Robert Williams.

A biographical dictionary of eminent Welshmen, from the earliest times to the present, and including every name connected with the ancient history of Wales .. online

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Online LibraryRobert WilliamsA biographical dictionary of eminent Welshmen, from the earliest times to the present, and including every name connected with the ancient history of Wales .. → online text (page 40 of 70)
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of the territories of his brothers lorwerth and Cadwgan, who were
both slain in 1109. Henry I. having invaded Wales in 1118, Mered-
ydd defended the passes into Powys with great judgment and success,
though he was deserted by Grufiydd ab Cynan, the reigning prince of
North Wales ; and the king was struck by an arrow in the breast,
which the excellence of his armour alone prevented from being fatal,
and which he said came not from a Welsh, but an English bow. Upon
this Meredydd readily obtained peace on the payment of a small sum
of money and a thousand head of cattle. He was a prince of great
spirit and abilties, but his ambitious policy to unite the divisions
of Powys, led him to great cruelties and oppression, many of his near
relatives being put to death by him. The date of his decease is variously
stated, one of the Welsh Chronicles, entitled Brut y Tywysogion, says
that it occurred in 1124, in his old age, ** a circumstance of rare occur-
rence in the family of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn." The other Chronicle,
"Brut y Saeson," places his decease in 1120. (My v. Arch. ii. 556.)

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Meredydd was twice married ; by his first wife Hunydd^ the daughter
of Eunydd ab Gwemwy, the head of one of the fifteen tribes of North
WaleSy he had several children : by the second, Eva, the daughter of
Bledrws ab Ednywain, and grand- daughter of Ednywaia Bendew, he
had a son named lorwerth Goch, who married Maud daughter of Ro-
ger de Manley, by whom he was father to Sir Grufiydd Vychan, lord
of Crigion and Bergedyryn. On the death of Meredydd, Powys was
again divided by Gavelkind between his eldest son Madog, and his
grandson Owain Cy veiliog, the son of his younger son Grufiydd, who
died before him. Madoj^s share was called from him Powys Vadog,
and the other moiety Powys Wenv^ynwyn from Gwenwynwyn, the
son of Owain CyveiHog.

MEREDYDD (AB DAVYDD VYCHAN,) a poet who flourished
from 1520 to 1560.

flourished between 1470 and 1500. Some of his compositions are pre-
served in manuscript.

MEREDYDD (AB RHOSSER,) a poet who flourished between
1450 and 1480. He was president of the Glamorgan Gorsedd in 1470,
Some of his poems are preserved in manuscript.

MEREDYDD (AB RHYS,) an eminent poet who flourished be-
tween 1430 and 1460. He was a clergyman, and lived at Ruabon in
Denbighshire, and was the poetical tutor of Dav^-dd ab Edmund. Some
of his poems are preserved in manuscript, and two are printed with
translations in lolo Morganwg's Selections from Welsh MSS.

MEREDYDD, a king of Dyved in South Wales, who was slam by
the Saxons about the year 800, in the battle of Morva Rhuddlan,
which was also fSatal to Caradawg ab Gwyn, king of North Wales.
(Myv. Arch. ii. 474.)

MEREDYDD, the son of Edwyn ab Emion ab Owain ab Hywel
Dda, a prince who reigned over pait of South Wales, in conjunction
with his brother HyweL In 1021, they fought a battle with Llywelyn
ab Sitsyllt, in which the latter prince was slain« Having been dispos-
sessed of their territories by Rhydderch ab lestyn, prince of South
Wales, they hired a body of Irish Scots, with whose aid they gave
battle to Rhydderch in 1081, and slew him, and by that means they
obtained the government of South Wales, which they ruled jointly.
They had however but little quietness, as the sons of Rhydderch
gathered a force to avenge their father's death, but Meredydd and Hy-
wel met them at Hiraethwy, and after a long fight defeated them, and
their grandfather lestyn ab Gwrgant, and forced them to fight. In
the year following Meredydd and Hywel were slain, in the battle of
Machwy, by the sons of Cynan, the brother of Llyveelyn ab Sitsyllt, in
revenge of their uncle's death. (Myv. Arch, ii. 506.)

