Ystradgynlais History

The Gough family of Ystradgynlais

Local Landowners and Patrons

The Gough family were the local landowners in Ystradgynlais. They married into another local family of note, the Portreys, who had in turn inherited by marrying into the Aubreys, and their estate was called the Ynyscedwyn estate, with their mansion, Ynyscedwyn House (sometimes spelt Yniscedwyn). The house was latterly used as council offices, before being demolished in the late twentieth century and replaced with a close of smart houses.

The Gough family gave their name to a large part of the local landscape - public houses include the Aubrey Arms, the Gough Arms (now Cafe Chameleon, though formally it is registered as 'Cafe Chameleon at the Gough Arms'), and the Ynyscedwyn Arms. The Ynyscedwyn name lives on in Ynyscedwyn Road, and was previously also used for the now-closed Ynyscedwyn School (now Classy Curtains and the Riverside Apartment).

Rhestr Fawr, the road opposite the Ynyscedwyn Arms, was previously known as Gough Buildings, and the Gough family owned land in the surrounding area, as the story of the end of Water Street and the rebuilding of Sardis Chapel's vestry makes clear.

The Gough family were also known as patrons and benefactors of the local community. An example of this is Saint Cynog's Church Hall, built by Cecil Clare Gough, in memory of her husband, Fleming R.D.A. Gough in 1935.

Who's Who?

Reverend James Gough Aubrey
The Reverend James Gough Aubrey was Rector of Ystradgynlais from 1780 to 1796 (Theophilus Jones states, apparently incorrectly, 1790). He was buried in September 1796 in the chancel of old St. Cynog's Church.

Richard Gough Aubrey
Richard Gough Aubrey was born in 1753, the nephew of the Rev. James Gough Aubrey, being the son of his younger brother William Gough Aubrey and his wife Christiana, sister of Hezekiah Fleming (Theophilus Jones says daughter of, but Hezekiah Fleming's will makes clear she is his sister). In 1797 he was commissioned by brevet as a Major in the Royal Glamorgan Battalion of Militia. He died in January 1808, aged 55, having married Jane Wynter in 1789, but having had no children.

Reverend Fleming Gough
The Reverend Fleming Gough was the brother of Richard Gough Aubrey, and was Rector of Ystradgynlais for 38 years between 1797 and 1835. He died in October 1835, aged 79.

Martha was the wife of the Reverend Fleming Gough, and died in April 1823 aged 68. Her surname at the time of her marriage in 1785 was Taylor, being the daughter of William Taylor (or Taylour) of Chalford in Gloucestershire.

Richard Douglas Gough
Richard Douglas Gough was the son of the Reverend Fleming Gough and his wife Martha. He was Sherrif of Breconshire in 1840. A Deed of Separation from his wife Constance (below) is recorded in 1871, granting her an annuity of £200. He died in 1886 aged 89.

Constance Elizabeth
Constance Elizabeth was the wife of Richard Douglas Gough, and died in December 1893 aged 73. Her surname before the marriage in 1840 was Dansey, and the Gough family can clearly be seen including matronymic surnames as middle names for their children, hence its inclusion in that of their only son, Fleming R.D.A. Gough. Born in 1822, she was the daughter of Dansey Richard Dansey and his wife Frances Elizabeth.

Constance Gwenllian Harriet Gough
Constance H Gough, as she was known, was the eldest surviving daughter of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance. She was born in 1842 and in 1867 married the Reverend Robert Gwilt.
Read more about the Wedding of 1867

Mabel Delamere Susan Gough
Mabel Delamere Susan Gough was one of several daughters of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance, all born before the male heir of the family. Born in 1848, she married John Vibart in 1873. They had at least three children before she died in 1941, the longest-lived of all the siblings.

Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough
Fleming R.D.A. Gough was born in October 1855, the only male child and heir of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance. He was created a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st (Breconshire) Volunteer Battalion of the South Wales Borderers in 1897 and was thereafter known as Colonel Fleming Gough. He married Cecil Clare Jones-Ford, the daughter of John Carstairs Jones, of Gelli Cynan, Denbigh. Colonel Fleming Gough died in November 1933.

Cecil Clare Gough
Cecil Clare Jones-Ford was the daughter of John Carstairs Jones, of Gelli Cynan, Denbigh and was born in February 1854. She married Colonel Fleming Gough. Widowed in 1933, she died in December 1936 at Belton House, near Uppingham in Rutland.

