A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
COWBRIDGE, a borough and market-town (having exclusive jurisdiction), and, jointly with Bridgend, the head of a union, locally in the hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 12 miles (W.) from Cardiff, and 170 (W.) from London, on the main western road through the county; containing 1080 inhabitants. The Welsh name of this place is Pont-Vaen, a corruption of Pont-yVôn, of which latter the English name is a literal translation. The town is supposed to have been originally an appendage to the castle and lordship of St. Quentin; and was surrounded, in 1090, by Robert St. Quentin, one of Fitz-Hamon's knights, with a stone wall, having three gates, which in Leland's time were all entire, but of which only the south gate now remains. Its situation, though low, is salubrious, and its appearance prepossessing. The town consists principally of one spacious street, extending for nearly half a mile along the turnpikeroad; the houses are in general well built, and several of them are handsome. It is neither paved nor lighted, but well supplied with water from springs, and from the small river Ddaw, which passes through the centre of Cowbridge. The old townhall, shambles, and market-house, which stood in the centre of the principal street, obstructing the thoroughfare, have been removed, and the old county bridewell, situated at this place, has been converted, chiefly by subscription, into a neat town-hall, with jury-rooms and other apartments. The market days are Tuesday and Saturday; the market on the latter is chiefly for butchers' meat and other provisions. Fairs, principally for cattle, are held on the first Tuesday in February, the Tuesday before March 25th, on May 4th, June 24th, and September 29th: there are also two great markets on the first Tuesdays in August and December.
The government of the town is regulated by a charter of incorporation, which was confirmed in the 33rd of Charles II., whose charter recites that the burgesses had enjoyed divers liberties, franchises, and immunities, as well by means of grants of former kings of England and lords of Glamorgan as by prescription, and bestows upon the corporation all privileges, fairs, tolls, and lands which they then held, or had previously enjoyed, by virtue of any charter or by prescription. The control is vested in the constable of the castle of St. Quentin, two bailiffs, twelve aldermen, and twelve capital burgesses, assisted by a town-clerk, a treasurer, two serjeants-atmace, two clerks of the market and shambles, and six constables. Of these, the constable, commonly called mayor, is appointed by the Stuart family, Marquesses of Bute. The bailiffs are annually chosen, on Michaelmas eve, from among the aldermen, of whom four are nominated for that purpose by the burgesses, out of which number the mayor selects two; the aldermen are elected from the burgesses, by a majority of their own body, as vacancies occur. The capital burgesses are elected out of the body of burgesses, by the bailiffs, aldermen, and capital burgesses, in their corporate capacity as the common council and governing body of the borough. The town-clerk is appointed by the Stuart family, the treasurer by the common-council, and the remaining officers by the bailiffs.
Cowbridge was formerly one of the eight contributory boroughs within the county, which returned a member to parliament, the right of election being in the burgesses at large, in number between seventy and eighty, of whom about one-half were resident. It is now, by the act of 1832, for "Amending the Representation of the People," contributory with Cardiff and Llantrissent in the return of a member; and the right of election is vested in the old resident burgesses only, if duly registered according to the provisions of the act, and in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of not less than £10, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs. The present number of houses of this value, situated within the limits of the borough, which comprise an area of little more than thirty-three acres, and were not altered by the late boundary act, is about eighty. The bailiffs make a return for Cowbridge to the mayor of Cardiff, who is the returning officer for the three boroughs.
The freedom is acquired by an apprenticeship of seven years to a resident freeman, inherited by birth by all sons of freemen born after their father's admission, or obtained by marriage with a freeman's daughter, or by gift of the common-council, who may confer the privilege on whomsoever they please. All persons who have thus become burgesses, possess the right of exemption from toll within the borough. The revenues of the corporation amount to about £130 per annum, of which about a third is derived from houses and land, and the remainder from the tolls of the markets and fairs, with the exception of an inconsiderable item composed of fines on the admission of freemen. The mayor and bailiffs are justices of the peace, exercising exclusive jurisdiction, and having, according to the charter, power to inquire of all "delays, defects, and articles," within the town, as justices of the peace in England, provided they do not proceed "to the inquiry, trial, and determination of any treason, misprision of treason, murder, felony, or any other thing, touching the loss of life or limb." No general or quarter sessions, however, seem to have taken place since the year 1812, and even for some time prior to that date they appear to have been seldom and very irregularly held. The bailiffs may also hold a court of record every Thursday in every third week, for the trial of actions under £5, in as ample a manner as in any other court of record in England; but this court has like the other fallen completely into disuse, the last summoning of it having taken place on the 30th of August, 1777. Nor are petty-sessions for the borough regularly held, the magistrates merely assembling from time to time for the despatch of business as occasion requires. The petty-sessions for the hundred take place here every Tuesday, and the Easter quarter-sessions for the county are held here.
Cowbridge is commonly reputed a parish, but, like many other parishes, has no distinct incumbency: the church, which was originally a chapel of ease to the church of Llanblethian, is still served by the vicar of that parish, who performs morning service at the one, and evening service at the other, alternately every Sunday. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £17. 3., payable to the incumbent. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient and venerable structure, and contains several handsome monuments of modern erection, and two of more ancient date, one to the memory of the Carnes, of Nash, and the other to that of the Jenkins family, of Hensol, near Cowbridge. The windows and some other parts of the building have been lately restored. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Calvinistic Methodists.
