George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman.

History of the princes of South Wales online

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The answer was that the King had made him a com-
pensation in money (curialitem de denariis) at the Tower
(of London).

i Eot. Wall., 6-9 Edw. I, m. 12, de a sexto, privately printed for Sir T. Phfflipps.
2 & 3 Rot. Wall., 6-9 Edw. I, m. 12. doreo, de a<> sexto. * Rot. Part. 6 Edw. I, No. 20.


On July 27 of that year Roger de Molis and Howel ap
Meuric were appointed to hear and determine the com-
plaints which had been laid against Canan ap Meredith
ap Owen and his tenants for injuries done to the Abbot
and convent of Strata Florida. 1

We have seen that the Widow of Owen ap Meredith
had sued for her dower in the commot of Anhunog in the
January of the same year.

On February 15, in the following year, 1279, the King
took the homage of Llewelyn ap Owen, at Woodstock,
he being still a minor and in the King's guardianship,
for all the lands and tenements which he claims to hold
of the King and which belonged to Owen his father at the
time of his death, to be held by the said Llewelyn so
long as he should continue faithful to the King and his
heirs. And Roger de Moeles the King's bailiff of
Lampader Vaur had orders to put him immediately in
seizin of all the aforesaid lands and tenements which
belong to the said Llewelyn of the inheritance of Owen
his father and which were then in the King's hands,
saving the King's rights and those of others. 2

A few months later the lords of Cardigan, Griffith,
Canan, and Llewelyn, were directed to hold an inquisition
for the King concerning the justice of certain customs
which had been exacted by the King's officers in those
parts ; and also concerning another matter more nearly
affecting their own interests, 3 which will be given on a
future page.

The former portion of this inquisition is full of interest
as recording the interchange of territory between
Meredith ap Owen and Maelgon, by which the territory
of Meredith was transferred to Cardigan Is Ayron and
that of Maelgon to Uch Ayron. We have seen that this
was followed by further exchanges after the re-conquest
of the central commots of Cardigan by the native Lords
about the year 1270. By these exchanges the cominot of
Pennarth had devolved upon Canan ap Meredith instead
of the commot-Perveth. Owen ap Meredith had died
seized of Anhunog in 1275, and, jointly with his brother
Griffith, he had also been once more in possession of

i Rot. Wall, de a<> septimo Edw. I, m. 9 (Sir T. Phillipps). 2 Rot. Wall., 6-9 Edw.
I, m. 9. dorso de a septimo. 3 Inq. p.m. 7 Edw. I, No. 76.


commot-Perveth a few weeks before his death. I con-
jecture that the coinmot of Mevenyth was likewise
recovered by the native lords about this time, and that
this, the richest, comniot was retained by Griffith, who
may perhaps have thereupon handed over Perveth to Res
Vychan ap Ees ap Maelgon.

We have seen that these re-conquered commots were
again reclaimed by the King after the peace of 1277,
whereby the territories of the sons of Meredith would
have been reduced to Cardigan Is Ayron, and the com-
niot Pennarth : while Res Vychan ap Res ap Maelgon
was only allowed to retain a portion of the commot of
Geneurglyn, which he was to hold of the Prince of North
Wales; so that the whole country of Uch Ayron, with the
exception of the commot of Pennarth, was probably at
this time in the King's hands.

It is more difficult to follow the changes which had
taken place in Carmarthenshire.

On January 3, 1279, the King informs Walter de
Wymborne that he has appointed him, conjointly with
Walter de Hopton and his associates, to hear and deter-
mine the petitions and complaints preferred by John
Giffard of Brimesfeld, Res Vaghan, and other Welshmen,
with respect to the castle of Lanandevery and its appur-
tenances. 1

On January 11, 1279, Res Vaghan, whom we know
better as Res Wendot, received the King's pardon, to him
and his men, for all the transgressions and excesses which
they are said to have committed, up to the day of their
submission to the King's will ; and the King notifies his
unwillingness that the said Res or his men should be
molested, as far as their own persons are concerned, on
account of those transgressions and excesses. 2

It would seem that Res Wendot was also reinstated in
a portion of his inheritance, such as the land of Cayo, and
Methlaen including Llangadoc, and the lordship of
Hiruryn. I suppose that the lands he formerly held in
the commot of Maynor Teilo had been given up to the King
together with the castle of Dynevor; and some portion at
least of this comniot appears to have been ceded to Res ap

l Rot. Wall, de a<> septimo Edw. I, m. 9 (Sir T. Phillipps). 2 Rot. Wall. 6-9 Edw.
I, m. 9. de a" septimo.



