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said, that is to say, on the 15th day after the aforesaid
day of John the Baptist, at Worcester, to do to us the
homage and fealty that he owes to us. Witness the king
at Westminster " on the day and year aforesaid. 1

Within two months afterwards, the King's mandate is
issued to Owen commanding him to give up to his uncle
the commot of Crewethyn, in the following words ; " It is
commanded to Owen son of Griffin that he cause his
uncle Maillegon son of Res to have one commot of land,
namely Crewethyn, as it was provided by the discreet
men deputed by the Lord King and Lewelin prince of
North Wales and Earl W. Mareschal, to divide the lands
between his said uncle and himself and Kenaun. But let
him do this without difficulty or delay holding firm peace
with the same Mailgon and other partisans of the said
Lewelin, the King's brother, lest it should be necessary
for the King to put forth a heavier hand for the accom-
plishment of this. Witness the King at Westminster the
3rd day of June," 1225. 2

Llewelyn is called the King's brother as being the hus-
band of Joan the illegitimate daughter of King John.
If the commot of Crewthyn were at this time given over
to Maelgon it is probable that it was afterwards exchanged
with Owen for that of Pennarth, which adjoined his
former territory of Is Ayron. The commot of Pennarth
was certainly in the hands of young Maelgon, the son of
Maelgon, a few years later, and then made the subject of
a further exchange. We hear no more of Kenaun or
Cynan, the son of Howel Sais, in connection with the
land of Cardigan, which was henceforward shared by
Owen and Maelgon and their respective descendants. I

l Rot. Lit, Pat, 9 Hen, III, m. 17 d, 2 Rot, Lit. Claus, 9 Hen. Ill, m. 14 <L


suppose that Maelgon had the land of Is Ayron restored
to him at this time, and that Cynan had the Lordships
of Emlyn and Oisterlof assigned to him as his share of
territory; from which he was subsequently ejected by
Walter Mareschal, in the time of his brother Earl Gilbert,
about the year 1240, on the pretext of his being found
in arms against the King. 1

In the year 1227 Res Grig was taken prisoner by his
son Res Vychan at Llanarth, and only recovered his
liberty at the price of the castle of Llandovery. 2 In the
same year Meredith, Archdeacon of Cardigan, son of the
Lord Res, died in the church of St. Mary at Llanbedr
Tal Pont Stephan, and his body was conveyed to Menevia,
where he was honourably buried by Jerwerth Bishop of
Menevia, in the church of St. David, near the grave of
the Lord Res, his father. 3

The following year, 1228, is remarkable for the cam-
paign of Keri, in which the English were worsted and
William de Braose taken prisoner by Llewelyn. In that
same year I find a grant from the crown of certain land
in Cardigan, for which I am unable to account, unless it
applies to the town of Cardigan and the adjacent commot
of Bisberwern. Adam Robelin and Alexander his brother
pay to the King 10 for half a knight's fee with the
appurtenances in Kardigan which is called the West
Berewic to be held of the King from the Feast of St.
Michael 1228 for five years, rendering for the same to
the King the annual service of two archers in lieu of all
services. 4

At the close of the year 1230 or early in 1231 died the
restless Maelgon at Llannerch Aeron, and was buried in
the chapter house at Strata Florida ; 5 when his territory
descended to his son Maelgon Vychan. His death was
soon followed by that of William Mareschal (II), Earl of
Pembroke, the implacable enemy of the Welsh, who died
on April 6, 1231.

At that time Llewelyn was again in arms against the
English, on account of some dispute with respect to the
land of Buellt and the treatment of his vassal Madoc
Vychan ; and, after destroying several castles in those

i Inq. 16 Ed\r. I, ^ T o. 77. 2 & 3 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 4 Excerpta e Rot. Fin. 12
Hen. Ill, in. 3. 5 Brut-y-Tywysogion.


parts, he marched across South Wales into Gwent and
burned the town of Caerleon upon Usk, but failed to take
the castle, which was held by Morgan ap Howel who was
then in alliance with the English. From thence Llewelyn
proceeded to Neath and Kidwelly and levelled with the
ground the castles at these places. In the meantime
young Maelgon " burned Aberteivi to the gate of the
castle, and slew all the burgesses, and returned victo-
riously, after obtaining a great booty. And then he
returned and broke down the bridge of Aberteivi." 1 He
was now joined by his cousin Owen ap Griffith ap Res,
and some of Llewelyn's men, who proceeded to storm the
fortress, and before many days had passed "they broke
the castle with Engines ; and the garrison was compelled
to quit the walls and surrender the fortress." 2

