George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman.

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of South Wales.

In the division of the paternal inheritance his father
Owen seems to have had for his portion the commots of
Anhimog, Caerwedros, and a moiety of Gwynnionith
UchKerdyn, with certain "Westva" or manorial chief
rents besides. Of these the commot of Anhunog was
apparently taken by Prince Edward after the peace of
1267. It was, however, recovered by Owen, about the
year 1270, who granted it in frank marriage to his wife
Agaret in 1273, and died seized of it on August 15, 1275,
leaving issue by the said Agaret or Angharad, the
daughter of Owen ap Meredith, Lord of Kedewen, an
only son Llewelyn.

Llewelyn ap Owen was probably but a few months old
at the time of his father's death, and in the following
year, 1276, the Welsh were again actively in arms
against King Edward, who had returned to England
to take possession of his Kingdom in the autumn of 1274.
Llewelyn and his lands were probably at this time in
the hands of his uncles Griffith and Canan ; and when
these chieftains submitted themselves to the King in the
summer of 1277 the young Llewelyn was placed under
the guardianship of Pain de Chaworth, who took custody
of his lands in the King's name.

On February 15, 1279, the King took the homage of
Lewelin son of Owen, being still under age and in the
King's custody, "for all the lands and tenements which
he claims to hold of the King and which belonged to the
said Owen his father on the day that he died." His lands
and tenements were now given up to him to be held by
him so long as he should conduct himself faithfully
towards the King and his heirs ; and Roger de Moeles,
the King's Bailiff at Lampader Vawr, is ordered to put
him in full seizin thereof. 1

Notwithstanding this concession and precept, neither
Llewelyn nor his mother, upon whom the commot of

i Rot. Wall. 69 Edw. I (de anno Septimo) m. 9 dorso.

2 F


Anhunog had been settled in dower and who probably
acted as his guardian during the remainder of his minority,
ever obtained possession of this coinmot which was the
most valuable portion of his inheritance. The commot of
Anhunog had been taken into the King's hands during the
insurrection of 1276-7 together with those of Mevenyth
and Perveth, and as Llewelyn, its Lord, was an infant he
should not fairly have been held responsible for the acts
of his guardians. It was however, with scant justice,
retained by the King as conquered land, in accordance
with the usual policy of the English Monarchs, who never
lost an opportunity of diminishing the power and import-
ance of those who represented the Native Welsh Princes.

A few months later, viz. on April 11, 1279, we find the
youthful Llewelyn, as one of the superior Lords of Cardigan,
nominally holding an inquisition for the King atLampader
Vawr, in conjunction with his uncles Griffith and Canan.

This inquisition, which incidentally contains much
historical information with respect to the previous ex-
change of territory between the Welsh Princes, runs as
follows: "An inquisition made by the Lord Griffin,
Canan, and Llewelyn, sons of Mereduc ab Oweyn, and
their magnates, as to the levying of half a mark beyond
the customary rent due to the King in the time of
H[enry], of pious memory, King of England, the holy
Gospel being touched as to the truth of the evidence
given on this matter and another ; that is to say,
1 Marewde ' is such that when Griffith, son of Res the
Great, was Lord of Cardigan, he never received more
than a mark at each annual term. He was succeeded by
his son Owen, who similarly received the rents which
are commonly called { Westva.' Owen was succeeded
by his son Meredith, who enjoyed a like dominion in
those parts. By an exchange of lands, however, which
took place between Melgon, son of Melgon the elder,
descended from another line of Res the Great, of the one
part, and Mereduc son of Owen, on the other, the domin-
ion of Melgon the younger was transferred to the parts
beyond the Ayeron, which is the name of a certain river,
and the dominion of Mereduc was transferred to the parts
below the Ayeron. The said Mereduc never required or
received, either from Ultra Ayeron or Subtus Ayeron,


