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ROBERTS , WILLIAM ( 1585 - 1665 ), bishop of Bangor ;

b. at Maes Maen Cymro , Llanynys, Denbs. , the son of Symon Roberts and of Cicilie (or Sisle ), daughter of Edward Goodman of Ruthin , who was nephew to Gabriel Goodman (q.v.) . He entered Queens’ College , Cambridge , at Easter, 1605 , graduating B.A. 1609 , M.A. 1612 , B.D. 1621 , D.D. 1626 , and was Fellow of the College , 1611-30 . Ordained at Peterborough in 1616 , he became prebendary of Lincoln and sub-dean of Wells , 1619-38 . Through the influence of Laud , whose ecclesiastical views he shared, he was elected to the see of Bangor in 1637 , and allowed to hold with it the livings of Llandyrnog and Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, Denbs. , and the archdeaconries of Bangor and Anglesey . For subscribing the ‘non-resistance’ canons and clerical benevolence in the convocation of May 1640 , he was impeached by the Commons , with the bishops of S. Asaph , Llandaff , and nine others, 4 Aug. 1641 , Arthur Trevor (see Trevor of Brynkynallt ) being assigned as one of their counsel ( 16 Nov. ); but through delaying tactics and pressure of other business the case fizzled out in Dec. During the Civil War he sheltered at Bangor the violently royalist bishop of Rochester , John Warner . Deprived of his see under the Ordinance of 9 Oct. 1646 , he appears to have retired to Llanelidan, Denbs. On 25 June 1649 he compounded for his private estate by a fine (at one-sixth) of £66 10s., but on 18 Nov. 1652 was included as a traitor in the Additional Ordinance for the sale of delinquents’ estates. Part was sold, but he was allowed to buy back the remainder on payment of a further fine of one-third (£54) on 24 Dec. 1653 . At the Restoration he recovered his see and his livings, and was zealous in restoring the services and fabric of his cathedral after the disuse of the Interregnum. He d. at Llandyrnog , 12 Aug. 1665 , and was buried there. In his will he left £100 each towards the decoration of the cathedral choir and the establishment of exhibitions for boys of his diocese at Queens’ , Cambridge , and at Jesus , Oxford , and a further £200 for victims of the plague in London .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , xlvii;
  • J. Y. W. Lloyd History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog , iii, 63-6;
  • Venn Alumni Cantabrigienses , I, iii, 467;
  • R. Newcome , A memoir of Gabriel Goodman Dean of Westminster during forty years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the restorer of the wardenship of Ruthin with some account of Ruthin school, and the names of its most eminent scholars, etc (1825) , 1825 App. S.;
  • The Journals of the House of Commons , ii, 234-5; L.J., 340-472;
  • Calendar of the Committee for Advance of Money, 1642–56 (1888) . i, 262;
  • Firth and Rait , Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642–1660 (1911) , ii, 634, 638;
  • Reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission , 7th R., 104;
  • R. S. Bosher , The Making of the Restoration Settlement the influence of the Laudians, 1649-1662 (1951) , 1951 , 125 n


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

Published date: 1959