(RODNEY HORACE YALE.)
MAP OF ANCIENT WALES.
MAP OF MODERN WALES.
History of Wales (The British Kings and Princes)-----------------------
Owen Glyndwr (Glendower)
Genealogy of the Ancient Yales_
Biography of Maurice Fitz Gerald
The Yales of Plas-yn-Yale --------------
The House of de Montgomery ------------------------------------------------
Arms and Crests
The Yales of Plas Grono-------------------------------------------------------
The Yales of America-----------------------------------------------------------
Biography of Governor Elihu Yale ---------------------
Biography of Linus Yale, Sr.,
Biography of Linus Yale, Jr.,-------------------------------------------------
War Records -----------------------------------------------
A person is only given one number and it is used as the family heading of the person, as well as in numbering this person as offspring of the parents. This is the "Key" to the work. For example Thomas Yale No. 44, page 126, was son of Thomas Yale No. 29, page 123. All family and children numbers are in numerical order, so any number can be located at once. Records of persons received late or overlooked, have been numbered with the letter "A" preceding.
The Author Frontispiece
Coat of Arms I
Map of Modem Wales-------------------------------------------------------------- II
Map of Ancient Wales------------------------------------------------------------- Ill
Llangollen and Dinas Bran 16
Castle Dinas Bran (Two Views)------------------------------------------------ 32
Valle Crucis Abbey---------------------------------------------------------------- 36
Pembroke Castle-------------------------------------------------------------------- 44
Carew Castle ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 48
Glyndwr's Mount------------------------------------------------------------------- 52
Sycherth or Cynllaeth------------------------------------------------------------- 60
Nannau (Two Views)------------------------------------------------------------- 64
Harlech Castle ------------------------------------------------------------------- __ 68
Aberystwith Castle 76 Plas yn Yale 80 Views at Plas yn Yale 84 Bryneglwys Church 92
Madryn Castle and Wm. Corbet Yale----------------------------------------- 96
Yale Monument (Oswestry) --------------------------------------------------- 100
Erddig Hall ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 108
Signature of Dr. David Yale---------------------------------------------------- 108
Bishop George Lloyd's House-------------------------------------------------- 112
Gov. Elihu Yale _ .. ------------------------------------------------------------ 116
Gov. Elihu Yale's Letter--------------------------------------------------------- 124
Gov. Elihu Yale's Japanese Screen ------------------------------------------- 128
Plas Grono ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 132
Parish Church at Wrexham------------------------------------------------------ 140
Views at Parish Church of Wrexham ---------------------------------------- 144
Gov Elihu Yale's Tomb (Two Views) --------------------------------------- 152
Photo of Thomas Yale's 'Letter ----------------------------------------------- 160
Views at Yale University (Three Pages) _ --------------------------------- 168
Linus Yale Sr. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 296
Old Yale Lock Factory ---------------------------------------------------------- 296
Linus Yale Jr ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 436
The Yale Locks and Keys ------------------------------------------------------- 438
The Yale Locks and Keys-------------------------------------------------------- 440
The Yale Lock Factory, 1866 ------------------------------------------------- 440
Factory of Yale and Towne Mfg. Co. --------------------------------------- 442
Residence of J. Hobart Yale _ _ _ ------------------------------------------ 444
MILBURN az SCOTT COMPANY
U. S. A.
HISTORY OF WALES
The British Kings and Princes.
LIFE OF OWEN GLYNDWR.
GOVERNOR ELIHU YALE
For Whom Yale University was Named.
LINUS YALE, Sr., and LINUS YALE, Jr.
The Inventors of Yale Locks.
MAURICE FITZ GERALD;
The Great Leader in the Conquest of Ireland.
ROGER de MONTGOMERY
The Greatest of the Norman Lords.
and OTHER NOTED PERSONS.
RODNEY HORACE YALE.
BEATRICE, NEBRASKA, U. S. A.
In compiling this work I have endeavored to present only definite and positive facts, based upon competent and proven authorities. I was intended that mere fiction and tradition should have no part in the events recorded herein, and the reader may be assured that the matter presented is authentic and founded entirely upon reliable historical, biographical, genealogical and private records.
I have kept well in mind the fact that the mere assumption, based upon tradition or like unreliable authority, of descent from or connection with noted historical characters, should have no place in a work of this class, and the ancient genealogy of the Yales as presented herein is bereft of all suppositional matter and is a bare record of facts as established by anciently recorded pedigrees and reliable historical matter,
The principal authorities consulted are: "The Welsh People" (1906). by John Rhys, M. A., Professor of Celtic in the University of Oxford, and David Brynmor-Jones, member of Parliament, "Burke's Peerage," "Burke's Landed Gentry," "The Life of Owen Glyndwr," by Bradley, "Abbeys and Castles of England and Wales," "The Dictionary of National Biographies," "Country Townships of the Old Parish of Wrexham," by Alfred Neobard Palmer, and various Encyclopedias and Histories.
Substantial and valuable special information was also supplied direct, by Mr. Alfred Neobard Palmer, of Wrexham, Wales, a recognized authority on Welsh pedigrees and family history, and by Mr. George F. C. Yale of Pwllheli, Wales, son of Wm. Corbet Yale-Jones-Parry of Plas yn Yale and Madryn Castle.
The principal original sources of information pertaining to early Britain, of the authorities named, are the 'Brut," a history of the British Princes, and "Annales Cambriae," both being of ancient Cymric origin.
The sources of information for the genealogy of the Yales after their settlement in America were, "The Yale Family," by Judge Elihu Yale, "The New Haven Historical Society Papers," the living Yales themselves, and their descendants.
I am however especially indebted to several ladies and gentlemen, who have unselfishly and loyally, rendered much valuable assistance, in supplying records, information, etc., pertaining not only to their own branches, but to other branches as well; among whom are Miss Amelia Yale, Houseville N. Y., Miss Charlotte Lilla Yale, Meriden Conn., Miss Fanny I. Yale, Hartford, Mrs. Madeline Yale-Wynne, Chicago, Mrs. C. C. Xing, Chicago, Mr. J. Hobart Yale, Meriden Conn., Mr. George H. Yale, Wallingford, Conn., Mr. William T. Yale, New York N. Y., Mr. Fred'k C. Yale, New York, N. Y., Mr. William Henry Yale, New York, N.Y.,Mr. Washington Yale, Minneapolis, Minn., Mr. F. B. Yale, Waco, Neb., Mr. D. E. Williams, Reno, Nev., Mr. Arthur Yale, Montreal, Canada, and Mr. M. B. Waterman, Buckley, Ills., and others I also wish to extend thanks to the large number of other members of the Yale family and descendants, who have unstintingly and carefully supplied the records pertaining to their own branches; and in connection with these acknowlegments, I regret that it is necessary to state, that I have found it impossible to procure from some of the Yale families, whose addresses I have, the required information regarding their ancestry, to enable me to enter their family records in this work; although I have made repeated and urgent requests. I also deeply regret that there are some few whose ancestry I have been unable to trace, even with their own aid, willingly extended. I mention these facts at this time, so that it may be understood that the author is not wholly responsible for the absence of such desirable and essential family records as may be lacking.
As many of the early ancestors of the Yales were kings and princes of ancient Britain and Wales, and others prominent leaders of the Normans in their conquest of the Principality, I concluded that the most practical way to record the events in the lives of these important personages and present same in a connected manner and the order in which they appeared in the national life, was to write a brief history of ancient Britain and Wales.
In fact the lives of these ancestors were so intertwined with the na‑
tional life and constituted such an important part of it, that it would be impossible to write their biographies without also writing a history of Wales; and it would likewise be impossible to write a history of Wales without writing their biographies.
Individual biographies are presented of those ancient ancestors of prominence whose careers were not sufficiently connected with Welsh affairs so that the principal events of their lives could be told in connection therewith.
The "Yale Pedigree" presented herein will make clear the various connections and the several lines of descent. The names are numbered and these numbers are also inserted in the history of Wales, in connection with the names of the same persons, where they first appear, and in some instances the number is inserted successively with the name. Usually, however, the number is only inserted once, it being expected that the name will be recognized, as it successively appears in the narrative. The names of the ancestors in the History are all printed in capitals, to distinguish them from other names.
The Pedigree numbers are also used in connection with the "Genealogy of the Ancient Yales" and the biographies in connection with same_
In reference to the family records, will state that sometimes dates given me by different members of a family for the same event would differ. In such cases I have used the date which seemed most likely correct.
Where no names of children are given it does not always follow that there were no children, but it means, at least, that no record of children was sent to me.
Addresses and dates of death, etc., are usually not given in the records of children, where the persons have individual family records in the book.
Addresses given are the last known to the author.
RODNEY HORACE YALE.
The family name "Yale" originated in Wales and was formerly spelled "Ial" and "Yal" and comes from the commote, hundred, or district of Yale, in Powys Fadog, Wales. The district of Yale, together with the adjoining district of Bromfield on the west, have formed since the end of the thirteenth century, a lordship, known as the lordship of Bromfield and Yale. Both Bromfield and Yale are in the county of Denbigh.
The district of Yale is an upland plain bounded on all sides by hills and contains the old parishes of Llandysiles yn Yale, Bryn Eglwys, Llanarmon yn Yale, Llandeg-la yn Yale and Llanrones. Each parish, except the last named, being divided into townships.
The ancient Yales were descended from Osborn Fitz Gerald (0 sbwrn Wyddel), of the country of Merioneth, Wales; and one of his descendents, Ellis ap Griffith, married Margaret, the heiress of Plas yn Yale, in the lordship of Bromfield and Yale; and in this way the estate of Plas yn Yale came into the family, and the descendants of Ellis and Margaret later on definitely adopted the name Yale as a family surname; and with the exception of the Lloyds of Bodidris, with whom they were connected, were the most important family in Yale. Thus it will be seen that the name of Yale, as well as the estate of Plas yn Yale, were derived from the maternal side of the house. Dr. Thomas Yale, who died in 1577 and who was Chancellor of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury and grandson of Ellis ap. Griffith and his wife Margaret, was the first to definitely assume the surname of Yale; and his nephews, Thomas Yale and Dr. David Yale (Dr. David Lloyd), who were respectively the ancestors of the Yales of Plas yn Yale and of Plas Grono, continued the name.
Surnames in Wales did not pass from father to son, in the way
to which we are now accustomed, until the latter part of the sixteenth century, and the practice was not definitely settled for a long time after‑
wards. Sons usually had for a surname, the given name of the father; however they often assumed names derived from estates, castles, towns or districts; and as we have previously noted, the family name "Yale" was derived from the name of the district of Yale, in the lordship of Bromfield and Yale.
