A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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Rhwngdwy-Clydach (Rhwng Dwy Glydach), Higher
RHWNG DWY-CLYDACH (RHWNG DWY GLYDACH), HIGHER, a township, in the parish and hundred of Llangyvelach, union of Swansea, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 9 miles (N. by E.) from Swansea; containing 286 inhabitants. This place, the name of which denotes its situation between the Upper and Lower Clydach rivers, contains several respectable residences, some of them embosomed in wood.
Rhwngdwy-Clydach (Rhwng Dwy Glydach), Lower
RHWNGDWY-CLYDACH (RHWNGDWY GLYDACH), LOWER, a township, in the parish and hundred of Llangyvelach, union of Swansea, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Swansea; containing 1152 inhabitants. It is situated, as its name imports, between the Lower and Upper Clydach rivers. There are coal-pits, with a tramway to the Swansea canal, which here passes along the right bank of the river Tawy. This and the preceding township form part of the ecclesiastical district of Clydach, created under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37.
Rhŷderin, or Rhytcriw (Rhŷd-Yr-Hin)
RHŶDERIN, or RHYTCRIW (RHŶD-Y-RHIN), a hamlet, in the parish of Llanegrin, union of Dolgelley, hundred of Tàlybont, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 4 miles (N.) from Towyn; containing 501 inhabitants. The name is derived from a dangerous ford by which the Dysynni was crossed at this place. The hamlet comprises the western portion of the parish, having the parish of Llangelynin on the west, and the river Dysynni on the east and south. It contains the church, which is seated on the declivity of a lofty mountain near the river; and several respectable residences, some of which command extensive views of the ocean.
RHŶDGWERN, a township, in the union of Newport, in that part of the parish of Machen which is in the hundred of Caerphilly, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (E.) from Caerphilly; containing 206 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north and east by the river Romney, which here takes a wide sweep, and is crossed by a bridge on the road from Caerphilly to Newport. The principal part of the parish is in Lower Wentlloog hundred, county of Monmouth. There are several respectable residences in this township, which is in general well wooded, and has a diversified surface.
RHŶDONEN, with Trêvechan, a hamlet, in that part of the parish of Llanynys which is in the hundred of Ruthin, in the union of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, North Wales: the population is returned with the parish. It is situated near an ancient ford (where is now a bridge) on the river Clwyd, from which circumstance it takes its name.
RHŶD-Y-BOITHAN (RHŶD-Y-FYDDIN), a hamlet, in the parish of Eglwysilan, union of Cardiff, hundred of Caerphilly, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (S. E.) from Newbridge; containing 1313 inhabitants, the population having increased above one-half since the census of 1831. The river Tâf forms the western boundary of this hamlet, which takes its name from a ford that anciently crossed a small stream running into that river, at a place where a bridge now is. The Glamorganshire canal proceeds along the eastern bank of the Tâf, and the high road from Cardiff to Merthyr-Tydvil pursues its course between them, and within a few yards of each. The Tâf-Vale railway also passes in this vicinity. Rhŷd-y-Boithan contains numerous respectable and pleasing residences, many of which are ornamented with surrounding plantations. The ruins of Castell Côch, supposed to have been erected by a celebrated chieftain named Ivor Bâch, occupy the brow of a perpendicular rock, near the left bank of the Tâf, at the south-western extremity of the hamlet, and exhibit, in combination with the well-wooded eminences contiguous, a picturesque and diversified scene. Another object of interest is the tepid spring called Tâf's Well, on the banks of the river.
RHYL, a populous hamlet and bathing-place, in that part of the parish of Rhuddlan which is in the hundred of Prestatyn, in the union of St. Asaph, county of Flint, North Wales, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from the town of Rhuddlan: the population is returned with the parish. This place, which is situated at the northern extremity of the parish, and at the lower end of the fertile Vale of Clwyd, previously to the year 1826, consisted only of a few scattered dwellings. Since that time, from the pleasantness and salubrity of its position on the coast of the Irish Sea, along the margin of which some fine smooth sands here extend for several miles, it has become a favourite resort for sea-bathing. It is frequented by numerous visiters, for whom three respectable hotels have been established, and many private houses erected, in which lodging, with every accommodation, may be obtained. There are hot and cold baths, supplied with sea-water; billiard and news rooms, and a spacious bowling-green. The sands, which project a considerable distance into the sea, besides being very convenient for bathing, afford a delightful promenade. The vicinity commands some fine views of the most picturesque portions of the Vale of Clwyd, the Clwydian range of mountains, Llandulas bay, Orme's Head, the Isle of Anglesey, and the mountains of Cumberland. The Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in 1848, has a station here, thirty miles distant from the terminus at Chester. Steam-vessels land passengers from Liverpool daily at the Voryd pier, about a mile distant; and the various advantages of the place, combined with the retirement of its situation, render it desirable to families wishing to obtain the benefit of sea air and bathing, without the ordinary bustle and fatigue of larger coast-towns. Here is a chapel in connexion with the Established Church: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Rhuddlan; income, £120. Meeting-houses for dissenters have also been erected; a day school is held, in connexion with the Church, and the dissenters have some Sunday schools.
RHYWAEDOG (RHIW-WAEDOG), a township, in the parish of Llanvawr, union of Bala, hundred of Penllyn, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from the town of Bala; containing 442 inhabitants. The name signifies "the bloody brow," and refers to a battle fought here at some remote period, and the peculiar situation of the place on the ridge of a lofty eminence. Pwll y Gelanedd, or "the pool of the slain," is a small lake of stagnant water in a contiguous vale, where a severe contest was maintained between the Britons and the Saxons, in which the only surviving son of the aged Llywarch was slain. A church, parsonage-house, and National school, were built in the township a few years since by the Rev. W. Cleaver, sinecure rector of the parish.
RIDLEY, a township, in the parochial chapelry of Is-y-Coed, union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 5½ miles (E. by N.) from Wrexham; containing 35 inhabitants. A tithe rent-charge of £80 is paid to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester.
ROATH (RHÂTH), a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Kibbor, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 1½ mile (N. E. by E.) from Cardiff; containing 298 inhabitants. Rhâth, the original name of this place, is a common Welsh designation for ancient earthworks, of which there are several in the immediate vicinity: the late Mr. Edward Williams, the Glamorganshire antiquary, supposed the name to be derived from the station Ratostabius, which he fixes at Cardiff. The parish is situated on the western bank of the river Romney, over which is a bridge of one arch, and on the great western road through the county: the river is also crossed in this vicinity by a wooden bridge, 230 feet in length, along which passes the South Wales railway. The surface, forming an extent of about 1500 acres, is nearly a perfect flat, except that to the north of the village there is a gentle rise. Formerly the Romney, which here separates the counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth, inundated the moors to a great extent; but an embankment has been constructed, which has confined it to its proper channel. The quality of the soil is various, the upper lands towards the north being a red stiff clay, and the flat ground being composed of sandy loam and gravel, which, towards the moors, become covered with tenacious clay, fit for making bricks. The parish contains several good gentlemen's houses, of which Plâs Newydd, in the castellated style, is the principal; and is divided into three lordships, Tewkesbury, Dogfield, and Keynsham, the manorial rights of the two first of which belong to the Stuart family, Marquesses of Bute, and those of the last to Sir Charles Morgan, Bart.
