Mar 17, 2017

1st Generation Richard Leighs

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Starting in 1st Generation of Richard Leigh
4th Generation of Leighs 

14. RICHARD LEIGH (est 1630 - bur 3 Aug 1681 St Peter's) mercer? mayor/alderman.
md SARAH WILLIAM (? - bef Mar 1696), dau of IEVAN WILLIAM "cousin german to vicar Llandyffry"

33. John LEIGH (est 1650 - aft Feb 1696)
It is fortunate that the children of RICHARD and SARAH were listed in David Edwardes’ pedigree (Carms. Book, p.148), because they were born earlier than the extant records of St Peter’s parish.
This son John and two other adult sons of RICHARD are intriguing because their signatures show education, but we found little evidence of their activities. The three brothers (John, Richard Nash, JONATHAN) with their cousin OAKLEY signed the borough Association Oath Roll of February 1696 in support of the Crown against a "Papist plot," so they likely participated in borough affairs (PRO Document C 213/342, found by Derek Williams). This John LEIGH may be the man of that name who earlier (13 Feb 1679) witnessed the will of Thomas Lloyd of Cilfachwen, Cards. (Film no.105234). He must also be the John Leigh noted in the Carmarthen rent roll as John Leigh dyer where the paid rent on the dye house was listed, though his name was written in the margin so it was added in a later year than 1684, according to Derek Williams. Thus he must have been a dyer like his cousin OAKLEY LEIGH, who was already renting the dye house in 1684.
Though we have not yet established a family connection, one of these brothers may have had a son. Both John and Richard Nash LEIGH would have been of the right age to father the Rev. John Leigh recently found in Freystrop, Pembs. This Rev. John must have been born around 1684, as he was ordained deacon and licensed as curate in Brechfa, Carms in 1707. He was ordained a priest in 1711 and in 1713 instituted as rector of Freystrop, Pembs., where he remained until he became rector of Llanfalteg, Carms. in 1735. He died in that position at Llanfalteg about 12 March 1750/1. Thanks for this information to Paul Vivash and the Transcription Project making available all data on clergymen in St David’s records. Unfortunately the filmed parish records of Freystrop and Llanfalteg do not include the relevant years. In 1724 in Freystrop, however, Rev.John witnessed two wills as John Leigh clerk, one for Edward Murrow, yeoman (SD/1724/49) and one for John Lloyd, farmer (SD/1724/48), the latter will being witnessed also by Mary Leigh, possibly John’s wife. Further study will have to show whether this was merely coincidence, or whether these two new Leighs in Pembrokeshire belonged to our line, possibly the clerk John being a son of one of the young LEIGH men known in Carmarthen in 1696. In support of that possibility is the fact that our John LEIGH witnessed the will of Elizabeth Murrow widow in Carmarthen in 1732, though we otherwise cannot relate our line to the few people named Murrow who appear at that time in St Peter’s parish records.
34. Richard Nash LEIGH (abt 1654 - aft 18 Jun 1696)
This seems to be the first memorial use of the name of ancestor RICHARD NASH, well-known mercer and great-great-grandfather of this generation. The NASH name was later honored in this way by many descendants. Other than his signature on the Association Oath Roll of February 1696, we know nothing of young Richard Nash or his career, presumably in some part of the cloth trade like many of his relatives. Apparently he administered his late mother SARAH's estate, signing the Obligation Bond dated 8 June 1696 with a clear, practiced hand and adding "gent" to his name. Surprisingly, SARAH’s estate administration had earlier been granted on 19 March 1696 to his brother Harry, "Henrye Lleigh liberus dict defuncti," i.e. son of the said deceased woman.
35. Harry/Henry LEIGH (bef 1671 - aft 19 Mar 1696)
See above with Richard Nash LEIGH for our only information about Harry. Since he did not continue as administrator of his mother’s estate, he may have moved away or died between March and June 1696, but Harry also did not sign the borough Association Oath with his brothers John and Richard Nash in February 1696. Listed as Harry in the Edwardes pedigree, he was probably named for his great-uncle 6.Harri LEIGH, son of RALPH LEIGH listed in the Dwnn pedigree, but otherwise unknown.
36. Elizabeth LEIGH (est 1660 - ?)
md William LLEWELYN on 3 Oct 1680 in St Peter's

Her name is given as RICHARD’s daughter in Edwardes’ pedigree, and her marriage is listed in St Peter’s records, but we found nothing else on her or her husband.
38. Thomas LEIGH (bef 1671 - bur 10 Mar 1742 St Peter's)
This burial date is attributed to him because no other Thomas Leigh is known for the man of that name whose burial was listed as "out of the county gaol" in St Peter's church records (Film no.104504). Three other men were buried from the county prison in the same week: Evan Jones, John Wilson, & Sam’l Thomas, which should be an interesting story. However, the son of RICHARD would have been quite elderly by 1742, so it is equally likely that he may have been an unlisted son of a different male LEIGH.
39. Charles LEIGH (chr 8 June 1672 - bur 21 Oct 1674 St Peter's), "son of Alderman Richard Leigh"
This son may have been named for his wealthy cousin Charles LLOYD, illegitimate son of Sir FRANCIS LLOYD and BRIDGETT LEIGH, his aunt. As mayor in 1666 RICHARD supported the efforts of Sir FRANCIS LLOYD to secure his estate to his illegitimate children. The other LEIGH boys named Charles may likewise be namesakes of Sir CHARLES LLOYD, 59 Charles LEIGH or 127 Charles LEIGH.
As already said, either the father RICHARD or the son RICHARD signed the petition to incorporate the Fraternity of Hatters or Feltmakers in 1652. The son perhaps would be too young, but he was old enough to be sheriff of Carmarthen in 1655. By 1666 he was mayor of Carmarthen. In 1674 and 1676-77 he signed as "quardianus" or warden of St Peter's church. He was called Alderman (=city councilmember) of Carmarthen at his son Charles's burial in 1674 and his own burial in 1681. 

RICHARD's will dated the year of his death in 1681 was probated and indexed but apparently later lost. His son JONATHAN signed a bond dated 2 June 1716 to remove the will from the archives, and perhaps did not return it. This seems a great loss because wills usually reveal personality and character.

David Edwardes’ pedigree said SARAH WILLIAM was related to Rev. Rhys Prichard, the "Vicar of Llandovery" whose popular religious verses made him a beloved figure important enough to be cited as her father's "cousin german" in the pedigree of the LEIGHs. Her father IEVAN WILLIAM does not appear on any of the Williams family pedigrees, nor the pedigree of Rhys Prichard, which otherwise shows numerous connections between Prichard.and Williams families (GG, Kadwgan Vawr of Talgarth, K1513-1520, 193204, Film no.104350). The Vicar's wife was NN daughter of George Williams of Llanegwad, who was not otherwise identified, and it is possible that SARAH was related to this wife, not the Vicar himself.

Sources: St Peter's Collocation of Names (Film no.104504) and original Bishop's Transcripts in Latin (Film no.105132}; administration, bond, and inventory for SARAH WILLIAM's estate in 1696 (NLW SD/1695/21 GiD, B,I); will of Thomas Lloyd 1679 (Film no.105234); index of wills (Film no.105108); bond for removal of RICHARD LEIGH's will (NLW SD/1716/21 X); Order Book forming the Hatters Fraternity in the Carmarthen Record Office (CRO MUS 155), also published by Alcwyn Evans, Local History Lore in 1914, as found by Derek Williams.

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