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had satisfaction or justice. Also that John Giffard claimed
against Res his (the said Res's) own inheritance at
Hirwryn, as to which Res requested of the King the law
of his country, or the law of the county of Caermardden,
in which county the ancestors of the said Res were
accustomed to have law when they were at one with the
English and under their dominion; but the said Res
received no law, and altogether lost the aforesaid land. 1
They wished him to go to law in the county of Hereford,
where his ancestors had never answered. Further in
the lands of the said Res such grievances were committed
by the English as do most appertain to the Ecclesiastical
courts ; that is to say in the church of St. David which is

1 It would seem that litigation was pending in the King's courts, between Ees
Vychan and John Giffard (whose title was in right of his wife Matilda de Clifford, the
widow of William Longespee) with respect to the town of Llandovery and the commots
of Hyrfryn and Derfedd or Pertieth, when the war broke out in the winter of 1282.
In the Hilary term of that year " John Gyffard and Matilda his wife, in right of the
said Matilda, who affirms that she is the heir of her ancestor Walter de Clyfford, who
had issue a son Walter, from which Walter the right of inheritance descended to
Walter the father of the said Matilda, implead Res Vathan for a moiety of the vill of
Lannandevery, except the castle, and a moiety of a third part of the commot of
Hyrefryn" (Abb. Plac. 10 Edw. I, rot. 17). They had another plea against him for
the whole commot of " Perenyz." The castle of Llandovery had now become a Royal
castle, but the lands appear to have remained with Walter de Clifford's heirs at such
times as they were not occupied by the Welsh, or else to have been subsequently
granted to them by the King. John Giffard of Brumesfield apparently died siezed, in
1299, of the commots of Irefryn, Iscennen and Perneu, with the castle of Llandovery,
which he probably held for his life by the courtesy of England (Cal. Inq. p.m. 27
Edw. I, No. 35). On November 6, 1280, this John Giffard had a licence from the
King to bunt wolves with dog and nets in all forests in England (Rymer's Faedera).


called Llangadawc they made stables, and brought harlots,
and entirely carried away all the goods that were con-
tained there, and burned all the houses ; and in the same
church near the altar they struck the chaplain on the
head with a sword and left him half dead. Again, in the
same country they spoiled and burned the church of
Dyngad and the church of Llantredaf ; and other churches
in those parts they altogether spoiled of chalices, and
books, and all their other ornaments and furniture."

" The grievances of Lewelyn ap Res and Howel his
brother done to them by the Lord King are these. After
that, in the form of peace between the Lord Henry at that
time King of England and the Lord Prince at Rydchwnna,
the said King then conceded, and by his charters con-
firmed, to the said Prince the homage of the said Nobles
so long as they remained faithful and constant to the said
Prince according to their deed and confirmation by their
charters, Edward now King of England disinherited the
aforesaid Noblemen, denying them all the laws and cus-
toms of Wales; so that they could not have their own
lands either by law or favour." 1

Similar complaints and grievances were also brought
forward from other parts of Wales. And it was further
declared by Llewelyn and his adherents that if their
grievances were redressed, their native laws preserved to
them, and if their personal safety for the future might
depend upon the tenor of the late treaty, they were ready
to enter into a lasting peace with England. There is a
force in these recitals, thus arranged and authenticated,
expressive of the situation of the Welsh : all of them
complaining of injuries, of the violation of treaties, and
of the power of the mighty over the weak.

The Archbishop's mediation, however, appears to have
been altogether ineffectual. The King and his Barons
were determined to treat with Llewelyn on no other terms
than those of the actual surrender of his person and
Principality ; and to such terms {he Welsh were equally
resolved to turn a deaf ear.

In November the English met with a severe check at
the battle of Menai Bridge, which forced them to retire

l Appendix to Warrington's Hist. ; Extracted from Begister Peckham, f. 242.


again to Rhuddlan ; from whence, on November 24, the
King issued fresh summonses to the sheriffs of all the
English counties to raise further contingents for the war.

