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CONWAY or CONWY family, of Botryddan (‘ Bodrhyddan ’), Flints.

The Conways were of English origin, descended from Sir William Coniers , ‘ Knight of War ’, high constable of England under William the Conqueror . Sir HENRY CONWAY , son of Sir Hugh Conway , who m. Ellen (or Angharad ) , daughter of Sir Hugh Crevecoer , lord of Prestatyn , was the first known to have settled in Wales , and his son, Richard , succeeded as lord of Prestatyn . In contrast to his predecessors, JENKYN CONWAY (d. about 19 Sept. 1432 ), grandson of Richard , m. a Welshwoman , Marsli , daughter of Maredudd ap Hywel ap Dafydd of Cefn-y-fan , ancestor of the Wynns of Gwydir , and the accession of Elizabeth I found the family firmly established as an integral part of Flintshire society. JOHN CONWAY (d. 1578 ), grandson of Thomas Conway (d. before 1526 ), and great-great-grandson of John , ‘ Aer Conwy Hen ’ (d. 1487 ), and his second wife, Jonet , daughter of Edward Stanley of Hooton , sat for his county in the queen 's first parliament and again for the borough of Flint , 1562-7 ; he was also high sheriff , 1558-9 . His son, yet another JOHN CONWAY (d. 15 Dec. 1606 ), who was high sheriff of Flintshire , 1584-5 and 1599-1600 , is known to students of 16th cent. Welsh literature for his translations of two contemporary treatises: Apologia Musices by John Case ( 1588 ) ( Klod Kerdd dafod ai dechreuad ) and A Summons for Sleepers , an anti-Puritan work by Leonard Wright ( 1589 ) ( Definiad i Hennadirion ). Sir Hugh Conway who, in 1504 , was appointed Treasurer of Calais by Henry VII ( Cal. Pat. Rolls Henry VIII , vol. ii, 365), was a son of John ‘ Aer Conwy Hen ’ by his first marriage.

The direct line ended with Sir JOHN CONWAY ( 1575 - 1641 ), son and heir of the last-mentioned. John Conway , on his death without issue in Aug. or Sept. 1641 . During the reign of James I and up to the eve of the Civil War the family showed distinct Romanist leanings , both Mary , Sir John 's wife, and WILLIAM CONWAY , his brother who succeeded him at Botryddan , figuring prominently in the recusant lists of the period along with the Conways of Sychtyn in the parish of Northop , descended from James Conway , one of the sons of John ‘ Aer Conwy Hen ’ by his second wife. This taint, however, had quite disappeared by the time William Conway 's son, Sir HENRY CONWAY ( 1630 - 1669 ), came into his inheritance. Created a bart. by Charles II , 25 July 1660 , he sat for Flintshire in the Pensionary Parliament from 1661 until his premature death in the autumn of 1669 . His eldest son, Sir JOHN CONWAY ( 1663 - 1721 ), succeeded as 2nd bart. Educated at Christ Church , Oxford , he was Member of Parliament for Flintshire 1685-7 , 1695-1701 , 1705-8 , and 1713-5 , and for Flint boroughs 1702 , 1708-13 , and 1715 until his death in 1721 . Although he had been one of James II 's retinue when he visited Oxford as duke of York in 1683 , Sir John 's loyalty as a Tory lay with the established institutions of church and state rather than with the Stuart dynasty . Indeed, he later declared himself in favour not only of the 1688 Revolution but also of the Hanoverian Succession .

The baronetcy became extinct with him, Henry , his only son by his first marriage (to Margaretta Maria — or M. Theophila , acc. to Pedigrees — daughter of John Digby of Goathurst ) having predeceased him. Penelope , the only child of his second marriage, to Penelope , daughter of Richard Grenville ( Greenould , acc. to Pedigrees ) of Wotton Under-wood, Bucks. , and heiress to the Botryddan estate , m. James Russel Stapleton , and of their four daughters and co-heiresses, Frances , the youngest, became the wife of Sir Robert Salusbury Cotton of Lleweni and Combermere abbey ( see Cotton , Sir Stapleton ). Penelope , daughter and co-heiress of Penelope , the eldest daughter, and Ellis Yonge of Acton and Bryn Iorcyn , m. William Davies Shipley , dean of S. Asaph . It may be of further interest to note that from Elizabeth , daughter of Sir John Conway by his first wife, who m. Sir Thomas Longueville , bart. , was descended Harry Longueville Jones , inspector of schools for North Wales .

Distantly related to the Conways of Botryddan (through Edward Conway , another son of John Aer Conwy Hen ’ by his second wife) were the Conways of Arrow and Alcester in Warwickshire , of whom Edward Conway (d. 1631 ) was Secretary of State , 1627-30 , and was created viscount Conway of Conway castle , 26 June 1627 . He bought the castle from the Crown in 1628 and his son, Edward Conway ( 1594 - 1655 ), the 2nd visc., took preliminary steps towards putting it into repair with a view to living there.

Sources:

  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families , 1914 , 260-1;
  • Harley Manuscript in the British Museum 1971;
  • N.L.W. Peniarth Manuscript in the National Library of Wales 287, 1166/7;
  • N.L.W., Bangor District Probate Registry;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1896 , 35-52;
  • G. E. Cokayne The Complete Peerage , 1910–40 , iii, 400-1, and Complete baronetage (1611-1800) , Exeter, 1900-09 , iii, 96;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales , 1895 , 85, 87;
  • Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales , ii, 432, 444-5;
  • Rhyddiaith Gymraeg. Y gyfrol gyntaf, Detholion o lawysgrifau, 1488-1609. Yr ail gyfrol, Detholion o lawysgrifau a llyfrau printiedig, 1547-1618 , Vol.1, Cardiff, 1954; Vol.2, Cardiff, 1956 , i, 147-54; ii, 132-9;
  • Llenyddiaeth Cymru o 1450 hyd 1600 , i, 186-7;
  • A. H. Dodd in Caernarvonshire Historical Society Transactions , 1953 , and Journal of the Flintshire Historical Society , xiv (1953);
  • E. G. Jones , Cymru a'r Hen Ffydd , 51, and in The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1945 , 114-33;
  • P. D. G. Thomas , ‘The Parliamentary Representation of North Wales, 1715-84’ (unpublished thesis in U.C.N.W. library).

Author:

Emyr Gwynne Jones, M.A., (1911-72), Bangor

Published date: 1959