The Yales, although natives of Wales, were of Italian and Norman, as well as British blood. There seems however to be no evidence of Saxon stock in the ancestry.
The first ancestor recorded in the pedigree, in the direct male line, is Dominus Otho, a nobleman from Florence Italy (a Florentine); but he
was not the only ancestor of Italian blood, as Cuneda, the head of the long line of British kings and princes, from whom the Yales are descended on the maternal side of the house, was no doubt partly of Roman parentage.
The predominant strain in this ancient ancestry was however undoubtedly British (Brythonic), as the maternal ancestors were nearly all , if not all, Welsh (British), except Alice de Montgomery, through whom came the connection with the Normans.
As regards the personality and rank of these early ancestors, it can be properly stated that their political and social standing was on an
equality with the great nobles and the rulers, of the times. There
are but few, if any, families among the nobility of any land, that can point to a more honorable and noble lineage, than that of the Yales; de‑
scended as they are from the ancient kings and princes of Britain and from the greatest of all the Norman lords, Roger de Montgomery, (who was of the same family as William the Conqueror), as well as from Maurice Fitz Gerald, the commander of the first expediton in the Norman conquest of Ireland.
The antiquity of the Yale pedigree is equally eminent, dating back as it does, in the direct male line, to Dominus Otho, the Florentine noble, who came to England in 1057, nine years before the Norman conquest; and on the maternal side to Cuneda, the first ruler of the Cymric nation, about the year 415 A. D. But few noble, or in fact Royal families, can claim greater antiquity.
The pedigree presented herein will make clear, the connections re‑
ferred to, and it will be noted that the Yales are connected with the House of Cuneda and the succeeding Kings and Princes, through three distinct maternal lines. One of these maternal ancestors being, Lowrie, daughter of Tudor Glyndwr (Tudor ap Griffith Vychan), and niece of the memorable Owen Glyndwr. Her great grandfather, Thomas ap Llewelyn, as will be noted, was also the ancestor of the five Tudor Kings and Queens of England, and the present King Edward VII, as well.
Her grandfather GriffithVychan, was descended also from the Kings and Princes of Wales and the Princes of Powys Fadog, who lived at Castle Dinas Bran.
Another one of the three Welsh princesses referred to in the preceding paragraph was Nesta, the "Helen of Wales," who was not only great in herself and in her ancestry, but great in her posterity as well.
The third maternal ancestor referred to was, Gladys, daughter of the Prince of North Wales.
In referring to the pedigree and history of Wales, it will be seen that the ancestors of the Yales, among the Kings and Princes of Britain and Wales, were mainly the sovereign rulers. Attention is called to this fact, as there were many under kings and princes of minor importance, who ruled over smaller territories, which were parts of the whole and subject to the sovereign king or prince.
In writing the foregoing particulars relative to the ancient ancestry of the Yales, I am sensibly aware of the prevalent practice among writers of works of this class, to endeavor to connect the family lineage with some noted historical character, whether justified in so doing by authentic records or not, and I realize that many are disposed to scoff at such claims; however I can do no less than follow the indisputable authorities bearing on the origin of the Yales and their ancestry and feel a sufficient justification in presenting the matter set forth, in the absolute knowledge that it is amply substantiated by competent and reliable records.
THE HOUSE OF CtiNEDA.
Brythonic and Goidelic.
From ANNALES CAMBRIAE.
[O]wen map. iguel. map. Cein.
map. catell. map. Guorcein
map. Rotri. map. doli.
map. mermin. map. Guordoli.
map. etthil map. Duran.
merch. cinnan. map. Gurdumn
map. rotri. map. Amguoloyt
map. Iutgual. map. Aeguerit.
map. Catgualart. map. Oumun map. Catgollaun. map. Dubun.
map. Cat man. map. Brithguein.
map. Jacob. map. Eugein.
map. Bell. map. Aballac.
map. Run. map. Amalech qui
map. Mailcun. fuit, beli magni
map. Catgolaun. flies et anna
Iauhir. mater ejus.
map. Eniaun girt. quanz dicunt esse
map. Cuneda. [cons°.
map. ,Etern. brina MARLE
map. Patern pefrut uirginis matris
map. Tacit. d'ni n'ri ih'u xp'i.
The foregoing is the pedigree of A 20 Owain ab Howel, son of Howel Da, and as will be noted, carries his genealogy back a very long time: in fact to Beli et Anna, and the same persons who are the first in pedigree.(X)
OTHER KINGS AND
(X) From "ANXALES CAMBRIAE"
[M]orcant. map. Vrb.
map. Coledauc. an.
map. Morcant. map. Grat.
bulc. map. lume‑
map. Cincar. tel.
braut. map. Riti‑
map. Branhen. girn.
map. Dumngual. map. Gude‑
map. Garhani map Ou‑
map. Coyl hen. map. Ebiud.
Guotepauc. map. Eudof.
(Godebog) map. Eudelen.
map. Tec ma- map. Aballac.
. nt. map. Beli of anna.
The above is a very ancient compilation and probably is a list of Goidelic Kings and Princes from Beli et Anna, to times contemporary with Cuneda and his more immediate descendants. It will be noted that Coyl hen ,(Coel Hen) (or Coel Godebog), the father of Cuneda's wife, has a place here. Dyfnwal Moelmud (Dumngual Moilmut) the Cymric law maker, before the time of Howel Da, is also named in the pedigree.
Other authorities state that Coel Hen (Coel Godebog) was a King of Britain.
These pedigrees are of genuinely very ancient origin and in the opinion of eminent authorities, there is no reason at all to doubt their authenticity. Anna, the earliest of the line, is said to have been daughter of the Emperor of Rome. It is quite likely that the earlier portions of these pedigrees, however, are founded, at least partly, on tradition. "Map" means "son of."
These pedigrees are presented verbatim, as examples of the character of such documents, from Cymric sources.
A 2. Ifilirmn G..
A 7. A 0.
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"- — _ -
The Dominion or Principality of Wales may be described as a broad indented peninsula, situated in the South Western part of Great Britain. Its greatest length from North to South is about 135 miles, and its breadth from East to West ranges from 35 to 95 miles. It is bounded on the North by the Irish sea and the estuary of the Dee, on the West by St. George's
Channel, on the South by the Bristol Channel and on the East by the English counties: Cheshire, Shropshire, Herfordshire, and Monmouth‑
shire. The present Eastern boundary was settled by Henry VIII.
The counties of Wales are named as follows, with their Welsh equivalents.
Anglesey. Ynys Mon.
Ca rnar vonshi re. Sir Gaernarfon.
Denbigshire. Sir Dinbych.
Flintshire. Sir Fflint.
Merionethshire. Sir Feirionyd.
Montgomeryshire. Sir Drefaldwyn.
Becknockshi re. Sir Frycheiniog.
Cardiganshire. Sir Aberteifi.
Carmarthenshire. Sir Gaerfyrdin.
G tamorg anshi re . Sir Forgannwg.
Pembrokeshire. Sir Benfro.
Radnorshire. Sir Faesyfed.
Monmouthshire. Sir Fynwy.
The first six comprise what is generally termed North \Vales, and the remainder South Wales. Their boundaries preserve to some extent
the ancient divisions of the Principality. There are also two large country boroughs, Cardiff and Swansea.
Monmouthshire is technically an English county, but is essentially Welsh in origin, language and customs. The thirteen counties are divided into "hundreds," poor-law unions, highway districts, etc. The
The geographical boundaries and divisions given by countries are, as indicated, those of the present day and of later times. The Wales, or Britain, of more ancient times, in the days of the Romans and for several centuries thereafter, comprised a large part of what is now Great Britain. Extending from the Bristol Channel on the South, to the Clyde and the Forth on the North, including as well the South Western peninsula.
Wales is quite mountainous, particularily in the North, where Snowdon, the culminating point of South Britain, rises to a height of 3571 feet. It is rich in minerals, particularily copper, coal and iron. Has many beautiful lakes and numerous rivers, also many fertile valleys.
The Welsh cherish their ancient Brythonic, or Cymric (Celtic) language, with great affection and it is quite generaly in use among the people at the present time. In 1891 there were 508,000 persons in Wales who habitually spoke only Welsh; 402,000 who spoke both Welsh and English, and 759,000 who spoke only English.
In Welsh "C" has always the sound of "K," however the present Welsh alphabet does not recognize "K".
"G" never has the English sound of "J" or "dzh," as in John or James. "F" is sounded "V", but "V" is not included in the modern Welsh alphabet.
"D" has the sound of "th" in the English words "this" and"that". "Ll" is a simple and single consonant.
"R" is trilled as in Italian, and in "rh", it is a surd strengthened by the aspirate.
"5" is never sounded "Z."
"W" and "I" may be either vowels or consonants.
"U" is sounded like "i" in the word "bit", and so sometimes is "Y." Thus "Gruffyd" or "Gruffud" is sounded and spelled in English "Griffith."
The literature of the Welsh is of considerable consequence and note, but the compositions of their Bards are the most celebrated and best known. These poetry making singers had an important part in the national life of ancient Wales.
The earliest laws of Wales, of which we have the most definite knowledge, were established and promulgated by Howel Da (Howel the Good), one of the ancient Kings of all Wales, about 942; and that they were good laws and loved by the people, is well evidenced by the fact that they remained in force throughout Wales, practically uninterruptedly, until the conquest of Edward I. in 1282, a period of 340 years, and in some sections for a much longer time. It is stated that Howel summoned four "laics" and two "clerics" from each commote in his dominions, to meet at Ty Gwyn and that this assembly, under his direction and guid‑
ance, formed these laws.
These codes deal first with the organization of the household of the King. Howel appointed the following servants of the court:
Chief of the Household.
Priest of the Household.
Judge of the Court.
Page of the Chamber.
Bard of the Household.
Including eight officers of the queen:
Page of the Chamber.
The rights, privileges and duties of these officers were set out in great detail. The Chief of the Household was required to be of the royal blood.
Groom of the rein.
Foot holder. Land Maer. Apparitor. Porter.
Watchman. Woodman. Baking woman.
Smith of the Court.
Chief of song. Laundress.
There was also a "table of precedence," which went into much detail.
The near relations of the king formed an exclusive, royal class. Next in rank werethe nobles or "highmen"; then the bonedigion, (gentlemen); and then the unfree persons; and finally a class of menial or domestic slaves, which of course was the lowest class of all.
