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cantrev Mawr ; and I assume that the latter had fallen
to the share of his other brother Res Grig. The remain-
der of Carmarthen was probably in the hands of the
English at this time ; as also by far the greater portion
of Pembroke or West Wales.

In the year 1201 "on the eve of Whit-Sunday (May 12),
the monks of Strata Florida came to the new church ;
which had been erected of splendid workmanship. A
little while afterwards, about the feast of St. Peter and
St. Paul," 1 (or more correctly on July 2, being St.
Swithun's Day, in the year 1201) Meredith ap Res, the
younger brother of Griffith, was slain by the Englishmen
of Kid welly at Carnwyllaon, and Griffith took possession
of his castle at Llandovery and the cantrev Bychan (or
little cantrev), in which it was situated. And within a
month of this time, namely, " on the feast of St. James
the Apostle (July 25, 1201) Griffith ap Res (himself also)
died at Strata Florida, after having taken upon him the
religious habit ; and there he was buried " 2 with great
solemnity. 3 " This Gruffyth," says Powel, "was a wise
and discreet gentleman, and one that was like to bring all
South Wales to good order and obedience, who in all
things folowed his father's steppes, whom as he succeeded
in government so he did in all rnartiall prowes and
nobilitie of mind; but cruell fortune, which frowned

1 Brut-y-Tywysogion. The author of the Annales Cambria records that he was
killed by the Normans of Kidwelly, on St. Swithin's day (probably July 2, the feast of
the deposition of Bishop S within), "and that his body was brought to Kidwelly and there
buried near the church of St. Mary. 2 Brut-y-Tywyogion. 3 Towel's Hist.


upon that countrie, suffered him not long to enjoy his
land." He married Maud or Mallt, daughter of William
de Braose, Lord of Brecknock, by whom he had two sons
Res and Owen who ought to have succeeded to their
father's dominions. But Res Grig, the brother of Griffith,
appropriated to himself the cantrev Bychan with the
town of Llandovery ; and Maelgon took possession of the
castle of Cilgerran. 1 I presume that Maelgon also re-
entered upon the land of Cardigan and withheld it from
his brother's children.

About this time, namely, in the August of that year
or soon afterwards, William Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke
had a grant, from the crown, of 300 marks for the keep-
ing of Cardigan Castle. 2

At this time Llewelyn ap Jerwerth ap Owen Gwyneth
was upon the throne of North Wales, an able and active
prince who assumed the sovereignty of all Wales and
claimed the allegiance of all its princes and nobles as a
right accorded to his family by the ordinance of Roderic
and the laws of Howel Dha " notwithstanding that of
late years by the negligence of his predecessors they had
not used their accustomed dutie; but some held of the
King of England, other ruled as supreme powers within
their owne countries. Therefore he called a parliament of
all the lords in Wales, which for the most part appeared
before him, and swore to be his liegemen." 3

Wenwynwyn, Prince of Powis, at first a dissentient, was
subsequently won over to the Prince, and Llewelyn
appears to have succeeded at this juncture in uniting the
interests of the whole principality against the English.

At this period we are informed that the family of the
young Lord Res ap Griffith, the rightful Prince of South
Wales, obtained the castle of Llandovery, about the feast
of St. Michael (September 29), 1202 ; 4 which had been
withheld from him by his uncle Res Grig. In the
following year, 1203, "the foresaid Rees ap Gruffyth ap
Rees," says Powel, "got the castell of Llangadoc and
fortified it to his own use;" 5 but shortly after, Maelgon

1 Annales Cambrise. 2 Earls and castle of Pembroke, by G. T. Clark. 3 Towel's
Hiat. 4 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 5 In the Brut-y-Tywysogion it is the castle of Llanegwad
which was taken by the young lord Res ap Griffith in that year : but, from what follows,
the history seems to point to Llangadoc ; I have therefore, in this instance, given
preference to Powcl's version.


and his former ally Wenwynwyn, by devices, got posses-
sion of the castles of Llandovery and Llangadoc. Maelgon
also completed the castle of Dynerth (in Cardiganshire). 1

In the year 1204 " Howel Sais ap Res was stabbed, at
Cemaes, through treachery, by the men of Maelgon his
brother, of which stab he died, and was buried at Ystrad
Flur, in the same manner as his brother Griffith, after
having taken upon him the habit of religion. 8 That year
Maelgon ap Res lost the keys of all his dominion, to wit
Llandovery and Dynevor; for the sons of his brother
Griffith manfully won them from him." 3 The castle of
Cilgerran was also taken from him in the same year, by
William Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, who suffered the
garrison to retire unarmed. 4 And not long afterwards
the unscrupulous Maelgon hired an Irishman to kill
Cedivor ap Griffith, a respected chieftain of high lineage,
whose four sons he likewise caused to be put to death ; for
what reason is not stated. 5

About this time, namely in 1205, Res Grig, with
English assistance, set fire to the castle of Luchewein
(Llychwein) which belonged to the sons of Griffith and
killed all that were found therein. 6

In the year 1206, which was remarkable for a great
abundance of fish at Aberystwith, Maelgon built the
castle of Abereinion.

