Copyright
George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman.

History of the princes of South Wales online

. (page 6 of 31)
Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 6 of 31)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


sons of the lord Res ap Griffith, and two of the sons of
Prince Owen Gwyneth. 3

Henry now retired to Chester, where he awaited the
arrival of some ships from Ireland, which he had hired
for the purpose of invading Wales by sea and infesting the
maritime parts without attempting to penetrate into the
heart of the country. But finding the number of ships,
when they arrived, to be insufficient for his purpose, he
discharged them with their pay and returned with his
army to England.

In the same year, about the Kalends of November (i.e.
Nov. 1) 1165, JPrince .Res ap Griffith laid siege to the

1 Lyttolton's Hist. Hen. II. 2 Mr. Eyton thinks the Welsh account of Henry's arms
having met with such uninterrupted disaster in the campaigns of 1165 must be an
exaggeration. Ho says; "In 1164 I find notice of only three Welsh hostages in
Henry's hands, and they were at Hereford. In 1165, at Michaelmas, ho had no
less than twenty five hostagee at Bridgenorth alone. The Welsh Annalists, though
they admit the King's possession of hostages, fail to account for his getting them."
8 Brut-y-Tywysogion (D), and Gwentian Chronicle. It is more probable that ome only
of the sons of Res ap Griffith was blinded on this occasion, namely Meredith, his
illegitimate son by Gwendyth, daughter of Cynddelw ap Brochwel, who is described
in the Heraldic pedigrees as Meredith Iddall (or the blind). I suppose Cynwric or
Kenwrick, the other hostage (who was also an illegitimate son of Res according
to the Heraldic Pedigrees), to have escaped this cruel fate, and to be the same with
him who is afterwards described by Giraldus Cambreusis &s meeting Archbishop
Baldwin and his suite in their progress of 1188.

H



50 PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES.

castle of Aberteivi or Cardigan and took it, by which he
completed his conquest of Cardiganshire. He now turned
his arms against Dyvet and made himself master of the
castle of Cilgerran, one of the strongest in Wales, in which
he captured his cousin Robert fitz Stephen, the son of
Nest, from whose lands he carried away a rich booty. 1

In the following year, 1166, the Normans and Flem-
ings from the land of Pembroke made a vigorous attack
upon the castle of Cilgerran but were repulsed with great
loss. And again " a second time they fought against
Cilgerran in vain, without getting the castle." 2

In the year 1167 we find the Lord Ees uniting his
forces with Owen Gwyneth and his brother Cadwalader,
the Princes of North Wales, against Owen Cyveilioc,
Prince of Powis, who had now allied himself with the
English. They took from him Caereinion, which they
gave to his cousin Owen Vychan, son of Madoc ap
Meredith, Prince of Powis Fadoc ; and from thence pro-
ceeded to Tafolwern (a lordship in the commot of
Cyveilioc) which they also took ; and this was given over
to the Lord Res ap Griffith, as it was said to have
formerly appertained to his dominions. 3

In the close of the same year " Owen and Cadwalader,
Princes of Gwyneth, and the Lord Res, Prince of South
Wales, accompanied by their armies, came against the
castle of Rhuddlan in Tegeingl ; and there they remained
three months erecting a castle, after breaking down the
castle which they found there, and burning it, with the
castle of Prestatyn ; and they returned happy and joyful
to their country." 4

About this time the castle of Abereynaun was built
by the Lord Res ap Griffith, who was driven soon after-
wards from the land of Brecknock ; which he re-entered
with a great army, and, when he had devastated a great
part of the land by fire and destroyed the castle of
Buellt, he made peace with the King's Justiciary and
returned in triumph to his own land. 5

In the year 1168 " Robert, the son of Stephen, the con-
stable, was released out of his coosen's the Lord Rees his
prison, and was sent to Ireland with a great power to

1 Brut-y-Tywysogion. The castle of Cilgerran was in Pembrokeshire, just over
the border, and about two miles south of Cardigan. 2, 3, & 4 Brut-y-Tywysogion.
6 Annales Cambriae.



PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES. 51

succour Dermot son to Murchart, who landed at Loch-
garmon and won it, and so went forward." 1

Owen Gwyneth, son of Griffith ap Cynan, Prince of
North Wales died in November 1169 ; and after some
contention between his sons the government was assumed
by his son David ap Owen.

Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury was mur-
dered on the 29th of December, 1170.

In the following year, 1171, the Lord Res ap Griffith
assembled an army against Owen Cyveilioc, Prince of
Powis, " with the intention of subduing him ; because as
often as Owen could resist the Lord Res, he also resisted
him. And Res compelled him to submit ; and he took
seven hostages from him." 2 " In that interval the King
became alarmed at the apostolical excommunication, and
left the French territories and returned to England giving
out that he would go and subdue Ireland. Accordingly
he summoned to him all the nobles of England and
Wales. And then the Lord Res came to him (at Cardiff ?)
from the place where he was at Llwyn Danet, about the
feast on which was born the lady Mary (Sept. 8) ; and
he entered into friendship with the King, by promising

J_ <_> ' j/ X ^ * '

him three hundred horses, and four thousand oxen, with
twenty-four hostages." 3 After that the King went into
Gwent, and took the city of Caerleon upon Usk from
Jerwerth ap Owen ap Caradoc ap Griffith, who raised an
army after the King's departure, and destroyed the town,
burning the castle and devastating the country.

" Then the King proceeded with a vast army into
Pembroke on the 1 1th day of the calends of October, and
gave to the Lord Res Cardigan, Ystrad Tywi, Arwistli,
and Elvael, and in that summer the Lord Res built the
castle of Aberteivi, with stone and mortar, which he had
previously demolished when he took it from the Earl of
Clare and captured Robert, son of Stephen by Nest the

1 Powel* s Hist. Robert fitz Stephen landed in Ireland about the middle of May
1169 in Banough Bay, not far from Wexford, which had been promised to him and hia
brother Maurice fitz Gerald, together with the two adjacent cantrevs, by Dermot ex-
King of Leinster. These early successes of Fitz Stephen, followed by the victories of
Richard Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, in the ensuing year, induced King Henry to
undertake the conquest of Ireland in 1171. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. Owen Cyveilioc
is here described as son-in-law of the Lord Res. He is generally asserted to have
married Gwenthliaii daughter of Prince Owen Gwyneth ; but he may possibly have
married a daughter of the Lord Res for his second wife. 8 Brut-y-Tywygogion.



52 PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES.

daughter of Res ap Tudor And then Res went from

the castle of Aberteivi to the castle of Pembroke, to speak
with the King, on the 12th day of the calends of October,
and that day was a Saturday. 1 And Res ordered the
horses, which he had promised the King, to be collected
at Aberteivi, that they might be in readiness to be sent
to the King.,, And on the following day, Sunday, Res
returned; and. he selected eighty-six horses, to be sent
the next day to the King. And having come to Y Ty
Grwyn (the White House) he heard that the King had
gone to Menevia (St. David's) ; and in Menevia the King
made an offering of two choral caps of velvet, intended
for the singers serving Grod and St. David ; and he also
offered a handful of silver, about ten shillings. Here the
King was entertained by David fitz Gerald, the Bishop of
St. David's. And shortly after dinner the King mounted
horse and returned to Pembroke. And on that day, which
was Michaelmas Day, there was a heavy fall of rain." 2

When Res heard of Henry's return to Pembroke, " he
sent the horses to the King, beforehand, that he might
go to the King after he had received the horses. 3 And
on the horses being brought before the King, he took
thirty-six that he had selected, saying that it was not from
want of them that they were accepted, but to express his
thanks to Res more than before. And when they had
come together to the White House the King released to
him his son Howel, who had been long with him in
England as a hostage ; and the King granted him time in
respect of the other hostages, which Res was bound
to deliver to him ; and also in respect of the tribute until
the King should come from Ireland." 4

