Saturday, August 06, 2011

Forgotten Radnorians

The picture shows Sir Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland between 1920 and 1922, inspecting RIC Auxiliaries in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Born in Ontario, Canada, Greenwood was created Baron Greenwood of Llanbister in 1929.



Originally named Thomas Hamer Hubbard Greenwood, the Liberal, later Tory, politician's father John Hamer Greenwood had emigrated to Canada from Radnorshire in 1850. The later Viscount Greenwood's grandfather William, an agricultural labourer, having married a Mary Hamer in Llanbister in 1825.

The Greenwoods are another of those Radnorshire families who appear in the Llanddewi Ystradenni/Llanbister area in the 17C. There is a Thomas Greenwood in the 1670 Hearth Tax for Llanddewi parish and you can find the 1755 will of William Greenwood of the same parish here.

A John Greenwood was Overseer of the Poor for Llanbister in 1793 when he was accused of the unusual crime of conspiracy to procure a marriage between a local woman and a John Moss from Llanfihangel Nant Melan. No doubt he wanted to offload a burden on the local ratepayers to a neighbouring parish. Nothing came of the case. In the 1891 and 1901 Censuses an Edward Greenwood, born in Llanbister in 1839, but living in Llanfechain, Montgomeryshire, is recorded as being able to speak Welsh. One imagines he picked up the language away from Llanbister.

Note: In the 19C censuses the main Greenwood settlement is a farm called Dolau-farian in Llanbister parish which the modern day map makers now call Dol-y-Fran.

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