In 1841 TyleGlas was a 69 acre farm high on the hillside of the Bargoed Taff valley, bordering on Gelligaer common. It is still shown on the modern OS map as Tylaglas. Deeds for the property date back to 1733, but they refer back to a Will of 1705. Prior to this, most of what we know comes from Senghennydd Manor Surveys, but there is a deed of 1519 of a neighbouring property that relates to the property that was to become Tylaglas. The first reference to the farm as Tilla glas comes in the 1757 Senghennydd Manor rentals, although there is a reference to a field called Cae Tille glase in a 1733 mortgage.
In the 1540 Senghennydd Manor survey “Tylaglas” has been identified as the property owned and occupied by William Llywelyn ap Janken who paid an annual ground rent of 45 pence, with a further 10½ pence every other year as Cymortha. Since no tenant is shown for the property it is probable that William lived there, and in a 1545 tax return for Gelligaer we find a “William Llen Jeynkin” paying 12 pence. The neighbouring property, which becae the three farms “Nant Wen”, “Lan Ucha” and “Blaen Nant Wen”, was occupied by Janken ap Llywelin Jankyn, who paid the same ground rent and Cymortha, and it seems likely that the two owners of these properties were brothers. This is given further credence by a deed amongst the Hanbury collection of deeds (the Hanbury family came to own Nant Wen and Blaen Nant Wen) which is catalogued as follows:
18 February, 10 Henry VIII (1519)
(1) llewelin ap Jankyn.
(2) Rees ap Llewelin his son.
Grant and Confirmation.
One third part of all his lands and tenements in the parish of Kayellegare in the lordship of Senghenneth that is to say from Warecoied tave to Keveneforthe in length and from land of Philip Thomas to land of philip lloid. To hold of the chief lord of that fee by customary rents and services.
Witnesses: Rys Gruffeth, Gruffith ap hoell ap Rosser, llewelin tew ap Ieuan ap Madoc and others.
There is a certain amount of presumption here. ‘Warecoied tave’ is presumed to be Bargoed Taff, Kevenforthe is recognised from another deed to be a road way, and evidence from another deed suggests a Philip Rees ap Philip lived at “Lan isaf” the property to the south. We can conjecture that Llewelin ap Jankyn originally had three sons Rees, William & Janken, and that the property was to be divided into thirds. But that Rees died and the property was then divided between the remaining two sons.
In the Senghennydd Manor survey of 1570, the property was owned by “Rees ap William son of William Llywelyn ap Jankin” and held in his own tenure paying the same rental. In the 1630 Manor survey, ownership was shown as “William Williams and Thomas price for one tenement”, however the Cymortha payment from the same survey said “Thomas ap Rees and Edmund Rees for theire landes”. Thomas Price and Thomas ap Rees are spelling variations of the same name. We also find the name in tax returns of 1609/10 and 1628 in the forms ‘Thomas ap Rees Wm’ and ‘Thomas ap Rice’ respectively; however there is another property owner in Gelligaer at this time with the name Thomas ap Rees William and we cannot be certain which one is the tax payer. But if the “Tylaglas” owner had the name Thomas ap Rees ap William then it is possible that he was the son of Rees ap William Llywelin who owned the property in 1570. However the names do not appear in the tax returns of 1589 or 1599. The other owner in 1625 is likely to be the William Williams who lived at Tophill in Cefn Hamlet and was a major Gelligaer property owner at this time.
Thomas ap Rees William probably died in 1637 as a will of that date would seem to be his. The will is however slightly strange.
