George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman.

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of Griffith ap Llewelyn, the Princes of North Wales.
Owen Goch, the eldest brother, not enduring a rival in
the government, induced David his younger brother to
take part with him against Llewelyn. A battle ensued
in which Llewelyn was victorious, his brother David fled,
and Owen was taken prisoner ; whereupon Llewelyn took
possession of their territories, and from this time forward
held an undivided sway in North Wales.

The obituary for this year records the death of

1 Brut-y-Tywrsogion ; Annales Cambriae. 2 Florence of Worcester. The Festivals
of that period were deemed to commence at sunset of the previous day. St. John's
night would thus be the night of December 26. 3 & 4 Brut-y-Tywysogion.


Margaret, daughter of Maelgon, the wife of Owen ap
Meredith, Lord of Kedewen, who died on the Saturday
next before the Feast of St. Michael (Sept. 25, 1255), and
was buried by the side of her brother, at Strata Florida. 1

In the following year, 1256, Prince Edward came into
Wales to take a survey of his newly acquired castles and
lands. The English Prince took no pains to conciliate
the Welshmen over whom he now claimed jurisdiction,
and whom he affected to treat as a conquered race. The
tyranny and oppression which they endured at his hands
and those of his Lieutenants, the alterations he effected
in their ancient laws, and the cruel manner in which they
were made to feel their galling yoke lashed the Welshmen
into frenzy, and induced them to rise against their foreign
oppressors. After Prince Edward had returned to
England, and about the calends of August (July, 1256),
the Welsh nobles repaired to Llewelyn ap Griffith and
complained of the treatment they had received, how that
they had many of them been deforced of their lands,
" and if at anie time they did offend, they were punished
with extremetie, but where they were wronged they
found no rernedie. Therefore they protested, before God
and him, that they would rather die in the field in defense
of their right than be made slaves by strangers : where-
upon the Prince pitieing his own estate and theirs deter-
mined, together with them, utterly to refuse the rule of
the Englishmen, and rather to die in libertie than to live
in thraldome, shame, and approbie." 2 And so, by their
incitement and advice, Llewelyn invaded the Midland
country [now Denbighshire and Flintshire, which had
been given to Prince Edward by the King] and subdued
the whole of it before the end of the week, except the
castles of Diganwy and Diserth. In this expedition he
was accompanied by Meredith ap Res Grig, who had been
kt ]t out of his lands !>v the machinations of his English
neighbours and his nephew Res Vychan.

Having thus completed his conquest of the Midland
country, Llewelyn occupied the land of Merioneth, which

l Annales Cambria;. In the Brut he is called Owen ap Robert (see note to page 127).
In the same chronicle it is next recorded that the great hell of Strata Florida was
bought for three score and thirty-seven marks and two kine ; and it wa immediately
put up, and consecrated by the Bishop of Bangor. n Powel's History.


he appropriated to himself. 1 And from thence marching-
Southwards he passed the night of the first Monday in
Advent (Dec. 4) at Llampadarn Vawr, and the night
following at Morvamaur. Here he was met by Meredith
ap Owen, whose fealty he received and to whom he con-
ceded those parts of Cardigan which had been usurped
by Prince Edward, together with all the land of Buellt,
of which he had taken forcible possession. Meredith ap
Res was also reinstated by him in the lands of which he
had been deprived, and Llewelyn further conferred upon
him, with an hereditary title to their possession, the lands
of his nephew Res Vychan, from which the latter was
ejected. 2 The Prince concluded his campaign by wrest-
ing from Roger Mortimer the territory of Gwrthryneon,
which he kept in his own hands, and prosperously returned
home after Christmas Day. 3

In the meantime Prince Edward, having failed to
obtain assistance from the King, whose coffers were now
empty, repaired to his uncle Richard, Earl of Cornwall,
from whom he borrowed 4000 with the intention of
punishing the presumption of the Welsh, and waging a
war of extermination against them. But the winter of
that year was so wet and stormy that the whole country
of Wales, being without roads, was quite inaccessible to
the English, and thus Edward's labour and expenditure
of money were altogether in vain. 4

The events of the next year (1257), during which the
Welsh successfully maintained their independence and
kept their enemies at bay, shall be told, for the most part,
in the words of the Welsh Annalist, who records their
exploits at some length.

