Symud i'r prif gynnwys

" Old Brecknock Chips." baronet failed of male issue. The Williamses of Corndon, a Gloucestershire family, next inherited, but male issue failed again with Sir David "Williams, who died and was buried at Clifford Church, January 21, 1798, and the property then descended to the third baronet (Williams of Eltham), created by Charles II. in 1674, to whom he was private physician. The last baronet, Sir Edward Williams, who resided at Llangoed Castle, was twice married, and by his first wife, the daughter of a London merchant, he had a son and daughter. The son died early (1800), and Sir Edward died at Clifton in 1804. Mary, the daughter and heiress left behind, married Thomas Wood, Esq., of Littleton, Middlesex, whose son, the late Colonel Wood, represented the county of Brecknock for 40 years [temp., 1806-1847) and the present representative of the Gwernyfed family is Thomas Wood, Esq., who married in 1883, the Hon. Rhona Tollemache, only daughter of Lord and Lady Tollemache, of Helmingham, Cheshire. The new mansion of Gwernyfed (close to Three Cocks Junction) is certainly one of the finest in Brecon - shire. It was commenced in 1877, and completed in 1880. It is in the Queen Anne style, truly a noble pile, set on a commanding and picturesque spot, though hid in trees from the general gaze of railway passengers. It is a little distance from the old mansion, now a homestead. Sir David Williams, of Ystradfellte, along with the Games family, claimed descent through Einon Sais and Bleddyn ap Maenarch from Cradog Fraich- fras, one of Arthur's knights (sixth century). In the Vicar's Chapel, Priory Church, Brecknock, on a high tomb, is a beautiful recumbent sepulchral effigy in marble or alabaster of Judge Williams and his wife. He is represented in his judge's robes ; the hands lie on the breast, and the head reposes on a tasselled cushion. Lady Williams has the partlet headdress, wears a ruff around the neck, and is habited in a gown with ample skirt, over which is worn a rich stomacher buttoned in front of the dress. The sleeves are full at the shoulders, and cuffed at the wrists with small ruffs; a chain is worn over the shoulders and hangs down in front of the neck. Sir David Williams, by will dated loth January, 1612, bequeathed the great tithes of Gwenddwr to charitable purposes in various parishes in the county of Brecknock, and amongst the bequests are the following :—" 10s. for a sermon on Whit-Sunday at Ystradfellte ; 30s. in bread to the poor of that parish also." Under a decree of 1753, the amount for the Ystradfellte sermon was increased to 20s., and £4 worth of bread in lieu of the 30s. worth. In 1835 the Gwenddwr tithes brought into this charity £139 Is. 0d., and the cost of the Ystradfellte sermon in that year was £1 12s. ljd. (the ljd. tickles one's fancy !), and £6 8s. 6d. is devoted annually to bread distribution amongst the Ystradfellte poor. In a necessarily short account of this illustrious family one can only glance at some of the chief events in its history, but we could not satisfactorily conclude it without remembering that that unlucky monarch, King Charles I., wrote the famous letter to his son "to prepare for the worst," from Breck¬ nock Castle, on his flight from Cardiff, and we find the hapless monarch on the morning of August 7, 1645, dining on the way at Gwernyfed, "Sir Henry Williams's house and faire seat in Brecknockshire." Another representative of the family, the late Colonel Wood, M.P., entertained King George IV. at the Priory, Brecknock, on his Majesty's arrival in the town on the 13th of September, 1821, and at pp. 71-2 of The Illustrated History and Biography of Brecknockshire (published in 1886) will be found an interesting letter written by the gallant member for Brecknock county, giving an account of the Royal visit. Colonel Wood, too, was one of the executors to the late King William IV.'s "last will and testament." Colonel Charles Wood was a Waterloo veteran ; General Sir David Wood commanded the artillery of the 4th Division at the battles of Bala¬ clava and Inkermann; and the present squire's father commanded the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadiers in the Crimean War. The present squire was also a commissioned officer until recently in the Grenadier Guards, and served a few years ago in the Egyptian Campaign. Sir Alexander Wood, another uncle, is now vice-chairman of the Great Western Railway Company, and a son of Sir Alexander's now commands the 10th Hussars. Ystradfellte need well be proud of this distinguished and ancient family, and of Sir David Williams, the judge, in particular. Cawton tfoiise, Brecknock Edwin Poole. FEIDAY, OCTOBER 14th, 1887. I.—THE PRIORY MANSION AND ITS OWNERS. Together let us beat this ample field, Try what the open, what the covert yield ! The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar ; Eye nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise. The Peioey in Beenaed Newmabch's Days. The Priory Mansion has, undoubtedly, seen better days in the Past—in fact, ages ago we find it one of the first mansions in the county. Originally it was part and parcel of Bernard Newmarch's great scheme, when he shifted the town moorings from Caer Vong, where ancient Brecon dwelt on the earlier Roman station of Caer Bannium, to the confluence of the Usk, Tarrell, and Honddu. About a.d. 1090, well- nigh 800 years ago, Bernard Newmarch built Brecon Castle, Brecon Priory, and the fine old Norman Church that exists unto this day. The present Priory Mansion formed part and parcel of old Breck¬ nock Priory, and the transformation of a confessedly rehgious house into a country gentleman's seat, was brought about in the time of that English despot, Henry VIII. From about 1090 till 1537 the Priory, as its name implies, was a monkish establishment, rich and well-endowed, and held during this long period of 500 years by a long line of fat, and, we trust, respectable Priors, of whom the last was named Robert Haider (or Salder). Beenaed de Newmaech. Bernard de Newmarch must have been a stern, boisterous, commanding old knight: an implacable enemy, and not over-scrupulous in rewarding his faithful followers by attaching other peoples' goods. He robbed Peter to pay Paul: he fleeced the early native Princes of Brecon of all they possessed, and he installed his favourites in their places. Thus grew up the Norman famines of Breconshire ; they neither planted nor sowed, they stole and plundered. Whilst dwelling on this earthly scene, Bernard de Newmarch would appear to have been pretty well and fully engaged in the serious pastimes of con¬ quering, murdering, building, praying, endowing. "For the peace of his soul," as the old Terrorizer