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Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys
                                 THE SHROPSHIRE WALCOT FAMILY
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
          Believed to have been of Saxon origin, we first encounter this family in the eleventh century when a large tract of land was said to have been given to the Bishop of Hereford by the owner of estates in Lydbury.  A defensive castle was erected from which the present town of Bishop's Castle took its name.  Eyton[1] tells us three knights were alternately assigned to "keep watch and ward for certain days" at the castle and identifies them as Walcot, Plowden and Oakley.  We suspect this was in the days when Gruffudd ap Llewelyn (ob 1063) ruled all of Wales and made a number of military incursions across the border into England.  Although towns later grew up in that part of Shropshire (then called Salop) called Walcot and Plowden and Oakley, nothing more is heard of the Walcot family until 1191.
         A William de Walcot joined the Crusade of Richard the Lionhearted where 180 ships and 39 galleys sailed from England on April 10, 1191.  After doing battle with the Saracens for several months, a truce was signed on September 2, 1192 and the crusaders set sail for home shortly thereafter.  Various men of Shropshire appear as "de Walcot" in subsequent records and tax rolls, but no connected pedigree of the early family is extant.
         Between c. 1600 and 1613, a "Charles Wawgod" of Buellt (then a part of Brecknockshire, Wales) gave a pedigree to Lewys Dwnn, Deputy Herald for Wales, in which he deduced his ancestry from "Tryhaiarn ap Iorwerth, Lord of Garthmil".  In 1623, a "Humfridus Walcot de Walcot" of Shropshire gave his pedigree to Robert Tresswell and Augustine Vincent, deputies to William Camden the Clarenceux King of Arms.  This man cited his ancestry from a John Walcot de Walcot, miles, who is said to have occurred in 1383.  His pedigree includes, as the brother of his father Humphrey, Sr., a "Carolus" who is assigned the same wife as the Charles in the Welsh pedigree.  Apparently Humphrey, Jr. was familiar with the descent claimed by his cousin Charles, Jr. and added a second unconnected pedigree to his own...this one beginning with Trahaearn ap Iorwerth of Garthmyl and terminating with a Roger Walcot.  Side by side, the differences can be noted:
     Charles' pedigree[2]          Humphrey's main   Humphrey's other
                                             pedigree[3]          family line[3]
          Iorwerth                                                 Iorwerth
          Trahaearn                                              Trahaearn
          Iorwerth                                                 Iorwerth
          Rhys                                                      Rhys
          David                                                     David
          Ieuan Wawgwd            Sir John Walcot     Jeuan Walcot
          Roger Wawgwd            Thomas Walcot     Roger Walcot
          Sir Philip Wawkwd         John Walcot         Sir Philip Walcot
          John Wawgot               John Walcot         John Walcot
          Roger Wawgot              Roger Walcot       Roger Walcot
          Edward Wawgod           Edward Walcot          (end)
          John Wawgod              John Walcot
          John Wawgod              John Walcot
          Charles Wawgod           Humphrey Walcot
          Charles Wawgod, Jr.      Humphrey Walcot, Jr.
           It is clear that both Charles and Humphrey agree as to the names of their paternal ancestors back to Edward son of Roger son of John. But the Johns both men cited as the father of Roger are two different men.  Humphrey says his John was living in 1416 and married Matilda Cornwall, but in his supplemental line, agrees with Charles that the John son of Philip was married to Alice ferch Dafydd Lloyd ap Sir Gruffudd Fychan. It also appears that the wife which Charles cited for his Roger (Margaret ferch Dafydd Lloyd ap Llewelyn) is the same lady Humphrey cites for his Roger and not for the Roger in his supplemental line which seems to parallel the Charles version of the pedigree.  That there must have been two different men named Roger (a Roger son of John son of Sir Philip and a Roger son of John son of John) can be seen when we attempt to date the men. 
            1140  Iorwerth
            1170  Trahaearn [4]
            1200  Iorwerth
            1230  Iorwerth Fychan [5]
            1265  Rhys
            1295  Dafydd====Jane, dau of Sir John Walcot 1310[6]
            1325  Evan Walcot
            1360  Roger Walcot
            1390  Sir Philip Walcot
            1425  John Walcot=====Alice vz Dafydd Lloyd[7]  1440
            1455  Roger Walcot====Margaret vz Dafydd Lloyd[8]  1465
            1320  Sir John Walcot, lv 1383
            1350  Thomas Walcot
            1355  John Walcot (brother, not son of Thomas?)
            1385  John Walcot===Matilda Cornwall[9]  1395
            1415  Roger Walcot (spouse of the Roger above claimed here)
            1450  Edward Walcot===Avicia English (query as to surname)
            1480  John Walcot====Margaret Plowden[10] 1490
            1515  John Walcot====Maria Newton [11]  1530
      1545  Charles Walcot             1550 Humphrey Walcot
      1575  Charles Walcot [12]      1580 Humphrey Walcot [13]