MEREDYDD, the son of Grufiydd ab Llywelyn, a prince who in
the year 1068, in conjunction with his brother Ithel, attempted to re-

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cover the sovereignty of North Wales, which had been seized by Bel-
ddyn and Rhiwallon, on the death of their fisither. Having raised a
considerable force a battle was fought at Mechain in Montgomerjrshire,
in which Ithel on the one side, and Rhiwallon on the other, were
slain, and Meredydd, beuig put to flight, was so closely pursued by
Bleddyn, that he was starved to death by cold and fietmine on the
mountains. (Brut y Tywysogion. Myv. Arch. ii. 517.)

MERED YDD, the son of Owain ab Edwyn, a prince who succeeded
to the principality of South Wales, on the death of Grufiydd ab Lly-
welyn in 1062. He enjoyed the sovereignty until 1069, when Cara-
dawg ab Rhydderch ab lestyn obtained the aid of a large force of
Normans, and slew Meredydd in the battle of Llanvedwy, on the river
Elerch in Glamorgan. (Myv. Arch, ii, 618.)

MEREDYDD, the son of Owain ab H^-wel Dda, a prince who suc-
ceeded to the principality of Dy ved and Caredigion in South Wales
in 970. He led a laxge army to North Wales in 985, and slew in bat-
tle the reigning prince Cadwallawn ab leuav, and assumed the sove-
reignty of North Wales himself. In the following year he was driven
from North Wales by Godfiid the son of Harold, and in 987, on the
death of his father Owain, he took possession of the principality of
South Wales, without respect to the rights of Edwyn and Tewdwr,
the sons of his eldest brother Einion. In this year Meredydd was so
harassed by the Danes, that he consented to pay a tribute to get rid of
them, this was a penny for every man in his territories, which was
called the tribute of the black army. In 990, and the following year,
he laid waste Radnor and Glamorgan, and his only son Cadwallawn
was slain. Having lost North Wales in 992, by the election of Idwal
ab Meirig to that throne, he attempted to recover that principality in
993, but he was totally defeated at the battle of Llangwm in Denbigh-
shire. This brave and restless prince ended his life in 994, and left
one daughter Angharad, who was first married to Lly welyn ab Sitsyllt,
and after his death to Cynvyn ab Gwerystan, by whom she was the
mother of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn. (Myv. Arch. ii. 498.)

MEREDYDD, (Rowland,) a poet who flourished from about 1600
to 1640.

MERED YTH, (Richard, D. D.) a native of Denbighshire, was the
son of Robert Meredyth ab Gronw, descended from Ithel Velyn of
Iftl, by Margaret daughter of William John ab Gronw, descended from
Llywarch Holbwrch. He was of the same family, and nearly related
to Richard Davies, bishop of St. David's. He was entered at Oxford
in 1568, and took his degree of M.A. as a member of Jesus college, in
3575. He went over to Ireland in 1584, as chaplain to the lord deputy
Sir John Perrott, by whom he was appointed dean of St. Patrick's in
Dublin, in 1586. He was consecrated bishop of Leighlin and Ferns in
April, 1589, and he held the deanery of St. Patrick's in commendam,
to him and his heirs for ever, as a compensation from Queen Elizabeth

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for a long and rigorous confinement of ten years in the Tower, it ap-
pearing that he was innocent of the charges made against him. He
died in April, 1597> and was buried in St. Patrick's cathedral. He
had five children, the eldest of whom was the Right Honourable Sir
Robert Meredith, knight, of GreenhiUs and Shrewdland, in the county
of Kildare ; a Privy Councillor and Chancellor of the Exchequer in
Ireland, and in 1647, one of the commissioners appointed to administer
the executiye government in the room of the Marquess of Ormond.
From the above bishop in a direct line are descended the two families
of Meredyth Baronets, of the counties of EJldare and Meath, the former
of which still preserve the ancient Welsh motto, ^'Heb Dduw, heb
ddim, Duw a digon. (Woods's Athen. Oxon. Bishop Humphreys's
Additions to ditto. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage.)

