1666 - 1736 (70 years)
||Jane Stedman |
||1 Mar 1665/66
||Boughton, Worcestershire, England, UK
||12 Oct 1736
- The history of Cilgerran ...: including the topography of the parish ..., pp. 109 ff, by John Roland Phillips
William Vychan (Vaughan) married Jane, the daughter of Humphrey Hughes, of Maesypandy, Merionethshire, by whom he had three children, viz., Rhys, Elizabeth, and Ermine.
Rhys Vychan married a daughter of ____ Lloyd, of Dolygelynen, Merionethshire; but inasmuch as all the pedigrees accessible to me abruptly terminate at this point, it becomes difficult to trace the further progress of this family.
Family traditions, however, and they seem to be very probable, are to the effect that Elizabeth, the sister of Rhys, was married to one of the Steadmans, of Strata FLorida, [The Steadman family claims very considerable antiquity, and is traced back to Steadman, a son of Galiarbus, Duke of Arabia, who came over with Richard I. from the Holy Land to England in the year 1191. He was also made a Knight of the Sepulchre.] and had the estate of Glandovan settled upon her. But, be that as it may, it is evident the the Steadmans soon afterwards were possessed of this estate; and in the latter part of the seventeenth century James Steadman resided at Glandovan, and was the husband of Margaret Owen, the daughter of Richard Owen, Esq., of Rhywsaeson, Montgomeryshire. James Steadman's name appears as a subscriber towards the restoration of the church at Cardigan, in A.D. 1703, as also appears the name of his father-in-law who was probably staying here at the time. [See Meyrick's "Cardiganshire," p. 110.]
Of the above marriage there was issue one daughter only - Jane Steadman - who was married to William Gower, Esq., of Boughton St. John's, in the county of Worcester. This gentleman, for the long period of twenty-six years, represented the ancient borough of Ludlow in Parliament; and his name also appears on the list of subscribers towards rebuilding the tower of St. Mary's Church, Cardigan, in A.D. 1745, where he is described as of Ludlow. he was the son of Abel Gower, Esq., of Boughton St. John's - grandson to Abel Gower, Esq., of the same place - great grandson to George Gower, Esq., of Colmarsh, Worcestershire; and great-great-grandson to William Gower, Esq., of the same place, who was first cousin to Lord Trentham, of Trentham, in the county of Stafford, an ancestor of the present Duke of Sutherland, whose family name is Gower.
Of the married of the above-named William Gower with Jane Steadman, there was issue three sons and seven daughters, viz.: -
1. William Gower, who was a captain in the East India Service, married Bridget Ford, of Bury, by whom he had several children, all of whom died young.
2. James Gower, Esq., who died unmarried.
3. Abel Gower, Esq., of Glandoven - of whom again.
1. Martha Gower, who died unmarried.
2. Jane Gower married Captain John Donkley, R.N., who died on his return from America in 1758.
3. Barbara Gower, married Captain Blarkeny, R.N.
4. Anna Emma, died unmarried at Glandovan. The monument in this church to the memory of her grandmother, Margaret Owen, was put up at her expense.
5. Margaret Gower, married John Clies, Esq., whose daughter Henrietta was married to the celebrated first Lord Rodney.
6. Adalize Gower, married Richard Gusthard, Esq.
7. Catherine Gower, married Lieutenant Owen, R.N.
The above Abel Gower, Esq. (third son of William Gower, by Jane Steadman), was brought up to the legal profession. After his father's death he inherited the Glandovan estate, and was married to Letitia, only daughter and heiress of the Rev. Erasmus Lewes, Rector of Lampeter-pont-Stephen, who was the sixth and youngest son of John Lewes, Esq., of Gernos, in the county of Cardigan. From this marriage sprang a numberous family - nine sons and eight daughters.
Of their sons, three died when young, while two of their daughters were removed at an early age.
Their first-born was Frances Maria, who was born in A.D. 1741; was married to William Phillips, Esq., of Penrallt-treini, and died on the 24th of April, 1812, leaving issue - of whom notice will be taken again.
