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and replaced by others. The burgess was not as efficient
as the professional soldier ; and as the burgesses constituted
themselves into an armed force at need, the employment
of a burgess as a castle soldier implied a weakening of the
combined force of town and castle. Another difficulty
which Henry V had tried to grapple with was the absen-
teeism of sheriffs, for it was enacted that none were to be
appointed to that office who would not perform their duties
in person 1 .

On the death of Henry V, the minority of his son and the
continuance of the French war multiplied the difficulties of
the Privy Council. Sometimes, as in 1422, commissions
would be appointed to try and secure peace. But, with grim
irony, the chief members were themselves the advocates and
propellors of incendiarism, such as the Talbots 2 . On one
occasion it was proposed to place the administration of
private lands, viz. those of the Skydmores of Herefordshire,
in the power of the Council itself, " lest riots and other
inconveniences should arise 3 ." But there were too many
cross currents of interest, and privilege was too well fortified,
for the extension of such a project. Another time an attempt
was made to check absenteeism : all the constables of castles
in Wales were directed to return to their posts, and the lords-
marcher to hold their courts on one day, and to see that the
law was duly obeyed within their own jurisdictions 4 .

gunpowder, cross-bows and arrows delivered to various captains of castles
or used at the aforesaid sieges.

1 Ibid. 25 October, 141 7, 238-9.

2 Rymer's Foedera, x. 254. 3 Oct. 1422. John Talbot, William Talbot,
and Edmund Ferrers of Chartley were on this commission.

3 Proceedings of the Privy Council. 9 Feb. 1422, 320— 1. Cal. Pat. Rolls,
1446, 264.

4 Proceedings of the Privy Council, v. 3. 21 Nov., 1436. Minutes on
the Government of Wales.


In 1437 a more comprehensive scheme was lodged. It
a proposed was proposed to ascertain who the lords-
councii. marcher were, and to appoint a special com-

mittee to deal solely with the affairs of the Principality and
the Marches 1 . In pursuance of this plan, the lords were
summoned to the Privy Council in the following year to
assist in the formation of the proposed committee 2 .
But, probably on account of the lethargy and the selfishness
of those concerned, nothing was done. Nevertheless, the
proposal is of constitutional interest as being apparently the
first suggestion that the affairs of Wales and the Marches
should be administered by a distinct council, the plan which
subsequently materialised in the shape of the Council of
Wales and the Marches. Five years later, in 1442, when
the political temperature of the Marches was inordinately
high, the laws of Edward I with regard to the administration
of justice in Wales were examined, and the lords of the
Marches were ordered to confer and take instant action,
a task in which the duke of York promised actively to assist.
In case they refused the Government threatened to find
some drastic remedy. This was no empty boast. For on
August 12, 1443, a conference actually took place at Harlech
between Henry Norris, the deputy-chamberlain of Carnarvon,
and the gentry of Merionethshire, to try and still the
tempest of feud and riot. In October they came before
the Council 3 .

It may be remarked that other provincial assemblies
provincial are recorded in the reign of Edward IV. But

assemblies. they were summoned to vote money rather
than to restore order. In 1466 the freeholders and towns-
people of Anglesey agreed upon a subsidy of 400 marks to

1 Proceedings of the Privy Council, v. 81-2. 25 Nov., 1437.

s Proceedings of the Privy Council. 16 Feb., 1438, vol. v. 92. Ibid.
1442, 211-213.

3 For a history of the Council of Wales see Skeel's Court and Council
of Wales and the Marches ; The Cymmrodor, xn.-xv. and xix. ; and the
authorities quoted. For the above conference see Medieval Boroughs of


be paid within six years ; while in 1473 Cardiganshire and
Carmarthenshire voted a tollage to the Prince of Wales in
honour of his first visit to the country 1 .

One result of the prevailing anarchy was a periodical
tightening of the penal fetters. The statutes against the
Welsh were confirmed in 143 1, and again two years later 2 ;
though it was not until 1447 that the most elaborate and
ponderous engine of oppression which the bigoted tyranny
of officials could conceive was brought to bear upon the
native element. This was at the parliament of Bury, which
was assembled at the time of the death of Humphrey, duke
of Gloucester ; and we shall be able to understand the
circumstances more clearly if we consider the relations
between Wales and the duke.