The free grammar school, which is of considerable repute, is supposed by some to have grown out of the ruins of an ancient establishment at Lantwit-Major, and to have been removed to this place in the reign of Elizabeth. It is under the superintendence of the Principal and Fellows of Jesus' College, Oxford, who appoint the master. The endowment was granted by Sir Leoline Jenkins, Knt, Judge of the Admiralty in the reign of Charles II., who was educated in the school, and died in 1685, founding by will in Jesus' College two fellowships to supply clergymen for the navy and foreign plantations, two scholarships, and one exhibition, which are limited to natives of the dioceses of Llandaf and St. David's, with a preference cæteris paribus for those educated at this establishment. After devising to the Principal, Fellows, and Scholars, certain lands and tenements, and also "the free school and school-house," he charged the property with the payment of £70 per annum, for the following uses, viz., £20, with the schoolhouse, orchards, &c., to be given to the schoolmaster, for instructing gratis ten youths of the town and neighbouring parishes, and five pensioners (now named monitors), the latter to be paid £6 each for four years; after that period, three out of the five to be sent to Jesus' College, and have an exhibition of £10 each for four succeeding years; and two of these last to be regarded as scholars on Sir Leoline's foundation, and to have the preference cæteris paribus in the selection of the two fellowships he had founded in the college. For the purpose of carrying the intentions of the benefactor into effect, the college transmits to the master annually £50 for himself and the monitors; together with £20 assigned by Sir Leoline, for apprenticing poor children born in the parishes of Llantrissent and Llanblethian, the town of Cowbridge, and the parish of Ystrad-Owen, or for clothing aged poor people in the same places. The two fellowships are now worth about £300 a year, and the scholarships £20. The five pensions, which do not appear to be limited to Cowbridge or its neighbourhood, have been constantly filled up; but there is only one other free boy: the number of scholars not on the foundation is considerable. The school is very flourishing as a classical academy for pay-scholars, under the superintendence of the Rev. Hugo Daniel Harper, Fellow of Jesus' College, assisted by two other masters, and a drawing and French master. The premises have been recently rebuilt by the college in a handsome manner and on a larger scale. Vice-Chancellor Sir J. L. Knight Bruce, Knt., was educated in this establishment. A National school, commenced here in 1839, for the benefit of Cowbridge, Llanblethian, and Llantrissent, is supported by subscription, aided by the produce of a bequest of £200 left by John Fraunceis Gwyn, Esq., of Ford Abbey, Devon, by will dated 1845, to be invested in the funds, for the use of "the National school of the three consolidated parishes." There are also several Sunday schools.
Some charitable benefactions to the town are respectively managed by the corporation, and by the parochial authorities. Among the former is a grant of two acres of land, situated south of the East-gate, devised by Mary Wilcox, and now yielding a rent of £8. 8. per annum, subject to a small payment for land-tax and repairs. A rent-charge of £4 on land called the Paddocks, was devised by Walter Williams in 1796: this bequest was void under the statute of Mortmain; but the owner generously purchased stock in the three per cents., and invested it in the name of trustees to secure the amount of the gift, and carry it into execution. The produce of these two bequests is distributed in small sums, by the bailiffs, among poor parishioners. Of the charities under the management of the parochial officers, is a bequest by Catherine Williams in 1682 of £100, the interest to be applied to clothe six of the poorest and most aged parishioners; the amount is in the hands of the corporation, who pay interest at five per cent. Rebecca Wyndham bequeathed a similar sum, with which, and the accumulated interest, a moiety of a tenement and some land, called Pencoed, in the parish of Llanilid, was purchased, now yielding £20 per annum, which sum is applied in apprenticing poor children as directed by the donor. Other sums arising from trifling rent-charges on houses in different parts of the town, and a charge of 12s. on a field in the parish of Llanblethian, the gift of William Thomas in 1710, producing altogether £2. 8. per annum, are distributed in bread to the poor. Daniel Jones, Esq., of Beau Prè, in the parish of St. Hilary, by will dated 1840, gave £10 per annum, the dividends of stock in consols, for the benefit of the poor of Cowbridge for ever, to be distributed in money, or in clothing, bedding, or firing, by the minister. The aged poor, also, of the town, regularly receive £20 in clothing every fourth year from the master of the grammar school, under Sir Leoline Jenkins' grant above-mentioned.
Some Roman coins have been discovered at this place: one, which was of brass, bore the inscription Cæsar Traianvs; the reverse, Pont Max . . . . sii; the exergue, Britanni. At the distance of about two miles, in a field that adjoins the road from London to Haverfordwest, on the southern side, and close to the common called the Golden Mile, is a square intrenched camp of small dimensions, supposed to be Roman; and on the south side of that common are vestiges of a similar work, both probably indicating the course of the Roman road called the Via Julia Maritima.
Coychurch, otherwise Llangrallo
COYCHURCH, otherwise LLANGRALLO, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 2½ miles (E.) from Bridgend; comprising the townships of Higher Coychurch, Lower Coychurch, Pencoed, or the Middle Hamlet, and Peterston-super-Montem, each of which separately maintains its own poor; and containing 1251 inhabitants, of whom 308 are in Lower Coychurch. It derives its Welsh name from St. Grallo, by whom the church is said to have been founded, and to whom it is dedicated. This saint was nephew to Iltutus, the founder of Lantwit-Major, in this county, with which place a connexion appears to be indicated by a circular cross in the churchyard, corresponding in every respect with that at Lantwit, and, from what is said to have been legible of the inscription, which is now totally obliterated, most probably erected by the same persons, viz., Samson the successor of Iltutus, and Samuel the sculptor. The township of Lower Coychurch comprises 1090 acres, of which forty are common or waste. The line of the great South Wales railway runs through the parish. Leadore has been found here. Out of a rock of magnesian limestone issues a spring, the water of which forms beautiful incrustations; and there is a cavern in the parish, in which are fine specimens of bright calcareous spar.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £21. 1. 8.; present net income, £446, with a glebe-house; patron, the Earl of Dunraven. The tithes of Lower Coychurch have been commuted for a rent-charge of £130, with a glebe of 36a. 1r. 10p., valued, with the appendages, at £54. 10. per annum. The church, situated in this township, is a spacious and venerable structure, much dilapidated. Near it is a farmhouse, supposed to have been anciently a religious house subordinate to Ewenny Abbey. There is a chapel of ease at the hamlet of Peterston; and within the limits of the parish are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Mrs. Elizabeth Davies, who died in May 1835, bequeathed £800, to be vested in government securities or used in the purchase of lands, the interest arising to be annually distributed among the poor of the three hamlets of Coychurch. She also left £200 for the maintenance of the Sunday school at Coychurch, and a similar bequest for the support of a school at Penprisk. The produce of the first amount is distributed in sums varying from 2s. to 4s., among such poor as receive no parochial relief; and from the recent government returns on the state of education in Wales, two day and Sunday schools, held respectively at Coychurch and Penprisk, and conducted on Church principles, appear to be endowed with about £6 a year each. A third Sunday school, also in connexion with the Established Church, is held in Peterston chapel; and the dissenters have four Sunday schools in the parish. Another charity is a rent of £2. 12. payable out of a forge and small piece of ground, which were purchased by a bequest left in 1767 by Morgan Thomas, for the benefit of the poor of the Lower hamlet: this sum is distributed at Christmas as directed. The Rev. Thomas Richards, author of a Welsh and English Dictionary, was forty years curate of the parish.
