The google drive link below should show the top half of the first page of the "draft" marriage agreement. The quality is uneven because it is a 20 year old photocopy that has been photographed again several times in December 2015.
I will concentrate on the first and second paragraphs which mention the agreement between Howell Vaughan and Ellyn Nanney "widow, late the wief of Griffith Nanney" and for Robert Vaughan son of Howel to marry by November 1616, Katherine Nanney daughter of Ellyn and Griffith. I realize that except for possibly a few people who may be following this particular descent in remote North Wales, the agreement is of limited general interest but hopefully a future researcher may find it of some value because non-pedigree sources are somewhat rare for this generation.
I am including a transcription by an unknown transcriber of the agreement so that anyone wishing to do so, can compare the copy of the agreement and the transcription of the agreement. There do not seem to be any significant problems with the transcription that I can see but I more trained eye might help.
I will use a "/" character in the transcription to show line endings in the handwritten agreement so that comparing the transcription with the marriage agreement is a bit easier. Most of the first page of the marriage agreement is legible but the 20 year old photocopy is a bit out of focus on the right side and an unknown portion of the writing towards the end of the second paragraph on the right side is lost due to the original manuscript being damaged.
-- Transcription for paragraph 1:
"Articles of Agreement concluded and agreed upon at Dolywchhowgrwydd in the countie of Merioneth /
the 30th date of October in the yere of the raign of our Sovereign Lord James by the Grace /
of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith etc. That is to say /
of England France and Ireland the thirteenth [the transcriber arrives at the year 1615] and of Scotland the nyne and fortieth /
between Howell Vaughan [two words scratched out and "ap" inserted] Griffith [Inserted "ap Howell"] of Gwengraig in the said countie of /
Merioneth [inserted "shire" or "gent"?], of the one partie and Ellyn Nanney widow late the wief of Griffith Nanney /
Esquire deceased of the other partie in manner and forme followinge viz"
-- Transcription for paragraph 2:
"Imprimus the said Howell Vaughan [inserted above: ap Griffith ap Howell] for him his heires executors and administrators and for everye of them doth covenant promise /
and graunt to and with the said Ellyn Nanney her executors and administrators and to and with everye of them by these presented /
[? not sure of the word here and in previous line] that Robert Vaughan, gent[tleman?], sonne and heire apparent of the said Howell shall before the 21st daye /
of November next, marie and take to wief Katherine Nanney the daughter of the said Ellyn Nanney by /
the said Griffith Nanney upon the bodie of the said Ellyn lawfully begotten, [end of line faded and out of focus but the transcriber reading the original has] yf the said Katherine will thereunto /
[first word mostly obscured by a line in the photocopy] consent and agree and the lawe of God and holy church will the same permitt and suffer / "
The agreement refers to Ellyn Nanney living at Doluwcheogryd. Her and husband Griffith Nanney might have been living at this property because Griffith's father Hugh Nanney Hen, occupied the main house at Nannau until his death in 1623. Or Ellen may have gone to live there after her husband died in 1609.
Where does Doluwcheogryd fit among the other Nanney properties? It may have been a residence of younger sons for widows or just another of the Nanney holdings.
A website nannau.com containing many images relating to the family has a list of items from a Chilcotts auction. One is a "Document on vellum, being a bard (poem?) to Griffith Nanney for the peaceful enjoyment of Doluwcheogryd, dated 1596." I have not come across a transcription of this and I am not sure if it is a poem or a legal document with father Hugh conveying Doluwcheogryd to son Griffith.
[The document is on the fourth line on the right]
Here is the British Listed building site description for the house now now referred to variously as Dol'rhyd, etc. where is says that on the chimney there are "...... 7 Elizabethan stones inscribed in Latin." These stones are I believe probably those described in Bye Gones p292 below.
In the book "Bye Gones" on page 292, written in 1898, the author wrote about the Nanney (later Vaughan) house of Doluwcheogryd near Dolgelley describing some very old inscribed stones on the mansion:
"The following dates and inscriptions are still to be seen on the front of the building:
GN [Royal arms of Queen Elizabeth I] EN 1596"
He goes on to say that these initials probably represent Griffith Nanney and Ellen Nanney.
If these stones represent Griffith Nanney and wife Ellen, then given that the house might have been more than just a property to hold or lease, this house they decorated with their initials might have been where they lived at least at sometime early in their marriage. It interesting that the auction document described above and the building stone inscription date of 1596 for Doluwcheogryd match.
The rest of this post attempts to address the question, if Doluwcheogryd was Evelyn's home as a widow and possibly a home for her and her husband before that, why is that property only mentioned a few times in the Nannau MSS?
