WYNN, Maurice (by 1526-80), of Gwydir, Caern.
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Family and Education
b. by 1526, 1st s. of John Wynn ap Merdydd† of Gwydir by Ellen, da. of Maurice ap John of Clenennau; bro. of Robert. m. (1) Jane (Siân), da. of Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris, Anglesey (d.1547), 3s. inc. Ellis and John 5da.; (2) Anne, da. of Edward Greville of Milcote, Warws., 1da.; (3) c.1570, Catherine (d. Aug. 1591), da. of Tudor ap Robert of Berain, Denb. and Penmynydd, Anglesey, wid. of John Salusbury of Lleweni, Denb. and of Richard Clough of Bachegraig, Tremeirchion, Flints., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1559.1
Commr. goods of churches and fraternities, Caern. 1553, piracy 1565, subsidy 1570, victuals 1574, tanneries 1574; escheator 1553-4; sheriff 1554-5, 1569-70, 1577-8; j.p. Caern., Merion. 1555-d., Denb. 1575; custos rot. Caern. by 1562-d.2
Maurice Wynn was the first member of his family to adopt this surname consistently. On his father’s father’s death he came into extensive estates in the Conway valley and near Caernarvon, and others in Llanfrothen, Merioneth. Wynn enhanced his family’s family’s wealth and prestige by his marriages, notably his third, for in addition to her own considerable lands of Berain, Catherine had been left a handsome fortune by her second husband, the wealthy merchant Richard Clough. However, her first marriage had been into the Salusbury family of Lleweni, and the wardship of her son by that marriage, Thomas Salusbury, caused Maurice Wynn considerable trouble. The child was the ward of the Earl of Leicester, then at the height of his quarrel with the families of Gwynedd, and for the last six years of his life Wynn was at his wits’ end to keep on terms with his neighbours without losing the favour of Leicester. He was involved in a number of lawsuits, and the disposition of the ancestral estates at Doiwyddelan Dolwyddelan was a cause of wrangling which persisted into the next generation. In his own will Maurice bequeathed money for the education of poor children from Beddgelert parish at Friars School, Bangor. He died 18 Aug. 1580.
Wynn’s normal assessment for subsidy was between £7 and £12—rather less than that of his younger brother Robert, who had had to make his own way to fortune, and far less than his father’s father’s had been. This may help to explain the determination of his son Sir John to restore the preponderance of the senior branch of the family.
The only record of Wynn in Parliament in the Elizabethan period is for 24 Mar. 1563, when he received permission to depart from the Commons ‘for his weighty affairs’.3
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Griffith, Peds. 281.
- 2. CPR, 1553, p. 419; 1560-3, pp. 446-7; 1563-6, p. 31; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 60, 109, 127, 132; C66/985.
- 3. Wynn, Gwydir Fam. passim; DWB, 1097-8; Augmentations, ed. Lewis and Davies (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 286, 292; CPR, 1563-6, p. 340; Y Cymmrodor, xl. 1-42; Cal. Wynn Pprs. pp. 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15-17, 297; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 238; A. I. Pryce, Diocese of Bangor in the 16th Cent. 15; NLW, Wynnstay mss; Exchequer Jas. I, ed. T. I. J. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xv), 51, 71, 74; Barker and Lewis, Hist. Friars Sch. 172-3; E179/220/133, 135, 141, 144; CJ, i. 70.