Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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MEYRICK , Sir SAMUEL RUSH ( 1783 - 1848 ), antiquary ; b. 28 Aug. 1783 , son of John Meyrick , of Westminster and Fulham , and Hannah , daughter and co-heiress of Samuel Rush . He was educated at Queen's College , Oxford ( B.A. 1804 , M.A. and B.C.L. 1810 , D.C.L. 1811 ). He practised for many years as an advocate in the ecclesiastical and admiralty courts , living during this time in London , where he accumulated a magnificent collection of armour , a subject on which he was consulted by the authorities of the Tower of London and by king George IV — for details see the article in D.N.B. He m., 3 Oct. 1803 , Mary , daughter and co-heiress of James Parry, Llwyn Hywel, Cards. In 1809 (and 1810 ) was published, in quarto, his History and Antiquities of the County of Cardigan , which was considered then — and many such county histories were being produced about that time — a creditable work; a new edition appeared in 1907 . He collaborated with Charles Hamilton Smith in the production of Costume of the Original Inhabitants of the British Islands ( London , 1815 ), a folio work containing twenty-four coloured plates.

Having failed to purchase the ruins of Goodrich castle , near Ross-on-Wye , Meyrick bought the hill opposite and built upon it a mansion which he called Goodrich Court and in which he had rooms specially constructed to accommodate and arrange his collection of armour. His work on arms and armour had been published in three quarto volumes in 1824A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour as it existed in Europe, particularly in England, from the Norman Conquest to the Reign of King Charles II ; a second edition was published twenty years later. A work containing Engraved Illustrations of Antient Arms and Armour, from the Collection at Goodrich Court was published in 1830 (2nd ed. 1854 ). He contributed to Archaeologia , The Gentleman's Magazine , The Cambrian Quarterly Magazine , Archaeologia Cambrensis (e.g. I, ii, I, iii), etc. His last important work was Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches between the years 1586 and 1613, under the authority of Clarencieux and Norroy, two Kings at Arms, by Lewys Dwnn, Deputy Herald at Arms … transcribed … and edited … by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick. … Published for the Welsh MSS. Society ( Llandovery , 1846 ). This work, which is in two large quarto volumes, is dedicated to the ‘ Society for the Publication of Antient Welsh Manuscripts ,’ and remains an indispensable work of reference. It contains numerous footnotes by W. W. E. Wynne of Peniarth, Mer. (q.v.) .

‘ Llewelyn, an Historic Play in Five Acts ,’ by and in the autograph of Meyrick , is preserved in N.L.W. MS. 1233 ; there are letters from him in N.L.W. MSS. 1595, 1657, 1807, and 1892 , whilst N.L.W. MSS.5386-7 contain his ‘ Collectanea de rebus celticis ’; see also N.L.W. MSS. 1502, 1503, 1636, and 1637 .

Meyrick , who had been knighted on 22 Feb. 1832 , d. at Goodrich Court on 2 April 1848 .

Bibliography:

  • The main sources have been noted in the text.

Author:

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