Available from Boydell and Brewer
Number of voters:
|27 Mar. 1660||GEORGE GWYNNE|
|c. Apr. 1661||SIR RICHARD LLOYD I|
|Sir Philip Warwick|
|6 Mar. 1677||RICHARD WILLIAMS vice Lloyd, deceased|
|4 Mar. 1679||ROWLAND GWYNNE|
|19 Aug. 1679||ROWLAND GWYNNE|
|1 Mar. 1681||(SIR) ROWLAND GWYNNE|
|24 Mar. 1685||RICHARD WILLIAMS|
|17 Jan. 1689||(SIR) ROWLAND GWYNNE|
The only known calculation of the Radnorshire electorate occurs in 1677, when (Sir) Edward Harley was told that if one of the candidates could muster 800 voters he would have an easy victory. The Gwynnes of Llanelwedd had the predominant interest, and none of the elections in which they stood is known to have been contested. In 1661 Sir Richard Lloyd I, the chief justice of the circuit, although a North Walian with no property in the county, was elected on the recommendation of the lord president of Wales, Lord Carbery. The only other candidate was an Englishman, Sir Philip Warwick. On Lloyd’s death Edward Price of Presteigne, the younger son of a Montgomeryshire family, who had married a local heiress, began a canvass, but Richard Williams of Cabalfa and Samuel Powell of Stanage ‘agree to assist against strangers, and as to themselves detur fortiori’. Neither was considered a likely recruit to the court party, but Harley preferred Powell, who lived a couple of miles upstream from Brampton Bryan. ‘I wish my neighbours find a good account of their chargeable affair at Presteign’, he wrote. The Marquess of Worcester (Henry Somerset) eventually gave government backing to Williams: ‘my only design in it was to keep out a worse’, he later explained to the King. After they had been polling a week ‘there came in a fourth with six score men, who in plain terms told the other three that he did not intend to stand himself, but he that would give him most money should have those voices’. Powell’s petition was handled by Sir Thomas Littleton, 2nd Bt., who withdrew it during the committee hearings. Rowland Gwynne was elected to all three Exclusion Parliaments, probably by arrangement with Williams, who displaced a courtier in Breconshire. Gwynne was in exile in 1685, when Williams was again returned for Radnorshire. But the Government may have expected him to contest the next election, and sought to render him ineligible, first by sending a privy seal for him, and next by pricking him as sheriff of Breconshire. But at the 1689 election, the coroner returned Gwynne as knight of the shire ‘without any opposition at all’.
HMC Portland, iii. 354; Portland mss, BL Loan 29/79, Thomas Harley to Sir Edward Harley, 18 Mar. 1661, 23 Feb. 1677; 29/182, f. 241, Sir Edward Harley to Lady Harley, 24 Mar. 1677; Bodl. Wood F41, f. 102, William Dugdale to Wood, 23 Mar. 1677; CJ, ix. 477; Dalrymple Mems. ii. Bk. v. 77.