SALUSBURY, SALESBURY family, of Rug and Bachymbyd.

This family was founded at Bachymbyd, between Ruthin and Denbigh, at the close of the 15th century by JOHN SALUSBURY, fourth son of Thomas Salusbury of Lleweni (died 1471). It acquired Rug by the marriage of John's eldest son PIERS SALUSBURY to Margaret Wen, daughter and heiress of Ieuan ap Hywel ap Rhys, lord of Rug, near Corwen, Meironnydd. Rug became the more important of the two seats, though the greater part of the family's estates was always in Denbighshire, around Ruthin. It should be noted that this branch of the Salusburies adopted the spelling ' Salesbury ', and, throughout the 16th and 17th centuries at least, rarely used any other. The eldest of Piers ' seven sons was ROBERT SALUSBURY, sheriff of Merionethshire in 1544 and 1549 and of Denbighshire in 1546; he married Catrin, daughter of John ap Madog of Bodvel, Llŷn. He was succeeded by his son JOHN SALUSBURY, who was Member of Parliament for Merioneth in 1553 and sheriff of the same county in 1559 and 1578. John added to the estate by buying the lordship of Glyndyfrdwy from William, lord Graye de Wilton, and John Banester, who had received it from the Crown in 1552. He married Elisabeth, daughter of his kinsman Sir John Salusbury of Lleweni (the chamberlain of North Wales), and died in 1580, leaving his lands to his eldest son Sir ROBERT SALUSBURY (died 1599), who married Elinor, daughter of Sir Henry Bagnall of Plas Newydd, Anglesey. He served as Member of Parliament for the county of Denbigh 1586-7, and of Merioneth 1588-89. He went to Ireland as a captain in the English army, and was knighted there in 1593 by the Lord Deputy. His brother, captain JOHN SALUSBURY, and a kinsman, captain Owen Salusbury of Holt (see also under Salusbury of Lleweni), fought as volunteers in the wars on the Continent; they had a hand in Sir William Stanley's treasonable plots of 1586 and 1587, and served for a time in the Spanish army. Later, about 1596, they came into close contact with the earl of Essex; they accompanied him in his attack on Cadiz in the same year, followed him to Ireland in 1599, and were among his most prominent supporters in the abortive revolt of 1601, in which Owen Salusbury was killed. Captain John Salusbury, after serving a brief imprisonment and paying a fine of £40, was freed before September 1601.

Sir Robert Salusbury died in 1599, and on the death in 1608 of his son, JOHN SALUSBURY, without children, captain John Salusbury, the young man's uncle, inherited the estates. He, however, died without issue three years later, in 1611, to be succeeded by another brother, WILLIAM SALUSBURY (known in later years as ' Hen Hosanau Gleision,' i.e. 'Old Blue Stockings'). Sir Robert and the captain had spent extravagantly during their thirty-year tenure of the estates, and William found them heavily mortgaged. In another thirty years of hard work and frugal living he paid off his debts, restored his inheritance, and even added to it. Then, because of a violent quarrel with his eldest son, OWEN SALUSBURY, over the latter's marriage to Mary, daughter of Gabriel Goodman of Abenbury, prothonotary of North Wales, William split his estates into two parts, giving Rug and the Merionethshire lands to Owen, and Bachymbyd and the Denbighshire lands to his second surviving son Charles. William was one of the king's staunchest supporters in the Civil War; he repaired Denbigh castle at his own expense in 1643, and, although advanced in years, defended it stubbornly against the Parliamentary army. It was not until 26 October 1646, after a siege lasting six months, that he was forced to surrender the castle to general Mytton - and would do so then only after he had received the king's written command. William, whose wife was Dorothy, daughter of Owen Vaughan of Llwydiarth, had been Member of Parliament for Merionethshire in 1620-22; he died in 1660. Owen Salusbury, the eldest son, followed a vacillating course during the Civil War; he was sheriff of Merioneth in 1647-8. He died 17 January 1657/8, transmitting the Rug estates to his eldest son WILLIAM SALUSBURY, who served as sheriff of Merioneth in 1661-2, and died in 1677. He was succeeded in turn by his son OWEN SALUSBURY, who, after having become a Roman Catholic, died in 1694, leaving two daughters. ELIZABETH, the elder, who inherited Rug, married Rowland Pugh of Mathafarn in Cyfeiliog. They had one son, WILLIAM PUGH SALUSBURY, who died unmarried, and two daughters. The estate was inherited by the elder of the two, MARIA CHARLOTTE (1721 - 1780), who married firstly Thomas Pryce of Gogerddan (died 1745), and secondly, the Rev. John Lloyd. When she died on 26 August 1780 she left Rug by will to Edward William Vaughan, second son of Sir Robert Howel Vaughan of Nannau and Hengwrt (see the article on that family); he died in Sicily in 1807, and the estate passed to his younger brother, Griffith Howel Vaughan. When Griffith died in 1848 it was inherited by his nephew, Sir Robert Williames Vaughan of Nannau and Ystumcolwyn, from whom it passed to Charles Henry Wynn (1847 - 1911) of Glynllifon, third son of Spencer Bulkeley Wynn, 3rd baron Newborough (see Glyn of Glynllifon family, and Wynn family of Rug).

CHARLES SALUSBURY, second surviving son of the defender of Denbigh castle, was a staunch royalist like his father, and was nominated a Knight of the Royal Oak in 1660. His only surviving child, JANE SALUSBURY, heiress to Bachymbyd, carried that estate in marriage in 1670 to Walter Bagot, eldest son and heir and successor to Sir Edward Bagot, 2nd bt., of Blithfield, Staffordshire. Jane's cousin, William Salusbury of Rug, foreseeing that this marriage would end all hope of reuniting the Rug and Bachymbyd estates in a member of the Salusbury family, waged a long and bitter but unsuccessful legal battle with Jane's husband for possession of Bachymbyd, in the course of which Gabriel Salusbury, William's brother, had to flee abroad in consequence of having procured the forgery of a deed.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:

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.