On Nov. 30, 1231, Res Crec (Grig) was included in a
temporary peace between England and Wales on the side
of Llewelyn. 3 And in this same year, after the death of
William Earl of Pembroke, the Honour of Carmarthen
and Cardigan was bestowed by the King upon Hubert
de Burgh, and his wife Margaret, eldest daughter of
Alexander King of Scotland. 4

The revolt of Richard Earl of Pembroke (brother to
the late Earl) and the other discontented Barons, in the
year 1233, afforded to the Welsh an opportunity of carry-
ing on their warfare with a better prospect of success.
These English Lords, withdrawing from the danger that
threatened them, retired into Wales ; and entered into a
firm league with Llewelyn and the other Welsh Princes ;
by which they mutually bound themselves, under the
most solemn engagements, not to form any treaty, or
conclude a peace, but with the common consent of the
confederacy. 6

Alarmed at this revolt of his Barons, rendered
formidable by their union with the Welsh, Henry con-
vened his military tenants to meet him at Gloucester,
from whence, soon after the feast of the Assumption, in
August, he marched to Hereford, and sent on his defiance
to the Mareschal by the Bishop of St. David's.

In the meantime "the Earl of Pembroke and Owen ap

l & 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 Rym. Faed. < Clark's Earls of Pembroke. 5 War-
rington ; quoting Matthew Paris, p. 326, and Polidore Virgil, p. 301.


Griffith assembled a great army and proceeded against
St. David's and burned it, slaughtering the King's men
who were there in garrison. After which they quickly
reduced the following castles, namely, Cardiff and Aber-
gavenny, Pen Gelli, Blaen Llyvni, and Bwlch y Dinas,
and razed them to the ground, except Cardiff." 1

The King advanced no further than Hereford ; where
finding the country laid waste, and fearing lest his army
might perish for want of provisions, he made good his
retreat from the enemies' territory, and remained some
days at his castle of Grosmont in Monmouthshire.

It was here that the English army, which lay encamped
in the open field, was surprised and attacked in the night
by the Earl of Pembroke who took possession of the
money, provisions, and furniture, belonging to the King's
army, together with five hundred horses, and forced the
confused and terrified soldiers to fly for shelter within the
walls of the castle ; after which the King retired to
Gloucester where he remained until the following spring,
in the hope that his presence on the Borders might be
the means of keeping the malcontents in awe. 2

In the same year Owen ap Griffith, and Maelgon
Vychan ap Maelgon ap Res, and Res Vychan (or Res
Grig), with their sons, and the forces of Llewelyn and
the Earl of Pembroke, made an unsuccessful attempt
against the castle of Carmarthen. After they had besieged
it for three months their efforts were frustrated by Henry
de Turberville, who came to the assistance of the garrison
with many ships and a large army from Bristol.
Turberville ran one of his vessels at high tide against the
temporary bridge which had been erected by the besiegers,
by which means he succeeded in breaking it down, and
thereby caused the death of some 300 of the assailants.
When the survivors perceived that their expedition was
not prospering they abandoned the siege and returned to
their respective homes. 3 Res Grig appears to have been
badly wounded on this occasion, and dying soon after-
wards at Llandeilo Vawr, he "was buried at St. David's,
near the grave of his father." 4 "The same year, Maelgon

1 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 2 Warrington ; quoting Matt. Paris, p. 328 ; and Polidore
Vergil, p. 301. 3 Brut-y-Tywysogion, Annales Cambrise, and Annales de Theokesberia.
* Brut-y-Tywysogion.


Vychan completed the building of the castle of Trevilan,
which had previously been commenced by his father
Maelgon." 1

The lands of Res Grig were apparently divided between
his sons, and chiefly between Res Vychan and Meredith.
The former was certainly his eldest son, but the latter is
in one place described as his son and heir. 2 I have little
doubt that Meredith's mother was Joane, daughter of
Richard de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford, and sister of
Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford 3 (called also Earl
of Clare), who was married to Res Grig in 1219. I have
not been able to discover who was his first wife. In the
Salusbury Pedigrees he has two wives assigned to him,
namely, Jane, daughter of Richard Earl of Clare, and
Elliw, daughter of Thomas ap Gugan ap Bleddyn, Lord
of Brecknock. 4 But as the former is called his first wife
we cannot place much reliance on this statement. The
heralds have also assigned to Res Grig four other sons,
besides the two already mentioned, namely Jerwerth
(from which they derive the families of Ystefin and
Lewis), Howel, and Caradoc. I am unable to verify
these statements. With one exception their names do
not occur among the Magnates of Wales; but I find
a pardon granted to Howel ap Res Grig (Ohelo ap Res
Crek) and his men, dated from the Tower of London on
January 7, 1278. 5

