PRICE, James (b.c.1572), of Monaughty or Mynachdy, Rad.
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Family and Education
b. c.1572, 1st s. of John Price of Monaughty by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Robert Whitney of Whitney, Herefs. and Iccomb, Glos. educ. ?M. Temple 1588; ?Brasenose, Oxf. 1589. m. Alice, da. of Edward Croft of Croft Castle, Herefs., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. by 1588.1
J.p. Rad. from c.1592, sheriff 1595-6, dep. lt. ?1598.2
The numerous Price families of Montgomery and Radnor shires all traced their descent from the clan which had settled in the lands between Wye and Severn before the Normans came. Many of their descendants still retained their territorial importance in the sixteenth century. During the century following the Acts of Union, for example, the various branches of the Price family provided 15 of Radnorshire’s sheriffs, its county Members in 12 Parliaments and Members for the Boroughs in seven. James Price’s grandfather and namesake had acquired Monaughty, a former grange of Abbey Cwmhir, and made it the seat of this branch of the family. The estate appears second in George Owen’s list of Radnorshire seats in 1602—next after that of Vaughan of Clyro and before that of Bradshaw of Presteign.3
The younger James Price was still a minor, with his education ahead of him, when he succeeded to the estate, and he was barely of age on his first election to Parliament, where he remained the county’s representative for nearly 30 years. His brother-in-law Herbert Croft had sat for Carmarthenshire in 1589, and subsequently represented his own county of Hereford; alliance with so important a family doubtless added to Price’s prestige. On the other hand he inherited a longstanding feud with the great border house of Vaughan, firmly established in the counties of Hereford and Radnor and looked to by the local gentry as standing for the old religion and for Welsh traditional loyalties. At the 1597 election Roger Vaughan of Clyro stood unsuccessfully against Price, and in the following year brought a Star Chamber action against him, his brother Clement of Coedwgan, and the sheriff, who was alleged to have procured Price’s return fraudulently. As knight of the shire Price could have attended numerous committees: in 1593 on the subsidy (26 Feb.) and a legal committee (9 Mar.); in 1597 on enclosures (5 Nov.), the poor law (5, 22 Nov.), armour and weapons (8 Nov.), the penals laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.), the subsidy (15 Nov.) Newport bridge (29 Nov.); in 1601 the main business committee (3 Nov.) and the committee on monopolies (23 Nov.).4
The 2nd Earl of Pembroke, as president of the council in the marches of Wales, put forward the names of Price and Bradshaw of Presteign for commissions of lieutenancy in their shire as men ‘well able to bear the charges, by residence likely to perform the service and for long continuance best esteemed of the inhabitants’; but Essex, pressing the claims of his steward, proved obstructive, and the two lords fell out about it, with Cecil as mediator. Whether on this occasion Price got his deputy lieutenancy is not clear; he and Bradshaw were certainly in the commission in the next reign, when their conduct in office was the subject of two Star Chamber actions, one brought by the attorney-general, the other by Hugh Lloyd of Nantmel, alleging that they embezzled the subsidy money.5
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Dwmn, Vis. Wales, i.252; J. Williams, Rad. 244-5, 247.
- 2. Flenly, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 237; APC, xxviii. 500.
- 3. Williams, Parl. Hist. Wales, 172-3, 178-9; Williams, Rad. 294-6; Arch. Camb. (ser. 5), v. 214; RCAM Rad. 15; G. Owen, Desc. Pemb. ed. Owen (Cymmrod. rec. ser. i), 237.
- 4. HMC Hatfield, vii. 251-2; D. Mathew, Celtic Peoples and Renaissance Europe, 351-8; Neale, Commons, 80, 238; Star Chamber, ed. Edwards (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. i), 140; D’Ewes, 474, 496, 552, 553, 555, 557, 561, 565, 624, 649.
- 5. APC, xxviii. 500; HMC Hatfield, viii. 233-4, 264-5; Star Chamber, 212, 216.