MEREDYDD, Rowland ap (by 1529-1600 or later), of Bodowyr, Anglesey.
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Family and Education
b. by 1529, 1st s. of Meredydd ap Rhys ap Hywel of Bodowyr by Catherine, da. of Owen ap Meurig of Bodowen. m. Agnes, da. of Rhydderch ap David of Myfyrian in Llanidan, 4s. 1da. suc. fa. ?1555 or later.1
Bailiff, commote of Twrcelyn 1550; j.p. Anglesey from 1555; collector of relief 1558, subsidy 1563; commr. defence 1569; escheator 1570-1; commr. inquiry into concealed lands in manor of Aberffraw, Anglesey 1590.2
Rowland ap Meredydd, or Rowland Meredith as he tended to call himself in official documents from 1558 (though the surname was never stabilised), stood in direct descent from the clan which, led by Owain Gwynedd’s brother-in-law Llywarch ap BrÃ¢n, effected the settlement of south-western Anglesey in the twelfth century. Reduced by frequent sub-division, the estate of Bodowyr was by Tudor times among the smallest of those of surviving members of the clan in the commote of Menai, being rated for subsidy at only £2; but the shell of the house as it stood in 1846 showed it to have been a place of some consequence. Meredydd’s maternal uncle, Lewis Owen ap Meurig, represented Anglesey in March 1553 and 1572, and was sheriff when Meredydd was returned to the 1559 Parliament. Both Owen and Meredydd opposed the growing domination of the island by the Bulkeleys and it may be significant that neither was returned to Parliament once the Bulkeleys had consolidated their pre-eminence in the county.3
Meredydd was an assiduous builder of mills. He erected two on his own estate at Bodowyr, and about 1587-8 helped his grandson Jasper Price to erect two tide mills on the Menai Straits near Porthaethwy. These in 1593 became the subject of a petition to the Exchequer by the lessee of the ferry across the Straits, who claimed, apparently unsuccessfully, that his rights were infringed and his tolls injured thereby. The date of Meredydd’s death has not been established. He remained an active local official until at least 1600. Two of his sons evidently predeceased him, and the estate passed to his grandson Jasper, son of his second son Rhys.4
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Authors: A.H.D. / P. S. Edwards
- 1. Griffith, Peds. 51; Arch. Camb. 1848, pp. 241-3; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 137.
- 2. Augmentations, ed. Lewis and Davies (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 177; Star Chamber, ed. Edwards (same ser. i), 16; E179/219/7, 12, 13; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 56-7; Trans. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. 1939, p. 67.
- 3. Arch. Camb. 1846, p. 202; 1848, pp. 241-2; 1863, p. 260; Trans. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. 1939, pp. 62-3; 1951, p. 13; E179/219/3-17; St. Ch. 4/8/6; 4/57.
- 4. Star Chamber, ed. Edwards, loc. cit.; St. Ch. 5/L40/2; Arch. Camb. 1848, p. 243; Exchequer, ed. E. G. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. iv), 22; Conway and Menai Ferries, ed. H. R. Davies (same ser. viii), 132-3, 137-8; UCNW Plas Coch ms 137; Harl. 1974, f. 23.