The living is a vicarage not in charge, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £106: the tithes have been commuted for £307. 10., of which a sum of £160 is payable to the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester, £72. 10. to the Stuart family, also patrons of the benefice, and £75 to the vicar, who has twelve acres of land in the parish of Bedwas, and ten in that of St. Woollos, Monmouthshire. The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, is a small neat structure, with a chancel that was rebuilt by the first Marquess of Bute, who also erected, on the northern side of it, a splendid mausoleum for his family, where he and the Marchioness, and Lord Mountstuart, were interred. A day and Sunday school is supported chiefly by C. C. Williams, Esq. Near the centre of the rising ground to the north of the village is a spring of pure water, called Penylan Well, which has been inclosed, and is greatly resorted to by all classes on Easter Monday, when it is supposed that charms are wrought, fortunes foretold, and wishes registered at the mystic stream.
Robeston-Wathen, or East Robeston
ROBESTON-WATHEN, or EAST ROBESTON, a parish, in the union and hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Narberth; containing 439 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the turnpike-road leading from Narberth to Haverfordwest, and not far from the Canaston or East Cleddy river, which is navigable to within a few hundred yards of its western boundary. It comprises a moderate portion of arable and pasture land, inclosed and cultivated; the soil is fertile. The inhabitants are employed in agriculture, and in the procuring of limestone, which is found in some parts of the parish of a very excellent quality, resembling that of Aberthaw in Glamorganshire, and for the exportation of which the river Cleddy affords every facility. The village is seated on an eminence, and, with the tower of its church rising above the thick foliage of the adjacent wood, forms a highly picturesque object, as seen from a distance; the surrounding scenery is richly diversified, and the prospects over the adjacent country abound with interesting and romantic features. RobestonWathen House is a pleasing residence, ornamented with thriving plantations, which, with some neighbouring woods, form one of the few well-timbered spots with which the prevailing nakedness of the county is contrasted. From the churchyard is obtained a beautiful view of the opposite hill, crowned with the magnificent ruins of Lawhaden Castle, apparently on the brink of a richly-wooded precipice, overhanging the river Cleddy, which flows at its base, and on the margin of which is seen the church of Lawhaden, in a sequestered spot. The living is consolidated with the rectory of Narberth. The church, situated on elevated ground, was originally a rude structure with a lofty square embattled tower; it is now a very neat little edifice, having been rebuilt at a cost of £330, of which £70 were raised by a rate, £90 granted by the Church-Building Society, and the remainder the result of subscriptions from the landed proprietors and the rector. In the parish are vestiges of a small encampment, popularly called a rhâth, but nothing of its origin is known, nor do the remains possess any interest.
ROBESTON (WEST), a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Rhôs, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3 miles (N. N. W.) from Milford; containing 97 inhabitants. It lies a few miles to the north of Milford Haven, on the old turnpike-road leading to Old Milford, or Haking; and comprises a moderate tract of arable and pasture land, all inclosed and in a profitable state of cultivation. Robeston Hall, a good family mansion, is pleasantly situated, and with its grounds, which are well laid out, forms an ornamental object. The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £6. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £187. 10., and the glebe comprises three acres and a half, valued at £6 per annum.
ROCH, a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Rhôs, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Haverfordwest; containing 835 inhabitants. It derives its name from a rocky mountainous ridge, rising abruptly from the plain, and the summit of which is occupied by an ancient castle. This castle, from its situation near the extremity of the district of Rhôs, was probably erected as a border fortress by some of the earlier Norman invaders, or by the Flemings who, in the reign of Henry I., settled in this part of the principality. The first possessor of it of whom any notice is extant, was Adam de Rupe, or de la Roche, who is by some writers supposed to have been the founder, and to whom also is attributed the establishment of the church, and of the priory of Hubberston Pill. Little is recorded of the history of the castle, which appears to have been constructed equally with a view to military and domestic purposes. It is known, however, to have belonged to the de la Roches till the reign of Henry VI., when the extensive estates of that family were divided between two coheiresses, at which time it is thought to have been abandoned as a residence. It was garrisoned for the king during the civil war of the seventeenth century, and in 1644 was besieged by the parliamentarians, under the command of Captain Edwards, to whom, after a defence of two days, it was surrendered.
The parish lies on the eastern shore of St. Bride's bay, and on the turnpike-road leading from Haverfordwest to St. David's. It is of considerable extent, comprising a large tract of arable and pasture land, which, with the exception of Cyfern mountain, occupying only a small portion of it, and the cliffs to the west and south-west, bordering upon the bay, is inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. There is a culm colliery in the parish; and a breakwater has been formed for the protection of vessels arriving at Nolton haven, whence a large quantity of culm is shipped by means of jetties. Cyfern is a handsome residence occupying a pleasant situation. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £4. 13. 9., endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; present net income, £137; impropriator, George Augustus Harries, Esq. The tithes have been commuted for £299. 17., of which £200 are payable to the impropriator, and £99. 17. to the vicar: a glebe of 2½ acres, valued at £6 per annum, belongs to the incumbent. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a plain neat edifice without a tower, consisting only of a nave and chancel, and containing a chaste monument to the memory of the Rev. John Grant, a former vicar. There were anciently two chapels of ease, both now in ruins; one at Hilton, a mile south of the church; and the other, called Caradoc's chapel, at Trêvran, about a mile and a half distant from it, on the margin of the bay, probably erected to commemorate the spot where the corpse of St. Caradoc rested on its way for interment at St. David's. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyan Methodists, and the Independents hold a Sunday school in a farmhouse. John, third son of the Rev. John Grant, bequeathed £500 for the endowment of a free school here, the interest of which sum, £18, is paid to the master of a day school for boys and girls, who receives also £2 in fees; the school is carried on in a cottage on the glebe-land, by the permission of the vicar, and the master is appointed by the vicar and churchwardens, who also nominate the children. Another school, for girls, is partly supported by subscription. Mrs. Fluerton, in 1700, bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 to the poor, but it is at present unproductive.