Meredith ; for on January 5, 1280, the King gives authority
to Patric de Chaworth (who had succeeded his brother
Pain in 1278) and Bogo de Knovill to make an exchange
with Res ap Meredith for his portion of Dynevor.|

In furtherance of this object Bogo de Knovill and
Master Henry de Bray were ordered, by the King's
letters dated at Westminster on June 10 of the same
year, to make an extent of the commot of Manordelow
and the wood below the King's castle of Dynevor which
belong to Res ap Meredith, for the purpose of giving him
in exchange for them, some other of the King's land in
the county of Carmarthen or elsewhere as shall appear to
them most expedient for the King's advantage. 2

On the same day the King's Justiciary of West Wales
received the following instructions from the King with
respect to the woods within his jurisdiction ; " Since we
are given to understand that it is expedient, for the pre-
servation of the peace in West Wales and for the safety
of travellers, that the thick coverts in the woods of Res
ap Meredith, Griffin ap Meredith, Canan ap Meredith,
Llewelyn ap Owen, the Abbot of Strata Florida and the
Abbot of Alba Landa, where robberies, homicides, and
other enormities against the King's peace have been
wont to be committed, should be cut down and assarted,
we have ordered each of them to cause their woods to be
cut down and assarted in such places as you shall point
out to them, under your supervision and according to your
directions ; and we hereby require you to give sufficient
notice to each of them, and to see that our orders are
carried out by them without delay." 3

At this date the King committed to Bogo de Knovill
his castles and counties of Carmarthen and Cardigan, and
the castles of Lampader, Dynevor, Karakenny, and
Landovery, with all the lands and tenements and other

1 Rot. Wall. 6-9 Edw. I, m. 8. de a octavo. From the same Roll it appears that
Bogo de Knovill had been made Justiciary of West Wales on this same day ; and the
King committed to his custody the castle of Lampader Vawr and all the castles, lands
and tenements which were then in the custody of Roger de Molis in West Wales, to
hold during the King's pleasure, as also the castles of Cardigan, Carmarthen, Dynevor,
and Karakenny, the respective castellans of which were commanded to deliver them up
to him. By charter of January 7, the King empowers Patric de Chaworth and Bogo
de Knovill to assign to Roger de Mortimer of West Wales 50 librates of land in the
King's wastes according to the valuation of Richard de Exon and Master Henry de
Bray. This land was assigned to him in the commot of Geneurglyn. Its boundaries
are described in an inquest of 13 Edw. I (No. 41). 2 Rot. Wall. 6-9 Edw. I, m. 7 de
a<> octavo. 3 Rot. Wall, deao octavo Edw. I (Sir Thomas Phillipps).


goods which were in the hands of the King in West
Wales, to keep at his own expense as long as the King
shall please, except the bailiwick of Buelt, by the service
of paying to the King's treasury the sum of forty marks
per annum, so that the said Bogo should receive all the
profits beyond the said 40 marks. 1

It would seem that the peace conceded to Howel ap
Res Grig in January, 1278, did not produce any solid
reconciliation ; for on June 10, 1280, the King grants to
Richard de la Mote, for the laudable service which he
has rendered to the King, all that land with the appur-
tenances in Landarak which belonged to Owel son of Res,
a fugitive and outlaw, to be held during the King's plea-
sure by the service of finding one horse caparisoned for
war in the King's armies, whensoever he shall be sum-
moned by the King's bailiffs in West Wales. 2

On July 7, 1281, Thomas, Bishop of St. David's and
Robert de Tybetot are appointed to make enquiries into
any transgressions and injuries of which the men of the
parts about Lampader Vawr may complain, and to do
justice thereon. And at the same time they were commis-
sioned to let the King's lands in those parts in fee at such
rents as shall seem expedient to them. 3

On July 12, 1281, the King concedes to Res ap Mere-
dith permission to hold an annual fair at his manor of
Drosleyn ; to be held on the Festival of St. Bartholomew
and the three following days. 4

On December 3, 1281, the above named Thomas,
Bishop of St. David's, Reginald de Grey and Walter de
Hopton are appointed to hold an enquiry as to the man-
ner in which the King's ancestors, the Kings of England,
were wont to govern the Welshmen ; which enquiry was
accordingly held at Chester. Rhuddlan, Oswestry and
Montgomery in January, and at Lampader Vawr on
February 5, of the following year, 1282. 5

The political horizon was now darkening over; the
clouds were gathering for a storm, which was soon to
burst forth with renewed force and all the violence of

l Rot. Wall, de ao octavo Edw. I (Sir Thomas Phillipps). i Rot. Wall. 6-9 Edw. I,
m. 7 de a<> octavo. 3 & 5 R o t. Wall, de a nono (Sir T. Phillipps). * Rot. chart.,
i) Edw. I, No. 34.


