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and chattels. This was November 20. Before the close
of 1449, Renneville, the captain of which was " Griffith
ap Meredith, Welshman," surrendered by composition 2 .

Gough was now approaching the zenith of his splendid
military career. His heroism flowed like an

" Matago."

electric current through those who served
beneath him. To have passed unsinged through a furnace
of hostile French criticism could not have been expected of
a far less vigorous protagonist. Blondel, a contemporary
writer, was especially inflamed against Gough. With him
Gough's rigour spelt savagery, though he could not deny
the stout hardihood with which he inspired his men. Wavrin
makes the interesting admission that for years afterwards
the name " Matago," a French contraction of " Mathew
Gough," was fondly cherished by the inhabitants of Belleme
in memory of their erstwhile captain 3 .

On March 15, 1450, Sir Thomas Kyriel landed at Cher-
Battieof bourg with reinforcements, and proceeded to

carentan. j a y s j e g e t Valognes 4 . The duke of Somerset

immediately sent him assistance under Sir Robert Vere,
while Gough had to proceed from Bayeux, in command
of about 800 men. Their combined efforts compelled the
garrison to submit, on April 10, 1450 5 . The English forces

1 "Droit bons combatans dont estoit capittaine Mathieu Gone,"
Wavrin, 150. " Ducentis enim barbaris sub Mathaeo Goth belligerantibus,"
Blondel, 156. Berry, 329. Stephenson, 11. 625-8.

2 Stephenson, op. cit.

3 "The name 'Matago' is to this day retained at Belleme in memory
of this valiant Welshman," Wavrin, 150 ; and note, 282.

4 Hugh Donne of Wales, in the retinue of the duke of Somerset, and
John Hokes of Tenby, in the retinue of Henry, Lord Bourchier, received
protection, Oct.-Nov. 1448-9. Record Reports, 1887.

5 Blondel, 160. Berry, 331. Wavrin, 155.


then set out in the direction of Bayeux. Along their line
of march they had to ford the quicksands between the sea
and Carentan, leaving this town on the right. The
inhabitants of that place made a strenuous effort to cut
off their rear, but Gough's irresistible dash swept them
aside. " We have crossed in spite of the dogs," he exclaimed
on reaching safety, and thereupon kissed the ground he
had won 1 .

They reached Formigny without further mishap, though
the rapid concentration of French forces prevented any
further general advance. Gough's contingent proceeded on
its way to Bayeux, but were immediately recalled when it
was seen that an engagement was imminent at Formigny.
Here, on April 15, 1450, English domination in Normandy
closed for ever. The French historian makes Gough address
his troops on the eve of battle as follows :

" Your valour, my brave men, has been steeled in many
fires. Show how unconquerable it is in this


speech at day's conflict. Vengeance, rather than courage,

inspires your foes. Let strength of limb and
intrepidity of heart win for you a glorious victory. If you
play the lamb they will savagely cut your throats with
blood-stained knives. Remember that your fathers, greatly
outnumbered, vanquished countless hosts of Frenchmen.
Your ranks are firm, and if you have the same indomitable
spirit as they, you will scatter in headlong flight yonder
disorderly and unbridled host. Flight on your part can
only mean captivity or death. Seize the spoils of the
Frenchmen ! See how they glitter effulgent in silver and
gold ! Enrich yourselves abundantly, or embrace death 2 ."
Thus does the French writer of those days conceive Gough
to have been swayed by alternating moods of fear, doubt,
hope, cupidity, and the memory of past glory. That the

1 Blondel, 169.

2 Berry, 333. Blondel, 171-2. The text is a free translation of the
original. See Appendix II.


speech was put in the mouth of Gough rather than of Kyriel,
the nominal leader, shows how the former had captured the
imagination of his enemies.

