PUW, PUE, PUGH, family, of Penrhyn Creuddyn, Caernarfonshire; a prominent Roman Catholic family

Five of its members will be noticed:

ROBERT PUW (died c. 1629), Roman Catholic recusant

Second son of Huw ap Reinallt ab Ieuan of Penrhyn Creuddyn, Caernarfonshire. He married Jane, daughter of Sir Richard Bulkeley. His grandson, Gwilym Puw (below), states that he was educated at Oxford. He entered the Middle Temple, 30 November 1567 (Register of Admissions to the Middle Temple, I, 32).

He was a man of strong religious convictions and, in spite of every kind of persecution, adhered to the Roman Catholic faith. From 1580 on there was a close association between him and the Houghtons of Lea Hall, near Preston, Lancashire - another family of Papists. When the earl of Pembroke, president of the Council of the Marches, began his onslaught on the Welsh Roman Catholics in 1586, we find that Robert Puw and his family, and William Davies, the martyr (died 1593), had been hiding in Rhiwledyn cave on the Little Orme for three quarters of a year and, while there, had been engaged in printing Y Drych Cristianogawl. From there, he fled to Lancashire and then to Cowdray, Sussex, the home of lord Montague. At the time of Sir William Stanley's plot he was regarded as one who could be relied upon to head the rebellion in North Wales. At all events, after years of wandering he was thrown into prison. He is probably the Robert Puw who was accused of recusancy in the fourth year of the reign of James I. He made the personal acquaintance of the king, and the latter assured him that he would be free to worship as he chose, whereupon Robert returned to Creuddyn where he spent the last twenty-six years of his life. He died c. 1629, and he and his wife were buried in Llanrhos church.

He is not to be confused with the Robert ap Hugh ap Robert who was M.P. for Denbighshire in 1559, High Sheriff for the same county in 1562 and before that, in 1560 for Caernarfonshire. He was Robert Puw's uncle, his mother's brother, Robert ap Huw ap Robert of Cefnygarlleg, descended from the Bryn Euryn family.

PHYLIP PUW (died 1637), Roman Catholic recusant

Second son of Robert Puw (above) of Penrhyn Creuddyn, Caernarfonshire. He married Gaynor Gwyn, daughter of Sir Richard Gwyn of Caernarvon, and Elen Griffith of Penrhyn, Is-y-garth, grand-daughter of Sir William Griffith, the chamberlain (see Griffith of Penrhyn, in Appendix). We first come across him when he was in Rhiwledyn cave with his father in 1585, when Y Drych Cristianogawl was being printed. It is also on record that he was persecuted by Lewis Bayly, bishop of Bangor. As far as is known, he spent his life at Creuddyn. He and his wife were buried in Rhos church. They had twelve children, of whom five were girls. The eldest son, Richard, enlisted in Charles I's army in the Civil War; another fact known about him is that he died in India. Robert Puw, Gwilym Puw, and Siôn Puw were the most celebrated of the sons. The other three lived in exile; Gruffydd went to Ireland, Herbert died in France, and Ifan in Spain.

ROBERT PUW (alias ROBERT PHYLIP) (1609 - 1679), author, priest, and Roman Catholic martyr

Second son of Phylip Puw (above) and Gaynor Gwyn, of Penrhyn Creuddyn, Caernarfonshire, and brother of Gwilym Puw (below). He was educated at the Jesuit College, S. Omer, which he joined in 1628. After serving for some time as chaplain to the English forces in the Netherlands, he came to Wales as a missionary, but his plans broke down when he joined king Charles's army against the Parliamentarians and resigned from the Society of Jesus. Shortly after the end of the Civil War we find him in Paris studying civil and ecclesiastical law. His brother, Gwilym, says that he was acquainted with several languages and mentions Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, French, German, English, and Welsh. In 1655 the Pope appointed him ' protonotarius publicus apostolicus.' He was tutor to Henry, duke of Gloucester, and chaplain to queen Henrietta Maria. After the restoration of the Stuarts he made his home with the earl of Powis at Powys Castle. He was probably living there in 1659 when he published in Paris De Anglicani Cleri Retinenda in Apostolican Sedem observantia, and in 1661, when his second book, Excantationis Amuletum, appeared. In these he attacked the views expressed by Thomas White or Blackloe with regard to the governance of the Roman Catholic Church in England at the time; later, he was to return once more to the attack with another publication, Blacklo's Cabal discovered (2nd imp., 1680). Another of his books appeared in 1676 : Barthonensium et Aquisgranensium Comparalio, rebus adjunctis illustratis. A book which is generally attributed to him is Elenchus Elenchi: sive Animadversiones in Georgei Batei, Cromwelli parricidae aliquando protomedici, Elenchum motuum nuperorum in Anglia (Paris, 1664), while he is regarded as part author of The English Papist's Apologie, 1666. If we can accept Wood's statement, some of his work is still to be found in manuscript form. He was arrested under suspicion of being concerned in the Popish Plot (Titus Oates) and was imprisoned in Newgate, where he died in January 1679.

GWILYM PUW (c. 1618 - c. 1689), Roman Catholic writer, soldier, physician, and member of the Benedictine Order

Third son of Phylip Puw (above) and Gaynor Gwyn of Penrhyn Creuddyn, Caernarfonshire, and brother of Robert Puw (above). In 1648 he was a captain in king Charles I's army at Raglan and, after wandering round the Continent for some time, joined the Benedictine Order at S. Edmund, Paris, in 1660, after which he returned to Wales to do missionary work and to live for the rest of his life in Monmouthshire. He made his home at Black-brook, the residence of the old papal family of Morgans and later of the Bodenham family. He wrote poetry both in the classical and the free metres. He wrote two specially noteworthy cywyddau : ' Buchedd ein harglwydd Iessu Grist ' (2,000 lines) and ' Llwyrwys Penrhyn Ai Mawl.' He also produced three awdlau and several hymns, written in englyn form - but his skill in the classical form of poetry is very limited, and he did not write much in the free metres. His most important production in the latter is the ' Buchedd Gwenn Frewu Santes ' in the three-beat metre. He translated into Welsh The Jesus Psalter (1624 imp.), and also produced a Welsh Latin catechism, 'Crynodeb or Athrawiaeth Gristnogawl.' His works have been preserved in manuscript (NLW MS 4710B and NLW MS 13167B ) and prove that he was also a physician and perhaps a harpist.

SION PUW, or IOANNES PHILIPPI (1620 - 1645), Papist

Fourth son of Phylip Puw and Gaynor Gwyn, of Penrhyn Creuddyn, Caernarfonshire, and brother of Robert and Gwilym Puw. In 1640 he joined the English College at Rome, where he died, July 1645.

Published date: 1959

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