MERIN, the son of Merini ab Seithenyn, king of the plain of
Gwyddno, whose land was overflowed by the sea, a saint who lived in
the sixth century. He founded the churches of Llanverin, or Llan*
retherin, in Gwaenllwg, Monmouthshire, and Bodverin, the significa«
tion of which implies the place of his residence, in Lleyn, Caernarvon-
shire. Festival January 6. (Achau y Saint. Rees's Welsh Saints.)

MERVYN, the third son of Rhodri Mawr ; he obtained for his share
on the death of his father in 877, the principality of Powys, while his
brothers Anarawd and Cadell obtained respectively the principalities of
North Wales and South Wales, according to their father's wUl. They
were hence called the three 'Hywysog taleithiawg," or diademed
princes. Mervyn did not long enjoy his dominion, being dispossessed
by his brother Cadell, though it may be assumed that he was subse-
quently restored, as it is stated by the historian Caradawg of Llangar-
van, that Mervyn king of Powys was slain by his own men in the year
892. Authorities do not agree respecting his issue, some deny that he
had any, while others state that he had sons of the name of Triffin and
Lly welyn, and a daughter called Avandreg.

MERVYN (VRYCH,) or the freckled, kmg of Man and of Powys
in his own right, was the son of Gwriad ab Elidr ab Sandde ab Al-
gwn ab Tegid ab Gwyar ab Diwg ab Lly warch H6n. His mother was
Nest the daughter of Cadell ab Elisau, prince of Powys. He married
Essyllt, the only daughter of Cynan Tindaethwy, upon whose death
in A. D. 8l7i Mervyn and Essyllt succeeded to the sovereignty of
North Wales. In the early part of their reign, Egbert king of the
West Saxons invaded Wales with a powerful army, and laid the coun-
try waste as far as the mountains of Snowdon, and seized upon the
lordship of Rhyvoniog, in Denbighland. He then advanced to M6n,
and fought a bloody battle with the Welsh at Llanvaes near Beauma-
ris, A.D. 819. The island however was soon recovered by Mervyn,
and the Saxons were expelled. It was dn this occasion that it was first
called Anglesey, or the Englishmen's Isle. This formidable inroad
was no sooner over, than Kenulph, king of Mercia, twice invaded West


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Wales and Powys, and committed great devastation. Mervyn was en-^
gaged in constant wars with Egbert, who in QS6, succeeded in getting
possession of Chester, which had hitherto remained with the Welsh,
and was considered an important post on the frontier. In 843, Berth-
red, king of Mercia, attacked the Welsh, at a place called Ketell, and
defeated them after a severe battle, in which Merryn was slain, leaving
his throne to his eldest son Rhodri Mawr.

MERYCK, (Db. John,) a learned prelate, was the illegitimate son
of Owen ab Huw ab Owen ab Meyric, esqr. of Bodeon, in the isle of
Anglesey, by Gwenllian the daughter of Evan, of Penrhyn Deudraeth,
and half brother (by the &ther) to the first Sir Hugh Owen, knt. of
Orielton in Pembrokeshire. He was sent for his education to the
school founded by William of Wykeham at Winchester, whence he
was elected on the foundation of New College, Oxford. In the year
1557, he was made Perpetual Fellow, and in 1558, admitted to the de-
gree of B. A. In 1561, he took the degree of M.A* and in 1565, served
the office of Junior Proctor. Five years after this he was presented to
the vicarage of Homchurch in Essex, being a peculiar in the gift of his
college. Distinguished for his literary attainments, he attracted the
notice of Henry earl of Derby, under whose patronage he was recom-
mended in 1575, as a fit person to succeed his countryman John Sales-
bury, as bishop of the Isle of Man. He was consecrated bishop of
Sodor and Man, in April 1576, by GrindaU, archbishop of Canterbury:
*• for though," says Le Neve, " the diocese of Man was in the province
of York, yet York being now vacant, the archbishop of Canterbury
performed the consecration by special licence from the Queen." The
documents which were issued on these occasions will be found in Ry-
mer's Foedera. The bishop held his dignity for twenty-three years,
and died, according to Wood, in Yorkshire, in 1599, and was succeeded
in the see by another Welshman, Dr. George Lloyd. Wood states that
he left behind him certain letters concerning ecclesiastical and other
afi^airs, *' which I have seen in the Cottonian Library under the pict-
ture of Julius F. 10." These letters however consist of one only,
which was that written by him to Camden, and it was on the antiqui-
ties of the Isle of Man. This is written in Latin, and evinces a consi-
derable degree of learning. The bishop had several brothers, one of whom
Maurice Meryck was the father of Sir William Meryck, judge of the
Prerogative Court before Sir Leoline Jenkins. (Wood's Athen. Oxon.
Bishop Humphreys's Additions to the same. Some additional parti-
culars from the pen of Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, will be found in the
Gentleman's Magazine, for May, 1825.)

