Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Some Young Cymro"

I knew that Winifred the mother of the poet Kit Smart was a Radnorian, indeed he boasted of the fact - who wouldn't - in Jubilate Agno: For I am the seed of the Welch Woman and speak the truth from my heart. What I didn't know was that Winifred was the daughter or less likely the grand-daughter of Jeremiah Griffiths of Downton House, New Radnor, which of course is where Innes Ireland lived during his time in Radnorshire.

While wilfing around the matter I also noticed that the novelist Thackery was the great grandson of one Sarah Griffiths of Downton House, the niece of said Winifred. I'm not going to claim Thackery as a Radnorian but Christopher Smart? Certainly.


Anonymous said...

The good news is that I think I have discovered something of the identity of Winifred Griffith of Downton House. Having looked up the marriage registers of St Benet's Church (City of London) I find:

Winifred Griffith of The Inner Temple, London, Marriage Date: 7 Apr 1716 Parish: St Benet Paul´S Wharf City of London
Spouse: Peter Smart of Fair Lawne Kent

In the same register is the marriage entry for her brother (judging by the dates, Parish of abode & marrige church)

19 May 1715 Jeremiah Griffith of the Inner Temple, London, B(achelor), and Sarah Twells of St Andrew, Holborn, Midx., S(pinster). St Benet Pauls Wharf.

This Jeremiah was a barrister at law of the Inner Temple; His will of 1747 appoints his daughter Sarah "Wife of Richmond Webb Esquire" as sole executrix and heir of his will.

Jeremiah's will was probated on 17 May 1759, presumably shortly after his death. The Oxford Journal advertised a disposal of his books on 3 May 1760,"Which will be sold, very cheap" by John Curtis, bookseller at Shakespeare's Head, opposite Fetter Lane, Fleet Street.

So, Winifred and Jeremiah were presumably sister and brother. His daughter Sarah, as you know, was great grandmother to William Makepeace Thackeray.

What remains unknown is the parentage of Winifred and Jeremiah. As a Radnorian, can you find out?

I have pdf copies of the will and the Oxford Times article if it helps.

Jeremiah is my 7x (?) grandfather, hence my interest

Paul Watkinson
Stockbridge, Hampshire

radnorian said...

I'll have a try, although I currently have no access to any of the pay-for genealogy sites. I'll email if I find something.

Anonymous said...

I have now found Winifred Griffith's death records at Margate, age 75. Interestingly, she was the great great aunt of William Makepeace Thackeray. Her brother Jeremiah was called to the Bar at Inner Temple 16 June 1716. Their father was "Resse"
a gentleman of Disserth, Radnor.

Paul Watkinson

radnorian said...

There is a Rees Griffith living in Diserth parish in the 1670 Hearth Tax - I hearth. Perhaps too early?

All the Welsh wills for 1660-1858 can be read online here: http://cat.llgc.org.uk

Unfortunately Downton falls under Hereford. I coulcn't find a Rees Griffith but there was a Jeremiah Griffith in the contiguous parish of Llanelwedd

You can read the Radnorshire Transactions here http://welshjournals.llgc.org.uk/browse/ There may be something.

As he was a gent you may well be able to connect him with one of Bartrum's pedigrees. For Diserth that will probably be the descent groups of Rhys ap Tewdwr or Elystan Glodrydd.

You may find that Griffith was his father's forename. In the 17C you are back in the time when the patronym system flourished.