Humphrey had acquired a personal interest in Wales as
far back as 1414, when he was created earl of
dukTof re ' Pembroke. He was lord of Tenby and Cilger-

w°"es. ster '" ran > an d his possessions included the castle of
Llanstephan, near Carmarthen, which he had
obtained as a reward for his services at Agincourt. The
place had been forfeited to the Crown by the treason of
its possessor, Henry Gwyn, who had fought for the French
in that battle 3 . In 1427 Gloucester was made justice of
North Wales. He came to Chester in that year, presumably
in his capacity as chief justice 4 , while in the following year
we find him holding an inquisition at Bala 5 . In 1433 he held
a court at Pembroke, and investigated a case of disputed in-
heritance. In 1437 he was appointed a justice in Anglesey 6 .

1 Antiquary, vol. xvi. Ministers' Accounts.

2 Statutes of the Realm, 1431, C. 3. Rot. Pari, sub ann. 377. In 1442,
at the instigation of the border counties, Parliament passed a number
of laws against the harbouring of robbers, and called upon the sheriffs
to be more alert and stringent.

3 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1415-16, 129. Nicholas, Agincourt, 175. Cf. Ap-
pendix I, p. 63.

4 Vicker's Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, Appendix A, 437.

5 Powysland Collections, 1. 254.

6 Rot. Pari. iv. 474. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 19, 376, 452 ; Ma the w Wogan and
Thomas Perot were present at the investigation.


In 1440 the office of chief justice of South Wales was
conferred upon him, and in August of the following year
he held sessions at Carmarthen and Cardigan " to settle the
disturbances and quarrels which existed between the in-
habitants of those parts," a task which involved him in
" great costs and labour 1 ."

As we have seen, the years 1441 to 1443 were a period
of unusual unrest and insecurity. Gloucester hoped to
turn it to some advantage and to release his wife, Eleanor
Cobham, who had been removed from Kent to Chester
in 1442. At least, the wording of a pardon which was
granted to Thomas Herbert, one of Gloucester's retinue,
after the duke's death, states as much ; and it is significant
that Eleanor was removed from Chester to Kenilworth next
year, although she again returned to Wales (probably Flint
Castle) in 1447, the year in which Humphrey died 2 . It is
unnecessary to enter fully into the bitter court factions
which culminated in the death of the duke of Gloucester.
He condemned the cession of Maine, and led the opposition
to Queen Margaret and Suffolk, who were determined to
silence him. His impeachment was prepared. Parliament
was summoned to meet at Bury St Edmunds in February,
1447. Gloucester came to Bury with a bodyguard of eighty
horsemen 3 . One authority states that he came up directly
from Wales, a statement to which the large number of
Welshmen in his retinue lends support 4 . On his way he
passed through Greenwich 5 .

On their arrival at Bury on February 18, Gloucester and
His weish some of his most prominent attendants were
retinue. arrested. Amongst these were Sir Henry Wogan,

1 Proceedings, v. 138-9 ; Introduction, lxxxvi. and in. 267. See also
Doyle 11. 23.

2 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1447; 68, 74-5. Vicker's Humphrey duke of
Gloucester, 273-4.

3 English Chronicle, edited Davies, 116.

4 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 150.

6 Rymer, xi. 179 ; a pardon to Thomas Herbert " armiger, formerly
of Greenwich," which states that Gloucester proceeded from Greenwich
to Bury. He appears to have passed through Wiltshire. Stow, 386.


the duke's steward in the earldom of Pembroke 1 , Thomas
Herbert, the elder brother of William Herbert (afterwards
earl of Pembroke), John Wogan and Howel ap David ap
Thomas 2 . Three days later, which was Shrove Tuesday,
twenty-eight more of his retainers were sent to various
places of confinement. Gloucester died on the 23rd February
and was buried at St Albans, being accompanied thither
by about twenty of his own entourage 3 .