The ancestors of Colonel Fleming Gough - click to see larger.

The above is a view of one of the Gough family graves in Saint Cynog's church cemetery, Ystradgynlais.

The inscription above the door of Saint Cynog's church hall says that it was built by Mrs Cecil Clare Gough in memory of her husband, Colonel Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough. He had died in 1933, the church hall was built in 1935, and Mrs Gough died at the end of 1936.

The demolition of Water Street after the great flood, and question of what to do with the leased land that formed the Square in Ystradgynlais saw complex legalities involving Colonel Gough, the town council, the trustees of Sardis Chapel, and the owners of the houses being demolished.

The foundation stone of Tabernacl, Ystradgynlais was laid by Mrs Fleming Gough in July 1890. As can be seen on the gravestone for Colonel Gough above, his first name was Fleming, rather than it being part of his surname. Thus the foundation stone reflects the practice of calling the wife of a husband Mrs, and then the husband's name.

This memorial on the wall in Saint Cynog's Church remembers vicars from the Gough family, including the Reverend Fleming Gough of Ynyscedwyn, Rector of the parish of Ystradgynlais for 35 years who died at Ynyscedwyn the 27th October 1835, aged 79

Colonel Fleming Gough

Ynyscedwyn House, Ystradgynlais

Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough, usually shortened to Fleming R.D.A. Gough, was generally known after his promotion in 1897 as Colonel Fleming Gough, or more simply Colonel Gough.

Fleming R.D.A. Gough was born on 31st October 1855, the only male child and heir of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance. He had several elder sisters, five of whom survived to adulthood, and two of whom died in infancy.

His name records the genealogy of the family. Fleming comes from the family of his grandmother, Christiana Fleming, sister of Hezekiah Fleming, and wife of William Gough Aubrey. Richard was the name of his father, as well as his great-uncle (the first Squire of Ynyscedwyn), and great-great-uncle (the elder brother of Rev James Gough Aubrey and William Gough Aubrey). Dansey was the maiden name of his mother, Constance Elizabeth. Aubrey was the surname adopted by his great-great-uncle Richard Gough upon inheriting the estate in the 18th century.

For his legal majority, his 21st birthday, quite a celebration was organised, as described in the regional press:-

From the Western Mail 14th October 1876:-

An influential meeting was held at the New Swan, on the 10th inst., to consider what steps should be taken to show proper respect to Mr Fleming Gough, the son and heir of Mr Richard Douglas Gough, J.P., of Yniscedwyn House, who is most deservedly popular in the neighbourhood. It was unanimously resolved that an address and a substantial present should he given to him on his attaining his majority on the 31st ult., as a token of the high esteem in which he and his family are held by the tenants of the estate and other friends. It was also resolved to send circulars to a few of the neighbouring gentry to give them an early opportunity to join in this expression of esteem towards the Ynyscedwyn family. Mr William Price, J.P., Glantwrch, was appointed chairman, Mr Thomas Rees, Ynysmeudwy, and the Rev H Thomas, Penygorof, secretaries, and Mr H Walters, Glynlais House, Ystradgynlais, treasurer.

From the Western Mail 1st November 1876:-

On Tuesday Mr Fleming Gough, of Yniscedwyn, near Swansea, attained to legal manhood, and the occasion was duly honoured by his tenants and friends. The festivities included processions of friendly societies, dinners to tenants and others, and a treat to over 1,000 school children, so that none were forgotten. Several addresses and valuable presents from friends, tenants, servants, etc were presented to the young squire, who made a suitable acknowledgment. The committee and a few friends, including the Rev Dr Walters, who, when rector of Llansamlet, christened the young squire, sat down to a sumptuous luncheon, when, amongst other wines, some port that had been 21 years in bottle was quaffed. The only toast was that of young Mr Gough's health, to which a brief response was made. There was afterwards a dinner, presided over by the Rev Dr Walters, and at night a servants' ball was given at Ynyscedwyn House.

Fleming R.D.A. Gough became the local landowner with the death of his father, Richard Douglas Gough, J.P., in 1887.

From the South Wales Daily News 5th July 1887:-

By his will (dated 15th June, 1881) Richard Douglas Gough, J.P., of Yniscedwyn House, Brecon, appoints as executors Herbert Lloyd, of Plas Cilybebyll, Glamorgan, and Illtyd Thomas, of Glanmor, who has renounced probate, and the value of the personal estate is declared at £7,414. The testator leaves his plate and family portraits to devolve as heirlooms with Ynyscedwyn House; bequeaths his furniture and household effects in equal shares to all his daughters, but with the option to his son, Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough, to buy such effects at a valuation, and gives all the residue of his property in equal shares to his daughters subject to the acceptance by his daughter Mabel, the wife of Captain Vibart, of a sum of money paid by the testator in respect of a legacy to her.

