Clwyd Trawscae (see Garthgynydd Map 1 for 1841 Tithe map & fields and location on Google maps)

In 1841 Clwyd Trawscae was a 63 acre farm above the Bargoed Taff valley just on the edge of Gelligaer common. There are deeds for the farm dating back to 1576 when the farm was called Argoed Tule and belonged to Mathew Rhys fychan, one of the biggest local landowners of that time. It was purchased by the Van estate in 1605. On the marriage of William Lewis, the second son of Sir Edward Lewis of the Van, and Anne daughter of Edmond William of Gilfachfargoed in 1611 it became part of the Gilfachfargoed estate and has remained a part of the estate, being purchased by the Hanbury family of Pontypool in 1751. The Hanbury family still own it. The first documented use of the name Clwyd Trawscae is found in a Senghennydd Manor Rental of 1757.

In the 1540 Senghennydd Manor survey “Clwyd Trawscae” has been identified as the property owned by Mathew ap Ris Vaghan in the tenure of Traharne Philip who paid an annual rent to the lord of the Manor of 24 pence, with a further 8 pence every other year as cymortha. The owner (Mathew ap Rees fychan) was one of the largest Gelligaer landowners of that time (see Gelliargwellt uchaf in Cefn Hamlet). T.V.Davies in his “Farms & Farmers of Senghennydd Supra” suggests that this property can be associated with a property recorded in a 1449 Senghennydd Manor Rental under the name of “Terre Malde Ferch Howell Gam” which also paid a lords  rent of 24 pence and as “Terre Mallt fi Howell” paid 8 pence cymortha. If the identification is correct then “Clwyd Trawscae” is one of only a handful of properties that can be traced to this early date.

By the Manor survey of 1570 the property had passed to Mathew ap Ris Vaghan’s daughter Gwenllian Mathew and was shown as being in the tenure of William Jevan. The next documents which relate to “Clwyd Trawscae” are a series of deeds in the Hanbury Archive. These show that in June 1576 Edward Stradling of Gelligaer sold a property called Argoed Tule to William Jevan ap Rise Vghan of Kelligaer. Edward Stradling was the son of Gwenllian Mathew who had been the owner in 1570 and William Jevan ap Rees fychan would have been a cousin of Edward’s mother, whose fuller name was Gwenllian Mathew ap Rees fychan. The description of the property was given as

“all that tenement of land , arable, meadow, pasture, wood, underwood, rents and services with their appurtenances situate in Kelligare aforesaid commonly called Tyre Argoed tule now or late in the tenure of the said William [Jevan] and his heires and also of and in 2 acres of meadow being part of the meadow called (y Wayne) Lydan by ancient mears and bounds well known.”

From which it would seem that William Jevan ap Rees was the William Jevan shown as the tenant in 1570. It is interesting to note here that the 1841 Tithe data shows Clwyd Trawscae as being made up of two parts, 58 acres all adjoining in Garthgynydd Hamlet, plus another 5 acre meadow simply called ‘Waun’ about a mile away in Cefn Hamlet. Since the local acre used in Gelligaer until the mid 18th century was 2½ standard acres this would correspond to the 2 acres of meadow as mentioned in 1576.

There is however some confusion caused by the documents not only because one document appears to be wrongly dated, but also because of a document given the date of May 20th 1576, that is the month before the purchase of “Clwyd Trawscae”. By this document William Jevan ap Rees sells all his interest in a farm to Harry William. This is confusing because the next deeds we find relating to “Clwyd Trawscae” is its sale in July 1605 for which the catalogue entry is:-

20 July 1605

(1)   Harry William of Kelligare co. Glam yeoman and Mallte his wife.

(2)   Sir Edward Lewis of the Vanne co. Glam knight

Enfeoffment [that is (1) sells to (2)]

One messuage and certain parcels of land called Argoed Tale being in the parish of Kelligare co. Glam between Keven Kelligare on the east, the lands of Rosser Rice on the south, the lands of Edward Rees Griffith on the West, and the common called Bryn Oer on the North. Also miscellaneous other premises all situate in the parish of Kelligare co. Glam.  And also 2 acres of meadow called dwyerme yr maine Lydan and one house and one close called kae helig.

It will be noted that the farm is now owned by Harry William – it is probable that Harry William is the son of William Jevan ap Rees; a 1589 tax return shows that ‘harry wm Jevane’ paid tax on a property worth 20 shillings a year.

