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

. (page 51 of 70)
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 51 of 70)
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assumed the protectorship, he preached against him, and wrote some
spirited letters of remonstrance to him, for which he was imprisoned.
Before this he had been much in favour with Cromwell, but hencefor-
ward he was a marked man, a continual object of distrust, and closely
watched, as is evident from different parts of Thurloe's State Papers,
and other documents. These suspicions and prejudices however do
not appear to have damped his courage, or cooled his zeal, for he per-
severed in his usual course, until the Restoration, and he was known
to be a fifth monarchy man. He was committed to prison in April,
1660, and was discharged after a confinement of nine weeks. He was
however soon committed again, and upon his refusing to take the oaths
of allegiance and supremacy, he was removed to the fleet prison,
where he remained two years, and afterwards, in 1662, to Southsea
castle, near Portsmouth, where he was closely confined five years.
At the end of this period he was released, but scarcely ten months had
elapsed, when he was committed to Cardiff gaol, and in October, 1669,
he was removed again to the Fleet, where he died October 27, 1670,
and was buried in Bunhill Fields. He was the author of several works,
which are all written in English, except one in Welsh, entitled ^'Can-
wyll Crist ;" and a list of them is given in Wood's Athens Oxonienses.
(See also Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy. Neal's History of the
Puritans. Strena Vavasoriensis. Mercurius Cambro-Britannicus.)

POWEL, (Watkin,) a poet who was admitted into the Glamorgan
Gorsedd in 1560, and was president in 1620.

POWEL, (William,) of Castell Mndog, a poet who flourished be-
tween 1580 and 1620. Some of his compositions are preserved in
manuscript.



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POWYS — ^PBICE. 415

POWYS9 (Lewis,) a poet who flourished between 1580 and 1620.

PRICE9 (Edmund,) a learned divine, and eminent poet, was bom
about 1541, at Gerddi Bluog, in the parish of Llandecwyn, Merion-
ethshire. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where
he took his degree of M.A. Having taken holy orders, he was insti-
tuted to the rectory of Festiniog, Merionethshire, 1572, which he held
with the rectory of Llanddwywe, in the same county, which latter he
obtained in 1580. He was appointed archdeacon of Merioneth in 1576,
and a canon of St. Asaph in 1602. He resided at Tyddyn Du, in the
parish of Maentwrog, a chapelry belonging to Festiniog. He was one
of the most illustrious Webh poets of his time, and a great many of
his compositions are preserved, mostly in manuscript. Among them
are fifty four controversial poems between him and William Cynwal.
It is said that the latter fell a victim to the poignancy of the archdea-
con's satire. The last poem of the series is a most pathetic Elegy
composed by the archdeacon, when the news was brought to him of
the death of his rival. He is also the author of the Welsh metrical
version of the Psalms, which is still in use, and bishop Morgan in his
preface expresses his obligation to him for his assistance, when trans-
lating the Bible into Welsh. Prefixed to Dr. John Davies's Welsh
Grammar, which is dedicated to the archdeacon, is a copy of elegant
Latin verses, in commendation of the work, where he mentions that
he was then eighty years of age. These verses are dated 1621. He
died in 1624, and was buried in Maentwrog church.

PRICE, (Ellis, LL.D.) was the second son of Robert ab Rice,
M.A. of Plas lolyn, in Denbighshire. He was educated at Cambridge,
where he took his degrees, and he was one of the members of Cam-
bridge, who disputed with Throgmorton, and others from Oxford and
Cambridge, in 1582, and when, according to Caius, in the first book of
the Antiquities of Cambridge, he got the best of it. He represented
the county of Merioneth in the parliament of Queen Maiy, and the
first and second parliaments of Queen Elizabeth, and he was seven
times sheriff for Merionethshire, once for Caernarvonshire, twice for
Anglesey, and several times for Denbighshire. Pennant says of him
that " he was a creature of the Earl of Leicester, and devoted to all his
bad designs. He was the greatest of our knaves in the period in which
he lived ; the most dreaded oppressor in his neighbourhood, and a true
sycophant." A portrait of him is preserved at Bodysgallen, near
Aberconwy, dated 1605.