Courts were established by these laws, judges appointed and minute and detailed regulations were made, for the duties, rights and privileges of the people and for the enactment of justice in all things and in all matters, according to the views and ideas of these ancient lawmakers, which were evidently wise and just in the eyes of the people, who fondly cherished the laws which they promulgated, for many centuries and fought numerous, desperate and bloody battles for their retention, as
against the English laws, which their enemies sought to enforce upon them.
The Kings and Princes.
(Names of Ancestors of the Vales are in Capitals. Note the pedigree numbers.)
Wales of to-day represents and for many centuries past has represented, in its people, language and customs, what remains of ancient Britain and the Brittones or Britons (British). The British Isles (Great Britain and Ireland) were first peopled by an Aboriginal race, perhaps the Picts, then came the Goidels in the sixth century before the Christian era, or before; a branch of the Celts of the Aryan race, who spread over perhaps most of what is now England, and Scotland, before they were pressed and attacked by the Brythons or Britons, who came in about the a second century before Christ. The Brythons wereanother branch of the Celts, speaking a different yet related language and having customs and usages not known to the Goidels. The language of the Goidelic, is represented at this time by the Gaelic of Ireland, of the Isle of Man and of Scotland, while the Brythonic is now represented by the Welsh. The British tribes called Silures, Dimette and Ordovices were of Goidelic or Brythonic Stock.
These early Celtic tribes had a long line of British Kings who were very important in their day, both before and after the coming of the Romans to Britain. Julius Cwsar led the Romans in their first invasions in the years 55 and 54 B. C. and in the year 43 A. D., they began an aggressive campaign which resulted finally about the year 78 A. D. in Roman supremacy throughout the greater part of Britain. The Romans governed the country and protected the inhabitants from other invaders in their accustomed aggressive way. They built, about the
The affairs of the Roman Empire required, finally, early in the fifth century, the support of all her legions at home, and in the year 410, the Roman troops and Roman authority were withdrawn from Britain and the Emperor of Rome concerned himself no more with the affairs of the island.
After the departure of the Romans the inhabitants seem to have maintained a more or less successful resistance against the ravages of the Picts and Scots of the North, but according to the Saxon narrative, they were finally induced to seek the aid of the Saxons, to repel these ferocious Northern neighbors, and three ships with 1600 men were sent to them under the command of the Saxon brothers Hengest and Horsa, about the year 449. A complete victory was soon obtained against the foe and then the Saxons turned their arms against the Britons; thus commencing the Saxon conquest of Britain, which was bitterly contested for more than 150 years. The Saxons were aided by other Teutonic (German) tribes, the Angles (English) and lutes, and finally in this period named, gained supremacy over all of Britain except Strathclyde, (a medieval British Kingdom comprising parts of Southwestern Scotland and Northwestern England), Wales and West Wales, (Cornwall). The resistance of the Britons was determined, tenacious and heroic, bit‑
LLANGOLLEN, NORTH WALES, AND CASTLE DINAS BRAN.
The ruins of the castle may be noted on top of the hill in the distance, at the left.
As before indicated, the portions of Britain as yet unconquered by the end of the sixth century, or about the year 600, comprised the entire western part of the island, from the river Clyde in Scotland, to the English Channel; this territory being represented by Strathclyde, afterwards called Cumbria, a Cymric (British) Kingdom, the Kingdom or Principality of Wales and West Wales (now Cornwall); and as will be seen by reference to current maps, it comprised, in addition to all of Wales of the present day, and all of England on the Western and Southwestern coasts, a large part of Southwestern Scotland as well.
This large remaining British territory was not however intact as late as the year 600, as the Britons of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Gloucester, had been permanently severed from the Britons of what is now Wales, by the Saxon victory at the battle of Deorham in the year 577.
The desperate struggle continued, the Saxons, Engles (Angles, or Englishmen) and Jutes were met by courage and valor equal to their own, no territory was given up by the Briton or gained by the conqueror, until the price had been paid in the blood of the contestants. As each bit of ground was torn away by the stranger, the Briton sullenly withdrew from it, only to turn and fight doggedly for another.
The next event of great historical importance was the battle of Chester in 616, (the date given by Saxon writers is 607, but 616 seems more likely correct, according to Celtic authority.) At this battle 2000 British monks,
Before proceeding further with the narrative it is best to deal briefly
with the political organization of the Britons after the
departure of the i
Romans. It seems likely that they must have for a time endeavored to maintain the offices of authority to which they had been accustomed for several centuries under Roman domination; however, it is probable that the actual government was administered mainly by a number of sub-kings or princes, over their respective tribes. It is definitely known, however, that sometime after the Romans left, the Britons in the western portions of the island, comprising Cumbria, Wales and perhaps Cornwall and other sections, from the Clyde in the North to the English Channel on the South. organized themselves into some sort of a confederation known as the "Cymry." It is impossible to state when the national life of the Cymry began, but its inception was no doubt partly due to the assumption of the authority of the Brythons over the Goidels and partly to the necessity of organization of these two branches of Celts to withstand the encroachments of the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. At any rate they considered themselves collectively as one nation, from the time they recognized the term Cymry and acknowledged the over-lordship of a king or ruler who was called the "Gwledig-, " and whose office, or dignity, was sooner or later known as the "Crown of Britain." The authority of the gwledig appears to have been partly based upon his claim to be the successor of the Roman officer called the Dux Britanniarum, and partly on earlier tribal notions of political and military organization. In time the territory over which the confederation spread came to be called "Cymru" and the predominant language, "Cymraeg." However the national terms were "Britain" and "Britons," until the territory was finally reduced to the confines of Wales, and even much later; in fact until about 1135.
The word Cymro means "compatriot" and also "Welshman;" the plural being "Cymry."
In any event the earliest ruler of this British organization, or of the Cymry and of "Cymru" (the land of the Cymry) of which there is distinct evidence from Cymric sources, was (A 1) CUNEDA, whose name is well known to Welsh literature. In fact, the beginning of the history of the Cymric nation, as an independent political body, must be associated with the migration into North Wales of a Brythonic tribe, whose chief was this CUNEDA WLEDIG, (the ruler) and who established his rule over Wales, and united the Celtic tribes of the west of Britain into a kind of confederation under his leadership. This was soon after the Romans left Britain, perhaps about the year 415 A. D., and before the beginning of the Saxon or Teutonic conquest of Britain.
CUNEDA was the son of iEtern (lEternus), who was son of Patern Pesrut (Paternus of the Red Tunic). "The Red Tunic" probably had reference to the purple of office. Patern Pesrut was son of Tacit (Tacitus). CUNEDA'S ensign was a "Red Dragon," which came with the title of Dux Britannia , from the Romans, and it was the standard of the rulers of Britain and Wales for many centuries after him. The title Dux Brittonum afterwards became Rex Brittonum, or king. His wife was daughter of Coel Hen (Coel Godebog), who was of the line of ancient British Kings who ruled in Britain before the Romans came to the island. It seems certain that CUNEDA'S family were Christains and perhaps partly of Roman descent.
CUNEDA and his sons were no doubt the founders of the British or Cymric fnIation, which arose after the Romans left Britain, and the inception of this national confederation of the British tribes under one ruler, was no doubt partly due to the necessity of such an organization to combat the encroachments of the Teutonic tribes which began, as before stated, about 449.
CUNEDA had held after the departure of the Romans, the title and au‑
The authority of CuNEDA as ruler (the "Crown of Britain") descended to his sons, and thus was founded a dynasty, which retained its sovereignity until the death of Llewelyn in 1282, a period of nearly 900 years; becoming one of the very oldest Royal families of western Europe. The rule of the family of CUNEDA no doubt continued over western Britain in the larger sense for a very long time, as his great great grandson (AS) MAELGWN, exercised sway over the whole of the country from the Firth of Forth to the Severn Sea, about the years 535 to 570, and the sovereignity of the family was not likely materially lessened until the battles of Doerham in 577 and of Chester in 616, and not finally reduced to the confines of Wales until the defeat and death of (A 10) King CADWALLON in 635 and in the defeat of his son (A 11) King CADWALADR THE BLESSED in the year 664. Anyway, Maelgwn's son (A6) RHUN, seems to have maintained the family prestige over the larger territory during his reign. CADWALADR is said to have been the last Cymric King (King of the Britons) to wear the "Crown of Britain," and this is no doubt true as regards sovereignity over the Cymry of Britain outside of Wales, for it is certain that after his defeat the authority of the descendents of CUNEDA, as rulers, did not extend beyond the borders of Wales, for any settled period of time. King CADWALLON, the father of CADWALADR, was great great great grandson of King Maelgwn
cun), and the latter was, as before stated, great great grandson of CIINEDA.
From the death of CADWALADR in 664 to the death of Gruffvd ab Llewelyn in 1063, a period of about 400 years, the authentic history of Wales affords but few details pertaining to national events; the records seem to have preserved the names of a line of kings or princes, with only brief accounts of their deeds, consisting principally of battles and skir‑
The Cymric nation in passing to the sons of CIINEDA, of which-There were nine, (some authorities say twelve) was divided into a number of Kingdoms or principalities and the Kingdom of North Wales (Gwyned), seemed from the earliest organization to have had a sort of over-lordship over the others. The King of Gwyned was also the King of the Cymric nation, when the Cymry first emerged into history, and also when Cymru territory covered practically all of Western Britain, from the Clyde in present day Scotland in the North, to the English Channel on the South; as well as afterwards, when the land of Cymru had been reduced to the boundaries of Wales. Therefore it will doubtless be understood that Wales consisted of a number of small kingdoms or principalities, each of which had its King or Prince, subject in a way, to the over-lordship of the King of Gwyned, who was by inheritance, the King of the Cymry and therefore of Wales. All of these Welsh Kings and princes, from the greatest to the smallest, owed their authority to their descent from CIINEDA, or by virtue of marriage to his descendants.
The quarrels of the Welsh rulers were numerous and frequent, also oftentimes sanguinary and certainly continued; as there were doubtless but few years free from civil strife, during the long period from CADWALADR'S death in the year 664, to the final extinction of Welsh independence in 1282, a stretch of 618 years. Who would say that there is not a probability that Welsh independence might have continued to the present day, had it not been for this weakening civil strife.