1 Llewelyn ap Meredith, Lord of Merioneth (whom I take to have been the only son
and hair of that Meredith ap Llewelyn, whose death is recorded as having occurred in
the previous year), was at this time serving on the King's side, as was also his neigh-
bour Griffith ap Madoc, Lord of Bromfield. Mr. Shirley the Editor of " Royal and
other letters illustrative of the reign of Henry III," gives a letter, which was
apparently written at this time, from Llewelyn tip M aredud to the King, in which he prays
the King to make some provision for him until he can recover his land of Meyrcnnid,
from which he had heen ejected by Llewelyn ap Griffith. His death is recorded in
the Welsh Annals as having been slain at the battle of Clunow on April 27, 1263.
2 & 3 Annales Cambrise. It is worthy of remark that the half-yearly allowance
which Meredith ap Res had for many years been receiving from the Sheriff of Shrop-
shire and Staffordshire was paid up to November 3, 1256 ; after which date no such
entry occurs in the Sheriffs accounts. This gives an independent testimony to the date
of the outbreak, which is spoken of by Matthew Paris as Laving occurred about All
Saints' Day. * Matthew


"After the Feast of the Epiphany Llewelyn entered
the territory of Griffith ap Wenwynwyn (the Lord of
Upper Powis, who sided with the English at this period
of the war), and taking up his quarters at Trallwng
(Welshpool) he burned the town, having summoned to
jfiis assistance two of the Lords of South Wales, namely
Meredith ap Owen and Meredith ap Res Grig. On the
other side of the Severn were assembled many English
Barons, namely John 1'Estrange, Griffith ap Wenwynwyn,
(Walter) Malefant, and many others, with the standard
of Prince Edward and a large host of armed men. The
English army now crossed the river and drew up in battle
array on a great field between the Severn and Eberriw.
The Welshmen seeing them prepared for action were
greatly enraged and marched on to the plain with an
innumerable force. And when the English perceived a
strong Welsh army resolutely occupying the field they
were seized with a sudden panic, and, without waiting to
confront the enemy, they ignominiously fled to the town
of Montgomery." Here the Annalist records a disgrace-
ful raid upon the Monks of Alba Domus by Stephen
Bauzan and other English Knights on the Monday next
after the Feast of the Purification, and then proceeds to
inform us that " in the ensuing Lent Llewelyn came with
a great army to the land of Kidwely, Carnwallaon, and
Gower, where he burned all that belonged to the English
in the aforesaid lands, as also in Abertawy, and having
subjugated all the Welshmen thereof he joyfully returned

home before Easter (which fell on April 8 in that year)

In those days certain nobles of Cardigan, namely the two
sons of Eineoii, and William, and the two sons of William
Goch, were killed by the Englishmen of Carmarthen at
Oisterlof." 1

It appears that Res Vychan ap Res Mechyll, on being
ejected from his lands, repaired to the English and sought
their aid to recover his lost possessions. The English
readily availed themselves of this opportunity of pro-
secuting their own aims ; and having raised an army
which was commanded by Stephen Bauzan, they set forth
under the guidance of Res Vychan, and passed the night

l Annalw Cnmhri*.


of the "Wednesday after Pentecost (May 30) at Carmarthen.
From thence " they proceeded on the morrow with many
accoutred horses and implements of Avar prepared to
devastate the land of Stratewy ; and having with some
difficulty reached Llandeilo Vawr they there encamped
for the night under no apprehension of evil. But Mere-
dith ap Owen and Meredith ap Res Grig, the Lords of
Cardigan and Stratewy, assembled with all their forces,
and with great clamour surrounded the English in the
woods and groves and dingles, and annoyed and harassed
them, during the whole of the following day, with arrows
and other weapons of offence. On the Saturday, namely
on the Vigil of the Holy Trinity, being the 2nd of June
(iv. Nonas Junii), Res ap Res Mechyll, who had conducted
the English forces thither, deserted them in their perilous
situation, and secretly fled to the castle of Dynevor with
a few of his own retainers. The English knights, nothing
daunted, defended themselves under their coats of mail
(though such armour could 110 more protect them than
woollen garments, seeing that they placed their trust in
these rather than in God), and having held a council of
war they boldly turned their steps towards Cardigan.
The Welshmen now issued from the woods on every side
and vigourously assailed them from the first hour of the
day until noon. At Coeth Lathen the English lost all
their provisions with their baggage horses and palfreys,
to the great joy of their assailants. And about noon the
Welshmen, having skirmished with the retreating enemy
as far as Kemereu in Stratewy, rushed upon the English
soldiers and manfully cut them down from their armed
steeds, causing them to be trampled under the feet of
the cavalry, infantry, and horses in the marshes, dikes,
and trenches ; so that more than 3000 Saxons fell in that
day. Few, indeed, if any of the armed knights escaped
from that battle, and the Welshmen, safe and unharmed,
returned victoriously home with great spoils, including
many caparisoned horses and much armour, for which
they gave thanks to God." 1

We must always make some allowance for exaggeration
in the numbers given as killed and wounded on these

i Annales Cambriae. Sir Stephen Bauzan, Bazun, Bawson, Bawcen, Bacon, or
"Baiocis (for his name is thus variously spelt), who was slain at the battle of Kemereu,


occasions. Powel, who follows the Brut, places the
English loss at upwards of 2000 ; and calls the engage-
ment as " bloody a battle as ever was fought in Wales of
so many men." We learn from the Brut that Res
Vychan was seized by the garrison on reaching the castle
of Dynevor.