PRICE, (Hugh, D.C.L.) the patriotic founder of Jesus College,
Oxford, was a native of Brecon, and received his university education
at Oxford, where he took his doctor's degree in 1525. He was consti-
tuted one of the first prebendaries of Rochester about the year 1542,
and likewise treasurer of St. David's. When far advanced in life, he
meditated the establishment of a college which should extend the bene-
fits of learning to the natives of Wales, an advantage which, previ-



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416 PRICE,

ous to his time, had not been provided for at Oxford. With this in-
tention^ he petitioned Queen Elizabeth that she would be pleased to
found a collie on which he might bestow a certain property. Her
Majesty accordingly granted a charter of foundation, dated June 27,
1573, prescribing that the coU^^c should be erected by the name of
** Jesus College, within the City and University of Oxford, of Q^ueen
Elizabeth's foundation ;" the Society to consist of a principal, eight
feUo ws, and eight scholars ; and for their maintenance Dr. Price was per-
mitted to settle estates to Uie yearly value of £160. To this the queen
added a quantity of timber from the forests of Shotover and Stow.
The founder's estates, which he conveyed June 30, lay in Breconshire,
and he bestowed upwards of £1500. upon the building, leaving besides
some money, which was suffered to accumulate, and which in the be-
ginning of the seventeenth century, amounted to £700. Dr. Hugh
Price died in August, 1574.

PRICE, (Sib John, LL.D.) an eminent antiquary, was a native of
Breconshire, being the son of Rhys ab Gwilym Gwyn, who repre-
sented one of the oldest families in the county. He was educated at
Broadgate's Hall, or Pembroke College, Oxford, where he was ad-
mitted Bachelor of Civil Law in 1534, and he proceeded to his Doctor's
degree in both laws. He was patronised and encouraged in his studies
by William, Earl of Pembroke, and made great progress therein, es-
pecially in the history and antiquities of his native country. He be-
came a student in one of the Inns of Court, and having been called to
the bar, was soon noticed by King Henry YIII. by whom he was ap-
pointed one of the Council in the Court of the Marches. He married
Joan, the daughter of John Williams, of Southwark, Esq, who was
the son of William Evan, or William Morgan, of Whitchurch, and
elder brother of Moigan Williams, who married a daughter of Walter
Cromwell of Putney, from whom descended Oliver Cromwell the
Protector. Sir John Price took a very active part in the union of
Wales with England, and was supposed to be the author of the peti-
tion to Henry YIII. a composition which does him great honour, and
which will probably outlive all his other works. During the whole of
this reign he was a favourite in the English court, and upon the dis-
solution of religious houses, he with others, among whom were Sir
Edward Came of Ewenny, and John Arnold of Llantoni, was ap-
pointed a commissioner for their suppres^on, and empowered to seize
their possessions for the use of the crown. This duty, in the county
of Brecon, fell to the lot of Sir John Price, and having obtained grants
from the king, he applied the produce to charitable purposes, retain-
ing for himself the whole or greatest part of the lands and tithes lately
belonging to the Priory of Brecon, and some other religious houses in
this county. He was knighted by the king, and served the office of
sheriff of Breconshire, in 1541, and of Herefordshire in 1553. He first
published a translation of the Lord's Prayer, Creed, and Ten Corn-



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PRICE. 417

mandments, which was printed in 1555. His Historue Britannica De-
finsiOy written in answer to Polydore Virgil, was not printed until
ahout twenty years after his death in 1573, hy his son Sir Richard
Price. He was also the author of " A Description of Wales," which
was augmented hy Humphrey Llwyd, and prefixed to the History of
Wales, which was translated hy Llwyd into English, and augmented
and published by Dr. Powel in 1584. Sir John Price also wrote a
treatise in Latin on the Eucharist, and assisted his friend Leland in his
Assertio Arthuri. (Wood's Athen. Oxon. Bishop Humphreys's
Additions to the same. Jones's Breconshire.)

PRICE, (John,) was bom of Welsh parents in London, in the year -
1600. He was educated at Westminster school, and Christ Church,
Oxford. He resided some years in Paris, where he published some
works, but left it in disgust in 1646, when he returned to England.
After having travelled many years, he retired to Florence, where he
became a Roman Catholic, and he was there admitted Doctor of Civil
Law. He held the appointment of keeper of the ducal cabinet of me-
dals and antiquities, and subsequently he became professor of Greek
at Pisa. He was a very ingenious and learned critic, as is testified by
his '^ Commentaries on the New Testament," and "Notes on Apuleius.'*
The former was published at Paris in 1635, 4to. and the latter at
Tergou, in 1656, 8vo, He died in a convent at Rome, in 1676.