In 1889, Fleming R.D.A. Gough donated land in Ystalyfera for the construction of Saint David's Church, which was consecrated in 1891.

In June 1891, a meeting was held at the Wern Schools in Ystalyfera, under the presidency of Mr Fleming Gough, of those interested in establishing an intermediate school for the town. He had generously donated a site upon which to build the school, which would become Ystalyfera County School. Upon the opening of the school in 1896, he became Chairman of the Board of Governors.

Fleming R.D.A. Gough was a J.P. in Breconshire and Glamorganshire and was Sherrif of Breconshire in 1895.

Fleming R.D.A. Gough held the rank of Major by 1897, at which point in the October of that month he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and thereafter known generally as Colonel Gough.

From The Weekly News 23rd October 1897:-

1st (Breconshire) Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers - Major F.R.D.A. Gough to be lieutenant-colonel, under provisions of Paragraph 55a of Volunteer Regulations, 1896. John James Watkins to be second-lieutenant. Dated 30th inst.

As well as Yniscedwyn House in Ystradgynlais, Colonel Gough maintained another home at Belton House in Belton-in-Rutland, near Uppingham. Colonel and Mrs Gough appeared to have frequently leased the house over the preceding couple of decades, before purchasing it in 1905.

Colonel Fleming Gough was commissioned as Deputy Lieutenant of Brecon (Breconshire) in 1909.

The Volunteer Army went off to training camp each year for a week, and Colonel Gough attended with the men.

From The Cambrian, 27th July 1906:-

The Ystalyfera Volunteers returned home from camp at Conway by the 5:15 from Brynamman on Saturday. They have had a week's fine experience and are all tanned. Col. Fleming Gough and Captain H.D. Woodliffe were both with the men.

In January 1910 he was awarded the Territorial Decoration for long-service in the Territorial Force, and its predecessor the Volunteer Army.

Between 1909 and 1911, Colonel Fleming Gough was involved in the conveyancing of Maesydderwen Mansion, which he held the freehold of, to the Ystradgynlais School Board and the establishment of what became Ystradgynlais County Intermediate School, officially opened in November 1911. Colonel Gough also became Chairman of its board of governors, holding this position at the same time as that of Ystalyfera County School for some years.

In July 1914 Saint James' Church in Godre'rgraig was opened, a project which had been a keen interest of Colonel Gough who had, again, donated the land upon which the new church was built.

Colonel Gough was also involved with the local Boy Scouts. In late July 1917 there was a grand rally at 'Yniscedwyn Grounds' Ystradgynlais, attended by between 200 and 250 boys, held through the courtesy of Colonel Gough. Captain W.L. Down, Royal Navy, inspected the boys, and refreshments were provided by Colonel Gough.

Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough died on 28th November 1933, aged 78. He was buried in the Gough family vault in St. Cynog's Church cemetery, Ystradgynlais.

Marriage to Cecil Clare

Fleming R.D.A. Gough married Cecil Clare, daughter of John Carstairs Jones, of Gelli Cynan, county Denbigh in 1880. On the pre-nuptial settlement of 1880, she is listed as Cecil Clare Jones-Ford before her marriage, due to having added an additional surname in order to inherit from a distant relative of her birth family. She was born on the 26th February 1854, and was aged 26 at the time of her marriage, older than her husband by 18 months or so.

Cecil Clare's mother, the first wife of John Carstairs Jones, was born Anna Maria Bamford Hesketh, daughter of John Bamford Hesketh and his wife Elizabeth, neé Ford. Anna Maria died not long after the birth of Cecil Clare and her maternal grandparents had a large role in her upbringing, she being their only descendant. Her father arranged that the Ford inheritance would pass through her grandmother to her, upon her adoption of the additional surname of Ford, hence her name Jones-Ford at the time of her marriage.

Through her mother's family, Cecil Clare was related to the Bamford Hesketh's of Gwyrch Castle, her grandfather John being the brother of Lloyd Bamford-Hesketh who built the castle. She was the favourite cousin of Winifred Bamford-Hesketh who married the 12th Earl of Dundonald. This family relationship explains how Colonel and Mrs Gough moved within this set of society, and why among their time away from Ynyscedwyn a lot of it was spent in North Wales. Cecil Clare also kept a house at Llandulas, where her mother was from.

