An in-depth study of Lord and Lady Llanover

High Hats and Harps

The Life and Times of Lord and Lady Llanover

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Lady Llanofer - the Bee of Gwent


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Helen Forder

March 2009

Lady Llanofer
The Arglwyddes, nee Augusta Waddington (1802 - 1896)

Lady Llanofer, frequently referred to as Gwenynen Gwent (the Bee of Gwent), was born at Ty Uchaf, Llanofer, Monmouthshire, on 21st March 1802. Her husband, whom she married in 1823, was Benjamin Hall III (of Big Ben fame). He was created baronet in 1838 and elevated to the peerage in 1859.

Both Lord and Lady Llanofer worked hard on behalf of Wales and the Welsh, and their language and culture.

After Lord Llanofer's death in 1867 Lady Llanofer continued this work, and in her old age was considered by some to be an eccentric. She died in 1896 at the age of nearly 94, having outlived her husband by almost thirty years.

Lady Llanofer, from a sketch made about 1862
Lady Llanofer
from a sketch made in 1862

My aim in publishing this information is to draw attention to the endeavours of Lady Llanofer during the nineteenth century. At a time when many turned from the old Welsh language and culture she was steadfast in her enthusiasm and support for all things Welsh.
I prefer to use 'Llanofer' rather than the anglicised 'Llanover' except when quoting from an original source. Surprisingly, although Lady Llanofer persuaded her parents to use the 'll' instead of the single 'l' in common use at the time, she did not insist on the Welsh 'f' rather than the English 'v'.

In the early 1880s, when he was appointed under-
agent to Lady Llanofer my great grandfather, David Williams, took his family from their home in Aberystwyth, to Ty Eos y Coed, the former Nightingale Inn, on the Llanofer Estate . Researching my family history has resulted in my finding many Llanofer documents that mention not only my ancestors, but many of their contemporaries.

Ty Eos y Coed, Llanofer
Ty Eos y Coed, Llanofer

By 1891 David Williams and his family were living in Cardiff, but it is their brief time in Llanofer that intrigues me.


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