PRICE, (Owen,) was a native of Montgomeryshire. In 1648, he
was made a scholar of Jesus College, Oxford, by the Parliament Visi-
tors, where he remained four years, and then he was appointed master
of a public school in Wales, where he took pains to imbue his pupils
with presbyterian principles. In 1655, he returned to Oxford, and
was made a student of Christ Church. Having taken his degrees in
Arts, he became master of the Free School, near Magdalen College,
whither his acknowledged skill in teaching brought a great number of
pupils. On the king's restoration, he was ejected for nonconformity,
and kept school with great success in Devonshire, and afterwards in
Berkshire, and other places. He is the author of "The Vocal Organ;
or a new art of teaching Orthography," &c. 8vo. Oxon. 1665. Ano-
ther work on Orthography was published by him, in 8vo, Oxon. 1670.
He died at Oxford, in 1671. (Wood's Athen. Oxon.)

PRICE, (Richard, D.D.) the eminent political writer, was bom
at Tynton, near Bridgend, in Glamorgan, in 1723. His &ther Rico
Price was a rigid Calvinistic minister, and he spared no pains to imbue
his son with the same principles. On the death of the father, Richard
at the age of eighteen proceeded to London, where he was admitted into
a dissenting academy, through the interest of a paternal uncle, and
where he pursued his studies in mathematics, philosophy, and theo-
logy. In 1743, he engaged himself as chaplain and companion to the
family of Mr. Streathfield of Stoke Newington, where he continued to
reside during the next thirteen years. At the end of this period, Mr.

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418 PRICE.

Streathfield died, and left him some small property, which was in-
creased by the death of his uncle about the same time. He was also
appointed morning preacher at Newington Green chapel. His first
publication was a ** Review of the principal Questions and Difficulties
in Morals," 8yo. London, 1758, and 1787> a work which established
his reputation as a metaphysician and moralist. In 1767, he was applied
to by a committee of gentlemen, connected with the legal profession, for
his opinion of a plan which they had in contemplation for securing an
annuity to their surviving widows. This drew his attention to the
defective character of the principles upon which many similar societies
had been already instituted, and induced him to write his " Treatise
on Reversionary Payments," Bvo. London, 1769, the publication of
which was the almost immediate cause of the dissolution of several of
these societies, and the beneficial modification of others. It has since
passed through five editions, the last being edited by Wm. Morgan, in
two volumes Bvo. London, 1803. In 1776, appeared his " Observati-
ons on Civil Liberty and the Justice and Policy of the War with
America," which was so highly thought of by the advocates of American
independence, that they requested the author to allow a cheap edition
to be printed, of which nearly 60,000 copies were sold in a few months.
The corporation of London also presented him with a gold box enclos-
ing the freedom of the city, and the American Congress in 1778, invited
him to give his assistance in regulating their finances, assuring him in
the event of his removing with his family to America, that his services
should be liberally requited. This offer however he thought fit to
decline. The honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on
him in 1769, by the university of Glasgow, and he was also a Fellow
of the Royal Society, having been elected in 1764. Dr. Price died in
London in 1791. Besides the works already mentioned, the following
were produced by his prolific pen. 1, " Four Dissertations on Pro-
vidence, Prayer, the state of Virtuous Men after Death, and Christi-
anity," 8vo. 1766, and 1768. 2, " The Nature and Dignity of the
Human Soul," 8vo. 1766. 3, ''An Appeal to the Public on the subject
of the National Debt," 8vo. 1772, and 1774. 4, "An Essay on the
Present State of the Population of England and Wales, with Morgan
on Annuities," 8vo. 1779. 5, " The Vanity, Misery, and Infiuny of
ELnowledge without suitable Practice," 8vo. 1770. 6, " An Essay on
the Population of England from the Revolution to the present time,"
8vo. 1780. 7, " The State of the Public Debts and Finances assigning
the Preliminary Articles of Peace in January," 8vo. 1783. 8, " Post-
script to the same," 8vo. 1784. 9, " Observations on the Importance
of the American Revolution and the Means of making it useful to the
World," 8vo. 1784. 10, « A Discourse on the Love of our Country,"
8vo. 1789, 1790. 11, "Britain's Happiness and its full Possession of
Civil and Religious Liberty briefly stated and proved," 8vo. 1791.
12, Sermons, viz. « Fast Sermons," 1759, 1779, 1781, &c. "Sermons on