MERYCK, (Sib William,) was the eldest son of Maurice Owen,
who assumed the name of Meryck, having been educated at Winches-
ter and New Collie Oxford, under the inspection of his half brother bi-
shop Meiyck. William was also educated at Winchester, and thence sent
in 1612toNewCollege,Oxford. Hisabilitiesbeingof abrllliantandlively

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casty induced him to choose the law as his profession, and that particu-
lar branch of it which was then a fBVourite with the Welsh gentry,
the ecclesiastical department. He therefore took his degrees in the
civil law, having that of doctor conferred on him in 1625, and in con-
formity to the rescript of Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, was ad-
mitted an advocate in the Arches Court of Canterbury on the second of
February, in the ensuing year. He was eminent for his learning and
talents, and therefore was appointed on the death of Sir Harry Martin,
in October 1641, judge of the Prerogative Court. Wood tells us that
in the troublesome times that followed he evinced " great loyalty and
affection to king Charles I. and king Charles II. both at home and
abroad," having accompanied the latter monarch to the continent. On
the restoration he was reinstated in his official situation, and being
^'sent for to the court on the eighth of November, 1661, had the hon-
our of knighthood conferred upon him in his Majesty's bed-chamber."
He married Sarah, daughter of Mr. James Dodwell, of Oxford, by
whom he had a daughter, whom he survived. He died in the winter
of 1668, and was succeeded in his judgeship by Sir Leoliue Jenkins.

MEYRICK, (SiB Gbllt,) was the eldest son of the Right Bev. Dr.
R. Meyrick, bishop of Bangor, by Catherine Barret, and was so named
after hb maternal uncle. He was bom about the year 1556, and
having lost his father when but nine years old retired with his mother
to Hascard in Pembrokeshire. He chose a military life, and during
his career in the Netherlands greatly distinguished himself. This was
commemorated in 1583, by the grant of a crest, being a lion's head
couped argent, wounded with a broken lance or, embrued gules, the ori-
ginal stating that it is given as '^a remembrance of his good deserts, and
as a demonstration of his prowess and valour." On his return he mar-
ried Elizabeth, the young widow of John Gwyn of Llanelwedd in the
county of Radnor, and youngest daughter of Evan Lewis of Llanvi-
hangel Nantmelan, in the same. At this time he became acquainted
with the young Robert Devereux, afterwards Earl of Essex, and an
attachment commenced, which lasted the period of their lives. He
was one of the five hundred gentlemen, who attended the earl to
Flushing at the end of 1585, and displayed such valour in the year
foUawing. On coming to England that nobleman gave him the then
envied situation of steward of his household, and he became decorated
with the gold chain in consequence. Two years after he accompanied
the earl on an expedition at his own expense to Torres Yedras, so re-
nowned in our own days for the deeds of Wellington, and afterwards
to Lisbon, where great valour was displayed though with little profit.
In 1591, the earl of Essex was appointed to the command of four
thousand men sent by the queen of England to assist Henry lY. when
great sickness prevailed among his followers, for in a letter from An-
thony Bagot to Rd. Broughton, esq. ^' from the wars," is the follow-
ing ; ^^ Mr. Reynolds and I are all the officers my Lord hath, Mr.

