CARTER family, of Kinmel, Denbighshire

Kinmel, near Abergele, once the property of a Lloyd family (Yorke, Royal Tribes, 2nd edn., 113), changed hands when Alice, heiress of Gruffudd Lloyd, married Richard ap Dafydd ab Ithel Fychan, of Plas Llaneurgain (Northop). Their daughter and heiress, Catherine, married Pyrs Holland (died 1552), of Faerdref (see Holland families, No. 5); thus was founded the house of Holland of Kinmel (ibid., No. 7). Pyrs was followed (J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees, 259) by a son, David, a grandson, PYRS (sheriff of Denbighshire, 1578), and a great-grandson, DAVID, sheriff of Denbighshire, 1596, whose will was proved in 1616. This David left two infant co-heiresses, Mary and ELIZABETH (she is called by Pennant ' Catherine ', and in some books ' Dorothy ' - which was her mother's name). In 1641 Mary was married to William Price of Rhiwlas, Meironnydd, and in 1647 Elizabeth married John Carter.

Sir JOHN CARTER (died 1676), colonel in the Parliamentary army,

was born at Dinton, Bucks., a village rich in associations with the Parliamentary cause. He was the eldest son of a Thomas Carter; a younger son, William, became a wealthy London merchant. Tradition avers that John started life as a linen-draper - hence the contemporary pun which described his marriage as the acquisition of ' the best piece of holland in the county.' But in 1645 he was successively captain and colonel of horse at Brereton's siege of Chester, and was one of the commissioners at its surrender in February 1645/6. In close association with George Twiselton, he took an active part in the siege of Denbigh, and in the administration of the town after its capitulation in October 1646. In November Carter was made governor of Conway castle, and subsequently commander in North Wales. The Second Civil War (1648) saw him again co-operating with Twiselton in the defeat and capture of Sir John Owen (1600 - 1666) near Llandygái. In 1650 he was sheriff of Caernarvonshire and a commissioner under the Act for Propagation of the Gospel in Wales; in 1651 (confirmed by Cromwell in his governorship of Conway), and again in 1656, lord-lieutenant of Caernarvonshire. He was Member of Parliament for Denbighshire in 1654, 1656, and 1658-9; and Cromwell knighted him c. March 1657/8. But towards the end of the Protectorate, Carter was evidently 'trimming'; he was expelled from the Rump Parliament. After the Restoration he was knighted afresh (June 1660) by the king, was, for a short time, Member of Parliament for Denbigh, was steward of the manor of Denbigh (July 1660), governor of Holyhead (November 1660), and sheriff of Denbighshire in 1665. He died 28 November 1676 (being then '57' - a very dubious statement), and was buried in the (now ruined) chancel of the old church of S. George (in Welsh, Cegidiog or Llansantsiôr). His character and trustworthiness have been variously estimated.

The Carter dynasty at Kinmel was but short-lived. Sir John's son, THOMAS CARTER (died 24 July 1702), was in chronic financial difficulties, and was in 1695 a prisoner in the Fleet. His two eldest sons, John and Thomas, had predeceased him in 1686, and it was his surviving son, WILLIAM CARTER, who inherited the heavily encumbered estate. In 1729 William procured an Act of Parliament, allowing him to sell out to Sir George Wynne of Leeswood, Flintshire; William then went to live at Redbourn, in Lincolnshire. The Kinmel estate continued to be an embarrassment even to its new owners, and in June 1781 a decree of Chancery sanctioned its sale to a David Roberts, of London, who, however (with his associates), sold it again, in 1786, to the Rev. Edward Hughes - see the article Hughes, Hugh Robert, which brings the story of Kinmel down to 1911. It may be added here that Hugh S. B. Hughes died in 1918, and his brother and heir in 1940. The house (which had been rebuilt) was occupied by the War Department during the 1914-19 war, and was sold in 1934; but the greater part of the lands passed to the heir who, in 1953, deposited the family papers in the library of University College, Bangor.

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Published date: 1959

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