PRYSE family, of Gogerddan, Cardiganshire

This family traces its descent from Gwaeth-foed, lord of Ceredigion, etc. The first member to be associated with the northern part of the county of Cardigan, i.e., with Gogerddan, was probably RHYS AP DAVID LLOYD (Burke, Peerage, Baronetage …, 1936 ed.), to whom poems were written by various bards, e.g., Siôn Ceri, Huw Arwystli, Mathew Brwmffild, and Lewis Môn (Cwrtmawr MS. 12B ). The bard Lewis Trefnant has a cywydd (Cwrtmawr MS 12B ) which was written when David Lloyd went on a pilgrimage to Rome, whilst in the same manuscript is a poem written by Gutyn Coch Brydydd to Rhys and to his father, David Lloyd. Ieuan ap Rhydderch ap Ieuan Lloyd, gentleman and bard, of Glyn Aeron, was probably a great-uncle of David Lloyd; Ieuan ap Rhydderch, who is separately noticed, was the son of a one-time owner of 'Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch,' 'The White Book of Roderick,' now Peniarth MS 4 and Peniarth MS 5 in N.L.W. (The present whereabouts of 'Llyfr Gwyrdd Gogerddan,' 'The Green Book of Gogerddan' are not known).

The pedigree of the family up to the year 1588 is given by Lewis Dwnn (Visitations, i, 44-5), based, probably, on tables compiled by Thomas Jones (c. 1530 - 1609), Fountain Gate, Tregaron; see also the pedigree in Peniarth MS 156 as printed in West Wales Hist. Records, i, 3-4. As details for subsequent generations are given in Burke, T. Nicholas, Annals of … County Families of Wales, i, 207-9, and in other works there is no need to enlarge on all the members of the family or of its branches in this article.

JOHN PRYSE, grandson of Rhys ap David Lloyd and barrister at law, was a member of the Council of the Marches, and represented Cardiganshire in Parliament at various times between 1553 and 1572. His will was proved on 7 December 1584. He had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Perrot, of Haroldston, Pembrokeshire - see ' Cywydd i Siôn Prys o Gogerddan ' (with a reference to Elizabeth) by Owain Gwynedd in - and by her was the father of Sir RICHARD PRYSE (knighted 1603), who had been admitted to the Inner Temple, November 1584. Sir Richard Pryse, who was high sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1604, and represented the county in Parliament on three occasions, died in February 1622/3, and was succeeded by his son, Sir JOHN PRYSE, who had been admitted to the Inner Temple, November 1608, and was the father of Sir RICHARD PRYSE (died 1651), 1st baronet of Gogerddan (created 1641). He was Member of Parliament for Cardiganshire, 1646-8. He married (1) Hester, daughter of Sir Hugh Myddelton, bart, and (2) Mary, widow of Anthony Van Dyck, the well-known painter. He was succeeded by his son, Sir RICHARD PRYSE, 2nd baronet, who, in turn, was followed by his brother, Sir THOMAS PRYSE, 3rd baronet. The 3rd baronet was succeeded, in 1682, by his nephew, Sir CARBERY PRYSE (died 1695), 4th baronet, who figures in D.N.B. During his time (c. 1690) mines were discovered on his estate, at Bwlch yr Esgair Hir - the ' Welsh Potosi ' mines as they came to be called. For various reasons, given in D.N.B. and the sources named therein Sir Carbery Pryse discovered that the company which he formed to work the mines was not destined to prosper to the extent that had been expected, and when he died, in 1695, the company was greatly in debt. After his death, Sir Humphrey Mackworth acquired his shares. As Sir Carbery died unmarried, the baronetcy expired, the estates devolving upon EDWARD PRYSE and afterwards upon LEWIS PRYSE (1684 - 1720), Member of Parliament for Cardiganshire and for the Cardigan borough. As Lewis Pryse left no son - he had married Ann, daughter of John Lloyd of Aberllefenni - the property went to his cousin, THOMAS PRYSE, Member of Parliament for Cardiganshire, 1741-3, whose only son, JOHN PUGH PRYSE, represented both Cardiganshire (1761) and Merionethshire in Parliament (for references to him, and to his mother, Maria Charlotte Pryse, see the Schedule of Rug Muniments in N.L.W.). John Pugh Pryse died, unmarried, 13 January 1774, and was succeeded by his cousin, LEWIS PRYSE (1716 - 1779), of New Woodstock, Oxfordshire, whose daughter, MARGARET (PRYSE), married EDWARD LOVEDEN LOVEDEN, of Buscot, Berks. - whence the presence of Buscot documents among the Gogerddan muniments in N.L.W. (N.L.W. Annual Report, 1948-9).

The heir of Margaret (Pryse) and Edward Loveden Loveden was PRYSE PRYSE (1774 - 1849), whose grandson, Sir PRYSE PRYSE (1838 - 1906), became the 1st baronet (created 28 July 1866) of the present line. 'Plas Gogerddan' and much of the estate was acquired by Aberystwyth University College in August 1950.

Sir PRYSE PRYSE, bart. (1838 - 1906) was succeeded by three of his sons: Edward (1862 - 1918); Lewes (1864 - 1946) who was primarily responsible for initiating the movement to found the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show; and George (1870 - 1948) who in turn was followed by his only son Pryse Loveden Pryse-Saunders (born 12 November 1896), the fifth and last baronet. Even before the end of World War I parts of the estate had been sold in order to meet increasing debts and family commitments. As he had no heir and very little prior association with north Cardiganshire, he found little difficulty in selling the mansion and the remaining estate of 3,839 acres to the University College Aberystwyth to accommodate its famous Welsh Plant Breeding Station. Sir Pryse thereafter resided at Glanrhydw, Carmarthenshire, until his death in a London hospital 5 January 1962.


Published date: 1959

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