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Following the defeat of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, brother of Prince Llywelyn, in 1282, Edward I granted the castle of Ruthin and the lordship of Dyffryn Clwyd (the earlier name for the lordship of Ruthin) to Reginald de Grey, Justiciary of Chester. Reginald was succeeded in the lordship of Ruthin, by his son, John De Grey, and then by his grandson, Roger de Grey. The last De Grey, Earl of Kent, sold the castle and the lordship to Henry VIII in about 1520. It was subsequently given to Dudley, Earl of Warwick. In 1632 Ruthin Castle was purchased by Sir Thomas Myddelton of Chirk Castle(1585-1666), who acquired the stewardship of the lordship in 1635.

On the death of Richard Myddelton, the last surviving male heir of the Myddleton family, in 1796, the family's Chirk Castle estate was divided between his sisters. The Ruthin Castle portion, which included the lordship of Ruthin, passed to Harriet who bequeathed the estate to her sister, Maria (d. 1843), wife of Frederick West (d. 1852). Their second son, William Cornwallis-West succeeded to the Ruthin Castle estate on the death of his brother, Frederick Myddelton West in 1868.

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