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Meyrick sycke at Deepe^ but 4 of his gard came with us, and 3 of
them sycke." At the mstance of his patron, Elizabeth in NoTember,
1592, granted jointly to Gelly Meyrick and Henry Lindley, his other
steward, the borough, the castle, and honor of Wigmore in the county
of Hereford, with the parks and manors thereunto belonging, whidi
now form the estate of the earl of Oxford. Such a grant, so near his
wife's possessions, was well timed. The year 1596 became memorable
for the gallant and successful attack on the city of Cadiz. Captain
Meyrick was on this occasion promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colo-
nel in Sir Conyers Clifford's regiment, and a joint commissioner of
stores. His brilliant conduct on that expedition enrolled his name
among the few, who were honoured with the rank of knighthood in
the market place immediately after the surrender. The army bar-
ing continued a fortnight at Cadiz re-embarked. In 1597, another ex-
pedition against the Spaniards, was despatched under the command of
the earl of Essex, and in this Sir Gelly had the command of her Ma-
jesty's ship Swiftsure of four hundred tons burthen. Boisterous
weather in the outset, and quarrels between the earl and Sir Walter
Raleigh prevented all the advantage that might have occurred, but Sir
Gelly had again an opportunity of displaying his valour at Fayal.
The earl of Essex's enemies having driven him to despair, he fortified
Essex house near the Strand, and gave the command of it to Sir G^ly,
while he went with a few followers into the city. He defended it for
some time, until commanded by his lord to surrender it to her Majes-
ty's forces. Though the object was only to induce the queen to change
her councils, thb mode of effecting it was deemed treason, and Sir
Gelly as well as the earl paid the penalty with their lives. Sir Gelly*8
estates were confiscated, and his son and daughter attainted. James
I. granted the former to Mr. Harley, ancestor of the earl of Oxford,
but the parliament restored the family in blood. Sir Gelly was exe-
cuted in 1600, showing the same courage at the scaffold as he had done
in the field.

MEYRICK, (Sir John,) general in the army, and member of the
long parliament for Newcastle under Line, was the fifth son of Sir
Francis Meyrick of Fleet, in the parish of Monkton, and coimty of
Pembroke, knt. by Anne, daughter of Francis Laughame, of St.
Bride's in the same county, esq. He lost his father in the year 1603,
and in imitation of him, and his uncle Sir Gelly Meyrick, preferred a
military life. The intimacy that had subsisted between his family
and the unfortunate earl of Essex, secured for him the patronage of
his son. He accompanied that renowned officer to Flanders in 1620,
and as a captain again four years afterwards, to the United Provinces.
In 1625, he was in the expedition to Spain, and on his return received
the honour of knighthood. In 1630, he served as a volunteer under
Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, and in that campaign acquired
great military experience, and we learn from captain Hexham's Jour-

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Hal of the taegea of Venlo^ Roermounty &c. that he was wounded on
the 17th of Angust, 1682, at the siege of Maestricht, in a sally made
by the enemy. In the unhappy ciyil war, when the king, in 1642, set
up his standard at Nottingluun, the parliament raised an army of
15,000 infontry, and 4,500 cavalry, at the head of which they placed
the earl of Essex, with the title of lord general, and under him the
earl of Bedford, general of the horse, assisted by Sir William Balfour,
the earl of Peterborough general of the Ordnance, and Sir John Mey-
rick adjutant general to the forces, or as the title then was, Sergeant-
major-general, besides which he was colonel of a r^ment consisting of
ten companies. He was at the fight of Edge Hill, and when the earl
of Essex undertook to raise the siege of Gloucester, having been pro-
moted to the command of the Ordnance, his cannon posted on the
Presbury hills were most efficient, which was again the case at the
battle of Newbury. From this time he was constantly associated with
the earl of Essex, and only quitted the army when that commander
seceded ; and at the public funeral of that nobleman he carried the
helmet. Being one of those members, who voted that the concessions
made by the king were sufficient to settle the peace of the country, he
was wiUi several others forcibly put under arrest by Cromwell, while
contrary measures were carried. Sir John Meyrick married first Alice
daughter of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, in the county of Ches-
ter, knt. by whom he had a son named Essex Meyrick, and two
daughters; and secondly Jane relict of Sir Peter Wyche, knt. am-
bassador at Constantinople, and daughter of William Meredith of
Wrexham, Denbighshire, by whom he had no issue, and who survived
him one year. Dying in 1659, he did not live to see the restoration.
His portrait in armour is still preserved at Bush, the seat of his de-

