The Powys Pedigree in the 1663 Shropshire Visitation
Needless to say I have been delighted to acquire this pedigree from the College of Arms.
The pedigree was taken in the 1663 visitation which followed the grant of arms to Thomas Powys by Bysshe the herald; the grant was made around 1660 but the note of this in Bysshe's manuscript does not say when this happened. A modern herald has given me these details:
"An entry in a manuscript recording grants of Arms by Bysshe includes a briefWhatever the date, this grant then required a pedigree to be taken in the next visitation.
The trouble with the Powys ancestry before William of Ludlow (1495-1577) is that we not only have no surviving contemporary evidence for any of them, but the pedigrees that have been produced have a null provenance. However this pedigree has an excellent provenance: it comes from the surviving original of the 1663 Visitation of Shropshire, it was certified by Thomas Powys of Henley who was then aged 43 and with his profession of lawyer, would have been more able than most to verify any of it from documents then in his or his family's possession.
Having said all that, the usual arguments also apply. Normally pedigrees cannot be relied on for people before the grandparents of the person interviewed. In this case, his grandfather, William Powys of Ludlow, died in 1577 some 40 years before the interviewee, Thomas Powys of Henley, was born in 1617 so he could not have known him at all. So we should take the generations before William with a pinch of salt.
Even more interesting is that this earliest (I believe it is the earliest one) pedigree is clearly different to anything else that has been produced in the last two hundred years. One wonders then where these more recent pedigrees got their "facts" from?