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Garter, and granting the Lordships of Denbigh, Bromfield and Yale, to him and his heirs for ever. By opposing this grant (1695), Robert Price gained the proud title of "patriot of his native country." When the Warrant came before the Lords of the Treasury The Earl of Godolphin, Sir Stephen Fox, Sir William Trumbull and John Smith, Esq-three other patriots, Sir William Williams, Sir Roger Puleston, Sir Robert Cotton, with Mr. Price, were heard before their lordships. The submitting of 1500 freeholders to the will of a Dutch lord was," declared Mr. Price, " putting them in a worse position than their former estate under William the Conqueror and the Norman lords." To this speech Lord Godolphin replied that "they had offered many weighty reasons and they should be represented to His Majesty." The Grant being stopped at the Treasury, Mr. Price, as a Member of the House of Commons, in presenting to the House the petition of the tenants of the manors affected, made a memorable speech which created so great an impression that his motion in conclusion for an address to the Crown, adverse to the grants, except after the consent of Parliament, was carried unanimously. Pursuant to this an Address was presented to His Majesty by the Speaker, attended by the whole House, on January 22nd, 1695-6.
To this the King replied as follows:
"Gentlemen, I have a kindness for my Lord Portland which he has deserved of me by long and faithful services, but I should not have given him these lands if I had imagined the House of Commons could have been concerned; I will, therefore, recall the grant, and find some other way of showing my favour to him."
On the Royal Message being received in the House of Commons, Mr. Price drew up a resolution, to which the House assented, to the effect that "to procure or pass exorbitant grants by any member of the Privy Council was a high crime and misdemeanour."
Though it is well-known that King William highly
resented Mr. Price's speech and the proceedings in Parliament against the Earl of Portland', yet His Majesty so highly regarded Mr. Price's merits, as a judicious and honest lawyer, that he made him a Judge of the Brecknock Circuit.
In 1702 Judge Price resigned the representation of the borough of Weobley, which he had held for 20 years (1682-1702), in favour of his son Thomas, who was unanimously chosen as the representative of that borough.
Queen Anne, immediately on her accession, made Judge Price one of the Barons of the Exchequer, which office he held till 1726, when, on the death of Mr. Justice Dormer, he was made a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.
He died, aged 79, at Kensington, on the 2nd of February, 1732, of a contagious disorder that overspread the country, and his body was interred in the Parish Church of Yazor.
The following sketch of the character and achievements of this great man is based on the somewhat lengthy analysis in which his grandson John Ivie paid tribute to his memory:
As a Member of the House of Commons, he exerted himself on all occasions in the glorious cause of Liberty and of his Country, more especially when the tide of preferment was rolling to another shore and grants of Crown lands were made to foreigners. What a noble, brave, and successful stand did he make in opposing the passing of these grants! Early in life he won the first rank at the Bar. The business of the Exchequer Court was never at a greater height than when Judge Price sat there. He approved himself a master of that learning and knowledge which
1 The speech contained too many truths to bear the light during that reign, but a year after King William's death it was printed under the following title, viz., "Gloria Cambriæ, or the Speech of a Bold Briton in Parliament against a Dutch Prince of Wales,” and bearing this just motto, OPPOSUIT ET VICIT.
those places required, and he was an exact and strict observer of Justice.
Such merit might reasonably give the possessor a just claim to preside in the highest court, though he never coveted honours or preferment any other way but by just and honourable actions. His greatest pleasure was in doing acts of kindness and charity to all indifferently. He was of such delight in conversation, of such flowing courtesy, of such goodness to mankind, combined with such agreeable cheerfulness, that all were equally pleased as they were improved. Just in his friendships, true to himself, obedient to his God, a strict observer of all religious duties, and so unwearied in doing good that no one sued to him in vain, or was denied help and assistance. No one was ever heard or read of who more justly deserved to be distinguished by the titles of the Great and the Good Man, than Mr. Justice Price. Turpe mori post Te, solo non posse dolore.
Baron Price had three children, two sons and a daughter. His elder son, Thomas, died, s. p., in 1706 at Genoa, probably through foul play. The daughter, Lucy, who married Bamphyld Rodd and became the mother-in-law of John Ivie (eulogist of Baron Price), died in 1725, leaving several daughters. The sole surviving child of Baron Price was Uvedale Tompkins, whose eldest grandson, Uvedale, was created a Baronet in 1828, being succeeded in 1829 by his son Robert, who died in 1857, when the Baronetcy became extinct. Sir Uvedale Price, who distinguished himself in the literary world by his "Essays on the Picturesque," was a patron of the fine arts, securing from the brush of Sir Joshua Reynolds a very fine portrait of his wife (the Lady Caroline); this, with other portraits from Foxley, was sold at Christie's in 1892.
On the death of Sir Robert Price, Bart., the representation of the Price family passed to Thomas Price, Esq., of the Albany, London, son of Barrington Price younger brother of Sir Uvedale by his first marriage
with the Lady Mary J. Bowes. Thomas Price died unmarried in 1892, and his half-nephew Capt. Geo. Barrington Price dying, s. p., in 1910, Barrington Price born 1841 became the sole survivor1 in the male line of Baron Price. This last-named Barrington was halfbrother of the Capt. Price who died in 1910.
POSTSCRIPT. From information obtained at the moment of going to press, and kindly supplied by Mr. T. A. Glen, of Meliden, near Prestatyn, Abbot Hugh Price cannot have been son of Sir Robert ap Rhys, for the following reason: Dr. Ellis Price was at Cambridge in 1534, and was living after 1606, as can be proved from old deeds. The date of his birth was about 1514 or later, so that it would be impossible for his younger brother to have been Abbot in 1528, and then an aged man. Abbot Hugh Price might have been the brother of Sir Robert, who, from Ministers' Accounts and other deeds, was living as late as 1558, so that he must have been born from 14751480. The same remarks apply to Abbot Richard Price.
1 The writer wishes his deep indebtedness to Mr. Leonard Price, of Ewell, Surrey, for materials by which Baron Price's descendants have been traced down to the present day.