The remains of the castle form an interesting and striking object. The structure originally consisted of one stately tower, divided into three stories, each composed of a large apartment, with an elegant smaller apartment, or retiring-room, having an arched roof and an oriel window, both enriched with tracery: the ruins consist of the shell of this tower in a very perfect state. The rock on which it is built is, on the south side, incorporated with the building for nearly half the height, and a huge mass protrudes into the lower apartment. A very extensive prospect is obtained from the tower, commanding the whole of St. Bride's bay, with a great part of the adjacent country, which, however, from the want of wood with the exception only of two or three small patches, is generally destitute of picturesque character.
ROSSETT, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales.—See Gresford.
ROYTON, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales.—See Ryton.
RUABON (RHIW-ABON), a parish, in the union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 5 miles (S. W. by S.) from Wrexham; containing, in 1841, 11,292 inhabitants, of whom 657 were in the township: the population has greatly increased during the last twenty years. This place, which derives its name from its situation on the small river Avon, is distinguished in the Welsh annals on account of a fierce and obstinately contested battle fought in the vicinity, between the forces under Owain Cyveiliog, Prince of Powys, and the English, in which the former obtained a decisive victory. In commemoration of this event, the Welsh prince, who was eminent both as a warrior and a poet, composed a beautiful poem called Hirlas Owain, or "the drinking-horn of Owain," of which an elegant translation by the Rev. Richard Williams is preserved in Pennant's "Tour in North Wales." The parish is situated in a picturesque part of the county, within three miles of the great Holyhead road, and is bounded on the south by the river Dee. The village, which is of considerable size, and of prepossessing appearance, stands on the road from Oswestry to Wrexham and Chester, and seems to have been indebted for its original prosperity to the noble mansion of Wynnstay, in the immediate vicinity, and to owe its present importance chiefly to the mines of ironstone and coal which abound, particularly in the southern and western parts of the parish.
The extensive park of Wynnstay is entered from the village by a plain but handsome gateway of modern erection, opening into a straight avenue nearly a mile in length, composed of lofty trees of ancient growth, in which venerable oak-trees, stately elms, beeches, and chestnuts are intermingled. At the extremity of the avenue is the mansion, the hospitable residence of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., beautifully situated on a fine large lawn, having a noble artificial sheet of water in front, reflecting from its surface the foliage of some majestic trees near its margin. This spacious mansion, which has been erected at different periods, and in various styles of architecture, though wanting unity in its design, is, notwithstanding, a stately pile, possessing, from its extent and substantial elevation, a striking character of simple and unostentatious grandeur. The older portion contains the domestic offices and general apartments for the accommodation of the household. On the wall of a tower within the court of this part of the house is the following Latin inscription, allusive to the name of Wynnstay: "Cui domus est victusque decens, et patria dulcis, sunt satis hæc vitæ, cætera cura labor. Struxit Johannes Wynn, miles et baronettus, A.D. 1706." The more modern part of the building was erected by the first Sir Watkin, and enlarged and modernised by the late (or fifth) baronet. It forms a handsome substantial structure, and comprises several noble apartments, embellished with excellent family portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and some of the best masters, two full-length paintings of Charles II. and his queen, and numerous other paintings of merit; in the drawing-room are several fine marble busts of distinguished characters by Nollekens and others. Adjoining the house is a small edifice, originally built as a theatre, in which, during the festival of Christmas, dramatic performances were exhibited for the amusement of the gentry of the surrounding country, guests of the hospitable proprietor.
The PARK, which is twelve miles in circumference, is enriched with fine timber, and comprehends much variety and beauty of scenery. There are handsome lodges or entrances into it from various parts of the adjacent district; and a new drive, leading to the house from the lodge built of late years on the London road, has added greatly not only to the convenience of access, but to the embellishment of the gounds on the south side. At a short distance from the Hall is a cold bath, near which stands a handsome fluted column, erected after a design by the late Mr. James Wyatt, to the memory of Sir W. W. Wynn, fourth baronet, by his mother. The shaft of the column, which is one hundred feet in height, rests upon a square pedestal, sixteen feet high, ornamented on the faces with festooned wreaths of oakleaves, and at the angles with eagles finely moulded in bronze. The capital is surmounted by an entablature supporting a circular platform, surrounded with an iron balustrade; there is an ascent from within the column by a flight of spiral steps, and the platform has in the centre a circular pedestal, twelve feet high, on which is placed a massive vase of bronze, enriched with goats' heads. Over the door leading to the ascent is a tablet bearing the inscription, "To the memory of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., who died the 29th day of July, MDCCLXXXIX., this column was erected by his affectionate mother, Frances Williams Wynn;" and on the north-east side, in letters of copper, "Filio optimo, Mater Eheu Superstes." Not far from this column is a fine sheet of water, bounded by Wat's Dyke, which here intersects the park, and from which the mansion originally derived the name of Wattstay, changed by Sir John Wynn to its present appellation. The Dyke, which entered the park near its northern boundary, has been levelled in its course through the grounds, but is traceable again on the south side, near Penylan, and crosses the river Dee at its junction with the Ceiriog. By the late improvements, part of Offa's Dyke is now within the limits of the park, which it enters at the second lodge from Ruabon, and leaves near the Waterloo Tower. Near the south-western extremity of the woods is a cenotaph, erected by the late Sir W. W. Wynn, from a design by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, to the memory of his brother officers and soldiers who were slain during the rebellion in Ireland, in 1798. It stands on an eminence overlooking a deep ravine called Nant-y-Bele, "the dingle of the marten," through which the river Dee urges its rapid course along a narrow channel, richly fringed with impending woods. From this building is a magnificent prospect, embracing a large extent of the counties of Carnarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Chester, and Salop; Chirk Castle and its noble park; and the whole of the beautiful Vale of Llangollen, including the stupendous aqueduct of Pont-y-Cysylltau, and the majestic and elevated ruins of Castell Dinas Brân, with the fine range of mountains in the distance.