MEYRICK, (JoHK,) chief justice of North Wales, was the eldest
son of Essex Meyrick, whose name appears as one of the intended
knights of the Royal Oak, by Jane daughter of Robert Corbet, of
Ynysymaengwyn, in the county of Merioneth, esq. He married Mary
daughter and coheur of John Williams, of Norchard in the county of
Pembroke, by whom he had two sons, Essex Maiychurch Meyrick,
who died without issue, and John, who married Miss Adams, the heir-
ess of Patrickchurch, now known by the name of Pater, in the county
of Pembroke, whose son sold to the government the ground since con-
verted into one of the royal dockyards. The chief justice died in 1732.

MEYRICK, (Rowland, LL.D.) was the second son of Meyric ab
Lly welyn of Bodorgan, in the Isle of Anglesey, by Margaret daughter
of Rowland ab Hywel, rector of Aberfiraw in that county, after whom
he was named. He was bom in 1505, and according to Wood was
educated at St. Edward's Hall, near St. Edward's church, Oxford.
He lived in the eventful times of the reformation, the doctrines of
which he early imbibed. His first preferment was in the reign of

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Henry VUI. when he ohtained the rectory of Stoke by Neyland in
the county of Norfolk, soon after which he was made precentor of
Llanddewi Breyiy in Cardiganshire. About the year 1533, he was ad-
mitted to the degree of bachelor of civil law in the university of Ox-
ford, and in a short time became principal of New Inn Hall. In
January, 1538, he took his doctor's degree. He was next appointed
chancellor of St. David*s, and then of WeUs, of which he was also
chosen official principal. This rapid career, however, experienced a
temporary check in 1 549, when Edward VI. was prevailed on to order
a writ of praemunire to issue against him and his bbhop, with others.
Yet as he was not personally concerned in the alleged defence, the
sheriff never enforced it against him. He resigned his offices in the
diocese of Wells, and in 1550, we hear of him as chancellor of St.
David's, canon residentiary, and precentor of Llanddewi Brevi, and
rector of his native parish Llangadwaladr in the Isle of Anglesey. In
1554, he married Catherine daughter of Owen Barret, of Gellyswick
and Hascard in the county of Pembroke. This became a pretext for
his deprivation, and he was immediately removed by the councils of
that period. On the accession of Elizabeth he was appointed one of
the commissioners to visit the cathedrals and dioceses of St. David's,
Llandaff, Bangor, St. Asaph, Hereford, and Worcester. Dr. Glyn dy-
ing this year, the queen recommended him for the vacant bishopric of
Bangor, and at the age of fifty-four he was consecrated accordingly, on
the twenty-first of December, 1559. With the see he held the pre-
bend of Trevlodau and the rectories of Llanddewi Brevi and Llan-
ddewi Velfre. He was also nominated one of the council of the
Marches of Wales. He died on the twenty-fifth of September, 1565,
and was buried on the south side of the altar in his own cathedral,
leaving a widow, four sons, and two daughters.

MEYRICK, (Sib Samuel Rush, K. H.) the eminent antiquary, was
lineally descended from Dr. Rowland Meyrick, bishop of Bangor, and
Sir Gelly Meyrick. The father of Sir Samuel was John Meyrick,

Online LibraryRobert WilliamsA biographical dictionary of eminent Welshmen, from the earliest times to the present, and including every name connected with the ancient history of Wales .. → online text (page 40 of 70)