George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman.

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privileges, which he and his ancestors had aforetime
taken away from them ; and until he also restored to the

l and 3 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 2 Dugdale's Baronage. 4 Rot. Lit. claus. 15 Joh.
la pars. memb. 1.


good men of England and Wales their lands and the
castles which he had taken from them at his will without
either right or law." 1

In the year 1215 Llewelyn led an army to Shrewsbury
which was delivered to him without any resistance. Giles
de Braose, Lord Bishop of Hereford, the son of William
de Braose of Brecknock, and uncle to the young Lord Res
ap Griffith, recovered the lands of which his father had
been deprived by the King, namely the castles of Pencelli
and Abergavenny, and castell Gwyn, and the isle of
Cynwraid ; as also Aberhodni, and Maesyfaedd, and
Gelli, and Blaenllyvni, and the castle of Buellt ; and this
without any opposition. Pain's castle, and the castle of
Colwyn, and the cantrev of Elvel attached to them, he re-
linquished to Walter son of Eineon Clyd who had subdued
them. While these events were taking place in Brecknock
Maelgon became reconciled to his nephews Res and Owen,
and on the eve of the Ascension (May 27) they jointly
proceeded with an army to Dyvet, where they subjugated
all the Welshmen of that country, some of whom they
brought away with them beyond the river Teify and
some they left behind in Emlyn and Elfed. In this
expedition they gained possession of all Dyvet, excepting
Cemaes, which they devastated, and burned the castles
of Arberth and Maenclochog. After this, Maelgon and
Owen ap Griffith went to Llewelyn ap Jerwerth in
Gwyneth ; and young Res, by the help of his uncle
Maelgon, collected a considerable army, with which he
conquered Kidwelly and Carnwallyon, and destroyed the
castle at the latter place by fire ; in revenge of which the
bailiffs and citizens of Carmarthen set fire to his town.
From Carnwallyon he proceeded to Gower, and having
first reduced the castle of Llychwr, he attacked the castle
of Hugh Miles at Talebont (in Pembrokeshire), where
the garrison attempted to hold it against him ; but Res
obtained it by force, passing the castle and garrison
through fire and sword. The following day he marched
towards the castle of Ystum Llwynarth in Senghenyth,
and from fear of him the garrison burned the town. But
without being diverted from his purpose he proceeded to

1 Brut-y-Tywysogion.


the castle and encamped about it that night ; and the
next day he gained possession of it and destroyed it. In
the course of a three days' campaign he thus reduced all
the castles of Grower, and returned victoriously home.
Res Grig was now liberated from the King's prison, after
having given his son and two other hostages in his stead. 1
Giles de Braose, the Bishop of Hereford, at this time also
made his peace with the King, by the Pope's command-
ment, and died at Gloucester on his return homeward
(Nov. 13). His acquisitions seem to have gone to his
brother Reginald, which Reginald is said by some to have
married a daughter of Llewelyn ap Jerwerth, but she was
certainly not the mother of his children. 2 Shortly after-
wards Llewelyn and the other Welsh Princes collected a
great army at Carmarthen on the feast of the Conception
of the Blessed Virgin (Dec. 8); and before five days were
over they took the castle and razed it to the ground, the
English garrison having fled in alarm without striking a
blow in its defence, and afterwards demolished the castles
of Llanstephan, Talacharn, and St. Clare. From thence,
on the eve of the feast of St. Thomas (December 20), they
proceeded to Cardigan ; and winning the new castle in
Emlyn the men of Cemaes did homage to Llewelyn, and
the castle of Trevdraeth (or Newport) was delivered up
to him, and by general consent was demolished. And
when the garrison of Aberystwith saw that they could
not maintain the castle, they delivered it up to Llewelyn
on the feast of St. Stephen (Dec. 26) ; and the following
day, the feast of St. John the Apostle (Dec. 27), the
castle of Cilgerran was delivered to him. After which
Llewelyn and all the Welsh Princes that were with him
returned to their countries happy and joyful with victory.
The Princes who took part in this expedition were
Llewelyn ap Jerwerth, Prince of Gwyneth, and Howel
ap Griffith ap Cynan, and Llewelyn ap Meredith ap
Cynan, from Gwyneth ; Wenwynwyn ap Owen Cyveilioc,
Meredith ap Robert of Kedewen, the family of Madoc ap