In the year 1207 Wenwynwyn, having come to speak
with the King at Shrewsbury, was unjustly detained as a
prisoner there, and Llewelyn appropriated his territories
to his own use. "And when Maelgon ap Res became
acquainted therewith, from fear of Llewelyn ap Jerwerth,
he razed the castle of Ystrad Meuric to the ground, and
burned Dynerth and Aberystwyth. But Llewelyn did
not desist from his purpose ; for he came to Aberystwyth
and repaired it, and took the cantrev of Penwedic to him-
self, giving the other portion of Cardigan above Aeron
to his nephews the sons of Griffith ap Res :" 7 that is to
say, he made over to young Res and Owen the cantrev
Canol, containing the commots of Anhunog, Mevenyth,
and Pennarth; and retained in his own hands the

1 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 2 According to other accounts Howel Saia died in 1199 (soo
note to page 52). 3 Brut-y-Ty%\ y^ogion. 4 Annales Cambria. 6 Brut-y-Tywysogion.
6 Annales Cambria?. ^ Brut-y-Tywysogion.


northern cantrev of Penwedic, containing the commots
of Geneurglyn, Perveth, and Crewthyn ; which latter
appear to have also been subsequently relinquished to the
sons of Griffith; so that the whole of Cardigan Uch
Ayeron (ultra Ayeron, or Upper Cardigan) thus fell into
their hands, while Cardigan Is Ayeron or the two South-
ern cantrevs, that of Castel), containing the commots of
Mabwynneon and Caerwedros, and cantrev Syr wen, con-
taining the commots of Gwynnionith and Iscoed Ucher-
wern, would have yet remained to Maelgon.

That same year Res Grig took possession of the castle
of Llangadoc, without regarding the agreement which he
had made with his nephews when they delivered to him
the castle of Dynevor. 1

In the following year, 1208, Res and Owen, the sons of
Griffith, once more attacked the castle of Llangadoc,
which they burned, having slain some of the garrison
and taken others prisoners; 2 while their own castle of
Llychewein appears to have received, for the second time,
a similar treatment at the hands of their uncle Res Grig. 8

On January 21, 1209, the King directed a levy against
the Welsh, William Earl of Salisbury being the Warden
of the Marches, and William de Londres keeper of
Carmarthen castle for the King ; 4 and in the Waverley
Annals it is recorded that the King himself entered Wales
with a large army to fight against two of the Welsh
Princes who opposed him, which Princes are stated, by
the Editor of the Record Edition of that work, to be Res
and Owen, the sons of Griffith. 5

In the following year, namely in June, 1210, King John
proceeded to Ireland, from whence he returned, after a
successful expedition in the August of the same year.

After the King's return from Ireland Res Grig
made his peace with the King; by whose assistance
he obtained possession of the castle of Llandovery;
"for the garrison, after despairing in every way,

1 and 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 Annales Cambriae. I am unable to identify thia
castle of Llychewein (or Luchewein as it is called by the Annalist from whom we quote)
unless it be the same with Laugharne or Talacharn in cantrev Mawr, or Llychwr in
Gower (see page 62). It is only mentioned twice in the Annales Cambria and not at
all by the other chroniclers. 4 Clark's Earls and castle of Pembroke. 5 Post ejectionem
Willelmi de Breose cum uxore sua a regno Angliie rex cum exercitu magno intravit
Walliam ad expugnandos reges duos qui sibi invicem adversabantur (Annals of


