WYNNE family, of Peniarth, Mer.

The Wynne family of Peniarth, parish of Llanegryn, Mer., were a cadet branch of the Wynn family of Glyn Cywarch, near Harlech, Mer. Like some other Merioneth families its members claimed descent from Osbwrn Wyddel. W. W. E. Wynne, a very high authority on North Wales genealogies, published Pedigree of the Family of Wynne, of Peniarth in the County of Merioneth (London, 1872), and as Wynne was a most careful searcher for evidence in ancient records of almost every historical statement which he made, the Pedigree is a work on which reliance can be placed. This article will, perforce, deal only very briefly with the earlier generations, particularly as the career of W. W. E. Wynne himself needs a fairly full note.

KENRIC AB OSBWRN WYDDEL, of Corsygedol, Mer. — see Vaughan family of Corsygedol — had a son, LLEWELYN AP KENRIC, also of Corsygedol, who married NEST (NESTA), daughter and heiress of GRIFFITH AB ADDA, of Dôl Goch and Ynysmaengwyn, Towyn (the tomb of Griffith ab Adda can be seen in Towyn church). From this marriage there descended — to take only the main line — EINION AP GRUFFYDD AP LLEWELYN, IEUAN AB EINION, RHYS AP IEUAN AB EINION (Rhys had a better-known brother, Dafydd ab Ifan ab Einion), and IEUAN AP RHYS, who married LAUREA, daughter and heiress of Richard Bamville, Wirral, Ches., and thereby acquired Glyn (Cywarch). JOHN AP IEUAN AP RHYS, son of this marriage, is described as of Glyn — he was living there 27 November 1545. ROBERT WYN AP JOHN, of Glyn, who died in 1589, had married KATHERINE, daughter of Ellis ap Maurice of Clenennau, Caernarfonshire (sheriff of Merioneth in 1541), and was the father of WILLIAM WYNNE (died 1658), of Glyn, who, by his wife, Katherine (died 23 February 1638/9), eldest child of William Lewis Anwyl, Park, Llanfrothen, Mer. (see the article on the family), had ROBERT WYNNE (died 1670), of Glyn and Sylfaen, whose wife was KATHERINE, eldest daughter and heir of Robert Owen of Ystumcegid, Caernarfonshire.

The fourth son of William Wynne of Glyn and Katherine (Owen) was WILLIAM WYNNE I (died 1700), of Wern, Caernarfonshire, of which he became possessed by right of his wife (and first cousin), ELIZABETH, daughter and heiress of Maurice Jones of Wern. He was succeeded by his son, WILLIAM WYNNE II (died 1721), of Wern. He, by his wife, Catherine (Goodman), was the father of WILLIAM WYNNE III (1708 - 1766), of Wern, whose wife was Ellinor, daughter of Griffith Williams, cleric, of Llandegwning and Aberkin, Caernarfonshire. The son of this William Wynne and Ellinor was WILLIAM WYNNE IV (1745 - 1796), of Wern and Peniarth, the Peniarth estate coming to him when he married Jane, viscountess dowager Bulkeley, this lady Bulkeley (1740 - 1811), being the daughter and heiress of LEWIS OWEN of Peniarth, ‘Custos Rotulorum’ for Merioneth, etc. (see the article Owen family of Peniarth). Their eldest son, WILLIAM WYNNE V (1774 - 1834), of Peniarth, who was sheriff of Merioneth in 1812, and who sold Wern (see under Wardle, G.LL.), married (1800) ELIZABETH, youngest daughter and coheiress of Philip Puleston, D.D., of Pickhill Hall, Denbighshire, rector of Worthenbury and vicar of Ruabon, and his wife, Annabella, eldest daughter and (eventually) heiress of Richard Williams of Penbedw, Denbighshire (youngest brother of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd bt. of Wynnstay). The eldest son of this marriage was William Watkin Edward Wynne, the famous antiquary, genealogist, and owner of the Hengwrt-Peniarth manuscripts (William Wynne had a brother, RICHARD OWEN WYNNE, who was chief justice of Dacca, Bengal, and died in India in 1821, and two sisters, of whom one, Elizabeth, married Charles James Apperley (‘Nimrod’).

The career of WILLIAM WATKIN EDWARD WYNNE (1801 - 1880) is described fully by G. Tibbott in Jnl. of the Mer. Hist. Soc., i, 69-76. Born at Pickhill Hall, 23 December 1801, he went to Westminster School in 1814 and matriculated at Oxford, as of Jesus College, 24 March 1820. On 8 May 1839 he married Mary, daughter of Robert Aglionby Slaney, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury. There were two sons of the marriage: William Robert Maurice Wynne and Owen Slaney Wynne (1842 - 1908). W. W. E. Wynne was Member of Parliament for Merioneth for thirteen years (from 1852), and high sheriff of the county in 1867; he was also a deputy-lieutenant, a county magistrate, and constable of Harlech castle (appointed 1874). It is, however, as an antiquary (he was president of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1850; about forty articles by him appeared in Archæologia Cambrensis), and genealogist that he will be remembered by posterity, and particularly as the careful custodian and studious searcher through, and cataloguer of, the Hengwrt manuscripts, which became his property, by bequest of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, 3rd baronet, in 1859 (see the article on Robert Vaughan, Hengwrt). By training and inclination he was ideally equipped for the trusteeship of the Hengwrt-Peniarth manuscripts, which, incidentally, included many volumes other than those formerly at Hengwrt (e.g. the Penbedw library). He contributed to Archæologia Cambrensis a catalogue of his manuscripts (1861-71); he was also generous in the matter of giving access to them to trusted scholars, whilst he must also have been very busy answering inquiries from a host of searchers throughout Britain. A most valuable feature of his work were notes which he supplied to S. R. Meyrick's edition of Lewis Dwnn's Heraldic Visitations (1846) and to Edward Breese's Kalendars of Gwynedd (1873). Others to whom he gave valued assistance were Sir Henry Ellis, editor of The Record of Kaernarvon (1838), and Askew Roberts, who prepared the third ed. (1877) of Sir John Wynn's History of the Gwydir Family. Angharad Llwyd and Richard Llwyd (‘Bard of Snowdon’) were often at Peniarth, whilst among Wynne's numerous correspondents were such antiquaries as Joseph Morris of Shrewsbury and John Jones, Llanllyfni. Other publications by him (besides numerous contributions to Mont. Coll., Y Cymmrodor, and Bye-Gones) were A … Guide to Harlech Castle (London, 1878) and Hist. of the Parish of Llanegryn (London, 1879); his projected reissue of John Davies 's, Display of Herauldry was not fulfilled because of his death. He died 9 June 1880, and was buried at Llanegryn. After the death of the survivor of his sons the bulk of the Peniarth manuscripts became the property (in 1909) of Sir John Williams (1840 - 1926), who had purchased the reversion, and came into the National Library of Wales.

See the separate article on the Owen family of Peniarth.

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Published date: 1959

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