Mrs Cecil Clare Gough was as much a public figure as her husband. In August 1889 she ceremoniously laid the foundation stone for St. David's Church, Ystalyfera, and in July 1890 did similarly for that of Tabernacl Methodist Chapel, Ystradgynlais. In June 1901 she unveiled a brass plaque at St. David's, Ystalyfera, in honour of the local volunteers in the Boer War. It can be noted that at least at the first and third of these occasions her husband was present, so she was acting in her own right, rather than standing in for him.

In a newspaper report (as of yet uncertain date) Mrs Gough is shown in a photograph of a meet of the Fernie Hounds at Hallaton with a couple of her dogs, and it is stated that "In days gone by Mrs Gough was famous as a rider to hounds."

Mrs Gough was also involved with the Boy Scouts and with local schools. In May 1914, she had been involved in the fundraising for the Scouts of Ystalyfera to raise funds for the entertainment of Scouts from Belgium and Holland. In October 1914, she was the judge at the annual show of stocks and asters at the Gurnos Council School, where each of the last couple of years she had presented the pupils with seed packets, and the children then brought the blooms in for judgement.

After Colonel Gough's death in 1933, Cecil Clare commissioned a stained glass window in Saint Peter's Church, Belton in his memory, and likewise paid for the construction of St. Cynog's Church Hall in Ystradgynlais.

Cecil Clare Gough died on 22nd December 1936 at Belton House, near Uppingham, aged 82. She was buried with her husband in Saint Cynog's cemetery, Ystradgynlais.

Photographs of Colonel & Mrs Gough

These photographs of Colonel Fleming R.D.A. Gough and Mrs Cecil Clare Gough come from two sources, and each photograph will state which one. Some are from the collection of Audrey Walker of the Belton-in-Rutland History Society and comprise photographs from her great uncle's scrapbook. Others are from the collection of Gwrych Castle. Both sets of photographs are used with permission and thanks.

Group at an unknown location, not Belton House. Colonel Gough is standing at the rear left hand side, as we view it, with Mrs Gough seated at the front right hand side. [Audrey Walker collection]

Cecil Clare Gough at a younger age [Gwrych Castle Collection]

Mrs Cecil Clare Gough seated side-saddle on a horse, probably at Belton House, near Uppingham. [Audrey Walker Collection]

Colonel and Mrs Gough in 1929, from a society magazine. They would have been in their 70s in this photograph. [Gwrych Castle Collection]

The Sisters of Fleming Gough

Daughters of Richard Douglas Gough and Constance

The children of Richard Douglas Gough and Constance Elizabeth Gough - click to view larger.

Frances Martha Gough
Frances Martha Gough was the eldest child of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance Elizabeth, née Dansey. She was born in February 1841 and died on 24th April 1842, aged 14 months. She was interred in the family vault of the Danseys at Little Hereford, but remembered on a grave in Saint Cynog's churchyard, Ystradgynlais (which gets her age wrong):-

Constance Gwenllian Harriet Gough
Constance Gwenllian Harriet Gough was the eldest surviving daughter of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance Elizabeth, née Dansey. Born in Summer 1842, she married on 5th December 1867 the Reverend Robert Gwilt. She died in 1898. He had died almost a decade previously, on 5th March 1889. They had six children.
Read more about her Gough family wedding

Sybil Katherine Gough
Sybil Katherine Gough was the third child (daughter) of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance Elizabeth, née Dansey. She was born in March 1844 and died on 6th May 1846, aged 2 years and 2 months. Her grave is in Saint Cynog's churchyard, Ystradgynlais:-

Fanny Jeanetta Milborough Gough
Fanny Jeanetta Milborough Gough was born in late 1845 and died in 1937. On 25th October 1887, she married Dr David Thomas, who lived at Ty'r Waun, in Milborough Road, Ystalyfera. Her middle name is variously spelt online, but the documents held by the West Glamorgan Archive Service confirm the spelling 'Jeanetta'. Dr Thomas was the County Councillor for Ystalyfera, as well as being instrumental in getting the county intermediate school built in Ystalyfera, instead of Pontardawe, an enterprise he worked in alongside his wife's brother, Colonel Fleming Gough. The couple had moved back to Dr Thomas' native Carmarthenshire by the time of his death in 1915. Fanny Thomas, as she now was, died in July 1937, aged 91.