The day served to give additional proof of his courage.
When the last gleam of hope of victory had

William ° r jj

Herbert a disappeared, he cut his way through the French

lines at the head of the left wing, which con-
sisted of about 1500 men, and reached Bayeux in safety.
The bulk of the forces under Kyriel were either slaughtered
in position or taken prisoners 1 . William Herbert and Kyriel
were among the captured 2 . Gough himself all but fell into
the hands of his enemy. He was rescued in a moment of
extreme peril by his comrade and countryman, Gwilym
Gwent, who was perhaps William Herbert ap Norman, a half-
brother of William Herbert, afterwards earl of Pembroke 3 .
The remaining English strongholds fell in rapid succession.
On May 16, Gough surrendered Bayeux to the
march to count of Dunois, "after severe assaults and

skirmishes, the walls being pierced by great
cannon 4 ." The pitiful sufferings of the garrison on their
march to Cherbourg form one of the saddest episodes in
this tale of disasters 5 . They were eight or nine hundred in
number 6 , including the best and bravest of the English soldiers
in Normandy. They were allowed a white staff for their
weary way. There were about three hundred women besides
children. Some of the latter were carried in little cradles
on their mothers' heads ; others clung around their mothers'

1 Blondel, 175. Wavrin, 153.

2 Stephenson, 11. 630. Paston Letters, 1. 67-8 ; n. 147.

3 Lewis Glyn Cothi, 1. viii, vn.

Y vo gedwis ei vywyd
I Vathew Goch vyth i gyd.
" It was he who then saved the life of Mathew Gough."
See also, William of Worcester, Itinerarium, 120-2, where this Herbert
is described as " consanguineus domini Herbert locum tenens de Penigele."
This " Penigele " is probably " Pengelly " in Breconshire.

4 Stephenson, n. 630, 730.

5 Stephenson, 1. 502. Hall, 216. The governor of Cherbourg in 1449
was Sir John Gough.

6 Ibid.


necks. Some were led by the hand ; many had to shift
as best they could. Moved by their wretched plight, com-
passionate Frenchmen came to their assistance, some with
horses, others with conveyances ; for many of the women
were French born, and were now abandoning their country
for a foreign land 1 .

" What great booty dost thou, O Mathew Gough, thus
ignominiously expelled from France, now carry to England ?
Bereft of thy plunder, thou, a weary wayfarer, seekest thy
home, wielding a slender staff, not a quivering lance. Thy
miserable end is an example to tyrants, who always die in
the midst of calamities 2 ." Such were the biting comments
of the French contemporary historian.

The remnants of the English forces gathered around
Somerset at Caen after the defeat at Formigny. On June 24,
that city capitulated 3 , and Somerset retired for a while to
Calais. On August 12, Cherbourg, the last English foothold
in Normandy, submitted to Charles of France. Sir John
Gough refused to surrender without adequate compensation.

To bring Gough's career to a close. After the fall of
jack cades Bayeux he crossed immediately to England
nsing - from Cherbourg. He was then placed in com-

mand of the Tower of London with Lord Scales. Early
in July he was called upon to defend the city against
the insurgent Kentishmen under Jack Cade, "because he
was of manhood and experience greatly renowned and
noised 4 ."

Cade's rebels entered the city on July 2. Three days
later Gough issued forth by night at the head

Death of ° J °

Mathew of a body of troops, dispersed the rioters, and

attacked London Bridge, which was in the

hands of Cade's men. The battle raged fiercely through

1 Wavrin, 154-5. Berry, 342.

2 Blondel, 212. See Appendix III.

3 Polydore, 78.

4 Hall, 221. In Lewis Glyn Cothi's ode to Gwilym Gwent [op. cit.) there
are possible references to the engagement on London Bridge.


the night 1 , and many were hurled into the Thames to receive
a watery grave in their heavy armour. Meanwhile, in the
darkness lit up only by the blaze of burning houses,
Mathew Gough was slain, fighting desperately to hold the
bridge which he had succeeded in wresting from the men of
Kent. He was honourably buried in the choir of St Mary's,
of the Carmelite Friars. William of Worcester gave ex-
pression to the grief in Wales on the death of the hero in
a curious Latin couplet :

On the death of Mathew Goch

Wales, in deepest gloom, cried, Och ! 2

" He was a man of great wit and much experience in
feats of chivalry, the which in continual wars

Contemporary _ J

opinions had valiantly served the king and his father

beyond the sea 3 ." Contemporary chroniclers
unite in a chorus of praise and admiration. A native of a
land of mountains and castles, he possessed in an eminent
degree those qualities which make for success in a system of
guerrilla warfare, in which the assault and defence of castles
were the outstanding features. He warred in France for
more than a quarter of a century ; and he was one of the
very few who emerged from that cauldron of blundering,
incapacity, waste and havoc, with a name resplendent with
brilliant achievements 4 .