Erasmus - afterwards Admiral Sir Erasmus - who was born in 1742, was the heir. Having been destined for a naval life he was sent to sea at a very early age, under the protection of his uncle, Captain John Donkley. After his uncle's death, in 1758, he served under several other commanders in a variety of vessels, and at different stations, until the year 1762, during which time he continued, according to the rules of the service, in subordinate stations. In that year, however, being then very young, he passed the necessary examination to qualify him for the rank of lieutenant, and was soon afterwards selected as one of the officers deemed expedient to be sent to the Portuguese service; but owing to peace, sonn afterwards concluded between this country and Spain, no engagement occurred, and our subject returned to the flag guard-ship at Spithead.
Disdaining an inactive life, and not yet having been promoted to the rank of lieutenant, which he fully deserved, he went on board the Dolphin, under the command of Commodore. In this vessel Mr. Gower went round the world on the voyage of discovery - a feat then considered so severe, that both officers and men were allowed double pay, and extra clothig to defend them from cold in passing the coast of Patagonia and round the straits, On his return from this fatiguing and troublesome service, in the year 1766, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant - being one of the three persons who were selected from among the mates and midshipmen of the Dolphin, to be honoured with that advancement.
He was immediately thereafter appointed to retrace nearly the same course again, and was on this occasion sent out as lieutenant of the Swallow (16 guns), commanded by Captain Carteret. The vessel appears to have been quite unfit for foreign service, and though remonstrations were made against the same, yet they were compelled to set sail in the company of the Dolphin. In this vessel they experienced many hardships and distresses. In the year 1769 they returned home, and the Board of Admiralty held out promises of immediate promotion to officers; but, for some causes or other, these promises were not fulflled.
As some alleviation, however, to the disappointment, Mr. Gower was offered the lieutenancy of the Swift sloop of war, destined for the Falkland Islands, where she was to stay for three years. The captain also was to be the commanding officer on that station, and further promises of promotion were held out to induce Mr. Gower to accept the appointment, which he did. Accordingly, towards the end of 1769, the Swift, accompanied by the sloop Favourite, set sail from Portsmouth, and arrived at their destination early in the next spring.
And as many harbours amongst the islands, and a considerable portion of the Patagonian coasts, were then unexplored, it was resolved that the Swift should be employed before the winter set in to prosecute such discoveries as the season would admit of. On the 11th of March, 1770, the Swift therefore set sail; but hardly had she reached the sea in the evening before a hard gale of wind sprung up, which lasted for two days and drove them into Port Desire, which they entered at high water, where the vessel struck upon a sunk rick, and ultimately became a wreck.
"The officers and crew remained during the whole of the ebb in the most anxious and dreadful state of suspects; but though their situation was considered dangerous when the fatal accident had taken place, no sinister subsequent occurrence led them to apprehend that the destruction of their vessel was so imminent. At length, however, when hope appeared to reanimate each countenance, and give the crew almost an assurance of deliverance, the vessel suddenly slipped off the rock, overset, and went to the bottom in nine fathom water.
"The greater part part of the unfortunate crew were at this time nearly naked, as they had been indefatigably endeavouring, though fruitlessly, during the whole of the tide, to guard against the accident which had so fatally befallen them. The situation of Gower himself may serve to point out that of his wretched co-sufferers. He had on nothing more than his shirt, a waistcoat without sleeves, a pair of trousers and an old pair of shoes, without either had, breeches, or stockings. In a nearly equal state of equipment with respect to apparel were the whole of the eighty-eight unhappy persons composing the crew of the Swift, at the time they might be supposed to consider themselves fortunate in reaching the shore. The sun was within a few days of entering into the winter quarter of that part of the globe: the country on which they were thrown was dreary, desolate, and inhospitable, unproductive of provisions necessary for their sustenance, and destitute even of wholesome water. The same dreary scene presented itself for the extent of several degrees both to the northward and southward; added to which, the weather was so cold and inclement, that long before these apparently devoted sufferers ere enabled to quit that coast, the ground was uninterruptedly covered with snow.
