The Kenricks of east Denbighshire and the border trace their descent to Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon (died 1074), who claimed the lordship of Bromfield (Maelor Gymraeg) after the Welsh reconquest of the 11th century, and from whom the township of Cristionydd Kenrick (near Ruabon) is believed to take its name. The branch that settled in the neighbourhood of Wrexham is closely connected with the development of Nonconformity there and in Merioneth in the 17th and 18th century.
The eldest son of Samuel Kenrick (died 1716) of Fawnog, Bersham, and the grandson of Edward Kenrick (died 1693) of Gwersyllt. Both of these had belonged to the 'Old Meeting' - the congregation first established in Wrexham by Morgan Llwyd - and had provided the premises in which it generally worshipped from the Declaration of Indulgence of 1672 (and perhaps earlier) until a permanent chapel was built in 1762, while Samuel Kenrick had joined the 'New Meeting' (Presbyterian) when it split off from the Old in 1691, and housed it temporarily pending the completion of a chapel c. 1700. Edward Kenrick married Susannah, daughter and heiress of Hugh Owen, Bron Clydwr (1639 - 1700), inheriting the estate in 1700, and with it the pastoral oversight which Owen had exercised over the Merioneth Dissenters (chiefly Independent). He was ordained at Wrexham in 1702 along with John Evans (c. 1680 - 1730), by Matthew Henry, son of Philip Henry, James Owen, and other Presbyterian ministers. About 1715 he settled as minister of Bala, then of Llanuwchllyn (1739), where his son John Kenrick of Bron Clydwr became a trustee of the newly-built chapel (1745) as well as of the 'New Meeting' at Wrexham (1748), though he is said to have ultimately conformed. The line of Kenricks of Bron Clydwr came to an end with Hugh Owen Kenrick (1758 - 1821).
A younger son of the above Samuel Kenrick. He was ordained at Nantwich by Matthew Henry and others on 21 October 1707, and became pastor of the 'New Meeting' at Wrexham from then till his death. It was during his pastorate that the Jacobite mob in Wrexham wrecked the chapel (15-30 July 1715); Kenrick lent money for repairs and was reimbursed by the Government (1717). In 1723 he married Sarah, widow of John Taylor of Esclusham and granddaughter of Capt. William Wynn (died 1692), of Wynn Hall, which he inherited through her. Her own grandfather, and probably her first husband's also, had been Roundhead officers, members of Morgan Llwyd's congregation, and commissioners under the Propagation Act of 1649. John Kenrick was also a trustee under the will of Dr. Daniel Williams (1643? - 1716), but unlike Williams developed Arian views in later life. His brother DANIEL KENRICK, who had a chandlery business in Wrexham, remained in the 'Old Meeting' and became a trustee of its endowments in 1747; but of John's six sons, JOHN KENRICK II (heir to Wynn Hall, died 1803) and WILLIAM (a brazier in Wrexham died 1793) were both trustees of the 'New Meeting' (1783), and the former (who married into the old Montgomeryshire. Dissenting family of Quarrell of Llanfyllin of the 'Old Chapel' at Llanuwchllyn also, while William was a co-defendant in the suit before the Great Sessions at Wrexham (18 March 1788), in which the 'New' Meeting maintained against the 'Old' its right to use the graveyard devised by Daniel Lloyd (died 1655) to Morgan Llwyd's congregation; another son, SAMUEL KENRICK, a Unitarian and an accomplished linguist who travelled widely (as a tutor) and met Rousseau and Voltaire in France, joined his brother Edward in founding the Old Bank at Bewdley (1776).
The next heir to Wynn Hall (and before that a cheese merchant at Whitchurch), married a great-great-grand-daughter of Matthew Henry. Though also a Unitarian, he was a trustee both of the 'New Meeting,' Wrexham (1797 and 1799), of the 'Old Chapel,' Llanuwchllyn (1823), and in 1797 of the fund bequeathed in 1728 by Daniel Williams 's sister for the support of Presbyterian ministers; in the first capacity he was followed (1834 and 1843) by his heir WILLIAM KENRICK (1794 - 1865), through whom the Wynn Hall line continues. JAMES KENRICK (1757 - 1824), brother of John Kenrick III, inherited the chandlery business in Wrexham of his great-uncle Daniel Kenrick (above), and developed it into a banking house (c. 1800 - 48), taking a Manchester partner in 1824 and passing on his interest to his niece SARAH KENRICK. He too was a trustee of the 'New Meeting' and a defendant in the graveyard dispute of 1788 already mentioned. Another brother, TIMOTHY KENRICK (1759 - 1804), became a tutor in the Dissenting Academy at Daventry (1779-84), and pastor of a Presbyterian church at Exeter (1784-1804), although Unitarian in his personal views and the father of two sons who entered the English Unitarian ministry.
Son of William Kenrick of Wynn Hall (1798 - 1865) and grandson of the third John Kenrick of Wynn Hall.
Llewelyn Kenrick (he rarely used his first Christian name Samuel) was educated at Ruabon grammar school. He became a solicitor, and in due course established a practice at Ruabon. He was clerk to the Ruabon magistrates, 1896-1933, and was coroner for east Denbighshire from 1906 until his death. In his younger days he took an active part in association football and founded the Football Association of Wales in the season 1875-6. He was acclaimed as the founder by Sir Evan Morris when the first Welsh cup was presented to the winners in 1879. The cup had been won two years earlier but at that time the newly-formed Welsh Association did not possess a trophy. Kenrick organized the first international association football match between Wales and Scotland; this was played at Glasgow on 25 March 1876. He played in this match as a full-back, and he appeared for Wales on four subsequent occasions. He was a member of the first Welsh team to defeat England at Blackburn in 1881. He played for the Shropshire Wanderers and was captain of the famous 'Druids.' He was the first chairman and honorary secretary of the Football Association of Wales, and served on the council of that body for many years. He married a daughter of the Rev. A. L. Taylor, headmaster of Ruabon grammar school. There was no issue of the marriage. He died 29 May 1933, and was buried at Ruabon.
Published date: 1959
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.