George Hammond Whalley 1813-1878. A colourful character who lived at Plas Madoc in the 19th century was George Hammond Whalley who claimed descent from Edward Whalley, first cousin to Oliver Cromwell and John Hampden. Just as Henry Dennis had a high regard for Napoleon Bonaparte, Whalley had an equal preoccupation with Oliver Cromwell, particularly in his hatred of the Jesuits and Puseyites. He obtained the property of Plas Madoc, which had been heavily mortgaged by Thomas Youde, and took a part in local affairs entering into some local industrial partnerships, including the Cambrian railway. He was an able barrister and an expert on the law of tithes and was for some years liberal member of parliament for Peterborough. Ironically he died on 8 October 1878 at King William’s Tower, near Llangollen, and was buried in the Lloyd vault at Ruabon.
There is an intriguing account of a demonstration in Plas Madoc park in August 1865 to mark the anniversary of the Temperance Society and the Band of Hope:
On Monday last, Plas Madoc Park, the residence of G. H. Whalley Esq, MP, was the scene of a Temperance demonstration of a very pleasing character. The first part of the ceremonial consisted of a tea party, which took place in a large tent belonging to Mr T. Rowlands of the Nag’s Head brewery of this town…After tea a variety of innocent games were improvised for the indulgence of which Plas Madoc park affords such ample scope. The more robust of the male sex betook themselves to football, while the more gallant of the same sex joined the fair ones in a game of ‘Kiss in the Ring’, always one of the favourite pastimes at Temperance Fetes. The Fenycae band gave an additional touch of merriment to the proceedings, varied occasionally by the singing of the children. The weather was delightfully fine and nothing occurred in any way calculated to mar the enjoyment of the happy company.
In the evening a public meeting was held, over which G. H. Whalley Esq. was called to preside, and on taking the chair the honourable gentleman was received with loud acclamation. In the course of the remarks he made, he said that he had expected to have amongst them that evening the son of that noble patriot Garibaldi, but although they had been disappointed that evening, he hoped that on some future occasion they would have the pleasure of seeing him ‘amongst’ them. The chairman then proceeded to picture the benefits accruing from the practice of temperance principles and was frequently interrupted by the plaudits of the assembly”