l Brut-y-Tywysogion ; Annales Cambriae. The Earl of Pembroke received orders,
on June 13, to receive certain hostages, and then to liberate Res Boscanus (Res
Vychan ?). Clark's Earls of Pembroke. By the act of Magna Charta (17 Joh. June 15,
1216) it was stipulated that the Welsh hostages were to be set at liberty, and all lands,
&c., illegally seized from the Welsh were to be restored (Rymer's Fsedera).
2 Brut-y-Tywysogion ; Annales de Dunstaplia. See page 82 note


Griffith Maelor (of Bromfield), and the two sons of
Madoc ap Cadwallon, from Powis; and out of South
Wales Maelgon ap Res, Res Grig, and Res ivanc and
his brother Owen, the two sons of Griffith ap Res. In
the course of this year they subjugated the whole of the
counties of Cardigan and Carmarthen (including the
commots of Kidwelly and Carnwyllion and the district
of Gower which had long been in the hands of the
English) with the upper portion of Pembroke and parts
also of Brecknock and Radnor.

In the following year, 1216, there was a partition of
land between Maelgon ap Res, and his brother Res Grig,
and Res and Owen, the sons of Griffith ap Res, at
Aberdovey, in the presence of Llewelyn ap Jerwerth
and the other Welsh Princes. To Maelgon were allotted
three cantrevs of Dyvet Gwarthav, namely, Penllwynog
(or Pebidioc), Cemaes, and Emlyn, with the castle of
Cilgerran ; likewise of Ystrad Ty wi, the castle of
Llandovery, with three commots, namely, Hirvryn,
Mallaen, and Maenor Bydvai (or Myddvai); and of
Cardigan, the two commots of Gwynnionith and

To Res ivanc and his brother Owen were allotted the
castle of Aberteivi (or Cardigan), and the castle of Nant
yr Arian (or Silverdale) and three cantrevs of Cardigan.
And to Res Grig were allotted the whole of cantrev Mawr,
except Mallaen, and the cantrev Bychan, except Hirvryn
and Bydvai; and to him also came Kidwelly and
Carnwyllion. 1

1 Brut-y-Tywysogion ; compared with Powel's History (folio ed. of 1811); and
Jones' History of Wales. Nantyrarian is situate in the parish of Llanbadarn Vawr,
co. Cardigan (fiees 1 History of Cwuihir Abbey, p. 32). Prince Llewelyn ap Jerwerth
appears to have acted as something more than Umpire or President on this occasion.
The subdivision of the Principalities of South Wales and Powys had greatly reduced
the power of their hereditary Princes, and the supremacy of Llewelyn seems to have
now been generally acknowledged by them whenever the Welsh were in a position to
repudiate the King's authority. The continued encroachments of the English, who
were gradually extending their possessions over the Welsh borders, had doubtless done
much to efface that spirit of rivalry and jealousy which had previously existed between
the people as well as the Princes of North and South Wales, and which is well illus-
trated by the following story related by Yorke in his " Royal Tribes of Wales." When
David ap Owen Gwynoth, Prince of the North (the immediate predecessor of Llewelyn
ap JVnverth), had honourably received some fugitives from the South, his courtiers
insisted that it was too much condescension on his part to receive the subjects of a rival
Prince, who would uot shew the least respect to any of his. Upon which
David swore with a great oath that he would not rest until he should be satisfied



