Plas Power Estate (Wales and England).

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Plas Power Estate (Wales and England).

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The Plas Power estate was established in the early seventeenth century, and eventually comprised lands in Denbighshire, Merionethshire, Flintshire, Cheshire, Montgomeryshire, Shropshire and Lancashire. Its focal point was the area around Wrexham, especially the townships of Bersham, Esclusham and Minera, where there were thriving collieries, quarries and mineral works. Ownership of the estate passed through the hands of several families, none of them holding on to it for more than a few generations. The nucleus of the estate appears to have been established by Sir Henry Power, an Irish landowner who was at Bersham in 1620, but by the end of the century his grandson, John Power, had moved to Dover, and the lands in Bersham were sold to William Fownes of Dublin. In 1733, the Plas Power estate was sold to Mary Myddelton, daughter of Sir Richard Myddelton of Chirk Castle. Plas Power was thereby added to the estates that Mary Myddelton had already inherited from her mother, Frances Whitmore, which she held separately from the Chirk estate. The Plas Power estate now included Bersham, Minera, Broughton, Brymbo and Esclusham (all in Denbighshire) and Bodfari (Flintshire), many of which were rich in mineral deposits. From 1720, the sitting tenant at Plas Power was Rev. Thomas Lloyd, whose mother was Elizabeth Myddelton of the Plas Cadwgan branch of the Chirk family; he had been tutor at Chirk under Richard Myddelton, served Mary Myddelton as chaplain, and also acted on behalf of both of them in estate matters throughout his life. Mary Myddelton never lived at Plas Power herself, preferring to stay at Croes Newydd, near Wrexham, where she moved in 1719. On Thomas Lloyd's death in 1734, therefore, his son, William, succeeded him as the sitting tenant at Plas Power, and on Mary Myddelton's death in 1747 she bequeathed Plas Power to him, also making him a trustee of the Chirk estate; links between Plas Power and Chirk remained close for many years, resulting in the presence of many Chirk papers from all periods in this archive. William Lloyd's second son, also named William, succeeded him at Plas Power, and on his death without issue in 1816 the estate passed to his nephew, Thomas FitzHugh, son of Thomas FitzHugh of Portland Place, Marylebone, London, and Mary, the sister of William Lloyd (junior). Plas Power remained in the possession of the FitzHugh family, who also held lands in Middlesex and Essex, until the twentieth century, and eventually passed to Thomas’s great-grandson, Lieutenant Colonel G. E. FitzHugh.

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