          It is not known if the Sir John Walcot whose daughter Jane married the Welshman Dafydd ap Rhys is identical to the Sir John Walcot who heads the pedigree offered by Humphrey; both would occur c. 1285 if we accept the data as given by Humphrey. [14] However, both pedigrees say that Jane was sole heiress of a Sir John Walcot which would rule out his having a son, Thomas.  And that Sir John was a generation too old to have been alive in 1383. It also appears that in Charles' pedigree, he has appended his ancestor Roger to the family branch descended from Jane but that makes the pedigree chronologically unstable.  The Edward Walcot from which both men descended could not be a son of Margaret ferch Dafydd Lloyd of Mathafern.
         An attempt was made to reconcile the two pedigrees by Burke's Landed Gentry, which makes Edward the son of Roger, the son of John, the son of John, the son of Sir Philip.  But the John who married Matilda Cornwall was born c. 1385 and could not be the son of the John ap Sir Philip who married Alice ferch Dafydd Lloyd, a lady born c. 1440.
         It is generally agreed that the arms borne by the Shropshire Walcot family before 1400 was "Argent, on a cross patonce azure 5 fleur-de-lis or" and that one Walcot family thereafter bore "Argent, a chevron between 3 chessrooks ermines".  The former arms probably originated with the 12th century crusader, but to whom the new arms were first granted is unproven.  Humphrey, Jr. appears to claim Henry V granted the chessrook arms to the John Walcot who married Matilda Cornwall about 1416, but that is based on an anonymous note filed with the workpapers of the 1623 Visitation of Shropshire which says:
          "This John Walcot plainge at ye chese with King Henry the Fift King of England gave to him the check-matte with the rouke whereupon the kinge chainged his coate of armes which was the cross with fleurs-de-lis and gave him the rouke for a remembrance thereof"
          The only contemporary records show that in 1623, Humphrey Walcot, Jr. quartered the chessrook arms with those of the English family[15] whose heiress married his ancestor Edward Walcot. His cousin Charles did not mention the family arms in his pedigree given a few years earlier.
          About 100 years later, in America, two men displayed the same chessrook arms without any quartering: (1) Capt. Samuel Wolcott (son of Samuel, son of Henry, son of Henry the emigrant) died in 1734 and the coat of arms was engraved on his tombstone; and (2) Governor Roger Wolcott (son of Simon, son of Henry) who lived 1679-1767 owned a silver tankard on which the coat of arms is engraved.  It is known their common ancestor, Henry Wolcott, was born in Somersetshire in 1578 and emigrated to America in 1630.  While that family still claims the chessrook arms today, their descent from either Shropshire Walcot family remains unproven. 
         You will notice in his pedigree, Charles Walcot of Wales does not include among his ancestors the John Walcot to whom Humphrey, Jr. claims the chessrook arms were granted.  He does include a Sir Philip Walcot who was contemporary with that John. There is no extant record of the arms borne by Sir Philip nor of his descendants (although some of those descendants are described in pedigrees as "armiger" or one who bears a coat of arms); it seems evident that both Humphrey and Charles descended from Roger, son of John son of John, and not from Roger son of John son of Sir Philip. The possibility that the Wolcott family in America descended from that Sir Philip will be explored at another time.
        We shall conclude this look at the Shropshire family with our idea of its "consolidated" pedigree:
                          1165  William, the crusader, lv 1191, occurs 1221
                            1195  Philip
                  l                                              l
      1225  John, occurs 1283[16]    1226  Roger, occurs 1255
                  l                                              l
       1255  John, occurs 1316         1260   John, occurs 1292
                  l                                              l
     1285  Sir John                         1290  Philip, occurs 1327
                  l                                              l
      1310  Jane===David ap Rhys   1320 Sir John, occurs 1383
                      l                                          l
         1325  Ieuan (Evan)               _______l___________
                      l                             l                                l    
         1360   Roger            1355  John               1350  Thomas[17]
                      l                             l                          occurs 1406
       1390  Sir Philip          1385   John, occurs 1416                  
                      l                             l
         1425    John             1415  Roger
                      l                             l
         1455   Roger            1450  Edward
                   to ?        To Charles and Humphrey
          In fairness to the 17th century men to whom the Walcot pedigrees are attributed, we have not seen the Herald's actual workpapers and do not know what part of the printed pedigrees might have been added by the Herald from other information in his possession.  Perhaps neither Walcot man offered a pedigree which extended back more than 6 or 7 generations, the remainder being the work of the deputy Herald. That man may also be responsible for assigning the cited spouse to the wrong Roger Walcot, and for assigning the chessrook arms to a John Walcot who occurs in 1416.
         Some pedigrees of families connected by marriage are presented in Appendix A to establish our basis for the birthdate estimates shown herein.

