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Radnorshire Society transactions

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Vol. 45 1975

The Hartstonges and Radnorshire

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THE HARTSTONGES AND RADNORSHIRE-PART III
By R. C. B. OLIVER
Lady Joanna Hartstonge with whose name is associated the School
Charities of Llanelwedd, her parish of birth, and Old Radnor near which
was Trewern, the estate bought by her second husband, Sir Standish
Hartstonge for themselves and their son, Gwynne, had in her will drawn
up on 1 July 1718 made no reference to such Charities, though she did
bequeath to her sole executor, Robert Price, esq., one of the Barons of
the Court of Exchequer in Westminster, the residue of her personal
estate, if any remained after payment of all debts and legacies, to be
disposed of by him to put out some of the poor children of the parish
of Llanelwedd in Co. Radnor apprentices as he in his discretion shall
think proper.'
The total absence of reference to those school charities which came to
bear her name can only be explained by supposing that she set them up
in those deeds upon charity and otherwise' mentioned in her will, and
which she probably determined upon at her husband's death in 1701.
Indeed, Williams in his History of Radnorshire writes, A small estate in
this parish (St. Harmon's), named Beili Bedw, was bequeathed by Lady
Hartstonge about the year 1702 for the purpose of endowing a free
school in the parish of Llanelwedd
Since Robert Price, esq. and his descendants played a vital role in the
story of the Hartstonge Charities from Lady Hartstonge's death in 1718
until quite recent times, some account of this particular Price family
becomes necessary. 'Baron' Robert Price (1653-1733) was born a
second son at Gilor in the parish of Cerrig-y-Drudion of an old Denbigh-
shire family. Admitted to St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1672, he took
no degree and entered Lincoln's Inn the next year, being called to the
Bar in 1679. He made the Grand Tour of Western Europe in the years
1677 and 1678. In 1682 he was appointed Attorney-General for
South Wales, Alderman of the City of Hereford and also its Recorder.
The next year he became Recorder of New Radnor. With a rapid advance
in the law, he combined a successful political career, being M.P. for
Weobley 1685-7 and 1690-1700. He was in 1702 appointed Senior
Judge for the counties of Brecknock, Radnor and Glamorgan, and at the
same time Sergeant-at-Law and Baron of the Exchequer. From 1726
until his death he was a Justice of the Common Pleas. He had in 1679
married Lucy, eldest of the three co-heiresses of Robert Rodd of Foxley
in the Herefordshire parish of Yazor, who brought to her husband a
considerable fortune. At her father's death in 1688, Foxley and its manor
passed to Robert Price, who purchased the shares of the other two heiresses
on a payment to each of  1500. Price's private life was saddened by his
wife's desertion and by the mysterious murder of his elder and unmarried
son, Thomas, in Genoa in 1706. He used some of his leisure time in 1717
to supervise the erection of a new mansion at Foxley which remained in
the hands of his descendants until 1855. He declined the knighthood
which was usually conferred on His Majesty's judges because, it is said,
his discarded wife could not have been excluded from sharing the dis-
tinction.
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