The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Nothing of note is known about the church in the seventeenth century .The most significant parochial act was the establishment of an endowed Grammar School in 1618 by Richard Lloyd, vicar. The first known schoolmaster was Jeremiah Davies, Curate of Ruabon 1626-1637, and it became customary for successive curates to serve this office until well into the nineteenth century .The Reverend John Robinson, vicar 1675-1703, further endowed the school but in reality his Will changed the character of the school from a grammar school to a bilateral school. It created an endowed grammar school and a The public elementary school under the same roof.

The troubles of the Civil War divided the loyalties of the parishioners. An entry in the burial register for the 8 April 1644 is followed by the note: 'All the rest of the yeares were lost to the souldioures'. What else was lost to the military is not recorded. There is a tradition that Cromwell stayed at Plas Madoc less than a mile from the church. Captain John Lloyd of Plas Madoc was a Royalist member of the Chester garrison. Notable dissenting Parliamentarians were Captain William Wynne, who built Wynne Hall in 1649, and John Kynaston. Sir Thomas Myddleton, the Parliamentarian General, throughout the long wait until the Restoration protected and provided charity for poor scholars, ejected clergy and their families and in particular Humphrey Lloyd, the sequestered vicar, and Edward Pritchard, Curate of Ruabon.

The St Asaph Diocesan Visitation Returns which survive from the beginning of the eighteenth century show a flourishing community in Ruabon ably led by its clergy and well supported by its influential laymen. The Reverend Richard Davies served as vicar for forty years (1706-1746). He repaired the vicarage and supported by a curate maintained regular services in the parish church in both the English and Welsh languages and catechized the young. The sacrament of Holy Communion was administered on the first Sunday in the month and at the great festivals. The monthly attendance varied between 50-100 and the highest Easter figure recorded is in 1744 when there were 300 communicants. In his Will he followed the example of his predecessor, Vicar Robinson, and endowed alms houses and gave liberally to the cause of education and remembered the poor. Of the character and achievements of Davies's successors in Ruabon for the next hundred years there is very little which has survived.
 

 

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