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Kidwelly, which was of the inheritance of Hawis his wife (Excerpta e Hot. Fin.). In
29 Hen. Ill he received a precept from the crown to use all his power and diligence in
annoying the "Welsh, who were then in hostility to the King. His wife Hawis was the
daughter and heiress of Thomas de Londres, Lord of Kidwelly and Ogmoro. He was
succeeded by his son Pain de Chaworth, who was 14 years of age at the time of his
father's death (Inq. p.m. 42 Hen. Ill, No. 26). Pain died, without issue, in 1278, and
was succeeded by his brother Patric de Chaworth, who died in 1282, leaving an only
daughter and heiress, Maud, wife of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, to whom she brought
the Lordship of Kidwelly.


In the spring of the year 1259 the Welsh magnates
were summoned by Llewelyn to a Parliament at Arustly,
and there, on the Wednesday next before the Feast of
Pentecost (May 28), Meredith ap Res was convicted of
treason, and, being taken by Llewelyn, was imprisoned
at Crukeid (Criccieth) until the following Christmas. He
was then liberated on giving up his eldest son as a hostage
and surrendering his two castles, namely that of Dynevor
and the new castle, with the two adjacent provinces. 1

It would seem that Meredith ap Owen, at this time,
conceded to Llewelyn his right to the Lordship of Buellt, 2
which had been made over to him in 1256 ; and hence-
forward this territory became a constant bone of conten-
tion between Llewelyn and Roger Mortimer. On June
11, 1259, Mortimer was appointed one of the commis-
sioners to demand satisfaction from Llewelyn for breaches
of the truce, with power to prolong the truce and to treat
with him of peace. A truce for one year was accordingly
concluded, which was ratified by the commissioners at
the Ford of Montgomery on June 25. 3 This truce was
renewed at Oxford in the Spring of the following year,
1260 ; 4 but it was quickly broken by Llewelyn, who re-
occupied the territory of Buellt, with the exception of the
castle; and the castle itself was subsequently sold to
Llewelyn's retainers by the English garrison, on July 17,
during Mortimer's absence in London, 5 and afterwards
razed to the ground by Res Vychan and the men of
South Wales. 6

In order to punish Llewelyn for his temerity, an army
was raised to act against the Welsh, of which the com-
mand was taken by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester ;
but owing to the lateness of the season, or some other cause
which made it inadvisable to proceed against Llewelyn
at that time, an extension of the truce for two years was
concluded, at the Ford of Montgomery, on the octaves of
the Assumption (Aug. 22) 1260, to last from that date until
the Feast of the Nativity of St. John Baptist (June 24)
1262 ; by which it was stipulated that each party should
retain possession of their estates, vassals, and castles. 7

l & 2 Annales Cambrise. The words " eldest son " would seem to imply that Mere-
dith ap Res had more than one son at this time, but we never hear of any other son than
Res ap Meredith even in the Heraldic Pedigrees which are usually exuberant in such
respects. 3 Warrington's Hist. ; Eyton's Ant. of Shropshire, Vol. IV., p. 218. * Rymer's
Fiedera. 5 Ant. Shropshire, Vol. IV., p. 219. 6 Annal8 Cambrise. 7 Rymer's Fader*.


" The ensuing year (1261) died Gladys, daughter of
Griffith ap Llewelyn, the wife of the Lord Res ap Res
Mechyll." 1

On July 19, 1262, the King crossed over to France,
and a few days afterwards, namely on July 22, he writes
from Amiens to Philip Basset, Justiciary of England, to
say that a rumour of the death of Llewelyn has reached
him, and, although he has not been assured of the cer-
tainty of this, he encloses letters to Humphrey, Earl of
Hereford, Roger Mortimer, Reginald fitz Peter, John
1' Estrange, John fitz Alan, Thomas Corbet, Griffin fitz
Wenunwen, and others, which Basset is instructed to
forward in the event of the rumour proving true.

The instructions contained in these letters were as
follows, namely, that since Llewelyn himself was not the
rightful heir of Wales so neither could David his younger
brother be, because their elder brother (Owen) was still
alive. Hence David could have no claim to the land of
Wales, and the homage of the Nobles of Wales devolved,
of ancient right, upon the King. They were therefore
to take counsel among themselves, their friends, and
fellow-marchers, for the purpose of depriving David of his
pretended rule, and transferring it to the King. He
further informs his Justiciary that he has also written to
Meredith ap Res commanding him not to enter into
alliance or friendship with David from South Wales,
unless the said David should come to the King's peace. 2
This seems to imply that Meredith ap Res was at that
time held to be loyal to the King.

