Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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YARDLEY , EDWARD ( 1698 - 1769 ), archdeacon .

Although not a Welshman , Yardley deserves a note because of his study of the records of the cathedral of S. Davids , and as the author of the manuscript called ‘ Menevia Sacra ’ (now in N.L.W. in three vols.), which resulted from that study. Details concerning his career as given by himself in the manuscript are reprinted on pp. 230-32 of Menevia Sacra … ed. by Francis Green in 1927 . Born in London , 28 March 1698 , son of Robert and Elizabeth Yardley , he was educated at Merchant Taylors School and S. John's College , Cambridge ( B.A. 1717/18 , M.A. 1721 , B.D. 1729 ). After ordination ( deacon 1721 , priest 1722 ) he served in London before he was given (by S. John's College , Cambridge ), the sinecure rectory of S. Florence, Pembs. ( 4 March 1731/32 ).

On 5 Nov. 1731 he was elected preacher for St. Michael's chapel , the old chapel of Highgate School which was a chapel of ease in the parish of St. Mary , Hornsey , a position which he held for the remainder of his life. He afterwards became archdeacon of Cardigan ( 26 May 1739 ). In his own words ‘ It was at this time [i.e. from 1739] during his stay for nine months in Wales , that he first began to examine the Records and search into ye antiquities of this Cathedral ,’ i.e. S. Davids . He then adds the titles of seven works which he published.

He d. at the age of 71 on 26 Dec. 1769 (not 1770 ). Upon the demolition of the chapel the gravestones were removed to S. Mary's .


  • Menevia Sacra. Arch. Camb. (1927) , by E. Yardley , ed. by Francis Green for the Cambrian Archaeological Association, 1927 ;
  • Information supplied by the D. Hugh Matthews from a booklet entitled Old Highgate The story of a London village and a Public School (London, 1949) quoted from F. T. Cansick , A collection of curious and interesting epitaphs ... (1872-75) (3 vols., 1872-75 ).


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

Published date: 1959