Welsh Journals

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Reverend Samuel Wilson Warneford of Bourton-on-the-Hill in Gloucestershire, who, much against her father's will, had married Lovedon's eldest daughter Margaret in 1796. This marriage had created a further charge on the estate in the form of an annual pay- ment to Margaret of £ 1,000 which, to Lovedon's mortification, she had assigned to her husband. In the years following his father's death, Pryse was constantly plagued by Warneford for the repayment of the mortgage and for his rapidly accumulating arrears of the £ 1,000 settlement. After long and protracted negotiations, in 1824, he managed to persuade Warneford to agree to a reduction of the mortgage interest from five to four per cent on the strict condition that interest payments were regularly remitted every six months.12 As a means of paying off the mortgage, Pryse desperately sought to borrow money at four per cent and commissioned his solicitor, Charles Deare, to raise the required sum from the commercial money market. Although Deare contrived to persuade the Equitable Assurance Office to advance money at four and a half per cent, Pryse not unnaturally declined to close a mortgage upon which he was already paying only four per cent.13 Warneford was not pleased. 'That we may be longer and older friends I am anxious to get rid of and to settle all our money affairs with each other and that the money which has been engaged on your authority by professional gentlemen of high reputation for you may not be attempted to be thrown back upon them in a way that might justify censure or excite adverse proceedings.'14 In the event, a further six years were to elapse before the Warneford mortgage was finally discharged. The Warneford mortgage was but one of the financial embarass- ments confronting Pryse Pryse after his father's death. Under Lovedon's will, his niece, Harriet Thayer, enjoyed an income of £ 400 per year which, unfortunately for Pryse, his trustees refused to charge to the settled estates.15 Threatened with a Chancery suit, Pryse was forced personally to borrow £ 10,000 to redeem this annual sum.16 Throughout 1822 and 1823 sales of bark and timber from the Welsh estates and the letting of Pryse's own house at Woodstock began to relieve the situation, so that late in 1823 Charles Deare was able to 18 S. W. Warneford to Pryse Pryse, 10 July 1824. w C. Deare to Pryse Pryse, 7 July 1825. 14 S. W. Warneford to Pryse Pryse, 14 June 1825. w C. Deare to G. Tennant, 18 November 1823. With the establishment of the family settlement as a means of ensuring the passage of an estate intact from one generation to the next, and for seeking the interest of widows, daughters and younger sons in the property, many life-tenants placed their estates under the control of trustees who would be vested with powers to raise cash for the payment of debts and to organise the financial affairs of the estate. (See G. E. Mingay, The Gentry (London 1976,) p. 68). C. Deare to Pryse Pryse, 22 April 1829; 17 June 1829. In 1826 Harriet Thayer had married Monsieur Thiebault, a Belgian.