CONWAY, John (by 1522-79), of Rhuddlan and Bodrhyddan, Flints.
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Family and Education
b. by 1522, 1st s. of John Conway of Rhuddlan by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Hanmer of Hanmer. m. (1) lic. 7 Oct. 1539, Sian, da. of Robert Salesbury of Rûg, Merion. and Bachymbyd, Denb., 3s. 5da.; (2) Anne, da. of Gruffydd ab Ieuan ap Llywelyn Fychan of Llannerch, Flints., wid. of John Mutton of Rhuddlan. suc. fa. by 1540.1
Escheator, Flints. 1550-1, 1552-3, 1563-4, 1567-8; j.p. 1555, by 1564-d.; sheriff 1558-9.2
An English family by origin, the Conways had long been settled in North Wales, where a marriage brought them the lordship of Prestatyn. With the passage of time the family grew more Welsh in sentiment and patronized the bards, and this John Conway’s son and namesake was to translate two contemporary treatises into Welsh.3
Of three John Conways in succession the first was dead by 1540 and it was the second who sat in Parliament. He is not to be confused with the John Conway (d.1549) who served in Princess Mary’s household from at least 1536 or with a kinsman (Sir) John Conway of Arrow, Warwickshire, who was probably the gentleman pensioner to Henry VIII. John Conway of Rhuddlan sued out livery of his lands in June 1543 and was first appointed escheator of Flintshire in 1550, after which his official career is easy to follow. His inheritance in the county had been valued in 1539/40 at £78 14s.8d a year. He and a kinsman Edward Conway were also lessees of Rhuddlan castle, and between 1552 and 1554 he was defendant in the court of augmentations over lands called ‘Our Lady’s Lands’ in Rhuddlan. In 1554 he sued in the common pleas for debt against the executors of the will of Peter Mutton, serjeant-at-arms.4
It was as a well-connected local figure that Conway came to the fore during the reign of Mary, being named to the bench in 1555, elected knight of the shire in 1557 and pricked sheriff, while still a Member, less than a year later. He was to reappear in the Commons under Elizabeth, who also retained him as a justice of the peace until his death in 1579.
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Alan Davidson
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Flints. Hist. Soc. Pub. xviii. 61-74; xix. 61-86; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 296-7; Griffith, Peds. 260; Wards 9/131/18v.
- 2. SP11/5/6.
- 3. DWB (Conway fam.).
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, x, xviii, xx; Privy Purse Expenses of Princess Mary, 1536-44, ed. Madden, passim; C1/1176/56; PCC 26 Populwell; CPR, 1554-5, p. 261; 1555-7, p. 40; VCH Warws. iii. 28; Dugdale, Warws. ii. 850; SC6/Hen. VIII/5136, m. 2; Augmentations (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 100.