The Seventeenth Century kicked off with the assumption of the Lordship of Oswestry by Thomas Howard, the Earl of Suffolk. This change in ruler angered the Burgesses of Oswestry, who quickly sought to uphold the ancient rights of the town and to make a statement to the new Lord that his intent to increase taxes would not go unopposed. 173 Knights, Squires, Gentlemen, Bailiffs and Burgesses formed a congress on the 28th of November, 1603, and drafted a Declaration to the Lord, putting their concerns in writing. This period of time would set a precedent whereby the ‘power of the people’ took on ‘the establishment’, and won.

We remember how, in 1580, the Lordship passed to Phillip Howard and Oswestry began to start rebuilding its Welsh wool trade. Unfortunately, the damage done to the Lordship in the Sixteenth Century was so severe that although the trade was sustainable, the Lordship’s monopoly was severely under threat from rivalling areas. In 1621, an Act of Parliament was passed to allow the trade to open to all-comers, thus ending the Lordship’s historic monopoly on Welsh wool. This crushing blow came exactly four years after the granting of a Charter by King James I to Thomas Howard, who was the Lord High Treasurer at the time.

We skip two decades and three years to 1644. The English Civil War had been happening for two years and Oswestry was a Royalist stronghold. Oswestry was also the site of a battle, whereby the Parliamentarian forces successfully overcame a Royalist garrison to overthrow the Lordship, the Town and seize the Castle, destroying the Castle over a period which lasted until 1650; the Parliamentarians also saw to the destruction of the Town Walls. The Civil War destroyed much of St. Oswald’s Parish Church, which had to be rebuilt towards the end of the 1600s, undoing years of renovations and repairs made prior to this period in time.

Little survives from the original Jacobean design, with one example being the Yale Monument, which was erected to the memory of Alderman Hugh Yale and his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Yale, following the Alderman’s death in 1606.

You may remember an article we wrote in April 2018 about the Brynhafod Hoard – a collection of Civil War coins buried in 1643 on what would become Brynhafod Lane. The article discusses how, because the Lordship was on the verge of being occupied by Parliamentarian forces, it was the Royalist forces who buried the coins to prevent the Parliamentarians from finding them. The location of these coins today are unknown.

The Civil War came to an end in 1651 with a complete Parliamentarian takeover of England, Scotland and Ireland, but following the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, the Monarchy would be restored in 1660 with the assumption of the throne by King Charles II. Oswestry was rewarded greatly by the King for their sterling contribution to the Royalist cause, including the granting of a new Charter in 1673, which would establish a Mayor for the Town. The first individual to hold the position of Mayor was Richard Pope.

This post-war period would see the building of the Coach & Horses at what would become Lower- and Upper-Brook Street and the erection of the Lloyd Font at the Parish Church in 1662, by Edward Lloyd of Llanforda, the Royalist Governor for Oswestry and father of the botanist, linguist and geographer Edward Lhuyd. Incidentally, Lloyd was a relation to John Lloyd of Llanforda, who allegedly began the building of Llwyd Mansion in 1604.

Next time, Hidden Oswestry looks at Oswestry during the Eighteenth Century.


- ‘Oswestry through the ages’ [Pages 12 & 13], by John Pryce-Jones (1991); and

- Wikipedia: –, and