It is needless to say that the report of Llewelyn's death
was unfounded.

On August. 4 of the same year the King writes to
Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Roger, Bishop
of Coventry and Lichfield, James de Audley and others,
informing them that Llewelyn had complained of the
breaches of the truce by Roger de Mortimer, John
1'Estrange, and others, and enjoining them to meet
Llewelyn, or those whom he should send to confer with
them, at the Ford of Montgomery, on the morrow of St.

l Brut~y-Tywysogion. 2 Eymer's Fsedera.


Michael (Sept. 30), for the purpose of adjusting the
differences between them. 1

About this time ];Iumphrey de Bohun writes to Walter
de Merton, the King's Chancellor assuring him that the
lands of the .late Earl of Gloucester were as yet in peace
and quietness,. and that he had caused his castles in South
Wales to be victualled. 2

It will be seen that this tranquility in the South did
not last much longer ; for we have a letter from Peter de
Montfort, to whom the custody of the castle of Bergaveny
was committed to Roger le Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, and
others written in Norman French and apparently
indited on October 2, 1262, 3 which gives a very different
account of the state of affairs on the borders.

"To the noble brothers and his very dear lords and friends (as

nobles frers e a ses tres chers seigneours e amis), my lord Roger le

Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England, my lord Philip

Basset, Justiciar of England, Sir John Mauncel and Robert

Waleraund, Peter de Montfort health and all honour.

Know that the Thursday next after the F. of St. Matthew the

Apostle (Sept. 28) Wienoch ap Edenavet, Llewelyn's Seneschal, Meredut

ap Res, Res Yuchan, and Meredut ap Owein, with all the pride of

Wales, save the person of Llewelyn and his brother, aud with a very

great host from the South, went to the land of Went (Gwent) of my

lord the King and of my lord Edward, which is in my keeping, to

pillage and destroy ; and We with our people and the aid of friends

from the neighbouring lands, of which I defended the

waters of Esk- Water the two days until the Saturday about noon ; and
then came my lord John de Grey, Sir Roger de Mortemer, my lord
Renald fitz Peter, and my lord Humphrey de Bonn, and I led them to
a guard-house above the town of Btrgaveny, where we crossed to
encounter these Welshmen, who had already burnt a part of the land
of Bergaveny below Bloreis ; and when they saw us approach them,
they dismounted their horses and fled across the mountain of Bloreis,
in a place which is by no means suitable for men on horseback to pass.
And since we saw well that we could never reach them, we turned
along the valley to their plunderers and foragers, who were there in
great numbers, so that there perished, God be praised, in the day,
between killed and taken, more than three hundred. And still on the
Monday following, when this letter was written, there was the greater

l Eoyal and other historical letters temp. Hen. III. 2 Ibid. This referred to
Richard do Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who had been poisoned in the previous June of
July at the house of Peter de Savoy, the Queen's uncle. 3 This letter and that which
follows it in the text are by Rymer attributed to the year 1256, and are placed by him
among the ftedera of that year ; but Mr. Shirley, the Editor of Royal and other letters
illustrative of the reign of King He*nry III, more correctly places them in the year
1262, conclusively shewing that the mention of Philip Basset as Justiciar, in itself
limits the date to the years 1261, 1262. It might moreover be shewn that Meredith
ap Res, who is engaged in this expedition on the side of the Welsh, was in the King's
service and receiving his pay till .November 12u6; neither, I am assured, would Peter
de Montfort have been eligible for so important a post at the earlier date.


part of them, both on foot and on horseback scattered over the
monasteries of the country and the moors everywhere, and men are
searching them out constantly. And know, fair lords, that now and
heretofore full five times we have met there and kept all at our cost as
many as three thousand and four thousand at one time of men on foot,
and as many as eighty horses mounted, to guard and defend the men
of the King and my lord Edward. Wherefore I pray and request you,
fair lords, since you are of the council of our lord the King, that you
will tender counsel to the King and the Queen and my lord Edward,
or one of them, that these expenses be repaid to me, and that counsel
be taken how the land is to be defended henceforth; for know
assuredly, that if counsel be not taken thereon, it behoves me to leave
my castle furnished and go away, and leave the land to make terms
and perish ; for if all the land was in good peace and were it all mine,
besides the three lands which I have, I should not have power to main-
tain the great expense which I have on it. And know that if they
descend another time, as I know well that they will do before long in
very great force to revenge themselves . . . . , and if they are not
stopped, they will destroy all the land of our lord the King as far as

