Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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CLOUGH of Plas Clough , Glan-y-wern , Bathafarn , and Hafodunos ( 18th and 19th cent. ).

During the 17th cent. the descendants of Sir Richard Clough (q.v.) lived quietly in Denbighshire , providing the county with successive sheriffs and the county town with successive aldermen . Towards the middle of the 18th cent. a fresh accession of ambition and business ability enabled them to absorb through marriage or purchase the estates of the Thelwalls of Bathafarn , the Powells of Glan-y-wern , and the Lloyds of Hafodunos , and so to provide for a succession of enormous families, several members in each generation going up to the universities and achieving some local eminence in clerical, legal, or military circles. Of the thirteen children of HUGH CLOUGH ( 1709 - 1760 ), three followed him to Oxford and one, HUGH CLOUGH (b. 1746 ) went to Cambridge and became Fellow of King's , a friend of Cowper and Hayley , and himself a minor poet , but died young. The youngest, ROGER CLOUGH ( 1759 - 1833 ), after leaving Oxford , m. Anne Jemima Butler of Warminghurst , Sussex (sister and coheiress of his elder brother's wife and — descended from the Dolbens of Segrwyd , q.v. ), coupling her name with his own. Presented to a Sussex living, he exchanged it for Gwyddelwern ( 1791 ), then Corwen ( 1797 ), and sold her Sussex estate to buy Bathafarn in his own county. He was made a canon of S. Asaph in 1793 , a J.P. c. 1794 , and a common councillor of Denbigh in 1802 . As magistrates he and his brother and fellow- canon Rev. TOMAS CLOUGH ( 1756 - 1814 ) — alderman ( 1794 ), and later rector ( 1797 ) of Denbigh — took vigorous action in putting down serious riots in the town against methods of raising the local militia for the French war ( 1795 ). His flair for business appears in his work from 1792 as an agricultural improver — much praised by Gwallter Mechain ( Walter Davies , q.v.) and recognized by the gold medal of the Society of Arts ( 1807 ) — on his farm of Eriviat and the Bathafarn estate, and also in his association with David Mason ( Ystrad Uchaf ), Rev. J. Lloyd Jones ( Plas Madoc ), and his own nephew and son-in-law Richard Butler Clough (whose wife Catherine inspired the dedication of Old Colwyn church , near the family seat of Plas Min-y-don ) to found at Denbigh ( c. 1794 ) one of the pioneer banks of North Wales . Its failure during the slump of 1814 involved the sale of other industrial properties in which the partners had invested, and the payment in full of the creditors ( 1822 ) meant a heavy drain on Clough 's inherited fortune and that of his wife. Luckily most of their ten children were already started on professional careers or prosperously married; the second son, JAMES CLOUGH ( 1784 - 1844 ), set up as a cotton merchant in Liverpool , and acquired vicarious fame through his two children ARTHUR CLOUGH ( 1819 - 1861 ), the poet , and ANNE CLOUGH ( 1820 - 1892 ), pioneer of women's education and first principal of Newnham , both of whom resided for a time at Min-y-don (now destroyed).

[On the brief connection with Hafodunos , see under Lloyd , John ( 1749 - 1815 ) .]

Sources:

  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families , 1914 , 329-30, 369;
  • J. Williams , Ancient and modern Denbigh a descriptive history of the castle, borough and liberties with sketches of the lives, character and exploits of the feudal lords , Denbigh, 1856 , 280;
  • The Records of Denbigh and its Lordship bearing upon the general history of the county of Denbigh since the conquest of Wales ; illustrated with many gems of Welsh mediæval poetry never before published , 1770 , 171-2;
  • Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , i, 360, iii, 199;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses , i, 266;
  • William Davies , General view of the agriculture and domestic economy of North Wales containing the counties of Anglesey, Caernarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Meirionydd, Montgomery. Drawn up and published by order of the Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement , London, 1810 , 261;
  • Economica , London , 1926 , 22;
  • The North Wales Gazette , 12 Dec. 1822 , 27 Feb. 1823 ;
  • Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies , iv, 61-73;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , xi, 127;
  • J. I. Osborne , Arthur Hugh Clough , London, 1920 , 1920 ;
  • B. A. Clough , A Memoir of Anne Jemima Clough , London, 1897 , 1897 ;
  • Proceedings of the Llandudno and District Field Club , Llanfairfechan, 1906-1953 , xx, 24.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Published date: 1959