Acton, Henry (fl. 1556)
The son of Sir Robert Acton (below). He succeeded his father to the manor of Deythwr with Robert Salwey as his chief steward. Henry Acton was Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1556 but probably lived out of the county as he seems to have
held no other office locally.
[W.V.Lloyd - "The Sheriffs of Montgomeryshire]
Acton, Sir Robert (fl. 1542)
The Actons were a Worcestershire family with properties in more than one parish. Sir Robert was a second son, his older brother Thomas holding the family seat at Sutton. He was twice granted estates in Worcestershire by Henry VIII and was described in the grants as the king's "favourite". He was Lord of the manor of Deythur in Montgomeryshire and was Sheriff of the county in 1542 and 1550. His son, also Robert, is thought to be the Robert Acton who was sheriff in 1549.
[W.V.Lloyd - "The Sheriffs of Montgomeryshire]
Adami, Adamo d. 22 March 1910
The death of Adelina Patti's old chef, Mr. Adamo Adami, proprietor of the Neuadd Arms Hotel, Llanwrtyd Wells, and well-known to holiday makers at that spa, passed away after a fortnight's illness during Tuesday night. Previous to going to Llanwrtyd Wells he was chef for many years to Madame Patti at Craig-y-nos Castle. Deceased was 43 years of age, and was much respected by all who knew him. [G.R.]
[Brecon & Radnor Express, 24 March 1910]
Adderton, Samuel (1646-1707)
Appointed Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in Jan 1700. He was descended from one Nicholas Adderton who was a corviser (cordwainer) in Staffordshire in mid-sixteenth century. The family moved to Shrewsbury soon after and members worked in various trades (smith, glover etc); Samuel was the second son of a draper and was himself admitted to the Drapers Company in 1689, and became Mayor of Shrewsbury in 1694 before being appointed Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1700 with leave to live out of the county. He is thought to have owned property in the county although his son carried on the same trade. Buried in the Abbey, Shrewsbury.
[MC 64 pp 55-56]
Alhaearn, Saint (fl. late 6th century)
The son of Cynfael of Llystyn Wennan in Caereinion and brother of saints Llwchaiarn and Cynhaiarn. He was the grandson of King Cyndrwyn of Powys and his father and uncle Cynddylan died defending the royal halls of Powys against Anglo-Saxon incursion. This is recorded in the famous lament of Llywarch Hen. Aelhaiarn probably founded the church at Cegidfa (Guilsfield).
Kennels: Abercaithon, Rhayader. Station: Rhayader. Couple of hounds: 6. Master of Hounds: Mr W Evans, Glanserth, Rhayader. Huntsman: W Curtis. Secretary: Mr H Lewis, Llwynbaedd, Rhayader. Hunt Uniform: Plain scarlet. Minimum subscription £2 2s. Hunting days: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Description of country "Lying in the north corner of Radnorshire amongst the hills a plentiful supply of foxes is assured, but riding is difficult. Hunting centres: Rhayader, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells.
[The foxhunters' yearbook 1930-1931]
Amwill (or Anwiy), William Lewis (d.1700/1) .
Listed as "of Cemaes Bychan, Mont.", William Lewis Anwyl was of a well established Merioneth family with their seat at Parc, Llanfrothen. He himself was Sheriff of Merioneth in 1698. The family inherited Cemais Bychan through marriage into the Herbert family, and so William was appointed Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1700. He died in Feb 1701 whilst still in office and was succeeded by Piers Lloyd.
The "Anabaptists" of Llanafanfawr and Llysdinam
The Parish Register for the years 1633 to 1719 for the parish of Llanafan Fawr in North Breconshire is now missing but was transcribed by local historian David Lewis Wooding. The Register, compiled by the incumbent William Williams and his successors, son William Williams, and then Howell Griffith, records two groups of “Anabaptists” in the area. By this term the vicar probably meant to indicate a dissenter under sentence of excommunication rather than a strict adherent of the sixteenth century European sect of that name. The first group was associated with a Thomas Evans of Pentre in Llysdinam (then a part of Llanafan Fawr parish). He had been the Puritan incumbent of the parish of Maesmynis who was ejected in 1662.
The second group used to meet at the house called Tanybwlch in Llanafan Fawr which was the home of Evan and James Thomas. When Evan died his brother continued leading his small group. After 1662 dissenting groups all over the country were subject to the harsh provisions of the Clarendon Code. Non-attendance at church led to excommunication. This meant that they could not be buried in hallowed ground. The Parish Register records burials wherever they may be and it would seem that James Thomas of Tanybwlch provided a small burial ground for his flock. At least one dissenter buried in the parish churchyard at Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan is known to have been exhumed during this period.
Secular courts could also punish dissenters but the “Anabaptists” seem to have avoided major civil persecution. The Act of Toleration of 1689 allowed freedom of worship to licensed groups and both of these groups continued under license. The origins of both these groups may lie with the ministry of Vavasor Powell who preached in the area during the Commonwealth and was arrested at a house near Builth as early as 1640. Local tradition claims Tanybwlch as the scene of this arrest.
[Owain Jones in B 18]
Armishaw, John (1807-?)
Born in the parish of Aston, Birmingham, he was employed as a clerk before enlisting in the Grenadier Guards on 2 January 1827 at the age of 20 as Private 1538. He was promoted to corporal on 8 September 1828, but resigned as corporal 7 November 1829. He continued in the service until 6 December 1830, when he was discharged on repayment of £20, having completed 3 years and 339 days service. His character assessment was "very good". On his discharge he joined the Metropolitan Police, but moved to Welshpool in 1835, where he became Chief Police Officer after the borough created a paid constabulary in the same year. Armishaw was one of the constables brought in by the authorities in advance of the famous Chartist riots at Llanidloes in 1839.
