An in-depth study of Lord and Lady Llanover

High Hats and Harps

The Life and Times of Lord and Lady Llanover

High Hats and Harps cover

Lady Llanofer - the Bee of Gwent


homefamilyfriendstenantseisteddfodharpmusicliteraturecostumequotationsmapsourceslinkscontact Helen Forder

Helen Forder

(from the Pontypool Free Press. January 1896.)

Interesting Memoir
of the Deceased Lady

We very much regret to announce the death of Lady Llanover, which took place somewhat suddenly at her residence at Llanover on Friday afternoon last, at the advanced age of 95 years.
Down to a few minutes before her dissolution her ladyship bore not the slightest indication that there was anything the matter with her. She had spent the day in bed, and at three o'clock Miss Price served her with luncheon. Suddenly it became apparent that her ladyship had grown unconscious. Mrs. Evans, her maid, was called and the state of unconsciousness continued, and the Rev. John Prys was sent for. He quickly came, but only in time to see the venerable lady pass away. The Hon. Mrs. Herbert, of Llanarth, her ladyship's only surviving daughter, arrived on Saturday at noon. The three sons of the last named, namely, Colonel Ivor Herbert, of the Grenadier Guards; Major Bleiddyn Herbert, of the 17th Lancers, and Mr. Arthur Herbert, of the Diplomatic Service, arrived on Saturday with their mother. For the last 20 or 25 years, owing to her advanced age, she was seldom heard of and much more seldom seen. To the present generation of Welsh men and women she was personally an utter stranger, but the mere mention of her name called forth a host of memories of a past when the lady of Llanover was a personage of very great importance indeed. As the wife of a great landowner, Sir Benjamin Hall, once member of Parliament for the county, afterwards Lord Llanover, Privy Councillor, her position among the gentry of Wales was one of great distinction and commanding influence, but her fame was a thing apart from the celebrity of her husband, either as a generous landowner or a great politician. Lord Llanover was immensely popular for his own manifold qualities, but his personality, great as it was, did not eclipse the equally great personality, in Wales at least, of Lady Llanover. So far back as fifty years ago the name of Lady Hall, "Gwenynen Gwent", [the Bee of Gwent] as she then was known, was familiar throughout the length and breadth of Wales, and revered to a point almost of adoration for the intense sympathy she manifested with all things pertaining to Wales and the Welsh. At a time when it was fashionable to sneer and snub Wales, its people, its language, its literature, its traditions, and its customs, she, although not of Welsh parentage, raised her voice in vigourous protest against the perpetuation of so suicidal a policy, and carried her protest to the length of instituting what was practically a crusade in favour of rehabilitating the national customs of the Cymry in popular estimation, and of calling forth among the Welsh people themselves fresh enthusiasm for all their national characteristics. She soon came to be regarded as a kind of living patron-saint of Welsh literature; with her, enthusiasm for all things Welsh became a passion, whose ardour continued with but slight diminution to the day of her death.

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