in the name of the same Westva, anything more than
the customary mark at each term; but the aforesaid
Melgon Junior, transgressing the path of right, and with-
out obtaining the assent of his country or referring to the
memory of the better and elder men of his land with
respect to the premises, of his own arbitrary will rather
than in course of law, extorted half a mark beyond the
customary payment for the space of a year and a little
more. The Lord Henry, of pious memory, sending his
summons to West Wales, occupied by might and with a
strong hand, the aforesaid parts beyond the Ayeron and
seized them into his own hands, driving out the said
Melgon into North Wales; who when he (afterwards)
obtained the King's favour to hold the commots of
Gliverglin and Iscoyte of the King in capite received no
more than a mark in the name of westva at each year's
end. By. the favour of the same King Henry he made
an exchange of the commot of Iscoyt for that of Grewdin,
and neither from that nor from Gliverglin did he
wrongfully extort more than a mark. To which Melgon
succeeded Lewelin his grandson, and to Lewelin succeeded
Res his brother, neither of whom wrongfully extorted
any thing beyond a mark at each year's end. But, as
from the time of King Henry the truth is fully manifest,

of the King, Maurice de

Bercale, being moved by covetousness, under the subtle
pretext that he had heard of the aforesaid Melgon having
at one time required and received half a mark beyond
the usual and customary rent, himself unduly extorted
the harsh payment (districtuni) for one year's term only.
With respect to the ' Marewde ' the Jurors said that,

during their life, no Lord , as far as they

remembered or had seen or understood, ever received the
1 Marewde ' cither in the parts of Kerdigan belonging to
the Lord Edward or in the parts of the same country be-
longing to the other Lords. In testimony whereof they
set their seal to this inquisition. Dated at Lampader
Vawr on the eleventh day of April in the seventh year
of King Edward." 1

l Inq. p. m. 7 Edw. I, No. 76. I should imagine the word Marewde to mean
originally " a Heriot " from the "Welsh word "Marw," a dead one (see Glossary to
Brut-y-Tywysogion, Record Ed.) ; but it seems to be here used in another sense and
to imply a kind of chief rent.


The other matter alluded to in the heading of the
inquisition was an " extent" of the lands then held by
Griffith ap Meredith ap Owen, one of the Seigneural
Lords before whom the same inquisition was taken.
This has been recorded on a previous page. 1

In 1279, or at sometime within the next three years,
Llewelyn exchanged the commot of Caerwedros with
his uncle Griffith for that of Iscoed Uchirwern.

In the year 1283, after the conclusion of the war, we
find that Llewelyn's lands had been unlawfully seized by
the rapacious Res ap Meredith, to whom a portion of the
forfeited lands of Griffith and Canan, the sons of Mere-
dith ap Owen, had been granted in the previous year.
In the letters patent, by which the King pardons the
transgressions of the said Res ap Mereduc, it is stated
that the said Res had not only illegally intruded himself
into the lands which had been granted to him by the
King, by his own private authority and before the letter
to the King's Lieutenant had arrived with an injunction
to put him in seizin thereof, of which transgression he
had been convicted by his own recognizance, but that
he had moreover usurped to himself the lands of which
Lewelin the son of Owen, a minor, was seized through
his Guardian, at the time of the commencement of the
late war, which being the right of another the King had
no intention of giving away. His pardon, however, was
conceded to him on the sole condition that the aforesaid
lands should be restored to the said Lewelin together
with all the profits which he had received from them
since his usurpation. 2

It was at this time, and therefore during the continued
minority of the young Lord of Gwyrniionith and Iscoed
that Edward completed his conquest of Wales and pro-
ceeded to make provision for the future government of
the country. For this purpose he took up his residence
at Rhuddlan in the year 1284, from whence he issued a
body of laws known as the Statute of Rhuddlan, by which
the whole system of English Jurisprudence was introduced

1 Inq. p. m. 7 Edw. I, No. 76 (Vide supra p. 216). The obligation to hold such a
court, for the King's behoof, before their own inferiors and subordinates, -would have
been one of those encroachments upon their seigneural rights and liberties of which the
sons of Meredith ap Owen complained to the Archbishop f Canterbury in 1282
(Vide supra p. 169). 2 Rymer's Faedera anno 11 Edw. I.


