LAUGHARNE, Rowland (c.1607-75), of St. Brides, Pemb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - Nov. 1675

Family and Education

b. c.1607, 1st s. of John Laugharne of St. Brides by Janet, da. of Sir Hugh Owen of Bodowen, Anglesey and Orielton, Pemb. m. bef. 1643, Anne (d.1681), da. of Sir Thomas Button of Cottrell, St. Nicholas, Glam., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) other ch. suc. fa. c.1638.1

Offices Held

C.-in-c. Pemb. (parliamentary) 1642, Card. and Carm. 1644, Glam. 1646; gov. Pembroke Castle 1644; maj.-gen. (parliamentary) 1644-6, (royalist) 1648.2

Commr. for assessment, Pemb. 1647, Aug. 1660-74; common councilman, Haverfordwest 1651-at least 1659; j.p. Pemb. July 1660-?70, 1672-d., Haverfordwest 1662, dep. lt. Pemb. c. Aug. 1660-d., commr. for loyal and indigent officers 1662.3

Gent. of the privy chamber June 1660-d.4


The Laugharne family could trace its origin back to the 14th century, but it became well established in Pembrokeshire only in Tudor times. After serving in his youth as page to the 3rd Earl of Essex, Laugharne became a prominent Parliamentarian. He fought a series of campaigns in south-west Wales and reduced most of the area to obedience. Among the rewards for his service was the grant in February 1646 of the forfeited estates of John Barlow of Slebech. In 1648 Laugharne changed sides and supported the royalist revolt in South Wales, with disastrous consequences for himself and his estate. Forced to yield Pembroke garrison in July, he was sentenced to death, but reprieved. In 1649 he lost the Slebech estate, but his fine of £712 was remitted in 1655.5

Laugharne claimed to have spent ‘most times in prison till your Majesty’s happy Restoration’. At the time of Booth’s rising he had to give security to the Pembrokeshire commissioners for good behaviour. He was proposed by Sir Thomas Myddelton as commander of the Royalists in South Wales in February 1660, though he was then in town. Laugharne offered himself as a candidate for Haverfordwest at the general election, but he was not seriously considered. On 10 Dec. he was granted £3,000 in consideration of his heavy losses during the Civil Wars and consequent debts, but he never received even half the sum.6

Laugharne was returned on the interest of his cousin Sir Hugh Owen, 1st Bt., for Pembroke Boroughs in his absence in 1661, but he was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament who made no recorded speeches and was named to only 20 committees. Their subjects included bills for regulating the weaving trade, poor relief and Lord’s day observance. Throughout his parliamentary career he was in real distress. In March 1662, when he estimated his losses at £37,630, he was granted £500, and in 1663 a pension of £500 p.a. for life, but this was paid very irregularly, and he and his wife were constantly driven to petition for their arrears. He was listed among the court dependents in 1664, when he was given £125 to prevent ‘immediate starvation’. In 1666 his debts were said to be £8,000. On 14 Mar. 1670 he claimed privilege over the seizure of his cattle by the under-sheriff of Pembrokeshire. Later that year his wife said that he had been obliged ‘to pawn his cloak and sword, and has only 3s. in the world’. He was included on the Paston list, as a King’s servant in 1675, and on the working lists, but he was buried at St. Margaret’s, Westminster on 16 Nov. His grandson John Laugharne sat for Haverfordwest as a Tory from 1702 to 1715.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. DWB; Cases in Court of Chivalry (Harl. Soc. cvii), 119.
  • 2. A. L. Leach, Civil War in Pemb. 41, 88, 99-100, 175.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1667, p. 587; 1667-8, p. 54; Cal. Recs. Haverfordwest (Univ. Wales, Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xxiv), 95-96, 134.
  • 4. Carlisle, Privy Chamber , 169.
  • 5. DWB; Cal. Comm. Comp. 2106; LJ, viii. 199; CJ, vi. 305-6.
  • 6. SP29/270/51; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 140; 1666-7, p. 402; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 254, 549; Cal. Recs. Haverfordwest, 165-8; LJ, xi. 204.
  • 7. CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 313; 1666-7, p. 402; 1670, p. 405; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 587; v. 33, 102, 1331; Secret Service Moneys (Cam. Soc. lii), 3, 10, 14, 17, 23, 31; Add. 18730, f. 4v.