After the King's retreat to Gloucester, the Earl of
Pembroke and his confederates carried on their depre-
dations with renewed vigour ; and in the following year,
1234, they extended their inroads as far as Shrewsbury,
a part of which they laid in ashes. 6 In the meantime
the King remained at Gloucester in helpless inactivity
until after the feast of the Epiphany, when he removed
to Winchester. 7 But his ministers found means to excite
the Earl's vassals in Ireland to a revolt ; so that Pem-
broke had to pass over to that country in haste, attended
by only fifteen knights. Here, after shewing extraordinary

l Brut-y-Tywysogion. The castle of Trevilan was situate in the vale of Ayron and
modern hundred of liar (South division) in Cardigan, just north of the river Ayron, and
7 miles N. by W. from Lampeter (Lewis' Top. Die.). 2 See above page 102. 3 Burke's
Dormant and Extinct Peerage. * Salusbury Pedigrees, copy penes the late Mr. J.
Morris, of Shrewsbury. 5 Kot. Wall. 6-9 Edw. I, m. 12 (de anno sexto). 6 Warring-
ton's Hist. 7 Powel's Hist.


proofs of valour, he was treacherously wounded and taken
prisoner; and, after languishing fourteen days, he died
in confinement, not without suspicion of poison, on April
16, 1234 ; being succeeded .in all his honours by his
brother Gilbert.

Llewelyn was now induced to listen to terms of peace ;
and a treaty was made by which, amongst other things,
it was stipulated that all the Barons, as well English as
Welsh, who were confederated with Llewelyn in the late
war should be received to the King's peace, and re-
established in their honours and estates. 1

This was followed by a period of comparative tran-
quillity, and continued renewals of truce, which lasted for
some years.

During this period, in the year 1235, Owen, son of
Griffith ap Res, died at Strata Florida, on the Wednesday
after the octave of the Epiphany (January 18), and was
buried by the side of his brother Res; 2 " being" says
Powel " a noble Gentleman, and verie well beloved."
He was succeeded in the lordship of Cardigan CJwch
Ayron or North Cardigan by his son Meredith ap Owen.

In this year the Earl of Pembroke had a grant in fee,
from the crown, of the Honour of Carmarthen, and of
certain lands and castles in that county and in Cardigan. 3
It is doubtful whether any of these lands were at this
time in the King's hands ; nor do I think that the Earl
of Pembroke obtained possession of Cardigan Castle till
it was taken from Maelgon by his brother Walter
Mareschal in May 1240.

In the year 1236 died Gwenllian, daughter of Lord
Res the great, and wife of Ednyfed Vychan. 4 The
same Annalist who records her death, and who was pro-
bably a Monk of Strata Florida, incidentally throws a
light upon the seigneural rights of the young Lords of
Cardigan at this time. He tells us that about the
Feast of Michaelmas (1236) Maelgon ap Maelgon went
to Prince Llewelyn and, by payment of a heavy fine,
procured an exchange of lands between himself and
Meredith ap Owen, by which the latter gave to Maelgon
the commot of Mevenyth for that of Pennarth. And no

l "Warrington, compared with Powel and others. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. Clark's
Earls of Pembroke. 4 Annales Oambrise.


sooner was Mevenyth in Maelgon's hands than he pre-
pared to despoil the monks of Strata Florida of their
lands at Strata Meuric, which his ancestors as well as he
himself had given to the said monks. 1

The obituary of the year 1237 records the death of
Cynwric (or Kenwric); that of 1239 the death of
Meredith ddall (or the blind). Both were sons of the
Lord Res, and the last was buried at Whitland Abbey. 2
These brothers are said to have been blinded as youths
by order of King Henry II, in 1165, while helpless
hostages in his hands. 3

i Annales Cambria. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 It is worthy of note that thesa per-
sons survived their merciless sentence "72 and 74 years respectively ; an observation
which suggests that mere infants were given as hostages in the campaign of 1165.




