An Interesting Memorial
GWYNNE MORRIS considers a memorial at St. Peter’s Church,
Llanbedr DC and its connection with royalty and Ruthin
Churchyards hold the cherished remains of people from all walks of
life, rich or poor, remembered by simple memorial tablets or in
some cases in more elaborate stone crosses.
The photograph shows one such in St. Peter’s Church, Llanbedr, in
the form of a Celtic cross long forgotten by their family and covered
in dense growth. While these crosses are associated with all Celts,
their origin is in Gaelic Ireland and they were probably introduced to
Scotland, Wales and parts of England by Irish Christian
Llanbedr’s is situated next to the wall of the drive to the vicarage.
On the side facing the road is the inscription:
THERE ARE ALSO INTERNED IN THIS ENCLOSURE
LADY MARY TAYLOUR
YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF THOMAS,
SECOND MARQUESS OF HEADFORT, DIED 27 SEPTEMBER
1909, AND LADY OLIVIA FITZPATRICK, WIFE
OF THE REV. FREDERICK FITZPATRICK, AND
ELDEST DAUGHTER OF THE MARQUESS OF
HEADFORT. DIED SEPT 4 1916,
THIS INSCRIPTION HAS BEEN ADDED BY HER SURVIVING CHILDREN
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”
This suggests that the memorial was first erected to another. Research shows that this person was a
Frederick Fitzpatrick, who had died at Warren Hall, Broughton, in February 1898 at the age of 78.
Engraved on the Eastern side of the Cross are the words:-
Rev. FREDERICK FITZPATRICK
died 5th feby 1898
This cross was erected to his memory
by his loving wife and children.
Blessed are they that do hunger
and thirst after Righteousness for they shall be fill
The question which arose was—who were they and what was the connection with Llanbedr? The
answers made interesting reading.
The Rev. Fredrick Fitzpatrick had for several years been the Rector of Cloane, Co Leitrim, Ireland.
He married Lady Olivia Taylour, eldest daughter of the second Marques of Headfort. In her younger
days, she was known as a ‘flighty’ character and is reported as having affairs with Prince Albert,
Queen Victoria’s husband. When this became known, she was banished from Court.
In later years, after the death of the Prince, and after her husband had left his parish at the 1870
disestablishment of the Irish Church, the Fitzpatricks returned to Britain.
Olivia then slotted back into the social world of the past. The 1891 Census shows that the family
lived at Plas Draw in Llangynhafal. After the death of her husband in 1898, she took up residence at
Bryn Edwin, now a Nursing Home, near Flint. Even in old age she was still friendly with Prince
Edward when he became King Edward VII, as it was reported in ‘The Welsh Coast Pioneer’ on 16th
December 1909. The account states that “the king, while staying with the Duke of Westminster at
Eaton Hall, Chester, motored to Bryn Edwin, Flint
Mountain, the residence of Lady Olivia Fitzpatrick,
who is in her eighty sixth year, and was many years
ago connected with the Court during Queen
Victoria’s reign. The king was accompanied by the
Duchess of Westminster and Princess Henry of
The 1911 census showed that she still resided at
Bryn Edwin. She was quoted as being a widow,
head of household living with her two grand-
daughters and grandson. In 1914, however, owing to
failing health, she moved to live with her daughter
Mary (‘Patsy’) Cornwallis-West, wife of Col. William
Cornwallis-West, at Ruthin Castle and where she
died in 1916.
‘Patsy’ had a close connection with ‘Bertie’, Queen
Victoria’s eldest son, who eventually reigned as
Edward VII—but that’s quite another story