In the name of god Amen the sixe and twentithe day of July in the yeare of our Lord god 1637 I Thomas ap Rice of kelligare and dioces of Landaffe being sicke in bodie butt whole of minde laud and praise be to Allmightie god my maker & redeemer, doe make this my last will and testament in maner and forme followinge, ffirst I comend my soule to allmightie god my maker and my bodie to the ground, Item I give and bequeane to the poore mens boxe in the parish churche of Kelligare foure shillings; Item I give and bequeane to the Cathedral Church of Landaffe on shillinge; Item I give and bequeane to my brother Edmond ap Rice foure pownds in monies to be paid him by my executor to be heere after named, Item I give to Marie John his nowe wife on beast of the yeares of two yeares ould; Item I give and bequeane to eatch child of them both thatt shal be livinge at my decease on beast of a yeare ould to be paid by my executor heere after within two months after he shall prove this my last will, and more over thatt I give devise and bequeane to my trustie and welbeloved Sir William Lewis knight of killvache bargod all my lands tenements and hereditaments what so ever within the parishe of kelligare and all my goods chattell and cattell and allso my houshold stuffe what so ever to have and to hold to hime and his heaires executors administrators and assignes for ever and thatt is my will and I hereby will and require the said Sir William Lewis knight to state on bond of the valewe or penalltie of £20 to my brother Edmond ap Rice for the performance of this my last will and testament and the …[paper fold]…. the leagases by me bequeaned and more over I doe name constitute appoint my trustie and welbeloved friend Sir Wm. Lewis to be my sole executor of this my last will and testament, and likewise I doe annull and make void all former will or wills made or intended to be made by me ffrom the begininge of the world to the day of the date heere off In wittness heerof I putt my hand and seale the day and yeare above written 1637
sign & seal of Thomas ap Rice
sealed sined and delivered in the presence of Thomas Lewis Howell ap Rice Edward Llen
Probate of the Will was granted the following January. The reason for thinking this might be his will is not only that it mentions a brother Edmund Rees – the name mentioned in the 1630 survey, but also mentions his brothers wife as being Mary John – the 1670 survey shows one of the owners of “TylaGlas” to be a Mary John. However the will also appears to show him leaving almost everything to Sir William Lewis and there is no evidence that Sir William Lewis ever owned “Tylaglas”. It would however have been common at that date for farms to have been entailed by a previous Marriage Settlement, which would mean that the farm would automatically pass to his heir at law (effectively his next of kin), and the owner would have no right to change this in his will.
The 1670 Senghennydd Manor survey shows the property, called “Tir Thomas prees”, was owned by “Edward Lewis and Mary John”, with the cymortha payment shown as “Edward Lewis Prees for a tenement in his own tenure”. It is tempting here to say that Edward Lewis Prees is a nephew of Thomas Prees but there is no evidence for this, and the fact that so few names are used in Wales makes coincidence of names very common. In fact it appears that he was the eldest son and heir of Lewis Rees Lewis of Ysgwyddgwyn Ucha, and that he had chosen to aquire his own farm rather than wait for his inheritance. He subsequently sells his inheritance to his younger brother Henry Lewis Rees. In a 1660 tax return for Garthgynyd hamlet, both Edward Lewis Reece and Mary John paid 12 pence. It might be expected that for a property of this size the owner would pay 24 pence, so it seems probable that the property was equally divided between them; one possiblility is that Mary John’s interest was her jointure due to a Marriage settlement. In the Hearth tax returns of 1671 and 1672 Mary John’s name does not appear, but strangely we find Edward Lewis paying for 2 hearths in 1671 but for only 1 in 1672. Since there is no later evidence of the property having divided ownership, it has to be concluded that Edward Lewis later acquired that part of the property owned by Mary John.
Edward Lewis died in in 1683/4 leaving a will:
“In the name of god Amen the 27th day of February 1683 I Edward Lewis of Kelligare, husbandman being sick in body but of sound and perfect memory (praise be given to god for this same) and knowing the uncertainty of this life on earth and being desirous to settle things in order, do make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following: first I commend my soul unto Allmighty God . .. . And as touching such worldly estate Item I give and bequeath unto Thomas Edward my son 3 steers 3 year old, 1 Cow, 2 Haifers one 2 year old and the other a yearling heifer, one cow 3 year old, 20 head of sheep and 1 witch, Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Edwards 1 steer, 2 heifers 3 years old, 2 yearling heifers the which two yearling heifers unto my said daughter Mary are in consideration of 10s. which I owe unto her. Item I give and bequeath unto my said daughter one Red mare, 20 head of sheep and 1 coffer, Item the rest and residue of all my goods, cattles and chattles debts legacies my funeral expenses and debts discharged I give and bequeath unto Gwenllian Edmund my wife and Harry Edward my son whom I nominate and appoint to be my sole and joint Executors, in witness whereof we (who were present at the declaration and writing of this Testament) have hereunto put our hands the 17th March (being the second day after the Internment of the party herein first above mentioned)
Robert Thomas Rector Edmond David of Bedwelity; Rees William Jenkin.
