Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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PRICE , CHARLES (d. 1646 ), of Pilleth, Rads. , soldier and politician , was probably a younger son of James Price , who had fought in the Elizabethan wars and was Member of Parliament for Radnorshire , 1624-6 , and grandson of the Stephen Price , who had represented the county in 1555 , his family being a branch of the Prices of Monachdy , one of the two oldest families in the county, who had shared between them the county offices and parliamentary representation. He inherited his father's military bent, and in 1619 acted as second to Sir Robert Vaughan of Llwydiarth (q.v.) when the latter challenged lord Herbert of Cherbury (q.v.) to a duel, which was stopped by James I . Next year he represented the borough in Parliament , where he took a strong line over monopolies, parliamentary privilege , and the maintenance of the Protestant ascendancy, and he was re-elected in 1624 . In 1625 he went to Ireland as captain of the Radnorshire and Brecknockshire Militia , but returned in time to sit for Radnor in Charles I 's first three Parliaments, where he was equally critical of the court (which may account for his citation before the council on 22 Oct. 1626 ); but he interested himself also in the army and in Welsh measures. On 18 July 1627 he took out recruits to Sir Charles Morgan (q.v.) for his Staden campaign ; he was also with the army at Portsmouth when Buckingham was assassinated ( 28 Aug. 1628 ), and brought the first news to Charles I . In the stormy session of parliament ( 1629 ) following the Petition of Right , he stood strongly for moderation. In 1637 he became deputy steward for Rhayader to the 4th earl of Pembroke (q.v.) , whose family he had generally followed in politics, and next year he was again on service in Ireland , whence he petitioned the council in pursuance of his claims against the Monachdy estate , on which he had redeemed mortgages to keep it in the family. His name is conspicuously absent from the muster rolls of the Bishops’ Wars ( 1639-40 ). In the Short and Long Parliaments he sat for the county, and in the latter he again served on the committee for privileges , was teller for the ayes in the division on the Root and Branch Bill for the abolition of episcopacy, and helped to formulate the charges against secretary Windebank , but opposed the attainder of Strafford . He was active in measures for suppressing the Irish rebellion ( Nov. 1641 ) and was nominated by the Commons for a commission in the army sent to suppress it. On the outbreak of Civil War at home, however, he helped to put the royal commission of array into force in Radnorshire , and was the first Welsh member to be ‘disabled’ from sitting ( 4 Oct. 1642 ). He was captured and imprisoned at Gloucester ( Nov. 1642 ) and Coventry ( Jan. 1643 ), but subsequently released and attended the Oxford Parliament ( 22 Jan. 1644 ). He was killed (apparently in a duel — see Lord George Digby's Cabinet , 23 March 1646 ) before May 1645 , and his family never enjoyed the Monachdy estate which he had been promised on his lending £1,000 to the king . His widow compounded for Pilleth in 1653 . He was a friend and correspondent of James Howell (q.v.) .

Bibliography:

  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1945 (21, 26, 31, 40, 42, 46, 49), 1946-7 (62, 70, 72-4, 83-4, 89-93), 1948-9 (19, 23, 31, 41, 48-51, 53-4);
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales , 1895 , 173;
  • Acts of the Privy Council , 1623-5 (472-4, 477), 1626 (324), 1627 (421);
  • Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series , Record Publication , 1638-9 , 264;
  • The Journals of the House of Commons , ii, 837, et passim , iii, 389;
  • Calendar of the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents, etc., 1643–1660 . Record Publication , ii, 1387;
  • Calendar of the Committee for Advance of Money, 1642–56 . Record Publication, 1888 , ii. 841;
  • Rushworth , Historical Collections of Private Passages of State , 1721 , iii, 573-5, iv, 248-9;
  • The life of Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury. Written by himself , London, 1886 , 1886 ed., 101;
  • James Howell , Epistolae Ho-Elianae the familiar letters of James Howell , London, 1892 , 1892 ed., 337, 454.

Author:

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