On the departure of the Earl of Gloucester from Ystrad
Tywi the Princes of South Wales were joined by Llewelyn,
who, triumphant with the late success of his countrymen
at Menai, left his brother David to guard the passes of
Snowdon, and came to reanimate the spirits of his allies
in the South, where he overran the territories of Cardigan
and Carmarthen, and specially ravaged the lands of Res
ap Meredith. The History which follows is too well
known to need recapitulation here. It was during this
visit of Llewelyn to South Wales that he was surprised
and slain near Pont Orewyn in the lordship of Buellt on
December 10, 1282, while proceeding unarmed and
accompanied only by a single esquire to attend a con-
ference with some of the English Barons of that district,
by whom he was in all probability betrayed. Letters
were found upon him which implicated several of the
English Lords in his rebellion and rendered them liable
to the charge of treason, but they were prudently over-
looked by the English monarch.

The head of Llewelyn was sent to London to feast the
eyes of his enemies. Edward took advantage of his fall
to prosecute the war with renewed vigour, and the fate
of it was decided in the course of the winter months.
David, who had assumed the chief rule upon the death of
his brother, still held out against the King with a great
number of Welshmen ; but Edward pursued him even to
the heights of Snowdon, keeping his Easter at the Abbey
of Aberconway, so that David and his followers were
obliged to hide themselves in the mountains and marshes
near to the castle of Bere in which he had placed a
garrison, and his army was daily diminished in numbers.
The King now made an easy conquest of the castles of
Snowdon except that of Bere, which was eventually
surrendered to him. He also took many hostages from
the Nobles of Wales and prepared to return to England.

It appears that Res Vychan ap Res ap Maelgon, having
been with the King (either as a hostage or as having
voluntarily surrendered himself) made his escape to David,
and being taken by the King was imprisoned in the


Tower of London. 1 Many of the "Welsh Nobles now
came to the King's peace ; and those who would not were
consumed by hunger and want. At length Prince David
himself, who had been for months a fugitive hiding
himself where he could, was taken by some of his own
retainers on June 21, 1283, and delivered up to the
English at Rhuddlan, where he was first confined as a
close prisoner and afterwards sent in chains to Shrewsbury.
Here as an English Baron he afterwards underwent tne
form of a trial ; for which purpose a parliament was sum-
moned on September 30, which was very fully attended. 2
He was condemned to die as a traitor and to suffer five
different kinds of punishment, namely, to be drawn at
the tails of horses through the streets of Shrewsbury to
the place of execution, because he was a traitor to the
King who had made him a knight: to be hanged for
having murdered Fulk Trigald and other knights in the
castle of Hawarden : his heart and bowels to be burnt,
because those murders had been perpetrated on Palm
Sunday : his head to be cut off: his body to be quartered,
and to be hung up in four different parts of the kingdom.
This cruel sentence was executed in all its rigorous
severity, and the citizens of York and Winchester actually
contended with savage eagerness for the right shoulder
of the unfortunate Prince, which was sent to Winchester. 8
In the meantime, whilst Edward was thus engaged in
North Wales, a body of forces, under the Earl of Pembroke,
had successfully carried on the war in South Wales ; 4 so
that Griffith and Canan, the sons of Meredith, Griffith
and Llewelyn, the sons of Res Vychan, and Howel ap
Res the brother of Meredith ap Res, as well as Res Vychan
ap Res ap Maelgon, were all taken and imprisoned in
London. 5 And, as Powel informs us, there was none that

1 My only authority for this flight and capture of Res Vychan ap Res ap Maelgon ia
the following equivocal passage from Annales de Dunstaplia which I think most likely
to refer to him. " Resum filiwn Waluani, qui cum domino rege steterat et ab eo ad
dictum David confugerat, cepit rex, et in Turn Londiniae incarceravit. Tune multi
nobiles de Walensibus ad pacem regis venerunt; et qui nolebant, fame et inedia
miserabiliter sunt consumpti." 2 This was the first national parliament in which the
commons had any share by legal authority ; for that summoned by Do Montford cannot
he called such. Besides 110 earls and barons there were two knights from each county
and two burgesses from certain of the principal towns. The omission of writs to the
Bishops and Abbots on this occasion can only be accounted for on the supposition that
the parliament was summoned for the sole purpose of passing sentence upon David,
inasmuch as spiritual peers have no votes in cases of blood. 3 & 4 Warrington's Hist.
6 Annales Cauibriaj.


stood out but Res Vychan of Ystratywy. This " Res a
Vawhan, the richest and most powerful of the Welsh
chieftains, who had opposed the King during the whole
period of the war, and who, moving from province to
province, had committed great slaughter and ferociously
devastated the King's lands, being discouraged in spirit
when he heard of the death of Llewelyn and the capture
of David, and being himself closely pursued by the King's
forces, at length repaired with his accomplices to Humfrey
de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and surrendered to him.
The Earl of Hereford sent him forthwith to the King,
who sent him on to London with orders to bind him with
fetters and to keep him carefully guarded in the Tower." 1
" And so the King passed through all Wales, and brought
all the countrie in subjection to the crown of England." 2

Chronicon Thomse "Wykes, p. 293. 2 Powel's Hist*



Up to this period the fortunes of the respective Princes
of South Wales are so closely interwoven that it has been
almost impossible to treat of them separately.