" Thus fared it with Mr. Gower, and his distressed companions, during their continuance of twenty-nine days on that wretched spot, almos't without clothes or other protection from the weather, save what they were fortunate enough to meet with in the cavities of the rocks; deprived of that palliating comfort, fire, excepting what they produced from a scanty pittance of the tang or seaweed torn by the turbulence of the waves from the rocks, and left on the shore above high-water mark. Added to these accumulated circumstances of distress, their store of provisions, particularly bread, became so scanty, that they were reduced to the wretched allowance of a biscuit a day for each man.
" On the 12th of April, however, their distresses drew in a great measure to a close, the Favourite, sloop-of-war, arrived, and conveyed them all to Falkland Island in safety."
Mr. Gower remained at the settlement on Falkland Island until June following, when a squadron of Spanish frigates arrived and forcibly dispossessed the English, whose whole strength amounted to only one sloop-of-war. Soon after this the Favourite was despatched to England with the intelligence, and Mr. Gower and the crew of the Swift took their passage on board her. The voyage to the Isle of Wight was accomplished in seventy days. After his arrival in England, he remained unemployed till the
appointment of Sir George Rodney to the Jamaica command in the year ensuing. Here he was advanced from the rank of second to first lieutenant, and on his return home he had to remain inactive on half-pay till March, 1775, when he was appointed first lieutenant of the Levant, frigate, commanded by Captain George Murray, in which vessel he continued for the space of nearly four years on the Mediterranean station. This vessel, after the outbreak of the American war, was very successful, and captured a considerable number of valuable prizes. About 1779 Sir George Rodney was appointed to the chief command of the West Indian station, and chose Mr. Gower to be first lieutenant of the Sandwich. The fleet set sail in December, and early in January had the good fortune to fall in with a Spanish convoy belonging to a wealthy company, and bound for Cadiz. An engagement ensued, and out of twenty-seven vessels forming the fleet, twenty-six were captured! The commodore's ship, of 04 guns, being deemed fit for service, was commissioned by Sir George as a British ship-of-the-line, under the name of Prince William, and Mr. Gower appointed captain thereof, an appointment which was at once confirmed by the Admiralty. In a few days after an action took place between the British and Spanish fleets, off Cape St. Vincent, which proved propitious, after which they soon reached Gibraltar with the valuable prizes, and relieved that fortress from much distress. During the continuance of the fleet at this place, he commanded several vessels, the largest of which was the Edgar, 74 guns, which he quitted in 1781, and thence continued for several months on half-pay. He was then appointed captain of the Medea, a frigate of 28 guns, destined to join the squadron then preparing for the East Indies. Owing to some accidents'; however, the vessel was not able to join the squadron, and proceeded, therefore, a few days after on her voyage
alone, and captured a large French store-ship bound for India. Soon after, the Medea reached her destination, and from that time until his return, in January, 1784, he continued to render very valuable services to his country in those seas, capturing several excellent prizes. In A.d. 1785 Captain Gower was nominated by the late Earl Howe, at that time First Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, to go to India as senior officer of a small squadron of men-of-war ; but, owing to a considerable delay in equipping, he, in 1786, on the appointment of Commodore Elliot to be Governor and Commander-in-chief on the Newfoundland station, accompanied him thither as his captain, where he continued until the latter end of 1788. About this time an embassy to China was projected, Colonel Cathcart being the person fixed upon to fill the diplomatic office, who appointed Captain Gower to the command ; but, owing to his absence in Newfoundland, it dropped through. Four years later, however, in 1792, Lord Macartney was appointed ambassador to China, and the command of the Lion, 64 guns, which was equipped for the purpose of carrying his lordship to the scene of negotiation, was given to Captain Gower.
Previous to his departure, he was offered a baronetcy; hut having no children of his own, he accepted knighthood preferably, an honour which was conferred upon him " as well, perhaps, in testimony of the sense which was entertained of those services which Captain Gower had rendered to his country, as to stamp a consequence on the embassy itself."