One of the charges levelled by his accusers against
Humphrey was that he had endeavoured to raise a rebellion
in Wales. They " enfourmed falsli the king, and sayde that
he wolde raise the Welshmenne for to distresse him (Suffolk)
and destroie him 4 ." There is no reliable evidence of the
existence of such a plot ; his servants certainly did not
suspect that anything untoward was maturing until they had
been placed under arrest 5 . On the other hand it is easy
to realise how plausible such a charge would appear when
once put forward. Wales had acquired unenviable notoriety
as the nursery of treasonable enterprises. Dark suspicion
attached to the very name. Throughout the reign she had
been the cause of much anxiety to the central government.
At this very moment the Marches were a welter of implacable
feuds and national acerbities. A few years before one of
Gloucester's retinue, Griffith ap Nicholas, had been summoned
before the Council, and the family implicated in riots.

Moreover, Humphrey's enthusiastic and liberal patronage
of learning appealed with special force to the Welsh poets,

1 Welsh MSS. British Museum, Edward Owen, i. 618. Sir Roger
Chamberlain and one Thomas Weryot were also among those who were
arrested that day.

2 This is probably an error for David ap Thomas. There is no son
Howel in the list given by Ellis, although there is a David ap Thomas,
and his two sons Griffith and Rees.

This Thomas Herbert, according to William of Worcester, Itinerarium,
122, had fought in France under Richard, duke of York, and in Portugal
at the head of 300 men. He was a brother to William Herbert, and died at
Troye. He appears in a plea of debt in 1442. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1442, 14.

3 English Chronicle, edit. Davies, 11 7-8.

4 Ibid. 62.

B Gregory's Chronicle, 188.


and he found favour amongst them. Lewis Glyn Cothi, in
an ode to Roger Kynaston, alludes to him in terms of
admiration 1 . One of these bards had been traversing the
country preaching insurrection, and that about the time
when Eleanor Cobham was removed from Chester to Kenil-
worth. The duke of Gloucester was chief justice of South
Wales, and, as we have seen, paid several visits to the
country. Such a combination of circumstances made
admirable soil in which to sow the seed of a charge of con-

Of the prisoners, Sir Henry Wogan and Thomas Herbert
were sent to London, Owen Dwnn to Wallingford, and
Griffith ap Nicholas and David ap Thomas to the king's
Bench 2 . David ap Thomas had been a prisoner in the
Fleet in 1443. He may have been involved in the distur-.
bance in Wales at. that period. He was removed to Car-
marthen Castle where he was detained until Sir William ap
Thomas found the necessary security of a thousand marks 3 .
In the following July, five members of Gloucester's retinue,
including Richard Middleton and Thomas Herbert, were tried

1 Lewis Glyn Cothi, v. 1. Ode to Sir Roger Kynaston.

Wyr y Dug, a vu wx da

O Glousedr, myn bagl Assa.
" He (Kynaston) was a grandson of the duke of Gloucester, who was an
honourable man." This Kynaston had married Elizabeth, daughter to
Henry Grey, Lord Powys, who was created earl of Tankerville by Henry V,
and who had married Antigone, a daughter of Humphrey, duke of Glou-

2 The full list of prisoners is as follows, the names in brackets showing
where they were imprisoned : Sir Henry Wogan, Thomas Herbert, Griffith
ap David ap Thomas, and Evan ap Jenkyn (London) ; Jenkyn Thawe,
Jankyn Lloyd Wogan, and John Wogan (Berkhampstead) ; William Wogan,
Evan ap Jankyn ap Rees, and William ap John ap David ap Thomas
Lloyd (Reading) ; William Wogan, William ap Thomas ap Robert ap Rees,
and Henry Wogan (Leeds Castle, Kent) ; Alun ap Meredith ap Philip Madoc,
Rees ap David ap Thomas, and Thomas ap Jankyn ap Rees (Norwich) ;
Owen Dwnn, and Hugh Bennoth (Wallingford) ; John Eynon, and Hugh
ap Thomas (Guildford) ; John ap Rees, Richard ap Robert, and William
ap John (Southampton) ; David ap Thomas, Hugh ap Thomas, and Griffith
ap Nicholas (King's Bench) ; Morgan (Nottingham). Ellis Letters, second
series, 1. 108-9.