COYCHURCH (HIGHER), a township, in the parish of Coychurch, union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 5 miles (N. E. by E.) from Bridgend; containing 359 inhabitants. This township comprises 3910 acres, of which 1067 are common or waste land. It is bounded on the north by the river Ewenny, and contains some collieries of bituminous coal, called the Hîrwaun collieries, situated at the foot of the Cevn-Hîrgoed mountain. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £125.
Coyty, otherwise Coity
COYTY, otherwise COITY, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, on the eastern bank of the river Ogmore; comprising the Higher hamlet, or manor of Coyty Wallia, and the Lower hamlet, or manor of Coyty Anglia, the latter forming part of the market-town of Bridgend, and known also by the name of Oldcastle, from a fortress anciently situated there: the whole containing 1930 inhabitants, of which number 459 are in the Higher hamlet, and 1471 in the Lower hamlet. The lordship of Coyty was conferred by Fitz-Hamon on Sir Payne de Turberville, one of the knights who accompanied him in his expedition into Wales, by whom Coyty Castle, which is considerable even in its ruins, was taken possession of and completed. From the family of Turberville it passed into the possession of Sir Richard Berkrolles, and subsequently to the families of Gamage, Sydney, and Wyndham. It is at present the property of the Earl of Dunraven and Mountearl, by marriage with the daughter and sole heiress of the late Thomas Wyndham, Esq., member for the county of Glamorgan in several successive parliaments. The hamlet of Higher Coyty comprises 2911 acres, of which 574 are common or waste.
The living is a rectory, with the chapel of Nolton annexed, rated in the king's books at £21. 12. 3½.; patron, the Earl of Dunraven: the tithes of Higher Coyty have been commuted for a rent-charge of £250, and those of Lower Coyty for one of £300. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has been judiciously restored, and possesses much architectural interest: on opening a grave in the chancel, for the interment of the late Dr. Richards, a vault was discovered, containing the remains of Sir Gilbert Gamage and his lady. Nolton chapel is situated in the town of Bridgend, where also are places of worship for dissenters. There is another place of worship for dissenters in the village of Coyty. A National day and Sunday school is supported in the town; also two Sunday schools for dissenters: a Sunday school is held in the parish church at Coyty, and the dissenters have a Sunday school in the same village. A sum of 15s., arising from three bequests of £5 each for the benefit of the poor of the Lower hamlet, is distributed at Christmas, among six widows; and a few other small charities have been lost. Davydd Hopkins, a poet, or Welsh bard, who, in 1700, was admitted to the Gorsedd of Glamorgan, at which he presided in 1730, was a native of this parish.
Craigioguwlan (Creigiog Uwchlan)
CRAIGIOGUWLAN (CREIGIOG UWCHLAN), a hamlet, in the parish of Llanarmon, union of Ruthin, hundred of Yale, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 5¾ miles (S. E. by E.) from Ruthin; containing 137 inhabitants. The small river Alyn runs in a northern direction through this hamlet, which forms the upper portion of the parish, and is partly bounded on the east by the elevated hills on the border of Flintshire.
Craigisglàn (Creigiog Îs-Glàn)
CRAIGISGLÀN (CREIGIOG ÎS-GLÀN), a hamlet, in the parish of Llanarmon, union of Ruthin, hundred of Yale, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 4¾ miles (E. S. E.) from Ruthin; containing 36 inhabitants. This hamlet is situated in a narrow valley, bounded on one side by the Clwydian hills, and on the other by the hills on the confines of Flintshire, the river Alyn flowing near the centre. There are several respectable residences.
CRAY (CRAI), a chapelry, in the parish and hundred of Devynock, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 9½ miles (W.) from Brecknock; containing 502 inhabitants. It is situated at the junction of the small river Cray with the Usk, which latter is here crossed by a bridge. The area is 6975 acres, of which 700 are common or waste land. The common of Little Forest, in this chapelry, was anciently attached to the Great Forest of Brecknock, but on the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham, as lord of Brecknock, it was separated from the latter, and granted, by Henry VIII., first to Lord Seymour of Sudley, Lord High Admiral, and again, on his attainder, to another favourite, whose descendants afterwards disposed of it to various purchasers. The proprietors of this portion of Cray are exempt from a feudal practice which anciently prevailed in the parish of Devynock, whereby the other tenants were obliged to resort to the lord's mill to have their corn ground, but it is not now so strictly observed as it was formerly. There are several respectable residences in the chapelry, more especially in that part adjoining the vale of the Cray. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Devynock; income, £62. The vicar receives £89. 2. 1., being a third of the amount for which the tithes have been commuted, namely £297. 6. 3.; the other two-thirds are equally divided between the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, and an impropriator. The chapel, dedicated to St. Ilid, and sometimes called the chapel of Llan-Ilid, stands in the vale, on the eastern declivity of an eminence, and close to the left bank of the Cray rivulet. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. In 1626, Sir John Davy, the owner of this property, bequeathed a portion of the tithes, amounting to £40 per annum, for erecting five almshouses and a free school; and a sum of £12 per annum was devised by Morgan Watkin, in 1699, for the benefit of the poor. Some vestiges of ancient barrows are still discernible, and of carneddau on the adjacent hills.
CREGRINA, in the county of Radnor, South Wales.—See Caregrina.
CRESWELL-QUAY, a village, situated at the point of junction of the three parishes of Lawrenny, Carew, and Jeffreston, in the unions of Pembroke and Narberth, hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 7½ miles (N. E.) from Pembroke: the population is returned with the respective parishes. It stands on an estuary of Milford Haven, and in each of the three parishes is a small quay for the convenience of shipping the coal and culm from the mines with which this district abounds. From 20,000 to 30,000 tons have been annually shipped for exportation; but the quantity has of late years much diminished, and at present not more than 6000 tons are annually shipped from the place, generally in vessels of thirty or forty tons' burthen.