It would appear that he was unable to sign or seal the Will at the time it was written, and those present at its writing therefore had to witness it without his signature two days after his burial. Although this Will does not mention “TylaGlas”, nor does it use the fuller name of Edward Lewis Rees, we know it to be the Edward Lewis of “TyleGlas” as we can now follow this and a subsequent Will to connect with the 1733 deeds of the farm. The fact that “TylaGlas” is not mentioned in the Will almost certainly means there was a marriage settlement, which would have stated that the farm was to go the the eldest son. In this case we cannot know with certainty which was the eldest son. Twelve years later his wife Gwenllian Edmund died leaving the following Will:
In the name of God Amen the 11th day of May 1695 in 7 William III, I Gwenllian Edmond of the Parish of Kelligare being sicke and weake in body but of sound and perfect memory doe make this my Last Will and Testament. Item I give and bequeath unto Mary Edward my daughter the sum of £5 to be paid at Michaelmas first affter my decease Item I give and bequeath unto Mary Edmond my grandchild one Cow Item I give and bequeath all the rest of my goods Cattle and Chattles movable and unmovable unto my sonne Thomas Edward and doe nominate and appoint my said son Thomas Edward to be sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament.
The Witnesses were John Jacob and John Lewis Rees, John Jacob was the tenant at the neighbouring farm “Clwyd Trawscae”, and John Lewis Rees was one of her husband’s brothers.
The next information on the property is from the 1705 Will of Thomas Edward. In a deed relating to the farm it is revealed that Thomas Edmond who owned the farm in 1737 was “nephew and heir and also devisee named in the last Will and testament of Thomas Edward heretofore of the parish of Gellygare aforesaid in the said county of Glamorgan yeoman long since deceased”. This Will of Thomas Edward was written on 22nd June 1705 and probate was granted 8th August of the same year. In the will he says “I devise give & bequeath unto Thomas Edmond my nephew the sonn of Mary my sister All my freehold lands and houses in as large as it is in my possession or as large as severall deeds & fines there belonging declared from the day of my decease to him and his heirs and assignes for ever……”. The Will also reveals that Thomas Edmond is under 21 and that he has a sister Mary. The inventory attached to the will shows that Thomas Edward had 10 oxen, 8 cows, 1 heifer, 3 calfes, 70 sheep and 1 horse at the time of his death. Oxen rather than horses would have been the working beasts in Gelligaer. No doubt their extra strength made them more suitable in the wet and hilly conditions in the parish.
We now come to the oldest deed relating specifically to “TylaGlas”, it is a mortgage dated 23rd November 1733. Thomas Edmond of Gelligaer mortgages the property for £100 at 5% interest to a William Watkins of Aberystruth in Gwent promissing to repay £5 on 23rd November 1734, £5 on 23rd November 1735 and then £105 on 23rd November 1736. The description of the property in the mortgage is:
“… …his two messuages tenements or dwelling houses wherein he the said Thomas Edmond and Anne Thomas his tenant doe now respectively dwell and inhabit ……… lands commonly called or knowne by the severall names of Cae’r Rodin, Cae draw, Cae dan y Tuy, Cae Ryng y ddoi Tuy, Cae Robor ycha, Cae Robor ysha, Cae’r ddrainen, Cayen Vrase and Cae Tille glase … …containing by estimation about 80 acres …… [in Gelligare] …… mearing and abutting to lands of Edward Thomas Howell, to lands of Elizabeth Lewis widdow and to the mountain or Lords Waste there on all or most parts and sides thereof and now in tenure and occupation of the said Anne Thomas and Thomas Edmond…..”.
No actual name is given to the property, it being identified by the names of its fields. The first three field names were in the 1841 Tithe award, but the other names seem to have disappeared. It will be noticed that one of the fields mentioned has the name Cae Tille glase [Tille glase field] and this is the earliest written reference to Tille glase which has been found, but, at this date, used as a field name, rather than refering to the whole property. It will also be noticed that there are two ‘messuages’ [houses] mentioned in which live the owner Thomas Edmund and a tenant Ann Thomas, but it is not certain whether Ann Thomas rented a cottage or whether the property was worked as two farms. One other thing that might be noted is that Thomas Edmond signed with his mark; simply because he owned property did not mean he could write.
