2) to Elizabeth , daughter of Richard , viscount Bulkeley , of Baron Hill . WILLIAM PRICE III , eldest son by the first marriage (there was no issue of the second marriage), d. without issue in 1751 , and in the lifetime of his father, and the estate went to his brother RICHARD PRICE THELWALL ( 1720 - 1775 ); he was Member of Parliament for Beaumaris , 1774-5 , and high sheriff for Denbighshire , 1770 . He bequeathed the estate to RICHARD TAVISTOCK WATKIN , otherwise called ‘ Richard Price ’ ( 1755 - 1794 ), high sheriff of Merioneth , 1778-9 . His heir, by his wife Eliza , eldest daughter of Richard Kenrick , Nantclwyd, Denbs. , was RICHARD WATKIN PRICE ( 1780 - 1860 ), high sheriff of Caernarvon , 1829 ; high sheriff of Merioneth , 1846 . An enlightened agriculturist , he was one of the founders of the Merioneth Agricultural Society ( 1810 ). He inherited the Rhiwaedog estate (see Lloyd of Rhiwaedog ). By his wife Frances , daughter of John Lloyd , Rhagad , near Corwen , he was the father of RICHARD JOHN PRICE ( 1804 - 1842 ) who m. Charlotte , daughter of Edward Lloyd , of Rhagad , by whom he was the father of


RICHARD JOHN LLOYD PRICE , who on the death of his father in 1842 , became heir to his grandfather. R. J. Lloyd Price as he came to be known, was b. 17 April 1843 , matriculated (as of Christ Church , Oxford ) in 1861 , served as high sheriff of Merioneth , 1868 , and was captain of the Merioneth Militia . He became very well-known in several capacities, particularly as a sportsman . He wrote several books: Rabbits for profit and rabbits for powder … , 1884 and 1888 ; Practical pheasant rearing, with an appendix on grouse driving , 1888 ; Dogs Ancient and Modern and Walks in Wales , 1893 . (For details of the Rhiwlas ‘battues’ which became famous, see the Rhiwlas documents in N.L.W. , briefly described in Jnl. Mer. Hist. Soc. , i, 112-3; see also the inscription over the door in the building over the family vault in Llanfor churchyard). He also published, in 1899 , a quaint but nevertheless interesting book, The History of Rulace, or Rhiwlas; Ruedok, or Rhiwaedog; Bala, its Lake; The Valley of the Dee River; and much more of Merionethshire and Counties adjacent thereto . He established the Welsh Whisky Distillery at Frongoch , not far from Rhiwlas , the ‘ Rhiwlas Brush Works ,’ etc. By his wife Evelyn (née Gregge-Hopgood ) , he was father of ROBERT KENRICK PRICE ( 1870 - 1927 ), who was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and joined ‘ The Buffs ’ in 1891 , and was the father of the present owner of the estate.

Bibliography:

  • To the references named in the text add J. H. Roberts , Hanes Plwyf Llanfor , 1893? …, 1893?;
  • E. Breese , Kalendars of Gwynedd … , 1873 ;
  • Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales ;
  • W. R. Williams The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales , 1895 ;
  • J. Y. W. Lloyd , History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog , vi, 133, 135;
  • T. A. Glenn , Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania , Oxford, 1911-13 ;
  • N.L.W. Pantperthog Manuscript at the National Library of Wales ;
  • University College of North Wales, Bangor Manuscripts 5545-65, 5945;
  • Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire. Minutes of Evidence; Report , 1894–6 , i;
  • Burke's Landed Gentry ;
  • [ Who was who? ].

Author:

Robert (Bob) Owen, O.B.E., M.A., (1885-1962), Croesor

Corrections and additions:

PRICE (FAMILY), Rhiwlas ; ( DWB ,781-2). Cadwaladr ap Robert (alias Cadwaladr Price ) d. in 1554 : a metrical version of the year appears in a memorial cywydd in NLW MS. 436 , p.39.