Could it be that Griffith is often referred to as of Maelan because Doluwcheogryd was in or near the old township boundaries of Garth Maelan?
The Nannau MS show Griffith associated with several places. In 1597, (Nannau #196) he is "Griffith Nanney of Nannau" and the same in 1598 (#202), and Jan. 30, 1601/2, (#218). [His father Hugh Nanney of Nannau, is said by the bards to have lived until 1623 and this seems to be the case because he appears in other Nannau MSS such as in 1598 where is named as such in another person's will and in the many Nannau MSS and Star Chamber proceedings early in the next century.]
In Nannau MSS of 1597, (Nannau #198) and 1600, (#207) regarding debt and 1602, (#221), 1604, (#226) Griffith Nanney is described as of "Griffith Nanney of Maelan" and "of Cae Madog Call in Garthmaelan" in April 5, 1601 (#210).
However, in October 30, 1604, (#228), in an indenture between "Griffith Nanney of Maelan" and others, Griffith was to remain seized of "Doluwcheogryd Ucha" and "Cae Madog Call" which per #210 above is in Garthmaelan. Here we have in 1604, Griffith involved in both Doluwcheogryd and Maelan and other properties I will not go into here.
In August 2, 1605 (#234) Griffith appears as "Gruffudd Nanney of Dolywchongrwydd" county Merion, esquire. This is a bit odd because he is not named as esquire elsewhere but other Nanney men are not usually given a distinction in the Nannau MSS catalogue. Is there possibly two Griffith Nanneys? There doesn't seem to be a second Griffith because in December 20, 1604, four Nanney sons of Hugh the elder, Griffith, Richard, Edward, and Robert witness a release from a mortgage. He might have appeared as "of Dolywchongrwydd" rather than of Maelan for legal reasons that are not apparent in the catalogue entry for this document.
Griffith Nanney "of Maelan" appears as such in Nov. 1605 (#236), Jan. 9, 1605/6 (#238, spelled Gruffudd), July 1606 (#239, 240), 1608 (#245, 246 along with father Hugh and son Hugh the younger, #249). Because these are entries in the catalog of Nannau MSS, might it be possible that these references to Griffith Nanney of Maelan were a way for the editor to identify Griffith in the entry and the original might not always refer to Griffith as of Maelan?
Griffith dies sometime later in 1609. In April 1609, there is a deed of mortgage and bond by "Griffith Nanney of Maelan" and Hugh Nanney the younger, son and heir, to Sir Thomas Middelton. The son is apparently being tied in to the legal arrangements. There is no evidence of a second Griffith because the name disappears after July 28, 1609 (#253) when Hugh Nanney receives the letters of administration from the probate court at Bangor incident to the proof of his father's will. In 1610, Hugh the elder and Hugh the younger appear together to reconfirm various indentures and mortgages from the time when Griffith was alive.
No until 1659 is Doluwcheogryd mentioned in the Nannau MSS catalogue (a copy of the dispute is also at Kew in the archives and besides the marriage agreement, this dispute is the only source besides Robert Vaughan's own pedigree in Peniarth 287 that a Catherine wife of Robert Vaughan is mentioned). This dispute was between Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt and "Hugh Nanney of Doluwcheogryd." The dispute mentions Ann the mother of Hugh and Ann his grandmother. This might be "Hugh Nanney" born about 1630. The mention of mother Ann could mean that she is occupying Nannau. Or possibly this is his father's brother Capt. Hugh Nannau.
At any rate, the mention of the main Nannau line of wives named Anne helps to some extent place Doluwcheogryd with the main line back when Ellyn Nanney of Doluwcheogryd is a party to the marriage agreement above. Further work including looking at the original documents where Griffith is mentioned in the Nannau MSS and Star Chamber legal disputes by future researchers might shed some further light on Doluwcheogryd.
The entry in the Dictionary of Welsh biography for Robert Vaughan is at this link:
Though the biographer notes one of the sources as the Nannau MS at Bangor ("Nannau documents at U.C.N.W., Bangor"), he doesn't mention the marriage agreement so possibly he did not come across it. He does say that "The date of his marriage to Catherine ( 1594 - 1663 ), daughter of Griffith Nanney (b. 1568 ) is not known, but he was living at Gwengraig in 1624 and it is likely that he settled at Hengwrt soon after his marriage." The biography does refer to the mortgaging of Howell Vaughan's lands which is referred to later in the agreement.
