Joseph Bradney

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Joseph Alfred Bradney
Joseph Alfred Bradney, ca 1887.jpg
Bradney as a lieutenant of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Militia in 1885.
Born (1859-01-11)11 January 1859
Greet, Tenbury Wells, Shropshire, England
Died 21 July 1933(1933-07-21) (aged 74)
Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1882–1918 (36 years)
Rank Colonel
Commands held

Colonel Sir Joseph Alfred Bradney, FSA, BA, JP, DL (11 January 1859 – 21 July 1933) was a British soldier, historian and archaeologist, best known for his multivolume A History of Monmouthshire.


Joseph Bradney was born at Greet, Tenbury Wells, Shropshire, and educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He acquired, partly by inheritance and partly purchase, Tal-y-coed Court, an estate at Talycoed, Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern, near Monmouth, where he settled at an early age.[2] He entered the army, serving as captain of the Royal Monmouth Engineer Militia from 1882 to 1892, and lieutenant-colonel commanding the 2nd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment from 1892 to 1912. In the Territorial Force Reserve from 1912 to 1919, he served in France in 1917-18.[3]

Bradney was High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1889, a county councillor from 1898 to 1924, and an alderman from 1924 to 1928.[2] He was also a governor and on the Council of the National Library of Wales and the National Museum of Wales. He was a member of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. He was appointed a Companion of the Bath in 1911, and knighted in 1924.[2][4]

He wrote extensively on the history of Monmouthshire, his major work being A History of Monmouthshire, published in four volumes comprising 12 parts, from 1904 until 1933.[2][5] A final fifth volume, drawing on his notes, was published posthumously. The books have been described as a "monumental survey, extensively illustrated and containing dozens of pedigrees, [which remain] a basic reference work essential for the serious study of local history or genealogy in Monmouthshire."

He was married twice, first to Rosa Jenkins (d. 1927), and then to Florence Prothero.[4] A Latin tablet in St. Michael's Church at Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern records his achievements.


  • Genealogical memoranda relating to the families of Hopkins of Llanfihangel Ystern Llewern, Co. Monmouth, and Probyn of Newland, Co. Gloucester, 1889
  • A History of Monmouthshire: From the coming of the Normans into Wales down to the present time, 4 vols, 1904-1933
  • (ed.) The diary of Walter Powell of Llantilio Crossenny in the county of Monmouth, gentleman 1603-1654, 1907
  • (ed.) Llyfr Baglan : or The book of Baglan, by John Williams, London: Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910
  • A History of the Free Grammar School in the Parish of Llantilio-Crosseny in the County of Monmouh (1924)


  1. ^ "Bradney, Joseph Alfred (BRDY877JA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sir Joseph Bradney, A History of Monmouthshire, ISBN 0-9520009-6-2
  3. ^ 'BRADNEY, Col Sir Joseph (Alfred)', Who Was Who, A & C Black
  4. ^ a b Biography at Welsh Biography Online
  5. ^

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