Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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BRYDGES , Sir HARFORD JONES ( 1764 - 1847 ), diplomatist and author .

Born 12 Jan. 1764 , son of Harford Jones , Presteign, Rads. , and Winifred , daughter of Richard Hooper , The Whittern , Herefords. The son assumed, 4 May 1826 , the additional surname of Brydges.

The career of Harford Jones ( Brydges ) is described in D.N.B. ; only a brief mention is, therefore, necessary here. Early in life he entered the service of the East India Company . He became proficient in Oriental languages and was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the court of Persia ; this post, that of the first British ambassador to Persia , he held from 1807 (in which year he was created a baronet ) until 1811 .

He published The Dynasty of the Kajars, translated from the original Persian manuscript , 1833 ; An Account of His Majesty's Mission to Persia in the years 1807-11, to which is added a brief history of the Wahanby , 1834 ; Letter on the Present State of British Interests and Affairs in Persia , 1838 , etc. A decwided Whig , he showed much interest in the election contests of Radnorshire , where he founded ‘ The Grey Coat Club ,’ a political association; in 1841 he was appointed a deputy-lieutenant of Radnorshire . On 15 June 1831 he became D.C.L. (honorary) of Oxford , and in 1832 a privy councillor .

His wife was Sarah , daughter of Sir Henry Gott , Newland Park, Bucks. He d. 17 March 1847 at Boultibrook , near Presteign , a house whence (in 1923 ) some Boultibrook manuscripts came to the National Library of Wales (now N.L.W. MSS. 4901-12 ), to be supplemented (in 1943 ) by a very large group of Harford Jones and Harford Jones Brydges papers which came from Kentchurch Court , Herefords . Included in the Kentchurch Court group are ( a ) Harford Jones estate and manorial documents, and ( b ) Harford Jones Brydges diplomatic and other papers, East India Company and Government papers and letters, and, particularly, papers relating to the mission to Persia — all in English , French , Persian , etc.

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , and the sources named therein;
  • Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales , 1940 ff , vii, 52-3;
  • Annual Report of the National Library of Wales , Aberystwyth , 1942-3 , 32-3.

Author:

Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959