The PARISH comprises an important part of the Denbighshire coal tract, of which the principal seam of coal is here nine feet thick; and its mineral wealth in coal and iron-ore, particularly in the southern and western parts of it, has caused the establishment of numerous works. At Acrevair, within its limits, the New British Iron Company have three blast furnaces, making about 300 tons of iron weekly, and forges and mills capable of converting that quantity into malleable iron; connected with these are extensive ironstone-works and collieries, and the whole give employment to from 1400 to 1500 men and boys. There are three other blast furnaces in the parish, none of which are now in blast; and at Ponty-Cysylltau are a forge and mill, also out of work. A zinc-work has been established at the Pant; and throughout the parish are numerous country-sale collieries, giving employment to a large population. At Rhôs-y-Medre and Cevn-Mawr, two populous and straggling villages, principally inhabited by the neighbouring miners and by the firemen in the employ of the New British Iron Company, are two manufactories of coarse earthenware, and some excellent quarries of freestone, from which blocks of very large size can be obtained. The Chester and Shrewsbury railway, recently completed, is assisting to develop the resources of the district in the most effectual manner; it has a station at Ruabon, and connects this parish and the parish of Chirk, at Newbridge, by a magnificent viaduct over the Dee, of nineteen arches. Within view of the viaduct, about half a mile higher up the river, the celebrated Ponty-Cysylltau aqueduct carries the Ellesmere and Chester canal across the valley: this canal terminates in the parish, and communicates with the various collieries by means of a tramway three miles and a quarter long. The railway viaduct is described under the head of Llangollen, where also the aqueduct is fully noticed. A branch canal from Pont-yCysylltau, passing along the north bank of the Dee, by the limestone rocks of Trevor and by Llangollen, terminates at Llantysillio, where it receives from the river a supply of water for the whole line of canal. Fairs are held on the last Friday in February, on May 22nd, and November 20th; and a post-office has been established in the village. The powers of the county debt-court of Ruabon, established in 1847, extend over the parishes of Ruabon, Chirk, Erbistock, and Llangollen.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £13. 6. 0½., and endowed with a portion of the great tithes, consisting of one-fourth part of the tithe of corn throughout the whole parish, and the whole of the tithe of hay in several of the hamlets within its limits; present net income, £588, with a glebehouse; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph; impropriators of the rest of the rectorial tithes, Sir W. W. Wynn, and others. The tithes of Ruabon have been commuted for £799 payable to the impropriators, and £440 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious and venerable structure, containing some splendid monuments to the family of Wynn, of which the most ancient is one to the memory of Johannes ab Ellis Eyton, who joined the party of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., and in reward for his eminent services, received from that monarch an extensive grant of lands in this part of the principality. In the same sepulchral chapel, on the south side of the chancel, are the monuments of Henry, tenth son of Sir John Wynn, of Gwydir, ancestor of the present family; he is represented in a standing posture, and on one side is a kneeling figure of his father, and on the other of his wife Jane, daughter of Eyton Evans, by whom the Wynnstay estate was obtained. On the opposite side of the altar is a beautiful monument, by Rysbrach, to the first Sir Watkin, who was killed by a fall from his horse, in 1749; his effigy, in a graceful attitude, is finely sculptured, and his various virtues are recorded in an elegant Latin eulogium, written by Dr. King, of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford. There is also a fine monument, by Nollekens, to Lady Henrietta, first wife of the second Sir Watkin, who died only a few weeks after her marriage, in 1769; on the pedestal is an exquisitely sculptured figure of Hope, reclining on an urn, and on one side is an inscription inclosed within a serpent having the tail in its mouth, emblematical of eternity. The church was thoroughly repaired, in 1772, at the expense of the fourth baronet, who presented an organ, and endowed the office of organist, in 1781, with £40 per annum, and also, on the baptism of his eldest son the late Sir Watkin, gave an elegant font of white marble supported by a tripod of beautiful design. In that portion of the Cevn district called Rhôs-y-Medre, two miles south-west of the village of Ruabon, a church, capable of accommodating 800 persons, was erected and consecrated in 1838; the expense was borne by subscription, aided by grants from the Incorporated Church-Building and the St. Asaph Diocesan Societies, and the family of Wynn have endowed it with £50 per annum. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Wynn family. At Rhôs-Llanerchrugog, four miles northwest of the village of Ruabon, is another incumbency, formed under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37, and in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of St. Asaph, alternately. There are places of worship for General and Particular Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists.
The Rev. John Robinson, incumbent, in 1703, bequeathed the whole of his estate in the hamlet of Moreton, yielding £86 per annum, in trust, to his successors in the benefice, to receive out of the rent £12 for preaching a sermon every Sunday afternoon in the church, and to appropriate the remainder to the support of a free grammar school, to be open to all children of the parish, and under the care of a master appointed by the vicar. He also gave lands at Wrexham, producing £100 per annum, to the vicar, in trust, to pay sixpence per week to nine people of this place, and one of Erbistock, with a gown or coat to each every Christmas, and also to clothe six children from six to twelve years of age; and by a codicil to his will he gave a house and garden, and £50 in money, towards the erection of almshouses for the ten poor people, which he directed to be built near the church. The endowment of the school was augmented in 1711 by Ellis Lloyd, who bequeathed £200 for the maintenance of the master, and for apprenticing poor boys. The schoolroom was erected by the parish in 1632, and, with a residence for the master, adjoins the churchyard; the endowment amounts to about £100 per annum. Another school, a lofty stone building, was erected by subscription about 1825 near the market-place, on ground given by Sir W. W. Wynn; and had an endowment of £25. 18., arising from a moiety of an estate given by Griffith Hughes, amounting to £20. 18. a year, and from the interest of a bequest of £100 by Hugh Parry. This school, which was for boys, and a girls' school founded by Lady Harriet W. Wynn, are now merged in a new and handsome National school for boys and girls, erected at the entrance of the village, with aid from the Committee of Council on Education, and from the National Society. A National school has been some time established in connexion with Rhôs-y-Medre church; there is a British school at the same densely-peopled place, and National and British schools are also held at Rhôs-Llanerchrugog, another populous district. At Bryn is a school with a small endowment, and the parish contains fourteen Sunday schools.
The Rev. Richard Davies, vicar, in 1740, bequeathed an estate in the Vale of Clwyd, producing £42 per annum, for the erection and endowment of four almshouses for so many men and women. With Robinson's ten, and four others added since, the almshouses are now eighteen in number, and the inmates receive a weekly allowance of two shillings and sixpence each, with clothing and coal; the income, including the proceeds of a bequest of £200 by the Rev. Robert Saunders, amounts to £155 per annum. There are likewise four houses at Nant-yGwalia, in the parish, erected in 1782, by Mrs. Rowland, of Plâs Bennion, who vested the nomination of the almspeople in her heirs. Numerous other charitable donations and bequests have been at various times and by different benefactors made to the poor, amounting to more than £2000; a part has been vested in the purchase of estates, and the whole produces a very considerable income, which is regularly distributed in money, clothing, and food. The principal of them is a grant of twenty grey coats and sixty-three white flannel gowns by Sir John Wynn, and Jane Hughes of St. Giles in the Fields; these cost about £34, and are given away every year by the agent of Sir Watkin. About £66 per annum arise from what are called the Consolidated Charities; and in addition to this, bread to the amount of £12. 8. 8. a year, is weekly divided among the poor, chiefly from a bequest by William Eyton, in 1636; also blankets to the number of eighteen pairs annually, the produce of a bequest of £100 by Thomas Griffiths, in 1826. There is also a fund derived from bequests of £200 each by Ellis Lloyd (already alluded to) and the Rev. Richard Davies, with which certain property was purchased in the parish of Llangadwaladr, now producing £30 per annum; half of this sum is paid to the master of the grammar school, and with the other moiety two boys are put out apprentices annually with fees of £7. 10. each. Edward Lloyd, Esq., in 1382 left £100, the interest to be distributed among twenty widows on the 29th of November, being his birthday. Hugh Parry had left £56 for a similar purpose previously. There are some small bequests for a distribution of coal; and a few minor charities have been lost, having been lent on insufficient security.