During the late " wars of Llewelyn and David," as they
were called in the records of the time, these Lords were
represented by Llewelyn ap Owen, a minor, and his
uncles Griffith and Canan ; Res Wendot of Ystrad Tywi,
who was the son of Res Vychan ap Res Mechyll ap Res
Grig, and his brothers Llewelyn, Howel, and Griffith ;
Res ap Meredith ap Res Grig ; Howel ap Res Grig ; and
Res Vychan ap Res ap Maelgon.

In order to shew more clearly what lands were held by
each of them at this time, I shall have to repeat much of
what has been already said ; but what with the King's
grants and those of the Princes of North Wales, and their
own acquisitions and deforcements, it requires some care
to trace the many changes which took place in the tenure
of their lands.

I shall begin with the younger branches ; and first with


When Res Grig, alias Res Vychan (I), died in 1233,
his territory is said to have been divided between his
sons Res and Meredith ; but Res Vychan the eldest son,
succeeded to the greater portion. He must have been
many years older than his brothers Meredith and Howel ;
and his son was styled Argloith or Lord, a title not given
to Meredith or his son; yet Meredith is in one place
called the son and heir of Res Grig during the lifetime
of his father. 1 This was in 1222, and it may perhaps be
accounted for by the fact that Res Vychan and his father

i See page 102.


were constantly at enmity. In 1226 we find Res Vychan
wresting from Res Grig his father, the castle of Llan-
dovery, and it is not unlikely that his father may have
intended to make Meredith his heir. On the death of
Res Grig, however, Res Vychan (II), who is better
known as Res Mechyll, inherited the castle of Dynevor
and the greater part, at least, of the cantrev Mawr.

Res Mechyll ap Res Grig died in 1244, and was suc-
ceeded by his sons, of whom there must have been three
at least living at the time of his death j 1 but we never
hear of more than one, namely Res Vychan (III), after
the year 1245, and for reasons which will be given here-
after it is probable that the others died without leaving

Res Vychan (III) and his uncle Meredith ap Res Grig
were at variance during the greater part of their lives,
and generally took opposite sides in the wars between
the Welsh and English. In 1248 Res Vychan recovered
the castle of Carregcennen which his mother had surren-
dered to the English out of ill-will towards her son. In
the same year he probably took possession of the land of
Iscennen, which would seem to have been the inheritance
of his uncle Meredith ap Res. And in 1252 he gives the
King 20 marks to hold the same liberties and customs
for his lands in Keyrmardin as he and his ancestors
had held in the time of Llewelyn formerly Prince of
Wales (i.e. Llewelyn ap Jerwerth). But in 1256 he was
ejected from his territory by Prince Llewelyn ap Griffith,
who gave it to Meredith ap Res ; whereupon Res Vychan
betook himself to the English. The English, however,
were unable to re-instate him in his possessions, and in
the following year, during the period of the Welsh suc-
cesses, a temporary reconciliation was patched up between
the uncle and nephew, which was probably effected
through the instrumentality of Llewelyn; and at this
time we may assume that a fresh division of lands was
made between them.

l The sons of Res Wachan were summoned by King Henry on January 6, 1245, with
the other Barons of South Wales, to answer for their transgressions against the King's
peace (Rymer's Faedera) ; and in August of the same year the King took the homage
of Res, the son of Res Wachan, and because the said Res and his brothers had returned
to the King's peace, the King's lieges are commanded to suffer the said Res and his
brothers to pass hither and thither freely at their will (Rot. Pat. 30 Hen. III., m. 2).