On the day after the battle, being Trinity Sunday, there
were slain of the English at Gower 1 94 men and six women. 1

After this the Welsh Princes marched to Dyvet and
destroyed the castles of Abercoran, Llanstephan, Nar-
berth, and Maenclochog, and set fire to the towns. 2

I have some difficulty here in verifying the dates of
the Brut, but I suppose it must have been during this
series of successes on the part of the Welsh that some
kind of reconciliation was effected between Meredith ap
Res and his nephew Res Vychan, which is said to have
taken place about the Feast of St. John the Baptist, after
which they jointly attacked Trevdraeth (or Newport) ;
and then, taking Meredith ap Owen along with them,
they invaded Rhos, and burned all the country except
Haverford. From thence they marched to Glamorgan,
and after reducing and taking the castle of Llangeneu
they returned home, having killed many and captured
others. And then Maelgon Vychan died, and was buried
in the chapter house of Strata Florida. 3

This Maelgon (II) and his father had both of them
been patrons and supporters of this Fraternity. Maelgon
(I), as " Mailyun fil. Resi principis South Wall." confirmed
the donations of his father Res, the founder, by his
charter dated 11 KV Fcbritarii 1198 ; to which confirma-
tion young Res ap Griffith, his nephew, was the first
witness " qui hanc donationem nostrum sua donations robo-
ravit" The monks had already had a previous confirm-
ation from Res ap Res (the brother of Maelgon) dated

was the eon of Hugh de Baiocis, Lord of that Barony in the county of Lincoln, and
hrother and heir of John de Baiocis who died in 1248. Besides his lands in Wales he
held of the King in eapite landrin the counties of Lincoln, Dorset, and Northampton.
Meyrick says that Sir Stephen Bawson had a grant of Brigan, in Llausannor, from
Richard, Earl of Gloucester, and built a house there. He certainly held one and a half
knight's fees in Hemingstrasse, co. Pembroke. After his death, in 1257, Agues, hia
widow, had a lease from the King in that year, for a term of six years, of the vill and
hundred of Wolton, co Oxon (Anh. Camb. 4th series, Vol V. Original documents). In
the Annals of Tewkesbury it is stated that the only two who survived this battle were
Nicholas de St. Martin and Itoger de Leyboune, of whom the former was taken prisoner.

1 Annales Cambria?. 2 & 3 Brut-y-Tywysogion.


19 KV JanuariillQS ; and with a commendable prudence
they also obtained a similar charter from the young Lord
Res in 1202, who as " Resus filius Griffini filii Resi Magni"
confirms the donations of his father Griffith, and those of
his grandfather Res and all his sons, to which deed his
mother Matilda and others are witnesses. In the deed
he states that he has confirmed this gift with the first seal
that he has ever used, and that before this charter he had
never given another to any man, neither had he had any
seal before this with which he had confirmed this charter.
The charter of Maelgon Junior, son of Maelgon ap Res
is witnessed by the Lord Maelgon (his father) and Morgan
ap Res. 1

Maelgon Vychan, the son of Maelgon ap Res, is said
by the heralds to have married Angharad, daughter of
Prince Llewelyn ap Jerwerth, by his wife Joan, illegiti-
mate daughter of King John. 2 He was succeeded in his
possessions by his grandson Llewelyn ap Res ap Maelgon. 3

The ravages of the Welsh had now become so serious
as to rouse the King to a mighty effort for their repres-
sion. On July 18, 1257, he summons his military
tenants to appear with horse and arms at Bristol on the
octaves of St. Peter ad Vincula (Aug. 8), informing them
that one part of his army would have to meet him at
Chester and the other part to proceed from Bristol against
the Welshmen of South Wales for the purpose of putting
down the enemy in that quarter ; 4 and on August 6 we
find the King himself at Chester, where he remained till
the 18th. On the 23rd he was in camp at Rhuddlan, on
the 25th at Abergele, on the 27th at Gannok, where he
remained till the 4th of September, and on September 1 1
he was in camp at Disserth in Flintshire. 5

This costly expedition, however, brought no honour to
the English arms. During all this time the Welshmen
of the North held their own against the King ; and Henry
disgusted with the campaign returned to Chester on the
12th of September, leaving the field to Llewelyn.