In the year 1238, Prince Llewelyn, who was now
growing old and infirm, convened a meeting of the Welsh
Lords at Strata Florida; where they renewed to him
their oaths of allegiance, and likewise did homage to
David, his son by the Princess Joan, who was preferred
by Llewelyn to his elder son Griffith as his successor.
But the King was so jealous of his authority over Wales,
that he sent him a summons to appear before him at
Worcester, under a safe conduct, to answer for this pro-
ceeding. And Matthew Paris informs us that Prince
Llewelyn, being impotent by reason of a palsy, and sore
disquieted by his son Griffith, sent ambassadors to the
King of England, signifying to him, that forasmuch as
he could not expect to live long, by reason of his age, he
was desirous to lead the remainder of his days in peace
and quietness ; and therefore he now proposed to submit
himself to the government and protection of the King,
of whom he was willing to hold his lands ; promising
withal that, whenever the King required his assistance,
he would serve him, botli with men and money, to the
utmost of his power. 1

Such a peace was afterwards concluded, though in fact
it was nothing more than a continuation of the truce for
another year. Prince Llewelyn died in April, 1240 ; 2
and was succeeded by his son David, who at this time
had his brother Griffith in prison.

In May, 1240, David ap Llewelyn, Prince of North
Wales, attended by his Barons, made his submission to
the King at Gloucester; where a peace was concluded
on the following conditions, namely, that David should
surrender his claim to the independency of North Wales
as well as to such territories as had been claimed by
Griffith ap Wenunwen and other of the King's vassals.
Moreover by this treaty the homages of all the Barons of

1 "Warrington, and Powel. 2 Annalea de Theokesbcria.


Wales were to remain to the King and his heirs, and all
homicides and other injuries were to be mutually forgiven. 1

In this same month Walter Mareschal, who seems to
have been acting for his brother, Earl Gilbert, brought a
great army to Cardigan and strengthened the castle by
building the tower. 2 And about this time he took pos-
session of certain lands pertaining to the Honour of
Carmarthen in the name of his brother Gilbert. 3 These
lands were, doubtless, the Lordships of Emlyn and
Oisterlof, from which he ejected Cynan ap Howel the
Welsh Lord thereof ; 4 a fuller account of which lawless
transaction will be given in a future page.

During this time the Lords of South Wales were left
to defend themselves as best they could against the attacks
of their English neighbours ; and we find Maelgon shortly
afterwards complaining to the King and his council of
the treatment he had received at the hands of Gilbert,
Earl of Pembroke, with whom he seems to have been at
one time in treaty.

We have a full account of this transaction in the Plea
Roll for the morrow of St. Michael 25 Hen. Ill (Septem-
ber 30, 124 1), 5 from which we learn that G. Marescall
Earl of Pembroke was summoned to appear before the
King to answer to the said King and to Meylgon son of
Melgon why he took the homage of the said Meylgon,
against his will, for all his lands between the rivers of
AY run and Tywy which the said Meylgon ought to hold
of the King in capite, as all his ancestors had held them
of the King's ancestors, being Kings of England, and for
which the same Meylgon had already done homage to the
King himself.

To which summons the Earl appeared and made
answer, that he and Meylgon had entered into confedera-
tion, and he proffered a certain writing in which it was
contained that a certain compact had been made between
the said Earl and the aforesaid Meylgon, to the effect that
Res the son of Meylgon should marry Isabella daughter

l Warrington ; Appendix to Towel's Hist. (ed. of 1774). On this occasion
Henry girded his nephew David ap Llewelyn with a knightly sword, and conceded to
him all the lands which his father had lawfully held ; and David wore the lesser Diadem,
which is called "garlonde," the "insigne" of the Principality of North Wales,
subjecting himself for all that he held, however, to the King of England (Annales
de Theokesheria) ; Rymer's Faedera. 2 & 3 Annales Cambriae. 4 Inq. 16 Edw. I,
Is'o. 77. 5 Abbreviatio Placitorum, p. 108.


of the said Earl, and that as well the said Meylgon as the
aforesaid Res and his heirs should hold all the aforesaid
lands, except the Castle of Kardigan and the commot of
Hishirwen, which the said .Earl had of the King's gift,
of the said Earl and his heirs, saving the fealty of both
towards King Henry himself, for ever, and thereupon
he received his homage.