The ancient principal divisions of Wales were Gwyned, (North Wales) Powys (Mid-Wales), and South Wales (sometimes called Deheubarth). These three principal divisions were also sub-divided into small principalities or kingdoms, such as Mon, Powys Fadog, Dyfed, Gwent and others, each having its own king or prince. All of the rulers of these principal divisions and sub-divisions being, as before stated, according to the ancient theory of the government of the Cymric nation, subject to the over-lordship of the King of Gwyned. This authority was sometimes almost absolute, or at least quite definite, and at other times quite nominal, being in fact known almost only in theory, for sundry periods.
The Rulers of Gwyned immediately succeeding CADWALADR were,
Before continuing with the succession of events, it is best to state that Offa of Mercia, (King of one of the Saxon or English Kingdoms), in 757 to 776 and later, engaged in fierce contests with the Welsh, and about 776 built the famous Offa's dyke, a wall of earth, from about the estuary of the Dee to the mauth of the Wye; which was recognized for a time as the boundry line of Cymru. Also it is well to state at this time, that about the years 809-817, Ecgbryht the Saxon King, subdued the Cymric Kingdom of Cornwall, which had been separated from the Cymry of Wales in 577, by the battle of Doerham.
Returning to RHODRI'S successors: ANARAWD ruled in Gwyned for 38 years. His palace was at Aberfraw, Anglesey. He died in 915 and was succeeded by his son (D 19) IDWAL VOEL, whose wife was his cousin Avandreg, daughter of Merfyn, King of Powys. ANARAWD defeated the Saxons in a great battle near the Conway in 880.
HOWEL DA was the law maker of Wales. The ancient Welsh laws were compiled by him and under his direction, about the years 942-950, He died in 950 after a long, peaceful and prosperous reign. He was a great and good king. His wife was Elen, daughter of Ioumare ab Hymeid, King of Dyfed.
Peace disappeared from Wales with the death of HOWEL DA, and for the next 113 years, until the death of Gruffyd ab Llewelyn in 1063, sanguinary strife with the English and Danes and between the Welsh princely families, was almost incessant. There was war at once between (A 20) OWAtN, Dyfnwal, Rhodri and Edwyn, the sons of HOWEL, on one side, and Ieuaf and lago the sons of Idwal Voel, on the other, for the possession of North Wales. HOWEL'S sons were defeated at a battle at Carno in 950 and Ieuaf and Iago assumed joint authority over Gwyned, setting aside the rights of an elder brother, (D 20), MEURIG ab IDWAL VoEL, whom they blinded and imprisoned. The sons of Howel however again invaded Gwyned in 954, but were a second time defeated in a battle at Llanrwst by the sons of Idwal, who in return then invaded South Wales, but were driven back with great slaughter.
BOWEL'S four sons, as will be understood, succeeded to the Kingdom of Deheubarth (South Wales), but lost whatever rights they had in North Wales, by defeat in the battles mentioned. Dyfnwal, Rhodri and Edwyn soon died (about the years 951-953) and (A 20) OWAIN ab HOWEL reigned alone until his death in 987 or 989. OWAIN'S long reign of about 37 years was not especially eventful; there were the usual raids of the Danes to contend against and some conflicts with the English; also some raids conducted by his sons (A 21) MAREDYD and (C 21) EINEON, for the ex‑
. In Gwyned the brothers Ieuaf and Iago had quarrelled and Iago seized Ieuaf and caused him to be blinded and then hanged; but Ieuaf had a son Howel, who soon avenged his father's death by expelling Iago and taking possession of Gwyned himself in the year 972. Iago was captured by the Danes in 978 and nothing more is heard of him. This Howel ab Ieuaf, also called Howel Drwg, (meaning Howel the Bad) soon had to contest for his kingdom with Kystenin or Cystenin, a son of Iago, who was aided by Godfrey, son of Harold of England; but Howel defeated them at Hirbarth, and Kystenin was slain. In 984 Howel was killed by the "Saxons through treachery," He left two sons, Maig, who was killed in 985, and Cadwallon, who took possession of Gwyned, but he also was almost immediately defeated and killed in battle by MAREDYD ab OwAIN, King of Deheubarth. Thus again the Kingdoms of Deheubarth (South Wales) and Gwyned (North Wales) were united under one head; however MAREDYD'S rule over Gwyned seems to have been only nominal. It is stated that he also ruled in Powys by right of his mother, and he is placed by Caradog, an eminent Welsh authority, in the line of the kings or princes who ruled over all Wales. He was chiefly occupied in engagements with the Danes and in attacks on Gwyned and Morgannwg, and he fairly maintained in very disturbed times, the prestige of the house of HOWEL DA. He died a natural death in 998 or 999, leaving only one child, a daughter, (A 22) ANGHARAD, who married Llewelyn ab Seisyllt, and also later on, Cynfyn. The former by right of his wife, assumed the government of Deheubarth.
Returning to the affairs of Gwyned we find that (D 21) IDIVAL a son of Meurig, who was a son of IDWAL VOEL and brother of Ieuaf and Iago, had returned in 992 and claimed the Kingdom from MAREDYD ab OWATN, and was successful in a battle with Maredyd's sons in 993, whereby he wrested MAREDYD'S authority in North Wales from him and became king of that domain. He did not enjoy his success long, however, for he was killed, supposedly by the Danes, in 995. He left a young son (D 22) IAGO who was put aside for a time, but many years later finally became ruler over Gwyned.
Following the death of (D 21) IDwAL ab MEURXG, Cynan ab Howel and Aedan ab Blegored, also others, aspired to the rule of Gwyned.
Furthermore, during this period, in 1016, Cnut the Dane, became King of England and he wisely exerted himself to promote trade and manufacturing, rather than war, and the incursions of the Danish marauders from the sea ceased entirely.
It is stated that Llewelyn also ruled over Powys, but it is not positively certain that he did, at any rate he was the ruler of both Gwyned and Deheubarth for a number of years, with great credit to himself, and during a period of prosperity among his people. There were two rebellions in South Wales during his reign, in 1019 and 1020, both of which were promptly subdued. Llewelyn died in 1023 at the height of his power. He left a son, Gruffyd, who took an important part in affairs later, but during the earlier years after Llewelyn's death, IAGO the son of IDWAL AB MEURIG, mentioned in a preceding paragraph, became ruler over Gwyned, and Deheubarth was siezed by Rhyderch ab Iestyn. The latter was slain by Irish-Scots in 1031 or 1033 and Howel and Maredyd, sons of Edwin, who was son of Eineon, a grandson of HOWEL DA, took his place, and although the sons of Rhyderch revolted and a battle was fought a year later at Hiraethwy, they retained the kingdom. Meredyd however was soon afterwards killed in an obscure conflict, and Howel was left in sole possession of Deheubarth.
Some six years after these events, in the year 1037, Gruffyd ab Llewelyn, the young son of Llewelyn ab Seisyllt, who had however reached manhood, asserted his rights and attacked IAGO, King of Gwyned, and slew him and seized his kingdom; this attack, however, seems to have been incited by Iago having given protection to one Iestyn ab Gwrgant, who had ravished Arden, Gruffyd's cousin, a daughter of Robert ab Seisyllt, and then fled to him. Gruffyd immediately supplemented his assumption of rule over Gwyned with other aggressive campaigns and the
Gruffyd was on friendly terms with Edward the Confessor, King of England, and secured from him a grant of all the lands west of the Dee, that had formerly been possessed by the English.
In 1052 he again invaded England and fought a battle with "the landsmen as well as the Frenchmen of the Castle" in Hereford near Leominster, inflicting considerable loss on his enemies.
In 1055 his father-in-law, YElfg-ar, Earl of Mercia, was outlawed and fled to Ireland, returning to Gruffyd in Wales with a fleet of eighteen ships, they invaded England at the head of a great force, defeated the English under Ralph the Earl, near Hereford, with great slaughter. Then took and burned Hereford and slew the priests who were in the church, retiring with much booty. Harold's son Godwine, was then made Earl in Ralph's place and a great English army was gathered; but Gruffyd evaded a conflict. Negotiations were then taken up between Harold and 2Elfgar and Gruffyd. 2Elfg-ar was in-lawed as Earl and Gruffyd gave up the lands West of the Dee, previously granted to him.
There was again some fighting between Gruffyd and the English in 1058, but in the main he remained quiet until after the death of 2Elfgar about 1062. It seems he must have given the English some trouble in the latter part of 1062, for Harold, (who in 1066 became the King of England), decided it seems, to attempt to crush this dangerous and formidable enemy. He attacked the chief palace of Gruffyd at Rhuddlan, near the end
This event had an unfavorable effect upon Gruffyd's power and prestige, especially in South Wales; and it is evident that he had many enemies among the Welsh, who regarded him as an oppressor and tyrant.
Harold followed up his first success and in conjunction with his brother Tostig planned a campaign by both land and sea, Harold taking command of the fleet and Tostig of the land forces, They began this vigorous campaign early in the summer of 1063. The fleet left Bristol and sailed along the coast, landing at points where damage could be inflicted. The English land forces gave up their armour and fought much after the same fashion as the Welsh. No quarter was given and the fighting, while of the guerilla kind, was desperate and furious. The Welsh finally made a truce with Harold, and Gruffyd, it is stated by the chronicler, was slain in August 1063 by Welshmen, because "of the war he waged with Harold the Earl." It is alFo stated that the Welsh sentenced him to deposition.
Harold had been ruthless in his campaign against Gruffyd, but as soon as he had been disposed of he procceeded to dispose of the kingdom, by dividing it between two native Princes of Wales, who were half brothers of Gruffyd: (A 23) BLEDYN AB CYNFYN and (B 23) RHIWALLON AB CYNFYN; however considerable portions, in the Vale of Clwyd, a part of Radnorshire, and a portion of Gwent, became from this time English possessions.
As stated, Gruffyd ab Llewelyn ab Seisyllt, who was defeated and slain in Harold's campaign, was a half brother of BLEDYN and RHIWALLON, who succeeded to his kingdom. Their mother was ANGHARAD, daughter of MAREDYD AB OwAIN, (King of Wales) who first married Llewelyn ab Seisyllt and later also married Cynfyn.
The Battle of Senlac, or Hastings, in England, on Oct. 14, 1066, was an event of far reaching and widespread importance to England, and through the great changes which were wrought in the political and military affairs of England, by this decisive victory of the Normans under William the Conqueror, over the English, its results finally had great effect on the affairs of Wales. However, the Welsh and those who trace their ancestry to Welsh families, have good reason to note with pride, that while the Normans conquered England at almost a single stroke
Harold, the English king who fell at the battle of Hastings, was the
same Harold who bad defeated Gruffyd ab Llewelyn, as we have seen,
in 1063, and the Welsh were probably, in general, pleased over his fall; however, they found later that the Normans were no better friends than he.