In order to understand this apportionment of territory
we must follow the more ancient divisions of Carmarthen
instead of those contained in the survey of Prince
Llewelyn ap Griffith. According to the latter, which are
those usually adopted by the Welsh historians, 1 the
country was divided into four cantrevs or hundreds; but
according to the more ancient division, which is preserved
in the Myfyrian Archaeology as well as the other, 2 it
was only divided into three ; namely cantrev Mawr,
cantrev Bychan, and cantrev Eginiog. That which is
called in the later survey the cantrev Ffiniog is here
called the cantrev Bychan or small cantrev, while the
cantrev Bychan of the later division is here contained in
the cantrev Mawr or great cantrev.

The larger cantrev Mawr contained seven comrnots,
namely Mallaen, Caeo, and Maenor Deilo (which formed
the cantrev Bychan of the later division) as well as the
commots of Cethinioc, Mab Elved, Mab Uchtryd, and
Widigada, being the whole country north of the Towy.

The cantrev Bychan contained three commots, Hirvryn,
Derfedd (or Pertieth) and Iscennen, (which three commots
formed the cantrev Ffiniog of the later division).

The cantrev Eginiog contained three commots, Cydweli

whether the Lord Res of South Wales -would not honourably receive some messengers
sent by him to his court. It was some time before he could meet with a person who
would undertake the trial. But at length Gwgan of Caereinion in Powysland set off
on the embassy ; and when he reached the court of the Lord Res he found him in a
furious temper, beating his servants and hanging his dogs. Gwgan, feeling that this
was not a proper time to appear before him, wisely delayed his message until the
following day ; and then in a long speech, still extant in MS., he let the noble descend-
ant of Res ap Tudor Mawr know that he came from David ap Owen of North Wales,
of the stock of the Royal Cynan, to pay his friendly respects to him ; and if he was
well received he was commissioned to thank the Lord Res ; if not he was commissioned
to act on the reverse. The Lord of South Wales asked Gwgan in what way his
honourable reception could be shewn. Gwgan replied, " By giving me a horse better
than my own to carry mo home ; by giving me five pounds in money and a suit of
clothes ; by giving my servant who leads my horse by the bridle a suit of clothes and
one pound." " Come in," said the Lord Res, " I will give thee the noblest steed in
my stud, for the sake of thy Royal Master ; and above thy demand 1 will double the
sums of money and treble the suits of apparel." Which promise was performed, and
Gwgan returned to his country to the mutual satisfaction of both Princes.

1 Powel's Hist, folio ed. p. 32. "Warrington's Hist, of Wales, map in the ed. of 1788,
Vol. I. Jones' Hist. Wai., p. 108. 2 Myf. Archseol., Vol. II, p. 606, et. seq., as quoted
in the Beauties of England and Wales (p. 261). It is there stated that there are two
accounts given of the Divisions of Carmarthenshire, in the time of Llewelyn ap
Griffith, the last Prince of "Wales; namely that in which it is divided into four
cantrevs and that in which it is divided into three, as shewn in my text ; see also page
35 note. The writer of the Brut appears to have recognized the later division into four
eantrevs, when, under the year 1201, he describes the castle of Llandovery as being
in the cantrev Bychan.


(or Kid welly), Carnwyllion, and Gwyr (or Gower), which
last is now in Glamorganshire.

In like manner the land of Cardigan was .divided into
four cantrevs, namely, Penwedic, Canol, Castell, and
Syrwen or Hirwain.

The cantrev Penwedic contained three commots,
Geneurglyn, Creuddyn, and Pervedd.

The cantrev Canol contained three commots, Anhunog,
Mefenydd, and Penarth.

The cantrev Castell contained two commots,
Mabwynion and Caerwedros.

The cantrev Syrwen contained two commots,
Gwinionydd and Iscoed.

The land of Dyvet (-then called West Wales by the ,
English and now Pembrokeshire) was divided into eight
cantrevs, namely, Arberth, Daugleddau, Y Coed, Penfro,
Rhos, Pybidioc, Cemaes, and Emlyn.