surrendered the castle, with sixteen horses in it, on the
feast day of St. Mary in September (September 8), under
an agreement that the garrison should have their bodies
safe, with everything belonging to them. That year
about the feast of St. Andrew (November 30) Wenwynwyn
repossessed himself of his dominion by the assistance of
King John." 1 Maelgon also, when he heard of this,
repaired to the King's court, and became the King's man ;
after which he collected a great army of English and
Welsh, with whom he marched towards the cantrev
Penwedic, and, contrary to the oath and engagement
into which he had entered with his nephews, he began
to spoil their country, and came as far as Cilcennyn,
where he encamped for the night. Whereupon Res and
Owen the sons of Griffith collected a body of three
hundred chosen men, who attacked the army of Maelgon
by night, and killing many, captured others, and put
the remainder to flight. "In that battle, Cynan ap
Howel, Maelgon's nephew, and Griffith ap Cynan,
Maelgoii's chief counsellor, were taken prisoners ; and
Eineon ap Caradoc and a great number of others were
slain, and Maelgon disgracefully fled, escaping on foot.
That year, on the feast of St. Thomas the Martyr
(December 29, 1210), Mahalt de Braose, the mother of
the sons of Griffith ap Res, died at Llanbadarn Vawr,
after receiving the holy communion, and confession and
penance, and the habit of religion, and was buried with
her husband at Strata Florida." 2

1 and 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. Mahalt de Braose was the daughter of William de
Braose by his -wife Maud de St. Valeri, a high spirited woman, who, as " Maud Walbee,"
is still the reputed heroine of several Brecknockshire romances, and who, in refusing to
give up her sons as hostages to King John, was bold enough to add a significant hint
about Prince Arthur. She shared the reverses of her husband William de Braose who
had fallen under the King's displeasure, and, with her eldest son William, was taken
captive by the King in Ireland in the year 1210. The King sent them to Windsor
where they are said to have been starved to death soon after. William de Braose
himself died in 1211, an exile in France, and was honourably buried by Stephen, Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, who was then also in oxile (Annales de Margan). It is not easy
to follow the subsequent fortunes of the family. By his wife Maud de St. Valeri this
William de Braose seems to have had four sons, namely, William, who died in the
King's prison as above stated; Giles, consecrated Bishop of Hereford Sept. 24, 1200,
who recovered most of the Welsh estates of his family during the war, in 1215 ;
Reginald, who succeeded to the acquisitions of his brother Giles ; and John, of Knyll,
the ancestor of a family who assumed the local name of Knyll ; also four daughters,
namely, Joane, wife of Richard, Lord Percy ; Loretta, wife of Robert fitz Parnell, Earl
of Leicester ; Margaret, wife of Walter de Lacy ; and Mahalt or Maud, wife of Griffith
ap Res, Prince of South Wales. William, the elder son, left issue a ion John, who
escaped from a. series of guardians in 2 Hen. Ill (1217-18). Within the next ten
years this John levied a fine with his uncle Reginald (whom we may suppose to have



During this period Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales,
had been frequently treating for peace with the King,
from whom he received a pardon, in December 1208, for
the depredations he had committed upon the territories
of Wenwynwyn while under his (Llewelyn's) protection ;
which pardon appears to have been renewed in the
following year, when the Welsh Prince did homage, either
in person or by proxy, to the King at Woodstock. 1 But
these nominal renewals of peace were of short duration.
The year 1210 was marked by the inroads of the Earl of
Chester into North Wales on the one side, and on the
other by the retaliations of Llewelyn who laid waste the
English possessions.

Incensed at these frequent breaches of fidelity on the
part of one who had repeatedly acknowledged himself his
vassal, King John assembled a large army on the borders
of Wales, in the year 1211, with which he threatened to
crush the Welsh Prince and reduce him to complete
obedience. To this army he summoned Maelgon and
Res Grig, together with Wenwynwyn, of Upper Powis,
Madoc ap Griffith Maelor of Lower Powis, Howel ap
Griffith ap Cynan ap Owen Gwyneth, and such of the
Welsh Barons as held their lands of the English King.

Llewelyn, unable to oppose so large a force, which was
composed not only of the flower of the English nobility
but likewise of many of his own countrymen, commanded
the inhabitants of the inland country (which is now part
of Denbigh and Flint shires) to retreat with their cattle
to the heights of Snowdon ; and then, assuming the offen-
sive, he so harassed the English troops that the expedition
signally failed; and John was obliged to retire to
England with considerable loss. This was in the spring

been the Bishop's Devisee) dividing the Braose estates. Hence the two houses
afterwards distinguished as Braose of Gower and Braose of Bergavenny. This John
de Braose married Margaret daughter of Llewelyn ap Jerwerth, Prince of North Wales,
by -which Margaret (who was afterwards married to Walter de Clifford) he had a son
William, whose son, also called William, left two daughters and coheirs, between whose
descendants the Barony of Braose of Gower is now in abeyance. Eeginald de Braose,
the Bishop's brother, married Gracia, daughter of William Briwere, by whom he had a
son William, whose five daughters, by Eve Mareschal, sister of the last Mareschal, Earl
of Pembroke, became coheirs of the Barony of Braose of Bergavenny and a fifth part of
the Barony of Briwere, as also coparceners of the vast estates of the Earls of Pembroke.
The writer of the Dunstaple Annals says that Reginald de Braose succeeded to the
inheritance of his brother Giles the Bishop by the help of Llewelyn, whose daughter he
had married. If this be so she must have been a first wife who died without issue.
1 "Warrington's Hist. Wai., Vol. II, p. 20.