3 Proceedings, v. 229, 272. He appears as a pledge for Griffith ap
Nicholas on the latter's appointment as farmer of Dynevor. West Wales
Hist. Society Transactions, 11. 107-111.


for treason at Deptford, a special commission presided over
by Suffolk having been appointed for the purpose. They
were sentenced to death, and were already strung up at
Tyburn when Suffolk arrived with a pardon from the king.
Accordingly they were released and for the most part restored
to their possessions. Suffolk succeeded Humphrey in the
earldom of Pembroke 1 , although he had been made earl in
reversion as far back as 1443.

It is an instructive commentary upon the nervous
statutes apprehension of parliament with regard to Wales

against that it now confirmed all the statutes against

Welshmen, ordaining that " all grants of fran-
chises, markets, fairs and other freedoms to buy or
sell, or bake or brew to sell in the towns of North Wales,
made to any Welshmen before this time, be void and of no
value ; and that all bondmen of the king be compelled to
such services and labours as they were accustomed to ;
and that the officers have power to compel them to do such
labours and services 2 ." Moreover, in March a special edict
was issued by the Privy Council enjoining the constables
of castles in Wales to see to the safety of their charge 3 .

These drastic measures were in all probability due
directly to the number of Welsh squires in the duke of
Gloucester's retinue, and indirectly to the state of anarchy
in Wales during the four or five years which immediately
preceded his arrest. There is not sufficient evidence to
prove that Humphrey schemed to turn this anarchy to
Suffolk's disadvantage. That seems to have been a mis-
chievous fabrication emanating from the cunning brain of
Suffolk. Its only support are the statements in Herbert's
pardon that Gloucester had endeavoured to release Eleanor

1 English Chronicle, edit. Davies, 118, Appen. Three Fifteenth Century
Chronicles, 65. Gregory, 188. Lords Reports, v. 254-5. Cal. Pat. Rolls,
174. Suffolk also got some of the lands of Herbert. Rymer, 1447, 178.
Cal. Pat. Rolls, op. cit.

- Statutes of the Realm, II. 344. Rot. Pari. 1447, 139.

8 Proceedings, vi. 60. March 19, 1447.

42 THE PENAL LAWS [ch. ii

Cobham, and the allegation of Suffolk himself at Bury.
At the same time, it must be admitted that the circumstances
were such as to make the allegation plausible enough.

The state of Wales did not improve afterwards. " Mis-
governed persons take divers persons and cattle under colour
of distress where they have no manner, fee, or cause to make
such distress, but feign actions and quarrels. And many
times for taking of such distresses and in such resistance
of them, great assemblies of people, riots, maims and murders
be made, and if it be not hastily remedied other incon-
veniences be like to follow, of which takings, bringings, and
carryings in this behalf no due punishment is, whereof the
people of the said parts daily abound and increase in evil
governance 1 ."

In 1449, therefore, the duke of Buckingham, who wielded
a wide territorial influence in Mid- Wales, was sent to deal
with the matter, while the king traversed the Marches to
lend support if necessary. But the Wars of the Roses were
already at hand to make confusion more confused 2 .

1 Rot. Pari. 1447; and 1449, 154. Statutes of the Realm, 27 Henry VI,
c. 4. The Justices of the Peace were again given additional powers to deal
with the disorder.