Contemporary poetical allusions to him are numerous
in the vernacular, and afford ample proof of his popu-
larity in Wales, though, as far as we know, he never
re -visited the land of his birth. Ieuan Deulwyn, Guto'r
Glyn, and Lewis Glyn Cothi are unanimous in appraising

1 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 68, 151. Gregory, 103.

2 Itinerarium, 357.

Morte Matthei Goghe
Cambria clamitavit, Oghe !

3 English Chronicle, edit. Davies, 67. Stephenson, 11. 768. Hall, 221-2.
Polydore, 86.

4 William of Worcester, Annales, 768. See also the will of Sir John
Fastolf for a proof of his affection for Gough. Paston Letters, 1. 456.
November 3, 1459.


him as the most daring and successful soldier of his

A number of Welshmen sought means at the conclusion
of the war to defray their ransom. Edward Stradling and
his family were given licence to ship wool to Brittany for
this purpose ; Robert Dwnn traded with Normandy to defray
Lord Falconberg's ransom. His vessel, the James of Tenby,
whilst coming to England laden with wines from Bordeaux,
was captured by the French near Winchelsea, which involved
him in another journey to France. John Derell exported
wool to ransom his son who was a hostage in France. Lewis
Howel traded with Normandy through certain merchants 1 .


For a list of those who received protection see Calendar French
Rolls in Record Reports 1885, 545-637, and Calendar Norman Rolls,
Record Reports 1880, 1881. The following is a list of the Welshmen;
the dates given in brackets are those on which they received pro-
tection : Thomas ap Prene of Aberystwyth (March 23, 1418) ;
David ap Rhys of Pencoed, Herefordshire, who was on a commission
to redress infractions of the truce with Burgundy, June 2, 1418.
He was in the retinue of Thomas Barre (Feb. 21, 1419) and with
John, Lord Furnivale (June 2, 1421) ; John Hall of Wales, in
Gloucester's retinue (May 15, 1421) ; John Henbury of Denbigh
in Lord Scales's retinue (May 14, 1431) ; David Gronow of Tenby in
Sir John Kyderowe's (May 28, 1421) ; Owen ap Thomas in the
earl of Worcester's (June 8, 1421) ; various Welshmen (unnamed)
in the king's and Lord Audley's retinues (July 6, 1417 and Feb. 16,
1419) ; William Porter of Cardigan in John Popham's (Feb. 23, 1416) ;
John Aylward of Kidwely in Henry Gwyn's (August 4, 1419) ;
William ap Griffith of Iscennin, Carmarthenshire, in Sir John
Steward's ; Meredith ap William ap Patrick of Carnwallon, Car-
marthenshire, in Thomas Rempston's, who was captain of Meulan,
Nov. 22, 1419 ; Henry ap Walter of Llanelly (Aug. 16, 1419) ;
Henry ap Ieuan Gwynne in the king's (Oct. 18) ; Thomas ap David
ap William of Wales, yeoman in Sir John Steward's retinue in

1 For the above details see Record Reports, 1887, 387, 388, etc. Also
French Rolls, 1459-61.

Other Welsh ships mentioned are the Trinity of Newport and the
Mary White of Tenby.