[1] R.W. Eyton "Antiquities of Shropshire", 1860, vol xi, pp 221
[2] Dwnn i, 111
[3] Visitation of Shropshire of 1623, vol ii, pp 476-477
[4] Trahaearn ap Iorwerth was an officer in the warband of Gwenwynwyn ap Owain Cyfeiliog, king of lower Powys, in c. 1198/1200.  For his services, he was granted the Lordship of Garthmyl located just west of the present town of Montgomery in Powys
[5] This generation is omitted from family pedigrees but we believe Rhys was his son, not his brother.  Iorwerth Fychan does occur in several other pedigrees
[6] This marriage is cited in both the Visitations of Wales and of Shropshire; Sir John Walcot the father of Jane would date from c. 1280
[7] The grandfather of Alice, Sir Gruffudd Fychan, was born c. 1385 and killed in 1447.  His eldest son, Dafydd Lloyd, was born c. 1415 and Alice was an illegitimate daughter of his.  Her marriage into the Walcot family is also recorded in the pedigree of her family, and she had two other marriages after this one
[8] Margaret was the daughter of Dafydd Lloyd, the bard of Mathafern who hosted Henry Tudor as the latter traveled to Bosworth field in 1485, and wrote him a poem predicting he would defeat Richard III in battle.  The bard was born c. 1430 and Margaret c. 1465
[9] Matilda Cornwall was the daughter of Sir Richard Cornwall, Baron of Burford in Oxfordshire.  She was born c. 1395 and likely married c. 1410/15
[10] Margaret Plowden was the daughter of Edmond Plowden; the sister of the latter, named Elisabeth, married Gruffudd ap Reynold ap Sir Gruffudd Fychan.  Margaret Plowden would occur c. 1490/95
[11] Maria Newton was descended from Rhydderch ap Iestyn, Lord of Caerleon in Gwent and was born c. 1530
[12] It was probably this Charles who, near 1600, gave his pedigree to Lewys Dwnn.  His father, while yet alive, moved from Buellt to Shropshire between 1580 and 1586
[13] It was likely this Humphrey who gave the family pedigree at the 1623 Visitation of Shropshire since he is indicated therein as being alive in 1623
[14] To wit, that if the John Walcot who married the Cornwall lady was the great-grandson of the Sir John de Walcot at the top of his pedigree, then the latter must occur c. 1285
[15] The arms cited for the English family actually belong to a Heglise family, so the surname of Edward Walcot's wife is in doubt.  No pedigrees of her family have been located, perhaps because its surname is unknown
[16] It was probably this "John son of Philip de Walcote" who gave land to a Reginald fitz Walter in 1283
[17] In the pedigree given by Humphrey Walcot in 1623, Thomas is cited as a son of Sir John and father of John.  Based on the floruit of other men in the pedigree, we suspect the undated John cast as the son of Thomas was actually his brother and the father of the John who married Matilda Cornwall


The Welsh Walcot family

The Second Powys Dynasty

The First Powys Dynasty

The Arwystli Family

The Buellt/Fferlys Dynasty

The Mathafarn Family

The Cornwall Family

The Corbet Family

The Lee Family

The Mortimer Family

The Mynde Family

The Newton Family

The Plowden Family

The Saxon Walcot Family

The Brampton/Harley Families

The Downes Family

The Bacheldre Family

Speculative Relationships