A Bundle of Miscellanea.
THIS is the only title it has been found
practicable to give to a collection of
various kinds of documents, divided
into small groups according to their
No. I. of the first group is an
extract from a Rental of circa 1540
relating to the possessions of the
Cistercian Abbeys of Neath and Margam. It sets out
the payments periodically due from Neath Abbey, and
the annual value of the lands of Margam Abbey, within
the Cardiff district.
Rental No. II., dated in 1547, is a statement of the King's
rents in the parish of Roath &c., portion of his Royal Lordship
of Glamorgan. It is drawn up from information supplied to the
late Queen's Auditor, whose notes, atrociously written, appear in
the margin. The document is a curious mixture of bad Latin and
worse English, with Welsh names so misspelt as to be almost
unrecognisable. The list of tenants comprises freeholders and
copyholders, and it is evident that the Bailiff had great difficulty
in collecting the small quit-rents.
Thirdly we have an extract from a Survey of 1570, relating to
Cardiff Borough. It was taken from the original in the munimentroom of Cardiff Castle, and incorporated in a Brief for Counsel,
about the year 1860. It is here copied from the said Brief.
The fourth document consists of a couple of extracts from a
Survey of Glynrhondda, in 1666, lent by Colonel Turbervill of
Ewenny. The reason for its publication is its clear explanation of
the otherwise obscure terms "towl or chense," "advowry" and
"mises," which so frequently occur in our manorial records.
We next have, under date Michaelmas 1686, a schedule of the
King's chief rents in the town and liberties of Cardiff. The original
is in bad condition and the writing illegible in places, especially
towards the end. It has, however, been judged worthy of inclusion
in this collection, principally on account of its mention of important
townsfolk and their places of residence.
The Assessment is long, and will perhaps seem of little interest
to the casual reader. But here again we have a document of great
value; it is a complete list of the responsible inhabitants of Cardiff in
the year 1703.
To come to the second group: Bishop Kitchin's Report on
the churches and cures of the Diocese of Llandaff is addressed to
the Privy Council and contains some interesting information as
to the parishes and their incumbents. This document is copied
from the Harleian Manuscripts at the British Museum, the catalogue
whereof assigns it to the year 1603. This is obviously a mistake, as
Anthony Kitchin died in 1563. From internal evidence I infer that
1558 is approximately the date of the Report.
Next is printed a document of circa 1580, from the Additional
Manuscripts at the British Museum, being a statement as to chantry
lands in connection with Llandaff cathedral.
I give a note of a document in the Cardiff Free Library, John
Penry's Exhortation, addressed to the "governors and people of her
Majesty's country of Wales." This Puritan sermon, composed in the
year 1588, almost entitles its author to the designation of "the
Welsh John Knox."
"A breviate with Notes" is the title of a manuscript in the
Cardiff Free Library, among the collection of MSS. purchased by the
Corporation in 1895 at Cheltenham, portion of the celebrated library
of the late Sir Thomas Phillips, baronet. This book contains a
brief survey of the principal manors in Glamorgan, and also some
genealogical notes on the leading families of the county. It was
written in the year 1596 by Rice Lewis, for the private use of
the gentlemen attending upon the second Earl of Pembroke, and
is dedicated to Thomas Morgan of Ruperra, esquire, Steward of his
Lordship's household. It supplies some items of information which
I have not met with elsewhere, relative to the manors. It mentions
the fair held at Cardiff in the Autumn, and says it was kept on
"Lady Day in Harvest." This, however, is the popular name
usually given to the feast of the Assumption (15 August), whereas
the fair was on 8 September, the feast of the Nativity of Our
Lady. Rice Lewis is a devoted adherent to the Earl of Pembroke;
he considers him to be the greatest lord that ever held lands in
Glamorgan since Iestyn ap Gwrgan, and wishes his noble master
possessed as great privileges as any of his predecessors. He is
wrong, though, in stating that the Earl owned all the lands which any
Lord of Glamorgan ever had, even if he means only in the Lordship
itself. I am inclined to question his authority for naming Llanedern
as a manor, and still more for making it include Cefn Mabli. He
is correct in placing Cardiff Castle in the Manor of Roath, though
probably not in including the Friars in Roath-Tewkesbury.
