Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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RUMSEY , WALTER ( 1584 - 1660 ), judge ;

b. at Llanover, Mon. , in 1584 , son of John Rumsey and his wife Anne ( David ) . In 1660 he went up to Gloucester Hall (now Worcester College ), Oxford , and in 1603 to Gray's Inn (of which he became Bencher in 1631 ); he was called to the Bar in 1608 , and had a very lucrative practice. In 1631 he became judge of the south-eastern circuit of the Great Sessions of Wales ; he was Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire in the Short Parliament , 1640 . He was a royalist , was imprisoned when Hereford city fell in Dec. 1645 , and was deprived of his judgeship in 1647 . In 1660 he was made Keeper of the Seals in his former circuit, but d. before the end of that year, and was buried in the family vault at Llanover . He made hobbies of music , the grafting of trees , and the construction of fishponds ; and in 1657 he published a medical work, Organon Salutis (it went into three editions), which (along with remarks on coffee and tobacco) described a device of his for the internal cleansing of the throat.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • W. R. Williams The history of the Great Sessions in Wales, 1542-1830 together with the lives of the Welsh judges, and annotated lists of the chamberlains and chancellors, attorney generals, and prothonotaries of the four circuits of Chester and Wales , Brecknock, 1899 , 132-3.
  • The pedigree of his family (originally from Romsey, Hants) is given in Theophilus Jones , History of the County of Brecknock (3rd ed.), iii, 176-8, iv, 258-9—consult index also;
  • the Rumseys at one time owned a moiety of the Gwern-vale estate near Crickhowell — see the article on the Proger family, who owned the other moiety.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959