into Wales. From Rlmddlaii Castle he issued a pro-
clamation to all the inhabitants of Wales that he
would receive them under his protection ; giving them at
the same time his assurance that they should hold their
lands, liberties and properties by the same tenure as they
had previously held them under their native Princes;
the King reserving to himself the same rents, duties and
services which had belonged to the Prince. Inquisitions
were made into, their rights by an order of the King,
and their particular nature was ascertained and deter-
mined by the verdicts of Juries composed entirely of
Welshmen. 1

Wales was now divided into counties ; and Sheriffs,
Coroners and other crown officers were appointed in each,
as in England. The Districts which were under the
dominion of the Lords Marchers, and in which they held
their jura regalia, were allowed by this act to remain
without any alteration, but the territories which had
lately pertained to the native Princes of the House of
Dynevor were formed into the present counties of Car-
digan and Carmarthen. These counties were placed
under the same regulations as those of England and were
to be governed in all cases by the same laws and forms.
When the King had completed his arrangements in
North Wales he made a progress through Cardiganshire,
where he remained a month to settle the affairs of South
Wales, and then returned to England before Christmas ;
and we hear no more of the affairs of South Wales till the
year 1287, when the country rose in rebellion under Sir
Res ap Meredith, who was at length taken and executed
at York in the year 1291.

On November 10, 1291, which would have been
immediately after the execution of Res, the King con-
cedes and confirms to his beloved Lewelin ap Oweyn
that he and his heirs for ever should hold a weekly
market on Wednesday at his Manor of Llandussil in the
county of Kardigan, and a three days' fair there once in
every year, namely on the Eve, the Day and the
Morrow of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (September
7, 8 & 9), unless such market or fair should be to the
injury of any neighbouring market or fairs. This

i Warrington's History.


charter, which was given under the King's hand at
Worcester, was witnessed by the Venerable Fathers
Robert Bishop of Bath & Wells, Godfrey Bishop of
Worcester, Thomas Bishop of St. David's, Edmund de
Mortimer, Walter de Beauchamp Seneschal of the King's
Household, Roger de Mortimer, Richard de Bosco, and
others. 1

On the Wednesday next before the Feast of Saint
Ambrose (April 2) 1305, an inquisition was taken by
John Simonis, Archdeacon of Cardigan, at the command
of David Martin, Bishop of St. David's, with respect to
the church of Landussull and the person of Howel ap
Lewellin, 2 presented to the same. The chapter reported
that the church had been vacated by the death of William
de Midelhull, the late Rector, on the Sunday next before
the Feast of St. Edward, King and Martyr, (March 15)
1304-5. Lewelin ap Oweyn is true patron of the said
church and last presented to the same " Dominum Will, de
Midelhul, etest in possessione alterius presentandi ;" the church
is taxed at its true value of 30 marks and pays a pension
of 20 marks to the church of St. David ; the (patron's)
title is indisputable. 3

I find no further mention of Llewelyn ap Owen.
Supposing him to have been born towards the end of
1274, he would still have been in his minority during the
rebellion of Res ap Meredith from 1287 to 1291, and also
during the short insurrection under the leadership of
Maelgon Vychan and Canan ap Meredith in 1294. He
was probably about 34 years of age at the time of his
death in 1309. On May 3 of that year the King's writ
of diem clausit extremum was issued to Roger de Mortimer,
the King's Justice of South Wales, ordering him to take
into the King's hands the lands and tenements of Leulin
ap Owayn, who held of the King in capite* The inqui-
sition post mortem was taken at Carmarthen on the
Thursday next after the Feast of Holy Trinity (May 29,
1309), when the Jury found that the said Letvelinus ab
Oweyn held of the King in capite one commot and a half