After the submission of Prince Llewelyn in 1277, he
had been forced to go to London, accompanied by his
Barons, to do homage to the King. During the fortnight
that he remained there the large retinues of the Welsh
Barons were lodged in Islington and the neighbouring
villages. Their foreign manners, their unintelligible
language, and the fashion of their garments, were made
the subject of ridicule by the Londoners who treated
them with scorn and derision. Such treatment was
warmly resented by the proud and irascible Welshmen,
who longed to revenge themselves for the insults they
received, and returned to their country with the full
determination of revolting on the first opportunity. This
spirit of enmity and dissatisfaction was quickly diffused
amongst their countrymen at home, who soon began
to feel for themselves the bitter consequences of their
submission. Dr. Powel, in speaking of this period,
says that "the peace concluded between the Prince
of Wales and the King of England did not long
continue, by reason of the severe and strict dealing of
such officers as the King appointed rulers in the Marches
and the inland countrie of Wales ; who, hunting after
their owne gaines oppressed the inhabitants, burthening
them with new exactions contrarie to the custom es of the
countrie ; and also shewing themselves too much affec-
tionate in matters of controversie between partie and
partie, especiallie when anie Englishman had to doo in
the matter : which poling and imparcialitie did altogether
alienate the harts of the people from the King of England,
so that they had rather die than live in such thraldome."
Edward, impatient of the fruits of his late successes, had
at once revived the hated English Institutions, which he
had formerly endeavoured to introduce into Wales when
he held the Earldom of Chester and the Honour of
Cardigan in the time of King Henry his father. It was
his design, by one decisive blow, to sweep away all
traces of their ancient jurisprudence. During the time
of his former occupation he had divided the Welsh dis-
tricts into counties, like those of the English shires,
appointing Sheriffs, with power to hold courts, and
English Justiciaries to administer justice. These institu-
tions were immediately re-introduced. The Welsh, as


was natural, surveyed the design with jealousy and
indignation. Attached to the customs of their fathers,
they determined to receive neither laws nor manners
which were derived from the English ; and at the com-
mencement of the year 1282 the smouldering fire burst
out. David ap Griffith, now reconciled to his brother
Prince Llewelyn was the first to commence hostilities.
On the Feast of St. Benet the Abbot (March 21, 1282) he
surprised and took the castle of Hawarden and slew
the whole of the garrison except Roger de Clifford and
Pagan Gamage, whom he took and imprisoned. 1 After
this the two brothers, Llewelyn and David, having joined
their forces, invested the castles of Flint and Rhuddlan,
the only fortresses which were then in possession of the
English. 2 These exploits were regarded as the signals
of revolt. The Welsh, rising from every quarter, were in
arms in a moment ; and the spirit of their fathers
seemed to animate every bosom.

On the Feast of St. Mary of the Equinox (March 25,
1282) Griffith ap Meredith ap Owen, and Res ap Res ap
Maelgon possessed themselves of the town and castle of
Lampader Vawr ; and having burnt both the town and
the castle, they destroyed the rampart that surrounded
them, sparing the lives of the garrison because the days
of the passion were near at hand. 3 The cantrev Penwecfrc
was at this time conquered by Res Vychan ap Res ap
Maelgon, and the commot of Mevenyth by Griffith ap
Meredith. 4 At the same time the castle of Llandovery
and the castle of Carregcennen were taken by David ap
Griffith, the brother of Llewelyn Prince of North Wales,
Res Vychan ap Res ap Maelgon, Griffith and Canan the
sons of Meredith ap Owen, and Griffith and Llewelyn the
sons of Res Vychan and Lords of Deyskennen(orlscennen),
namely on the morrow of the Annunciation of our Lady
(i.e. on March 26). 5

In this war it would appear that all the lords of South
Wales joined the insurrection with the exception of

1 Bnit-y-Tywysogion, compared with Warrington, Walsingham and Eishanger.
2 Warrington' s Hist. 3 & 4 Brut-y-Tywysogion, < ompared with T. Walsingham and
W I;i.-hanger. The Brut, from which I have hitherto quoted closes at this period, the
Version which I have called the Gwentian Chronicle having concluded at an earlier
date with the death of the Lord Bes ap Griffith in 1197. & Annales Camhrise, compared
with Waleingham and Rishanger.