Towards the end of September, 1792, the Lion, and the East India Company's ship, Hindostan, and also the Jackall, brig, set sail from Portsmouth. On their outward passage they touched at Madeira, Teneriffe, St. Jago, Rio Janeiro, the Tristan d'Acunha islands, the island of Amsterdam, the eastern extremities of Asia, and, lastly, the Yellow Sea. Many of these places had hardly ever been touched at before, and the navigation from Chusan to the extreme point of the voyage had never been traversed before by Europeans; and, as these enterprising men received no assistance whatever from the Chinese, the voyage must have been both tedious and dangerous; notwithstanding which, they reached their destination in safety. Whatever might have been the result of the embassy, the conduct of the Government towards Sir Erasmus was not undeserving of censure. It was the custom to present captains of men-of-war engaged in conveying ministers abroad with extra allowance; but though Sir Erasmus spared no expense in making the apartments on board the Lion as comfortable as possible for Lord Macartney and his suite, yet no consideration was consequently given him ; and, worse still, on his return to England in September, 1794, he was, without any notice or recompense, paid off; on hearing which, Lord Macartney sent him a polite letter, enclosing a cheque for one thousand guineas, "as a feeble mark of his gratitude, and regard for all the kind attentions paid to him and his family during their stay on board the Lion." Sir Erasmus, however, declined to accept the munificent gift; and, in a letter thanking his lordship for his kind expression of friendship, he " persuaded himself that his lordship would not conceive that the order was returned from ostentation or ridiculous pride."
On the 13th of November, 1794, the thanks of the East India Court of Directors were transmitted to Sir Erasmus in the most flattering manner, for convoying several of their vessels from China and India to England; and, as a further mark of their acknowledgment for the distinguished care and attention which he had shown to their fleet, presented him with a piece of plate of the value of five hundred guineas. ' Soon after ho was appointed to command the Triumph, which afterwards joined the Channel Fleet, under Earl Howe. In this vessel ho played no insignificant part in the masterly retreat of Admiral Cornwallis in the face of a powerful French armament, which had it in their power to bring the British ships to action on the 17th of June, 1795.
In the year 1797, when the dreadful mutiny of British seamen broke out at the Nore, Sir Erasmus quitted the Triumph, hoisted his broad pendant, with which he was then honoured, on board the Neptune, 98 guns, then preparing in the Thames to quell the mutineers, and took upon him the command of all his Majesty's ships and vessels, amounting to about fifty sail of pendants, stationed between London Bridge and the Nore. The insurrection providentially terminated without those powerful means haying been called forth. Sir Erasmus retained the command of the Neptune as a private captain until he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral of the White on the 14th of February, 1799. In 1801 he served under Admiral Cornwallis, on board the Princess Royal, and quitted the same on the 13th of February, 1802. Thence, until May, 1804, he continued unemployed, and was advanced Vice-Admiral of the White on the 23rd of April. In the following month he was appointed Commander-in-chief and Governor of Newfoundland, for which place he set out on board the Isis.
At this place he remained for three years, during which time he unremittingly exercised the power vested in him for the benefit of the inhabitants, and by his humane disposition and general affability won the esteem of all classes of the community. He also established the first school on the island, to which he liberally subscribed throughout the remainder of his life.
On his return, in May, 1807, he retired from all public duties, and spent the remainder of his days at a house called the Herinitage, about a mile distant from the pretty village of Ilampledon, in Hampshire, and about seventeen miles from Portsmouth, during which he enjoyed the universal respect which he had secured both by his private virtues and his public services. " Few are the persons, however correct their conduct and complacent their behaviour may be, who are fortunate enough to pass through life without attracting the malignity or obloquy of the envious; and though aspersion may be considered as no proof of real demerit, yet it certainly stands forth as no slender mark of worth, that our subject never in the slightest degree incurred it."
On the promotion of flag-officers, on the 25th October, 1809, he was promoted Admiral of the Blue, and on the 31st July, 1810, Admiral of the White.
After a long and severe affliction, he died on the 21st June, 1814, in the seventy-second year of his age, and the fifty-eighth of his public services, and was interred in the centre aisle of Ilampledon Church, where (in addition to the monument in Cilgerran Church) a memorial tablet was erected to his memory by his brother, Abel Anthony Gower, Esq., of Glandovan. The officers residing at Hampledon and around wished to bear the expense of the monument, but Mr. Gower would not consent to the same.1
Abel, who afterwards assumed the name of Anthony in addition to his Christian name, was the seventh child of Abel Gower, Esq., by Letitia his wife. He was at one time a very extensive merchant, and founded a most illustrious mercantile house in London, which stood second to none in public reputation ; and thus a great number of years were spent by him in profitable commercial pursuits. Late in life, however, he quitted Logan, youngest daughter of James Logan, Esq., of Clarkson, Stirlingshire. He died without issue in the year 1849, and his widow now survives, and resides at Castle Maelgwyn in this parish, of which anon.
