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the usual small opening. The door is of oak, nailstudded, with hinges two yards long, and was protected by a wooden bolt. To the left of the entrance hall is a large room, separated from the hall by a partition of planks, beaded, and of oak. One side of the room is panelled in oak, with a recessed oak seat; there is another oak seat under the window, and an oak cupboard built into the wall to the left of the fire-place.
There were two windows in the room, but one has been
blocked up. A writer in the Antiquary, 1883, pp. 253-4, states that this room resembles the old parlours at Owlebury in the Vale of Churchstoke, which resemblance tends to determine the date, viz., the second half of the sixteenth or the first half of the seventeenth century. To the right of the hall are several rooms, now used as kitchens, dairy, etc., and at the far end are traces of a stone staircase. The rooms on the first floor, as is usually the case in
houses of this type, are approached through one another, and in one of the rooms are fragments of some fine mouldings.
THE PRICES OF PLAS IOLYN.
Doctor Ellis Price ("Doctor Côch "), a notorious lawyer of Tudor times, is generally mentioned as of "Plas Iolyn," a place possessed by his paternal great grandfather Meredith. The alabaster effigies of his father (Sir Robert ap Rhys ap Meredith), his mother (Lowry), and his grandfather (Rhys), are still preserved in Yspytty Church. His father was chaplain and cross-bearer to Cardinal Wolsey, two of his brothers were Abbots of Maenan, and of his sisters Katherine Lloyd married William Salesbury and Lowry married Robert Salesbury.
"Doctor Côch" was a dreaded oppressor, a creature of Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and devoted to all his master's bad designs. He secured the sinecure rectorship of several parishes, but was never in holy orders; he obtained the grant of the manor of Yspytty and was made Custos Rotulorum of Merioneth; an attempt was made, unsuccessfully, to secure his appointment to the Bishopric of Bangor. He was four times Sheriff of Denbighshire (1550, 1557, 1569, 1573), seven times Sheriff of Merionethshire, and twice Sheriff of Anglesey; these appointments gave him tremendous power. Queen Elizabeth issued a Commission for holding an Eisteddfod at Caerwys in 1568, and in this Dr. Ellis Price was styled "Our trusty and right wellbeloved Ellis Price, Esq., Doctor in Civil Law and one of the Council in Our Marches of Wales."
The accompanying illustration (Fig. 6) is taken by kind permission of the late Lady Augusta Mostyn, of Gloddaeth, from a portrait dated 1605, and long preserved at Bodysgallen and Gloddaeth. Dr. Côch is represented with white jacket, broad turnover, yellow hair and beard (the latter thin), and with a visage very long, lank, and hypocritical.
Capt. Thomas Price, of Plas Iolyn (1550-1610), the eldest son of Dr. Ellis Price, a distinguished officer and poet, succeeded to the large estates of his father. He fitted out a privateer against the Spaniards, and in one of his poems relates the history of an engagement
in which he was roughly handled by the enemy. He excelled in satire and humour, and in laconic alternations in Welsh verse, which might be illustrated by some lines' to the memory of Richard Middleton, Governor of Denbigh Castle, and Jane his wife. Capt. Thomas 1 Camb. Briton, March, 1820.
Price and Capt. William Middleton, brother of Sir Hugh, are ranked by the author of The Display of Heraldry (1616), among those fifteen gentlemen, natives of Denbighshire, who fostered the literature of Wales during the years of its depression which succeeded the insurrection of Owen Glyndwr. He was Sheriff in 1599. It appears, from one of his poems, that he was present at Tilbury, as an officer in the land service, when Queen Elizabeth reviewed her army there. He also states that he and Capt. Middleton and Capt. Thomas Koet (? Huet) were the first who smoked tobacco publicly in London. This he and his companions had found in a a ship taken from the Spaniards, between the Canary Islands and Africa, albeit he mentions that some had before been brought into England by Sir Francis Drake and Sir W. Raleigh; they used twisted leaves or "segars."
Capt. Thomas Price's poems are preserved in a MS. written in his own hand containing about 1000 pages. They form a quarto volume.
Captain Thomas Price's wife, Margaret Griffith, was daughter of William Griffith of Carnarvon, who in some pedigrees is stated to have been the son of Sir William Griffith ("Hael") of Penrhyn, but considerations as to her probable age at marriage render it more probable that she was the daughter of William Griffith, D.C.L., of Carnarvon, whose father was William Griffith of Carnarvon, and apparently the William Griffith first mentioned.
The children of this Margaret were Dorothy, wife of Lieutenant Hugh Hookes, buried in Conway Church, June, 1632; and Thomas, who married Jane Salesbury, and who probably died in his father's lifetime, as he does not appear to have enjoyed the lordship of Yspytty, to which lordship his son Ellis succeeded. The elder branch of the Price family of Plas Iolyn ended in Elizabeth, heiress of this Ellis, and she (by her marriage with Robert Edwards, of Gallt y Celyn 1 John Davies, of Llansilin.