1 There is some discrepancy and a miscalculation of dates in this passage from the
Brut. Sept. 20, 1171, fell on a Monday. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 The conduct
of Ees, on this occasion, reminds us of the meeting of Jacob with his brother Esau, and
this is not the only passage in the history of the Welsh at this time which recalls the
manners and customs of early scriptural times. 4 Brut-y-Tywysogion. Howel, who
was called Saig or the Englishman (probably on account of his long residence in England
as a hostage in the King's custody) was a natural son of Res by Ysteder the daughter
of Caradoc ap Llowrodd (Her. Vis. Wai., Vol. II, p. 99). Though he escaped
mutilation at the hands of the English, a fate but too common with hostages in those
days, he is said to have afterwards been cruelly hlinded by his brother Anarawd,
another of Res' illegitimate sons, about the year 1194. Notwithstanding this
calamity he continued for some years to take his part in the petty warfare of his time.
According to the Annalcs Camb. he died in 1199, on his return towards Wales from the
Court of King John, at Striguil, where, as some say, he was seized with a sickness
which carried him off, or, as others say, he was slain by the Normans. But, according
to the Brut he was treacherously assassinated at Cemaes in the year 1204-5 by his
brother Maelgon's men, and was buried near his brother Griffith at Strata Florida.



PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES. 53

The English fleet was now ready for action, but the
expedition was for some weeks delayed by unfavourable
winds. At length the King set sail from Milford Haven
on Sunday, the eve of St. Luke (October 17), 1171, and
landed at Waterford on the following day. Here he
received the homage of many of the Irish Kings and
Princes, and remained for the winter at Dublin.

In the ensuing year, 1172, there was a dreadful mor-
tality among his army, which suffered from the use of
the unfermented wines and unaccustomed food; and
Henry, having received unfavourable advice from Nor-
mandy where the Pope's legatees had threatened to lay
his dominions under an interdict, returned from Ireland,
after making Hugh de Lacy his Justiciary and leaving
the Earl of Pembroke in possession of Leinster.

The King set sail from Wexford, with only two ships
in his train, and arrived the same day at Portfinnan, in
South Wales. 1 " On Good Friday he arrived at Pem-
broke; and there he remained for Easter. On Easter
Monday he had an interview with Res, on the road, at
Talacham ; and from thence he went to England." 2

Henry soon afterwards appointed the Lord Res his
Justiciary of South Wales ; after which he repaired to
Normandy without further delay.

In the following year, 1173, when Henry the young
King, as he was called, rebelled against his father, the
old King was faithfully supported by the Lord Res ap
Griffith, who sent to him Howel his son, beyond the sea,
with a retinue to serve him. "And the King received
him honourably, and was extremely thankful to Res." 3

Again in the year 1175, we find him acting the part
of mediator between his countrymen and the English
King. Henry and his son had now been reconciled, and
they held a great council at Gloucester, on the 29th of
June, for settling the peace of South Wales and the
borders.

The commotions, occasioned by taking, from Jerwerth
ap Owen, Caerleon upon Usk, and by the slaughter of

1 Lyttclton'e Hist. Hen. II, Vol. Ill, p. 94. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. According to
Lyttelton Henry embarked at Wexford on Easter Monday, April 17, 1172; so that,
if this be true, his interview with Ees must have taken place a few days later.
3 Brut-y-Ty \vysogion.