Before the close of that year Meredith broke his faith
with the Welsh Princes and went over to the King, who
conceded to him all the lands which he then held, namely
Hyrhrin and Matheyn with the castle of Llandovery,
comrnot Pertieth and Iscennen with the castle of Droys-
leyn, Emelyn and Estrelef with the New Castle, Maynahur
Lonsawil and Maniour inter Turth & Kothy and the
whole land of Kayo, as well as all the land of Res
Vychan, namely Mabuderith, Mabelneu, Meynaur Teylau,
Ketheynauth and Meynaur filiorum Seysild with the
castles of Dynevor and Carregcennen, with all their appur-
tenances for ever. But the lands of Res Vychan, which
were thus granted by the King to Meredith as escheats
to the crown, nevertheless remained in Res Vychan's
possession, and were at his death transmitted to his sons.

During the remainder of his life Res Vychan was true
to his Welsh allegiance and he and his uncle were hence-
forth almost invariably engaged on different sides,
although Meredith, as well as Res, appears to have sided
with the Welsh in 1261 and may have continued with
them till the year 1265-6, when he was once more taken
into the King's pay. How far the territorial holdings of
these two chieftains may have been affected by the peace
of 1267 I am unable to say, but from an inquest taken in
1318, which will be given hereafter, it would appear that
some further arrangement of lands was made between
them at some period before the time of their deaths.
Meredith ap Res Grig died at his castle of Droslwyn on
July 22, 1271, and Res Vychan ap Res Mechyll at his
castle of Dynevor on August 17, of the same year. Res
Vychan's wife, who died in 1261, was Gladys, the
daughter of Griffith ap Llewelyn and sister of Llewelyn
and David the last native Princes of North Wales. Res
Vychan was succeeded in the greater part of his lands by
his sons Llewelyn ap Res and Res Vychan (IV) other-
wise called Res Wendot.

From an inquest held about 35 years after the close of
the wars of Llewelyn and David we gather much informa-
tion respecting the Princes of this line. The said inquest
was taken at Carmarthen, on the Feast of Saints Philip
and James, 11 Edw. II (May 1, 1318), for the purpose of
testing the truth of certain complaints which were made,



by the tenants of the Bishop of St. David's at Llandeilo
Vawr, against the King's officers in those parts. The
jurors were instructed to enquire whether the said Bishop's
tenants were compelled by Res Vaughan, the then Lord
of Dynevor, in the time of the Welsh war, to sell to the
said Res and his men 8 flagons (lajence) of beer for six
pence, and whether the King's Bailiffs of the said manor
had since required it of them. The jury found that Res
Argloith (i.e. Res Vychan III) had formerly been Lord
of Dynevor, and Meredith ap Res Lord of Drosslan, and
they divided the whole cantrev Mawr between them and
went to war with each other, and this was some 44 years
since. 1 The Bishop at that time held the vill of Lanteylon
Vawr of the King in capite, and that vill was within the
precincts of the Lord Res' portion of the cantrev. In
the time of the said war the men of the said Lord Res
had first begun to take from the Bishop's tenants in the
said vill seven flagons of beer from each brewery without
payment, and he did so contrary to justice and against their
ancient liberties. That war lasted throughout the whole
life of the same Res ; and his men continued to levy the
said custom. After the death of the said Lord Res, his sons
Llewelyn ap Res and Res Wendout divided all the land of
the said Res between them, and the said vill of Lanteylon
Vawr was within the precincts of the portion which fell to
Res Wendot. During the time that he was Lord there,
neither he nor his Bailiffs in time of peace ever received
anything under the pretext of this custom. The same
Res Wendot afterwards took part with Llewelyn Prince
of Wales in his war against the King, but neither was
the aforesaid custom exacted at that time. The said Res
Wendot was taken captive in the same war, and died in
the King's prison in England, and his lands were forfeited
to the King. Immediately after which the whole lands
of the said Res Wendot were granted by the King to Res
ap Meredith, except the castle of Dynevor and a certain
vill named Dref Scoleygyon. Neither Res ap Meredith
or his Bailiffs had ever exacted that custom either in the

l The presentment of the jurors is not strictly accurate, for according to it the par-
tition of the Cantrev Mawr between Res Vychan ap Res Mechyll and Meredith ap Rea
Grig would have taken place about 1274, whereas they were both dead in 1271 ; but
we may understand it to mean that it took place as much as 44 years since, probably
towards th close of their lives.