Offa's Dyke and Wat's Dyke both intersect the parish, and in their courses approach within a quarter of a mile of each other, near the village, but diverge as they are traced either northward or southward, so as shortly to leave an interval of several miles. Various vegetable impressions, and a great variety of petrifactions are found in the mines, and also near the river Dee in the southern portion of the parish. The Rev. Peter Roberts, A.M., M.P.S., the learned editor of the Collectanea Cambrica, and author of the "Early History of the Cymry, or Ancient Britons," and other works, resided in the parish.
RUDBAXTON, a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3 miles (N.) from Haverfordwest; containing 649 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the turnpike-road leading from Haverfordwest to Fishguard, and is watered by the Western Cleddy, as well as by the Rhâth brook, which flows into that river. It is surrounded by the parishes of Prendergast, Camrhôs, Trevgarn, Spittal, and Wiston; and contains by computation about 4000 acres, of which 2000 are pasture, a large portion arable, and 60 acres woodland, the prevailing timber consisting of oak, ash, and fir. The surface is generally flat, and the soil of a good quality, producing the usual crops of wheat, barley, and oats. There are two small flour-mills. It is enlivened by two gentlemen's seats, of cheerful aspect; Wythy Bush, a good family mansion pleasantly situated; and Poyston. The petty-sessions for the hundred were held at the New Bridge in the parish, prior to their removal to Haverfordwest.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £15. 4. 2., and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; present net income, £199. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, consists of two aisles, with a square tower at the west end, of an unknown date, and is in length sixty-three feet, and in breadth thirty-three; in the interior is a freestone monument of the Haward family, of Heatherhill, the figures of which are nearly as large as life. Opposite to the entrance of the churchyard is one of those large mounds so frequently found in this part of the principality, but of which the use has not been clearly ascertained. There were formerly two chapels of ease, one in honour of St. Margaret, and the other of St. Catherine; but both are now in ruins. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Independents, with a Sunday school held in each of them. A National day school is supported, for which a handsome schoolroom with a master's house has been lately built by means of grants from the Committee of Council and the National Society, together with voluntary contributions. There is also a day school connected with the Baptists, having an endowment of £4 a year. Thomas Haward, by deed, gave a rent-charge of £2, which is paid by the corporation of Haverfordwest to poor housekeepers of Rudbaxton not receiving parochial relief; and children from this place have a claim to be received into Haward's or Tasker's free school at that town. About three miles north-east of Haverfordwest, within the limits of this parish, is a hill on which is an encampment, called by the country people "the Rhâth." Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton, G.C.B., who fell in the battle of Waterloo, is generally supposed to have been a native of the parish, but, really, was born at Haverfordwest; the family mansion, Poyston, being in course of erection at the time.
RUDDRY (YR-YW-DRE), a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Caerphilly, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 8 miles (N. by E.) from Cardiff; containing 328 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the number of yew-trees in the vicinity of the village, is situated in a mountain valley in the eastern part of the county, and comprises 2040 acres of land, of which a considerable portion is uninclosed and uncultivated. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits. The scenery is pleasingly varied, and enlivened by the river Romney, which forms the eastern boundary of the parish; and from the higher grounds are some richly-diversified views over the adjacent country, embracing a portion of the picturesque county of Monmouth. Lead-ore has been found in the white limestone of the parish, and a company was formed in 1840 for extracting it; but after employing some miners from North Wales, and exhausting their pecuniary resources, the adventurers abandoned the work. Large quantities of lime, however, are burnt, and coal is raised for the use of the neighbourhood. The living is consolidated with the rectory of Bedwas, in Monmouthshire: the tithes, payable to the Bishop of Llandaf, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £100, and there is a glebe of two acres, valued at £2 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. James, is not remarkable for any architectural details. A place of worship for Independents was lately built, and a day and Sunday National school is held. C. Edward Edmond, in 1743, bequeathed £2 per annum to the poor, which has not been paid for the last forty years, owing to the provisions of the Mortmain Act. Here is a mineral spring, which is said to have been highly efficacious in curing diseases of the eye, but it is of little note at present.
RÛG, a chapelry, in the parish and poor-law union of Corwen, hundred of Edeyrnion, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 1½ mile (W. by N.) from Corwen, with which the population is returned. This place is situated on the turnpike-road from Corwen to Ruthin, and between the beautiful vales of Edeyrnion and Glyndyvrdwy. It anciently formed a lordship, and is memorable for the treachery practised on Grufydd ab Cynan, King of North Wales, who, after his victory at Carno, in the year 1077, was inveigled to Rûg by the artifices of Meirion Gôch, by whom he was betrayed into the power of Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, and Hugh Belesme, Earl of Shrewsbury. Hence Grufydd was conveyed to the castle of Chester, in which he remained a prisoner for twelve years, till he was at length released by the enterprising bravery of a young man of this neighbourhood, named Cynric Hîr, who, going to Chester under pretence of purchasing goods, contrived, while the keepers were feasting, to carry away his prince, loaded with chains, upon his back, and convey him to a place of safety. The lordship afterwards came into the possession of Owain Brogyntyn, natural son of Madoc ab Meredydd, Prince of Powys; whose great merit procured for him an equal share in the inheritance of that prince with his legitimate brothers. It subsequently passed by marriage with the heiress of Ievan Hywel, one of his descendants, to Pyers Salusbury, of Bâchymbyd. After the attainder of Owain Glyndwr in the reign of Henry IV., the lordship of Glyndyvrdwy, or Glyndwrdwy, was purchased from that monarch by Robert, a descendant of the Salusbury family, which existed in the male line till the last century. The house and demesnes of Rûg are now the property of G. H. Vaughan, Esq., who, in 1807, succeeded his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel E. W. Vaughan, who had assumed the name of Salusbury, a distinguished officer in the Guards, who died in Sicily, and to whose memory a monument was erected at Syracuse, by his fellow officers. A short time before his decease, the ancient mansion was taken down and rebuilt by that gentleman. The present house is a handsome structure; it is pleasantly situated, and in the grounds is an artificial mound, which was probably once the site of a small fortress. The chapel, founded by Colonel William Salusbury, governor of Denbigh Castle during the parliamentary war, is a neat edifice, appropriately fitted up.
