Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EDISBURY family, of Bedwal , Marchwiel , Pentre-clawdd , and Erddig ( Denbs. ).

This Cheshire family, descended from Wilkin de Edisbury , first appears in Denbighshire c. 1544 , when RICHARD WILKINSON , alias EDISBURY , held lands in Bedwal . His younger son, ROBERT WILKINSON EDISBURY (d. 1610 ), extended the estate by marriage with Jane , daughter of Kenrick ap Howel of Stryt yr Hwch , Marchwiel . Their son, KENRICK EDISBURY (d. 1638 ), entered the service of the Navy Board , perhaps through the influence of Sir John Trevor I , of Trefalun (see under Trevor of Trefalun ), whom he ultimately succeeded as surveyor ( 17 Dec. 1632 ) — his tenure of the office being marked by a ruthless efficiency which materially helped in Charles I 's reorganization of the Navy . On 30 Aug. 1630 he bought the estate of Pentre-clawdd . He d. at Chatham on 27 Aug. 1638 , and is commemorated by an inscription and a well-executed bust in S. Mary's church there, flanked by an epitaph to his father, who had d. there on a visit. His heir JOHN EDISBURY ( c. 1608 - 1677 ), educated at Queen's College , Oxford (matriculated 30 April 1624 ), who entered the Inner Temple ( 1625 ) on the nomination of Sir T. Trevor ( 1572 - 1656 ) , and was called to the Bar in April 1634 , also held a post under the Navy Office . As a supporter of the king he was rounded up by Parliamentary forces at Bangor Iscoed on 16 Feb. 1643 , but released on exchange, and in 1646 he became steward of Chirkland under Sir Thomas Myddelton ( 1586 - 1666 ) . This gave him influence with the victorious party, which made him a somewhat reluctant magistrate and commissioner of taxes and of the militia ( 1648 ) for his county; he also petitioned successfully ( 3 Nov. 1647 ) for the office of protonotary and clerk for Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire on the ground of the ‘delinquency’ of his predecessors in reversion to the office, and in 1654 he added the stewardship of Oswestry , but he himself was under formal charge of delinquency from 1653-5 (though the case was never concluded) and from the king's execution till 1657 he was out of local politics. Meanwhile he had bought most of the Erthig estate , which the ancient Welsh family of Erddig had been gradually alienating while retaining the ancestral house of Little Erddig . He m. as his second wife his patron's daughter, Christian , widow of Sir Roger Grosvenor of Eaton , Chester , to whose children by her first marriage (his wards) he had to refund large sums of misappropriated money in 1675 . His eldest son JOSUA EDISBURY (d. c. 1718 ), educated at Brasenose , Oxford , became sheriff of Denbighshire in 1682 , and in 1684 started building on a lavish scale a new hall at Erddig , for which (together with rash speculation in Flintshire lead mines, begun by his father) he overmortgaged his estates. By 1708 Pentre-clawdd and other lands had been entered on by Sir John Trevor of Brynkynallt ( 1637 - 1717 , see Trevor of Brynkynallt ), a principal mortgagee and a political foe of Edisbury 's patrons the Myddeltons , and Erddig was held in trust for the creditors. Josua Edisbury 's brother JOHN EDISBURY ( c. 1646 - 1713 ), who had followed him to Brasenose ( 9 Nov. 1661 ), becoming a D.C.L. in 1672 , an advocate of Doctors’ Commons , M.P. for Oxford University ( 1678-9 ), and a master in chancery ( 1684-1708 ), ruined himself by misappropriating funds to help his brother. John Edisbury 's successor in office, JOHN MELLOR , son of a London draper , bought Erddig in 1718 , and it was through his nephew Simon Yorke (see under Yorke , Philip ) that it descended to the present owners.


  • A. N. Palmer , History of the thirteen country townships of the old parish of Wrexham, and of the townships of Burras Riffri, Erlas, & Erddig Being the fifth and last part of "A history of the town and parish of Wrexham" (1903) , 1903 , 224-36;
  • A. L. Cust , Chronicles of Erthig on the Dyke (London, 1914) , chapter i;
  • Transactions of the Chester Architectural, Archaeological, and Historic Society (1857–1909) , xxii, 27-54;
  • Cambrian Quarterly Magazine (1829–33) , i, 60;
  • W. M. Myddelton , Chirk Castle Accounts, A.D. 1605-1666 (St. Albans, 1908) , 24 n.;
  • Calendar of the Committee for Advance of Money, 1642–56 (1888) , iv, 1480-1 ;
  • Students admitted to Inner Temple, 1547-1660 (London, 1877) , 1547-1660 , 243;
  • Sturgess , Register of Admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, 1501–1944 (1949) , i, 213;
  • N.L.W., Chirk Castle Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth) E. 1030, 1044, 1087,
  • Edward Owen deeds, 77,
  • Rhual Manuscript 146,
  • NLW MS 12405E;
  • Huntington Lib. Calif., MS. EL7436.


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

Published date: 1959