Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

first used, at the contests of 1725 and 1729, suggest that the exclusive claims of resident burgesses had hitherto been assumed. But the previous history of the constituency had not been entirely peaceful. The election in 1661 of James Phillips of the Priory had been declared void the next year, on the ground of insufficient notice to the out- boroughs this may well have been an instance, not uncommon in Wales at the time, of a county town attempting to secure for itself a monopoly of the borough representation. The petition against Phillips had been presented by his opponent Sir Francis Lloyd of Maesyfelin, and Lloyd again vainly fought the seat at the ensuing by-election of 1663 against Sir Charles Cotterell, the man designated by Phillips as his successor. No subsequent contest in the borough constituency is known until the general election of December 1701, when in obscure circumstances a Tory lawyer from Shropshire, Sir Thomas Powis, was defeated by a Henry Lloyd who was probably the Gogerddan nominee. The ensuing political tranquility in the borough constituency in the early eighteenth century reflected the unchallenged control of the Tory families both Lewis Pryse, master of Gogerddan from 1699, and William Powell of Nanteos were not merely Tory, indeed, but positively Jacobite in sympathy. The Cardiganshire Whigs, headed by the Vaughans of Trawscoed-Viscoilnt Lisburne in the peerage of Ireland from 1695, despaired of success in that constituency and confined their electoral campaigns to the county here Whigs took the seat in 1694, 1695, and 1713, and unsuccessfully forced contests in 1689, 1690, 1708, and 1715. There was one borough contest in Anne's reign, at the by-election of February 1710, when Lewis Pryse's nomination was vainly challenged by another Tory, Sir Humphrey Mackworth of Glamorgan, who had established an int- erest' in Cardiganshire through his exploitation of local mines. At the general election later in that year Mackworth defeated Pryse him- self in the county by bribing both Lord Lisburne and William Powell into support. 5 Lewis Pryse returned a succession of Tory squires from West Wales for the borough, and also for the county after the breach between Gogerddan and Nanteos was healed in 1714, but his death in 1720 at the age of 37 threw Cardiganshire politics into confusion. There was a long minority before the Gogerddan heir, Thomas Pryse, came of age in 1737. Various members of the Pryse family now sought to make use of the Gogerddan interest for their own purposes, and other Cardiganshire families, Whig and Tory alike, sought to capture the borough seat in the period of Gogerddan weakness. The first of three borough contests within a decade came after the death of the sitting member, Stephen Parry, on 15 December 1724. Thomas Powell of Nanteos now announced his candidature, apparently