Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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PRICE , THOMAS SEBASTIAN ( DWB , 793).

It appears that his father was John Price , Llanfyllin , who is described as a papist and father of papists and papist priests in the papers for Compounding in 1652 .

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Corrections and additions:

PRICE , THOMAS SEBASTIAN [d. 1704 ], Llanfyllin , antiquary and popish recusant .

He was probably a member of the Price family of Eglwysegl and Llanfyllin . It is said that the Prices , who resided in a black-and-white house at Llanfyllin , built in 1599 , and called ‘ The Hall ,’ were Roman Catholics . Thomas Price is included as one of seven popish recusants in Llanfyllin in the population ‘notitia’ of S. Asaph ( 1681? ). He is said to have been frequently presented at the Great Sessions for recusancy, and is credited with the collection of a large number of manuscripts which he sent to the Vatican . Lord Castlemaine found refuge at The Hall in Llanfyllin after the Revolution of 1688 . As an antiquary , Price belonged to the same circle as William Maurice of Cefn-y-braich , Robert Davies of Llannerch , and William Lloyd , bishop of S. Asaph . He was a champion of the Geoffrey of Monmouth tradition. According to Evan Evans ( Ieuan Fardd ) , he wrote in defence of the British history in answer to bishop William Lloyd , 8 Dec. 1681 , and also in answer to a work by Sir George Mackenzie . In the Brogyntyn collection there is a letter of 13 March 1681 by him in which he discusses books of travel. On 15 March 1685 , when interrupted in London on a proposed journey to Italy by invitation of lord Castlemaine , he addressed a letter to Edward Lhuyd calling him ‘cousin.’ N.L.W. MS. 1599 contains a tract by him entitled ‘ The Correct Annales of Brittaine ,’ 1688 , and miscellaneous notes and pedigrees in his autograph. Another tract on the princes of Powys in Llanst. MS. 172 is in his hand. Two letters relating to him were printed in British Remains , by Nicholas Owen ; the first is addressed to him by bishop Lloyd concerning transcripts by William Maurice of chronicles which he had shown to the bishop ; the second by Charles Lloyd of Dolobran , refers to a conversation with ‘cousin Thomas Price of Llanvilling ’ about the discovery of America by Welshmen . A letter which he wrote to Josiah Babington at Llannerch , 12 April 1701 , has the appearance of the work of an invalid or of an old man. It deals with the site of Mediolanum , which Price identified with Meifod , the Fifteen Tribes, beacons on All Saints’ Eve, and the government of Britain . One of the Downing heraldic manuscripts is said to have been ‘emblazoned by Mr. Price of Llanvyllin , about the time of Charles II .’ Edward Lhuyd was of the opinion that he had some learning and ingenuity, but no great share of judgement. [He was buried (as ‘ Thomas Price ’) 13 March 1703/4 ; his will, dated 6 March , was proved 27 May ; his son John was an executor and inherited the property, probably heavily burdened with debt.]

Sources:

  • Williams , ‘Hist. of Llanfyllin’ ( Collections Historical and Archaeological relating to Montgomeryshire , iii, 54-5);
  • R. Williams , Montgomeryshire Worthies , second ed., 1894 , 252;
  • G. J. Williams , Llythyrau at Ddafydd Jones o Drefriw . National Library of Wales Journal, Appendix, vol. 3. no. 2., 1943 , 27-8;
  • Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales , 1940 ff , i;
  • The National Library of Wales Journal , v, 199-206;
  • Reports on Manuscripts in the Welsh Language . Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1898–1910 ;
  • N. Owen , British Remains; or, A collection of antiquities relating to the Britons : comprehending I. A concise history of the Lords Marchers …; II. The arms of the ancient nobility and gentry of north Wales; III. A letter of Dr. Lloyd, Bishop of St. Asaph's, concerning Jeffrey of Monmouth's History : IV. An account of the discovery of America by the Welsh …; V. A celebrated poem of Taliesin, translated into Sapphic verse; to which are also added, memoirs of Edward Llwyd, antiquary , London, 1777 ;
  • Cambrian Register , three volumes, 1795–1818 , i, 325-8;
  • N.L.W., Brogyntyn correspondence, 1517 ;
  • Additional Letters of the Morrises of Anglesey (1735-86). Y Cymmrodor , xlix, 1947-9 (ed. Hugh Owen );
  • R. T. Gunther , Early Science in Oxford , xiv;
  • N.L.W. The Records of the Church in Wales at the National Library of Wales (S. Asaph).

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001