1 Rot. Chart. 19 Edw. I, No. 3. 2 A singular repetition of the same name ; another
Howel ap Lewelin had heen presented hy Griffith ap Meredith ap Owen in 1274
(See p. 215). 3 Statuta Ecclesiae Menevensis (Harl. MS. 1249). 4 Excerpta e Eot.
Fin. (MS. Abbreviatio, at the Record Office) 2 Edw. II, m. 4.


and one westva in Cardiganshire per tenuram Walensicam
Pennaethuny, that is to say by the fealty and services
hereafter mentioned, namely, the service of attending the
expeditions of the King and his Bailiffs with all his
tenants, and that for three days at his own cost, as often
as it should be necessary, on receiving a summons from
the King's Bailiffs. The said Lewelin was also bound to
do suit from month to month at the court of Cardigan,
which is called a Welsh county ; and after the death of
the said Lewelin the King should receive 100s. in the
name of Heriot, which is called " Ubedm," so that if the
goods of the deceased are not sufficient to meet this pay-
ment, his heirs must make good the deficiency before
they are put in seisin of his lands and tenements. All
the aforesaid tenements are divisible, according to the
custom of Wales, between the sons of the said Lewelin ;
and their annual value is 37. 17s. lOd. The said
Lewelin held nothing in the said Bailiwick of any one
else but the King. His sons Oweyn and Thomas are his
next heirs ; of whom Oweyn is eleven, and Thomas ten
years of age ; but the King has no rights of wardship or
marriage over them although they are yet under age. 1

By this inquisition it appears that Llewelyn ap Owen
died seized of a commot and a half and one westva in
Cardiganshire. From later inquisitions we learn that
these were the commot of Grwynnionith UchKerdyn and
the Westva of Drefreyr. This, as we learn from these
Carmarthenshire inquisitions, was all that he held in that
Bailiwick, which probably included the two present
counties of Cardigan and Carmarthen. There were cer-
tain other estates in Pembrokeshire, however, including
the commot of Y Garn or Trefgarn, called also Trefgarn
Owen, Travegar or West Trauger, and sundry lands and
manors in the neighbourhood of Haverford West and in
the Lordship of St. David's, which likewise devolved
upon his children and their heirs. In the Heraldic
Pedigrees Llewelyn ap Owen is usually styled Lord of
Iscoed Kerdyn and Trefgarn ; and Trefgarn is tradition-
ally reputed to have been at one time the residence of
Welsh Princes; 2 but owing to the different tenure of

l Inq. 2 Edw. II, No. 19. 2 Lewis' Topographical Dictionary.


lands in the county of Pembroke and the paucity of
inquisitions in the territories of the Lords Marchers I am
unable to say with certainty whether these estates were
of the inheritance of Llewelyn ap Owen or his wife. I
have also much difficulty in ascertaining who the wife of
Llewelyn really was. In some of the old Heraldic
Pedigrees she is called Elen Or Elianor, daughter of
William de Barry j 1 but I think it more likely that she
was the daughter (and heiress) of Sir Kobert Y Val } 2 de
Vale, or de la Vale, Lord of Trefgarn.

Llewelyn left, as we have seen, two sons Owen and
Thomas, and he is said to have also had several daughters.

In a Pedigree preserved in the Golden Grove MS.
these daughters are thus given: 1. Isabella, wife of
Gwylim ap Eineon, Lord of Towyn and Constable of

