Wales Visit

Dear Stuart and Betty,
It was also a great pleasure for us to meet our distant Aubrey cousins and this letter is full of interest. The Havard Family and Vaughan Family are also associated with Tretower Court as you know. If you write up an account of the visit it can be published with your permission on www.aias.us. It would be important to find the site of the grave of John Aubrey at Magdalen College Oxford and set up a Memorial to John Aubrey, a friend of Robert Hooke, the true discoverer of the inverse square law as mentioned in “Brief Lives”.

Cyfarchion gorau, Best Wishes,

Myron and Larisa

Wales Visit

Dear Myron and Larisa,

Forgive me for not writing sooner. The goal was to write and provide a link to photos at the same time. The plan to have the photos from the trip organized and labeled to share with everyone long before now turned into a lengthy process.

It was a sincere pleasure for Betty and me to meet the two of you, in person. It was even more special this occurred at Abercynrig. The tour of Christ College and Awbrey Chapel was very nice, but it was unfortunate that the medieval buildings, some of the best in the UK, were not open to tour.

After your visit, we continued to tour the area where Awbreys lived. We visited Tretower and then to Tredomen. Lauryn, Neil, Betty and I had visited this home of Sir Edward and wife Joan Havard in 2014, but no one was at home. As you know, Joan’s mother was a Vaughan of the Tretower Vaughans. This visit the lady of the house, Penny Williams, was in the garden. She graciously gave us a tour of the lower part of the house.

We visited several parish churches in the area, such as Cantref and its 1,000 year old Yew tree. We searched in vain for Awbrey grave markers. Then I realized the stones in the most deteriorated condition were from the 1850’s and later. No hope for finding any Awbrey markers from an earlier period unless they are inside a building.

We did find a previously unnoticed marker leaning against the outside wall at the back of St. Ellyw’s Church, Llanelieu.

I have not been able to definitive identify the Awbrey portrait in the stairway. One difficulty is the date on the painting, 1623, is two years after Sir William sold it.

Near the end of our stay, the Abercynrig manager told me John Lloyd, the current owner, wanted to speak to me. We had a brief talk on the phone. At his request, I emailed him a summary of the Awbrey ownership of Abercynrig. Also, he had the manager retrieve a chart from his private office that shows all the Lloyd owners beginning with Col. John Lloyd who bought it in 1800.

While in London, Betty and I visited Westminster Hall where Dr. William Aubrey practiced law as Master of Requests and Master of Chancery. It is amazing to see how intact a building completed in 1099 remains.

Only Texans would appreciate the following. Lauryn and Neil joined us in London one day for some touring. We found the plaque marking the location of the Texas Legation when Texas was an independent country from 1836 to 1845 when it became part of the United States. It is located near St. James Palace.

We took a day trip to Oxford and visited Jesus College of which Dr. William is a founding father. He went to school at All Souls, but it was closed and covered in scaffolding and sheathing for repairs.

A special event for us was having lunch with Dr. Kate Bennett, faculty member of Magdalen College. She is the leading authority on John Aubrey, FRS, Dr. William’s great grandson. She was excited to meet an Aubrey relation. Her definitive work on John Aubrey’s Brief Lives is nearly 1200 pages in two volumes. According to the College Register, John Aubrey is buried at Magdalen. The site is unknown. One of his fears was that his grave would remain unmarked.

We returned home the evening of August 31. The plan was to relax and catch up, but that did not happen. We had to make another plane trip within a week. Then we bought a condo near downtown San Antonio. We plan to move there as part of a downsizing effort after it is remodeled.

What a special kindness to be listed as one who might receive a gift from your possession. However, considering you are in good health and I am 81, most likely you will outlive me although I have no immediate plans for departing this life.

Regards,

Stuart and Betty


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