EDWARDS family, of Stansty, Denbs.

This family boasted continuous occupation of the same area from 1317, when David ap Meilir is said to have bought the manor of Stansty, to 1783, when his direct line died out. The surname was first stabilized by JOHN EDWARDS (1573 - 1635), son of David ab Edward; his executorship of the will under which his neighbour Sir William Meredith established a ‘lectureship’ at Wrexham suggests Puritan leanings, which reappeared in some of his descendants. His eldest son DAVID EDWARDS (d. 1635) expanded the estate and built in 1577 the family seat of Plas Isa, while two younger sons distinguished themselves at Oxford. JOHN EDWARDS (second son, b. 1612) was educated at Westminster (1629) and Christ Church (matriculated 26 Oct. 1632), graduating B.A. 1633 (6 Dec.), M.B. 1635, and becoming court physician to Charles I. As Fellow of Christ Church he refused to submit to the Parliamentary visitors in 1648 (10 May), but there is no record of his expulsion. JONATHAN EDWARDS (third son, b. 1615) went to Jesus College, Oxford (matriculated 3 Feb. 1633), graduated B.A. 1634 (9 June), became M.A. and Fellow 1637 (24 April), and D.D. (Nov. 1642). By 1679 he was archdeacon of Londonerry. Their sister MARGARET (d. 1651), an ardent disciple of Morgan Llwyd, married John Jones (1597? - 1660) the regicide, whose son John was a friendly correspondent of the archdeacon. Another sister, CATHERINE, m. Watkin Kyffin, through whom her brother Jonathan tried in vain, on attaining his Fellowship, to induce the 2nd Sir Thomas Myddelton (to whom Kyffin was agent at Chirk) to send his son to Jesus College with those of the earl of Pembroke and ‘the best gentry of South Wales.’ The John Edwards who was thrust by the Triers (1650) into the living of Llangorse, Brecknock and ejected in 1660 (T. Richards, Religious Developments, 45, 51, 386), is confused by Foster (Alumni Oxon.) with Jonathan, but cannot be fitted into the Stansty pedigree.

JOHN EDWARDS (1619 - 1673), son and heir of David Edwards, held the recordership of the lordship of Chirk under Sir Thomas Myddelton, but is said to have fought for Charles I, and certainly m. the widow of a Lancashire Royalist (daughter of Sir Thomas Powell of Horsley), for whose claims on her first husband's estate (put up for sale by the Commonwealth) John Jones the regicide himself put in a word, describing his nephew-by-marriage as ‘of an honest, harmless, sweet disposition.’ After the Restoration Edwards was presented by the churchwardens (including his brother David) for non-attendance at church. He added further to the estate till it embraced most of Stansty township and extended into that of Gwersyllt, but on the death, without children, of his great-great-grandson PETER EDWARDS (1783), it went to the Lloyds of Pengwern, and was eventually sold to the iron-master Richard Thompson, who built Stansty Hall in 1830-32.

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Published date: 1959

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