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Colonel Sir Joseph Alfred Bradney, F.S.A., B.A., J.P., D.L. (11 January 1859, Greete, Shropshire – 21 July 1933) was an English soldier, historian and archaeologist, best known for his research The History of Monmouthshire.[1]



Joseph Bradney was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2] He acquired, partly by inheritance and partly purchase, an estate at Talycoed, Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern, near Monmouth, where he settled at an early age.[3] 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.[4]

Bradney was High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1889, a county councillor from 1898 to 1924, and an alderman from 1924 to 1928.[3] 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 Historical Monuments in Wales. He was appointed a Companion of the Bath in 1911, and knighted in 1924.[3][5]

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.[3][6] 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."[6]

He was married twice, first to Rosa Jenkins (d. 1927), and then to Florence Prothero.[5] 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
  • History of Monmouthshire, 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


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bradney, Joseph Alfred in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  3. ^ a b c d Sir Joseph Bradney, A History of Monmouthshire, ISBN 0-9520009-6-2
  4. ^ 'BRADNEY, Col Sir Joseph (Alfred)', Who Was Who, A & C Black
  5. ^ a b Biography at Welsh Biography Online
  6. ^ a b Bradney bibliography at Merton Priory Press

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