Alice Christiana Fleming Gough
Alice Christiana Fleming Gough was born in March 1847, her birth registered at Saint George's, Hanover Square, London. The grave in Saint Cynog's is in error in indicating that she was born in 1844 - her grave that says that when she died on 26th December 1920 she was "aged 76", which subtracted from 1920 equals 1844. Interestingly, whilst the Gough family often reused the same Christian names as previous generations, and used maiden names of the familes that had married into them as additional names, 'Christiana Fleming' was the full name of her great-grandmother, the mother of the Reverend Fleming Gough.

Mabel Delamere Susan Gough
Mabel Delamere Susan Gough was one of several daughters of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance, all born before the male heir of the family. Born on 6th March 1848, she married, in Kensington, John Vibart in 1873 - he was a Captain in the Royal Artillery and had been born in India in 1835; he died in Devon on 6th February 1902. They had three children:- Anna Mabel Vibart, born 1874, died 21st July 1965, in Sussex; Helen Blanch Vibart, born 1876, died 1959; and John Fleming Vibart, born 1877, died 9 Dec 1948 in Southern Rhodesia, having married Edith Gladys in 1911. Mabel died in Surrey in April 1941.

Blanche Aubrey Gough
Blanche Aubrey Gough was born in April or May 1849, the youngest daughter of Richard Douglas Gough and his wife Constance Elizabeth, née Dansey. Until the birth of her brother, Fleming R.D.A. Gough, in 1855, she was the youngest child of her parents. She died unmarried on 14th December 1896.

From The Cambrian newspaper, 18th December 1896:-


The news of the death of Miss Blanche Aubrey Gough, youngest daughter of the late Mr Richard Douglas Gough of Ynyscedwyn House, and sister of Mr Fleming Gough, the Squire of Ynyscedwyn, has occasioned the keenest regret throughout the Swansea Valley, where her many good qualities made her a general favourite.
The funeral took place yesterday, Thursday, leaving Dr Thomas' residence at 12 o'clock. It was of a simple character, the coffin being carried all the way from Ystalyfera to Ynyscedwyn Church. About 400 people joined the funeral procession and all the blinds were drawn and shops closed all along the line of route. There were many exquisite wreaths and crosses.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr D C Jones Castle Square.

From the South Wales Daily News newspaper, 18th December 1896:-


The remains of Miss Blanche Aubrey Gough were consigned to their last resting place on Thursday amidst deep manifestations of sorrow.
The funeral, which was a public one, started from Ty'r waun, the residence of the deceased's brother-in-law, Dr Thomas, at 12 o'clock, where a large assemblage of people had gathered together, and wended its way to Ystradgynlais Church, the procession being headed by the ministers of all the denominations of the neighbourhood. The officiating clergy were the Rev E L D Glanley rector and the Rev J Griffiths, vicar of Llanguicke.
The mourners were Mr Fleming Gough brother, Dr Thomas brother-in-law, Captain Williams, Brecon nephew, and Mr Capel, Branfil cousin.

Her grave can be found in the cemetery of Saint Cynog's church, Ystradgynlais:-

She is also remembered on a stone plaque on the wall, near to the altar.

The Goughs of Ynyscedwyn


Succession to the Ynyscedwyn estate went from the Aubrey family to the Portrey family and then to the Gough family, each change being by marriage of the senior female heiress, succeeding once the remaining male line had died out.

In 1717 William Gough of Saint Briavels, Gloucestershire, married Katherine Portrey. For the next few decades, the Portreys continued to hold Ynyscedwyn, and the right to determine who the Rector of Ystradgynlais was also lay in their gift. Around the middle of the eighteenth century it became clear that whilst her brother or uncle may still be alive, the succession to the estate was going to be through her line.

It would appear that an Act of Parliament (Deed of Settlement) was passed in 1751 to the effect that if the Gough family were to succeed to Ynyscedwyn they should take the additional surname of Aubrey. Thus, William and Katherine's elder sons were known as Richard Gough Aubrey, and the Reverend James Gough Aubrey. It appears that the third son, William, took the additional surname at some point, though was generally referred to as William Gough (Junior).