It appears that he failed to pay off the mortgage, as, in 1737, the mortgage transferrred to a John Cooke of Pontypool:
Assignment and further Mortgage (lease & Release [Lease for a year missing]), 8 July 1737
(i) Wm Watkins of Aberystruth (co.Mon)
(ii) Thomas Edmond of Gelligaer, yeoman and Mary his wife to
(iii) John Cooke of Pontypool (co.Mon)
Property as in 1733
It must be concluded that he also failed to pay off this mortgage, as the next document amongst the farm deeds is the sale, in 1748, by John Cooke to Thomas Williams of Gelligaer and Sarah his wife:
Conveyance (Lease & Release) 21 & 22 June 1748
(i) John Cooke of Goytre (formerly of Pontypool as in 1737) and wife Cecilia to
(ii) Thos Williams of Gelligaer, yeoman and wife Sarah
(iii) Henry Morgan of Penllwyn Sarth (co.Mon), esq
Property as in 1733
So who was Thomas Williams? Senghennydd Manor rentals from 1757 give the name of the owners of properties, and Tylaglas is shown as being owned by Thomas William George. However the next document in the Tyla Glas deeds is the 1782 Will of Thomas Williams (see below) in which he mentions “Tylla Glase”, he also mentions his wife Sarah Williams and the Manor rentals show a change of owner from Thomas William George to Sarah Williams at this date. From which it can be concluded that Thomas Williams and Thomas William George are the same person. In fact it appears that the name Thomas Williams is used on legal documents, the conveyance and the Will but otherwise he uses his more traditional Welsh name. For instance Thomas William George is recorded as voting in the 1744 and 1755 elections, and in the parish register we find:
Baptism William son of Thomas William George 11 May 1746
Thomas son of Thomas William George 30 May 1753
[05 April 1782 Will of Thomas Williams written bequeathing Tylla glase]
01 May 1782 Burial Thomas William George of Tylaglas
[25 May 1782 Probate of Will granted to wife Sarah Williams]
The fact that he voted in the 1744 election before he aquired Tylaglas indicates that he owned a property before he bought Tyla Glas, and the 1757 Manor rentals does show that Thomas William George owned a property in Brithdir which was described as part of Cefn y brithdir. One of the later TylaGlas deeds refers not only to TylaGlas but also to Tir Evan Thomas (a farm next to Cefn y Brithdir now called Plas Mildre), and also a tucking mill and a cottage and a croft in Brithdir. In the 1723 will of a William George we find the following:
Imprimis I give and devise unto Thomas my son one tenement of land ………. Item I give unto Thomas my son one Tucen mill and Tucken house one acer of land ………. I give and devise unto Thomas my son one house and croft of Land ……….
This leaves little doubt that Thomas Williams alias Thomas William George is the the son of William George and a member of the family that owned Cefn y Brithdir farm and other properties in Brithdir in the 17th Century.
From the Manor rentals we learn that from 1748 till at least 1757, Thomas William George continued to live at Tir Evan Thomas, with the tenant at TylaGlas being first Edmund Lewis Meyrick and later Thomas Lewis Meyrick (nothing more is known of these tenants). Sometime between 1757 and 1763 Thomas William George moved from Tir Evan Thomas to TilaGlas and continued to live at TilaGlas till his death in 1782. Shortly before his death he drew up the following Will:
The last Will and Testament of Thomas Williams of the parish of Kelligare in the county of Glamorgan, yeoman in the diocess of Landaff in manner and form following First I give and devise unto my beloved wife Sarah Williams one moiety or half part of the land which is in my possession called Tylla Glase with the messuages and outhouses during the term of her natural life and after her decease I give and devise the said lands and premisses to my son Thos Wms to him and his heirs forever Subject and upon condition that he should pay to his brother William seven pounds yearly and every year during the term of his natural life I also give and devise unto my beloved wife one third part of my feehold lands in Lanvrechfa which I purchased of Evan Thomas of the parish of Mynythysloyne during the term of her natural life and after her decease to my son Thomas his heirs and assigns forever subject and upon condition that he should pay to my son William Wms the sum of six pounds during the term of his natural life yearly and every year I also give and devise to my beloved wife one tenement of lands and messuages & other out houses which is now in the tenure of David Lewis to her and her heirs for ever I also give and bequeath to my son Thos forty head of sheep I give and bequeath the sum of twenty five pounds due to me from my son Evan between Sarah and Anne his two daughters Lastly I nominate and appoint Sarah my well beloved wife to be sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament revoking all former Wills made by me In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty fifth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty two Thomas Williams
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Edward Williams John Richard Lewis John
Probate was granted to his wife Sarah Williams on the 25 May 1782. From later documents we learn that Evan was his eldest son, so presumably he had already received his inheritance by a marriage settlement. TylaGlas went to his youngest son Thomas but he had to provide an income to his elder brother William.