CRICCIETH (CRÛGCAITH), a borough and parish, formerly a market-town, in the union of Pwllheli, hundred of Eivionydd, Eivionydd division of the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 5 miles (W. by s.) from Trêmadoc, the post-town, 18 miles (S.) from Carnarvon, and 240 (W. N. W.) from London; containing 811 inhabitants. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, is supposed by some to take its name from the shipwrecks that frequently occurred on this coast, one interpretation of the Welsh name being "the bitter cry," in allusion to that circumstance. Others derive the name from Crûg and Aith, "a pointed hill or mound," in allusion to the rock upon which the castle stands. At an early period Criccieth belonged to Ednyved Vychan, who was seventy-sixth in descent from Henwyn, Duke of Cornwall, and an ancestor in the ninth degree of Henry VII.; he was baron of Brynfanigl, lord of Criccieth, and chief councillor to Llewelyn the Great. He acquired an honourable name, possessing much influence among his countrymen, and is stated to have built a strong fortress here, which, having fallen into decay, was restored and enlarged by Edward I. This castle, during the wars between the Britons and the invading Saxons and Normans, formed one of the defences of the passage, over the sands called Traeth-Mawr, from the territory included in the present county of Merioneth into the country of Snowdon. About the year 1140, Grufydd ab Llewelyn, having been unjustly made prisoner by his brother Davydd, who afterwards succeeded to the sovereignty of North Wales, was imprisoned in it for a considerable time, and then delivered into the power of the English monarch, Henry III.
Edward I., having completed the subjugation of Wales, restored and strongly fortified the castle, appointing William de Leybourn governor or constable, with a salary of £100 per annum, out of which he was to maintain thirty stout men (ten of them crossbowmen), a chaplain, a surgeon, a carpenter, and a mason. Among its later governors was Sir Howel y Twgall, so called from his bearing the figure of a pole-axe upon his shield; who, having attended Edward the Black Prince on his continental expeditions, and meritoriously distinguished himself at the battle of Poictiers, was knighted by that prince, and appointed to the governorship of the castle, which he afterwards made his principal residence. The same prince constituted the town of Criccieth a free borough, and made the constable of the castle mayor, granting the burgesses the same privileges as were enjoyed by those of Rhôs Vair, now Newborough, or Newburgh, in the county of Anglesey. It is not known at what time the castle first fell into decay; but, in the 24th of Henry VIII., orders were issued to the constable to put it into thorough repair, at the king's cost; and that monarch, in the 35th year of his reign, conferred upon the burgesses the right of participating in the election of a representative for the borough of Carnarvon, to which the place consequently became a contributory borough.
Criccieth was a short time since only an inconsiderable village of mean appearance, but it has been much improved of late years, and contains some handsome houses, which, though much scattered, present a good appearance. From its contiguity to the shore of Cardigan bay, the situation is favourable for commerce; but only a few vessels touch here, bringing limestone and coal, and there is neither harbour, nor facility for unloading vessels: only a few fishing-boats belong to the town. The coast is very dangerous, and vessels are occasionally lost, though a pier might be made at a trifling expense, the promontory projecting into the sea already forming part of a natural basin. The area of the parish is 1474 acres. The market, which was on Wednesday, has been disused for several centuries; but three fairs, chiefly for horses and cattle, are held annually on May 23rd, June 29th, and October 22nd.
The affairs of the CORPORATION are regulated by a charter granted by Edward I. in the 13th year of his reign, dated at Cardigan, which bestows certain liberties at length, and refers to those of the city of Hereford, giving to the burgesses of Criccieth exemption from toll throughout the whole of England, and ordaining that the constable of the castle should be always mayor of the town. This charter was afterwards confirmed by the crown at various periods, including the 12th year of Richard II., the time of Henry V. when Prince of Wales, the 3rd of Henry VI., and the 9th of Henry VIII. The style of the corporation is, "the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the borough of Criccieth, in the county of Carnarvon;" and the government is vested in a mayor, deputy mayor, two bailiffs, a recorder, and a serjeantat-mace; but the duties annexed to these offices are of a very trifling description, and the emoluments consequently insignificant. The office of mayor is held by William Ormsby Gore, Esq., of Porkington, in right of his wife, whose family (named Owen) have for a long period held the hereditary office of constable of the castle, and whose ancestor, Ievan ab Meredith, is said to have been mayor in the reign of Henry IV. The bailiffs are elected annually on Michaelmas-day by the burgesses, and are in receipt of some small sums arising from a field containing about two acres, let for 22s. 6d. a year, and a house let for 20s.: the recorder, who is appointed during pleasure, and the serjeant-at-mace, have, like the mayor, no income. The corporation possess a common of thirty-two acres, and also the castle hill, the former of which at one time appertained to certain persons paying quit-rents to the crown in respect of tenements within the borough, but is now open as general pasture ground to all who reside within the liberties, and is of great advantage to the poorer inhabitants.
Criccieth is one of the boroughs contributory to Carnarvon, in the return of a member to parliament. The right of election was formerly in the burgesses generally, but is now, by the act of 1832, for "Amending the Representation of the People," vested in the old resident burgesses only, if duly registered according to the provisions of the act, and in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of £10 and upwards, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs. The number of houses of this value, situated within the limits of the borough, which comprise an area of 470 acres, and were not altered by the late boundary act, is only fourteen. The freedom is obtained only by gift of the corporation. The charter empowers the corporation to hold courts of session for petty offences arising within the borough, but it does not appear that they have ever exercised that privilege: they hold a borough court annually, at which the bailiffs are chosen and the borough officers sworn in; and they have power to hold a court of requests for the recovery of debts, but no court has been held for many years. The county magistrates used to hold petty-sessions here once a month, but they are now removed to Trêmadoc.
The LIVING is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacies of Trêvlys and Ynyscynhaiarn annexed, rated in the king's books at £13. 8. 11½.; present net income, £349, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of Criccieth have been commuted for a rent-charge of £129. 18., and there is a glebe of about two acres, which, with the appendages, is valued at £15 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Catherine, is a spacious structure, partly in the later style of English architecture, consisting of a nave, chancel, and south aisle: in the east window are some portions of stained glass, and both internally and externally the building exhibits some good details. In this church were buried Robert Ellis, Groom of the Privy Chamber to Charles II., and many of the Ellises of Ystumllyn; also the Rev. David Ellis, A.M., rector of the parish, who was a celebrated Welsh bard and critic. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. The Rev. David Ellis gave £200, directing the interest to be appropriated to the payment of a schoolmaster, to teach all the poor children of the parishes of Criccieth, Trêvlys, and Ynyscynhaiarn, to read in the Welsh language, from Easter to October, yearly; admitting no children but those of regular communicants of the Church of England. The school is at present held throughout the year, and the children who are admitted, few in number, are taught English as well as Welsh, in a cottage rented for the purpose. It has been the practice to hold the school sometimes in Criccieth, at other times in Ynyscynhaiarn. The endowment is secured by a mortgage on a farm in Bottwnog parish, for which £8 per annum interest is paid to the master, the remainder of his salary being made up by subscription, and by fees from some of the scholars. There is a Sunday school in the town, connected with the Calvinistic Methodists. Two cottages with small gardens are in the possession of the parish, arising from a bequest of £50 by Mrs. Jones, of Clenneny, with which they were purchased.