Normandy (June 26), who was then captain of Nully-L'eveque.
In 141 8, Thomas Carew had a band of Welshmen in his retinue.
Rymer ix. 596. During 1420-1 several commissions were issued
to array Welsh archers. Sir Edward Stradling of Glamorgan received
letters of attorney (May 24, 1426-7) ; Roger Cause of Tenby in
Sir John Kighley's retinue (Dec. 8) ; Thomas Llywelyn in the
earl of Ormond's (Mar. 13, 1429-30) ; Ithel Llywelyn of Flintshire
and Hugh Penllyn in Lord Fitzwalter's (Feb. 1430-1) ; Lewis ap
Rhys Gethin of South Wales in Walter Cressener's (Jan. 1437-8) ;
Edward ap Howel assessor of taxes in Normandy (1430) ; Stephenson
11. 130, also 299, 437 ; Thomas Griffith, in Bedford's retinue (1435) ;
John Vaughan, in Bedford's retinue (May 1422-3) ; David, son of
John Parker of Chirk, in John de Burgh's, captain of Vernon on the
Seine (May 7, 1424-5) ; Thomas Toker of Tenby, merchant, in
William FitzHenry's, captain of Honfleur (Dec. 12, 1422-4) ; William
Wolf of Wales, knight, in Bedford's (1435), Stephenson 11. 433 ;
Geoffrey Dwnn and William Vaughan of Cheshire (May 13, 1421,
and May 1435-6) ; Gregory ap Heulyn of Denbigh, and Owen Dwnn
in Lord Talbot's (Feb. 8, 1434-5) ; Ednyfed Vaughan of Anglesey
(Jan. 1435-6) in the earl of Mortain's retinue; Thomas Gamage
of Caldecot and Cardiff in the earl of Suffolk's (May 1435-6) ; Geoffrey
ap Rhys accompanied the bishop of St David's to the Congress of
Arras in 1435. Robert Lewis of Cardiff, alias Vaughan of London,
in Somerset's retinue (1442-3, May- June) ; Henry Michael of
Cardiff in the retinue of William Pyrton, lieutenant of Guisnes
(Feb. 1, 1443-4) ; Stephenson 11. 331-2. Lewis ap Meredith was
Marshal of Mantes in 1444, ibid. 1. 461 ; and in the special service of
the queen. Letters of Margaret of Anjou, 116.


Virtus enim vestra, fortissimi viri, hodierno conflictu quanta
sit in hostium pugnam variis periculis retro probata ostendet. Si
virili animo et corpore robusto adversus istos plus vindictae calore
quam virtute concitos dimicet, ab hostibus praeclaram victoriam
reportabit. Si ignave, veluti pecorum hostes inhumani versa guttura
cruentis mucronibus abscindent. Estote memores ut vestri patres
cum paucis innumeram Gallorum multitudinem vicerunt et nunc
multo plures si animi vigor insit istam effraenatam turbam sine
ordine in vos ruentem maximam in fugam disperget, a qua fugax
nullus strictam captionem aut subitam mortem evadere poterit.
Nam vada jam mari cumulata Carentonium fugientibus viam
praecludent. Fusis enim Gallis omnis vobis et posteritati vestrae
comparata aniim praestantia perpetua nobilitatis insignia conse-
quemini. Ditia Gallorum spolia, quae argento auroque praefulgere


conspicitis, non mediocri sorte vestras fortunas augebunt, quae vos
non ambigo consecuturos si animi praestantia in conflictu, veluti
fortes proavi, in adversos pedem teneat fixum.

Blondel, 171-2.


O Matthaeum Goth ! Spoliis agrorum et urbium raptu et
tortura exactis tuas fortunas fecisti locupletissimas ; an ista affiicti
populi oppressione cumulatas armis conservare potes ? Quid de
tanta praeda nunc de Francia foede expulsus in Angliam defers ?
Fractis enim corporis robore et animi virtute, armaturam, equos et
quaecumque castrensia patriae direptione extorta victori Karolo, ut
vitam a stricto gladio redimas compulsus cessisti ; et raptis omnibus
exutus, non eques vibratam lanceam manu, sed tenuem stepitem ad
tuos penates pedester portas. Pro sorte gloriae regni tui extollenda
vincula, carceres, vulnera, et gravissimas labores, noctu diuque
tolerasti. Pro tantis rebus angore gestis, tametsi exteriora fortunae
caduca amisisti, saltern summum virtute praemium honorem con-
secutus es, et labore tot periculis repetito tui principis gratiam et
populi Anglici favorem habes, ut beneficiis pro remuneratione
elargitis tuae calamitati condoleant. Tua enim foeda a bello Formi-
niaco fuga sempiterna ignominiae sorde tuam famam, tui nominis
aestimationem deturpavit. Et quia fugiens proeliorum ordines dis-
solvisse accusaris (cujus occasione aiunt conflictum exitu sibi
adversum et Gallis prosperum fuisse) et ob hoc tuo principi invisus
et a populo implacabili furore concito reversus caede ferocissima
necaris. In armis igitur perniciosus tibi, Mathaee, labor fuit, qui
egestatem non divitias, qui dedecus non laudem, qui tandem
crudele exitum non vitae securitatem attulit. Exitus vitae tuae
miserrimus tyrannum semper emori calamitose ostendit.

