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by the charter of Kidwelly granted by King James ye 1st, anno dno 1618.
John Howell, Morris Dyer, Henry Fisher, Master of Arts,
William Gardener and Owen Bowen, Gent.
Owen Bowen, John Dyer, David Dyer, John Phillipps, Morris
Robert Joliffs. First Recorder, Henry Fleetwood.
To the above letter is appended the following note in Robert Dyer's writing
Roger Dyer of Kidwelly.
Hugh Dyer, made alderman of Kid
welly by charter of James I.
Robert Dyer, 21 Maior of y towne.
Robert Dyer of Abergy.
dau. married Wms, Wm's daughter married Hen. Fisher, ma'r
of Arts, Vicar of Kidwelly.
1st, Robert married Eleanor, that Fisher's daughter.
Rob'. Dyer, 1st (son, I suppose, un- 2nd, Robert married Mary, dau. to
David Wins, of Brinkarod. 3rd, Robert ma. Catherine, daughter to John Cocks, &c.
and the following endorsement.
"Letter Mr. Hicks about ye family of ye Dyers in Kidwelly, in a brẻ of y 14 of ye same month he gives an acco't y't they came there with Will'm de Londres ab't y year 1093, and conquered these p'ts and built ye Castle there with stone, and brought ye Welsh to subjection."
I have already (in the statements of Robert Dyer) introduced the poet's ancestors by the marriages of his fathers. The most distinguished one is undoubtedly the martyr, Bishop Ferrars, or Farrer, about whom I shall not here make any remarks. He has been praised and vindicated by abler hands,* and his exact relations seem hid in mystery. It admits of no doubt
See Woods's Athen. Oxon. I. 580. Also Thoresby and Whittaker's histories of Leeds, sub tit. Halifax and Wortley.
Some of the articles which he was put to answer in the reign of Edward VI. were to the last degree frivolous, &c.; viz. riding a Scottish pad with a bridle with white studs and snaffle, white Scottish stirrups and white spurs; wearing a hat instead of a cap; whistling to his child; laying the blame of the scarcity of herrings to the covetousness of the fishers, who in time of plenty took so many that they destroyed the breeders ; and lastly, wishing that at the alteration of the coin, whatever metal it was made of, the penny should be in weight worth a penny of the same metal. Granger's Biog. Hist. i. 198.
that he was intimately connected with the Farrers of Ewood, in the West Riding, but their pedigree begins a generation too late for our purpose. The Dyers have quartered the arms, argent, six Horseshoes, three, two, and one, sable, in right of their having the representation of the Bishop; the Farrers bear Or, on a bend engrailed sable, three horseshoes argent ; but every antiquary will recollect the extreme variations in the Ferrars
With regard to the Bennetts I have their quarterings drawn in the poet's own hand, with certain remarks upon them, I here give them entire.
1. Gules, a bezant between 3 demi-lions rampant, argent. "BennetsBennet of Mapleton, Herefordshire, of y° Arlington family. BP Benn was of ye same family."
2. Argent, on a bend sinister sable, 3 pears or. 'Perrys -- Pierry of Nicholson, near Leominster, Herefordsh.-By the Pierrys some of my old aunts were used to say we were descended from ye Mortimers by a female, and y' of right a share of Wymerley(?). . . . . . shd have come to them. 3. Gules, a fess between 3 owls, or. 'Webbs, of Gillingham in Kent. . . . Webbs, y daugh. of Charles Webbs, y son of John Webbs, who was burnt in Q. Mary's days. She was an Heiress, and married D' John Bennet, who was. to prince Henry-he lost the pelf in y search
of y Philosopher's stone."
4. Or, a fess between 3 lozenges azure.
5. 6 ermines, 3, 2, and 1.
6. Argent, a chevron gules between 3 estoiles sable.
Crest, on a wreath a demi-lion holding between his paws a mound.
In another shield he quarters the same arms, in conjunction with Cocks, Ferrars, Thomas, and Ensor. As to the latter, the Ensor quartering came only through his wife, so the coat must have been constructed for his son to bear. The Thomas arms are very roughly drawn, but seem to have been a plain cross, a sword in pale, point upwards, in the first quarter. It is very evident, however, that Williams and Fisher should have been quartered also; and in a rough shield drawn by Robert Dyer, the poet's father, the names Fisher and Williams are inserted in the two first quarters, but not the bearings.
The above details are mere notes, but they may be explanatory of circumstances in the sequel, and the writer will feel obliged by communications throwing light on the families mentioned above.
With regard to the Dyers themselves, the pedigree would appear to stand thus:
Robert Dyer, of Aberglasney,Catherine Cocks, d. & coh. of John Cocks William Dyer par. Langarthen, Gent. an of Comins, Worcesters. by Elizabeth, d.
attorney, dead before 1720, bought Aberglasney of Sir Rice Rudd, Baronet.
& h. of Edmond Bennet, of Mapleton,
JOHN, THE POET.
of whom more hereafter.
Richard Dyer, Esq. was living on an estate called Abersannar, Carmarthenshire. cotemporaneously with the poet, and I have a sketch of an ancient cross on that estate drawn by the latter. It is probable, therefore, he was of the same family. Vide Archæological Journal, iii. 357.
In my next article I shall speak of Dyer himself.
* This is on the authority of another note in the handwriting of Robert Dyer, which agrees in other respects with what has been given before, save that he makes Robert the first, the son of John Edward Dyer, the son of Edward Dyer, an improbable statement; indeed David Roger's name shows that the true homo prepositus of the family was a Roger Dyer. There was an Edward Dyer among the cadets of the Somersetshire house, which circumstance perhaps induced the adoption of this unproved pedigree, but Hicks in his letter (and he must have been well acquainted with all the Kidwelly families) is very explicit as to the Welsh origin.