Prior to the "Norman conquest" Wales had remained as a whole almost intact, and subject only, to the authority of the native kings and princes. It is true some fragments of Mid-Wales (Powys), had been wrested away by the English or Saxons, but in 1066 it was practically the same Wales, territorially and politically, that RODERICK THE GREAT (Rhodri Mawr) ruled over in 844. During this long interval there were several Welsh kings and princes who paid personal homage to the Saxon or English Kings and acknowledged their political superiority, for defensive purposes during the Danish incursions, and doubtless for other reasons, growing out of the wars between the rulers of England and the rulers of Wales; but at no time did these foreign kings have anything whatever to do with the government of Wales, or with its affairs as a separate and independent nation. Its independence as a nation had in no way been abridged, prior to 1066; except possibly by the victory of Harold over Gruffyd in 1063, and almost immediately after that event Harold handed the territory and government over to the native Welsh princes BLEDYN and RHIWALLON AB CYNFYN, with its independence practically unimpaired. It is well to state here that perhaps, the methods
Returning to the internal affairs of Wales we find that BLEDYN and RHDVALLON, to whom Harold had delivered the possessions of Gruffyd ab Llewelyn in 1063, combined with Eadric the Wild, who possessed lands in Herefordshire and Shropshire, England, and refused to submit to the new Norman King of England, "William the Conqueror." The allies laid waste the English lands of Eadric in 1067, although they did not capture the town of Hereford and its fortress, which was garrisoned by Normans. Immediately following there was internal war in Wales. Maredyd and Idwal (or Ithel), sons of Gruffyd ab Llewelyn,assailed BLEDYN and RHIWAILON. They met at Mechain and Idwal and RatWALLON fell in the battle and Meredyd fled and died of cold. BLEDYN survived and reigned over Powys and probably the most of Gwyned; but in some way he seems to have lost Deheubarth, as Maredyd ab Owain ab Edwin was the ruler there at this time. This Maredyd was attacked in 1070 by Caradog ab Gruffyd ab Rhyderch, who was aided by the Normans,and was defeated and slain on the banks of the Rymney.
In 1071 and 1072 the Normans raided Dyfed and Keredigion; probably in conjunction with Caradog ab Owain, who also fought a battle with Rhys ab Owain, who was likely his brother, in 1073; and this Rhys ab Owain and Rhyderch ab Caradog maintained themselves in Deheubarth.
In the meantime BLEDYN AB CYNFYN had remained in possession of Powys, and probably of a considerable part of Gwyned, and he is regarded by the chronicler as the man who, after Gruffyd his half brother, "nobly supported the whole kingdom of the Britons"; "the gentlest and most merciful of kings," "a defense to every one." His reign was terminated in 1073, as he was killed in that year by Rhys ab Owain, "through the deceit of evil minded chieftains and the noblemen of Ystrad Tywi." He was succeeded in Gwyned by a cousin, Trahaiarn ab Caradog and Powys evidently fell to his sons.
Rhys ab Owain and Rhyderch ab Caradog, of Deheubarth, put down a rising under Goronwy and Llewelyn ab Cadwgn, in a battle at Karndwr, in 1073; and Rhys, after the murder of Rhyderch in 1074, defeated them again in 1075. But in 1076 Trahaiarn ab Caradog attacked Rhys ab Owain and decisively defeated him in the battle of Pwll Gwdyc,
After the fall of Rhys ab Owain in 1076 his kinsman, (C 23) RHYS ab TEWDWR (Tudor), a lineal descendent of RHODRI MAWR, succeeded to the rule of Deheubarth, and for about fourteen years, was the leading chieftain in South Wales, and was the last one who can really be regarded as the sovereign king or prince, of the ancient kingdom of Deheubarth, (South Wales).
Returning again to Gwyned, where Trahaiarn ab Caradog was ruler for the time, we find that his authority was disputed. Many years before. (D 23) CYNAN, the son of IAGO and grandson or IDWAL, who came of the direct line of RHODRI MAWR, had taken refuge in Ireland and married RAGUELL, daughter of AULEOD, an Irish king. They had a son (A 24) GRUFFYD AB CYNAN, born about 1055. This son GRITFFYD,011 the death of BLEDYN AB CYNFYN, made a descent on Mon, in 1073, and with the aid of his Irish kinsmen effected a settlement there. Later on RHYS AB TEWDWR, of Deheubarth, joined him, and with reinforcements from Ireland, they attacked Trahaiarn ab Caradog and in battle at Mynyd Carn, in 1079, Trahaiarn the King- of Gwyned, was defeated and slain. Thus once more we have two princes, lineally descended from RHODRI MAWR ruling over Gwyned and Deheubarth, and the sons of BLEDYN AB CYNFYN ruled in Powys.
For a number of years following these events nothing of importance happened in Wales, William the Conqueror made an expedition into Welsh territory with an army in 1080 or 1081; and it is stated by some that he subdued the country, but as no apparent change occured in the rule of RHYS AD TEWDWR, or of GRUFFYD AB CYNAN, the campaign certainly had no practical results; however, he and his army penetrated as far as St. Davids. William the Conqueror died in 1087 and during his reign of twenty-one years, no encroachment had been permanently made on Welsh territory, but he made some dispositions which later had much effect on Welsh affairs. He founded the palatine earldoms of Chester and Shrewsbury and made Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester, important military stations. A castle had been built at Rhuddlan by the Normans, where the Welsh had formerly had a seat of government, and also another was built at Montgomery, by (E2) ROGER DE MONTGOMERY,
As will be seen by reference to current maps, the Welsh were practically hemmed in by these several Norman strongholds, just named.
William Rufus succeeded William the Conqueror on the throne of England, and in 1088 there was a rebellion among the Normans by which the Welsh rulers profited to some extent. Robert of Rhuddlan and Hugh of Chester were opposed to each other in this contest, and GRUFFYD AB CYNAN, ruler in Gwyned siezed the opportunity to invade Robert's territory. He advanced to Rhuddlan with his Irish allies, and slew many men and carried off many captives. Robert however attempted to retaliate and went to a castle at the mouth of the Conway, which had been erected by the Normans on the site of an old British stronghold, supposed to have been the seat of MAELGWN. GRUFFYD entered the Conway with three ships and raided the adjacent territory, carrying prisioners and cattle to his vessels. Robert sallied forth with his men and finally attended by only one knight, rushed to the shore, where he was surrounded and shot down by arrows and darts. His head was cut off and placed on the mast of one of the ships, but GRUFFYD ordered it down and thrown into the sea, and then sailed away with his booty.
About the time the above events were taking place, three sons of BLEDYN AB CYNFYN, from Powys: Madog, Cadwgan and Rhirid, expelled RITYS AB TEWDWR from Deheubarth. Rhys escaped to Ireland, but almost immediately returned with a fleet "of the Gwydyl" and gave battle to the sons of Bledyn at Lych Crei, in the same year (1088); Madog and Rhirid were killed, but Cadwgan escaped. Rhys was evidently wealthy, as the gifts to his Irish mercenaries were so large as to attract special attention. Although his defeat of the sons of Bledyn was decisive, he was soon engaged in other conflicts. It seems he attacked and defeated Llewelyn and Eineon, princes of Dyfed, at Landydoch; and then Eineon formed an alliance with Iestyn, Lord of Morgannwg and they, together with an army of Normans, whose aid they had enlisted, attacked RHYS AB TEWDWR and in a terrible battle, somewhere near the borders of Brecknockshire, in 1093, he was defeated and slain and as stated by the chronicler thus, "decaied the Kingdom of South Wales." The Brut
The conquest by the Normans in South Wales and also in other Welsh territory continued, Cardiff Castle was completed and served as a stronghold for them. Brecheiniog was invaded by Bernard de Neufmarch, who built a castle at Aberhondu (Brecon), in 1093. Robert Fitz-Hamon conquered Glamorgan, and a force of Normans in 1093-1094, under (E 3 ) ARNITLE DE MONTGOMERY, son of ROGER DE MONTGOMERY, invaded Dyfed and Keredigion and built a castle at Pembroke and confided the defense of it to (3) GERALD DE WINDSOR. During these years just noted, Earl Hugh of Chester had retained the Norman hold on Rhuddlan and Deganwy, and the Earl of Shrewsbury, ROGER DE MONTGOMERY, was busily engaged in extending Norman power over Powys.
In Gwyned, GREIFFYD AB CYNAN was during these times the recognized ruler, although nothing is heard of his deeds for several years after 1088, when, as will be recalled, he slew Robert of Rhuddlan on the Conway; however he was doubtless allied with Cadwgan ab Bledyn, in the years 1094-1099, in the efforts made to throw off the Norman yoke, although he is not specifically mentioned for some time after the beginning of the campaign.
The year 1094 saw the beginning of a general uprising of the Welsh, in an attempt to push the Normans back, and Cadwgan ab Bledyn, who as will be remembered, escaped, while his brothers were defeated and killed in a battle with, RUYS AB TEWDWR in 1088, was chosen as chief leader by the elders; as he was son of BLEDYN AB CYNFYN and nephew of Gruffyd ab Llewelyn ab Seisyllt.
The Welsh allies began the movement by an attack on the newly-made castles of the Normans in Gwyned and Mon, which resulted in their destruction or capture. The Normans made a counter expedition into Gwyned, but were defeated in the woods of Yspwys; and Cadwgan and his troops took the offensive and ravaged Chester, Shropshire and Herefordshire, burning towns, slaying many men and tarring off much booty. Having by these events freed Gwyned, the Welsh chieftains marched south into Keredigion and Dyfed. They demolished all the Norman fortresses except two. Pembroke held out under GERALD DE WINDSOR and William, son of Baldwin succeeded in retaining Rhyd y Gors.
Near Llangollen, North Wales. View taken from the western end of the ruins, looking east (1907). Dimensions of ruins about 140x300 feet. Walls 6 feet thick. Defended by a trench cut in the solid rock.