RULEN (RHULEN), a parochial chapelry, in the union of Builth, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, 7 miles (E. by S.) from Builth; containing 129 inhabitants. Its surface is hilly, and its soil for the most part barren, the whole consisting of about five hundred acres of inclosed and three hundred of uninclosed land; it is skirted on the west by the river Edwy. In civil matters it forms an independent place, but, ecclesiastically, is regarded as a chapelry consolidated with the vicarage of Glâscomb, within the limits of which parish it was formerly included, the inhabitants having certain sittings appropriated to their use in the mother church, to the repairs of which they still contribute. In the king's books it is described as a chapel to Glâscomb, of the certified value of £4. 13. 4. The tithes have been commuted for £82. 10., of which a sum of £49. 10. is payable to the Bishop of St. David's as appropriator, and £33 to the vicar. The chapel, dedicated to St. David, is a small plain structure, situated about three-quarters of a mile from the river. Ten shillings per annum were left by some unknown benefactor; but the principal, £10, was divided among the poor about half a century since.
Ruthin (Rhudd-Ddin or Rhuthyn)
RUTHIN (RHUDDDDIN or RHUTHYN), a borough, a market and assize town, a parish, and the head of a poor-law union, in the hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 8 miles (S. E. by S.) from Denbigh, and 210 (N. W. by W.) from London; the borough containing 3333 inhabitants, of whom 1331 are in the parish. The Welsh name of this borough, Castell Côch yn Gwernvor, has induced historians to conclude that there was an ancient British fortress here, prior to the time of Edward I., who is said to have been the founder of the present castle, which, from the colour of the stone, obtained the appellation of Rhûdd-ddin, "the red or brown fortress," from which the town also derived its present name, or rather from the stratum of red sandstone pervading the parish. Edward granted the place, together with the cantrêv of Dyfryn Clwyd, and some other lands now constituting the lordship of Ruthin, to Reginald, second son of John de Grey, by whom some historians, and among them Camden, assert that the castle and the town were both originally founded, by permission of that monarch. The castle and lordship of Ruthin remained for several generations in the undisturbed possession of the family of de Grey; and the town, which, under their protection, continued to advance in prosperity, became at an early period a considerable place, and had one of the best markets in the Vale of Clwyd. Little, however, is recorded of the history of the castle, which appears to have been wholly unconnected with any of the political transactions of the conquest of Wales. Reginald de Grey was summoned to parliament in the fourteenth year of the reign of King Edward I., by the title of Lord Grey of Ruthin.
In 1400, Owain Glyndwr, who, in resistance to the government of Henry IV., spread devastation through almost every part of the principality which acknowledged the authority of that monarch, made a sudden attack upon this place during the fair which was held here, and, after some fruitless attempts to take the castle, plundered the inhabitants, burnt the town, and retreated in safety to the mountains. The castle and the lordship continued with the Lords de Grey, whom Edward IV. elevated to the earldom of Kent, till the reign of Henry VII., when they were sold by Richard, Earl of Kent, to the king, and were made an appendage to the crown. Henry VIII. granted the castle and its dependencies to his natural son Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, at whose death they again became royal property, and were bestowed by Queen Elizabeth on Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick. After the earl's death, the possessions, a second time reverting to the crown, were assigned on lease by James I. to Sir Francis Crane, to whom they were subsequently sold in the time of Charles I.
During the parliamentary war in the reign of this monarch, the castle was garrisoned for the king, and in 1644 was attacked by Sir Thomas Myddelton and Colonel Mytton, but resolutely held out against the besiegers, who found themselves unable to reduce it. In the following year, 1645, Prince Maurice passed through the place, and, after inspecting the garrison, continued his route through North Wales to Chester. The castle was again besieged in February 1646, by Major-General Mytton and a strong force, to whom, after an obstinate defence, the garrison surrendered on honourable terms, in the month of April following; and the fortifications were soon afterwards demolished by order of the parliament. Upon the Restoration, the castle and its dependencies were purchased by Sir Richard Myddelton. To the ruins of the former an elegant castellated mansion was some years ago added by the Hon. Frederick West, which is now the residence of his son, F. R. West, Esq., M.P. for the Denbighshire boroughs, who possesses the lordship.
This parish and that of Llanrhûdd, which were originally one, and are still ecclesiastically so considered, are bounded on the south by the parish of Llanvair, east by the same and that of Llanarmonin-Yale, west by Llanvwrog, and north by Llanbedr. They contain by admeasurement 1989 acres, of which it is computed that about one-third is in the parish of Ruthin, and two-thirds are in that of Llanrhûdd; 1220 acres being arable, 596 meadow and pasture, 90 woodland, and 83 common. The surface is beautifully diversified, the eastern part of Llanrhûdd embracing a portion of the Clwydian hills, and the western part of Ruthin the meanderings of the river Clwyd, with the fertile and luxuriant meadows on its banks. The hedge-rows are of stately timber, consisting of oak, ash, and American poplar, some of which have arrived at a great size; and the agricultural produce is equally rich and abundant, yielding fine crops of wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips, together with grass and hay.
The town is beautifully situated on the summit and acclivity of an eminence in the picturesque Vale of Clwyd, at the base of which, and partly through the town, flows the river from which the vale takes its name, at this place an inconsiderable stream, serving only to work some mills in the neighbourhood. The appearance of the town, which is wellbuilt, is pleasing; and the vicinity is embellished with several gentlemen's seats, and comprehends some varied scenery. It is bounded by a chain of lofty mountains, upon the highest of which, called Moel Vammau, is a pillar of freestone, to commemorate the Jubilee of George III. No particular trade or manufacture is carried on, except what is necessary for the accommodation of the inhabitants, who are principally engaged in agriculture. It has been for some time in contemplation to make the river Clwyd navigable from this place to the town of Rhuddlan, sixteen miles distant; a project that might be carried into effect at a comparatively inconsiderable expense, and would conduce materially to promote the prosperity of the town. The market, which is abundantly supplied with corn, is on Monday, and there is a second market on Saturday for provisions. Fairs are held on the second Monday after the 12th of January (a general one for horses, cattle, pigs, &c.), on March 19th and 20th, the Friday before Whit-Sunday, on the 19th and 20th of April, the 2nd and 3rd of July, 8th August, 30th September, 10th November, and the second Monday in December (a general fair for the sale of horses, cattle, &c.). Those in April and July were established agreeably with a resolution passed at a meeting of the inhabitants, held under the sanction of the mayor and council, Jan. 12th, 1841. During the hay and corn harvests, the farmers of the Vale of Clwyd attend every morning at the market-place to hire labourers for the day, who assemble here for that purpose, with their scythes and reaping-hooks; a custom productive of evil both to the employer and the employed, the weather and the number of hands often occasioning a difference of two shillings a day.