The castle occupies the summit of a conical hill projecting into the sea, and overlooking the northern expanse of the bay of Cardigan; the rock is precipitous on all sides, and connected with the main land only by a narrow isthmus, which for greater security was intersected by a double fosse and vallum. The remains consist of two round towers, square within, which guarded or defended the entrance, and are supposed to have assumed their external form during the repairs by Edward I., when they were probably cased with stone; also a gateway; some fragments of wall, inclosing an area of irregular form; and the foundations of two square towers. Though a fortress of much importance from its commanding situation, it does not appear to have been of very great extent. There are several old mansions in the parish, including Ystumllyn, formerly the residence of the Wynnes, descended from Collwyn ab Tango, one of the fifteen tribes; and Parkia, the residence of the Anwyls, descended from Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales.
Crickadarn, or Cerrig-Cadarn (Crûg Cadarn)
CRICKADARN, or CERRIG-CADARN (CRÛG CADARN), a parish, in the union of Builth, hundred of Talgarth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 11½ miles (W. by N.) from Hay; comprising the North and South divisions, and containing 441 inhabitants, of whom 236 are in the North, and 205 in the South division. The name of this parish signifies "a strong mount," and may have been derived from the situation of its church on the summit of a high bank, overlooking the small river Clettwr, which flows into the Wye at Errwd, on the road to Builth. The parish comprises 2495 acres, whereof 200 are common or waste land. The village is situated on the river Wye, by which it is separated from the county of Radnor; and the high road from Hereford through Hay to Builth traverses the eastern part of the parish. The Clettwr, just above where it is crossed by a small bridge, flows along a deep winding dingle, the sides of which are nearly precipitous, and are well clothed with wood from the margin of the stream to their summit, presenting a strikingly picturesque scene. The living is a discharged vicarage, consolidated with that of Llandevalley, together rated in the king's books at £5, and in the gift of George P. Watkins, Esq. It was endowed by the will of the Rev. David Williams, of Stapleford, in Hertfordshire, dated 1712, with the rectorial tithes of Crickadarn, Llandevalley, and Bronllŷs, subject to the payment of certain small charities, and of £25 per annum to the officiating curate. The tithes of Crickadarn, vicarial and rectorial, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £240. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small edifice, with a massive tower; it contains the ancient rood-loft, which is of oak, ornamented with carvings in cinquefoil, and supported on pillars. The registers of the parish, as well as those of Llandevalley, were lost in the year 1792. There are places of worship for Independents and Baptists; a Church school, established in 1841, and three Sunday schools. One of the Rev. David Williams' charges on the tithes, above referred to, is a sum of £2 per annum, to be distributed among the poor; to whom also, in 1721, Mrs. Lettice Parry bequeathed a rent-charge on land, amounting to £1 per annum. In 1581, William Evans bequeathed a rent-charge of £5. 4., which is annually distributed in bread; and 12s. in money, and 12s. worth of bread, are given about Christmas to the churchwardens, for the poor, by the occupier of a meadow in the parish, being the benefaction of a person unknown.
CRICKHOWEL (CRÛG-HYWEL), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, on the high road from London to Milford Haven, 13 miles (S. E.) from Brecknock, and 153 (W. by N.) from London; containing 1257 inhabitants. This place derives its name from an ancient British fortress, called Crûg Hywel, situated at the distance of about two miles to the north-northeast of it, and which was of great strength and importance. In the reign of William II., Bernard de Newmarch, having wrested the province of Brycheiniog (now Brecknock) from Bleddyn, son of Maenyrch, the native sovereign, divided it among the Norman knights that were associated with him in the expedition, of whom Sir Humphrey de Bourghil received a grant of the manor of Crickhowel, to be holden by the service of one knight's fee, as of the paramount lordship of Blaenllynvi and Dinas, which Bernard retained for himself. The manor continued in the possession of this family for some generations, and afterwards passed to the Turbervilles, descended from Sir Payne de Turberville, to whom Robert Fitz-Hamon had granted the lordship of Coyty, in Glamorganshire. In 1172, Crickhowel Castle was stormed, and its garrison made prisoners, by Sitsyllt ab Ririd, a chieftain of Monmouthshire.
Sir Edmund Turberville is mentioned as lord of Crickhowel in the latter part of the reign of Richard I., and in that of King John, whom he is stated to have served in the wars in France. His grandson, Hugh de Turberville, adhered to Henry III., in opposition to the disaffected barons. In the reign of Edward I., Sir Hugh, assisted by Sir Grimbald de Pauncefote and Sir Roger de Bredwardine, raised troops in Wales for the king's service; to the former of these knights Sir Hugh gave his daughter Sybil, with his Brecknock estates, in marriage, and to the latter he assigned the mesne manor of Gwernvale, and other estates in Crickhowel. Sir Grimbald, in the fourth year of that reign, obtained from the king the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair on the 12th of May, to be held at this town; and the grant was confirmed by Henry IV. to his descendant, Sir John de Pauncefote, with the additional privilege of free warren within the manor. Henry IV., in 1403, during the insurrectionary proceedings of Owain Glyndwr, issued especial orders to Sir John to fortify and defend his castle here against the threatened attack of that daring chieftain, by whom it was ultimately demolished, with many others in this part of the country. In the war between the houses of York and Lancaster, the Pauncefotes were staunch supporters of the latter, and suffered greatly for their adherence to the cause. Hugh de Pauncefote, in the 23rd of Henry VI., settled upon that monarch and his heirs, by indenture, the reversion of this manor, in failure of issue of his own family; which ensuing, the name henceforward ceases to occur in connexion with the place.