The elder son of William and Katherine, Richard Gough Aubrey died in 1759, devolving any succession upon his brother, James Gough Aubrey, who in 1761 married Eleanor (sometimes given as Elinor) Williams, but had no children from the marriage. Reverend James Gough Aubrey was Rector of Ystradgynlais in succession to John Seys, the gift now being in the Gough family. Theophilus Jones and Lord Glanusk in their "A History of the County of Brecknockshire" give dates of service between 1780 and 1790. However, information from the Clergy of the Church of England Database (CCED) indicate that he was ordained in 1781 (quite possibly John Seys died in 1780) and held the position until he in turn died in September 1796.

The third son of William and Katherine, William Gough Junior, as he is styled in estate papers, married Christiana Fleming, the sister of Hezekiah Fleming, an army officer who would be later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and eventually Major General. William Junior took on the surname of Gough Aubrey, apparently after the accession of his brother Richard to Ynyscedwyn. He and Christiana had four suviving children - Richard William, who took the surname Gough Aubrey as the senior male heir, Fleming Gough, who followed his uncle into the church and in turn became Rector of Ystradgynlas, Elizabeth Gough, and Anne Harriet Gough.

Richard Gough Aubrey, as he was known, married Jane Williams (née Wynter, widow of George Williams) in 1789, and became the first of the Gough Squires of Ynyscedwyn. The list of Patrons able to appoint the Rectors of Ystradgynlais, gives a date of 1790 for his taking up this role. On 20th January 1790 he was appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of Breconshire and Monmouthshire, the Duke of Beaufort, as one of the Deputy Lieutenants of Breconshire. Richard Gough Aubrey and his wife had no children and he died in January 1808 at the age of 55, after what his grave in Saint Cynog's makes sound like a painful lingering illness.

The Reverend Fleming Gough, his younger brother, thus became the second Gough Squire of Ynyscedwyn, and as is noted in the annex to the estate papers the requirement to bear the additional surname of Aubrey no longer seemed to be in place. The Reverend Fleming Gough had married Martha Taylor in 1785 and had three children: Richard Douglas Gough, born in 1800, Susan Gough, and Harriet Gough.

The Reverend Fleming Gough died in 1835 as attested by the proving of his will. Both the wall-mounted memorial in Saint Cynog's Church, near to the main altar, and the grave in the churchyard of Saint Cynog's say that he had been Rector of Ystradgynlais for 35 years. Information from the Clergy of the Church of England Database (CCED) indicate that he was formally appointed as Rector in 1797, after his uncle's death, and it would appear he held onto it until his own death, as indicated by his successor, the Reverend Timothy Davies, not being appointed Rector of Ystradgynlais until 1836 (see Dictionary of Welsh Biography).

Richard Douglas Gough succeeded as the third Gough Squire of Ynyscedwyn in 1839. In 1840 he married Constance Elizabeth Dansey, who was roughly twenty years his junior. Their marriage produced seven daughters between 1841 and 1848, and only in 1855 was a male heir born. It can be imagined that the rejoicing over this outcome is behind the reasoning as to why he was loaded with a full set of family names - Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough.

Richard Douglas Gough got a Deed of Separation from his wife, Constance Elizabeth, in 1871, granting her an annuity of £200. It can be assumed she thereafter moved into a separate household. A list of the non-Catholic internees in the cemetery on the island of Capri lists a Constance Elizabeth Gough, buried in December 1895, at the age of 73. It is noteworthy that she is not mentioned on the graves in Saint Cynog's churchyard, except as the mother of some of her daughters buried there, whilst the memorial near the altar for the Gough family mentions the 3rd December 1895, aged 73:-

Richard Douglas Gough died in 1886 in his mid 80s, and was succeeded by his son, Fleming R.D.A. Gough, as the fourth Gough Squire of Ynyscedwyn. Fleming Gough had married Cecil Clare Jones-Ford (as given in estate papers) in 1880, but they would have no children. He was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st (Breconshire) Volunteer Battalion of the South Wales Borderers in 1897 and thereafter was known as Colonel Fleming Gough. Although always referred to as "of Ynyscedwyn", Colonel and Mrs Gough spent more of their time at Belton House in Rutland, which they initially leased, before purchasing in 1905.

Fleming Richard Dansey Aubrey Gough died on 28th November 1933, aged 78. His widow, Cecil Clare Gough died on 22nd December 1936, aged 82. The fate of the Ynyscedwyn estate between these dates is uncertain, whether Cecil Clare Gough had reversion to it within her lifetime, or whether it was caught up in probate. But the dissolution of the estate does not appear to have occurred until after her death. It is stated as "passing out of the Gough family", and this could well mean that it had to be sold, for the proceeds to be divided up between the surviving heirs, the families of the sisters of Colonel Fleming Gough.

