Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ANWYL family, of Park , Llanfrothen, Mer.

The Anwyl s of Park , Llanfrothen, Mer. , derived from Robert ap Morris of Park (d. 1576 ), fourth son of Morris ap John ap Meredydd of Rhiwaedog , whose exploits are recorded in the History of the Gwydir Family by Sir John Wynn . The younger sons of Robert ap Morris took the surname Roberts: John , of Vanner , being father of David , rector of Llanbedrog , chaplain to the earl of Warwick , while the descendants of Lewis Anwyl (d. 1605 ), retained his distinctive baptismal name.

WILLIAM LEWIS ANWYL , J.P. , D.L. (d. 1642 ), high sheriff of Merioneth , 1610 and 1623 , and of Caernarvonshire , 1636 , a leader in public affairs , who purchased Llwyn , Dolgelley , rebuilt Park , and increased his estates fourfold by m. with Elizabeth Herbert , a Montgomeryshire heiress , and his influence by the betrothal of the majority of their children to the heirs and heiresses of the neighbouring families, LEWIS ANWYL , their eldest son, d. in 1641 , during his shrievalty, leaving an only daughter, Catherine , who m. William Owen of Brogyntyn (see the article Wynn and Owen , Clenennau and Brogyntyn ).

RICHARD ANWYL , the youngest son, high sheriff of Merioneth , 1658 and 1659 , and nominated Knight of the Royal Oak , continued his father's work as D.L. and d. s.p. at Llwyn in 1685 . Their second son, ROBERT ANWYL , who had conducted Prynne in a hazardous voyage from Caernarvon Roads to the Isle of Jersey in 1637 , was fined £1,200 for his loyalty in advancing £300 to the king during the Civil War ; he was high sheriff of Merioneth , 1650 . He d. in 1653 , leaving two infant sons by his wife Katherine , daughter of col. Sir John Owen ( 1600 - 1666 ) . Madam KatherineAnwyl , a woman of character and a patroness of Welsh literature , outlived both LEWIS , d. 1678 , and OWEN , J.P. , of Plas Newydd , Llanfrothen , d. 1695 , and d. at Marl in 1700 .

WILLIAM LEWIS ANWYL of Cemmes Bychan, Mont. , high sheriff of Merioneth , 1698 , only son of Lewis Anwyl (d. 1678 ), d. s.p. at King Street , Westminster , in Feb. 1700-1 , aged 25, and was buried in the Abbey . By a codicil to his will, a few days before his death, he revoked the settlement of his Montgomery estate upon his cousin Catherine , daughter of Owen Anwyl and wife of Sir Griffith Williams , bart. , of Marl (see Williams of Marl ) in favour of his cousins the Owen s of Porkington (now Brogyntyn ), and devised an annuity of £100 in perpetuity to Edward , eldest son of Edward Anwyl of Bodtalog , Towyn , his heir-at-law, in addition to other bequests. The will was the subject of litigtion for many years, and although in 1716 the Master in Chancery considered that the estates if sold would not discharge the debts, legacies, and costs, they eventually passed, however encumbered, to the Williams es and the Owen s . Park and Llwyn were mortgaged in 1748 and alienated soon after 1761 .

The Anwyl s bore the coat attributed to Owen Gwynedd — ‘Vert, three eagles displayed in fess Or.’


  • Sir John Wynn , The History of the Gwydir Family (1927) ;
  • Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches (1846) , ii, 71, 215;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1942, xcvii; ;
  • Peniarth Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth) 116, 117, 121, 124, 288, Gwydir Papers, Brogyntyn Letters and Papers;
  • P.R.O., Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series , Chancery Proceedings, Welsh Plea Rolls, Fines and Recoveries.


Philip Hugh Lawson, F.S.A., Hoole, Chester

Published date: 1959