Res ap Meredith ap Res Grig. This chieftain, the son
of an English mother, and soon about to ally himself
with the daughter of an English House, had never
been a true friend to his country's cause. The first to
desert the Welsh confederation at the commencement of
the last war, as his father before him had done in earlier
days, he largely partook of the Royal favour ; and upon
him were bestowed a considerable portion of the confis-
cated estates of his unfortunate kinsmen.

On the outbreak of this last great struggle for indepen-
dence on the part of the Welsh, King Edward was keep-
ing his Easter at Devizes ; and great was his fury when
he heard of the revolt of those whom he had believed to
be fully and hopelessly subjugated beneath his yoke.
Instead of awaiting the slow issue which time and milder
measures might yet produce to bring them to submission,
he once more determined to crush the whole Welsh
nation, and totally extinguish that spirit of freedom which
all his previous efforts had as yet been unable to subdue.

While preparing for his military operations he sent a
letter to the two archbishops, desiring them to issue
spiritual censures against Llewelyn and his adherents.
But before proceeding to this extremity, John Peckham,
Archbishop of Canterbury, of his own accord undertook
a journey to Wales with the hope of conciliating the
Welsh Prince.

In the meantime the King raised large subsidies and
sent to all the trading towns in England to borrow money,
desiring a like loan from Ireland. The Barons of the
Exchequer and the Judges of the King's bench repaired to
Shrewsbury, with orders to hold their courts in that place
during the continuance of the war. A people like the
Welsh, small in number, and scattered over a compara-
tively barren district, rise in importance as we view these
mighty preparations.

As soon as the King had concerted his measures he set
out for the Marches ; having issued his summons, from
Worcester, on May 20, to all his military tenants to meet
him at Rhuddlan in the ensuing June. After remaining
a fortnight at Chester, to refresh his troops, he invested
the castle of Hope about the middle of June. On the
King's advance the Welsh Princes retired from before


Rhuddlan, and retreated slowly towards Snowdon.
During this retreat, however, an engagement took place
with a detachment of the English army in which fourteen
Ensigns were taken by the Welsh, William de Audlev,
Eoger de Clifford Junior, Luke de Tany, William cle
Lindsey, and many others were slain, and the King him-
self was obliged to retire for protection into Hope castle,
the fortress he had lately taken. 1

While Edward was thus prosecuting the war in person
in the North, Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, had
been sent into South Wales to reduce that country to sub-
mission and to check the ravages of Griffith ap Meredith
and the other Welsh Lords, with whom he fought a great
battle near Llandeilo Vawr on July 17. In this battle
many of the Welsh were slain, and of the English five
knights, of whom one was young William de Valence, Lord
of Montignac, the eldest son of the Earl of Pembroke. 2

The King was at this time residing at Rhuddlan castle,
and from thence he bestowed many grants of lands in
Wales upon the English Barons who served him in these
wars. It was from here too that he conceded to Res
ap Meredith a portion of the confiscated estates of Res
Vychan, of Ystradtywi, and the sons of Meredith ap
Owen. By his charter, dated at "Rothelaun" on July
28, 1282, after reciting that King Henry his late father
had given to Meredith ap Res two commots with
their appurtenances in the land of Cardigan, namely
Mebueniaun and Weynionyth which Griffin ap Meredith
and Kanan his brother the King's enemies and rebels now
hold, and which belong to the King by their forfeiture,
of which said commots neither the said Meredith nor yet
his son Res could ever obtain seizin, the King, in con-
sideration of the faithful service which the said Res ap
Meredith alone of all the nobles and magnates of West
Wales had rendered to him in the time of the late war
and wishing to shew him the more abundant favour he
so well deserves, concedes to him the said two commots,
except the lands which Lewelin ap Oweyn held in the
said two commots at the time of the commencement of
the last war; he also concedes to him all the land of

l Warrington's Hist., compared with Rishanger, and Florence of Worcester.
2 Nic. Triveti Annales, Rishanger, Walsingham, and Annalea Cambriw.


