Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS family, of Wenvoe, Glam.

This family, which became prominent in the 17th century , was descended from the Harpways of Herefordshire . According to G. T. Clark ( Limbus Patrum , 445) JEVAN HARPWAY , or ‘ ap Harpway ,’ of Tresiment , Herefords. , m. CATHERINE , daughter and heiress of Thomas ap Thomas of Wenvoe Castle, Glam. Their great-grandson,

EDMUND THOMAS ( 1633 - 1677 ),

was Member of Parliament for Glamorgan , 1654-6 , and in the Protector's ‘House of Lords,’ 1658 . He made extensive purchases of land in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire . By his second wife he had a son,


EDMUND THOMAS ( 1674 - 1693 ),

of Wenvoe and Rhiwperra , who died unmarried and under age. The eventual heir to Wenvoe would appear to have been


ELIZABETH ,

daughter of William Thomas (d. 1636 at Oxford ) of Wenvoe , who had m. Jane , eldest daughter of Sir John Stradling , bt. , of S. Donat's , Glam . This Elizabeth , who had Wenvoe and Rhiwperra , was the widow of Edmund Ludlow , regicide ; after his death she m. JOHN THOMAS , probably a cousin ( Clark , op. cit.). Born in 1664 , John Thomas was created a baronet 4 Dec. 1694 , with remainders to his brothers, Edmund and William . He d. 17 Jan. 1704 , without issue.


Sir EDMUND THOMAS ( 1712 - 1767 )

succeeded his father ( Edmund Thomas , 2nd bart. , and brother to Sir John Thomas , 1st bart. ) as 3rd bart. in 1723 . He m., June 1740 , Abigail , daughter of Sir Thomas Webster , Battle Abbey . He was Member of Parliament for Chippenham , 1741-55 , and Glamorgan from 1761 until he d. on 10 Oct. 1767 . Sir Edmund was friendly with Frederick , prince of Wales , and held the position of groom of the bedchamber to him from 1742 until the death of the prince in March 1751 . The dowager princess of Wales appointed him joint treasurer of her household in Oct. 1757 . From 1761 he was a lord-commissioner of the Board of Trade ; this office he exchanged in 1763 for that of surveyor general of woods and forests , which he held until his death. He became lieutenant-colonel of the Glamorgan Militia in 1764 . He sold Wenvoe in 1765 and so terminated the connexion of the family with Glamorgan . Rhiwperra had been sold many years before.


FREDERICK THOMAS ( 1786 - 1855 ), rear-admiral ,

was a younger son of Sir JOHN THOMAS ( 1749 - 1828 ), fifth bart. Born 19 April 1786 , he entered the navy in March 1799 on the Boston . In 1803 he was in the Prince of Wales , the flagship of Sir Robert Calder , and was present in the action of 22 July 1805 . On 19 Sept. of the same year he was appointed acting-lieutenant of the Spartiate , and was present at the battle of Trafalgar . His commission was confirmed on 14 Feb. 1806 . From then until 1814 he continued in the Spartiate and other ships in the Mediterranean , and finally commanded the San Juan , the flagship of rear-admiral Linzee at Gibraltar . He returned home in 1814 , but had no further active employment. On 7 Aug. 1816 he m. Susannah , daughter of Arthur Atherley , and had three sons and a daughter. He was retired with the rank of rear-admiral on 1 Oct. 1846 , and d. on 19 Dec. 1855 .


CHARLES THOMAS ,

a nephew of Sir Edmund Thomas , was as staunch an adherent of George , prince of Wales (afterwards George IV ), as Sir Edmund had been of Frederick , prince of Wales . He was a colonel in the army , but there appears to be no record of his services. In 1 795 he became vice-chamberlain of the household to the prince of Wales ; in 1812 , after George had become Prince Regent , he was appointed first groom of the bedchamber and master of the robes . He held this position until the Prince Regent succeeded to the throne in 1820 .

Sources:

  • G. T. Clark , Limbus Patrum Morganiae et Glamorganiae , 1886 ;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (for Frederick Jennings Thomas).

Author:

Henry John Randall, F.S.A., (1877-1964), Bridgend

Published date: 1959