1 For a fuller account of this eminent man see " Naval Chronicle" for 1S13, from which the foregoing is principally taken.
The estate of Glandovan, on the death of Abel Gower, Esq., became, by the law of primogeniture, the property of the eldest son, Admiral Sir Erasmus, who, on his death, left it to his brother, Abel Anthony Gower, Esq., whose brother Robert, dying when his children were very young, he became their guardian, brought them up as if they were his own children, and by his will left the old paternal residence of Glandovan, and the adjoining estate, to Robert Frederic Gower, Esq., together with the Clyndderwen and Pontfaen Estates, which he had acquired by purchase; and Castle Maelgwyn, also acquired by purchase, he devised to his other nephew Abel Lewes Gower, Esq.
After his uncle's death, Robert Frederic Gower, Esq., resided for some time at Glandovan, and filled the office of high sheriff for the county of Pembroke, in respect thereof, in the year 1842; but he subsequently removed to Clyndderwen, a pleasant seat near Narberth Road Station, where he and his amiable family still reside; and the old family residence is, it is to be regretted, let out to tenants.
- The arms of this family, as they appear on the monument to the memory of the late Abel Anthony Gower, Esq., are thus blazoned:-
Quarterly- first and fourth : azure, a chevron, argent, between three wolves' heads, erased,'proper, of the latter; second: or, a cross, argent; and third: gules, three snakes (entwined), argent. Crest: a wolf's head, erased, proper. Motto : Fraitgas non flectcs- you may break, but cannot bend me.
This house, which is situate on. the breast of a rising ground on the western side of the Glandovan dingle, and a little to the north, but on the opposite side, to the mansion of that name, is of considerable antiquity, and has been for several ages inhabited by a respectable and influential family.
There is every probability that the name is derived from Trene, the father of Trenegussus, whose place of interment is indicated by the ancient Ogham stone, which is to be seen in the parish churchyard, and of which an account has already been given; but whether either of the two ever resided at or near this place must ever remain a mystery. There are other places in this parish which are similarly designated- such as Pen'rallt, Hywel, Pen'rallt-Cadwgan; and most probably are so called after the name of their founders respectively. In the tithe apportionment map this has been corrupted into Penallt-yrhayning.
In the sixteenth century this place was the property of, and inhabited by, the family of Garnons, whose ancestral abode was at Garnons, in the county of Hereford;1 but what brought John Garnons into Wales cannot now be solved.. In a pedigree of this family in the " Heraldic Visitations " of Lewys Dwnn,3 this John is described as of Cilgerran, gent., and is stated to have married Elen, a daughter of one John David of Cilgerran, who, in another place in the same work,3 is styled as of Tre'r Dean, and whose wife was Als or Alson Revell of Forest. There is no place in this parish now known by the name of Tre'r Dean, which leads me to believe that the same is a corruption of the
1 Now the seat of Sir Henry Goers Cotterel, Baronet. 1 Vol i. p. 159; see Appendix VI. 3 Ibid. p. 155 ; see Appendix VI.
affix of Pen'rallt- treiny, and the innumerable orthographical blunders with which Lewys Dwnn's MSS are fraught, justify the inference. Hence I presume that it was through his marriage that John Garnons acquired this estate. But be that as it may, it is quite evident that it remained in the possession of the Garnons for a considerable time, and is even now enjoyed by a lineal descendant of that family, though the name has changed. Towards the middle of the eighteenth century, a Miss Garnons, the daughter of John Garnons, consequent on the death of her two brothers without issue, became possessed of the estate, and was married to William Phillips, of Vagwr Eynon, in the parish of Monington, gentleman, who acquired, jure uxoris, the estate of Pen'rallt-trciny, and came hither to reside ; uniting therewith his own estate of Vagwr Eynon.
