The settlement in Wales of the family of Kenyon dates from the marriage, c. 1694, of THOMAS KENYON (1668 - 1731), fourth son of ROGER KENYON of Peel, Lancashire, with Catherine (born 1660), daughter and heiress of Luke Lloyd (died 1695), of Bryn, in the parish of Hanmer, Flintshire, whose family had been long settled in the hundred of Maelor Saesneg, and claimed descent from Rhodri Mawr. Luke Lloyd fought on the side of Parliament, and letters to and from him in 1644 have survived. Sometime, also, during the reign of Charles II, he was imprisoned with Philip Henry on account of his nonconformity.
eldest son of Thomas and Catherine Kenyon was born 17 March 1696 and educated at S. John's College Cambridge. He married, November 1730 Jane, daughter and coheiress of Robert Eddowes of Eagle Hall, Cheshire, by Anne, daughter and heiress of the Rev. Richard Hilton (died 1706) of Gredington, which he purchased from Sir John Hanmer on 9 May 1678. Hilton was vicar of Hanmer, 1662-1706. It would seem that the Kenyon's moved to Gredington soon after the vicar's death in 1706. LLOYD KENYON II second son of the above, was born at Gredington, 5 October 1732. Educated at Ruthin grammar school, he was articled in 1749 to Tomkinson, an attorney of Nantwich, Cheshire. On 7 November 1750 he was admitted to the Middle Temple, continuing with Tomkinson until he moved to London in 1755. After being called to the Bar, on 7 February 1756, he was mainly dependent for his living on an allowance from his father of £80 a year, together with such work as he got from Tomkinson and other sympathetic neighbours, until he made the acquaintance of Edward Thurlow, soon to become Lord Chancellor, who was glad to have the services of an efficient and painstaking ‘devil.’ Thenceforward he built up an enviable reputation, and at the instigation of the Chancellor, on 30 June 1780, was created K.C. On 4 August he was sworn chief justice of Chester, Flint, Denbigh, and Montgomery; and on 13 November he was raised to the bench of the Middle Temple. In September 1780 he was also elected M.P. for Hindon, Wiltshire, which he represented until 1784, when he was returned for Tregony, for which he continued to sit until raised to the peerage. In March 1782 Kenyon was appointed Attorney-General, an office which he held almost continuously until he became Master of the Rolls on 30 March 1784. He was appointed privy councillor on 12 April and created baronet on 28 July 1784. On 4 June 1788 he succeeded lord Mansfield as chief justice of the King's Bench, and was created a peer on 9 June with the title ‘Lord Kenyon, Baron of Gredington, co. Flint.’
During his long career at the Bar, Lord Chief Justice Kenyon was concerned with many interesting cases: as advocate he led the defence of lord George Gordon in 1780; as judge, he presided over the trial of Stockdale for libel, in 1789, and, for a period, over the trial of Warren Hastings; he also tried Edward Jones, fl. 1741-1806. He was lord lieutenant of the county of Flint 1796-8, and ‘Custos Rotulorum’ from 1796 until his death. He married, 16 October 1773, at Deane, Lancashire, his cousin Mary, third daughter of George Kenyon of Peel by Peregrina, youngest daughter and coheiress of Robert Eddowes (above), by whom he had three sons — LLOYD (1775 - 1800), George (1776 - 1855), and THOMAS (1780 - 1851). He died at Bath 4 April 1802 and was succeeded by his second son GEORGE (1776 - 1855), 2nd lord Kenyon born 22 July 1776.
George Kenyon was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford — B.A. 1797; M.A. 1801; D.C.L. 1814, ‘Custos Brevium’ of the Court of King's Bench; barrister, Middle Temple, 1793; bencher 1811; reader 1815; treasurer 1823. He married, 1 February 1803, Margaret Emma (1785 - 1815), daughter of Sir Thomas Hanmer, bt., by Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of George Kenyon, only son and heir apparent of George Kenyon of Peel (above); they had three sons and three daughters. He was one of the first vice-presidents of the National Society, and built the ‘Madras School’ at Penley, Flintshire, the first school to be opened by the Society in Wales. He died at Gredington, 25 February 1855 and was succeeded by his eldest son,
born at Gredington 1 April 1805, and educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated 1823, and graduated B.A. 1826 (M.A. 1829). He was M.P. (Tory) for S. Michael's, Cornwall, 1830-2. He unsuccessfully contested Denbighshire in the election of 1833. He married, 29 June 1833, Georgina, youngest daughter of Thomas de Grey, 4th lord Walsingham, by whom he had five sons and five daughters. He died at Eastbourne [ 24 July 1864 ], was buried at Hanmer, and was succeeded by his grandson, LLOYD (1864 - 1927), 4th lord Kenyon, son of Lloyd Kenyon (1835 - 1865) by Fanny Mary Katherine, only child of John Ralph Ormsby-Gore, 1st lord Harlech, by Sarah, youngest daughter and heiress of Sir John Tyssen Tyrell, Bt., of Boreham House, Essex. [Born 5 July 1864 ], he was pro-chancellor of the University of Wales 1920-7 and president of the University College of North Wales from 1900 to 1927. [He died 30 November 1927.]
2nd son of the third lord Kenyon, born 28 December 1840, was, like his brothers, educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1869 he was called to the Bar, but having a political career in view, he never practised. After two narrow defeats in 1874 and 1880, he was returned for the Denbigh Boroughs division in 1885, and represented it until 1895, and again from 1901 to 1906. He did not stand at the election of 1895, but in 1897 he unsuccessfully contested East Denbighshire. He had a particular interest in education, and was largely responsible for the passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act; whilst his concern for the development of the Wrexham neighbourhood led him to be the first chairman of the Wrexham and Ellesmere Railway Company. He married, 1875, Florence Anna, daughter of John Hurleston Leche of Carden, co. Chester, who survived him. [He died 8 July 1908.]
[ Thomas, 3rd son of the first lord Kenyon, had as grandson the eminent Greek and Biblical scholar Sir FREDERIC GEORGE KENYON (1863 - 1952), Director of the British Museum.]
Published date: 1959
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