He was asked by what warrant he did this. He replied
that he did it by virtue of the King's gift of the castle of
Kardigan and the commot with the appurtenances. And
he said that when the King gave him the aforesaid castle
neither the King himself was in seizin thereof nor yet the
said Earl. But after Llewelyn was dead, the aforesaid
Meylgon being not at that time in the King's fealty,
the said Earl, by virtue of the aforesaid gift, sent his
brother Walter with an army against Meylgon, who took
from him all the said lands. And he said it was true that
the King and his ancestors had always been accustomed
to hold the aforesaid lands in the same way that he now
held them, and even in time of peace. And moreover he
said that when he delivered up to the King the Honour of
Aquila the King conceded to him all his castles, lands,
and tenements, and all his tenures with their appur-
tenances which he held 011 that day, namely, on the
Vigil of Saint Botolph, as well in England as in Wales.
And to this the Roll of the Chancellor bore witness, in
which was recorded the King's charter which the Earl
then received. And he affirmed that he was in possession
of the aforesaid castle of Kardigan and the commot and
all the aforseaid lands on the aforesaid Vigil of St.
Botolph. And he sought that this might be allowed him.
And if that plea would not avail he had more to say.

And Meylgon appeared and said it was true that he had
done homage to the Earl for the aforesaid lands, and
that it had been so arranged between them under the
aforesaid compact, as it had been stated, but that he
did it under the force and compulsion of the Earl. He
urged that, whatever he might have done under force
and compulsion, he ought nevertheless to hold all the
aforesaid lands, except the castle of Cardigan and the com-
mot, of the Lord King in capite. And he proffered a charter
of King John, the father of the King that now is, which


testified that the said King John conceded, and by his
charter confirmed, to Meylgon the son of Res the iiij can-
treds which are called Kardigan, except the castle of Kar-
digan and the commot called Jiishirwen which the afore-
said Meylgon gave up to the said King John for two hun-
dred marks which he paid him ; and that he conceded
and confirmed to the same Meylgon the castle of Kilgaren
and Emelin to have and to hold to the aforesaid Meylgon
and his heirs, &c. He also proffered another charter of
the same .King which testified in like manner that the
same King conceded and confirmed to the aforesaid Meyl-
gon son of Res the aforesaid iiij cantreds, as well those
that were his of right as the others that he had acquired
or should acquire from the King's enemies, to hold of the
same King and his heirs ; and that the same Meylgon
gave up to the King and quitclaimed to him for ever the
said castle of Cardigan and the commot. Wherefore the
said Meylgon says that the aforesaid Meylgon son of Res,
his father, was enfeoffed by the said King John in all the
aforesaid lands (except the castle of Cardigan and commot
of hishirwen), and that he, after the death of the said
MVylgon his father, was seized of them until the said Earl
occupied them against him by force, and that by that
occupation he is injured to the amount of ten thousand

The Earl repudiated the force and injury, &c., as sup-
ported only by the word of Meylgon himself. And as to
the matter, with which the aforesaid Meylgon charges him,
of having imprisoned him at Kilgaren and compelled him
to make his homage and the aforesaid compact, namely
on the morrow of the birthday of our Lord (December
26, 1240), the Earl was then at Haverford in Wales ;
and he affirmed that Meylgon made his homage and the
aforesaid compact willingly and not by compulsion,
and thereupon he proffered evidence fproducit sectamj.

The Earl also asserted that the said King which now is
gave him the aforesaid castle of Kardigan and commot
with all their appurtenances by his charter of many years
since, and besides he placed himself in seizin of the afore-
said lands as those which were appurtenant to the afore-
said castle and commot, and which the King's bailiffs were
always accustomed to hold as appurtenances to the


aforesaid castle except when the aforesaid Meylgon and his
ancestors had occupied them against the King, as they
had many times done; and so had the King in like
manner (frequently) occupied them against them.

He said moreover that the charters of King John which
the aforesaid Meylgon had produced were void because
neither the aforesaid Meylgon nor his ancestors had
ever, since those charters were made, had seizin of the
aforesaid lands for which he had taken the homage of
Meylgon, except by a violent occupation against the King
and in time of peace, wherefore it seemed to him that
those charters ought not to hurt him.

Meylgon now said that he knew not how to plead
according to the English custom nor had he any counsel
to assist him ; and therefore a day was given him to
deliberate until the morrow. And the same day was
given to the Earl so that he could say anything- else that
he wished on the morrow.

On the morrow the Earl appeared and was asked
whether he wished to say anything else ; and he had
nothing further to say, but he recited what he had before
said. Meylgon also said again that he knew not how to
plead nor had any counsel, but he truly affirmed that his
ancestors had held the aforesaid lands except the castle of
Kardigan and commot of the King in capite and that he
ought to hold them in like manner. And he said that he
was now in seizin of the aforesaid lands, for which he
had done homage to the King, and he sought to hold them

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 12 of 31)