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PRICE. 419

Various Subjects/' 8 vo. 1786, 1 816 ; Sermons on the Christian Doctrine,"
1787. 13, ** On the Expectations of Lives, the increase of Mankind,"
&c. in the Philosophical Transactions, 1769. Besides numerous other
papers which are printed in the same work. (Memoirs of the Life of
Richard Price, D.D. by William Morgan, F.R.S. 8vo. London, 1816.)
PRICE, (RoBEBT,) " the patriot of his native country," was bom
at Gilar, in the parish of Cerrig y drudion, Denbighshire, January 14,
1663. He was the eldest son of Thomas Price, Esq. of Gilar, by Mar-
garet Wynne, daughter and heiress of Thomas Wynne, Esq. of Bwlch-
y-beudy. He was educated at the Grammar School of Wrexham, and
from thence sent to Cambridge, where he was admitted a member of St.
John's College. He entered himself a student of Lincoln's Inn, in
about the twentieth year of his age, and in a short time afterwards set
out upon his travels, and made the grand tour of France and Italy,
being absent from England about two years. In 1679, he married
Lucy, eldest daughter, and one of the coheiresses of Robert Rodd, Esq.
of Foxley, in Herefordshire, with whom he obtained a considerable
fortune. In 1682, he was made Attorney General for South Wales,
and elected ah alderman of the city of Hereford, and in the following
year chosen recorder of Radnor. His integrity and judgment in the
laws of England gained him so great a reputation, that, upon the death
of King Charles II. he was made steward to the Queen Dowager, in
1684, also town clerk of the city of Gloucester, in 1686, and King's
Counsel at Ludlow, in 1686. But on the arrived of King William, at
the revolution, in 1688, he was removed from two of lus offices, viz.
the Attomey-Generakbip of Glamorgan, and the town-clerkship of
Gloucester. The new monarch was remarkable for the promotions and
exorbitant grants bestowed upon his foreign favourites. William
Bentinck, after being raised to the earldom of Portland, had a grant
from the king of the lordships of Denbigh, Bromfield, and Yale, in
the county of Denbigh, to him and his heirs for ever. It was on this
occasion that Robert Price gained the title of the patriot of Ids native
country, by opposing this exorbitant grant, in 1696, and his speeches
are as admirable for their knowledge as their spirit. ** The submitting
of 1600 freeholders, to the will of a Dutch Lord," as he sarcastically
declared, '^ was putting them in a worse posture than their former es-
tate, when under William the conqueror, and his Norman lords.
England must not be tributary to strangers, we must like patriots
stand by our country, otherwise when God shall send us a prince of
Wales, he may have such a present of a crown made him as a Pope
did to king John, who was named eansterre, and was by his father
made lord of Ireland, which grant was confirmed by the Pope, who
sent him a crown of peacock's. feathers, in derogation of his power,
and the poverty of his country." Robert Price asserted that the king
could not by the Bill of Rights, alien or give away the inheritance of
a Piince of Wales without the consent of Parliament, and he concluded



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420 PRICE.

A copious and patriotic speech by proposing that an address be pre*
sented to the king, to put an immediate stop to the grant now passing
to the earl of Portland for those Lordships. This speech produced such
an effect that the address was carried unanimously, and the king,
though he highly resented the speech of Robert Price, sent a ciWl
message to the Commons, declaring that he should not have given
lord Portland those lands, had he imagined the House of Commons
would hare been concerned. ** I will therefore recall the grant." On
receiving the royal message, Robert Price drew up a resolution to
which the House assented, that to ''procure or pass exorbitant grants
by any member of the privy council, &c. was a high crime and mis-
demeanor." The speech of Robert Price contained truths too numer-
ous and too bold to suffer the light during that reign ; but this speech
against foreigners was printed in the year after king William's death,
with this tide '' Gloria Caicbiil£" or the speech of a bold Briton in
Parliament against a Dutch Prince of Wales," with thb just motto
OpposuU et VicU. Such was the character of Robert Price, that in
1700, he was made a Welsh Judge by the very sovereign whose &-
vourite plans he had so patriotically thwarted. He had been twenty
years member of parliament for Weobly, from 1682 to 1702, when he
resigned the representation of that borough to his son Thomas, in
which year he was likewise made Serjeant at Law, in order to qualify
him for the honour which Queen Anne, immediately on her accession
to the throne, had conferred, of making him one of the Barons of the
Court of Exchequer. Though this post at that time was looked upon
as a certain step to further preferment, his unbending integrity caused
him to be left by ministers in that court, for about twenty-five years,
and when the prime minbter told him, that he should have any thing
he had in his power to give, the Baron replied, that "he would accept
«f no place, under any restrictions, or on any terms whatever, except
such as the nature of his office might require of him, and such as were
consistent with the duty he owed to his country." In 1726, he was made
a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. A contemporary says of
him, that '* in these several stations he approved himself master of all
that learning and knowledge which those places required, and was in-
deed so excellent a judge, and so exact and strict an observer of justice^
that to mention his integrity and his inflexible abhorrence of any thing
that might but seem to look towards corruption and partiality, would
be an injury to that fair fiEune and reputation he lived and died pos-
sessed of." He died February 2, 1732, in the seventy-ninth year of
his age, and was buried in the church of Yazor, in Herefordshire. His
issue were two sons and a daughter, the elder son Thomas, died when
on his travels at Genoa, in 1706, it is supposed by unfair means, and
the second Uvedale Tomkyns succeeded to his &ther's estates. (The
Life of Robert Price, Esq. 8vo. London, 1734.)