the Severne and W and they ask nothing but to have the

land of Went. Farewell in God."*

In another letter from Peter de Montfort to the King,
which was probably written in December of that year
and intended to meet the King on his landing from
France (where he had been since July 19), he says, that
when he reached the castle of Bergaveny he found the
whole March greatly disturbed; the Welshmen had
burned a certain village pertaining to Bergaveny called
St. Michael's, with the barns and stores of grain, and
inflicted other losses on him and his men. Moreover all
the men of the Welsh tongue belonging to the lords
Humphrey de Bohun, Reginald fitz Peter, and many
other Magnates of the Marches, and in short the whole
of Walescheria even to the borders of Bergaveny had
gone over to Llewelyn ; so that the quarters (marchia) of
Llewelyn's men were not above a league and a half
distant from the castle of Bergaveny. He complains of
want of means to carry on the war, and says that he is
unable to hold his own without further help, for that
there is no other noble of that country left there except
Gilbert Talbot, who still holds three of Prince Edward's
castles in those parts ; and concludes by intimating that
unless the needful assistance is forthcoming the men of
Bergaveny will go over to Llewelyn. 2

The English must have been hard pressed in South

l & 2 Royal and other letters temp. Hen. III.


Wales at this time, for before the close of December, the
Bishop of Hereford, one of the King's foreign favourites,
wrote in haste to the King to inform him that Hereford
itself was in danger, unless the garrison were strengthened. 1

In the meantime Llewelyn himself had been equally
busy in the North. Towards the close of September he
complains to the King of the breaches of the truce by
Roger Mortimer and other English Barons; 2 as he did
also in December, after the King's return to England on
December 20 ; 3 and in a letter of about the same date he
repudiates the charge which Roger Mortimer had made
against him, of having broken the peace himself. 4 But
wherever the fault lay Llewelyn seems to have fully held
his own against Mortimer at this period. He took the
homage of the men of Melenith and, having ravaged the
country as far 'as Wigmore and taken possession of two
of Roger Mortimer's castles (from one of which he allowed
Mortimer to retire), he received the homage of the men
of Brecknock and thence returned to Gwyneth.

During the two preceding years the King's disputes
with his Barons had prevented him from taking decisive
measures against the Welsh, and towards the close of the
year, while the King was yet in France, Simon de Mont-
fort, Earl of Leicester, who headed the baronial faction,
will have greatly strengthened the hands of the Welsh
Prince, thus laying the basement of that confederacy
which long afterwards subsisted between them. 6

On February 1, 1263, the King informs Humphrey de
Bohun that he has sent John de Grey to Hereford to
supersede him in the command of his army in South
Wales. He writes also to Reginald fitz Peter, Humphrey
de Bohun, Peter de Montfort, and Gilbert Talbot, whom
he had ordered to be at Hereford on the Monday next
after the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 5), to let them
know that he had sent John de Grey to take command
of the army, and to appease the dissensions that had
arisen between them. Roger Mortimer, John fitz Alan,
Thomas Corbet, and other Lords Marchers were summoned
to Ludlow on the octaves of the Purification (Feb. 9).

Of the actual hostilities in South Wales we hear but

i Wright's Ludlow ; Rymer's Faedera. 2, 3 & 4 Royal and other letters temp.
Hm. III. 5 "Warrington's History.


little at this time; but Prince Edward himself took
command of the army in North Wales. About April he
invaded the territories of Llewelyn, who, after a severe
contest, was forced to retire to the heights of Snowdon ;
and Edward was soon afterwards suddenly recalled to
England to assist his father against the English Barons.

The revolt of the Barons had now reached its height,
and Llewelyn, who was joined by the two sons of De
Montfort, was enabled to renew his victorious attacks
upon the English Marches.

Reprisals were made by Prince Edward, who took the
castles of Hay and Brecknock, which he committed to
the custody of Sir Roger Mortimer. After this the
operations on both sides were suddenly interrupted by a
truce ; during which a treaty for peace was to be nego-
tiated between the King and his Barons, in the presence
of the French Ambassador. In this treaty a remission of
offences was made, in which Llewelyn and probably the
other Welsh Princes were included as confederates of
Simon de Montfort. This truce however was of but
short duration and brought about no real peace.

