Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ELLICE ( ELLIS ), ROBERT ( fl. 1640 ), Royalist soldier ,

was the elder son of Gruffydd Elis ap Risiart of Frondeg , near Bersham, Denbs. , the family coming originally from Hopedale and claiming descent on the male side (with a bend sinister) from Sandde Hardd , conqueror of Hopedale ( c. 1100 ), and on the female side from the Stanley s of Ewloe . Robert Ellice acquired, possibly from his uncle PETER ELLICE (d. 1637 ) of Wrexham (a learned lawyer and antiquary , whose genealogical collections were extensively used by Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt , q.v. ), the estate of Gwasnewydd (now Croes-newydd ) in the township of Broughton and parish of Wrexham . His family lived there till towards the close of the 17th cent. , but in 1646 he is described as ‘of Ruabon .’ He served under Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years War , and on his return in the Civil War at home on 15 Jan. 1643 (on royal orders) he seized Chirk castle , the seat of the Roundhead Sir Thomas Myddelton (q.v.) and commanded 600 Welsh Royalist infantry at Middlewich, Ches. ( March 1643 ), where they were defeated and Ellice captured. Released in Sept. 1643 , he was given command for the king over Denbighshire and Flintshire with 1,200 men, at the head of whom he took part in operations round Wem ( March 1644 ) and helped to defend Montgomeryshire against the ensuing Roundhead invasion. In 1645-6 he took part in the defence of Conway and Chester . He was admitted to composition and fined £200 (at the rate of one-tenth), later reduced to £150 on the plea that he had only a life-interest in the estate. His younger brother THOMAS ELLICE (entered Gray's Inn 1651 ) became governor of Barbados .

Robert Ellice d. before 1661 , and was succeeded by his son PETER ELLICE (d. 1719 ), who became a J.P. and deputy-steward of Bromfield and Yale . Extensive rebuilding forced him to mortgage the estate bit by bit, until by 1750 it had passed into the hands of the mortgagees.


  • 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 , 82-90;
  • History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog , iii, 68;
  • J. R. Phillips , Memoirs of the Civil War in Wales and the Marches, 1642–1649 , 1874 , i, 145, 164, ii, 55-6;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , i, 34-5;
  • Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire Historical Society Transactions , iii, 50, 55, 75;
  • Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society i, 24;
  • Calendar of the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents, etc., 1643–1660 . Record Publication , ii, 1499-1500 ;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1913-5 , 30-1;
  • T. Pennant , A Tour (Tours) in [North] WalesPennant, Thomas , 1883 , i, 349;
  • Sir W. Brereton's Letter sent to the Honoble William Lenthal Esq….concerning all the passages and treaties of the siege and taking of the city of Chester And by Mr. Speaker appointed to be printed and published With a most exact declaration of Chesters enlargement after three yeers bondage, set forth by Nathanael Lancaster, chaplein to the Cheshire forces , 5 March 1645/6 , 5 March 1645 / 6 , 5;
  • N.L.W. Hanmer deeds, 114;
  • Crosse of Shaw Hill Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales , 1114.


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

Published date: 1959