This family, which became prominent in the 17th century, was descended from the Harpways of Herefordshire. According to G. T. Clark (Limbus Patrum, 445) JEVAN HARPWAY, or ' ap Harpway,' of Tresiment, Herefordshire, married CATHERINE, daughter and heiress of Thomas ap Thomas of Wenvoe Castle, Glamorganshire. Their great-grandson,
was Member of Parliament for Glamorgan, 1654-6, and in the Protector's 'House of Lords,' 1658. He made extensive purchases of land in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. By his second wife he had a son,
of Wenvoe and Rhiwperra, who died unmarried and under age. The eventual heir to Wenvoe would appear to have been
daughter of William Thomas (died 1636 at Oxford) of Wenvoe, who had married Jane, eldest daughter of Sir John Stradling, bt., of St Donat's, Glamorganshire. This Elizabeth, who had Wenvoe and Rhiwperra, was the widow of Edmund Ludlow, regicide; after his death she married JOHN THOMAS, probably a cousin (Clark, op. cit.). Born in 1664, John Thomas was created a baronet 4 December 1694, with remainders to his brothers, Edmund and William. He died 17 January 1704, without issue.
succeeded his father (Edmund Thomas, 2nd bart., and brother to Sir John Thomas, 1st bart.) as 3rd bart. in 1723. He married, June 1740, Abigail, daughter of Sir Thomas Webster, Battle Abbey. He was Member of Parliament for Chippenham, 1741-55, and Glamorgan from 1761 until he died on 10 October 1767. Sir Edmund was friendly with Frederick, prince of Wales, and held the position of groom of the bedchamber to him from 1742 until the death of the prince in March 1751. The dowager princess of Wales appointed him joint treasurer of her household in October 1757. From 1761 he was a lord-commissioner of the Board of Trade; this office he exchanged in 1763 for that of surveyor general of woods and forests, which he held until his death. He became lieutenant-colonel of the Glamorgan Militia in 1764. He sold Wenvoe in 1765 and so terminated the connexion of the family with Glamorgan. Rhiwperra had been sold many years before.
was a younger son of Sir JOHN THOMAS (1749 - 1828), fifth bart. Born 19 April 1786, he entered the navy in March 1799 on the Boston. In 1803 he was in the Prince of Wales, the flagship of Sir Robert Calder, and was present in the action of 22 July 1805. On 19 September of the same year he was appointed acting-lieutenant of the Spartiate, and was present at the battle of Trafalgar. His commission was confirmed on 14 February 1806. From then until 1814 he continued in the Spartiate and other ships in the Mediterranean, and finally commanded the San Juan, the flagship of rear-admiral Linzee at Gibraltar. He returned home in 1814, but had no further active employment. On 7 August 1816 he married Susannah, daughter of Arthur Atherley, and had three sons and a daughter. He was retired with the rank of rear-admiral on 1 October 1846, and died on 19 December 1855.
a nephew of Sir Edmund Thomas, was as staunch an adherent of George, prince of Wales (afterwards George IV), as Sir Edmund had been of Frederick, prince of Wales. He was a colonel in the army, but there appears to be no record of his services. In 1 795 he became vice-chamberlain of the household to the prince of Wales; in 1812, after George had become Prince Regent, he was appointed first groom of the bedchamber and master of the robes. He held this position until the Prince Regent succeeded to the throne in 1820.
Published date: 1959
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