The chances of war at the battle of Lewes, which was
fought on May 14, 1264, threw the King and Prince
Edward into the hands of De Montfort as prisoners ; and
he and Llewelyn continued their successes during the
following year until the Lords Marchers submitted them-
selves to De Montfort and made their peace with him by
agreeing to surrender their estates and their castles and
to leave the kingdom for one year.

On May 28, 1265, however, being the Thursday in
Whitsun week, Prince Edward effected his escape from
Hereford. 1 He was immediately joined by the Lords
Marchers, who soon recovered their castles, and made
themselves masters of all the country between Hereford
and Chester.

Llewelyn and the Welsh Princes were at this time in
treaty with the Earl of Leicester for a more durable
peace. By his letters patent dated from the camp at
Pyperton on the Day of Saints Grervasius and Prothasius
(June 19, 1265), the Prince of Wales and Lord of Snowdon,

1 Rymer's Faedera.


by and with the advice and consent of his Magnates,
in consideration of the King's remission of all the rancour
which he has conceived against the said Prince, his
Magnates, and allies, on account of all that they have
done against him in time past, and for his concession
of certain of their castles, lordships, liberties, and
other rights which are more fully enumerated in the letters
appended to this convention, binds himself to pay to
the King a sum of 30,000 marks, to be paid by yearly
instalments of 3000 marks. He further acknowledges
that he holds his principality and all his other possessions
of the King, and promises to render for them, to the King
and his heirs, such services as his predecessors have ren-
dered, or ought to have rendered, to the King and his
ancestors. Moreover Llewelyn and his Magnates pledge
themselves to observe and maintain the ordinance lately
set forth in London, and sealed with the King's seal and
those of many prelates of the realm, concerning the
liberation of Prince Edward. To this convention are set
the seals of Llewelyn himself and those of the following
Welsh Magnates, namely, Griffin son of Wenunwen,
Griffin son of Madoc, Howel and Madok his brothers,
Res Vychan, Howel son of Maredut, Howel son of Res,
Goron son of Etdenavet, Howen son of Blethyin, and
many others. 1

But the events of the next few days, in which Prince
Edward and his loyal adherents were making rapid
advances against De Montfort and cutting off his needful
supplies, rendered the support of the Welsh Prince of
still greater importance to De Montfort ; and Llewelyn,
taking advantage of the occasion, now demanded, as the
price of his protection and assistance, no less than a full
restitution to the inheritance and dignity of his ancestors.
Accordingly, by letters patent, dated at Hereford on
June 22, 1265, the captive King is made to " remit
his anger" against the British Prince, whom he dis-
tinctly terms " Prince of Wales;" wills that all " literal
obligations " which the said Prince, or David his prede-
cessor, may have made to the King against their rights and
liberties be annulled ; grants to the Prince of Wales the
" lordship" of all the great men of Wales, with the

1 Royal and other letters illustrative of the reign of Henry III.



" principality ;" also castle Matilda, the hundred of Elles-
mere, the castle of Hawardin, and that of Montgomery
when it shall have been conquered from the enemies of
the King and Llewelyn (to which the King promises his
assistance). The lordship of Wytinton Castle is also to
be made over to him, so that the heir of the said castle
shall do to the Prince the service which his ancestors have
been accustomed to perform and ought to have performed
to the predecessors of the said Prince. 1

The battle of Evesham, fought on August 4, 1265, and
the death of De Montfort, completely altered the state of
affairs. The King now declared the letters and conces-
sions, which had been issued by De Montfort, under the
King's name and seal, to be null and void. The Barons
laid down their arms and submitted themselves to the
King; and Henry turned his forces against Llewelyn
with the intention of chastising him for his late presump-
tion ; but Llewelyn appeased him by a timely submission,
and, through the mediation of Ottobonus the Pope's
Legate, a peace was agreed to, which was by no means
unfavourable to Llewelyn and the Welsh. According to
the terms of this treaty which was agreed to at Mont-
gomery on September 29 and finally concluded on the
Feast of Pope Calixtus 2 (October 14, 1267), all offences
and injuries were mutually forgiven, and, amongst other
things, it was stipulated that Llewelyn and his vassals
should restore to the King and his tenants all the lands,
&c., which they had taken from them during the late
war, except the lands of Brecon and Wercrennon (Werthry-
neon) which should remain to Llewelyn and his people ;
but that as to all such lands, whether they were given up
by Llewelyn or retained by him, justice should afterwards
be done according to the laws and customs of those parts ;
that Llewelyn and his heirs should be styled Princes of
Wales, and that they should " receive the fealty and
homage of all the Barons of Wales, of the Welsh (blood),
so that the said Barons should hold their lands in capite
of the said Prince and his heirs ; except the homage of
the nobleman Mereduc son of Ees, whose homage and
rassalage the King reserves to himself and his heirs,
together with his whole land, which the same Prince

