RICHARDS family of Coed, and HUMPHREYS family of Caerynwch, near Dolgelley, Meironnydd

The families of Richards of Coed and Humphreys of Caerynwch were united when, on 7 October 1785, Sir Richard Richards (below) of Coed, married Catherine, daughter and heiress of Robert Vaughan Humphreys, of Caerynwch, a marriage which meant also the union of the two respective estates. Later, in 1863, Richard Meredyth Richards married Louisa Janette Anne, daughter and heiress of Edward Lloyd Edwards of Cerrigllwydion, Llanynys, Denbighshire. The Edwards family was intimately connected with the families of Evans of Tanybwlch, Price of Corsygarnedd, Lloyd of Brithdir, and Edwards of Dolserau, all in Merioneth (see N.L.W. schedule of the Caerynwch and allied documents).

When Lewis Dwnn (Heraldic Visitations, ii, 235) visited Caerynwch in 1588 the pedigree of the family was supplied to the deputy-herald by TUDOR VYCHAN (Tuder Vaughan ap David Lloyd in Caerynwch document 996, dated 23 September 1588). ROBERT VAUGHAN, of Caerynwch, third in descent from Tudor Vychan, was buried at Dolgelley on 30 July 1693. His wife, Margaret, was one of the daughters of Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt, the antiquary. GRACE VAUGHAN, daughter and heiress of Robert Vaughan, of Caerynwch, married (9 November 1698) JOHN HUMPHREYS. Grace's great-grandchild, CATHERINE, only child of ROBERT VAUGHAN HUMPHREYS (sheriff of Merioneth, 1760), became the wife of Sir RICHARD RICHARDS (1752 - 1823), judge, baron of the exchequer and thereafter often called ' baron Richards '; born 5 November 1752, he was the son of Thomas Richards of Coed, near Dolgelley, by his wife Catherine, sister of William Parry, warden of Ruthin school. He was educated at Ruthin school, Jesus College (matriculated 19 March 1771), and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 10 October 1774); became Michel Fellow at the Queen's College, 20 June 1776, and M.A. 15 July 1777. He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) on 11 February 1780. He first entered Parliament in May 1796 as member for Helston, Cornwall. His subsequent career is described in D.N.B. The salient facts are: he was appointed chief justice of the county palatine of Chester, 17 May 1813, but resigned that position when he was appointed a baron of the exchequer. He was knighted in 1814, and became lord chief baron of the exchequer on the first day of Easter term 1817. He died in London on 11 November 1823, and was buried in the Inner Temple vault.

By his marriage with Catherine Humphreys (above) the chief baron had eight sons and two daughters. The eldest son, RICHARD RICHARDS (1787 - 1860), was born 22 September 1787, educated at Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford, and was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1812. He was appointed a commissioner of bankruptcy 1814, accountant-general of the court of exchequer 1820, and became a master in ordinary in Chancery in 1841. He was elected Member of Parliament for Merioneth on 27 June 1836 and represented the county until 1852. He was justice of the peace and deputy-lieutenant for Merioneth. He married, 1814, Harriet, daughter of Jonathan Dennett. He died at Caerynwch on 27 November 1860. His brothers, ROBERT VAUGHAN RICHARDS and GRIFFITH RICHARDS, were both appointed queen's counsel in 1839 and were elected benchers of the Inner Temple in the same year. Their sister, Jane, married the Rev. Temple Frere, chaplain to the House of Commons (Burke's Peerage, sub Frere).

RICHARD MEREDYTH RICHARDS (1821 - 1873), son of Richard Richards, M.P., was called to the Bar in 1845, and became chairman of Merioneth quarter sessions in 1857. He married (1) Elizabeth Emma, daughter of William Bennett, of Farringdon House, Berks., and (2) Louisa Janette Anne, only daughter and heiress of Edward Lloyd Edwards, of Cerrigllwydion, Denbighshire.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:



30 September 1785 was the date of the marriage which brought them together. Also, 1689 (not 1698) was the date of the marriage of Grace Vaughan and John Humphreys.

    Published date: 1997


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