Blondel, 211-212.



Of the luminaries who appeared in the political firmament
during these stormy days of faction and war,
none shone with a steadier light than Jasper
Tudor. He was the son of Owen Tudor, an Anglesey
gentleman who traced his descent from the old Welsh king,
Cadwaladr. Owen was tall, handsome, and endowed with
extraordinary charm of manner. He was also imbued with
a lofty chivalry that continued to ennoble his life in spite
of many hazardous vicissitudes during a period of fierce
political convulsions, when chivalry degenerated into bruta-
lity and selfish lust of power.

It has been supposed that he was one of the band of
hardy Welsh warriors who did service at Agincourt 1 . Reliable
records, however, do not carry us back further than his
appearance in the retinue of Hungerford late in the reign
of Henry V 2 . He must soon have abandoned the fields of
war for the alluring avenues of court life ; for during the
infancy of the king he was at Windsor, in close attendance
upon Queen Catherine and her child.

It appears that Catherine might have married Edmund
Beaufort, earl of Mortain (afterwards duke of

His marriage v

with Queen Somerset) , but for the opposition of Humphrey,

duke of Gloucester, who saw in the proposal

the dangerous ascendancy of the family of his rival,

1 Stow. Strickland, Queens of England, II. 150, passim.

2 See ante, Chapter 11.


Cardinal Beaufort. Accordingly it was decreed by act of
parliament, apparently about the year 1427-8, that a
marriage with a Queen Dowager without a special per-
mission should be illegal. But it could not have been
many years after the death of Henry V before Catherine
bestowed her affections upon Owen Tudor in bold defiance
of parliamentary decrees and courtly traditions. They were
married secretly. We need not suspect the validity of the
marriage 1 , though we cannot trace any legal ceremony.
During the proceedings instituted by the Privy Council
against Owen there was no suggestion of illicit relations
between him and the Queen Dowager. Nor was there any
question raised as to the legitimacy of the children. In fact
the legality of the marriage is tacitly admitted. However,
when the relations between rival parties became more strained,
Edmund and Jasper Tudor, who had then been raised to
the earldoms of Richmond and Pembroke respectively,
deemed it prudent to obtain a parliamentary ratification
of their titles, and a formal declaration that they were the
king's half-brothers. A technical illegality may, indeed,
have been committed if, as has been generally supposed,
the marriage took place about 1430. Intermarriage with
Welshmen was contrary to law, and Owen did not receive
denizenship till 1432. The date of this grant, and the un-
usually stringent conditions attached to it, suggest that the
marriage was known to a limited circle of courtiers who were
not averse to shielding Owen while Catherine lived 2 . The
statement of the London chronicler appears to corroborate
this view 3 .

1 Ramsay, Lancaster and York, i. 496, seems to cast doubt upon it.
It is suggestive of the admitted legality of the marriage that not even
Richard III, in his proclamation against Henry Tudor, attempts to dis-
credit the marriage.

2 Revenues from the following Welsh estates were assigned to Queen
Catherine on the death of Henry V : Hawarden, Montgomery, Builth,
Talybolion, Lleyn, Maltraeth, Menai, Cemmaes, Newburgh, Beaumaris,
Aberfraw, Flint, Coleshill, Mostyn, Englefield, Caldecot, Newton. Rot.
Pari. 1. Henry VI. 203.