PRICE, (Robert, LL.D.) an eminent prelate, was the fourth son



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PRICE. 421

of John Price, Esq. of Rhiwlas, in Merionethshire, where he was bom
in 1607. He was educated at Westminster school, and from thence
elected a student of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1625. He took one de-
gree in Arts, and then entered upon the study of Law, in which faculty-
he was admitted a Bachelor in 1632. He was ordained deacon at Ban-
gor, June 1, 1634, and soon after was made vicar of Towyn, in Meri-
onethshire, and in 1635, he was made chancellor of Bangor cathedral,
which office he resigned in 1636. Having been appointed chaplain to
the earl of Strafford, Lord-lieutenant of Lreland, he was by him pre-
sented to the deanery of Connor, in that kingdom, at which time he
was esteemed well versed in the Ecclesiastical laws. On the 30th of
April, 1639, he was admitted Doctor of the Laws of the university of
Dublin, and going soon after to England, he was incorporated Doctor of
that faculty at Oxford. In the time of the rebellion in Ireland, he
lost all there, and suffered much for the royal cause, but being restored
to what he had lost after his majesty's return, he was consecrated bishop
of Ferns and Leighlm, January 27, 1660. On the death of Dr. Wil-
liam Roberts, he was nominated to the bishopric of Bangor, but before
his election could be completed, he died March 26, 1666, and was
buried in the cathedral of St. Patrick in Dublin, without any inscrip-
tion or monument* (Wood's Athen. Oxon. Bishop Humphreys's
Additions to the same. Willis's Survey of Bangor.)

PRICE, (Theodore, D.D.) was bom at Bron y Voel, in the parish
of Llanennddwyn, in Dyffryn Ardudwy, Merionethshire. He was the
son of Rhys ab Tudor ab William Vaughan of Cilgeran, descended
paternally from Osbom Wyddel, and of Margery Stanley, daughter of
Edward Stanley, Esq. constable of Harlech castle, his wife. He was
educated at OsdTord, where he became fellow of Jesus Collie, and af-
terwards in 1604^ principal of Hart Hall. Having taken his degree in
Arts, he obtained preferment in his native country, being instituted to
the rectory of Llanvair, near Harlech, in 1581, and he was also rector
of the valuable sinecure of Llanrhaiadr yn Nghimmerch, near Denbigh*
In 1596, he was installed prebendary of Winchester, and in 1623, of
Westminster. He died December 15, 1631, and was buried at West-
minster. Wood states that on this event. Dr. John Williams, then
dean of Westminster, called together the prebendaries, and took great
pains to make the world suspect that he died a Roman Catholic, only
to raise a scandal on his enemy bishop Laud, who had recommended
him to the king for a bishopric in Wales, in opposition to the earl of
Pembroke, and his chaplain Griffith Williams. William Prynne also
says in his ^< Canterbury's Doom," printed in 1646, that Price lived a
professed, unpreaching epicure and Arminian, and died a reconciled
papist to the Church of Rome, having received extreme unction from
a popish priest. Fuller, however, in his Church History, tells us that
Dean Williams made great endeavours to make him archbishop of Ar-
magh, but was prevented by the Duke of Buckingham. (Wood's



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422 PRICE.

Athen. Oxon. Bishop Humphreys's Additions to the same. Le
Neve's Fasti.)

PRICE, (Thomas,) a celehrated poet, was the eldest son of Dr.
Ellis Price, of Plas lolyn in Denhighshire, and succeeded to the estates
on the death of his father. He married Margaret the daughter of
William Griffith, of Caernarvon, who was the son of Sir William
Griffith of Penrhyn. Being possessed of large property, he fitted out
a privateer, in which he cruised against the Spaniards, and in one en-
gagement he met with so hold a resbtance, and was so roughly handl-
ed, that he was ohliged to hear away. The history of this affair, he
relates very curiously in a poem, wherein he introduces a numher of
English sea-terms, exactly the same as are now in the mouths of sailors.
It appears also from one of his poems, that he was afterwards an officer
in the land service, and was present at Tilbury, when Queen Elizabeth



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 51 of 70)