From a document among the patent rolls in the Tower, it appears that the barony of Blaenllynvi and Dinas, of which this manor was held by tenure of knight's service, was in the possession, jure uxoris, of Richard, Duke of York, who had espoused Anne, sister of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, in whose family it had for some time been vested. Edward IV., grandson of Duke Richard, and the lawful inheritor of the estate, soon after his accession to the throne, granted the manors of Crickhowel and Trêtower to his friend and favourite, Sir William Herbert, of Raglan Castle, Knt., whom he afterwards created Earl of Pembroke, which title, at the request of the king, was given up, in exchange for the earldom of Huntingdon by Sir William's son and successor. The only daughter and heiress of the lastnamed nobleman, the Lady Elizabeth Herbert, conveyed these estates by marriage to Sir Charles Somerset, Knt., afterwards Earl of Worcester, from whom, by lineal descent, they have been transmitted to their present noble owner, the Duke of Beaufort.
The town is beautifully situated on the northeastern bank of the Usk, upon a declivity sloping gently to the river, over which is a bridge of thirteen arches of various dimensions, built of dark-coloured stone, and partially mantled with ivy, the whole being remarkably picturesque in appearance. It is irregularly built, but is inhabited by numerous respectable families, and is greatly resorted to, during the season, by anglers, for trout-fishing in the river Usk, which also abounds with salmon. The population of the parish has rapidly increased since the census of 1831, and more than 100 houses have been built. The environs, within a narrow compass, are strikingly beautiful, presenting a highly pleasing and luxuriant prospect of a richly cultivated vale, watered by the Usk, and, together with the sloping grounds, adorned with numerous elegant seats, genteel residences, farmhouses, and cottages. The line of the horizon is rendered irregular by the picturesque forms of the surrounding mountains; the vast Breannog, rising suddenly on the northern side of the vale, shelters it from the cold winds, and on the south the bold escarpment of the Darren, overlooking the little village of Llangattock, forms an agreeable contrast with the cultivated lands beneath. The steep, but the well-wooded, declivity of Craig Llanwenarth, descending from the pointed Sugar Loaf, with the apparently opposite connexion of the Blorenge mountain, shuts out towards the east the view of the lower lands of Monmouthshire surrounding Abergavenny: while the verdant Myarth, with a chain of other eminences, terminates the prospect to the west.
Crickhowel had formerly two trading companies, the Clothiers' and the Shoemakers', the wardens and officers of which had each a handsome pew in the old church, decorated with their respective emblems of trade, carved in oak. Dr. Smollett, in his novel of "Humphrey Clinker," mentions the Crickhowel flannels; but the manufacture has been entirely discontinued: there is still, however, some business done in the making of shoes. The neighbouring mountains contain mines of iron-ore and coal, and there are several tramways connected with the works. On the banks of the river, at a short distance from the town, are some paper-mills. The Brecknock and Abergavenny canal passes at the distance of about a mile, affording a direct communication with Bristol: lime and coal, the produce of the neighbourhood, together with timber, iron, and grocery, are the principal articles conveyed along it. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held on February 1st, April 13th, May 12th, September 24th, and November 6th, of which that in May is the greatest. The market-house, the upper part of which is used as the town-hall, is an incommodious building, inconveniently situated in the middle of the High-street, adjoining the turnpike-road.
Prior to the union of Wales with England, Crickhowel was one of the marcher territories, subordinate to the paramount lordship of Blaenllynvi, and was comprehended within the district of the Lower Ystradwy, or, more properly, Ystrad Iw. On the abolition of the independent jurisdiction of the lords marcher, in the 27th of Henry VIII., it was consolidated with the county of Brecknock, and constituted the head of a hundred. The ancient name of Ystradwy is now lost, except in that part of the parish of Llanbedr which is called Llanbedr-Ystradwy. The Norman conquerors of lands in Wales, on introducing the feudal system of tenure, usually conceded to the natives many of their local customs. With this view, they had two courts, one called Englischevia, and the other Welschria; the former comprehending the freeholders, and the latter the customary tenants of the manor. The freeholders, for the most part, held their lands by military, or knight's, service, though a few were permitted to hold in socage; the customary tenants were originally the native peasantry of the country, who, having been despoiled of all real property, were allowed to hold small tenements by certain base services, or personal labour, for the benefit of the lord. These were at first rendered in kind, but afterwards commuted for money payments, still known by the name of Cymmorth rents, or rents in lieu of aid. On divesting the marcher lordships of their exclusive jurisdiction, and bringing them under the authority of the common law of the land, certain privileges were continued to the proprietors. Thus, the Duke of Beaufort, as lord of the manor of Crickhowel, appoints a coroner for the hundred, and holds a court leet twice a year, and a court baron every three weeks, for the manor. He also annually appoints a bailiff for the town, which is a borough by prescription, though the office is now merely nominal, its duties being confined to collecting the manorial chief-rents. Two aldermen, likewise, were formerly elected for the borough, but this privilege has not for some time been exercised. The lords of the manors of Crickhowel and Trêtower have also claimed and exercised the right of executing, by their bailiffs, within the limits of these liberties respectively, all the king's writs, that of Non omittas alone excepted. The county magistrates hold a petty-session every Thursday in the town-hall, for the transaction of business relative to the hundred; and one of the four small-debt courts in the county has been fixed in this town, with jurisdiction over the registration-district of Crickhowel.
The parish comprises about 2000 acres, of which 800 are common or waste land. It is divided into two hamlets, the borough hamlet and the country hamlet, each having its churchwarden, but not possessing separate jurisdiction, the assessments being levied upon the whole. Crickhowel was formerly a chapelry within the parish of Llangattock, the rectors of which received one-third of its tithes, but was made distinct by Lady Sybil de Pauncefote, relict of Sir Grimbald, by whom the portion of the tithes above-mentioned was settled on the rector of Crickhowel parish. The living is now a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £3. 17. 8½., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the rector; net income, £120. The rectory is a sinecure, rated at £5. 9. 9½., and in the patronage of the Duke of Beaufort, as lay impropriator of a certain remaining portion of the tithes of the parish, which is rated at £4. 14. 7. The vicar receives two parts, the rector four parts, and his grace three parts, of the great and small tithes. The rectorial tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £100. 13., with a glebe of about two acres, valued at £4. 10. per annum; and the vicarial tithes for one of £50. 6. 6., with a glebe of three roods, valued with appendages at £5 per annum: there is also an allotment for the sexton, consisting of the clear yearly tenths of certain lands specified, within the parish. In a terrier of buildings and lands belonging to the rectory and vicarage, taken August 1st, 1720, it is stated that "one vicarage-house, above sixty years ago (i. e. before 1660) converted into a barn, with one plot of ground, about a quarter of an acre, and garden thereunto belonging," were then "in the possession of Anthony Prichard, vicar." A house erected of late years on this site, has been enlarged and converted into a parsonage, through the exertions of the vicar, the Rev. John Evans.
