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Talley, St Mary Parish Church
Ordnance Survey Map Reference : SN633228
Parish Registers : Carmarthenshire Record Office
Baptisms 1685 - 1979
Marriages 1687 - 1968
Burials 1786 - 1976
Bishops Transcripts : National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
1671-72, 1675, 1677-89, 1694-95, 1719-20, 1732, 1734-39, 1747-49,
1751-53,1755-1800, 1802-54, 1873-74.

View Talley Street Lofts in a larger map 
Talley Parish Register Images

Carmarthenshire Marriages 1754-1837
Talley Baptisms 1800-1846
Talley Baptisms 1847-1979
Talley Burials 1813-1851
1841 Census Index
1851 Census Index
1881 Census Index

1901 Carmarthenshire Strays
Wills Index 1654-1858
Owners of Land 1873

1841 Talley Census Digital Images
1851 Talley Census Digital Images
1861 Talley Census Digital Images
1871 Talley Census Digital Images
1881 Talley Census Digital Images
1891 Talley Census Digital Images
1901 Talley Census Digital Images

Carmarthenshire Archives = what is available for Talley

Talley Genuki
Talley Abbey Wikipedia
Talley Abbey
Talley War Memorial

Edwinsford House & Grounds




Administrative and biographical history: The Williams family of Edwinsford, also known as Rhydodin, claimed descent from Hywel Dda and Rhodri Mawr, and through Ellen, wife of Llewelyn ap Phylip, from Henry I of England. In common with many other Welsh landed gentry, the family married into other leading Welsh houses, such as the Morgans of Tredegar and the Vaughans of Golden Grove. Through such a marriage in 1600 the family acquired the Llether Cadfan estate in Carmarthenshire.
The estate then descended in direct male line until the death without issue of Nicholas Williams in 1745: the estate then passed to his brother, Thomas Williams. He married firstly, Arabella, daughter and co-heiress of John Vaughan of Court Derllys, Carmarthenshire. Arabella died without issue and Thomas married secondly, Anne, daughter of William Singleton of London. Their eldest daughter Bridget married Robert Bankes Hodgkinson of Overton and also of Edwinsford in right of his wife. They died without issue and the estate passed to Thomas's second daughter, Arabella, who had married Sir James Hamlyn, 1st Bart., of Clovelly Court, Devon, therefore uniting the estates of Edwinsford and Clovelly.
Sir James died in 1811 and was succeeded by his only surviving son, James, who took on the arms and surname of Williams after the death of his mother in 1797. On his death in 1829 the estate passed to his eldest son, Sir James Hamlyn Williams (1790-1861). He left no male heir and with his death the baronetcy became extinct. By Sir James's will, his daughter, Mary Eleanor, inherited the Edwinsford estate, Clovelly passing to her sister, Christine. Mary married Sir James Drummond (1814-1866), 3rd Bart., of Hawthornden, Midlothian. He took on the additional surname of Willimas in pursuant of his father-in-law's will. On his death in 1866, the estate passed to his eldest son, Sir James H.W.Williams-Drummond (1857-1913) and then upon his only child, Sir James Hamlyn Williams Williams-Drummond (b. 1891).
According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Sir James Hamlyn Williams-Drummond of Edwinsford owned an estimated 9,282 acres in Wales (all in Carmarthenshire) with an estimated rental of £6,358.
From Archive Wales



Talley Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Talyllychau) is a former monastery of the Premonstratensians ("White Canons") in the village of Talley in Carmarthenshire, Wales, six miles (10 km) north of the market town of Llandeilo. It lies in the River Cothi valley. Access to the site of the abbey is free.
The Order was founded in 1120. In 1126, when it received papal approbation by Pope Honorius II, there were nine houses; others were established in quick succession throughout western Europe, so that at the middle of the fourteenth century there were some 1,300 monasteries for men and 400 for women. They came to England about 1143, first at Newhouse in Lincoln, and before the dissolution under Henry VIII there were 35 houses. Soon after their arrival in England, they founded Dryburgh Abbey in the Borders area of Scotland, which was followed by other communities at Whithorn Priory, Dercongal Abbey and Tongland Abbey all in the Borders area, as well as Fearn Abbey in northern Britain.