54 PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES.

one of his sons by the English, had been effectually
appeased, in 1172, by the commission of Chief Justice
over all South Wales, which the Lord Res had then
received from Henry, and which he exercised with great
prudence and fidelity towards him. But when he was
summoned, in 1174, to serve in England against the Earl
of Derby, Caerleon, which the English had rebuilt, was
retaken by Jerwerth. 1 It was again recovered by the
English, however, in the following year; and Res, return-
ing into Wales from the siege of Tutbury Castle, per-
suaded Jerwerth and all the Princes of the South who
had been in opposition to the King to go with him to
Gloucester, and make their submission, under the promise
of a pardon. The Lords who attended Res on this
occasion were Cadwallon ap Madoc, of Melenith, his
cousin ; Eineon Clyd, of Elvel, and Eineon ap Res, of
Gwrthryneon, two of his sons-in-law ; Morgan ap Caradoc
ap Jestyn, of Glamorgan, his nephew by his sister Gladys ;
Griffith ap Ivor, of Senghenyth ; Jerwerth ap Owen, of
Caerleon ; and Seissyll ap Dyfnwal, who was then the
husband of his sister Gladys. 2 These all received the

1 Lyttelton's Hist. Henry II, Vol. Ill, p. 178. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. Cadwallon
ap Madoc, Lord of Melenith, and his brother Eineon Clyd, Lord of Elvel, were the sons
of Madoc ap Idnerth, Lord of Melenith and Elvel, by his wife Reinalt the daughter of
Griffith ap Cynan, Prince of North Wales, and sister of Gwenllian the mother of the
Lord Res. Idnerth the father of Madoc was the son of Cadogan,- son of Elystan
Glodryth Prince of Ferlys, the country between the Wye and the Severn. The lord-
ships or cantrevs of Melenith and Elvel were situate in the present county of Radnor,
and were probably co-extensive with the two Rural Deaneries bearing those names in
the Diocese of St. David's and Archdeaconry of Brecknock. Gwrthryneon was a corn-
mot or lordship in the caiitrev Arustli, and present county of Radnor. I am unable to
give any information about its lord, Eineon ap Res ; but it is probable that he was a
descendant of Elystan Glodryth and a coparcener of his lands. Morgan ap Caradoc was
a descendant of Jestyn ap Gwrgan, Lord of Glamorgan. His mother Gwladys (or
Gladys) sister of the Lord Res is said to occur in a Margan charter. By her Carudoc
was father of the said Morgan, and also of Meredith (who married Nest), Owen, and
Cadwallon. Giraldus, who in 1188 mentions these sons and their relationship to the
Lord Res, adds that Cadwallon killed Owen from malice, and was himself crushed by
the falling of a castle wall. Owen was the owner of a greyhound celebrated for fidelity
to his master, and which, on his death, William Earl of Gloucester gave to King
Henry II (Arch. Cambrensis, 3rd series, Vol. XIII., p. 5). The early descents of this
family require some further elucidation. Jestyn ap Gwrgan, the founder of the 5th
Royal Tribe of Wales, who obtained from his father Gwrgan ap Ithel, Lord of Glamor-
gan, the commot of Trev Essylt in 994, and married his first wife in the same year,
cannot (as assumed by the Heralds) be the same with Jestyn ap Gwrgan who died
about 1092, after his defeat by Robert fitz Hamon, nor the father of Caradoc ap Jestyn,
whose son Morgan did homage to King Henry II, in 1175. This Morgan ap Caradoc
was Lord of Avan or Aberavan in Glamorgan, and in 1188 he guided Archbishop
Baldwin and Giraldus from Margan across the treacherous sands of Avan and Neath, to
their next stage at Swansea ; he was moreover a benefactor to the Abbey of Margan.
He died about 1207-8, leaving issue Lleisan ap Morgan, Lord of Avan, Morgan Gam
(or the crooked), who succeeded his brother Lleisan, and other children (Arch. Cam-
brensis, 3rd series, Vol. XIII., p. 7). Griffith ap Ivor, Lord of Senghenyth, is wrongly



PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES. 55

King's pardon and returned in peace to their lands, after
that the King had restored to Jerwerth his castle of
Caerleon upon Usk. And in order to unite more closely
his vassals both English and Welsh, who were present at
the council, the King obliged them to take an oath, that
if any one should be separately attacked by any other
power in Wales, all the rest should unite in his defence. 1
" Immediately after that Seissyll ap Dyfnwal was slain,
through the treachery of the Lord of Brecknock [William
de Braose], in the castle of Abergavenny, and with him
Geffrei his son, and many of the chieftains of Gwent ;
and then the Normans repaired to the court of Seissyll
ap Dyfnwal, and, after seizing Gwladys his wife, they
killed his son Cadwalader, and on that day there was a
miserable slaughter of the good people of Gwent ; and
after that most open and flagitious treachery, none of the
Welsh dared trust to the Normans. And then Cadell ap
Griffith [brother of the Lord Res] died of a severe disease,
and was buried at Strata Florida, after taking the
religious habit." 2 This abbey had been built and endowed
by the Lord Res ap Griffith in or about the year 1164.
In a subsequent charter of the year 1184, in which he
confirms and amplifies his original grant, he styles
himself the founder of the abbey. 3 This charter of Res
proprietarius princeps" was witnessed by his



described in the Brut-y-Tywysogion as nephew to the Lord Res, by his sister Nest.
Ivor Bach, the father of Griffith ap Ivor, acquired the lordship of Senghenyth by
marriage with Nest, the daughter and heiress of Madoc ap Caradoc ap Eineon ap
Colhvyn, which Eineon ap Collwyn, having taken part with fitz Hamon at the con-
quest of Glamorgan, received as his share the cantrev of Senghenyth, an immense but
almost valueless district, wholly mountainous, lying between the Taff and the Rhymney,
and extending from the borders of Brecknock to Whitchurch and the margin of Cibwr
(Glamorgan Pedigrees, by G. T. Clark). Griffith ap Ivor himself, however, is said to
nave married Ellen the daughter (perhaps it should be the niece ?) of the Lord Res, by
whom he had a son Res who succeeded him (Glamorgan Pedigrees). Jerwerth ap
Owen, Lord of Carleon Wentlwg, was the son of Owen, son of Caradoc, who was Lord
of Ystradyw, Gwent Uchcoed, and Wentlwg, at the time of the Xornian conquest, and
died in 1069 or 1070, the son of Griffith who fortified Caerleon and held it at his death
in 10o4 or 1057 (for the account* differ as to the year), the son of Rhydderch ap Jestyn
who was slain in 1031 (Arch. Cambrensis, 1st series, Vol. Ill, p. 331). Jerwerth, who
did not live many years after doing his homage to the King in 1175, was succeeded by
his son Howel ap Jerwerth, whose only child Morgan had an only daughter Gwervil
married to Griffith, by whom she had a son Meredith, who was found to be heir to his
grandfather Morgan ap Howel. Sir Morgan ap Meredith, the son of Meredith, left an
only daughter Angharad, heiress of St. Clair, who married Llewelyn ap Ivor, Lord of
Tredegar, from which marriage the present Lord Tredegar is descended (Arch. Camb.
as before).

. l "Warrington's History of "Wales quoting from Benedict Abbas, p. 1 10, and
Brompton's Chronicle, sub. ann. 1175, p. 1102. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 Dugdale's
Monasticon, Vol. V., p. 632.



56 PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES.

sons Griffith, Res, and Meredith, in the presence of many
of the army in the church of St. Bridget at Rhaiader (in
Radnorshire). 1

In the year 1176, at Christmas time, "the Lord Res
held a grand festival at the castle of Aberteivi, wherein
he appointed two sorts of contention ; one between the
bards and poets, and the other between the harpers,
fiddlers, pipers, and various performers of instrumental
music ; and he assigned two chairs for the victors in the
contentions ; and these he enriched with great gifts. A
young man of his own court, the son of Cibon the fiddler,
obtained the victory in instrumental music ; and the men
of Gwyneth obtained the victory in vocal song ; and all
the other minstrels obtained from the Lord Res as much
as they asked for, so that there was no one passed over.
And that feast was proclaimed a year before it was held,
throughout Wales, and England, and Bretagne, and
Ireland, and many other countries." 2