1 The wife of Llewelyn ap Owen is called the daughter of William de Barry
in the Pedigree of Roland Lloyd of Kell-i-gadod (Lewis Dwnn's Her. Vis. Wai. Vol.
II, p. 63). In the Pedigree of the Lords of Towyn she is called "Elenor Parr"
(Ibid. Vol. I, p. 61). She may possibly have been one of the family of De Barr or
Barry, of which one branch were Lords of Maynor Beer, Pennaley and Begalley in
the county of Pembroke. She was certainly not, as she is called by the Heralds who
were employed to draw up the Pedigree of King Henry VII, the daughter of William
Comte de Barr by Elinor the daughter of King Edward I. 2 According to Griffith
Hiraethog, a celebrated Welsh Antiquary and Genealogist, who lived in the time of
King Henry VIII, the wife of Llewelyn ap Owen and mother of his sons Owen and
Thomas was the daughter of Sir Robert T Val, Arglwydd Trefgarn Owen (Orig.
MS. G. H. T. p. 49 penes W. W. E. Wynne, Esq. of Peniarth). On June 7, 1285,
Eobert de Valle was next witness after John, Earl Warren, to a deed of Ees ap Mere-
dith (see p. 191). On December 5, 1293, Robertus de Vale had a charter for a weekly
market at his manor of Val in the county of Pembroke, and also for a weekly market
at his manor of Redwalles [or Vagwrgoch] in the same county (Rot. Chart, ao 22 Edw. I
pars unica, No. 33). In the following year (23 Edw. I) William de Valence and Joan
his wife had permission to renew a claim which they had formerly made to the
jurisdiction of the men and tenants of the Baronies of Haverford anddela Roche, of the
men and tenants of Osmondeston, Haraldeston, &c., and of the men and tenants of
Robert du Val, of the fee of the said Robert, of Mulhok and Baketon (or Byketon), and
to all pleas &c. within the said Baronies and fees of which the cognizance belongs to the
Sheriff or Seneschal, tcgether with the suit of the Baron de la Roche and the homage
and service of the said Robert du Val, of all which they had been seized until they were
ejected by Alianorethe late consort of the said King Edward I (Rot. Parl. Vol. I, p. 34).
It would seem that they were not able to establish their seigneural claim over Robert du
Val, for in 25 Edw. I, the writ of diem elausit extremum is issued to Simon de Foxley
the King's Bailiff of Haverford ordering him to take into the King's hands all the lands
(in his Bailiwick) of which Robert de Val, who held of the King in capite was seized
on the day of his death (Abbreviatio Rot. Orig. p. 98, 25 Edw. I, Ro. 5). I can find
no record of the inquisition as to these Pembrokeshire lands of Robert de Val, nor have
I succeeded in fully identifying them. There was a Robert de la Val, who died in
that same year (on September 11, 1297), seized of the manor of Seton la Vale and other
manors in the county of Northumberland, -but I have ao reason to think that this was
the same person as the Pembrokeshire proprietor. The heir of this Northumbrian
Robert was his sister Marjery, born of the same father and mother, who was 30 years
of age at the time of her brother's death and then the wife of Andrew de Smytheton
(Cal. Genealog. ao 25 Edw. I, No. 47). Marjery de Smytheton died in 1311 12,
when her nearest heir was found to be her cousin Robert de la Vale, son of her uncle
Hugh de la Vale (Inq. p. m. 5 Edw. II, No. 70).


Cardigan. 1 2. Eleanor, wife of Llewelyn ap Philip, of
Rydodin. 2 3. Gwenllian, wife of Gwylim ap Griffith
Gpch, of the county of Cardigan. 3 4. Lleiki 4 (or Lucy)
wife of Meredith ap Owen.

By writ, dated at Llangele, on June 17, 1309, the
King orders Roger Mortimer, his Justice of South Wales,
after taking security for payment of the Heriot, to give
to Owen and Thomas, the sons of Llewelyn, full seizin of
the commot and a half and one westva in Cardiganshire
which their father had held of the King in capite, saving
the right of any other. 5

The heirs of Owen ap Meredith had evidently never
acquiesced in their deprivation of the commot of Anhunog,
which had fallen into the King's hands during the
minority of Llewelyn ap Owen. It was doubtless
claimed as their right by the sons of Llewelyn ap Owen,
after they had attained their majority ; and this would
account for another inquisition being taken at Carmarthen,
by the King's orders, on the Saturday next after the
Feast of St. Michael (October 1) 1328, for the purpose
of ascertaining what lands had been held of the King by
Owen ap Meredith, their grandfather, at the time of
his death. The jury found that he held the whole commot
of Hanunyauk by the Welsh law, and that he died
seized of it in time of peace ; he held also a moiety of the
commot of Gwynneonyth UchKerdyn and the whole
commot of Kerwedros besides one westva called Drefreyr,