Note: A few quick supporting notes on Griffith:
-- Birth: Griffith Nanney is said to have been born in 1569. Foster's Alumni Oxoniensis says he is "of co. Merioneth, gent. Jesus Coll., matric. 2 July, 1585, aged 16" which indicates a 1569 year of birth.
See: Nabbes-Nykke', in Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714, ed. Joseph Foster (Oxford, 1891), pp. 1050-1083 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/alumni-oxon/1500-1714/pp1050-1083 [accessed 23 November 2015].
Another confirming document supporting Griffith's birth year of circa 1569 is his first appearance in the Nannau MSS as son and heir to his father Hugh Nanney (in Nannau MS no. 167, September 1589).
-- Marriage: Robert Vaughan's own Peniarth MS pedigree of his wife and parents is a contemporary source for the marriage.
In addition, on my last trip to Bangor I found the Nannau MS editor's entry for Nannau #1521 which is said to be "A catalogue of some of ye wrietinge yt are in my trunk" i.e., an inventory of items found in the trunk of estimated date 1640 -- so likely Griffith's son Hugh. At the top of the second page is an inventory listing "The settlement made upon ye marriage of G Nanney and Ellen are in ye black box marked on the back with this figure 6" but the editor says only the inventory of items is present and the actual settlement itself is not present or misplaced. The catalogue list other Nannau deeds temp. Elizabeth and after provisionally dated 1640.
The marriage agreement of 1616 above describing Ellen as a wife of Griffith also confirms the marriage in a non-pedigree source.
Post by Brad Dubbs
In some recent research that led to following some footnotes and then an email or two, I came upon a PDF which appears to be a photocopy of a typed copy of a transcribed 1616 draft marriage agreement for Robert Vaughan the antiquary who the pedigrees say married Catherine Nanney of Nannau, daughter of Griffith. I don't know why, as far as I can tell, it hasn't been referenced before but (especially if the original can be found) it provides a nice source for a marriage in this line and of a somewhat notable collector of medieval documents (Red and White Books, an good example of Chaucer, etc.)
The Robert Vaughan, "The antiquary" entries in the DNB, and Dict. of Welsh Biog., and articles in the Journ. of Merioneth Hist and Rec. Society I have viewed don't appear to mention a marriage agreement. I have not noticed such an agreement in the catalogue of Nannau MSS by Thomas Richards at Bangor but there are hundreds of entries so I might have missed it in my two quick visits there.
The original is said to have been at Bangor, which would make sense because this is where hundreds of original Nannau family MSS were deposited. There is no MS reference or number on the document copy. Fortunately the transcriber of the original did not modernize the spelling and it appears there was some effort to make a genuine copy (the transcriber, for example, appears to leave blank spaces where are they appeared in the original draft "articles of agreement" for the marriage). Further inspection (Is the typewriter or handwriting on the first page the same as Richards? -its hard to tell but possibly no) and work locating the original remains.
[note: the pages of the copy are not numbered but I provide page numbers for reference]
"30 October 1615"
"Copy. Draft Articles of Agreement on the marriage of Robert Vaughan the antiquary with Catherine Nanney of Nanney."
"The specific [? word hard to make out] of the Hengwrt estate." Then what looks like an initial: "K"[?]
"Transcript of Articles of Agreement on the marriage of Robert Vaughan the antiquary with Catherine Nanney of Nanney." [UPPERCASE and underlined]
30 October, 13 James I [A.D. 1615] [Underlined]
Imprimus, the said Howell Vaughan ap Griffith ap Howell, for him, his heires, executors and administrators, and for everye of them doth covenant, promise and graunt to and with the said Ellyn Nanney, her executors and administrators, and to and with everye of them by these presented, that Robert Vaughan, gentleman, sonne and heire apparent of the said Howell shall before the 21st daye of November next, marie and take to wief Katherine Nanney the daughter of the said Ellyn Nanney by the said Griffith Nanney upon the bodie of the said Ellyn lawfully begotten, yf the said Katherine will thereunto consent and agree and the lawe of God and holy church will the
[page 2] same permitt and suffer."
"Item," [in turn, the similar provision of the last paragraph if the said Robert Vaughan will consent and agree].
"In consideration of which marriage soe to be hadd and solemnized...the said Howell Vaughan .....shall....convey and assure all and singular the messuages landes and ...... to such person or persons as the said Ellyn shall thereunto nominate.....to his or their heires to ...uses, intentes, behoofes and purposes hereafter following. That is to say to the use of the said Howell for and during the terme of his natural lief... "
[page 3]".......And from and after his decease, .....to the use of the first sonne of the body of the said Robert of and upon the body of the said Katherine lawfully begotten and of the heires of the bodie of the first sonne lawfully issueinge. And in defaulte of such yssue then to the use of the"... [2nd through 12th sonnes of the body of the said Robert Vaughan of and upon the body of the said Katherine].....