of the year 1211. A second expedition, accompanied by
the same Welsh lords, in the autumn of the same year,
produced a different result ; and Llewelyn was obliged
to sue for peace, which was granted to him on
the condition of his giving forty horses and twenty
thousand head of cattle towards defraying the expenses
of the war. He likewise ceded to the King and his heirs
for ever the inland parts of his dominions, and gave
twenty-eight hostages for the observance of the treaty.
"And thereupon all the Welsh Princes, except Res and
Owen, the sons of Griffith ap Res, made their peace with
the King ; and the King returned victoriously and with
great joy to England. And then the King commanded
those princes to take with them all the troops of Morganwg
and Dyvet, with Res Grig and Maelgon and their forces,
and to go against the sons of Griffith ap Res, and compel
them to surrender themselves into his hands, or to retire
into banishment out of all the Kingdom." 1 Moreover
Fulke de Breant, Lieutenant and Warden of the
Marches, by the King's command, united the forces at his
disposal with those of Maelgon and Res Grig ; who thus
repaired to Penwedic together. "And since Res and
Owen, the sons of Griffith could not withstand a power
of that magnitude, and there was not a place for them in
Wales to repair to, they sent messengers to Fulke to
bring about a peace. And they made peace with him ;
and they consented that the King should . have the
territory between the Dy vi and Aeron ; and Fulke built
a castle for the King at Aberystwyth. And then Res and
Owen, the sons of Griffith, went, under the safe-conduct
of Fulke, to the court of the King ; and the King received
them as friends. And whilst they were repairing to the
King's court, Maelgon ap Res and his brother Res Grig,
repented of their terms with the King, and made an
attack upon the new castle at Aberystwyth and demolished
it." 2 It would seem that two of Maelgon's sons, who
were then hostages in the hands of the English, were so
severely punished for their father's offence that they died
of the injuries they received. The two sons of Cadwallon
ap Ivor were also very roughly handled at the same time;

I and 2 Brut-y-Tyvry-ojion.


and the Welshmen, fired with indignation at this
savage treatment of the hostages, retaliated by committing
much slaughter and incendiarism. 1 "When Res and
Owen, the sons of Griffith ap Res, returned from the
King's court after making their peace with him, they
entered Is Aeron, the territory of M aelgon, and killed
and burned and ravaged in the district." 2 The defection
of his uncles from their English allegiance secured to
young Res and his brother the favour and support of the
King, who, on May 26, 1212, granted to "Resofil Griffin"
the whole land of the honor of Cardigan which "Maelgon
fil. Resi" had held, with the exception of two commots
which the King reserved to his own use. And he issued
his letters patent to the men of Cardigan commanding
them to return to the fealty and service of the King and
to that of Res, whose retinue they were to form, and
forbidding them for the future to return to the service of
Maelgon. 3 This royal mandate would probably have had
little effect upon the men of Cardigan, for the star of
Llewelyn was now once more in the ascendant. And in
the same year Fulke received orders to assist Res ap
Griffin and Owen his brother from the revenues of the
crown by assigning them for a certain time such a sum
as should be suitable for their maintenance in the King's
service. 4 The gain of the King's support entailed upon
Res the loss of that of the Prince of North Wales, his
former protector. Maelgon now swore fealty to Llewelyn
and joined him in his attack on the English territories in
North Wales, and Llewelyn would, doubtless, have
favoured the pretentions of his new vassal to the land of
Cardigan. When young Res found himself excluded
from all his lands, "he sent messengers to the King to