2 Paston Letters, II, 113. October 16, 1449.



The part played by Wales in the fifteenth century wars
Welshmen between England and France has not hitherto
abroad. received even a cursory examination. During

the prolonged duel which followed the battle of Agincourt
thousands of Welshmen crossed the sea, the nation's activity
expending itself freely in the game of war. Archers and
men-at-arms were greatly in request. The archer's pay was
twice that of a labourer. Service abroad was a relief from
disabilities and bondage at home. The lust for booty added
zest to a life not otherwise unattractive. Such were the
causes which allured Welshmen to France ; and their deeds
of valour contributed materially to amplify the little glory
which relieves the monotonous dreariness of those arid

Although a detailed examination of the Agincourt
campaign as it affected Wales is beyond the pale of the
present work, it may be of interest to mention the most
prominent Welshmen who shared in that triumph.

Sir John Devereux is stated to have brought a force of
250 men-at-arms and a similar number of foot

The J

battle of archers 1 ; Sir John Skydmore of Herefordshire

had with him four men-at-arms and twelve

1 Nicholas, Agincourt, 334-384. The lists have been taken from Harl.
MS. 782, collated with a copy of the MS. marked 1 in the College at Arms.
Also the unpublished collections for Rymer's Foedera, Sloane MS. 4600,
British Museum. Calendar of Norman Rolls. See also Royal Historical
Society Transactions, 3rd series, vol. v. 191 1. It states that the retinue
of Devereux as given in the lists is impossible.


foot-archers 1 ; John ap Henry 2 and Thomas ap Henry two
men-at-arms and six foot-archers each ; David Gam, esquire,
three foot-archers. The greatest number of Welsh levies,
however, was drawn from Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire
and Brecknock, and served under John Merbury who was
Chamberlain of South Wales at the time 3 . He is credited
with having had beneath his standard over five hundred
Welshmen 4 . Thomas Carew also had with him a large body
of Welshmen 5 .

Edward Stradling 6 of Glamorgan, John Perot 7 of Pem-
brokeshire, and William Wogan were with the duke of

1 Skydmore remained at Harfleur to garrison the town. Royal Hist.
Soc. Trans. 191 1, 112. Sir John Skydmore of Kenchurch had married
the daughter of Owen Glyndwr.

2 John ap Henry received protection, July n, 1415, and Thomas on
July 12. Record Reports, 1885.

3 Exchequer Accounts 46/20 ; 45/5.

4 Merbury's retinue came from Cardiganshire, Brecknock, and Car-
marthenshire, for whose wages he received ^436 at Hereford. For in-
dentures, with seals signed at Carmarthen and Brecknock, January 26,
1415, see Exchequer Accounts 45/5 (10), 46/20. The following are the names
of the men-at-arms. From

(a) Carmarthenshire : John ap Rys, Henry ap Ievan, Gwyn Rys
ap Llywelyn, Griffith Vychan, David ap Ievan ap Trahaiarn, Griffith ap
Meredith ap Henry (total 5 + 102).

(b) Cardiganshire : Meredith ap Owen, Owen Mortimer, Owen ap
Jankyn, Yllort Llywelyn ap Cliffort, Walter ap Ievan ( = 5 + 238, thirteen
of whom were wounded).

(c) Brecknock : Watkin Lloyd, Andrew ap Lewis, Ievan ap Richard,
Jankyn ap Meurig ap Richard, Jankyn ap John ap Rhys, Philip ap Griffith
Bras, Richard ap Rj^s, Meurig ap Rys, Richard Prys ( = 9 + 160, fourteen of
whom were wounded).

Of the above 5 + 54 were on the sick list at Harfleur. SeeExch. Accts.
45/1. Hunter, 51. The West Wales men came from Gethinog, St Clear's,
Llanstephan, Emlyn, Penryn (Pemb.), Tallagharn, Elvet, Wydegada,
Trayne and Osterlo (Pemb.), Iskennin, Maenordeilo, Penarth (Cardigan),
Hyrcoryn, Cayo, Isayron, Mabwynion, Caerwedros, Uwchcerdyn, Iscerdyn,
Iswyle, Uchayron : and the men of Mid-Wales from Glyncawy, Cantrecelly,
Hay, the Forest, Ystraffelte, Llywch, and Conwt. See Trans. Roy. Hist.
Soc. 191 1, 135. Penryn and Osterlo are now in Carmarthenshire.