i Rymer's Faedera. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion.


shall restore to him and cause to be restored by his
people immediately ; with respect to which lands those
claiming any right therein may have justice done to
them afterwards, as is customary, by their peers. And
whensoever it shall please the King to concede to the
said Prince the homage of the said Mareduc, the said
Prince shall give and pay to the said King and his heirs a
sum of 5000 marks." 1 In thus reserving the homage and
vassalage of Meredith ap Res, the King virtually reserved
authority over a great part of the lands of Cardigan and
Carmarthen, for most of them had, at one time or other,
been nominally granted to either Prince Edward or
Meredith ap Res ; and by this treaty those who were
then in possession would have to establish their rights in
the King's courts as soon as his power should be actually
acknowledged in those parts. The homage and vassalage
of the said Meredith ap Res were subsequently purchased
by Llewelyn in the course of a few years, for the stipu-
lated sum of 5000 marks, and conceded to him by the
King's letters patent dated at Merlebergh, on August 30,
1270. 2

In the meantime Meredith ap Res had, once more, been
taken into the pay of the King, who, by his letters patent
in the year 1265-6, had conceded to him a pension of
100 for his life. 3

During the continuance of this war Llewelyn ap Res
ap Maelgon died on the octave of the Epiphany, 4 appa-
rently in the year 1264 ; and was succeeded by his
brother Res. 5

And in 1265, in "the month of March, Meredith ap
Owen, the defender of all South Wales and counsellor of
all Wales, died at Llanbadam Vawr, and was buried in
the Chapter House of the Monks at Strata Florida." 6
From the accession of Llewelyn ap Griffith as sole Prince
of North Wales this Meredith had been consistently
true to the cause of his country's freedom ; and with him
may be said to have ended the independence of his
family. His country was finally subjugated during the
succeeding reign of Edward I, and his sons and their
issue either forfeited their estates for rebellion or became

1 Rym. Fred. 2 Cal. Rot. Pat., 50 Hen. Ill, m. 3. 3 Cal. Rot. Pat., 54 Hen. Ill,
m. 5. 4 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 5 Inq. p.m., 7 Edw. I, No. 76. 6 Brut-y-Tywysogion.


petty vassals of the English crown. By the name of
"Dominus Maered' filius Oweyn" he made donations to
the Abbey of Strata Florida, which were confirmed by
charter, without date, of his son Conan. 1

I cannot say positively who was the wife of Meredith ;
but we know that her name was Elena and that he
assigned her her dower in the commot of Gwynnionith.
The heralds call her Eleanor daughter of Maelgon Vychan
ap Maelgon ap Lord Res, by his wife Angharad, daughter
of Llewelyn ap Jerwerth, Prince of North Wales.

In speaking of this period Mr. Wright, in his history
of Ludlow, wisely remarks that, while the fatal conflict
at Evesham closes a distinctly marked period of English
history, its effect on the history of Wales was still more
remarkable. Since the reign of William the Conqueror
the Welsh had enjoyed a precarious independence, which
was equally useless and equally injurious to both parties,
English as well as Welsh. Wales, as the smaller power,
lived only by the internal quarrels of the greater. When
the power of the English Barons was broken, the fate of
Wales was decided. From the time of the Norman con-
quest to the battle of Evesham, Wales had an historical
importance which probably it had never had before.
But in that battle its importance was lost. It made a
fruitless struggle in the following reign, which ended in
the extinction of its native Princes.

We cannot help admiring the gallantry of this com-
paratively insignificant people which enabled them, even
under the most favourable circumstances, to hold their
own so long against their powerful neighbours.

1 Harl. MS., 6068.



In the absence of any inquisition post mortem it is not
easy to ascertain clearly what lands were held by Mere-

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 15 of 31)