The church, dedicated to St. Edmund the King and Martyr, was founded and endowed by the munificence of Lady Sybil de Pauncefote, and consecrated in 1303 by David de Sancto Edmundo, Bishop of St. David's. It was originally much larger than at present, but having been found upon examination to be in a very dilapidated condition, a faculty was obtained in the year 1765, enabling the churchwardens to take down the two aisles, and apply the materials in repairing the remainder. It was thus made to consist of a nave, chancel, and two transepts, with a tower rising from the intersection of the nave with the transepts, containing five bells, and surmounted by a shingled spire, the only one in the county. To afford accommodation for the increased population of the parish, a new aisle was built on the south side of the nave, in 1830, by voluntary subscription, raised among the inhabitants as an equivalent for pews, aided by a grant from the Incorporated Society for building and enlarging Churches and Chapels. This additional portion contains 150 sittings, half of which are free, and this is the first known instance of increased accommodation being added to a church by the equitable mode of allowing those who want seats to purchase and annex them in perpetuity to their houses. More recently, some judicious restorations have been effected, including the removal of a low ceiling erected in the nave in the last century. The south transept, called the Rumsey Chapel, was formerly a chantry pendant to the estate of a family of that name in the parish, though erected and endowed prior to their connexion with the place: but the exclusive right has long been forfeited by the owners, from neglect in performing the necessary repairs. The north transept, called the Gwernvale Chapel, was also a chantry belonging to the Gwernvale estate, the proprietor of which still repairs it, and supports his claim to exclusive possession. The chancel is long, narrow, and much lower than the remainder of the building: in each of the side walls are two low arched recesses, probably intended by the foundress as burial-places for the family, two of them having been used for that purpose. Within the upper recess on the south, upon a low altar-tomb, is the mutilated effigy of a knight, in a recumbent posture, cross-legged, and clad in chain mail, having a sword hanging from a belt, and upon the left arm a shield, bearing the device of three lions rampant, the armorial ensign of the Pauncefotes; the inscription is almost entirely defaced, but the tomb is probably that of Sir Grimbald de Pauncefote, husband of the foundress. Lady Sybil herself is supposed to lie interred beneath the opposite arch, where is a low tomb, supporting a recumbent figure of a lady, habited in ancient costume. The interments were made from the outside, as appears from the worked stone facing of the walls at the back of the arches, the want of which behind the other two is considered a proof of their never having been occupied. Projecting into the chancel, near the communion-table, is a large and handsome monument of black and white marble, inclosed by an iron railing, supporting the well-executed effigy, in alabaster, of Sir John Herbert, of San-y-Castell, near this town, who died May 10th, 1666, and his lady Joan, who died some years after. The knight is represented in a reclining posture, with flowing hair, clothed in plate armour, with a truncheon in his right hand, and a helmet at his feet. His lady, richly habited, is recumbent on a quilted mattress, having the head supported upon an embroidered pillow, with tassels at the corners, and holding a small book in her hand. The inscription states that the monument was erected, in 1690, by Elizabeth, wife of Wm. Le Hunt, serjeant-at-law, son of Sir John Le Hunt, of Middleton, in the county of Warwick, Knt.; and upon the east end of the monument are sculptured the figures of a man habited as a serjeant-at-law, the head broken off, and of a female, both kneeling, dated 1703, and 1694. In addition to these, are some neat mural tablets, of minor interest. There are places of worship in the parish for Calvinistic Methodists, Wesleyans, and Baptists.
Two day and Sunday schools, one for boys and the other for girls, are maintained in connexion with the Church of England. For these, two schoolrooms were erected on the site of the ancient vicaragehouse, upon the plot of glebe belonging to the vicarage, at the expense of a late vicar, the Rev. George Jones Bevan, who distinguished himself as the author of some valuable tracts and essays. This schoolhouse, however, as already observed, has been converted into a parsonage-house, and the schools are now held in two other rooms built for the purpose. An infants' school is also supported, and the dissenters have three Sunday schools. John Williams bequeathed a rent-charge of £3 on land called "Ton Glebe," one moiety to be paid on the 29th of September, and the other on the 22nd of December, to two of the most indigent of the poor in the town and parish. A similar bequest of 15s. per annum for the benefit of poor widows and orphans, by Jane Edwards, in 1743, was declared void under the provisions of the Mortmain Act. The poor-law union of which this town is the head, was formed Oct. 6th, 1836, and comprises the ten following parishes and townships; Crickhowel, Grwyne Vawr, Grwyne Vechan, Llanbedr or Llanbedr-Ystradwy, Llanelly, Llangattock, Llangeney, Llangynider, Llanvihangel (or St. Michael) Cwm dû, and Patrishow. It is under the superintendence of sixteen guardians, and contains a population of 17,666.