1 Annales de Margan. 2 Brut-y-Tywysogion. 3 Eot. Lit. Pat. a- 14 Job. memb. 5.
It is observable that in eacb fresb grant tbe King retains to his own use a further
portion of the inheritance of the Princes of South Wales. Thus in the first year of his
reign, 1199, he grants to Maelgon the whole land of Cardigan, which he is to acquire
for himself, together with Cilgerran and Emlyn in Pembrokeshire, reserving to himself,
however, the castle of Cardigan and the adjacent coznmotof Bisberwern, which Maelgon
surrenders as the price of the King's support. On the present occasion King John
grants the honor of Cardigan to young Ees retaining tico commots to his own use. And
we shall see how the same system of gradual encroachment was continued by the suc-
ceeding Kings of England until the whole dominion was confiscated. I suppose this
second commot to have been the immediate lordship attached to the Royal castle of
Aberystwith. The castle of Aberystwith and the town of Llanbadarn Vawr, with a
small portion of adjacent land, still form a separate manor which is now (or was lately)
the property of the Duke of Leeds. 4 Hot. Lit. Claus. a- 14 Job. memb. 5.


beseech him that, through his power, he would cause
him to have a share of his father's inheritance. And
thereupon the King sent to the Seneschal of Hereford,
and to Fulke [de Breant], Seneschal of Cardiff, com-
manding them to compel Res Grig to deliver up the
castle of Llandovery and the district to the sons of Griffith
ap Res, or to retire from the borders of the country into
exile. Res Grig, being cited in due form to respond to the
King's commands, returned answer that he would not
divide a single acre with young Res. Thereupon young
Res became enraged, and collected a great force out of
Brecknock, and came in a hostile manner to Ystrad Tywi,
and encamped in the place called Trallwng Elgan on the
Thursday after the octaveof St. Hilary [January 25, 1213].
And the following morning, being Friday, his brother
Owen came to him, and Fulke, the Seneschal of Cardiff,
with their forces. The following day they entered the
territory of Res Grig, arranged their troops, and placed
young Res with his force in the van, and Fulke with his
force in the centre, and Owen ap Griffith with his force
in the rear. And it was not long before Res Grig met
them ; and in the attack with the first division, Res Grig
and his men were overpowered, and he retreated and
fled, after many of his men had been killed, and others
taken. And then young Res went, w-ith the intention of
attacking the castle of Dynevor ; however Res Grig was
before him, and strengthened his castle with men and
anus, and, after burning Llandeilo, retired thence.
Nevertheless young Res invested the castle ; and
the following day he planted engines and devices for
attacking it, ana placed ladders against the walls,
for men to climb over the same, and thus did he possess
himself of the castle altogether, save one tower ; and in
that the garrison secured themselves, fighting and
defending it with missiles and other engines. And outside
were the archers and cross-bowmen, and miners, and
horsemen, fighting against them. And thus they were
compelled, before the afternoon, to" capitulate; "and
they delivered three hostages, and covenanted to give
up the tower unless they should receive support by the
evening- of the next day, under an agreement to have their

^/ /

clothes and their arms, with the safety of their limbs ; and


thus it was concluded. And after young Res had got the
castle, and subdued the land of cantrev Mawr, Res Grig,
with his wife, his children, and family, retired to his
brother Maelgon, having strengthened the castle of
Llandovery with men and arms, and food and engines, and
other necessaries. And a second time young Res repaired
to Brecknock; and there he collected a great force of Welsh
and Normans, and proceeded to Llandovery ; and before
they had pitched their tents, the garrison gave up the
castle, on condition of safety of life and limb." 1 In this
year the Earl of Pembroke was made Governor of the
castles of Caermarthen, Cardigan, and Gower ; 2 and at
the close of the same year, or the beginning of the year
1214, " after Res Grig had withdrawn himself from the
Welsh and sought a second time to make peace with
them, as it is said, he was siezed at Carmarthen, and put
in the King's prison." 3

In April 1214, the Lord Bishop of Winchester has
orders to deliver up to Res ap Griffin, for his support in
the King's service, the land of Maelgon ap Res which
Falkes de Breaute had had in his keeping; 4 but it is
doubtful whether Res was put into possession of it by any
mandate of the King, whose power in Wales was
gradually diminishing at this time.

A new era was now commencing for the principality ;
and Llewelyn seems to have used all his powers of per-
suasion in drawing together the Welsh Princes into a
general confederation. It was no doubt by his instru-
mentality that the Princes of the House of Dynevor were
induced to forget their differences in the common cause of
their fatherland. The rebellion of the English Barons
opened a way for the Welsh to recover their liberty and
independence of which they were not slow to avail them-
selves ; and the Welsh chronicle informs us that "all the
good men of England and Wales combined together
against the Bang, so that none of them without the others
would enter into peace or agreement or truce with
him, until he restored to the churches their laws and

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas Orlando BridgemanHistory of the princes of South Wales → online text (page 9 of 31)