His eldest son William Phillips, married Frances Maria, the eldest daughter of Abel Gower, Esq., of Glandovan. This William died on the 4th of April, 1803, and his wife on the 24th of April, 1812, leaving issue two sons and two daughters. By the old man's will the whole property was given to John, his second son, to the exclusion of his heir, who was only allowed an annuity of twenty-five pounds, payable out of the estate.1
William, the eldest son, married Jane Wiglcy, of Cilgerran, and had issue.
John, who was afterwards made major of the royal Pembrokeshire militia, resided at Pen'rallt-treiny, remained a bachelor, and died unmarried on the twenty-second day of August, 1848, leaving the whole of his property under his will to the present proprietor William E. Williams, his elder sister's eldest son by Mr. Howell Williams, of Tenby, for his life, charged with the payment of a few legacies and some trifling annuities, with remainder over to his eldest son in estate tail.
1 The reason was this: William, soon after his birth, was put out to be nursed by a woman who had a child of her own, and it was thought that she had substituted her own child for the heir; but the striking family resemblance which grew with the boy sufficiently attested the injustice of such a surmise- not however, before it was loo late to be remedied.
The major's younger sister was married to Mr. Lloyd, of Longhouse, near Mathry, in this county, by whom was issue the present Thomas Lloyd, Esq., of the same place, who married Mary, the daughter of Mr. Williams, of Trearched, by whom he had issue two daughters, who have also married.
W. E. Williams, Esq., the present proprietor of Pen'rallt-treiny, was born at Tenby, and selected the sea for his profession. He was appointed commander of a steam vessel on the Ganges, which office he held with considerable credit for several years. On his uncle's death he resigned his post and returned to this country, to enjoy the property left him by his uncle's will, and has since led a life of quiet retirement.
He has been twice married. By his first wife he had four children; and by his second wife (now living) six children, all of whom, except his two eldest sons, are at present alive.
||Stedman Families of the United Kingdom
||28 Apr 2011 |
||James Stedman, of Strata Florida, b. Abt 1630, Strata Florida, Cardiganshire, Wales, UK , d. Aft 14 Nov 1668 (Age ~ 38 years) |
||Margaret "Margred" Owen, of Rhiwsaeson, Llanbryn-mair, Montgomeryshire, b. Cal 1644, d. Bef 23 Feb 1715/16 (Age ~ 72 years) |
||8 May 1664
||Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire, Wales, UK
- Collections historical & archaeological relating to Montgomeryshire, Volume 22, pp. 43
By Powys-land Club
Extract of Parish Registers.
1664 May 8, "Die Dominica", James Stedman of Strata Florida, in the County of Cardigan, Esq., and Margaret, daughter of Richard Owen of Rhiwsaeson, Esq., married.
1667 Aug. 6 (born), Richard, son of James Stedman, Esq., and Margaret his wife, baptised Aug. 15.
1677 Aug. 31, Martha, daughter of James Stedman, Esq., buried.
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||William Gower, b. 18 Dec 1669, d. 30 Jan 1738/39 (Age 69 years) |
| ||1. Martha Gower, b. Bef 16 Mar 1693/94, d. 28 Aug 1716 (Age ~ 22 years)|
| ||2. Barbara S. Gower, b. Bef 19 Jul 1695, d. Unknown|
| ||3. William Gower, Jr., b. Bef 3 Aug 1696, d. Unknown|
| ||4. Ann Emma Gower, b. Bef 17 Dec 1697, d. 9 Mar 1709/10 (Age ~ 12 years)|
| ||5. James Gower, b. Bef 1 Feb 1698/99, d. Unknown|
| ||6. Jane Gower, b. Bef 5 Dec 1700, d. Unknown|
| ||7. Adeliza Gower, b. Bef 3 Feb 1701/02, d. Unknown|
| ||8. Abel Gower, b. Bef 11 Apr 1703, d. 26 Mar 1783 (Age ~ 79 years)|
| ||9. Margaret Gower, b. Bef 11 Dec 1704, d. Unknown|
| ||10. Catherine Gower, b. Bef 5 Apr 1709, d. Unknown|
||15 Oct 2009 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart