38 NOTABLE MEN OF WALES. The materials for this Biography are unfortunately very meagre. One would have wished to have laid before the public the early life of this gallant officer; for certainly, judging from his love of his profession, his modest appreciation of his own merits, his devotion to duty, and his brilliant services when the oppor¬ tunity came, a fuller description of the days passed in the lower ranks of the profession he had chosen would have shown a bright example to the present generation ; but the dry records of his services alone remain—brilliant enough though they are, as will be seen. Sir Thomas Foley was born in 1757. He was the second of three sons of John Foley, Esq., of Ridgeway, near Narberth, Pembrokeshire. His elder brother, John Herbert Foley, suc¬ ceeded to the Eidgeway estate, and his direct descendant now possesses it. The younger brother, Richard, was a Barrister. He died in 1803, and a letter of sympathy on that occasion from Lord Nelson to Sir T. Foley will be found in a later part of this sketch. His mother was the second daughter of John Herbert, Esq., of Court Henry, near Llandilo, Carmarthenshire. They married in the year 1753. The pedigree of the Foley family begins with John Foley and Ellen, his wife, of Ridgeway, in the parish of Llawhaden, in the county of Pembroke, in the year 1383, to whom the estate of Ridgeway was granted in that year by Bishop Hoton, of St. David's. The grant in question is now among the title deeds of the Ridgeway estate. In it the above named John Foley is styled " Constabularius Castri Nostri de Llawhaden, et Magistri operum nostrum." The Castle, which has always given the Barony to the Bishop of St. David's, is now in ruins, though a considerable part was standing in the early years of the present century. It was an extensive fortress of great magnitude and strength, built of fine hewn stone and well fortified. It appears by family documents that the Castle was commanded by the above named John Foley, and was put in a perfect state of defence by the orders of Gruido de Mona, the then Bishop of St. David's, in the year 1412, during Glen- dower's insurrection in the reign of Henry IV. When Henry VIII. diminished the possessions of the Church at the Reforma¬ tion, the diocesan of St. David's at the time, Bishop Barlow, claimed the estate for the Church. The claim was tried in the Court of Star Chamber, before King Henry in person ; and the estate was confirmed to the Foleys of Ridgeway for ever, subject to paying a nominal rent to the Church. From the Ridgeway papers it appears that the male part of the family had chiefly been in the Royal Service either by sea or land, and that five of them were killed at Colby Moor, near the Ridgeway estate, in the year 1648, whilst fighting for the Crown during the civil war between King Charles I. and the Parlia-