In the following year, 1177, about the middle of May,
the King held a parliament at Oxford, to which came
David ap Owen, of North Wales, Res ap Griffith, of South
Wales, Owen Cy veilioc, of Powis, and other Welsh Lords,
whom Henry had summoned to confer with him upon the
state of their country. At this parliament he gave
Ellesmere to David, and the territory of Merioneth to
Res ap Griffith. 3

But the old spirit of enmity between the two races was
not yet eradicated; and in this same year Einieon Clyd was
treacherously slain by the English who lay in ambush to
kill him. His death was avenged by the Lord Res, who
ravaged their lands in Melenith, and built at that time the
castle of Rhaiader Gwy on the precipitous ground above
the noted cataract of that name on the river Wye. 4

In the following year 1 178, the sons of Cynan ap Owen
Gwyneth came against Res ap Griffith ; and Res went
against them and conquered them and put them to
shameful flight. 5

In the year 1181 fresh breaches of the peace occurred
between the English and Welsh in South Wales ; during

1 Cart. 10, E. Ill, m. 6, n. 9. per inspeximus ; also Pat. 4, Eic. II, part 1, m. 13.
2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 Lyttelton's Hist. Hen. II, Vol. Ill, p. 301. 4 Brut-y-
Tywysogion, and Gwentian Chronicle. 5 Ibid.



PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES. 57

which Ranulph le Poer, sheriff of Gloucestershire, was
slain by the men of Gwentland, in revenge, it is said, for
the murder of their lord Seissyll ap Dyfnwal. The King
was unable at this time to pay much attention to these
disturbances being called away to restrain and pacify the
quarrels of his sons. For the greater part of the next
two years he was occupied in settling their disputes
on the continent, and reducing them to a state of sub-
mission to himself. His eldest son Henry, the young
King, died at a castle in the viscounty of Turenne in the
spring of the year 1183; and Henry at length returned
to England in the summer of 1184.

During that time the commotions on the borders of
South Wales had been continued, and had now reached
such a height that Res ap Griffith, who had hitherto re-
mained faithful to the King and done such able service as
his Justiciary, was himself in arms against the English,
together with two of his nephews, having taken forcible
possession of sundry lands and castles belonging to the
crown. We may infer that he was driven to this course
by the fresh encroachments of his Norman neighbours who
were no longer restrained by the observation of their
Royal Master ; for we find it recorded of the Lord Res, a
few years later, that he took the castle of St. Clare, and
recovered his castles of Dynevor and Carmarthen, which
had probably been wrested from him by the English.
The King therefore raised an army, as soon as his other
affairs would permit, and marched against him in person.
Whereupon Res sought a safe conduct and came to the
King at Worcester, where he made his submission, and
promised to give his son for an hostage, to restore all his
late conquests, and to do everything in his power to
reduce his nephews to an entire submission. In order
that he might be enabled to perform these engagements,
a truce was granted to him, at the expiration of which he
came again to the King, who was then at Gloucester, but
failed to bring with him either his son or nephews. Yet
the King was induced, on conferring with this Prince,
to give up his purpose of marching into Wales, and the
Lord Res was suffered to return thither in peace. 1

i Lyttelton's Hist. Hen. II, Vol. Ill, p. 399.



58 PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES,



CHAPTER V.

In the April of 1185 King Henry was again obliged to
repair to Normandy for the purpose of reconciling his
sons Richard and Geoffrey. After his departure from
England the Welshmen made great ravages in Glamor-
ganshire, and fired the town of Cardiff; but, attempting
to besiege the castle of Neth, they were repulsed and
beaten by an army which came from England to the
relief of the fortress. The Welshmen were again defeated
in the following year by Englishmen from the counties
of Chester and Hereford ; and Henry, who had now
returned to the country, thought it a favourable time to
offer them a peace. He accordingly sent his Grand
Justiciary, Ranulph de Glanville, who had lately returned
from France, to treat with Res ap Griffith and the other
chiefs of South Wales, not only for the purpose of termi-
nating the war and bringing the Welshmen to their



Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 6 of 31)