BLAYNEY family, of Gregynog, Montgomeryshire

The family claimed descent from Brochwel Ysgythrog. The first member of the family about whom there is definite information is EVAN BLAYNEY, whose name appears eighteenth in the roll of burgesses found in the charter of Welshpool, 7 June, 7 Henry IV (1406), where he is described as 'of Tregynon.'

His son, GRIFFITH AP EVAN BLAYNEY, is mentioned by the poet Lewis Glyn Cothi. The Gregynog line of the family was continued by Griffith's son EVAN LLOYD ap GRIFFITH and by his grandson THOMAS AP EVAN LLOYD whose son, DAVID LLOYD BLAYNEY, was sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1577 and 1585.

David Lloyd Blayney's wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Lewis Jones of Bishop's Castle, and their eldest son, LEWIS BLAYNEY, was deputy-sheriff to his father in 1577 and 1585.

Lewis Blayney married Bridget, daughter of John Price of Newtown, and their son, JOHN BLAYNEY, was entered a barrister of the Inner Temple in 1609 and was sheriff in 1630 and 1643. In 8 Charles I he was chief steward of the lordships of Kerry, Cydewain, Halcetor, and Montgomery. In 1666 he was one of those deemed qualified to be made Knights of the Royal Oak, an order intended by Charles II as a reward to his followers. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Jenkin Lloyd of Berth-lwyd, Llanidloes.

Their daughter and heiress, JOYCE, married her second cousin, Sir Arthur Blayney, who belonged to the Irish branch of the family. His father was the 1st lord Blayney who, in turn, was the third son of David Lloyd Blayney (sheriff 1577, v. supra).

EDWARD, the 1st LORD BLAYNEY, was a soldier from his youth, and in 1598 he accompanied the earl of Essex to Ireland. He distinguished himself in the fighting in Ireland, and in 1603 he was knighted and, in 1621, elevated to the peerage of Ireland as lord Blayney, baron of Monaghan, co. Monaghan.

His second son, ARTHUR (the husband of Joyce Blayney), was knighted for bravery in the battle of Beaumaris He was sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1644. During the Civil War he assisted Sir William Owen of Brogyntyn in the defence of Harlech Castle for the king, and was one of the Commissioners appointed by him to sign the articles of surrender in March 1647. He died in 1659.

Arthur's third son, HENRY, was the father of JOHN BLAYNEY, who was sheriff in 1716. John Blayney married Anne, daughter of Arthur Weaver of Morville, Salop, the sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1667. Their youngest son and eventual heir, Arthur Blayney (v. infra), was the last of the Blayney family of Gregynog, though the Irish line - the Blayney family of Blayney Castle - continued for some years.

The Blayney estates in Montgomeryshire and Salop passed to the Hon. Henry Tracy, who became the 8th viscount Tracy and whose wife was Susanna Weaver, a second cousin of Arthur Blayney - see note at end of article John Hanbury.

ARTHUR BLAYNEY, (1716 - 1795), the last of the Blayneys of Gregynog was born 11 February 1716, was the youngest of the eight children of John Blayney and Anne Weaver his wife. As a result of the death of his elder brother he succeeded to the family estates. In 1764 he served the office of sheriff. He was noteworthy as a fine example of a country gentleman. He was a good landlord and concerned himself with the welfare of his tenants, often assisting them by buying their produce. He gave land for the building of good roads, and encouraged the planting of trees. He died 1 October 1795 and was buried at Tregynon on 6 October.



Published date: 1959

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