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) ^ "OLD BRECKNOCK CHIPS." A Column of Antiquarian Chit-Chat relating to the County of Brecknock. NOTES, QUERIES, AND REPLIES, on Subjects inter¬ esting to Breconshire, must be addressed to EDITOR, Brecon County Times, Brecon. Real names and addresses must be given in confidence, and MSS. must be written legibly, on one side of the paper only. MARCH 18th, 1887. NOTES. THE AWBEEY FAMILY. (Concluded from January 7th, 1887.) The noble steeds and harness bright, And gallant lord, and stalwart knight In rich array,— Where shall we seek them now ? alas ! Like the bright dewdrops on the grass, They passed away. Longfellow. Since writing the last article on this family ray attention has been drawn to the following letters, published by the Kev. J. M. Traherne in the now rare " Stradling Correspondence," a series of letters written and received in the reign of Queen Elizabeth by members of the Stradling family. The first is from Sir Francis Walsingham to Sir Edward Stradling, and is as follows : — To his very lovinge frynde Sr. Edwarde Stradlinge, Knight, in the county e of Glamorgan, geve this wth. speede. After my harty comendacons. Whearas my very good frend Mr Doctor Awbrey is for his recreacon to make his repaier into Breckuokeshiere, there to visite and make merye wth. his frendes; for the accomplishment whereof he shall stande in neede especiallye of veneson, and therefore hath requested me to writte unto you to furnishe him of some. These are therefore to praye you, the rather at my request, to bestowe on him one buck, wch. t will accept as thankefullye as bestowed on my self, and not faile to requite this courtesie as occasion shall Berve. And soe I byd you hartely farewell. From the Courte at Nonesuche, this xxxth of Julie, 1584. Yor. very lovinge frend, Fra. Walsingham. Sir Francis Walsingham was one of the ablest of Elizabeth's ministers, and Dr. Awbrey was probably with him in attend¬ ance at the Court when this letter was written. Wood describes Sir Edward Stradling of St. Donat's, Glamorganshire, as being " a very useful man in his county, but above all he is to be remembered for his singular knowledge in the British language and antiquities." He was the patron and friend of Dr. John David Ehys, who dedi¬ cated his Institutiones Linguce Cambriacce to him. This Dr. Ehys was a physician, who, having been educated in Italy, and having acquired a fortune in his profession, spent his declining years on a farm at the foot of the Beacons. I shall be pardoned, by those who love their native county, for making a digression in quoting from the preface to his Institutiones Lingua; Cmnbriaca his reasom for selecting Brecon as his home ; the original is. in Welsh, and I give the translation—it is interesting as shewing the impression made on a stranger's mind by the men and man¬ ners of Brecknockshire, during the Eliza¬ bethan age :— Though I could claim from the justice of my country (and, let me add, in some measure from my own deserts) a right to settle wherever I please, and though I may boast of the reception I have met with hitherto wherever I came, yet I chose, perhaps from partiality, to fix my residence in Breconshire, not merely because I am a Welshman, but because (if I may be allowed to form a judgment upon the subject) I believe from my soul that there is no part of the Principality wherein the nobility, gentry, and com¬ monalty are more worthy, whose mansions are more stately, where the dainties and delicacies of the table are more sumptuous, and the people of all ranks more distinguished for the neatness of their apparel, their kindness, or their hospitality, than the inhabitants of the county of Brecknock. This book, he says, "was finished under hedges and trees on a little tenement of my own called Ciynhir, in the upper part of Cwmllwch, at the bottom of Bannwch deni, which some call Bann Arthur." He was a Boman Catholic, and dying in 1619 was buried in the Priory Church. His son, Walter Davids, was vicar of Brecon. The second letter is from Dr. Awbrey himself:— To the r. wor. his very lovinge frind Sr. Edward Stradlinge, Knight. Good Sr Edward Stradlinge,—Whereas my sonne Edward Awbrey is sheriff of the next sheere adjoin- inge to you, where there are very few pokes, I am dreeven to make bolde hartely to desiryou to bistowe a bucke upon him, wch I will readily requite with any kind of pleasure or curtesy that may lye in me. And so with my right harty comendacons, I comitt you to the plexiou of the Almighty. From the Court att Green wish, this first day of July, 1591. Yor. assured loving frinde, Wm. Aubrey. There must be some mistake in the date, for, although Sir Edward Awbrey filled the office of High Sheriff on three occasions, i.e., in the years 1583, 1589, 1599, it was John Walbeoffe, of Llanhamlach, who acted in that capacity in 1591. Possibly Sir Edward was nominated, and then, for some reason, excused from serving. The " very few pekes." (deer-parks) were Sir W. Vaughan's at Porthaml and Mr John Games' at Pare, in Trallong. In a map of Brecknockshire published early in the seventeenth century these are the only parks mentioned, and are represented as being enclosed with palings, which would imply they contained deer. As Sir Edward Awbrey's daughter Wilgi- ford (Millicent) married Mr Games, we won¬ der why the " bucke " was not sent from Pare instead of from St. Donat's !