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