The cantrev Arberth contained three commots, Penrhyn,
Estrolef, and Talacharn.

The cantrev Daugleddau contained three commots,
Amgoed, Pennant, and Iselfre.

The cantrev Y Coed contained two commots,
Llanhauaden and Castell Gwys (or Wiston).

The cantrev Penfro contained three commots, Coed yr
Haf, Maenor Byrr, and Penfro.

The cantrev Rhos contained three commots, Hwlfford
(or Haverford West), Castell Gwalchmai, and Y Garn.

The cantrev Pybidioc contained three commots,
Mynyw, Pencaer, and Pybidioc.

The cantrev Cemaes contained three commots, Uwch
Nefer, Is Nefer, and Trefdraeth.

The cantrev Emlyn contained three commots, Uwch
Euch, Is Euch, and Lleffethr.

In this partition of South Wales between the descend-
ants of the Lord Res it will be seen that the largest share
fell to Maelgon, who had the three Northern cantrevs of
Dyvet, with two commots of Cardigan, and the three
(or rather two) commots which formed the Eastern portion


of Carmarthen. 1 The remainder of Carmarthen was made
over to Res Grig, with the exception of Gower which
was probably never fairly won from the English, though
laid waste by hostile incursions of the Welsh. The land
of Cardigan was apportioned to Res and Owen, with the
exception of the commots of Mabwynion and Gwyn-
nionyth, which intercepted the Southern commot of
Iscoed from the remainder of their territory.

I presume that the five remaining cantrevs of Dyvet
still remained substantively under the English rule, though
liable to frequent attacks and spoliations from the Welsh.

Towards the close of this year, namely, on October 19,
1216, King John died at Newark, while making prepara-
tion to oppose Louis of France, who had been invited to
come over to England by some of the English Barons.

Henry III, a child of nine years old, was crowned
King; upon whose accession many of the Barons returned
to their allegiance. And in the year 1217 Reginald de
Braose became reconciled to the King, without the know-
ledge of Llewelyn. "When young Res and Owen,
the sons of Griffith ap Res, saw that their uncle was
going against the treaty which he had entered into with
the good men of England and Wales, they wrested the
whole of Buellt 2 from him except the castles. Then also
Llewelyn ap Jerwerth Prince of Gwyneth became angry
with Reynold de Bruce (de Braose) ; and, breaking the
treaty, he directed his army towards Brecknock, and com-
menced by attacking Aberhodni, 3 which he intended
wholly to destroy. And thereupon the men of the town
made peace with Llewelyn through means of young Res,
who became an accepted arbitrator between them, by de-
livering five hostages to Llewelyn of the gentlemen of the
town [as a pledge] that they would pay him a hundred

l The lordship of Maenor Bydvai, Mydfai, or Mothvey, which was assigned to
Maelgon, originally formed a portion of the commot of Mallaen ; so that he will have
had but two entire commots of Carmarthen. But the term " commot" seems to have
been used to describe a separate Manor or Lordship, so that when the original commot
was divided we find the term applied to the moieties as well as to the whole ; as, for
.example, in the case of the commot Iscoed Isherwern or Bisberwern, which was that
part of the commot Iscoed, in Cardiganshire, which was attached to the castle of Car-
digan after it came into the King's hands. 2 Buellt Bualt or Builth was the Southern
cantrev of the district anciently known as the principality of Fferlys. It lay to the
north of the ancient lordship of Brecknock, and now forms a part of that county, though
it was formerly reckoned to the territory of Powis Wenwynwyn. 3 Aberhodni was
the chief town of the land of Brecknock. It was situated in the commot of Trahaeru
and cantrev Selyf.


