EDISBURY family, of Bedwal, Marchwiel, Pentre-clawdd, and Erddig (Denbighshire)

This Cheshire family, descended from Wilkin de Edisbury, first appears in Denbighshire c. 1544, when RICHARD WILKINSON, alias EDISBURY, held lands in Bedwal. His younger son, ROBERT WILKINSON EDISBURY (died 1610), extended the estate by marriage with Jane, daughter of Kenrick ap Howel of Stryt yr Hwch, Marchwiel. Their son, KENRICK EDISBURY (died 1638), entered the service of the Navy Board, perhaps through the influence of Sir John Trevor I, of Trefalun, whom he ultimately succeeded as surveyor (17 December 1632) - his tenure of the office being marked by a ruthless efficiency which materially helped in Charles I's reorganization of the Navy. On 30 August 1630 he bought the estate of Pentre-clawdd. He died at Chatham on 27 August 1638, and is commemorated by an inscription and a well-executed bust in S. Mary's church there, flanked by an epitaph to his father, who had died there on a visit. His heir JOHN EDISBURY (c. 1608 - 1677), educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 30 April 1624), who entered the Inner Temple (1625) on the nomination of Sir T. Trevor (1572 - 1656), and was called to the Bar in April 1634, also held a post under the Navy Office. As a supporter of the king he was rounded up by Parliamentary forces at Bangor Iscoed on 16 February 1643, but released on exchange, and in 1646 he became steward of Chirkland under Sir Thomas Myddelton (1586 - 1666). This gave him influence with the victorious party, which made him a somewhat reluctant magistrate and commissioner of taxes and of the militia (1648) for his county; he also petitioned successfully (3 November 1647) for the office of protonotary and clerk for Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire on the ground of the 'delinquency' of his predecessors in reversion to the office, and in 1654 he added the stewardship of Oswestry, but he himself was under formal charge of delinquency from 1653-5 (though the case was never concluded) and from the king's execution till 1657 he was out of local politics. Meanwhile he had bought most of the Erthig estate, which the ancient Welsh family of Erddig had been gradually alienating while retaining the ancestral house of Little Erddig. He married as his second wife his patron's daughter, Christian, widow of Sir Roger Grosvenor of Eaton, Chester, to whose children by her first marriage (his wards) he had to refund large sums of misappropriated money in 1675. His eldest son JOSUA EDISBURY (died c. 1718), educated at Brasenose, Oxford, became sheriff of Denbighshire in 1682, and in 1684 started building on a lavish scale a new hall at Erddig, for which (together with rash speculation in Flintshire lead mines, begun by his father) he overmortgaged his estates. By 1708 Pentre-clawdd and other lands had been entered on by Sir John Trevor of Brynkynallt (1637 - 1717, see Trevor of Brynkynallt), a principal mortgagee and a political foe of Edisbury's patrons the Myddeltons, and Erddig was held in trust for the creditors. Josua Edisbury's brother JOHN EDISBURY (c. 1646 - 1713), who had followed him to Brasenose (9 November 1661), becoming a D.C.L. in 1672, an advocate of Doctors' Commons, M.P. for Oxford University (1678-9), and a master in chancery (1684-1708), ruined himself by misappropriating funds to help his brother. John Edisbury's successor in office, JOHN MELLOR, son of a London draper, bought Erddig in 1718, and it was through his nephew Simon Yorke that it descended to the present owners.


Published date: 1959

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