Prior to the passing of the act 5th and 6th of William IV., c. 76, the government of the borough was vested, by charter of incorporation granted by Henry VII., in two aldermen, sixteen commoncouncilmen, and an indefinite number of burgesses: the aldermen were chosen annually at the court held for the lordship, at Michaelmas; and they, immediately on assuming office, appointed the councilmen. The corporation is now styled the "Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses," and consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, forming the council of the borough, of which the municipal and parliamentary boundaries are the same. The council elect the mayor every year on Nov. 9th, out of the aldermen or councillors; and the aldermen sexennially out of the councillors, or persons qualified as such, one-half going out of office every three years, but being re-eligible: the councillors are chosen on November 1st, by and out of the enrolled burgesses, one-third retiring annually. Aldermen and councillors must each have a property qualification of £500, or be rated at £15 annual value. The burgesses consist of the occupiers of houses and shops who have been rated for three years to the relief of the poor. Two auditors and two assessors are elected on March 1st, by and from among the burgesses; and the council appoint a treasurer, town-clerk, and other officers, who hold their offices during pleasure.
Ruthin is one of the contributory boroughs which, with Denbigh, return a member to parliament. The right of voting, under the Reform Act, is in the old resident freemen, and in every 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 ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act demands; the number of tenements of this value, within the limits of the borough, is about 140. The exact limits of the borough are not clearly defined in the charter, but by prescription are held to comprise the whole of the parish of Ruthin, part of that of Llanvwrog, the hamlet of Llanrhûdd Isâv, in the parish of Llanrhûdd, and part of the parishes of Llanynys and Llanvair-Dyfryn-Clwyd. Ruthin is a polling-place in the election of the knights for the shire; and, from its central situation, has been selected, in preference to the town of Denbigh, for holding the assizes for the county: the quarter-sessions are held alternately here and at Denbigh. The powers of the county debt-court of Ruthin, established in the year 1847, extend over the whole of the registrationdistrict of Ruthin, except four parishes, which are under the Denbigh debt-court. A court leet for the lordship occurs twice a year, namely, within one month after Easter and after Michaelmas; and a court baron takes place every alternate Saturday; at both which the steward presides: the latter is also a court of record, taking cognizance of plaints and civil actions arising within the limits of the lordship; and the offices of steward and recorder of this court, when the lordship belonged to the crown, were patent offices.
The town-hall, situated near the market-place, is a substantial edifice, but in no respect remarkable for its style of architecture. Prior to the erection of the county-hall, in the town, it was used for holding occasionally the great and quarter sessions, but is now used solely for the meetings of the corporation, which take place in the council-chamber, and for the lordship courts, &c. This building has been most handsomely repaired, at the expense of the owner of the manor. The county-hall, in which the great sessions are held, and the quarter-sessions alternately with Denbigh, is a beautiful modern structure, and, with the county gaol and house of correction, also situated here, is highly creditable to the talents of the architect, Mr. Turner. The gaol has lately been enlarged by the erection of a building for female prisoners, and comprises six distinct wards for male, and four wards for female, prisoners, for whose classification it is thus well adapted; together with six solitary cells. The males are employed on the tread-wheel, or in knitting worsted gloves, and the females in washing for themselves and the other prisoners; the former are allowed the whole of their earnings in knitting, and the females receive one shilling per week for washing, and fourpence in every shilling which they earn by sewing. There are two infirmaries in the prison. Divine service is performed twice, and a sermon delivered once, on every Sunday by the chaplain; and prayers are read daily by the chaplain or the gaoler to the prisoners, who are supplied gratuitously with Bibles and religious tracts.
The living is a rectory, consolidated with that of Llanrhûdd. The tithes of the two parishes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £462. 1., forming the endowment of Christ's Hospital, in Ruthin; the warden of that establishment is the principal minister of both churches, and appoints a curate to each, who is responsible to him for its spiritual care, the prescribed duties of his office requiring him only occasionally to share in their labours. The patronage of the wardenship is in the Dean and Chapter of Westminster; net income, £263, with a glebe-house. This place forms the head of the rural deanery of Dyfryn Clwyd. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, was made collegiate and parochial about the year 1310, by John, son of Reginald de Grey, who endowed it for a prior, or warden, and a few regular priests, to perform mass at the mother church of Llanrhûdd, the chapel at the castle, and this church. It is still not unfrequently called "the Collegiate and Parochial Church of St. Peter," retaining its name prior to its being refounded by Dean Goodman. It is an ancient edifice in various styles of architecture, and appears to have been built at different periods, or to have undergone material alterations. The tower, and the south and west fronts, which are of the most modern date, are greatly inferior to the rest of the building. The interior is of better character, and the roof, which is of carved oak, panelled, richly sculptured, and apparently of the time of Henry VII., is supposed to have been constructed by that monarch after his purchase of the lordship from the Earl of Kent; on the panels are the inscriptions, in relief, "Jesus Mercy," "Lady help," "Mater Maria, ora pro nobis." One hundred and forty-four sittings were added in the year 1824, towards defraying the expense of which, the Incorporated Society for the erection and enlargement of churches and chapels granted the sum of £50, in consideration of which ninety sittings were declared free and unappropriated. There is an organ, presented by the Hon. F. West; and a vestry-room, with a library, has been built at the west end of the church, at the expense of the present warden. Here are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and English Independents.