GROUCHY, One of the fast-expiring remnants of the Empire, whose death was lately announced, though by no means among the first of French generals, played too important a part in the latter days of the great revolutionary war, to be excluded from a passing notice; his mysterious conduct contributed more perhaps than any other cause to Napoleon's fall.
The late marshal, the offspring of a noble family, was born at Paris, on the 23rd of October, 1766, and his birth qualifying him for rapid advancement under the ancient regime, he in his fifteenth year entered the artillery, and ere his nineteenth was a captain in the household brigade of the king. When the Revolution broke out, however, he embraced its principles with zeal, and quickly attained the command of a regiment of dragoons, with which he took part in the campaign of 1792. For his services on this occasion he, towards the end of that year, received the command of the cavalry of the army of the Alps, and contributed to the conquest of Savoy. Thence he was transferred to La Vendee on the outbreak of its celebrated insurrection, and experienced better fortune than most of the French officers who there encountered the rustic insurgents. Charette, their leader, was mainly prevented by his exertions from taking Nantes, and in almost every encounter with the rebels Grouchy came off with equal success. At Sorrinceres in 1793, he especially distinguished himself, leaping from his horse on the verge of a morass and passing through with his men when his opponents deemed their position unassailable, and routing them with disastrous loss. In the following year, however, the decree of the Convention excluding noble officers from the army, deprived him of his command, and he deemed it expedient to avoid the danger which then menaced all memhers of the aristocracy, by throwing himself as a private into the National Guards. But eight months saw him restored, and with the rank of a general of division, he returned to La Vendee.
The expedition to Quiberon Bay, first introduced him to the notice of the English. By a rapid march across the insurgent territory, he unexpectedly placed himself at Hoche's disposal, and then essentially contributed to the issue of that sanguinary struggle. When the great republican general was appointed to the command of what was termed the Army of the Ocean, destined, it was supposed, for the invasion of England, Grouchy in consequence received the appointment of one of its lieutenants; but events occurred to alter the original intention of the directory, and Grouchy returned to the scene of his former career in La Vendee, while Hoche repaired to Ireland. He was, however, quickly summoned back, and hastily embarking, despatched to Bantry Bay. But Hoche had been prevented by a storm from reaching it, and the expedition consequently failed. Grouchy landed in Ireland, but his hesitation, as at Waterloo, averted our danger: he quickly re-embarked, and returning to Brest, was effectually employed in putting down Charette and Stofflet. Impatient of this service, he solicited a command in Napoleon's projected expedition to Egypt; and Desaix being considered to have superior claims, the refusal which followed is supposed to have disinclined him to the Emperor's cause. While Bonaparte was absent in Egypt, Grouchy
repaired to Italy, and having been entrusted with a secret mission by the directory, so effectually performed his part, that when Joubert came to assail the impregnable Sardinian forces, they surrendered without a blow. Grouchy, on the abdication of the king, received the command of the country in reward, and he left the reputation of having governed it with equity. When Moreau was subsequently appointed to restrain the career of Suwarrow, Grouchy was appointed one of his lieutenants, and took part in the memorable campaign of Piedmont, where twenty-five thousand French troops were so ably manoeuvred, that for six weeks they baffled all the efforts of eighty thousand Austro-Russians. When by an unexpected movement part of them at last passed the enemy's flank, the battle of Novi followed; but the French, it is well known, were defeated, on that occasion: Grouchy, severely wounded, fell into the hands of the Russians. The Grand-Duke Constantine received him with distinction; placed his purse, surgeon, and domestics at the prisoner's disposal, and after a year's captivity, succeeded in obtaining his exchange for that of the English general Dow. A division in the army of reserve was immediately assigned him; but he had already established intimate relations with Moreau, and being entrusted with the command of eighteen thousand men, took a distinguished share in the memorable campaign of Hohenlinden. Ney, however, with Richepanse and Decaen, after Moreau, monopolized the glories of that day, and Grouchy was despatched to keep in check the Archduke John, which he so effectually managed that when the other columns of the French subsequently united, the Austrians were overwhelmed, and fifteen thousand prisoners, with one hundred guns, fell into the hands of the enemy.
Peace followed, and Grouchy was placed on the reduced establishment, but the turbulent ambition of Napoleon again summoned him and every other Frenchman to arms. A grudge, however, seems to have existed between him and the emperor; but still, though unpromoted to what he deemed his due rank, Grouchy took a brilliant part in the campaign of Jena, and fell so unexpectedly on the Prince of Hohenloe, that sixteen thousand men, with sixty-four pieces of artillery, were compelled to lay down their arms. At the battle of Lubeck which followed, his troops were again successful; the cavalry under his command defeating Blucher, and the town being shortly afterwards surrendered. In the terrible action of Friedland his division suffered dreadfully, only twelve hundred out of four thousand horse being left unwounded on the plain. His bravery on this occasion, when with cavalry alone he opposed the enemy till the infantry came up, contributed with the accidental absence of Murat to secure him the command of that force at the battle of Eylau, and his services were warmly acknowledged by Napoleon, though he still remained attached to Moreau.
The peace of Tilsit having terminated this campaign, Grouchy was despatched to Spain, and was governor of Madrid when the sanguinary insurrection broke out. His conduct on this occasion has been severely arraigned, but his friends allege that he only executed the orders of Murat. He even disapproved, it is added, of the Peninsular invasion, and was in consequence recalled and despatched to Italy, whither Macdonald had previously been sent for similar sentiments. Grouchy was thus enabled to distinguish himself in the passage of the Izonso: but on the recurrence of hostilities with Austria he soon passed into Germany, and bore a conspicuous share in the decisive conflict of Wagram.