Select Price Miscellany

 

Here are some Price stories
and
accounts over the years:

 

The Prices of Rhiwlas

 

The
Prices of Rhiwlas in north Wales can trace their
ancestry back to the early 11th century and Marchwesthian, a prince and
chieftain of the House of ap Rhys at Rhiwlas.
Rhys
ap Meredydd (Rhys Fawr) fought for Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field in
1485.
He was a huge man and, according to legend, slew the English King
Richard III
with his own hands.  His son Sir Robert ap Rhys served Henry VII
and was a
cross-bearer to Cardinal Wolsey in the 1530’s.
The Price name, or initially the Welsh Prys or Pryse version, was
adopted sometime in the 1570’s.  William Price was an MP for
Merioneth in
1636 and was later a captain in the Royalist army.
The Price family remained influential in
Merionethshire during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Pryces of Montgomeryshire

 

Rhys slain in 1469
Thomas Pryce
Matthew
Pryce
sheriff of Montgomery in 1548
John Pryce sheriff of Montgomery in 1566-86
Edward Pryce sheriff of Montgomery in 1615
Sir John Pryce baronet and MP in 1640
Sir Matthew Pryce baronet and sheriff in 1659-60

Rhys
had been killed fighting in the War of the Roses
on King Edward IV’s side at the Battle of Danesmoor in Northamptonshire
in 1469.

 

 

John Price of Jamestown


John
Price from
Montgomeryshire, aged 36, arrived at Jamestown in 1620 (although other
reports
have him arriving earlier in 1611 on the Starr).  He was one of those who, after the Indian
massacre of 1622, assumed a greater importance within the new colony,
being one
of the eleven counsellors for the provisional government.

John Price died in 1638.  His principal
heirs were his sons Mathew and
John.  Their descendants lived in Henrico
county and, from 1750 to the Civil War, in Prince Edward county where
they
operated the Weaver tobacco plantation.

 

The Prices at
Foxley

Robert Price from Giler in Denbighshire, like the Prices of
Rhiwlas, had claimed a lineage that went back to the Welsh prince
Marchwesthian
in the early 11th century.  He was a
leading judge and lawyer in the court of Charles II and became Baron of
the
Court of Exchequer in 1702.

He
had, after his marriage, acquired a partial
interest in the ancient wooded estate of Foxley in Herefordshire.  This became a full interest when he bought
out the other partners in 1714.  He
started work on a new Grand House for the estate in 1719.

Robert
Baron Price
died in 1733 and it was the generations that followed that involved
themselves
in the beautification of Foxley through landscaping and gardening:

  • Uvedale
    Tompkins Price (1685-1764)
  • Robert
    Price (1717-1761)
  • Sir
    Uvedale Price (1747-1829)
  • and
    Sir Robert Price
    (1786-1857).  

They
were patrons of the arts as well, in particular of the portrait painter
Gainsborough.

The best known of these
Prices was Uvedale Price, who wrote the Essay on the Picturesque,
As
Compared with the Sublime and The Beautiful
in 1794.
This treatise, much discussed at the time,
argued that the preferred mode of landscaping should be to retain old
trees,
rutted paths and textured slopes, rather than to sweep them all away in
the
style that had been popularized by Capability Brown.

 

The Eccentric William Price

Dr.
William Price, widely labelled during his
lifetime as radical and eccentric, was later
remembered
by some as “one of the great Welshman of all time.”
There is a permanent exhibition and statue
dedicated to him in the town of Llantrisant in Glamorgan where he lived
for
most of his life.

Born in 1800, he was well-known for
his support of Welsh nationalism and Chartism, and for his involvement
in the Neo-Druidic
sect.  At this phase of his life he began
developing an appearance unconventional for his time, wearing a fox fur
hat and
emerald green clothing and growing his beard long and not cutting his
hair.  He also tried holding Druidic
events, but nobody turned up.

At
a time when burning bodies was considered a
sacrilege, this was the man who cremated his own dead son, whom he had
named
Jesus Christ Price, on Llantrisant Common in 1884 – even charging
admission to
the public. 
Price
was arrested and put on trial by those who believed cremation was
illegal in
Britain.  However, he successfully argued
that there was no legislation that specifically outlawed it.  Upon his own death in 1893, he was cremated
in a ceremony that was watched by 20,000 onlookers
.

 

William Price
to Quebec

William
Price was born in 1789 into a well off and
well-educated Welsh family originally from Glamorgan. However,
his father died in 1803,
leaving
the family with eight children under 21 years of age, a large but old
mansion
in the outskirts of London, and a crippling debt.  The
home was turned into a boarding house to
support the family.

The
oldest son
Richard, hot headed and quick-tempered, soon left the nest.  His shipping business took him various places
but he ended up marrying and staying in Chile.
The next David, also involved in shipping, also travelled widely
before
returning to England.  Neither of them was
that successful in their business lives, although Richard’s son Sam did
make a
fortune during the California gold rush.

William was the next son, aged fourteen when his
father died.  He too worked for David’s
shipping company
and in 1810, at the age of twenty one, was sent to Quebec as a clerk.  He saw the new opportunities in timber in
Canada and by 1820 had started with three partners his own lumber
company.

Much
of this early material comes from The Story of William
Price,
put together
by Alice Sharples Baldwin in 1978 from a box of old letters that was
discovered
in the Price family home on the banks of the St Lawrence river in
Quebec City
.

 

 


Return to Price Main Page

 

Leave a Reply