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formed a corporation entitled 'The Society for the Mines Royal', that the Crown's prerogative in them might be permanent, 'for our laws say that Corporations never die'.1 For many years the Society worked several mines in Cardiganshire but later farmed them out. Sometime before 1620 Sir Hugh Myddelton took a lease upon them at an annual rent of £ 400. Pettus states that 'he cleared Monethly the summe of £ 2000 and had he not diverted his Gains to the making of the New River from Ware to London, certainly he would have been Master of a Mass of Wealth; but great Wits and Purses seldom know how to give bounds to their Designments, and by undertaking too many things, fail in all'.2 This can hardly be so, however, for Myddelton had already completed the New River Project before coming to Cardiganshire. Whether he cleared such a profit from this mining venture or not, the Company formed by Myddelton appears to have been a sound investment for its shares were readily saleable in 1631.3 It appears that by his great industry Myddelton had brought certain mines in Cardiganshire to 'very good perfection', even though he had been frustrated by the 'interference' of certain persons and the lack of labour.4 He seems, however, to have been on reasonably good terms with Sir Richard Pryse of Gogerddan, who married Hester, Sir Hugh's second daughter. His lease of the mines was renewed for thirty-one years in 1625, and at his death in 1631 this passed to his widow, Lady Elizabeth Myddelton. She carried on until 14 October 1636 when Thomas Bushell bound himself to pay her £ 400 fine and £ 400 a year rent during the currency of her lease.5 Since Myddelton's death the mines in north Cardiganshire had been rather neglected, and Thomas Bushell's arrival marked the beginning of another period of intense activity. He quickly settled-in at the Lodge or Park Bodvage which he took upon a nineteen years lease from Sir Richard Pryse on 23 March 1637 at an annual rent of k40. According to the counterpart of this agreement6 the Lodge (lying in Llangynfelin in the lordship of Genau'r Glyn, within the hundred of Llanbadarn Fawr) was at this time held by Richard Newell, who, it seems, had charge of the mines on behalf of Lady Myddelton'. (In passing it is interesting to note that among other things retained by Sir Richard Pryse for himself and his heirs were 'the pasture of three horses, nags, geldings or mares at all times dureing the said terme within the said parke, and comon of pasture for his and their deare within the said parke wth free access, egresse and regresse thereunto to hunte Course Chase or Kill the same at his and their pleasure and to cutt, worke, and carry away tymber for building .). At first the prospects of success for Bushell seemed very slight. The works were flooded and much capital expenditure was obviously needed to get them going. Having opened up the mines, and now wishing, so he assures us, 'to do unto others 1 Pettus, Fodinae Regales (London, 1670), p. 29. 2 Ibid., p. 33. 3 State Papers Domestic, Charles I, ii, pp. 424-5. 4 Scott, W. R., Joint-Stock Companies to 1720 (Cambridge, 1912), Vol. II, pp. 401-2. 5 Ibid., p. 402. 6 Gogerddan Deeds, No. 280.