Thomas Williams was buried in Gelligaer parish church as recorded by a plaque inside the church:
Underneath are deposited the Remains of THOMAS WILLIAMS of this Parish Gent., who departed this life May 1st 1782, Aged 66 years.
Also of THOMAS WILLIAMS, his son, Gent., who died October 30th 1784, Aged 31 years.
And Also of EVAN WILLIAMS of Rhysswg in the Parish of Mynyddislwyn Esqr. who died on the 17th day of December 1829, Aged 88 years.
Also of EVAN WILLIAMS, his son, Gent., who departed this life on the 18th day of November 1830 Aged 33 years
His son Thomas had survived him by only two years, he left no will but administration was granted to his wife Maud; his mother Sarah and brother Evan are also mentioned on the Administration Bond. Records show Sarah Williams as the owner of TylaGlas from 1785 until 1794 but not as the occupier. She presumeably died in 1794, but there is no record of her burial at Gelligaer church. She was suceeded as owner by her son Evan, who continued to live in Abercarn in the neighbouring parish of Mynyddislwyn.
Evan Williams died in 1829 and was suceeded by his son Evan Williams the younger. But he died within a year of his father. Neither left a will, administration of the estate of Evan Williams the elder was granted to his wife Joan 7th May 1831, and administration of the estate of Evan Williams the younger was granted to his brother Llewellyn on the same day. In September 1832 the family sold TylaGlas to Richard Edwards of Gellygaer, yeoman, who is shown as the owner in the 1841 Tithe Schedule, but not as the occupier. It is not certain who this Richard Edwards was but there was a Richard Edwards shown as the tenant of Cefn Llwyna in Cefn hamlet from 1813 onwards.
The Land-tax records show that after the death of Thomas Williams in 1784, the farm was leased to a variety of tenants – 1786-87 David William, 1788-94 William Lewis, 1795-1806 Lewis Evans junr, 1808 William John, 1809-1818 Samuel Rees, 1819-1823 William Davies, 1824-31 William Mathews. The land tax records finish in 1831. It is difficult to identify these tenants, but Lewis Evans junr was most probably related to Edmund Evans of Twyn Gydin and suceeded him as owner. By 1841 the leasee was Thomas Richards who continued to live at the farm into the 1870s.
1519 Deed : Gwent Archives Hanbury JCH 1738
1540 Senghennydd Manor Survey : National Archives SC6/HENVIII/7493
1545 Tax: National Archives E179/221/238
1570 Senghennydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute S1 & S2
1609 Tax: National Archives E179/221/277
1628 Tax: National Archives E179/221/276
1630 Senghennydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute M37/39
1637 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1637/13
1660 Tax: National Archives E179/264/47
1671 & 72 Tax: National Archives E179/221/294 & 296
1670 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute M37/41 & S11
1695 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1695/49
1705 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1705/56
1733-1840 Tylaglas Deeds : Glamorgan Archives DX59 31-44
1744/5 Glamorgan Elections : Glamorgan Archives DX/GC265
1755 Glamorgan Elections : Glamorgan Archives DX/Q/D/R1
1747-1840 Senghennydd Manor Rentals : National Library of Wales Bute R6/2-5 & 32
1763-1765 Land Taxes : National Library of Wales : Tredegar 87
1783-1831 Land Taxes : Glamorgan Archives Q/D/LTA/CAE
1782 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1782/31
1785 Administration : National Library of Wales LL/1785/39
1831 Administrations : National Library of Wales LL/1731/89 & 90
1841 Tithe Schedule : Glamorgan Archives P/1/2/13