3 London Chronicle, 123. Stow, 377.


Four children were born to Owen and Catherine, three
sons and a daughter, " unwetyng the common people tyl
that she were dead and buried " : Edmund of Hadham,
who was afterwards created earl of Richmond and married
Margaret Beaufort (their son was Henry VII) ; Jasper Tudor
of Hatfield who became earl of Pembroke ; Thomas who
was a monk at Westminster and " lived a small time " ;
and a daughter Margaret, who died young 1 . Hadham and
Hatfield were royal residences. Many stories have naturally
gathered around the romance of Owen and Catherine.
Among the tares of tradition must be assigned the tale
that Owen on one occasion introduced to the queen a number
of his compatriots whom she playfully described as the
" goodliest dumb creatures she ever knew," on account of
their ignorance of any language but Welsh 2 .

Soon after the death of Catherine, in January, 1437,
Owen Tudor was summoned before the Privy Council to
answer for his conduct. He was then at Daventry, and
refused to come without an assurance that he would be
allowed " freely to come and freely to go 3 ." Though he
received a verbal promise to this effect from the duke of
Gloucester, he justly refused to admit the validity of it
unless it were put in writing. Having thus incurred the
danger of arrest, he came up to London and took sanctuary
in Westminster. He remained there for some days, refusing
to abandon his refuge, " eschewing to leave it although
many persons out of friendship and fellowship stirred him
to come out thereof and desport himself in a tavern at
Westminster gate 4 ." Malicious representations were then
circulated accusing him of disloyalty. In his eagerness to
belie his traducers he came out of sanctuary and appeared
before the council, where he protested that he had done

1 Hall, 185. Miss Strickland gives the name Owen instead of Thomas.

2 Wynne, History of the Gwydir Family.

s Acts and Proceedings of the Privy Council, v. 46.

4 Proceedings, V. 46-49.


nothing to give offence to the king, and offered to " byde
the law " with reference to any charge brought against him.
He was then permitted to retire to Wales.

He was not allowed his liberty for long. In contravention
Owen of the assurance which had been given him he

imprisoned. was pi acec j U nder arrest, taken to London, and
consigned to Newgate. The council, recognising that an
unwarranted breach of faith had been committed, drew up
a statement, as lame as it is laboured, to prove that the
royal assurance had not been violated. The charge preferred
against him was that he had married the Queen Dowager
without the king's consent. It was stated that the under-
taking given by him to answer any indictment involved the
forfeiture of the royal promise of safe-conduct ; that at the
time the promise was given neither the king nor Gloucester
was aware of his hostile designs ; and that having already
appeared before the council and been allowed to retire to
Wales, he had forfeited the benefit of the assurance given 1 .
The document is unconvincing. In February of the following
year, Owen Tudor and his servant contrived to break out
of Newgate " in the night at searching time through the
help of his priest, and went his way, hurting foul his keeper 2 ."
Having been recaptured by Lord Beaumont who was given
a special grant of twenty marks for his expenses in the
business 3 , he was once more summoned before the council.
The priest was found to have £90 in his possession, which
was confiscated to the Exchequer 4 . The priest

His escape. *■ x

was sent to Newgate, whither Owen Tudor also,
after having been placed temporarily under the charge of
the duke of Suffolk at Wallingford, was eventually removed.

1 Proceedings, v. 46-50. Introduction, xvii. It appears from the Claus
Rerum, 239, that he was at one time a prisoner " notabilis " in Windsor
Castle. No date is assigned.

2 London Chronicle, 123. " Fraudulenter et subtiliter." Rymer, x. 709.

3 Rymer, x. 685-6.

4 Rymer, x. 686, March 24, 16 Henry VI. Miss Strickland suggests
that this may have been the priest who married Owen and Catherine.


He contrived to elude his keepers once again and escaped to
Wales, where, presumably, he remained till the outbreak
of civil war 1 . He received a full pardon in November

I439 2 -

The intimate knowledge of Owen's misfortunes possessed

1 2 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

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