PRICE, William (1571-1627), of Briton Ferry, Glam.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press

Family and Education

b. 25 Mar. 1571,1 1st s. of Leisian Price† of Briton Ferry and Neath, Glam. and Maud, da. of David Evans† of The Great House, Neath. m. Katherine (d. c.1638), da. of David Popkin Thomas of Ynys Forgan, Glam., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da.; 1 s. illegit.2 suc. fa.1587.3 d. by 1 May 1627.4 sig. W[illia]m Pryce.

Offices Held

J.p. Glam 1601-d.,5 commr. sewers 1604, 1615, 1626,6 subsidy 1608,7 inquiry into houses of correction 1610, 8 subsidy arrears 1626,9 under-sheriff 1626.10

Servant to Viscount L’Isle (Robert Sidney†) by 1609-at least 1611.11


Price belonged to one of the numerous branches of a family which had been settled in Glamorgan for generations. His forebears included the noted fifteenth-century bard, Ieuan Gethin ap Ieuan ap Lleision. Price’s father, a successful lawyer who represented Cardiff Boroughs in the last Marian Parliament, owned land in ten Glamorgan parishes at the time of his death.12 Little is known of Price himself prior to his appointment as a magistrate in 1601. An active figure in local government, he also managed some of the Glamorgan estates of Viscount L’Isle and the 3rd earl of Pembroke.13

Price owed his repeated elections to Parliament to the earl of Pembroke, who recommended him for Old Sarum in 1614, and used his local influence in Glamorgan to have him returned as knight of the shire in 1621. As the owner of Cardiff manor and constable of its castle, Pembroke appointed the bailiffs responsible for returning MPs to Cardiff borough, and so ensured his client’s election there to three successive parliaments.14 Price made no impression upon the records of the 1614 Parliament. In subsequent sessions his performance cannot be described with certainty, for the surviving records do not invariably distinguish between him and other Members with the same surname. The principal business that concerned him in 1621 was the bill to relax restrictions on the export of Welsh butter, an issue of considerable importance for the Glamorgan economy. This legislation had been prompted by the granting of a patent to control the trade, and before Parliament met, Price was delegated by the local gentry to promote the measure in the Commons. As a Welsh shire knight, he was entitled to attend the bill’s committee stage (10 Mar.), and following the report on 26 Mar. he helped to address complaints about its provisions, reassuring the House that a proposed restriction on the export of Welsh butter from English ports might be amended. The bill was still in the Lords when the first sitting ended, and rather than let the matter rest, Price lobbied the government for redress by other means, securing the temporary suspension of the offending patent until such time as the legislation was approved. In the event, however, the bill was lost at the dissolution.15

In 1624 it was probably this Member who was nominated on 6 Mar. to help scrutinize the bill for repeal of the Tudor legislation that permitted the Crown to alter Welsh laws at will, since he was definitely appointed to attend the conference with the Lords about this measure on 14 April. Price was also named to the bill committee on coal duties at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and to the select committee for preparing the presentment of recusant officeholders (27 and 29 April).16 No business can definitely be assigned to him in 1625, though he may have been the Mr. Price nominated to the committee for the bill against petty larceny (25 June). In 1626 he was certainly appointed to consider bills on the estates of Vincent Lowe, malt manufacture, and the sanctions permissible against outlawed debtors (1, 9 and 27 March). He was also nominated on 7 Mar. to attend the conference with the Lords at which recent military tactics were discussed.17

Outside Parliament, Price was known as one of the few contemporary authors of ‘cwndidau’, or Welsh religious carols. In the only surviving work attributed to him, the author confesses his sins and appeals to divine mercy.18 Price made his will on 3 Jan. 1627. Settling a number of minor properties on his three daughters and two brothers, he bequeathed over £1,200 to six grandchildren, and the bulk of his plate and household goods to his grandson and principal heir, Thomas Mansell. The Briton Ferry estate subsequently passed to the latter’s younger brother Bussy Mansell†, who represented Cardiff and Glamorgan on several occasions after the Restoration. Price himself had died by 1 May 1627, when his will was proved, and was presumably buried at Briton Ferry, as requested in his will.19

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Henry Lancaster / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. C142/216/81.
  • 2. G.T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae, i. 84; Cardiff Recs. ed. J.H. Matthews, v. 489; C2/Chas.I/P47/39.
  • 3. C142/216/81.
  • 4. PROB 11/151, f. 414.
  • 5. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 291, 298.
  • 6. C181/1, f. 87; 181/2, f. 234v; 181/3, f. 201.
  • 7. SP14/31/1.
  • 8. C181/2, f. 122v.
  • 9. E179/224/598.
  • 10. Cardiff Recs. v. 489.
  • 11. HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, iv. 140, 294-5.
  • 12. Glam. Co. Hist. ed. G. Williams, iv. 78, 570; G.J. Williams, Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg, 128; C142/216/81.
  • 13. HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, iv. 294-5; Glam. Co. Hist. iv. 165; Cartae et alia Munimenta ... de Glamorgancia ed. G.L. Clark, vi. 2175.
  • 14. Hants RO, 44M69/L4/1; Glam. Co. Hist. iv. 173; V. Rowe, ‘Influence of Earls of Pembroke on Parl. Elections’, EHR, l. 245.
  • 15. L. Bowen, Politics of the Principality, 65-6; CJ, i. 549a, 575b; CD 1621, vii. 468-9.
  • 16. CJ, i. 730a, 767a, 777a, 778b.
  • 17. Procs. 1625, p. 245; Procs. 1626, ii. 158, 216, 238, 374.
  • 18. Glam. Co. Hist. iv. 248, 570.
  • 19. PROB 11/151, ff. 414-16; HP Commons, 1660-90, iii. 16-17.