6 Cal. French Rolls, 718.

6 Sir William Stradling (temp. Richard II) had two sons, Sir Edward,
and William. Edward married Jane, a daughter of Cardinal Beaufort.
Their son was Sir Henry Stradling who married Elizabeth, a sister of
William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. They had a son Thomas Stradling,
and a daughter who married Miles ap Harry. The other son of Sir William
Stradling had a daughter Gwenllian, by whom Anthony Woodville, earl
Rivers, had a daughter Margaret.

7 He was farmer of the lordship of Dynevor. 1433-52. West Wales
Hist. Soc. Trans. 162-3.


Gloucester ; Henry Wogan 1 with the duke of York ; John
Griffith and John ap Thomas with Sir William Bourchier ;
John Glyn and Nicholas Griffith with Lord Talbot ; John
Edward 2 with Michael de la Pole, son of the earl of Suffolk ;
Rees ap Rhydderch with Sir Rowland Lenthal of Hereford-
shire ; John Lloyd 3 and John ap Rhys 4 of Carmarthen were
with the king. Sir Rowland Lenthal subsequently became
lord of Haverfordwest.

Of these warriors none perhaps are so well known as
David Gam, the ancestor of William Herbert,

David Gam.

earl of Pembroke. He was one of the few men
of note who were slain at Agincourt 5 . There is extant a
tradition that he was knighted as he lay expiring on the
field of battle. There is no conclusive evidence that the story
is true. But the anonymous priest who accompanied the
expedition, and afterwards gave an account of it, makes
a vague statement that two newly-made knights were
included among the slain 6 . The only knight mentioned by
him is Sir Richard Kighley, and it may be presumed that
he had been knighted before. Now, if two of the three of
inferior rank who were slain were knighted on the battle-
field, we may reasonably suppose that David Gam was one,
for he is given pride of place by every writer of the period.
Our inference is strengthened by the fact that his son-in-law,

1 Received protection July, 1415. Record Reports, 1885. Cal. French

2 Ibid. June 1, 1415. He received protection again on May 2, 1416,
being then in the retinue of John ; earl of Huntingdon ; and again on
February 5, 1416, in the retinue of Thomas Carew. Ibid. He was then
designated " armiger." Rymer's Foedera IX. 249.

3 Received protection May 22, 1415. Cal. French Rolls, in Record
Reports, 1885. 545-637, passim.

* Received protection, August 6, 1415 ; ibid. He is perhaps the
John ap Rys given in Merbury's list. See ante.

5 Nicholas, Agincourt, 369. Hardyng, note.

6 The men of note slain were the duke of York, duke of Suffolk,
Sir Richard Kighley, David Gam, esquire, Thomas FitzHenry and John de
Peniton. The account referred to is British Museum, Cottonian MS.
Julius E iv. and Sloane MS. 1776. See Nicholas, Agincourt, Intro, ix. and
136-7. Also Had. MS. 782.


Sir William ap Thomas, was soon afterwards a favourite at
court, and was knighted at the same time as Henry VI.

The belief is fondly cherished that a number of other
Welshmen were honoured with a knighthood on this historic
field, notably Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine, Watkin
Vaughan of Brecknock, and Watkin Lloyd of the same
county. But we cannot escape a strong suspicion that
these knighthoods have been fathered upon history by
family pride. There certainly exists no reliable evidence.
Indeed, Watkin Lloyd alone of the trio figures in the list
of warriors 1 which has survived.

On the death of Henry V the control of English affairs
in France fell to the lot of the duke of Bedford who, during
the first few years of the reign, wrested from the French
practically all districts north of the Loire. Meanwhile, a
large number of Welshmen had joined the standards and
a few were already holding responsible positions as captains
and commanders.

One of these was Sir David Howel whom we have already
had occasion to mention in connection with the conspiracy
of the earl of Cambridge. He was a native of Pembroke-
shire. He went abroad on the king's service in June, 1416,
fought at Verneuil, and was a captain under the duke of
Bedford in 1435 2 . Sometime afterwards we find him in
the retinue of the duke of York, designated as a knight.

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