"And in defaulte of such yssue then to the use of every daughter "....[and in default of the issue of Robert and Katherine] "to the right heires of the said Howell Vaughan ....[the Peniarth MS pedigree by Robert Vaughan shows Robert as the only legitimate son but an illegitimate brother] in such sorte as ....as the said Ellyn her heires ....and theire learned Concell best devise ......encumbrances whatsoever..... by the said Howell by his means or procurement [transcriber could not read this line or the original was blank in this spot] jointure or title of the dower of Margaret the wief of the said Howell, ....."
[page 4] [provisions if Robert shall die before his father Howell.....person or persons to be nominated and the heirs will be immediately seized....and Katherine receive 20 pounds yearly during her life....and if default of payment she shall enter property worth that amount yearly...]
[page 5] [Notes that much of Howell Vaughan's property is mortgaged (and this is documented in the Nannau MS) and he shall convey the said mortgaged premises....and Ellyn Nanney] ......"in consideration of the said marriage shall pay and deliver or caused to be well and trulie payd and delivered unto the said Howell Vaughan"... [six score pounds ....in form following .....40 pounds at the feast of St. Michael this year,]
[page 6] [and the same time in 1617 and 1618...] "without fraude or covyne." [......Ellyn will in next May deliver unto the said Howell Vaughan, his heirs executors or assigns .......to the use of the said Robert and Katherine 30 heads of beasts "of the kynde of meate" and 40 sheep after the custom for marriage goods in county Merioneth.]
Item, .....[if the said Katherine shall happen to die, which god forbid, within the terms in space of (blank indicates a portion of the line in original left empty) years next and the said Robert and Katherine have no lawful issue, then the said Howell Vaughan shall repay back again unto the said Ellyn Nanney, her executors... the sum of six score pounds by 40 pounds every year... ]
[page 7] ....[and if Ellyn does not pay the said sum, it is also agreed that the said Robert Vaughan shall on May 1st next year have, hold and enjoy one messuage and lands with appurtenances called "Hevenycklawdd" during the lives of the said Howell and Robert....]
"In witness thereof the parties afforesaid to these presentes have putt their handes and seales the daye and yere first above written.
[signed] HOWELL VAUGHAN
sealed and delivered
in the presence of us the
[signatures below appear on right side]
Hugh Nanney [this is probably Griffith's father Hugh "Hen"]
Owen ap Edward"
The agreement if the original can be examined is a nice source. Can the marriage described there be corroborated with other sources?
Given surviving letters, etc, it seems that Robert Vaughan's handwriting is known and In 2014 I posted that Robert Vaughan's own pedigree in NLW Peniarth MS 287 and (I believe his son's MS 288) show his marriage to Catherine Nanney, (see my previous SGM post below which refers to Reports on MS in the Welsh Language-RMW) so the discovery of a marriage agreement isn't necessarily a breakthrough but its still a supporting piece of the puzzle.
[Note: now looking at it, these Parts I, II, and III posts were too detailed, long and hard to follow. I tried to lay out how I was having some success but also grappling with many gaps and challenges in documenting the line. I am working on a short summary with an update that I hope future researchers might find useful.]
"Robert Vy[cha]n ap Howel = Catrin v[er]ch [daughter of] Gruff[ydd] Nanney esq[uire]"
Before the below 1616 marriage agreement, the only other sources as noted in the SGM post naming Robert's wife Catherine was in a much later 1657 chancery proceeding (at the Kew UK archives) and in a related Nannau MS catalogue entry for a dispute between Robert "the antiquary and wife Catherine Vaughan and younger members of the Nanney family including Anne Nanney, the wife of Catherine's brother Howell Nanney.
C6/137/119 Vaughan vs. Nanney
Plaintiffs: Robert Vaughan, Katherine Vaughan his wife, Howell Vaughan, and Robert Vaughan
Defendants: Howell Nanney, Anne Nanney and Anne Nanney
Subject: Property in Nanney, [Nannau] Merionethshire
Type: Bill, answer
A related document (Nannau MS no. 370) for this dispute names the same plaintiffs Robert Vaughan and wife Catherine (and likely their son Howell and his son Robert, jr). In the original MS you can make out at the beginning: "...to examine the witnesses against Robert Vaughan the elder, [esqr?] Catherine his wife, Howell Vaughan and Robert Vaughan the younger..."