This picturesque ruin stands on a conoid hill which rises abruptly from the surrounding country, to a height of 1000 feet above the river Dee. An earlier structure on the site is said to have been destroyed by fire in the tenth century. The castle represented by the present ruins was quite likely built by Griffith ap Madoc about 1150. In any event he lived there, and so also did hisson Madoc ap Griffith, the founder of Valle Crucis Abbey and his grandson Griffith ap Madoc. It was therefore the abiding place of the princes of Powys Fadog and the lords of Bromfield and Yale. In 12m2it passed into the hands of Earl Warren Mortimer, after the mysterious death of young Llewelyn ap Madoc, the rightful heir. It was in ruins as long ago as the time of Henry VIII. Some authorities state that it was built by Owain Gwyned, Prince of North Wales in 1148; but anyway he did not live there and the heiritage came through another line, to the princes of Powys Fadog and their descendants, the lords of Bromfield and Yale: however one of the last Welsh lords of Bromfield and Yale, Griffith ap Madoc who died in 1270, was Owain Gwyned's grandson.
For the present the work of the Normans seemed to have been undone; they had practically been cleared out of Wales. However in 1095 the Normans of Morgannwg made a fresh advance to the West and overran Gower, Kidweli and Ystrad Towi, and built several strong castles at Swansea, Kidwell, Longhor and Llanrhidian.
While the Normans were making the advances just named in the South, the Cymry of Powys, with probably the men of Gwyned, were fighting in the valley of the Severn, in England; where they took the important Norman castle of Tre Faldwin and killed the garrison. This latter event aroused King William Rufus, and he personally commanded an expedition into Wales, about the end of the year 1095; but the Welsh avoided a pitched battle with this large force and the Normans returned to England without having accomplished anything.
The Cymry were encouraged by the failure of the Norman King and in 1096 "threw off the Norman yoke" in Brecheiniog, Gwent, and Gwenllwg. They also took possession of the castle of Rhyd y Gors, which the garrison had deserted and which formerly had successfully resisted their efforts, and following this success, Uchtrud ab Edwin and Howel ab Goronwy, with many chieftains of the cenedl of Cadwgan, marched against Pembroke, the only great castle in the south which had withstood their previous attacks, and which as before, was in command of GERALD DE WINDSOR. They failed again to take this castle, but despoiled and ravaged the territory, taking away its cattle and immense booty.
While these events were taking place in the South there was also fighting in the North, and in the meantime the Normans sent an army into Gwent; but like the forces of William Rufus, it returned empty-handed, and was also cut off and defeated at Kelli Carnant. Soon afterwards a larger force was raised by the Normans, with the view of crushing the whole of the Welsh territory; but it met defeat also at Aberllech, by the sons of Idnerth ab Cadwgan.
So far the success of the Cymry, in pushing the Normans back and in regaining their territory, had been singularly great; they had almost entirely retrieved and annulled the Norman conquests begun by William the Conqueror, and had assumed control of about all the land which had been theirs before the Norman invasion. However, great reverses were
Following this event, King William Rufus determined to go to the aid of his lords iu the west, and gathering an army soon after Easter, 1097, he entered Wales. Led by native guides, he penetrated far into the country, but with no practical results. He returned to England; but before mid-summer of the same year he again set forth with an army of cavalry and foot soldiers and for the third time, proceeded far into Wales, where he remained for some weeks, returning, however, to England some time in August without accomplishing anything; losing, nevertheless, in the meantime many men and horses, also equipment, His three campaigns into Wales had been failures; he had not yet learned what experience had taught Harold in 1063: that cavalry, especially knights in armour, could do nothing against an enemy, lightly armed and on foot and who knew every inch of the country. The Normans, however, learned by these events, the lesson, which more than all others, had definite results in the final undoing of Welsh independence; and this was that castle-building could subdue territory, which to their armies had seemed impregnable.
Returning to the immediate events of the times, it seems that while King William Rufus himself had been unsuccessful with his armies, some of his earls and lords, following the success of GERALD DE WINDSOR, in the early part of 1097, which has been noted, made campaigns into Wales, which had far reaching and definite effects; and it seems too, that in the meantime, the internal strife and jealousies between the princely families, which had so many times before worked havoc with Welsh affairs, had been revived, and this combination brought a quick downfall of the results attained by the recent Welsh achievements.
The great border earls, Hugh the Fat, of Chester, and Hugh the Proud of Shrewsbury, (the eldest son and successor of ROGER DE MONTGOMERY), in 1098, made an expedition into Mon; Cadwgan ab Bledyn and GRUFFYD AB CYNAN, retreated into the strongest places and enlisted a fleet of Vikings in their service; but their defense was of no avail, and finally, for fear of their own men, they fled to Ireland. The
In South Wales the Normans were equally successful, and with the slaying of Llewelyn, one of the sons of Cadwgan, in 1099, they achieved complete victory.
In 1099 Cadwgan and GRUFFYD returned from Ireland. The former made peace with the Normans and received Keredigion and part of
Powys. Gruffyd obtained possession of Mon, but whether by force or not is uncertain; at any rate he did not receive it by grant from the Norman King. Affairs remained in this position through the year 1100, during which time William Rufus was killed and Henry I. became King of England.
In 1101 the revolt of Robert de Belleme and his brother ARNULF DE MONTGOMERY (sons of ROGER DE MONTGOMERY) against King Henry I'
of England, had an important effect on the affairs of Wales. Robert
de Belleme had become Earl of Shrewsbury, after his brother Hugh was killed by Magnus and he and Arnulf, espoused the cause of Robert,
Duke of Normandy, who sought to oust Henry I. from the English throne.
Robert and ARNULF asked for the assistance of Cadwgan ab Bledyn and his brothers Iorwerth and (A 24) MAREDYD, whom they regarded as their vassals; and it seems in fact they then were, as Cadwgan was at this time, and since his return from Ireland, a feudal tenant of the Earl of Shrewsbury.
The Welsh princes repaired to Shrewsbury, where they were received "magnificently and honorably," and the earls made great prom‑
ises of Welsh liberty. Cadwgan then called together, the host of the ter‑
ritories of the house of Bledyn, and together with the earls, achieved temporary successes. Henry I. however speedily laid siege to Bridge‑
narth, the principal castle of Robert, and at the same time, opened nego‑
tiations with Iorwerth, with the view of detaching the Welsh allies from the Norman Earls. He promised Iorwerth, during his own life (Henry's)
Powys, Ceredigion, half of Dyfed, Ystrad Towi, Cidweli and Gower; if
he would turn the Welsh against the earls. Iorwerth consented, without the know ledge of his brothers, and sent orders to the Welsh forces to turn
against Robert, which they did, and thoroughly despoiled the territory of the earls, collecting immense booty. It seems that in the meantime
The Welsh princes quarreled after these events and Iorwerth seized and imprisioned MAREDYD, but agreed to give Cadwgan part of the lands
promised to him by Henry I. The latter, however, refused to keep his bargain and imprisoned Iorwerth on a charge of treason, where he remained until 1109. Pembroke was given to one Saer, from whom it passed in 1104, to GERALD DE WINDSOR, who had held it for some years before for the king.
The Norman lords, in fact, retook or retained the fortresses which they had built, and Deheubarth and Powys not actually in Norman
hands, was divided by Henry, between Howel ab Goronwy, (a grandson
of Rays AB TEWDIVR), and the descendents of Bledyn. The former received Ystrad Towi, Cidweli and Gower, as fiefs from the king, and
Cadwgan and other members of the cenedl of Bledyn, were confirmed in the possession of Ceredigion and parts of Powys, on terms of vassalage. In the North, GRUFFVD AB CYNAN still held Mon and parts of Gwyned on the mainland, independently of Henry.
As will be noted the Welsh princely families were at this time, with the exception of GRUFFYD AB CYNAN, in the position of tenants (in capiti) of Henry I.
Howel ab Goronwy did not long enjoy his possessions; he was at feud with the house of Bledyn, and was soon in trouble with Richard
'son of Baldwin, over Rhyd y Gors castle, which Howel claimed. He
was expelled from his lands, but soon returned and slew many of the Normans; however through conspiracy in 1105, he was surrounded while
·asleep in the house of a supposed friend; his sword and spear were taken away before he awoke and his men at arms deserted. He was
captured and beheaded and his possessions were divided among several Normans and Welshmen.
Cadwgan in 1108 was still in undisturbed possession of Ceredigion and parts of Powys, which he had received from Henry I., but his declining years were clouded in misfortune by the lawless acts of his son, Owain ab Cadwgan; whose first recorded feat was the slaying of the sons of Trahaiarn ab Caradog. His next adventure was an attack on
VALLE CRUCIS ABBEY.
Near Llangollen, North Wales.
Founded in the year 1200 by Madoc ap Griffith, Prince of Powys Fadog and Lord of Castle Dinas Bran, the ruins of which stand on a frowning hill in the neighborhood. The Abbey was Cistercian, and it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These ruins are considered as among the most beautiful and picturesque of the kind in Great Britain. Beneath its grass grown aisles lies the dust of its founder and of his son Griffith ap Madoc, who died in the year 1270.
Cadwgan, Owain's father, was greatly disturbed at such an outrage, against a man so high in the king's favor, and tried to induce his son to return to the great steward, his wife and the spoils, but in vain. The children were however sent back, but NEST herself was for the time detained.
GERALD DE WINDSOR had his revenge sometime later; however in the meantime, Richard, the King's steward at Shrewsbury, persuaded Ithel and Madog-, sons of Rhirid ab Bledyn. to capture Owain, or expel both him and Cadwgan. Owain fled to Ireland, and Cadwgan secretly went to a retreat in Powys, owned by his wife; while Ithel and Madog seized that part of Powys which Cadwgan had received from the king. Cadwgan soon made peace with the king and was allowed to return to Ceredigion, by promising to have nothing to do with Owain.
Owain returned to Powys and was joined by Madog ab Rhirid, who had quarreled with the Normans and together, with armed forces, they roamed the country, burning and robbing wherever they could.
Iorwerth ab Bledyn who had been imprisoned by the king in 1102, was now (1109) released, and he returned to his lands in Powys, where in the meantime Owain and Madog had made their headquarters.
Dwain again retreated to Ireland, where Madog already was. Madog soon returned to Wales and to Iorwerth's lands. The latter treated him with scorn and he with Llewelyn ab Trahaiarn plotted to kill Iorwerth, which they did in 1110, with the aid of. Llewelyn's men, slaying him with their spears after a brave defense.
After Iorwerth's death the king gave Powys to Cadwgan; but he was also killed by Madog and his men.
MAREDYD AB BLEDYN, Cadwgan's brother, held his land until 0 wain, Cadwgan's son, should return from Ireland.