Rice Lewis gives the descent of the second Earl of Pembroke,
in a female line, from Iestyn ap Gwrgan, the last native Prince of
Glamorgan, through the renowned Sir David Gam.
He speaks of Roath as a chapelry, though it had been a separate
parish for nearly a century; erroneously placing it, moreover, ¾ of a
mile (instead of a mile and a quarter) from Cardiff.
On the whole it is clear that the "breuiat" must be studied with
caution, as the quaint and interesting production of an ingenious
young gentleman, enthusiastically loyal to his noble patron, but not
too particular about accuracy.
Some old title-deeds of the Cardiff Corporation next engage our
attention. The first of these, dated 1 October 1600, is a conveyance
by John Wastell, of Cardiff, gentleman, to his brother, Nicholas
Wastell, of a burgage or house and garden in the parish of Saint
Mary, Cardiff—apparently situate between the Town Wall and the
Hayes, north of the Cock Tower—and of an acre of land in
Southrew, or Sowdrey; together with the fourth part of one acre
belonging to the aforesaid messuage. The grant is in fee simple,
but the premises are to be holden of the chief lord of that fee, by
the services therefor previously due and of right accustomed. The
Wastells, an old family of Cardiff burgesses, were bakers for
generations, and were often members of the Corporation.
In the second deed, of 22 July 1606, we have a conveyance
made by Elizabeth Hengod, widow, and John Hengod, cordwainer,
both of Cardiff, to John Collyns, of the same town, cordwainer, of
a messuage and bakehouse, curtilage and garden situate in Saint John
Street (now called Church Street), Cardiff. These premises occupied
the site now covered by the shop of Messrs. Boyle & Co., bootmakers, at the north-east corner of Church Street, next to Mr. Nell's
brewhouse; they afterwards became the parish almshouse, as will
be seen by the subsequent conveyance of the premises.
Under date 7 November 1616, we have a grant by Mary
Henburie, widow, to Nicholas Wastell, gentleman, both of Cardiff,
of a burgage or dwellinghouse, curtilage and garden in Saint Mary
Street; and also a piece of marshland near the West Moors of Cardiff,
with the fishing-place there called Annie Butcher's Heng; all which
premises descended to the said Mary Henburie from Rhys Wastell,
her deceased father. The premises in Saint Mary Street were by
Nicholas Wastell devised to the use of the poor of Cardiff for ever.
(See Vol. III., p. 125.)
The next deed, dated 7 March 1717, made by John Collines
to James Gale, both Aldermen of Cardiff, is a conveyance of the
premises comprised in the abovementioned deed of 22 July 1606.
The description of the property is slightly different in this document;
which terms it a dwellinghouse, bakehouse and curtilage called the
Armoury House, in St. John Street, near the church. This deed
also conveys a garden lying behind the Hayes, near the Town
Wall—perhaps the premises comprised in the grant of 1 October
1600. The document records a feoffment of this property by livery
of seisin executed upon the lands and tenements, which were
afterwards given by Alderman Gale for the benefit of the poor.
Lastly I print particulars of a Bargain and Sale by Christopher
Wells, of Cardiff, cordwainer, dated 4 June 1670, which grants to
Cradock Wells, esquire, Senior Bailiff of Cardiff, the remainder
(nearly the whole) of a 99 years' lease of an eight-windowed shop
called the Shambles under the Town Hall, together with two gardens
in Waste Lane (the north end of Working Street), and two waste
plots near the East Gate and North Gate respectively—the said
premises having theretofore been leased to the said Christopher
Wells by the Corporation. It is interesting to note that the lease by
the Corporation was executed by the Bailiffs and the Common
Attorneys. Reference is made to waste ground outside the North
Gate, whereon the townsfolk lay their refuse.