Sir Edward Lewis, to whom the land was sold, was the biggest landowner in the North-Western part of Glamorgan at that time. We can from this document examine the boundaries of the farm; On the east side is Keven Kelligare – the boundary between the Hamlets of Garthgynydd and Cefn (Keven) is the eastern boundary of Clwyd Trawscae; to the north is Gelligaer Common (this part being called Bryn Ore prior to the nineteenth century); Rees Griffiths is shown in the 1570 survey as the owner of “Twyn-giden” which is to the [north] west;

The next transfer of the property takes place in 1611 with the marriage of Sir Edward Lewis’ second son William Lewis (later Sir William) with Anne daughter of Edmund William of Gilfachfargoed. As part of the marriage settlement all Sir Edward’s lands in Gelligaer are settled on William and Anne. The lands themselves are not mentioned by name in the document, but are identified by their tenant. One property is shown as having the tenant/occupier of “harrie William Evan”, and this is likely “Clwyd Trawscae”. It was not unusual for the owner of a property having sold it to continue as tenant.

The 1630 Senghennydd Manor survey still shows Sir Edward as the owner, the actual transfer of ownership to his son not taking place till his death. The tenant in 1630 is shown as Harry William but the Cymortha payment data shows his full name to be Harry William Lewis. Also a 1615 deed relating to the neighbouring farm of Gilfach Maen Ucha says “adjacent North the brook called Nant y Garth and the lands of Hen. Wm. Lewis”, which would indicate that Henry William Lewis was the tenant by 1615. It would appear that a Harry William Lewis followed Harry William Evan as tenant! Nothing is known of Harry William Lewis except his name.

In the 1670 survey the property is shown as being owned by Edward Lewis the eldest son of Sir William Lewis and the tenant is given as John Jacob. We do know a little about him as he was the defendant in a court case involving tithe payments (an annual ‘tax’ payable to the church). We don’t know when he became the tenant, but he does appear in a Government tax list for Garthgynydd hamlet in 1660, when he paid 1 shilling which is the figure that other similar tenant farmers were paying. He is also shown as paying Hearth tax in Garthgynydd hamlet in 1671 and 1672 for 1 hearth.

On the 17th June 1676 Robert Thomas, the rector of Gelligaer, and the leading yeomen of the parish had agreed a document which set out the Custom of Tythes, this listed the tithes that were payable within the parish of Gelligaer. These payments were based on the Church having 10% of all increase in crops and livestock. One of the signatories to this document was John Jacob. But in 1677 Robert Thomas complained to the Court of Exchequer in Westminster against John Jacob for failing to pay his tithes and against the family of a John Lewis over burial rights in Gelligaer church. T.V.Davies records the case in Vol.XIII of the Gelligaer Journal. More than half a dozen such cases are to be found in various Glamorgan Parishes and the main thrust of these cases was to re-establish the authority and income which the Church had lost during the Commonwealth period. The decree of 1679, given below, gives the verdict in favour of the Rector but John Jacob had only to pay 6 shillings and 8 pence rather than the full amount requested.

Monday 25 November 1679

Wheras the cause depending in this court by English bill betweene Robert Thomas clerk plantiff and John Jacob, William John and Edward John defendants; the plaintiff by his bill setting forth that he being rector of the parish and parish church of Kelligare in the county of Glamorgan whereby he became lawfully intitled to all the tythes of corne wooll lambs cheese piggs bees hemp mortuaryes and other small tythes and dutyes whatsoever groweing or ariseing within the said parish or belonging to the said rectory, That the defendants combineing togeather to deprive and defeate the plaintiff of his just tythes profitts and dutyes doe refuse to pay any tythes mortuaryes dutyes or oblations or to give the plaintiff recompence for the same; and namely that the defendant John Jacob for twelve years last past hath detained his offerings and oblations due to the plaintiff amounting to six shillings and sowed severall acres of corne upon his lands in the said parish in the yeares 1674 the tythes whereof were worth fifteene shillings and in the said yeare 1674 depastured in the said parish severall milch cowes and had a hundred sheepe and severall other tytheable things to the value of tenn shillings; .........; to which bill the said defendants being duely summoned appeared and answered and the said plaintiff replyed, and issue being joyned diverse witnesses were therin examined on both sides in the said cause; And their depositions being duely published the said cause came to be heard this day before the right honorable William Mountagu lord cheife baron and the rest of the barons of this Court; whereupon opening of the said plaintiff’s bill by Mr Gibbs of councell with the plaintiff and the answeres of the said defendants by Mr Mountagu of councell with the said defendants and upon hearing of Sir Robert Sawyer knt one of his Majestyes councell learned in the lawe and of councell with the said defendants Mr Williams and the said Mr Gibbs for the plaintiff and Mr Ward and the said Mr Mountagu for the defendants. Itt is this day ordered adjudged and decreed by this Court that the said defendant John Jacob shall by Saturday next pay to the plaintiff or his assignee in that behalfe five shilling for the tythe of his lambs and one shilling sixpence for his tythe corne and two pence for his tythe honey, ........ with forty shillings costs to be paid by the said defendants or one of them by Saturday next.