[Notes supplied by RHQ Grenadier Guards; MC 62; copy of letter book 1838-1842 in CAO ref M/X/54]
Ashley, John (d.1875)
Weaver. On 27 December 1784, in the parish of Llanelwedd stole one horse, value 20s., the property of Thomas Williams. Tried at Radnorshire Great Sessions 1785 for horse stealing. Radnorshire Quarter Sessions (5 October 1785): "Paid £2.2.- to Evan Morgan (Chaplain?) for attending convict before his execution". Hereford Journal 8 September 1785 "not above 30; hanged Saturday last". Shrewsbury Chronicle Hanged Saturday 3 September. St Andrew's Church, Presteigne Register "Buried 3 September".
Ashton, Charles (1848-1899)
Born at Ty'nsarn, Llawryglyn in the parish of Trefeglwys, Montgomeryshire; he worked initially as a lead miner and railway porter; became policeman in Merioneth Constabulary 1869-94 rising to the rank of sergeant. He devoted most of his spare time to the study of Welsh literature. On retirement in 1895 he devoted all his time to writing and researching. His main works were History of Welsh Literature from 1650 to 1850, The Life and Times of Bishop Morgan and a collection of the works of Iolo Goch (John Roberts, the Denbighshire poet), all in Welsh. Many of these works were written for various eisteddfodau. He committed suicide at Dinas Mawddwy in 1899.
Ashton, John (1830-?)
Composer and musician. Born at Llanwnog, Montgomeryshire; worked initially as a shoemaker, then joined the police force; emigrated to New Zealand, 1874; winner of eisteddfod prizes for musical compositions; composer of such tunes as Trefeglwys, Llanfyllin, etc.
Atkins, Mary (? Ann)
Mary Atkins, convict on the ship Lloyds to Van Diemen's Land for 10 years, tried at the Breconshire Assizes March 1845; (Ann Atkins, Pembrokeshire, Convict, tried in Breconshire for theft, described as of a bad character and "having belonged to a gang of the worst characters"). [The confusion over names exists in the text].
Aubrey, Thomas (1808-1867)
Thomas “travelled” extensively on North Wales circuits, in London, Liverpool, and, much nearer home, Merthyr Tydfil, when he became a supernumerary. Thomas Aubrey is remembered first and foremost as an eloquent and highly successful preacher, but also achieved great standing as an administrator despite his apparent lack of interest in circuit administration prior to 1854. Thomas died at Rhyl on 16th November 1867.
Aubrey, Thomas (1808-1867)
Prominent Wesleyan Methodist from Cefn Coed y Cymmer, in South Breconshire. Born into an iron-workers community he worked at the furnaces in Nant-y-Glo in his youth before being converted to Methodism after passing a chapel one day on his way home from work and being drawn in by the siging. He began to preach before even attaining the age of 15 and in 1826 was welcomed into the Wesleyan Methodist ministry.
Thomas “travelled” extensively on North Wales circuits, in London, Liverpool, and, much nearer home, Merthyr Tydfil, when he became a supernumerary. Thomas Aubrey is remembered first and foremost as an eloquent and highly successful preacher, but also achieved great standing as an administrator despite his apparent lack of interest in circuit administration prior to 1854. Thomas died at Rhyl on 16th November 1867. [Chris Price]
Aubrey (or Awbrey), William (c.1529-1595)
Son of Thomas Aubrey of Cantref, Brecon. He is said to have attended Christ's College, Brecon before reading Law at Oxford. He served as Sheriff of Breconshire as early as 1545, no doubt as a result of his father's influence. He graduated in 1549 and went on to a doctorate in 1554, becoming a Fellow of All Souls and Jesus and Principal of New Inn Hall. After this he devoted himself to his practice in the prerogative and ecclesiastical courts as Master in Chancery, Master of Requests (1590), advocate in the Court of Arches and Judge of Audience in the Court of Canterbury (c.1592). In the ecclesiastical courts he was active against the Puritan and Brownist factions in church and college. He took part in the prosecution of distant kinsman John Penry in 1593. He was involved in the reform of the church courts and judgments on matters of international law. This latter involved important judgments on matters of maritime law during the days of international rivalry with Spain. His political involvement had begun as early as the reign of Queen Mary when he had accompanied Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke on his expedition to France as Judge Advocate. In the 1590s awkward political and constitutional matters were still being referred to him as Master of Requests by no less a person than Lord Burghley. His own political career began as MP for Carmarthen in 1554 and Brecon in 1558. He was a member of the Council of Wales in 1586. He acquired large estates in Breconshire and South Wales and was a very rich man at his death. He was also said to be a friend and neighbour of John Dee.
Audi, Sheikh Joseph (d.1918)
Shopkeeper, Llandrindod Wells and Jerusalem. A Christian arab from Ramallah in Palestine, he came to Llandrindod Wells in the 1890's and opened the Oriental Bazaar selling Turkish carpets, inlaid furniture, oriental weapons and Persian pipes. At the end of each summer season he returned to Palestine where he worked as a guide. During the years of the First World War he was unable to travel to Ramallah as it was under Turkish and German control. Soldiers from Llandrindod who were serving with the allied forces met his family and sent news of them to him. He died, a much-respected local tradesman, in 1918.
[RT 62;CAO R/X/39/27].