Rectors of Ystradgynlais

In order to look at the two Gough family members who became Rectors of Ystradgynlais, it is necessary to look at the careers of the Rectors who came before and after them, and the curates also appointed in the same time period.

Rev. John Seys
The situation with the Reverend John Seys is confusing. Theophilus Jones simply lists him as appointed 1745, and ending in 1780. The Clergy of the Church of England database (CCED) has him (as Evan Seys) appointed 1743, which would make sense as that was when his predecessor, the Rev John Portrey, died, but then apparently resigning, and twenty years later being replaced by a Rev Morgan Jones as Rector from 1765, with John Seys then reappearing in 1781 to vacate the position by death.

Rev. James Gough Aubrey
The Reverend James Gough Aubrey was appointed Rector of Ystradgynlais in succession to John Seys. The CCED database indicates an official appointment in 1781, but it is probable that if John Seys died in 1780, that James Gough Aubrey was proposed by the trustees of Ynyscedwyn, who at this time seem to have had the advowson, at that point. Having married into the Williams family, the Rev. James Gough Aubrey is listed as residing at their house at Aberpergwm, Glynneath, from at least 1782. Despite the distances involved, he was in charge of both Ystradgynlais church and the chapel at Coelbren.
Although Theophilus Jones indicates an end date of 1790, this is either a misreading of 1796, or a conflation of the date at which the patronage (the advsowson) came into the Gough family through the marriage of his nephew. All indications, both at the CCED website, and on the memorial plaque within St. Cynog's Church, Ystradgynlais, are that he remained Rector until his death in September 1796.
'The History of the Building of the Present Church 1861-1961' by the Rev. H.M. Hughes (Rector of Ystradgynlais) includes a passage about the memorial stone for the old church stating "This column is erected on the site of the chancel of the former church of Ystradgynlais in which the remains of several of the Portreys and Aubreys and those of the Revd. James Gough Aubrey were interred." - See photograph of the page

Rev. John Jones
John Jones is listed as "SUBSC" as Curate in 1797, and thereafter, and as Stipendiary Curate 1807-1821 (and probably thereafter). The records tend to list appointments, and renewals, rather than the ending of a term. It is clear that in this role John Jones was subordinate to the Rector of Ystradgynlais with Coelbren. As the Rev. Timothy Davies first appears as curate in 1825, it can be posited that John Jones continued to hold the role up to that date, or close to it.

Rev. Fleming Gough
The marriage of his brother, Richard Gough Aubrey, in 1789, brought with it as part of the pre-nuptial agreement the advowson of Ystradgynlais parish, the right to appoint the Rector of the parish. Thus, upon the death of their uncle, the Rev. James Gough Aubrey, in 1796 this right was used for the first time by the Gough family in the appointment of the Rev Fleming Gough, confirmed on the CCED database as being in 1797.
Richard Gough Aubrey died in 1808 without any children, and the Rev. Fleming Gough inherited the estates of Ynyscedwyn, and with it the advowson, and thus rather peculiarly became his own patron. Although the chapel of Coelbren appears to have been spun off into a Perpetual Curacy in 1826, all indications are that the Rev. Fleming Gough remained as Rector of Ystradgynlais until his death in 1835.
The memorial stone near the altar in St. Cynog's church, and the grave in the churchyard there at Ystradgynlais both state that he was "Rector of this parish for 35 years" (or possibly 36), which seems slightly problematic as the calculation from 1797 to 1835 would give 38 years. At the moment this must stand as either an error, or a rounding down, as there is no evidence that he gave up the Rectorship before his death.

Rev. Timothy Davies
The Rev. Timothy Davies was appointed stipendiary curate in 1825, and in 1826 became Perpetual Curate of Coelbren chapel, indicating that by doing so this was separated in office from the church of Ystradgynlais. Theophilus Jones has him appointed as Rector of Ystradgynlais in 1835, whilst the Welsh National Biography (both a 1940's book in Welsh, and the online website Dictionary of Welsh Biography state 1836. This slight discrepancy would again be most likely from when his predecessor, the Rev. Fleming Gough died in 1835, and when he was officially appointed in 1836. The Glamorgan Monmouth and Brecon Gazette and the Merthyr Guardian, 30 April 1836, record :-

The Rev. Timothy Davies, Curate of Ystradgynlais, has been instructed by the Lord Bishop of St. David's to the Rectory of that Parish; vacant by the death of the Rev. Fleming Gough.