William Mountagu     Edw: Thurland     ffr: Bramston

Perhaps what is of most interest is to note that witness statements from the trial say that for three years the farmers of Garthgynydd hamlet and the Rector had an agreement whereby the Rector was paid a fixed amount of £11 4s. by the farmers, and that the system had continued for about 9 years. About 175 years later just such a system was introduced, the Tithe Schedule of 1841 was to establish what fixed value each farm should pay when a system of cash payments replaced the previous system based on crop yields and animal births.

John Jacob died in 1699 leaving the following will

In the name of god Amen, the tenth day of October in the year of our Lord god 1699 I John Jacob of the parish of Kelligare in the county of Glamorgan, yeoman, being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to god therefore calling into mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die, doe make and ordaine this my last will and testament that is to say, principally and first of all I give and commend my soule into the hands of god that gave it, and for my body ……. it to the Earth to be buried in christian like and decent manner at the direction of my executors nothing doupting but at the general resurection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of god and as touching such worldly estate which it hath pleased god to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and forme

Imprimus I give and bequeath to Margarett my daughter the summe of ten pounds to be paid within the space of one yeare after my decease

Item I give and bequeath unto Catherine my daughter the summe of ten pounds to be paid in like manner if shee lives when shee is delivered, but if shee happens to miscarry and die and the child to: that then the said ten pounds is to be paid to her sister Margarett. Item I give and bequeath to my grandchildren the children of William Lewis twelve sheepe one yeare old, Item I give and bequeath to the son of David Phillip two sheepe yeare old, Item I give to my maid servant ……sheepe one yeare old, Item I give and bequeath to William Lewis ten shillings and ten shillings … children, the twenty shilling is due on the said William Lewis to me, Item I give to my well beloved wife and Edward my son whome I likewise constitute make and ordaine my joint executors of this my last Will and testament all and singular my lands messuages and tenements by them to be freely possessed and enjoyed And doe hereby utterly disallow revoke and disanull all other former testaments will and legacies bequests and executors by me in anyways before this named willed and bequeathed ratifieing and confirmeing this and no other to be last Will and testament In wittness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the day and yeare above written        John Jacob

Signed sealed and published…and declared by the said John Jacob as his last Will and testament in the presence of    ???      Thomas Arnold       Rowland John       Will Lewis

Probate granted to Edward John ab Jacob 15 December 1699

It is not known whether his daughter Catherine was successfully delivered of her child. But we do know that John Jacob was a successful farmer as is shown by the inventory filed with the will

Inventory 15 November 1699 by Harry Lewis, Edward Thomas and Will Lewis

his wearing apparell - £1; 6 oxen - £10; 7 cowes - £10 10s.; 4 heyphers - £4; 2 horses - £2 13s. 4d.; 160 sheep of all sorts - £16; corn and hay - £8; household stuffe - £6; implements of husbandary - 15s.; goates, pigs and poultry - 12s.;      Total:- £59 10s. 4d.

Aside from the 160 sheep and his cattle, we can note that he had 6 oxen. Oxen rather than horses were the work animals of Gelligaer, it is also evident from other Wills that the renting out of Oxen provided income for the farmers of Gelligaer at this time. Unusually he also had goats. From this we see that his son Edward John would have followed him as tenant. He could have been the same Edward John who is shown as tenant of neighbouring “Twyn-giden” in 1670. Possibly he did not long survive his father as there is a 1704 will of an Edward John that may be his 

In the name of god Amen, the 28th day of Aprill 1704, I Edward John of Kelligare, yeoman being sicke and weake in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God therefore, and as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased god to blesse me in this Liffe, I give and devise and devise of the same in the following manner and form:

Imprimis I give and bequeath to Henry William, the son of William Lewis, the sum of £20 out of the £25 wanting half a crown which is due to me from Jenkin Griffith of Merthyr.

Item I give and bequeath unto Wenllian, the daughter of the said William Lewis, the sum of £20 whereof there is in the hands of Thomas Evan of Mynyddysloine the sum of £15 and odd money due to me, And £4/7/6 which is over and above the £20 which I gave to Henry William, her brother, in the hands of the said Jenkin Griffith, to make up her £20.

Item I give and bequeath to Rachell, Daughter of Anne Lewis, the sum of £5 to be paid within the space of six months next after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath To Alles Rosser the sum of £5 to be paid within the space of 6 months next after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath to Nest Thomas my Aunt, the sum of £5 to be paid within the space of 6 months next after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath to David John Rowland 10 sheep.

