G. T. Clark starts the line with HENRY MANSEL , who is said to have settled in Gower in the reign of Edward I . Following him came RICHARD (ROBERT ?) MANSEL , RICHARD MANSEL , Sir HUGH MANSEL (who m. Isabel , daughter and heiress of Sir John Penrice of Penrice castle in Gower ), and PHILIP MANSEL , slain in the Wars of the Roses and attainted. Philip Mansel 's wife was Mary , daughter of Gruffudd ap Nicolas of Newton ; their son JENKIN MANSEL of Oxwich , ‘ The Valiant ,’ had the attainder reversed in 1485 .
It was Sir RICE MANSEL (d. 1559 ), of Penrice and Oxwich , son of Jenkin Mansel (of Oxwich ), who purchased Margam abbey from the Crown ( De Gray Birch , Catalogue ). His son, Sir EDWARD MANSEL (d. 1595 ), of Penrice , Oxwich , and Margam , m. Jane Somerset , daughter of Henry , 2nd earl of Worcester ; among their children were THOMAS MANSEL (the heir), FRANCIS MANSEL (whence the Mansel family of Muddlescombe, Carms. — see catalogue of the Muddlescombe Documents in N.L.W. , and the article on Francis Mansell ), and Sir Robert Mansel , vice-admiral of England .
Sir Thomas Mansel (d. 1631 ), baronet , who held the offices of sheriff and knight of the shire for Glamorgan and one of whose sons was ARTHUR MANSEL , father of Bussy Mansel , was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir LEWIS MANSEL (d. 1638 ), 2nd baronet , who matriculated at Oxford , 30 Jan. 1600/1 and was admitted to Lincoln's Inn , 5 Feb. 1603/4 . Anthony Wood says that he gave £50 a year for several years towards the library of Jesus College , Oxford ; he was first cousin to Francis Mansell , principal of Jesus College , Oxford . Sir Lewis Mansel appears to have been succeeded, as 3rd baronet , by his son, HENRY MANSEL , who, however, d. young, being succeeded by his brother, Sir EDWARD MANSEL (d. aged 70, 17 Nov. 1706 ), 4th baronet , who was probably one of the most influential persons in South Wales affairs during his period. The duke of Beaufort visited Margam during his ‘Progress’ (as Lord President of Wales ) in 1684 ( T. Dineley , Account of the Progress … ), Sir Edward figures prominently in the Margam muniments in schedule where, e.g., there are references to his duties as vice-admiral of South Wales ; see also the De Gray Birch Catalogues ). One of his daughters, Martha , m. Thomas Morgan of Tredegar — see Morgan family of Tredegar ; the marriage and its after-effects caused the baronet much trouble because Thomas Morgan was reluctant to return from a tour on the continent of Europe . Sir Edward 's heir, Sir THOMAS MANSEL (d. 1723 ), baronet, was created 1st baron Mansel , 31 Dec. 1711 . Sir Thomas became prominent not only in South Wales affairs but in Parliamentary and Government circles also. He was Member of Parliament for Cardiff , 1689-98 , and for Glamorgan from 1699 to 1711 . Archaeologia Britannica , 1707 , by Edward Lhuyd , is dedicated to him. From 1704 to 1709 and 1711 to 1712 he was Controller of the Household to queen Anne . He became one of the commissioners of the Treasury , 1710-1 , and was one of the Tellers of the Exchequer , 1712-4 , whilst, like his father before him, he was also vice-admiral of South Wales . He was intimate with dean Swift , who refers to him in his Journal to Stella ; he was also on friendly terms with Robert Harley , afterwards 1st earl of Oxford , with Francis Gwyn , and with Erasmus Lewis — letters to Mansel from all three are in the Margam collection in N.L.W. (See also Hist. MSS. Comm. , Report on the Duke of Portland MSS. )
The first baron Mansel was succeeded by his grandson, THOMAS MANSEL , 2nd baron Mansel , who, however, d. in 1744 without an heir and was succeeded by two uncles in turn, viz., CHRISTOPHER MANSEL , 3rd baron Mansel , who, however, survived his nephew by only a few months, to be succeeded by his brother, BUSSY MANSEL , 4th baron Mansel (d. 1750 ), whose second wife was Barbara , daughter of William , 2nd earl of Jersey . The eventual heir to the Margam property was MARY MANSEL , sister of the 3rd and 4th barons; she m. John Ivory Talbot , of Lacock abbey, Wilts. , whence Mansel Talbot and Talbot .
For details as to the practical interest which certain members of the family took in the history and literature of their county (and country) see G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg ( Cardiff , 1946 ); in particular consult the index to that work under Sir Edward Mansel (d. 1585 ) and Sir Lewis Mansel (d. 1636 ). The latter lent the ‘ Red Book of Hergest ’ (now Jesus College MS. 1 ) to Dr. John Davies , Mallwyd , in 1634 , whilst the former is credited with ‘ An Account of the cause of the Conquest of Glamorgan by Sir Robert Fitz Hamon and his twelve knights … ’ ( Llanover MSS. C. 27 and C. 74 ,; J. H. Matthews , Cardiff Records , iv).
Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth
Published date: 1959