Methlaen and Kay on with their appurtenances which
Res Vaghan the King's enemy and rebel now holds and
which by reason of his forfeiture similarly belongs to the
King ; to hold to the said Res ap Meredith and his heirs
for ever as fully and freely as the said Griffin, Kanan,
and Res Vaghan held them at the beginning of the said
insurrection. 1

Two days later, on July 30, 1282, authority is given
to Res ap Meredith to receive in the King's name the
Welshmen of the said Res' own lands and also such
Welshmen of the commots of Mebweynon, Weynonith,
Melaten and Kayon as have not taken up arms against
the King in the present war and are willing to come to
the King's peace. And William de Valence and Robert
de Tybotot are accordingly commanded to permit the
said Res so to receive them. 2

During these transactions the Archbishop came a
second time into Wales with offers of his assistance as a
mediator. In answer to which Llewelyn and his council
sent a memorial dated from Garthcelyn on the Feast of
St. Martin (November 11). In a strain of eloquence, mild
and persuasive, which might do honour to a more polished
age, he recited the various evils which he himself and his
country had suffered from Edward's ambition and the
rapine of delegated power, and, with a firmness softened
by piety and meekness, he demanded that justice from
the rights of nature, and the spirit of the treaties subsist-
ing between them, which the unjust conduct of the King
of England had hitherto denied him. 3 Amongst other
wrongs he complains that, whereas it was contained in
the form of peace that Res Vychan ap Res ap Maelgon
should retain all the land that he then had in possession,
after the peace was concluded he was spoiled of all his
lands of Geneurglyn which he then held together with
the men and cattle thereof. Also that when certain men
of Geneurglyn had taken certain goods of some of their
neighbours of Geneurglyn, when they were in the
dominion of the Prince in Meyreon, the King's men of
Llanbadarn did take away the said goods out of the land
of the Prince from Meyreon ; and when the Prince's

l Rot. Wall., 10 Edw. I, m. 4 in schedula. 2 Rot. Wall., 10 Edw. I, m. 4.
3 Harrington's Hist.


men went there to ask wliy they took the said prey, the
King's men killed one of them, and wounded others, and
some they imprisoned. And whereas it was contained
in the said form of peace that those things which were
committed in the Marches should be remedied in the
Marches, yet the said King's men refused to listen to the
Prince's men elsewhere than in the castle of Llanbadarn
contrary to the said form of peace, for which they could
never obtain justice up to this day.

In like manner memorials of the injuries they had
received were sent by the sons of Meredith ap Owen, as
also by Res Vychan of Ystradty wi and others.

11 These are the grievances, wrongs, and molestations,
done by the Englishmen to the sons of Meredith ap Owen.
The first is that, although the King conceded to the afore-
said Nobles their own inheritance after the form of peace,
namely Geneur'glyn and Creudhyn ; yet the said King,
contrary to his own donation and the form of peace,
disinherited the aforesaid Nobles of the lands above
mentioned, denying them all the laws and customs of
Wales, and of England, and of the county of Caermardhyn.
The second is, that the aforesaid King in his county of
Cardigan by his Justices compelled the aforesaid Nobles
to administer justice, and to deliver judgement against
themselves, according to the verdict of low-born men and
serfs of the land, where their ancestors never suffered the
like of Englishmen. The third is, that the Justices of the
Lord King have taken away the court of the said Noble-
men, compelling their own men to make satisfaction
before the said Justices, where they ought of right to
make satisfaction before the aforesaid Nobles. The fourth
is, that there had been a certain shipwreck in the lands of
the said Nobles, which said Nobles had received the goods
of the shipwreck, as their ancestors before them had been
accustomed to do, and they had never been prohibited
from doing so by any on the King's behalf; but the afore-
said King, contrary to their law and custom, had fined
them to the amount of eighty marks sterling on account
of that shipwreck, and carried off all the goods which
were contained in that shipwreck. The fifth is, that
none of our men in the county Uffegd (sic) of Cardigan
dare come among the English for fear of imprisonment ;


and if it had not been for danger which threatened the
aforesaid Seigneural Lords they would not have moved
against the King's dignity. They further declare that
all Christians have laws and customs in their own proper
lands; the Jews indeed have laws among the English,
and they themselves and their ancestors had fixed laws
and customs until England took away their laws from
them after the last war."

" These are the grievances done by the Lord King and
his Justices to Res Vychan of Ystrad Tywi. The first is,
that after the said Res had given and conceded to the
Lord King his castle at Dynevowr in accordance with
the last form of peace, the said Res being then in the tent
of the Lord Pagan de Gadfry [de Cadurcis or Chaworth],
there were slain six Noblemen of the Lord Res, which
was a great loss and grievance, and for which he has never

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 17 of 31)