time of peace or yet in the time of the war that he waged
against the King. After this the said castle of Dynevor
was in the King's hands for three years without any such
exaction being made, until a certain Henry Loundres,
who was appointed constable of the said castle by the
Lord Robert Typetot then Justice of South Wales, dis-
trained the men of the said Bishop at Lanteylon Vawr
for the aforesaid custom : whereupon they complained to
the King, who commanded the said Lord Robert to see
that justice was done to them ; and Robert ordered him
to desist. And so that exaction ceased until the time of
a certain William Clifford, who was appointed constable
of the said castle under the Lord John Grffard, father of
the Lord John that now is, to whom the custody thereof
had been committed by the King ; namely, twenty-one
years since ; which William levied that custom by force
and extortion. And ever since that time the men of the
constable of that castle have levied that custom and dis-
trained for it, for which they have paid nothing. 1

From this inquest we learn that Res Wendot succeeded
to that portion of his father's territory which included
the castle of Dynevor and Llandeilo Vawr, although the
manor of Llandeilo Vawr was held of the King by the
Bishop of St. David's : and we learn from another source
that his brother Llewelyn ap Res had the commot of
Iscennen and the castle of Carregcennen for his portion.
From wilich we may infer not only that the King's grant
to Meredith ap Res, in 1257, of the lands of Res Vychan
ap Res Mechyll had been inoperative to transfer them to
the grantee, but also that Res Vychan had subsequently
acquired some part at least of Meredith's lands, during
the wars between Llewelyn and Henry III, which he
retained after the peace of 1267.

From this inquest we also learn that Res Wendot (or

1 Inq. ad quod dammim, 11 Edw. II, No. 102. There is an endorsement on the
inquisition to the following effect, namely, that Edward Hackelut, constable of Dynever
Castle, was examined on July 12, 1318, with respect to the contents of this inquisition,
and he said th;it the inquisition was taken solely on the oath of Welshmen and waa
therefore liable to suspicion. He also said that this custom, namely the eight flagons
of beer for sixpence from each brewery, was paid to the King in lieu of his right of
levying a tax upon beer, and that this custom had been specially enrolled in the
.1 y of Carmarthen and likewise in the accounts rendered to the Treasury of
England, and that it was an ancient custom and due from time out of mind, before that
castle came into the hands of the King's ancestors. The question would therefore
await the decision of Parliament.


Res Vychan IV of Istradtywi) died in the King's prison
in England, and that his lands were forfeited into the
King's hands.

Of his brother Llewelyn ap Res, the Lord of Iscennen,
it is recorded that, in 1277, when Res Wendot and most
of the Lords of South Wales went over to the English
King, he and Howel ap Res Grig came to the assistance
of Llewelyn ap Griffith, Prince of North Wales, to whom
their allegiance was due. Llewelyn ap Res, however,
appears to have afterwards yielded himself and his lands
into the hands of the King, who received his homage,
but took his lands into his own custody and placed
Llewelyn himself in prison until peace should be more
fully assured.

In 1282 Llewelyn ap Res and Howel his brother com-
plain that their lands were unjustly withheld from them
by King Edward. It would seem that Llewelyn was
subsequently released from his restraint (though he did
not recover his lands) for the name of Llewelyn ap Res
occurs as a witness, in 1285, together with the Bishop of
Bath and Wells, the Bishop of St. David's, Gilbert Earl
of Gloucester, William de Valencia, John Earl Warren
and other men of importance, to a deed of Res ap Mere-
dith whereby he settles certain lands upon Auda de
Hastings his affianced bride ;* and also to a corresponding
deed of John de Hastings, in the same year, whereby he
settles certain lands upon Res ap Meredith and Auda his
wife, sister of the said John de Hastings. 2

Llewelyn ap Res died without issue; and his lands
were afterwards claimed by the Talbots who proved
themselves to be his nearest heirs.

I learn no more of Howel ap Res, the brother of Res
Wendot and Llewelyn, nor yet of Griffith ap Res, a
fourth brother, who is mentioned in the Annales Cambrise
as joint Lord of Iscennen in 1282 and as being taken in
1283 and imprisoned in London.

From Res Wendot, according to the Welsh Genealogists,
many Cambrian families deduce their descent, but we
cannot place any confidence in the earlier descents of the
Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees where they are not corroborated

1 Rot. "Wall. 13 E<bv. I, m. 3. d. 2 Ibid.


by other evidence. 1 From what follows I should infer
that neither Res Wendot nor any of his brothers left
legitimate issue.

It has been stated that Llewelyn ap Res died without

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 18 of 31)