merks, because they were unable to oppose him. And
from thence he conducted his army to Grower over the
black mountain, where many sumpters were endangered ;
and then he encamped at Llangiwg. When Reynold de
Bruce observed the devastation that Llewelyn was com-
mitting in his territory, he took six noble knights with
him, and came to give himself up to the disposal of
Llewelyn, who gave him the castle of Senghenyth, which
Llewelyn had entrusted to the custody of Res Grig." 1
After remaining there a few days Llewelyn led his army
towards Dy vet, against the Flemings ; and came as far
as Cevn Cynwarchan, where messengers met him from
the Flemings entreating for terms of peace. But the
Prince was not to be deterred from his purpose. He
advanced to Haverford West, and surrounded the town
with his troops for the purpose of besieging it. "And
thereupon young Res, at the head of a body of the men
of the South, of whom he was leader, went through the
river Cleddy, and approached the town, having that
retinue with him, in order to attack the town first. And
then Jerwerth, Bishop of Menevia, accompanied by many
of the religious and clergy, came to the Prince and
proposed to him terms of peace. And these were the
terms, namely, that they should give the Prince twenty
hostages from Rhos and Pembroke, of the noblest ; that
they would pay him a thousand merks by next Michaelmas ;
or otherwise they should do homage to him by that time,
and should hold under him for ever. And, after that,
every one returned to his country. And in that interval
pacification was declared between Henry King of
England, and Louis, son of the King of France." 2

2 Brut-y-Tprysogion.



The ardour had now subsicted with which the English
nobles had at first engaged in the cause of Prince
Louis of France. The great talents of the Protector
Earl of Pembroke enabled him to seize the fortunate
moment, and succeed in drawing back to their allegiance
the revolted Barons. In the treaty of peace which ensued,
in the September of 1217, the Welsh and the Scots were
alike included, on condition that they should restore all
the places which they had seized during the war. 1
Llewelyn came to Hereford on the octaves of St. Martin
(Nov. 18), probably for the purpose of negociating his
peace. But the King was unable to meet him, and Hugh
Mortimer was sent to escort the Welsh Prince to North-
ampton, (provided that he came to that city and were
absolved from the sentence of excommunication,) where
he and those that came with him were to do homage to
the King. 2 It does not appear that Llewelyn paid any
regard to this summons; for at this time the Earl of
Pembroke fought against Caerleon and took it. "And
then Res Grig destroyed the castle of Senghenyth and all
the castles of Gower. And he expelled the English
population that were in that country entirely, so that they
had no hope ever to return back, taking as much pro-
perty as he chose, and placing Welshmen to dwell in the
lands." 3

On March 11, 1218, however, Llewelyn attended the
King's summons to appear before him at Worcester,
where he did homage in the presence of the council and
of the Pope's legate who absolved him. 4 On this occasion
he ratified by oath the conditions of the treaty of peace,
and promised, as far as lay in his power, to restore to the
King the castles of Carmarthen and Cardigan with their
respective domains, as well as all other lands and castles

1 & 2 Rymer's Fsedera. 3 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 4 The King came from Tewkes-
bury to Worcester on that day, and remained there till the 1 7th of the same month
(MS. Itinerary of Hen. Ill, at the Salt Library, Stafford).


which had been taken from Henry's vassals in South
Wales during the late war. He engaged himself to use
every means in his power to induce all the Welsh Barons
to do homage to Henry as their liege lord ; and further
pledged himself to receive none of the King's enemies
under his protection, and to revenge all injuries done to
the King as though they were done to himself. 1 Llewelyn
now received from the legate, in the presence of William
Mareschal, the castles of Cardigan and Carmarthen to be
held by him during the King's minority as the Royal
Bailiff. 2 "And then young Res himself, and all the
Princes, from South Wales, went" 3 to the court of the
King at Woodstock 4 to do their homage.