While searching the internet for some specific information, I chanced upon an
extract from a book published in 1849 entitled ‘A Topographical Dictionary of
Wales’. Since it made reference to Talley, I thought it might be of interest to
some of our readers. Part of it is reproduced below.
Roger Pike
TALLEY, otherwise TÀL-Y-LLYCHAU, is a parish in the poor-law union of
Llandilo-Vawr, Lower division of the hundred of Cayo, county of Carmarthen,
South Wales, 7½ miles north from Llandilo-Vawr; containing 1068 inhabitants,
of whom 418 are in the Lower, and 650 in the Upper, division. This place was
originally of much greater importance than it is at present; the seat of one of the
most extensive and venerable ecclesiastical establishments in this part of the
principality. The name signifies “the head of the lakes” and is derived from two
large pools near the church, about fifty acres in extent. The parish is bounded
on the south by Llandilo-Vawr, east and north by Llansadwrn and Cayo, and
north and west by Llansawel. It is situated upon the river Cothy, on the turnpikeroad
from Llandilo-Vawr to Lampeter; and comprises by measurement 7167
acres 2 rods and 19 poles, of which the arable portion is about two-thirds,
nearly 200 acres are woodland, 290 acres and 8 poles are common land and
the remainder pasture.
The surface displays a continued succession of hill and dale, sideland and
mountain top, and is rather woody, the principal timber being oak, ash, elm, fir
and alder. The soil is grey in colour and tolerably deep and fertile; the chief
agricultural produce is wheat, barley and oats, with a good and sufficient supply
of grass and hay for the use of the dairies. On the west the parish is bounded
by the Cothy, a tributary of the Towy river, and several brooks rise in the parish
and unite in the south-eastern part, where the stream thus formed pursues its
course to the Towy. There are two small villages, named Talley and Cwmdû;
and the mansion of Glanyrannel, pleasantly situated in grounds well laid out. A
small fair is held there annually on August 6th.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty and £1000
parliamentary grant, giving a net income of £127. The patron, Rev William
Thomas Nicholl, is heir of the late Venerable Thomas Beynon, Archdeacon of
Cardigan, who purchased the tithes from the ancient family at Abermarles.
The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of
£299 15s, and there is a glebe attached of 3½ acres, valued at £11 3s. per
annum. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, having fallen into decay, was
rebuilt in the Grecian style in 1773, at the expense of the inhabitants,
principally from the ruins of the ancient abbey of Talley, the nave of which
formed the old church and of which there are still some remains within the
burial-ground, consisting of half the tower and other considerable portions.
The present is a neat edifice and contains some monumental inscriptions,
including a mural tablet to the memory of Sir Nicholas Williams, an ancestor
of Sir James Hamlyn Williams, Bart. The area, exclusively of the chancel, is
fifty feet long by thirty wide and, being all pewed, contains between 300 and
400 sittings, which belong to the rate-payers, except two and the seats of
the gallery, which are free. There were formerly five chapels of ease, but of
none are there at present any remains; memorials of two are preserved in
the names of small patches of ground, one being called Mynwent Capel
Llanvihangel, “the churchyard of St. Michael’s chapel,” and the other,
Mynwent Capel Crist, “the churchyard of Christ’s chapel.”
In the parish are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists,
the poor of the latter of whom participate in the benefit of Mrs. Mary
Griffith’s charity at Llangeitho. A day school is held, under the patronage of
Lady Mary Williams, and there are some Sunday schools.
The abbey was founded prior to 1197 by Rhys ab Grufydd, an ancestor of
Lord Dynevor, for Præmonstratensian canons and dedicated to the Blessed
Virgin and St. John the Baptist: a charter was given to it by Edward III,
confirming a prior grant by the ancient Princes of South Wales in the time of
Henry III. This establishment flourished until the Dissolution, at which period
it had eight canons, and its annual revenue was estimated at £153 1s 4d.
The remains, though much diminished by the appropriation towards
rebuilding the church, are still considerable, containing, as already stated,
about half the tower and some portions of the transept on both sides; all
within the churchyard and the property of the owner of the tithes. The large
bell that was sold to assist the parishioners in the erection of the church, in
1773, is now in Exeter cathedral.
The situation of this structure, in a luxuriant vale embosomed among lofty
hills, was peculiarly adapted for devotional retirement and contemplation.
From the richness of the endowment, the abbots were little inferior in power
to the bishops of the diocese; and to the influence of one of them, who was
confessor and secretary to Rhys ab Thomas, has been attributed the active
part which that chieftain took in favour of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards
Henry VII. Near the abbey, but within the parish of Llansawel, is the seat of
Edwinsford, the property of Sir James Hamlyn Williams.