Rev. Walter Jones Williams
The Reverend Walter Jones Williams was the grandson of the Reverend Fleming Gough, being the eldest child of his daughter Harriet and her husband Howell Jones Williams. He was born in Swansea on 3rd July 1814. Whilst he was probably baptised there soon after birth, the Reverend Fleming Gough performed another baptism for him, and his next-born sister, Anne Harriet Williams, in Ystradgynlais on 17th January 1819. Walter Jones Williams became Rector of Ystradgynlais in 1846 and left in 1856. He married Mary Jane Miers in 1858 and had at least two children. Rev Walter Jones Williams died at his home in Glamorgan Street, Brecon on 9th April 1866 and was buried at Llanfeugan.

Rectors of Cilybebyll

James Gough Aubrey
The Reverend James Gough Aubrey became Rector of Cilybebyll in 1763, taking over from Reverend Thomas John. He was already Curate of Coelbren, and would remain Rector of Cilybebyll after taking on Ystradgynlais in 1780. James Gough Aubrey remained as Rector of both Cilybebyll and Ystradgynlais until his death in 1796.

Fleming Gough
The Reverend Fleming Gough became Rector of Cilybebyll in 1797 in succession to his uncle, James Gough Aubrey, following his death. He remained in this post for 18 years before his resignation in October 1815. He was replaced as Rector by Watkin Price, who had been made curate in April of that year.

Individual Biographies

The Goughs of Ynyscedwyn

Where sufficient biographical data has been gathered from across a variety of sources we have undertaken to create an individual page for each of the people named below. Click on their name to go to a separate page where you can read about their family, children, career, and involvement in land transactions and mineral rights.

Reverend James Gough Aubrey - The younger brother of Richard Gough Aubrey (snr) and the older brother of William Gough (died 1760). He became Curate of Coelbren in 1758, Rector of Cilybebyll in 1763 and Rector of Ystradgynlais in 1780. In succession to his elder brother, he held the estate of Ynyscedwyn, Ystradgynlais, though by 1775 he seems to have been living at Aberpergwm, the family home of his wife Elinor whom he married in 1761. James Gough Aubrey died in September 1796.

William Gough - 3rd son of William Gough senior and Catherine Portrey, younger brother of Richard Gough Aubrey and Reverend James Gough Aubrey, husband of Christiana Fleming, and father of Richard Gough Aubrey (jnr) and Reverend Fleming Gough. His individual page looks at his career in the Royal Navy, his involvement in the running of the family estates, his marriage to Christiana Fleming, and additional family details including their daughters.

Richard Gough Aubrey (jnr) was the eldest son of William Gough and his wife, Christiana née Fleming. He is not to be confused with his uncle, who also took the name of Richard Gough Aubrey and who held Ynyscedwyn from 1752 to 1759. Richard Gough Aubrey was inducted into the Gnoll (Neath) Lodge of the Free Masons in 1786, and was a Major in the Royal Glamorgan Battalion of Militia by 1797. He married Jane Willians in 1789, she having been born Jane Wynter and being the widow of George Williams. They had no children, and the succession to Ynyscedwyn would go to his younger brother, Reverend Fleming Gough, upon his death in Jsnuary 1808.

Reverend Fleming Gough - 3rd son, and 2nd surviving son, of William Gough junior and Christiana Fleming, younger brother of Richard Gough Aubrey (jnr), and father of Richard Douglas Gough. His individual page looks at his career in the church, his involvement in the Ynyscedwyn estate, and its mineral and mining rights, his marriage to Martha Taylor, and additional family details including their daughters.

Reverend Walter Jones Williams was the Rector of Ystradgynlais from 1846 to 1856. He was the grandson of Reverend Fleming Gough by his daughter Harriet who married Howell Jones Williams of Coity Mawr, Brecon. Walter Jones Williams was also a J.P. in Breconshire, and an investor in the railway to Brecon. He married Mary Jane Miers in 1858, and they had three children before his death in 1866.

Sources & Useful Information

Online Resources for Historians & Genealogists

Ynyscedwyn Estate Papers (held at West Glamorgan Archive Service)

Clergy of the Church of England Database (Up to 1835)

Dictionary of Welsh Biography

Sherrifs of Breconshire (in Welsh)

Inscriptions at Capri (Non-Catholic Internees) created 1906

Free BMD - Births, Deaths and Marriages (from 1837 onwards)

Welsh Newspaper Archive (1804-1919)