I suppose that most of the lands which had been
recovered by the Welsh in the late wars were now given
up to the English ; so that Kidwelly, Carnwyllion, and
Gower would have thus reverted to their Norman lords ;
and, assuming the Earl of Pembroke and the Lord of
Kemeys to have been re-instated in their former posses-
sions, Maelgon will have retained but little of Dyvet,
perhaps only the Lordships of Emlyn and Estrolof (or

In the following year, namely, on Sunday, April 14,
1219, died William Mareschal (I), the great Earl of Pem-
broke, 5 who was succeeded by his son William Mareschal
(II). In this year also Res Grig married (Joane), daugh-
ter of the Earl of Clare 6 (that is, Richard de Clare, 4th
Earl of Hertford, who was sometimes called Earl of Clare).
And John de Braose married Margaret, the daughter of
Prince Llewetyn. 7

The unhappy feuds between the Welshmen and their
border neighbours, which had been fomented during the
baronial contests, were by no means extinguished by the
treaties of peace which ensued. The English and Welsh

1 Rymer's Fzedora. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion, and Clark's Earls and Castle of Pem-
broke. 3 Bmt-y-Ty wysogion. * "Rot. Pat. 2 Hon. Ill, part 1, m. 3 (Record Office
Calendar) . This homage would prohably have been received on the 25th or 26th of May,
as these are the only days on which we find the King at Woodstock (MS. Itin. Hen. III).
5 Clark's Earls of Pembroke, p. 42. William Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, the guar-
dian of King Henry III and Protector of the Realm during the King's minority, was
created Earl Marshall of England in his own right and Earl of Pembroke in consequence
of his marriage with Isabel daughter and heiress of Richard de Clare, surnamed Strong-
bow, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster. By this lady he had six sons, of whom
five in succession became Earls of Pembroke, and five daughters, between whose
descendants his great estates were eventually divided. 6 & 7 Brut-y-Tywyuogion.


were continually at variance on the Southern borders,
where the chatellany of the castles of Cardigan and Car-
marthen would have doubtless been a fruitful source of
contention between Llewelyn and the Earls of Pembroke.
We may suppose these castles to have been left by the
treaty in the hands of Llewelyn as the King's Bailiff. In
May, 1220, a truce between Llewelyn and the new Earl,
William Mareschal (II), was arranged before the King
and his council at Shrewsbury, which was to last until the
morrow of St. Michael (Sept. 30) j 1 and I presume that
this truce would have left them in the same hands.
Whether Cardigan Castle had been at this time entrusted
by Llewelyn to the custody of Res ap Griffith or not, I
cannot tell ; but my surmise is that these two castles were
shortly afterwards taken from the Welshmen by the
English or Flemish settlers ; and thus I would account
for the attack subsequently made upon the latter by the
Welsh Prince. It appears that on the Feast of the Decol-
lation of John the Baptist (August 29, 1220), Llewelyn
ap Jerwerth summoned to him most of the Welsh Princes,
and " collected a vast army to go against the Flemings
of Rhos and Pembroke, because of their breaking the
peace and treaty, which the men of England had made
between the English and the Welsh, by their committing
frequent depredations upon the Welsh and harassing them.
On the first day he attacked the castle of Arberth, which
the Flemings had built after having been formerly des-
troyed by the Welsh ; and he obtained the castle by force
and threw it to the ground, after killing some of the
garrison, burning others, and capturing others. And the
following day he destroyed the castle of Gwys and burned
the town. The third day he came to Haverford, and
burned the whole of the town to the castle gate. And
then he went round Rhos and Dungleddau in five days,
making vast slaughter of the people of the country. And
after making a truce with the Flemings until the calends
of May he returned back joyful and happy." 2

1 Hist. Shrewsbury. The King remained at Shrewsbury from the 6th till the 8th of
May in that year (MS. Itin. Hen. III). 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. The account of
Llewelyn's invasion, in 1220, is thus recorded in the Annals of Dunstaple. "In the
same year thero was a war between Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, and William Mareschal,

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 10 of 31)