The army which had been despatched into South
Wales, under the command of the Earl of Gloucester
appears to have met with no better success ; but the

1 Harl. MS. 6068, fo. 10. 2 Her. Vis. Wai., Vol. II, p. 99. 3 Inq. p.m. 7 Edw. I,
No. 76. 4 Kymer's Ffedera. 5 MS. Itin. Hen. III.


diplomacy of Henry's Ministers was more effective, for
they succeeded in seducing- Meredith ap Res from his
Welsh allegiance. It is probable that Res Vychan, his
nephew, who had been taken prisoner by the garrison of
the castle of Dynevor, whither he had fled on the night
before the battle of Kemereu, had since made his peace
with Llewelyn, who may have allowed him to re-enter
upon some of the lands of which he had been despoiled
in the previous year in favour of his kinsman Meredith.
Such an arrangement, though seemingly acquiesced in at
the time, would have naturally been unacceptable to
Meredith ap Res and probably produced a feeling of
resentment against Llewelyn. At any rate we find him
at this time in treaty with the English ; and on October
18, 1257, he had a pardon conceded to him, by charter
dated at Westminster, wherein the Bang promises that
he will not receive to his peace either Llewelyn ap Griffith,
or Meredith ap Owen, or Res junior, until Res ap Mere-
dith shall have been first consulted with. 1

On the same day, for his faithful service, the King con-
cedes to him the two commots of Mebeweniaun and
Wenionith in Cardiganshire, which belonged to Meredith
ap Owen. 2 By a second charter of the same date the
King also concedes to Meredith ap Res all the land which
he now holds, namely, Hyrhrin, and Matheyn with the
castle also of Lanemdeyry(Llandovery), commot Pertieth,
and Ikenn (Iscennen) with the castle of Droysleyn,
Emelyn, and Estrelef, with the new castle, and Maynahur
Lonsawil, and Maniaur inter Turth and Kothy, and the
whole land of Kayo. He also concedes to him all the land of
Res junior, namely Mabuderith, and Mabelneu (Mabelfed),
and Meynaur Teylau ( Manor Deilo), Ketheynauth (Ceth-
inioc), and Meynaur filiorum Seysild (Widigadaf?) with
the castles of Dinevor and Karrekemien (Carregcennen)
witli all their appurtenances for ever. 3

Proposals for peace were now made by the Welsh
Princes on the following terms, namely, that they should
retain their own laws and customs, and pay a sum of
money to the King and acknowledge his sovereignty, but

l Cal. Rot. Pat. 41 Hen. Ill, m. 1. Res ap Meredith was the name of the son of
Meredith ap lies ; but it is doubtful whether the name should not be read as Meredith
ap Res, who would have been the party more immediately concerned. & 3 Rot.
Chart. 41 H>n. Ill, m. 1.


that no allegiance should be due to Prince Edward.
These proposals were rejected by the King; and hostili-
ties were continued through the winter. 1

A contemporary writer describes the Marches of Wales
at the beginning of the following year as being literally
reduced to a desert. 2 It would seem that Meredith ap
Res kept his own counsel with respect to his dealings
with the English, and that he was at this time acting a
double part ; for on March 8, 1258, was formed the
famous convention between the magnates of Scotland and
Wales, by which they all bound themselves, under the
most solemn vows, never to forsake one another or to
make their peace with the King of Elngland unless by
mutual consent; and to this compact " Maredud fil. Res"
was a party as well as his relations " Maredud fil. Ovener"
and " Res Junior." 3 But oaths appear to have imposed
but little restraint upon this fickle chieftain. Meredith
ap Res was the first to desert the confederacy, and before
the close of the same year we find him employed on
behalf of the English as a commissioner to settle terms of
peace with the Welsh.

In the meantime both Welsh and English took every
opportunity that occurred of annoying and harassing
each other. On the Monday after the Octaves of Easter
(April 1, 1258), the Englishmen of Pembroke and Ros
had the temerity to enter Kemmaes from whence they
took a great booty and slew there two Welsh nobles,
namely William Techo and Henry Goeth (or Gorh).
Whereupon the men of Kemmaes and Plumauc surrounded
the English with great noise, and having strenuously
attacked them compelled them to retire with the loss of
many lives and much spoil. Henry Wingan, the constable
of Narberth, and the son of Philip de Brut (le Bret?)
were among those who were slain on this occasion. 4 Soon
after this time Meredith ap Res Grig did homage and
fealty to the King, thus openly repudiating his allegiance
to Llewelyn.