Owain returned in 1110, and both he and Madog interviewed Henry, the King, and received grants of land, on giving pledges and promising "much money"; but the friendship between these princes had ceased, owing to the murder of Cadwgan by Madog. In 1112 Madog was taken prisoner by MAREDVD AB BLEDYN, who turned him over to Owain and he put out his eyes, but spared his life, and MAREDYD and Owain divided his lands between themselves.
GRUFFYD AB CYNAN was, during these events ruling in Gwyned and in 1114, he was accused by the Normans of various misdeeds, and about the same time Owain ab Cadwgan, was also accused of robberies. The King of England made an expedition into Wales. MAREDYD AB BLEDYN submitted at once, and GRUFFYD AB CYNAN made peace by paying a large tribute; Dwain ab Cadwgan also made terms with the king, and accompanied him in an honorable capacity on an expedition into Normandy.
The principality of Powys was now practically at an end, and about all of Cymru, except Gwyned, was divided between the Norman and Welsh lords, who came to be called "Lords-Marchers."
And now comes the end of Owain ab Cadwgan's stormy career. It seems that Rill's AB TEWDIVR, the last great Prince of South Wales, who fell in 1093, had left a young son, (C 24) GRUFFYD AB RHYS, who had been taken for safety to Ireland. He returned to Wales in 1112. He remained quiet until 1114, when, having learned that the English King Henry had
Owain ab Cadwgan, who was with the king, was commissioned, together with Lywarch ab Trahaiarn, to capture young Gruffyd ab Rhys. They promptly collected an army and proceeded to Ystrad Towi, harrying the country; the people fleeing before them, to Carmarthen. At this time also GERALD DE WINDSOR was marching with a force of Flemings, from Rhos, in Dyfed, towards Carmarthen ostensibly, also, with the intention of putting down GRUFFYD for the king, inasmuch as he was a Norman lord in the service of the king.
The people complained to GERALD about Owain, and when the two forces met, GERALD set his Flemings upon 0 wain's force. Owain met the assault bravely, but fell at the first discharge of arrows and was promptly dispatched.
While GERALD and ()wain were both in the service of the king, it will be recalled that Owain, years before, had abducted GERALD'S wife, NEST, and perhaps this outrage was the incentive for Gerald's attack. Furthermore GRUFFYD AB RHYS, whom they were supposed to be trying to capture, was NEST'S brother and GERALD'S brother-in-law ; so it seems to me very likely, that while not openly acting in defiance of the king's orders, GERALD was really marching to intercept Owain, in aid of GRUFFYD, and to avenge his own wrongs at the same time.
For some years longer MAREDYD AB BLEDYN and the remaining sons of Cadwgan ab Bledyn, upheld the claims of their cenedl, to the sovereignty of so much of Powys as was not in the hands of the Norman—English lords, and in 1121 they rose again against the foreigners, MAREDYD and his friends, appealed to GRUFEYD AB CyNAN, Prince of Gwyned, for help; but he prudently refused to join them against King Henry, who entered Wales with an "immense and cruel" army. There was at least one engagement, during which King Henry was struck on the breast-plate with an arrow, which glanced off and did not wound him;
MAREDYD AB BLEDYN died in 1129 or 1130 and the "Brut" describes him as the "ornament, and safety, and defence of all Powys." The ruin of the house of BLEDYN was now complete, so far as sovereignty was concerned, and the possessions of the princely families in Powys and South Wales had dwindled to small areas. In Gwyned (North Wales) however, GRUFFYD AB CYNAN was in authority, as an independent sovereign, with the sole exception of acknowledging, personally, the superiority of the King of England; which did not carry with it any julisdiction of the English royal court over his territory.
GRUFFYD AB CYNAN, Prince or King of North Wales died, in 1137 at the age of 82, and was interred on the South side of the altar. in Bangor Cathedral, having survived Henry I. of England by two years. GRUFFYD had assumed the monastic habit before his death. His long, prudent and wise reign, had built up the strength and importance of his kingdom during a very difficult period, and made North Wales the center of Welsh national life, and the eagerly sought refuge, of many Welshmen dispossessed elsewhere by the Normans. North Wales continued as an independent nation for 145 years after the death of GRUFFYD AB CYNAN. His ensign was, "gu, three lions, passant. in pale, arg., armed az."
GRUFFYD left several sons. His son OwAfx (usually called (D 25) OWAIN GWYNED) succeeded to the principality, and his brothers doubtless received shares under his sovereignty. OWAIN and his brother Cadwaladr, had, before their father's death, made some expeditions into the territories of the lords-marchers, and had captured and retained for a time, some of the fortresses built by the invaders; and in the year of OWAIN'S succession, they again marched to the south and destroyed several castles.
During King Stephen's reign of 17 years in England, he left Wales much to itself and OWAIN materially added to the resources of his country and re-occupied several districts, which the Welsh had lost in former years. In the meantime however, he and Cadwaladr quarreld and the latter fled to England. Also during these years (C 25) RHYS AB GRUFFYD, a son of GRUFFYD AB RHYS, who was son of RHYS AB TEWDWR, had won several comparatively important engagements and successes in the south.
Henry's army was supported by a fleet, which sailed along the coast and effected a landing in Mon; but after pillaging some churches, this force was defeated with heavy slaughter by the men of the island.
Henry's attempt was a failure, but nevertheless peace was made, and OwAIN restored his brother Cadwaladr to his lands and did homage to Henry.
About this time, peace was made also, between RHYS AB GRUFFYD and Henry. RHYS had been waging a sporadic warfare against the Norman lords, from the recesses of Ystrad Towi; Henry asked him to come to court. He went, and Henry made peace, by agreeing to give him Cantref Mawr and other lands adjoining.
Peace continued until in 1164, and then RHYS began to raid the lands of the Normans again, because Henry had not fully kept his promise. He dismantled and burnt the castle at Aber Rheidol and overran Keredigion a second time. Now OwAIN GWYNED joined him at the head of the other Welsh barons, and Henry II. with a large force, marched to 0 westry; while the Welsh hosts under OwAIN GWYNED, his brother Cadwaladr and Owain Cyfeiliog, and other lords of Powys, encamped at Corwen. The king hesitated to attack, and finally moved into the wood of Ceiriog and thence penetrated to near the Berwyn range; but his supplies failing and the weather being bad, he was compelled to retreat to Chester and abandon the expedition. He however cruelly blinded some Welsh hostages whom he held.
Later in the year Henry left England and was absent about six years, during which time there were the usual disputes and quarrels among the Welsh, but no warfare of consequence. The most serious quarrel was in 1167, between OwAIN GWYNED and RHYS AB GRUFFYD on one side and 0 wain Cyfeiliog on the other, in which after some fighting. the latter, with Norman aid, came off the better. However during the
Nothing retarded the growing power of Gwyned, until the death of OWAIN GWYNED in 1169; after which his sons quarreled. OwAnst's later years were clouded by religious disputes, caused partly by a disputed election to the see of Bangor, and partly by his marriage to his cousin Crisiant, who was his second wife. In the end he was excommunicated by Thomas a Becket, but notwithstanding this, he received the last sacrament and a Christain burial at Bangor. The Welsh chronicler praises him as a man of "the most extraordinary sagacity, nobleness, fortitude, and bravery."
On OWAIN'S death his succession was disputed among the sons. His brother Cadwaladr advanced no claims, although he survived OWAIN several years, dying in 1172. Bowel ab Owain, the late prince's eldest son, and Davyd, one of his sons by Crisiant, were both declared illegitimate by the clergy; while (D 26) IORWERTH, the eldest legitimate son of Owain, by Gladys, daughter of the Lord of Pembroke, was for some reason passed over altogether; although his son (D 27) LLEWELYN AB IORWERTH (Llewelyn the Great), later on obtained Gwyned, and raised the principality to its highest point of power and renown. His mother was the Princess Margaret, daughter of Madoc, Prince of Powys. Anyway, Howel gained the throne in some way, directly after his father's death, but did not hold it long. Davyd attacked and slew him in 1170; but his brother Maelgwn seized Mon, while other members of the family refused to submit; however he succeeded in driving Maelgwn from Mon in 1173, and by 1174, had driven all his brothers or near relatives, who refused to recognize him as ruler, into exile.
When the barons revolted against Henry II. Davyd sided with the king, and in 1175 married Henry's bastard sister Emma, the daughter of Geoffrey Plantagenet by a lady of Maine. This did not please his Welsh subjects, and before the end of 1175, his brother Rhodri seized Mon and part of the mainland, while his nephews, the sons of Cynan ab Owain, seized Meirionyd. Davyd was driven over the Conway. He was now granted Ellesmere, but his power over Gwyned had about lapsed, and his real sway was limited to Rhuddlan and the Vale of Clwyd, with his newly acquired estate. He died unnoticed in 1203.
During the years when Davyd was trying to secure his sway over
Returning to the affairs of Gwyned, we find that LLEWELYN AB IORWERTH, grandson of OwAIN GWVNED, who was born about 1176, had obtained possession of the greater part of Gwyned before his uncle Davyd died. He made peace with King John of England, on terms which gave him good title to the principality of North Wales, and in 1206 he married Joan, the daughter of King John. In 1207 John and LLEWELYN fought Gwenwynwyn, (son of Owain Cyfeiliog) a lord in Powys, and Llewelyn seized his lands. In the same campaign LLEWELYN conquered all of Keredigion north of the Aeron, which Maelgwn ab Rhys then possessed. Most of the Welsh barons now acknowleged him as their superior. In 1208 there was a quarrel between John and Llewelyn. John helped Gwenwynwyn regain his lands in Powys in 1209, and LLEWELYN ravaged the land of Chester and made successful attacks on the English within his reach, in the same year.
John decided to depose LLEWELYN, and in 1210, took the field with a large army and with the aid of Welsh allies, drove LLEWELYN into the mountains. John captured Bangor and rebuilt many castles. Later LLEWELYN sued for peace, and owing to Joan's intercession, retained the most of Gwyned, but ceded Perfedwlad and made large gifts in cattle and delivered hostages.
King John was now having trouble with his English barons, and L LEWELYN took the field against him, and with the help of Gwenwynwyn and Maelgwn and others, took in 1211, all the castles which John had built in Gwyned, and achieved some successes in Powys. He continued
John asked L LEWELYN'S aid against his English barons, but the latter refused and acted with the barons instead, and succeeded in having clauses inserted in the great charter, ("Magna Charta") which the barons compelled John to sign, intended to remedy the grievances of the Welsh. John died in October, 1216.
