Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PRICE , ROBERT ( 1655 - 1733 ), judge ;

b. 14 Jan. 1655 , second son of Thomas Price , Giler , Cerrigydrudion , by his wife Margaret , daughter and heiress of Thomas Wynne of Bwlchybeudy in the same parish. From Ruthin school he went to S. John's College , Cambridge , 28 March 1672 ; he left without graduating, was admitted to Lincoln's Inn , 8 May 1673 , and qualified as a barrister in July 1679 .

A useful (and quite interesting) biography, The Life of Robert Price … one of the Justices of His Majesty's Court of Common-Pleas , was published by E. Curll in London , 1734 , and as Price figures also in the D.N.B. , this notice will be brief. His legal career may be said to begin when he became attorney-general for South Wales , 1682 . He was appointed recorder of Radnor in 1683 and he held various posts until he became judge of the Brecknock circuit in 1700 . He was appointed a baron of the Exchequer , 24 June 1702 , and became one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas , 16 Oct. 1726 . Before this he had won renown in Parliament — he sat for Weobley in several Parliaments — particularly when in 1695-6 , he opposed, successfully, the grant which William III proposed to make, to his Dutch favourite, Hans William Bentinck , who had been created earl of Portland , of the lordships of Denbigh , Bromfield , and Yale ; by virtue of his strong opposition to this obnoxious grant Price won for himself the name of ‘ the patriot of his native country .’ After the death of the king the two speeches which Price had delivered were published ( 1702 ) as Gloria Cambriae; or the Speech of a Bold Briton in Parliament against a Dutch Prince of Wales (for text, see Somers , Collection of Tracts , 1814 , xi, 387-93).

Price was friendly with Robert Harley ( earl of Oxford — see under Harley ); for references to him in this connection and to letters which he wrote to Harley , see Hist. MSS. Comm. , Rep. on the MSS. of the Duke of Portland , iv-vi.

He m., 23 Sept. 1679 , Lucy , eldest daughter of Robert Rodd , Foxley , Herefordshire ; they had three children, the heir being Uvedale Tomkyns Price . Full details of his will are given by Curll . He became wealthy and left much landed property in Wales and England . He built and endowed an almshouse for six poor persons in the parish of Cerrigydrudion . He d. at Kensington , 2 Feb. 1733 , and was buried at Yazzor , Herefordshire .


  • The main sources have been named in the text.


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

Published date: 1959