1 The family of the Lords of Towyn in Cardiganshire afterwards assumed the name
of Vaughan. Their ancestor Gwyllym ap Eineon, Constable of Cardigan, the first Lord
of Towyn, is said to have married Isabel daughter to Llewellyn ab Owein ab Meredydd
ah Gruffydd, Lord of Iscoed (Her. Vis. Wai. Vol. I, pp. 66, 167 ; and Meyrick's Hist.
Cardigan, p. 174). 2 Llewelyn ap Philip of Rydodin is said to have married Elen or
Elenor " daughter of Llewelyn ap Owen Lord of Iscoed Kerdin and Thregarn Owen,"
and their son David ap Llewelyn of Rydodyn, Esq., married Angharad the daughter
and heiress of Sir Morgan ap Meredith, Knight, which Angharad was ancestress, by a
former husband, of the Morgans of Tredegar (Her. Vis. Wai. Vol. I, pp. 220, 225).
3 Gwenllian, daughter of " Llewelyn ap Owen, Lord of Iscoed Kerdin," is said to havo

married Gwyllim ap Griffith Goch, of co. Cardigan (Mr. J. Morris' MS.) This

was probably Gwylim Llwyd, of Castle-Howel, in the parish of Llandysil co. Cardigan,
Esq. (Meyrick's Cardigan, p. 150. Compare also Her. Vis. Wai. Vol. I, pp. 38, 227).
Gwylim Llwyd, who is described as 6th in descent from Cedivor ap Dinawol, was
probably the builder of the first mansion on the Castle-Howel estate. He lived in tho
reign of King Edward II, and was the first of Cedivor' s descendants that assumed a
surname (Meyrick's Cardigan, p. 150). 4 Lleiki, the daughter of Llewelyn ap Owen,
is described in the Pedigree of the Princes of South Wales, as having had by Meredith
ap Owen a daughter Elianor who married her cousin [rather her uncle] Thomas ap
Llewelyn ap Owen as his second wife (Golden Grove MS.) According to another

account this Lleiki is said to have, been the wife of son of Robert ap Bledri

(Mr. J. Morns' MS.) 5 Excerpta c Rot. Fin. (MS. Abbreviate) 2 Edw. II, m. 3.

9 r>

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of all of which he died seized ; and after his death
his son Lewelin ap Oweyn exchanged the said commot of
Kerwedros with his uncle Griffin ap Meredith for the
commot of Iscoy t Uchirwern ; and the said Griffin after-
wards forfeited the commot of Cayrwedros for taking up
arms against the King, by reason of which it still remains
in the King's hands. The commot of Hanunyauk is of
the annual value of 36. 14s. lOjd. together with the sale
of the office of Bailiffs ; and it contains 7 below that
sum. The commot of Gwynneonyth UchKerdin is of the
annual value of sixteen marks. Owen ap Lewelin and
Thomas ap Lewelin are the nearest heirs of the said
Owen ap Mereduth, and they are of the age of 28 years
and more. The said commot of Hanunyauk came into
the hands of the Lord Edward formerly King of England,
grandfather of the King that now is, and it has ever
since remained in the King's hands, namely for 52 years,
and this was in the time of Pain de Chaworth, then
Justice of South Wales, who took the same commot into
the King's hands, and it so remains up to the present
time. 1

In a subsequent inquisition, taken at Eothelan Geyny
before Philip de Clannowe, Lieutenant to the Justice of
South Wales, on the Wednesday next before the Feast of
the Annunciation of the. Blessed Virgin (March 22) 1335,
the Jury reported that Lewelin, the father of Oweyn ap
Llewelin and of Thomas his brother, was seized of the

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 24 of 31)