The year 1620 is approximately the date to which we must
assign "The Case against the Paying of Impost for Wines." The
question of customs dues was then very much to the fore. This document was written, doubtless by a lawyer, with the object of supporting
resistance to the payment of a tax on wine in Wales. The writer
begins by remarking that the "Statute for the ordinance for Wales"
lays no such impost on the Principality. Queen Elizabeth, he says,
gave the impost to certain of her favourites; but when those noblemen attempted to enforce payment thereof upon Welsh merchants,
they were unsuccessful: He is of opinion that the mises paid by the
Welsh are in consideration of their ancient customs, which include
exemption from impost. It appears, from the concluding paragraph
of the document, that some Presentment was in preparation, which
was to comprise a declaration of Wales' exemption from the obnoxious
"The Great Baronies of Wales" is a tabulated statement in
Latin, apparently drawn up circa 1630, of the chief lordships of the
Principality, and of their dependent manors. The arms of each
great barony are depicted, and the whole manuscript is a fine piece of
penmanship. It is preserved in the Cardiff Free Library, being a
portion of the Corporation's purchase from the Phillips collection.
I have extracted the section which concerns the Lordship of Cardiff
Castle and its dependencies. The document is very deficient in
particulars of the lordships in Monmouthshire.
From Fonmon Castle comes a series of historical gleanings
relative to the Civil War of the seventeenth century, collected for
the most part from rare contemporary news-sheets and broadsides.
The particulars include such points of local interest as the names of
the successive Governors of Cardiff Castle, under King and Parliament respectively; King Charles the First's visit to Cardiff in the
summer of 1645; a copy of the Royal Commission appointing
Sir Richard Bassett as Governor of Cardiff; Colonel Carne's transference of his adherence from the Parliament to the King, whereby
Cardiff was for a time restored to Charles' interest; the defeat of the
Cardiff Royalists in 1645; full details of the disastrous battle of
Saint Fagan's; and finally the military execution of Captain Berkeley
and two other captured Royalists at Cardiff.
The next item in this chapter is a rare broadside, bound up
with miscellaneous manuscript and printed matter relating to Wales,
portion of the Phillips collection at the Cardiff Free Library. It
possesses a melancholy interest, as a relic of sectarian animosity,
being a sort of counterblast to an account which the Catholics had
published of the recent death of the two priests hanged, drawn and
quartered at Cardiff on 22 July 1679. The object of the broadside
appears to have been the counteracting of any impression favourable
to Popery, which might have been made either by the executions
themselves or by the Catholic report of them. If violence of
language could effect the author's purpose, it must have been
Mr. Llewellyn's document of 1688 is a curiosity of byegone
politics. It is a Mandate from the Mayor and Bailiffs of Cardiff,
summoning the Portreeve and Corporation of Neath to the Guildhall
of Cardiff, there to take part in the electing of a Burgess to sit in the
first Parliament of William and Mary. The Mandate appears to be
issued under the authority of a Council composed of the members
of the last Parliament of King Charles II.; this re-assembled Council
it was who empowered the Prince of Orange to assume the Crown of
Great Britain and Ireland. The Neath Corporation reply that they
are submissive and humbly obedient to his Highness the Prince of
Orange, that they have met at the Guildhall of Neath (not at Cardiff)
and have made choice of Thomas Mansell of Margam, esquire, for the
From the British Museum Additional MSS. we have some of
Browne Willis' notes on Llandaff Cathedral, copied by Cole in 1752.
The necessary editorial explanations are given with the text, but the
antiquary's attention may be specially called to the description of the
ancient pontifical finger-ring of the Bishops of Llandaff, which in
1769 was in Horace Walpole's possession at Strawberry Hill.
To Mr. Oliver H. Jones of Fonmon Castle I am indebted for
permission to copy the amusing Rules of the Sociable Society of
Ladies, 1755. The locus in quo does not clearly appear, but it was
somewhere not far from Cardiff. This document is followed by notes
of a few curious papers in the Cardiff Museum, which are worth
preserving in print.