Monday, 8 February 2021

The Williams-Wynn Baronets

THE WILLIAMS-WYNN BARONETS WERE THE LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN DENBIGHSHIRE, WITH
28,721 ACRES, and 
MONTGOMERYSHIRE, WITH 70,559 ACRES


The WILLIAMS-WYNNS of Wynnstay had for generations enjoyed pre-eminent rank in the principality of Wales, and were second to none among the Cambrian families in territorial possessions and political influence.

THE REV DR HUGH WILLIAMS (1596-1670), of Nantanog, in Anglesey, Vicar of Llantrisant, leaving by Emma, his wife, daughter and heir of John Dolben, of Cae Gwynan, Denbighshire, and niece of the Bishop of Bangor, a son,

WILLIAM WILLIAMS (1634-1700), an eminent lawyer, Recorder of Chester, and Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of CHARLES II, who married, in 1664, Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Watkin Kyffin, of Glascoed, Denbighshire (by this lady Glascoed was transmitted to her husband's family), and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
John;
Emma.
Mr Williams was created a baronet in 1688, designated of Grey's Inn, Middlesex.

Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM WILLIAMS, 2nd Baronet (c1665-1740), MP for Denbigh, 1708-10, who wedded firstly, Jane, daughter and heiress of Edward Thelwall, of Plas y Ward, Denbighshire, by Sidney his wife, daughter and heiress of William Wynn, son of Sir John Wynn Bt, and had issue,
Robert, died in 1763 without issue;
Richard;
WATKIN, of whom hereafter;
Margaret; Sydney.
He espoused secondly, Catherine, daughter of Mytton Davies, but had no other issue.

Sir William was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 3rd Baronet (c1692-1749), MP for Denbighshire, 1716-49, who inherited the seat of Wynnstay and other estates of his great-great-grandfather, Sir John Wynn, already mentioned, and assumed, in consequence, the additional surname and arms of WYNN.

He married firstly, Anne, daughter and co-heiress, of Edward Vaughan; though dying without issue during her husband's lifetime, this lady devised to him Llangedwyn and her other estates.

Sir Watkin espoused secondly, in 1748, Frances, daughter of George Shakerley, of Holme, in Cheshire, by whom he left two sons, and was succeeded at his decease (occasioned by a fall from his horse in returning from hunting) by the elder son,

SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 4th Baronet (1749-89), MP for Shropshire, 1772-74, Denbighshire, 1774-89, who wedded firstly, in 1769, the Lady Henrietta Somerset, fifth daughter of Charles, 4th Duke of Beaufort, who died in a few months afterwards; and secondly, in 1771, Charlotte, daughter of the Rt Hon George Grenville, sister of the Marquess of Buckingham, and had issue,
WATKIN, his successor;
Charles Watkin;
Henry Watkin;
Frances; Henrietta Elizabeth; Charlotte.
Sir Watkin was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 5th Baronet (1772-1840), MP for Denbighshire, 1794-6, who married, in 1817, the Lady Henrietta Antonia Clive, eldest daughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Powis, and had issue,
WATKIN, his successor;
Herbert Watkin, father of the 9th Baronet;
Henrietta Charlotte.
Sir Watkin was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 6th Baronet (1820-85), MP for Denbighshire, 1841-85, who wedded, in 1852, Marie Emily, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Henry Watkin Williams-Wynn KCB, and had issue,

LOUISE ALEXANDRA WILLIAMS-WYNN, who wedded, in 1884, her cousin, SIR HERBERT LLOYD WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 7th Baronet, and had issue,
WATKIN, his successor;
Gwladys Elin; Constance Mary.
Sir Herbert was succeeded by his only son,

SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 8th Baronet (1891-1949), JP DL, High Sheriff of Denbighshire, 1948, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, 1949, who married, in 1920, Daisy, daughter of John Johnson Houghton, and had issue,
Watkin (1925-46);
Margaret Helen; Bronwen Mary; Joan.
Sir Watkin died without surviving male issue, when the baronetcy reverted to his cousin,

SIR ROBERT WILLIAM HERBERT WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 9th Baronet (1862-1951), KCB DSO TD, who wedded, in 1904, Elizabeth Ida, daughter of George William Lowther, and had issue,
OWEN WATKIN, his successor;
Edward Watkin;
Joyce; Margaret.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR OWEN WATKIN WILLIAMS-WYNN, 10th Baronet, 

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Charles Edward Watkin Williams-Wynn (b 1970).


WYNNSTAY HALL, near Wrexham, Denbighshire, formerly the principal seat of the Williams-Wynns, was developed from a 17th century timber-frame structure, only the added stone tower of 1706 now surviving.

The mansion house was enlarged and remodelled in 1736-8 by Francis Smith of Warwick and his son, who also designed the stable block.

A large assembly room was added and James Wyatt carried out some works, but ambitious proposals were never realised.

The building was re-cased in the early 19th century.

Works by CR Cockrell and Benjamin Ferrey were proceeding when fire damaged much of the building in 1858.

Following the fire, Ferrey rebuilt the house in 16th century French Renaissance style with sandstone ashlar and areas of sandstone rubble.


The Williams-Wynns vacated Wynnstay in the mid-20th century in favour of the nearby Plas Belan on the Wynnstay estate.

It was subsequently bought by Lindesfarne College.

When the school closed due to bankruptcy, the building was converted into flats and several private houses.

Former seats ~ Wynnstay, Denbighshire; Llangedwyn Hall, Oswestry; Glan-Llyn, Merionethshire.
Former town house ~ 18 St James's Square.

1 comment :

Andrew said...

There's a connection with Colonel Butler Chartered of Chair Castle. There was a memorial service in Chair C of I to which some of the family came. A touching modest event given the importance of the Butlers to Tipperary.