The Castle and its precincts comprised a space of about eight acres, encompassed by roads, and terminating in a point upon the road to Abergavenny, on the south-eastern side of the town: the lower portion of this area is now occupied by houses, erected within the last few years. The structure itself, with its bailey within the walls, included a surface of two acres, one rood, and fourteen perches: the remains are small, and destitute of picturesque attraction. The mount, vulgarly called the "Castle Tump," commands a fine view of the beauties of the vale both above and below; it was the site of the keep, or donjon, a lofty square building four stories high, the vaults of which are, no doubt, still entire beneath the present mount. About a mile and a half from the town stood the "baptismal and parochial chapel" of St. Mary, still known by its Welsh name, Llanvair, or "Mary-church." That its erection was of a date long prior to that of the present parochial church of St. Edmund is certain, from the report of Giraldus Cambrensis, in the reign of Henry II. He states that he himself, as archdeacon of Brecknock, was cited to appear in capellâ Sanctæ Mariæ de Crucohel, to answer certain interrogatories to be proposed to him by the priors of Llanthony and Brecknock, respecting a fine imposed upon him, but not paid, at the suit of the archbishop of Canterbury, with whom he had been at issue. Having long since fallen into lay hands, it was used, until within the last five and thirty years, as a barn; it was then taken down, and a new farm-building erected upon the spot, so that the name is now the only vestige of the ancient structure. A neighbouring field, called Cae Crochenydd, or "the potter's field," is said by tradition to have been the place of interment for strangers who died within the parish. The principal relic of more remote antiquity situated near Crickhowel is the fortification of Crûg Howel, or "Howel's mount," occupying a conspicuous situation upon a bold knoll of the Breannog mountain, rising to the north of the town. Leland notices it as Cragus Hoelinus, and in an old survey of the manor it is called Cae Crûgiau, or "the mounded inclosure;" the present English inhabitants call it the Table Hill. It is of an irregular triangular form, and slopes gently from the north-western angle, which is very acute: a rampart of loose stones surrounds the area, which comprises a space of 1160 feet within the inner circumference. Towards the vale, the descent is precipitous; the only entrance being from the north, whence a steep narrow way, called Cevnfordd, or "the ridgeway," communicates with the mountain, a bold projection of which, overlooking the fortress, is called Disgwylva, the "look out," or "watching-place;" and upon the summit is the beacon, a high conical heap of stones. The great Roman road denominated by Sir R. C. Hoare the Via Julia Montana, leading from the celebrated Silurian station of Caerleon, by the station near Brecknock, to Maridunum, now Carmarthen, passed through this parish, by the foot of the Breannog mountain; and in a field adjoining the old chapel of Llanvair is a high artificial mound, supposed by some to have been the site of a Roman arx speculatoria, or watch-tower. Near Gwernvale stood a fine British cromlech, which was destroyed not many years ago, for the purpose of ascertaining what lay beneath it. In the parish is a maen hîr, or "long stone," and many more are to be seen in the vicinity, respecting which there is a variety of opinions, some supposing them to have been sepulchral, others simply commemorative, and others again the mere boundary marks of a territory, or district. By the side of the road leading towards Brecknock stands an old gateway, called Porth Mawr, or the "great gate," through the opening of which is a most delightful prospect of the vale and the river Usk. This relic has erroneously been regarded as having formed an appendage to the castle, with which it is stated to have had a subterraneous communication. It was, in fact, the entrance to a mansion called Cwrt Carw, or "Stag's Court," erected in the reign of Henry VII., by a member of the Herbert family: the old house, which is said to have been defended by its owner against a body of the parliamentarian troops under Cromwell, has long since been demolished. The estate upon which the gateway is situated is now the property of Edward William Seymour, Esq., who resides there. Not far from the northern road between Crickhowel and Llanbedr is a stone with a very early inscription, noticed under the head of Llangeney.
At the distance of half a mile from the town stands Gwernvale House, the handsome seat of John Gwynne, Esq., built about the commencement of the present century, by Tristram Everest, Esq. The more ancient mansion of the same name is situated on the hill behind it, and is now the property of Joseph Bailey, Esq. In old writings this estate is designated "Moelmore, alias Gwernvald," and the mesne manor to which it belongs still bears that name: it is now indiscriminately called Gwernvale, or Wernvale, a term which the late Archdeacon Payne ingeniously conjectures to be a corruption of Tir Wronon Voel, "the land of Wronon the Bald," since, from an ancient deed, the place appears to have belonged in the 11th of Edward II. to Wronon, surnamed Voel, or "the Bald," and styled Comportionarius Ecclesiæ Beati Edmundi de Crûghoel. In the year 1668, the estate was purchased by Sir Henry Proger, Knt., a branch of the Gwernddû family in Monmouthshire, who, being a staunch royalist, retired during the usurpation of Cromwell, with his exiled sovereign into France, accompanied by his brothers James, Valentine, and Edward, all of whom served Charles with exemplary fidelity, and even in some instances with culpable zeal. Henry and Valentine are reported to have been personally concerned in the assassination of Ascham, the parliamentarian envoy at the court of Madrid, who was murdered in the open day at his own house. The former, after the Restoration, received the honour of knighthood from the king, who appointed him one of the gentlemen of the privy chamber: he left one son, Charles, a lieutenant-colonel in the Foot Guards, who sold the Gwernvale estate to his uncle, Edward Proger, of Hampton Court. This latter gentleman was appointed, early in life, page of honour to Charles I., and, by the king's command, sworn groom of the bedchamber to his son, then Prince of Wales, at Paris. Throughout the rest of that monarch's reign, his unbounded fidelity to his royal master sustained no diminution, personally attending him in all the vicissitudes of his fortune; and the affection with which the king regarded him, and the estimation in which he was also held by some of the most distinguished royalists, are evinced by the correspondence that he maintained with them. Several letters to him from the king himself, from Prince Rupert, the Duke of Hamilton, the Marquess of Montrose, Lord Cottington, and others, were, in their several autographs, in the possession of the late Archdeacon Payne, who had other curious documents relating to Mr. Proger, besides an original portrait of him by Sir Peter Lely, purchased at a sale of property at Gwernvale, in 1789, and a good painting of his eldest brother, Sir Henry, by Cornelius Jansen. In the year 1650 he was with the young king in Scotland, but, with several other noblemen and private gentlemen, was banished thence by a mandate of the estates of parliament, "as an evil instrument and bad counsellor of His Majesty's late father and himself." Still, however, he retained the good opinion of the king, who in the same year rewarded his services by a grant of 2000 acres of land in Virginia; but from this he derived no real benefit, owing to Charles's inability to enforce the grant, and his neglecting to confirm it after the Restoration. Lord Orford informs us that Mr. Proger received permission of the king to erect a house in Bushy Park, near Hampton Court, of which he had been appointed keeper, on condition that at his death it should lapse to the crown. After representing this county in parliament for seventeen years, he at length declined a contest, and withdrew into retirement, in 1679; and, upon the death of Charles II., resigned all public business. He lived for several years after in depressed circumstances, notwithstanding the services he had rendered to two successive monarchs; and died at the advanced age of ninetytwo, on the last day of December, 1713. By his wife Elizabeth he had a numerous offspring, of whom only three daughters survived: the eldest of these, named Philippa, upon the partition of property which took place after his death, obtained the estate of Gwernvale, which she bequeathed to her husband, Dr. Samuel Croxal, a man of considerable literary attainments, and holding good preferment in the church, who died in 1751, leaving it to a relative, Mrs. Hester Bailiss, with remainder to her niece, married to Mr. John Newby, who soon sold it to Mr. Everest, its late proprietor.
As distinguished residents of Crickhowel may be noticed the late Rev. Henry Thomas Payne, archdeacon of Carmarthen, &c., a well-known philologist, antiquary, and topographer; and Sir William Ouseley, the eminent orientalist, who published three large volumes of travels in the East.