The Free Grammar-school was founded in 1595, by Dr. Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster, and was endowed by Queen Elizabeth, in the same year, with one-half (now £300) of the tithes of Llanelidan, for the support of a master and usher, for the gratuitous instruction of boys born in the town of Ruthin and parish of Llanelidan, and the instruction of others at certain charges; the master to be appointed by the Bishop of Bangor, and the warden of Christ's Hospital in this town, and the usher to be chosen by the master. The master's house, the schoolroom, and dormitories, and library above, were repaired and improved in 1831, by means of donations from the bishop, the warden, and the master, and other liberal contributions, which are recorded on a card in the schoolroom. Two-thirds of the endowment are paid to the head master, and one-third to the usher, under a decree of the Court of Chancery in 1750; and the same proportion is observed with regard to the tuition money of the pay scholars, which amounts to above £7 per annum for each. The number of free scholars averages about 15, and each of these, also, pays above £4. 10. a year. The school has two exhibitions to either of the Universities, under the regulation of a decree of the Court of Chancery in 1824 (hereafter noticed), which are in the gift of the warden of Christ's Hospital, and other trustees; and other exhibitions instituted by the Rev. Edward Lloyd, rector of Ripple, the number of which varies from two to four, according to the fluctuating income of the estate purchased with his pecuniary bequest, in 1740. That bequest produced the sum of £1247. 9., with which was bought the messuage of Carreglwyd and 69¼ acres of land, since extended to nearly 79 acres by an allotment on Mold mountain, in the parish of Mold, county of Flint, and now yielding a rent of £100 per annum. Each exhibition is £25, but occasionally only £20; and is held by the scholar for four years. Ruthin school has likewise a claim, in conjunction with the school of Bangor, to a fellowship founded in St. John's College, Cambridge, by Dr. John Gwyn, in the 13th of the reign of Elizabeth. Among the eminent men who have received the rudiments of their education in the school, may be noticed, Dr. John Davies, author of a Welsh grammar and dictionary; John Williams, lord keeper, and Archbishop of York; John Wynne, principal of Jesus' College, Oxford, and successively Bishop of St. Asaph, and of Bath and Wells; Dr. Tucker, Dean of Gloucester; the Right Hon. Lloyd, Lord Kenyon; the Hon. Mr. Baron Perryn; Lord Chief Baron Richards; Dr. H. Owen, rector of St. Olave, Hart Street, London; Dr. Edwards, archdeacon of Brecknock; and Dr. Cotton, Dean of Chester. The present warden is the Venerable R. Newcome, archdeacon of Merioneth, who has written Memoirs of Dean Goodman, the founder, and Dr. Godfrey Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester, nephew of the dean; and is author also of histories of the castles and towns of Denbigh and Ruthin. A very handsome new National school has been built, capable of containing 200 children: the school has an endowment of £8 a year. There is an equally fine building, erected in Llanrhûdd parish, at the entrance of the town of Ruthin, for the education of children on the British and Foreign system; and five Sunday schools are held in the two parishes.
Christ's Hospital was founded by Dr. Goodman, Dean of Westminster, under letters patent of the 32nd of Elizabeth, for a priest and twelve poor persons (ten men, and two women to attend them), all unmarried at the time of election, and above fifty years of age. Dr. Goodman, prior to this time, had erected twelve almshouses for so many persons; and by letters patent of the above date he incorporated the society under the designation of the "President and Warden of Christ's Hospital, in Ruthin," and endowed the same with the tithes of Ruthin and Llanrhûdd; appointing the Bishop of Bangor for the time being president, and the priest, warden. These two have the entire government of the hospital, and also of the grammar school instituted by the same benefactor. The houses, which are in good repair, are pleasantly situated on the east side of the churchyard, with gardens, and the almspeople receive each three shillings every week, and £1 quarterly, with coal, and gowns and shoes every year; these additions being the produce of various benefactions.
Dr. Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester, in 1655, bequeathed lands in Yale, to the extent of 60 acres, to which an allotment of 44 acres was added under the Llanarmon-in-Yale inclosure act of the 51st of George III.; and also bequeathed lands in the county of Carnarvon; the produce of the former, now £55 per annum, to be distributed weekly in bread to the poor of Ruthin, and the rents of the lands in Carnarvon to be appropriated in apprenticing two boys, and to the support of a traveller beyond the seas. The latter bequest, which consisted of two farms, one of 150 acres and the other of 546, in the parish of Llanberis, the former let for £40 and the latter for £70 per annum, was converted by a decree of the Court of Chancery, in 1824, into the two abovementioned exhibitions for the grammar school, instead of supporting a traveller; the funds have been greatly increased by the opening of slate-quarries on the property (on which account a sum of £800 has accumulated in the three per cents.), and will now apprentice three boys with fees of £15 each, and allow of two exhibitions to college of £22. 10. each, besides leaving a surplus of nearly £40 per annum. There are several other charitable donations and bequests, the produce of which, about £17 per annum, is distributed among the poor, in money and clothing, on St. Thomas's day. The poor-law union of which the town is the head, comprises the following twenty-one parishes and townships, namely, Aberwhielor, Clocaenog, Cyfeiliog, Derwen, Evenechtyd, Llanarmon, Llanbedr, Llandegla, Llandyrnog, Llanelidan, Llangwyvan, Llangynhaval, Llanrhaiadr-inKinmerch, Llanrhûdd, Llanvair-Dyfryn-Clwyd, Llanverras, Llanvwrog, Llanychan, Llanynys, Nantglyn, and Ruthin. It contains a population, according to the last census, of 16,619.
The ancient castle occupied the declivity of a hill fronting the Vale of Clwyd towards the west, and from the extensive foundations and remaining portions of the walls, appears to have been a structure of great strength and magnificence: the remains consist chiefly of a few fragments of the towers, and of ruined walls nearly levelled with the foundation. From various parts of the site are rich and extensive prospects, embracing many interesting objects. Near the town-hall is a rude block of limestone, called Maen Huail, on which it is said the celebrated Prince Arthur beheaded his rival Huail, brother to Gildas, the historian. Ruthin mill, a curious ancient edifice, having on the apex of the eastern gable a red stone cross, is supposed to have been originally the chapel of the cell of White friars, mentioned by Leland as formerly existing here, but of which no records are preserved. Notice is also taken of a cell of Bonhommes, at this place, probably the original establishment for which John de Grey, with the consent of the Bishop of Bangor and the rector of Llanrhûdd, made the church collegiate: the apartments of the canons were connected with the church by a cloister, a remaining portion of which has been converted into a house for the warden of Christ's Hospital: the parlours and hall are much admired for their beautifully groined roofs. The elegant castellated mansion erected by the Hon. F. West, on the site of the ancient castle, forms an interesting and beautiful feature in the prospect of the town.
Dr. Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster, one of the translators of Archbishop Parker's Bible, and principal promoter of Bishop Morgan's Welsh translation; Edward Thelwall, tutor to Lord Herbert of Chirbury; Dr. Parry, Bishop of St. Asaph; Dr. Godfrey Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester; Sir Eubule Thelwall, Knt., principal, and second founder, of Jesus' College, Oxford; and Sir Thomas Exmewe, lord mayor of London in 1517, were all natives of this place. The barony of Grey de Ruthin is at present enjoyed by Barbara, daughter of the late baron, whom she succeeded in the year of her birth, 1810: this lady was married first to the second Marquess of Hastings, who died in 1844; and secondly, in 1845, to Captain Hastings Reginald Henry, R.N., her present husband.
RYTON, a township, in the union of Wrexham, in that part of the parish of Bangor-Iscoed which is in the hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, in North Wales, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Wrexham; containing 78 inhabitants. It is situated on the north-western side of the river Dee; and the population is exclusively agricultural.