The defection of Meredith vas deeply resented by the
Welsh Princes. Llewelyn anrl the Lords of South Wales
immediately repaired to Istradtywi and reduced all his

l Warrington'i Hist, i Matthew Paris, s Ry m . Faed. 4 Annales Cambria?.


lands to subjection with the exception of the castles.
After which they encamped at Kid welly, and when they
had set fire to all the houses but the castle they were
surprised by Meredith ap Res and the Lord Patric
(de Chaworth) who suddenly came down upon them with
a body of Englishmen from Carmarthen. A vigorous
battle took place, in which several were killed and
wounded on either side, and Meredith received a severe
wound near to the Bridge. The Welshmen were even-
tually victorious, and Meredith and his English allies
were constrained to make their escape to Carmarthen,
leaving their killed and wounded behind them. Amongst
those who were slain on the Welsh side was David ap
Howel, a nobleman of Arustli, who was honourably
interred at Strata Florida. 1

The time was now come when the English Barons
deemed it necessary to make open resistance to the King
and his foreign favourites ; and the supposition that the
Barons were in secret league with the Welsh is strength-
ened by the circumstance that the latter now made
eager proposals for peace. It may be observed that their
ravages had been for the most part restricted to the lands
and possessions of Prince Edward and some of the Lords
Marchers who were zealous Royalists. In the spring of
1258 Henry again summoned his Barons to attend him.
into Wales. They answered with complaints of the
fatigues and losses which they had already sustained in
this service ; yet after a brief and stormy meeting at
Westminster they all came in warlike array to the
Parliament held at Oxford in July, with the excuse that
they must necessarily be in readiness to march against
the Welsh. This Parliament may be considered as the
proclamation of war on the part of the Barons. The
messengers of Prince Llewelyn were conducted to it by
Peter de Montfort, and a truce for one year was concluded
on the 17th July.'

In order to confirm or enlarge this truce, or to conclude
a peace on a more solid basis, Prince Edward sent Patric
de Chaworth, the King's Seneschal at Carmarthen (to
whom the Lordship of Kidwelly had been confirmed by
the King, provided that he could win it and keep it for

l Annales Cambriae. 2 Wright's History of Ludlow.



himself), and with him Meredith ap Res, to treat with
the Welsh commissioners at Emlyn. 1

According to Powel, who refers to Matthew Paris as
his authority, Llewelyn, " meaning good faith, sent his
brother David, with Meredith ap Owen and Res ap Res,
to entreat with them of peace, but Patrrc, meaning to
entrap them, laid an ambushment of armed men by the
waie, and as they should have met, these men fell upon
the Welshmen and slew a great number of them ;" but
the Lords who escaped raised the country forthwith and
amply revenged themselves upon the perpetrators of this
treacherous deed.

We learn from the Welsh Annals that David ap Griffith,
with a few followers from North Wales, and Meredith ap
Owen and Res ap Res Mechyll, with a considerable army,
having encamped for two nights at Maynour (May nor inter
Turth and Cothy ?), pitched their camp on the following
night, being the Wednesday next before the Feast of the
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (Sept. 4), near to Kilgerran.
On the same day Meredith ap Res Grig, and Patric, the
King's Seneschal, with a large army from Kidwelly, Car-
marthen, Pembroke, Ros and Kemmaes, mustered at
Cardigan in all their pride. In the afternoon the English
army marched to Kilgerran in battle array, and near to
the town of Kilgerran a fierce engagement took place, in
which the English were routed and fled, leaving their
slain, with many caparisoned horses, behind them. In
that battle the Lord Patric de Chaworth, Walter Malefant,
a stout and valiant knight from Pembroke, and other
knights who had lately arrived from England, were slain;
and Meredith, whose infidelity had troubled all Wales,
barely escaped with his English allies to Kilgerran castle. 2

1 Powel' 8 History. 2 Annales Cambriae. The writ for the inquest after the death
of Patric de Chaworth was issued on September 23, 1258 (Inq. p.m. 42 .Hen. Ill,
No. 26). Patric de Chaworth, Chaurtes, Chaurcis or Cadurcis was the son of Pain de
Chaworth. In 23 Hen. Ill, being then under age, ho compounded with the King for
hi own wardship and marriage, for which he paid 500. On Dec. 19, 28 Hen. Ill,
with Hawis his wife, he was fined 100 marks to the King for seizin of the land of

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 14 of 31)