Item I give to David Phillip my Brother Law whom I likewise constitute make and ordeine my Sole Executor of this my Last Will and testament, all and singular my Lands messuages and Tenements by him freely to possess and enjoy And I doe hereby disannul all former Wills by me made

Witnesses:  Thomas Thomas,    David John,;    Will Lewis.

This is somewhat speculative, but we can note that a William Lewis and David Phillip are mentioned in both the Wills of John Jacob and Edward John. Also the inventory of his goods shows a goat!

his wearing Apparell: £1; 7 Cows: £10; 3 Heifers: £3; 4 yearling Beasts: £1/12/0; 2 Horses: £2; 9 score and 12 Sheep: £19/4/0; household stuff: £6; household provision, Corne and Hay: £5; Implements of husbandry: 15s. 0d.; a Goate and ye Poultrey: 2s. 4d.; due to ye deceased by Bills and Bonds ye sum of: £28/14/0; In desperate debts ye sum of: £37/4/11;        Total: £115/2/3”

A guardianship document associated with the Will shows that Henry William, aged 17 and Gwenllian  William, aged 19 were the children of William Lewis Waters of Bryn Rhe farm in Ysgwyddgwyn hamlet, maybe his nephew and niece.

We know nothing more of the farm till the Senghennydd Manor rental of 1747 when a Thomas David Lewis is given as the tenant. By 1757 the rental information gives the owner, Cabel Hanbury esq. who had bought what was left of the Gilfachfargoed estate a few years earlier. The name of the farm is given as Clwyd y Trawsca.

The various tenants of the farm are recorded as Thomas David Lewis 1747-1780ish, David Phillip 1783-1791, Thomas William 1792-1806, David Phillips 1808-09, Edmond Phillips 1810-11, Thomas Phillip 1812, Edmund Phillips 1813-29

The Phillips family who are shown as tenants are almost certainly the same family as farmed the neighbouring farm of Gilfach Maen uchaf. On February 2nd 1811 they had applied to use the farm for religious meetings as evidenced by the following application from the Llandaff diocese records

1811, February 2; Parish or Town: Gelligaer, Denomination Baptist; a house called Clwyd-Trawsca occupied by Edmund Phillips;

Signatories Hendry Evans, Minister, David Phillips, Rees Rees, William David, William Lewis, Edward Edwards, Miles Powell, Georges Watson, Edmund Phillips, Lewis Rees, John Rees, part for the whole; No. 211. (Endorsed: Registered 1811, February 4.)

However it appears they were subtenants as in the 1791 Will of Rees Thomas of Aberdare we find the following

“... Also I give and bequeath unto my son Rees all and singular that lease and leasehold tenement and lands with the appurtenances commonly called and known by the name of Tir Clwyd y Trawsgar situte and lying in the Parish of Gelligaer which I hold under Cable Hanbury esq....”

It maybe that Rees Thomas was the son of Thomas Lewis David the tenant up to 1778. We know that the rent of the property had barely changed between 1750 and 1800 as documents in the Hanbury archive show that around 1750 Thomas Lewis David was paying a rent of £5 10s. 0d., and that around 1800 Margaret Rees was paying £5 13s. 6d; but there are no details of the lease.

In 1830 Daniel Lewis of Bedwellty became the tenant and descendants of Daniel Lewis still farm at Clwyd Trawscae under lease from the Hanbury family.

Data Sources

1540 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Archives SC6/HENVIII/7493

1570 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute S1 & S2

1576 Deeds : Gwent Archives Hanbury JCH 1848, JCH 1877, JCH 1924, JCH 1923

1587 Tax: National Archives E179/264/46

1605 Deeds : Gwent Archives Hanbury JCH 1842, JCH 1776, JCH 1992A, JCH 1844

1611 Marriage Settlement : Gwent Archives Hanbury JCH

1615 Deeds : Glamorgan Archives Lewis of Llanishen D/D MTh 211/3

1630 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute M37/39

1637 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1637/13

1660 Tax: National Archive E179/264/47

1671 & 72 Tax: National Archive E179/221/294 & 296

1670 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute M37/41 & S11

1677 Court of Exchequer: National Archives Bill=E112/559-35, Depositions=E134/29Chas2/Mich15, Decree= E126/13-p101

1699 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1699/49

1704 Will : National Library of Wales LL/1704/46  & LL/CC/P (BT). 280

1747-1840 Senghennydd Manor Rentals : National Library of Wales Bute R6/2-5 & 32

1783-1831 Land Taxes : Glamorgan Archives Q/D/LTA/CAE

1841 Tithe Schedule : Glamorgan Archives P/1/2/13

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