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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. mast be written legibly, on one side of the paper only. FBLDAY, MAY 13th, 1887. NOTES. THE WALBEOFFES OF LLANHAM- LACH. "Wandering through the west Did holy Paul awhile in Britain dwell, And call the fountain forth by miracle, And with dread signs the nascent stream invest ? Or he, whose bonds dropped off, whose prison doors Flew open, by an angel's voice unbarred ? WOBDSWOETH. The Walbeoffes occupy a unique position in our county history, for they were settled on the same lands and lived in the same house for a longer period than any of the other descendants of the Norman knights, who helped Bernard Ne wmarch in his conquest of Brecknockshire, and who, whilst owning him as lord and serving him with fealty, shared with him in the division of its fair acres and streams. To the knight Sir John Walbieffe was granted the manor of Llanhamlach (spelt variously as Llanhamlech, Llanhamllech, Llan-aml-llech, or Llanhamlach—generally in the latter form) and the manor of LJan- fihangel-talyllyn, a goodly heritage, reaching from the river Usk to Llynsafaddan, from the newly built town of Brecon to the manor of Skethrog; and on or near the site of what is now called Peterstone Court, the first Walbeoffe built his house. Here the Walbeoffes lived as knights and country gentlemen, filling with honour and credit the various offices connected with their position, but never rising to distinction outside their native county. Along the cool sequester'd vale of life, They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. The family is always described in old wills, the roll of High Sheriffs, etc., as "of Llan¬ hamlach," the house was doubtless called " the Court," parochially, and it is men¬ tioned later as " Llanhamlach Court," but not until the settlement of the Powells do we find it spoken of as " Peterstone Court." This name may have been given to it from its association with the tradition still lingering in the parish—that St. Peter once preached there from a stone, (!) still bear¬ ing his name (St. Peter's stone), which is built into the hedge on the Greenway side of the Abergavenny road opposite the Court. The original house built by the Walbeoffes had a large courtyard entered by a porter's lodge ; the front of the mansion faced towards the Church and Pencelli Castle. At Peterstone is still preserved a small iron knocker with " C. W. 16------" deeply engraved on it (Charles Walbeoffe was the owner at that date). For more than six centuries the Walbeoffes lived on the estate granted them on their arrival in Wales, and this estate, though shorn of its outlying possessions, remains almost intact at the present day. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, when the rule of the Normans had declined, and the Welsh families, the original owners of the soil, were buying back the lands of their fathers and filling posts of honour and trust in ihe county, we find the Walbeoffe of that day holding much the same position as his ancestors held. Hugh Thomas, the herald, in his MS. written in 1698, says, speaking of the town of Brecon :— After the "Welsh began to bear offices, they did so prevail that of 400 families that are now dwelling in this borough, there are now scarce 30 of English names and descent remaining. It is not so in the town only, but through the whole county, for of all the English that came to the conquest of this country, there is but one of them now remaining on their conquered possessions, that is John Walbeoffe, of Llanhamlach, Esquire, all the rest extravagantly selling their estates or ending in heiresses, so extinguishing of themselves. Their name (which at various times appears as Waldebeuf, Oilbeuf, Walbieffe, and latterly and most frequently as Walbeoffe) may have arisen from the founder of the family having been the butcher or purveyor of meat to his feudal lord ; the arms they adopted, which we find quartered or impaled on so many of the tombstones flooring our Churches, being : Arg. 3 Bulls Gu., hoofed and attired Or. Sir John Walbieffe, the first settler, married Mary, daughter of Reginald, king of the Isle of Man, and their son, Sir William, married Jane, daughter of Sir Miles Pitcher or Picard, of Skethrog, who was his neighbour ; their son, Sir William, claimed the sovereignty of the Isle of Man by right of his descent through his grand¬ mother, and in the 33rd year of Edward I., appealed to the English Parliament. Camden says, that the answer he received was, "Let him sue for it in the Court of King's Bench, and let the cause be heard and justice done." He was unsuccessful. He married Margaret, daughter of John ap John, baron of Skethrog ; their son, Philip, married Jane, daughter of Sir Humphrey Sollers, and her full-length recumbent figure carved in stone lies under a niche in Llanhamlach Church. The inscription surrounding the