The Welsh lords of the South had revolted. LLEWELYN came to their aid, and in 1215 took Carmarthen, demolished the castle of Llanstephan and many others, marched through Keredigion and captured the castles of Aberystwyth and Cilgerran. He was equally successful the next two years and as a result became the feudal chief of all Wales, not in the actual possession of the lord-marchers.
King John was succeeded on the English throne by his infant son Henry III., and William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, was made "governor of King and Kingdom." LLEWELYN pursuing his usual policy, did homage to the boy-king at Winchester in 1218. William Marshal died in 1219, and his son William succeeded to his great possessions and later became involved in a private war with LLEWELYN of six years duration. In 1221 Henry III. entered Wales with an army in the earl's interest, with, however, little result; but the earl about this time defeated the Welsh in a battle, with great slaughter.
The Archbishop of Canterbury now excommunicated LLEWELYN, but his power remained unshaken, and again the King of England led another army into Wales, and while no decisive operations took place, peace was made; however the Earl and LLEWELYN were at feud until the king and prince LLEWELYN met at Shrewsbury in 1226, when some sort of reconcilliation was effected.
For sometime there was peace, but in 1228, Henry III. and LLEWELYN were again at war, and the king marched into Montgomery. There was at least one battle, and while no important results were achieved by the king, peace was made and LLEWELYN agreed to pay 3000 marks, as compensation. About this time however, LLEWELYN captured William de Braose, the heir to the powerful marcher house of de Braose, and he was compelled to purchase his release in 1229, by paying 3000 marks and by
The first castle was built on this site by Arnulf de Montgomery and Gerald de Windsor, about 1093-1094, and Gerald was the lord here for many years. He successfully resisted the attacks of the Welsh and it was, during one period, while he was in command there, the only Norman Castle in Wales which the Welsh could not take. In fact they never did capture it. It was from here that Gerald's wife Nest was abducted by Owain ab Cadwgan. Later on the castle was enlarged by Earl Gilbert Strongbow, and Henry VII., the first Tudor King, was born here in 1456. It has withstood many sieges and attacks during the several centuries of its existence, the most notable being the siege by Oliver Cromwell in 1648, who finally succeeded in capturing it,
In 1231 LLEWELYN invaded the marches, burnt Montgomery castle, marched to 13recon and Gwent, destroying castles and cruelly devastating the districts. He advanced to Neath and Kidweli and then with the help of some South Welsh lords, took Cardigan. This brilliant campaign alarmed the English government; the spiritual weapons of excommunication and interdict, were again employed against the prince, and once more Henry III. marched into Wales; but effected nothing decisive. A truce for three years however was soon arranged, on the terms of the suspension of the excommunication and interdict; but before the truce expired, he joined the earl of Pembroke against the king and raided Gwent and Morgannwg and besieged Carmarthen, yet even after a prolonged attempt, they failed to take the castle, and peace was renewed the next year, on terms favorable to the Welsh.
In 1238, he convened his Welsh vassal lords at Strata Florida, where they swore fealty to his son Davyd, who was to be his successor.
He had in the meantime released his son (D 28) GRUFFYD, whom he had imprisoned in 1228, for insubordination, and had given him lands in Leyn. Now having arranged his succession and his other affairs, he retired from the world and assumed the monastic habit. He died April 11, 1240, in the Cistercian monastery at Aberconway.
The Welsh accorded to LLEWELYN, and with justice, the title of Mawr (the Great) and he is known as "LLEWELYN the Great." His full name, as we have noted, was LLEWELYN AB IORWERTH, and he was no doubt the most capable ruler the Cymry produced, after HOWEL DA, or Gruffyd ab Llewelyn.
LLEWELYN'S son Davyd II. succeeded to the principality and in 1239, seized and imprisoned his half-brother, GRUFFYD, with whom he had long been at feud. Senena, the wife of GRUFFYD, interceded with King Henry at Shrewsbury, in her husband's behalf, and Henry made an expedition into Wales and Davyd submitted ; but by the agreement of peace GRUFFYD was transferred to the king, who exacted from him a re‑
Davyd II. again engaged in war with the English, with varying success and finally his career was cut short, by his death in 1246. He left no issue, but GRUFF-VD had left three sons, namely: Owain Goch, (D 29) LLEWELYN and Davyd.
Owain and LLEWEI,YN assumed the sovereig,nty of Wales and divided the possessions of their house, making provision also for their younger brother Davyd; but the King of England at once regarded them as rebels, for it seems the king had in earlier years forced agreements, whereby the principality was to pass to the English crown, in case Davyd II. died without issue. A treaty was made however, in 1247, by which Henry pardoned the rebellion, retained all Welsh lands east of the Conway and a part of the southern districts, but conferred upon 0 wain and LLEWELYN the residue of the principality.
Peace was maintained until 1254, when Owain and Davyd took up arms against LLEWELYN, who had been strengthening his power and popularity among the Welsh.
LLEWELYN defeated his brothers at Bryn Derwin; Owain was captured and imprisoned, while Davyd escaped to England and LLEWELYN seized their lands, and on the death of Maredyd ab Llewelyn, one of his vassal barons, seized Meirionyd (Merioneth).
About this time, Edward, the eldest son of Henry III. and heir to the English throne, was married, and the king conferred on him the Earldom of Chester and all his lands in Wales. The king's lands in Wales con- I sisted principally, of Perfedwlad and three lordships in the south. Edward at this time was only sixteen years of age, and his ministers, possibly under the direction of the king, attempted to bring the Welsh lands named under English laws and regulations. The Welsh laws, established several centuries before by the great Welsh King, HOWEL DA, had been up to this time in vogue in these portions, as well as the other sections of Wales, and the people were bitterly opposed to giving them up; furthermore, Edward's ministers were cruel and oppressive in their management of affairs. In their distress they appealed to LLEWELYN. He took the field in 1256, with the determination to regain the territory which he had lost by the settlement of 1247, and to relieve the distress of his
Once determined on war, LLEWELYN acted with vigor and promptitude. In the autumn of 1256 he invaded Perfedwlad. His forces were hailed with delight by the inhabitants and he subdued it within a week, except the castles of Diserth and Deganwy. He then marched south, overran parts of Keredigion and took the cantref of Buallt in Powys, which belonged to the Mortimers. He did not retain these southern conquests in his own possession, but granted them to Maredyd ab Owain, who . as a descendent of Rhys ab Tewdwr, and who therefore represented the ancient princely line of South Wales. He also restored to Maredyd ab Rhys Gryg, lands which had been taken from him.
In his next campaign, (1257) LLEWELYN expelled Roger Mortimer, from the cymwd of Gwrthryn, in Powys, and Gruffyd ab Gwenwynwyn from Cyfeiliog; he also ravaged a large part of South Wales, taking and burning many castles that were in English hands. Henry III. in the summer of 1257, came to his son's assistance with a considerable force and reached Deganwy, but he did not cross the Conway. He soon retired without accomplishing anything.
In 1258 a truce for one year was concluded between Henry III. and LLEWELYN.
LLEWELYN'S fame was now spreading, for he was able to enter into an alliance with Scotch nobles, against the king, and to enter into friendly relations with the English barons, who were discontented with Henry's weak, yet tyrannical government. His domestic rule and military career had been so successful, that now, nearly all the Welsh barons, openly took their stand on his side, and at a formal assembly, a large number of the nobles of Wales, took oaths of fealty to him.
The year 1262 brought the opening of hostilities, after the peace of 1258. LLEWELYN began by attacking Roger Mortimer, one of the principal lord-marchers in the cantref of Maelienyd, and he also seized several castles in that region. He then compelled the submissionof Brecheiniog, and returned to Gwyned. The English were alarmed and in 1263, Edward marched into Wales, but without results.
Civil war now broke out in England, between the barons headed by Simon de Montfort, and the king. LLEWELYN formed an alliance with Simon, who promised him his daughter Eleanor in marriage.
In the meantime, while giving powerful support to Simon and his party, LLEWELYN had put down all opposition to his rule in Wales and had taken the castles of Diserth and Deganwy, which had previously successfully resisted his efforts. Simon rewarded LLEWELYN for his aid, by forcing the king to grant him large additional territories, including Mauds castle, Hawarden, Ellesmere and Montgomery, and to formally acknowledge his sovereignty in the principality of Wales.
Fortune however soon deserted the great earl. On August 4th 1265, he was defeated and slain, by prince Edward, at the battle of Evesham. The loss was very great to LLEWELVN, but he continued the war, and in September 1265, made an inroad into Chester, which had been restored to Edward. The cause of the barons was however now lost, and they made peace with the king. Also peace was soon made between LLEWEYN and Edward, through the intervention of the Pope, and a treaty was signed at Montgomery by King Henry III. and Llewelyn; which was so favorable to the Welsh, as to amount to a real triumph for the Welsh nation. The king agreed that LLEWELYN and his heirs should have the principality of Wales, on the terms of doing homage, and LLEWELYN was to receive the homage of the Welsh barons, except that of Maredyd ab Rhys, the representative of the old South Wales line of princes, which the king reserved for himself. The limits of the principality were defined in a liberal manner towards LLEWELVN, and Perfedwlad was granted to him also. Davyd, L LENVELYN'S brother, was restored to his private possessions, and LLEWELYN was to pay an indemnity of 24000 marks. This treaty practically left to Edward, no part of his former Welsh estates, except Carmarthen and its appurtenant lands.
It is impossible to conjecture what might have been the result, had LLEWELVN steadfastly adhered to the terms of this treaty, but it isnot unreasonable to presume. in view of the uncertain and devious devolution of the Enlish kingship, in the succeeding years, that if he and his heirs had faithfully adhered to the treaty and kept outof English civil entanglements, the "crown of Britain" might have been finally regained for some descendent of his house. Events however brought far different results.
LLEWELVN kept peace until the death of Henry III. in 1272. On
CAREW CASTLE. (From an old print.)
This princely fortress remains a grand representative of feudal times. It stands near Milford Haven, in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, and its extensive ruins aptly represent its ancient grandeur and magnificence.
It was one of the possessions of Rhys ab Tewdwr, the Prince of South Wales. and passed with others, into the hands of Gerald de Windsor. on his marriage with Nesta, the prince's daughter. Henry, Earl of Richmond (Henry VII.) was entertained here on his march toBosworth field, where he won the English Crown, and later it was the scene of a great tournament, attended by 600 nobles and knights. There are secret passages in the walls and it is well supplied with dungeons.
Furthermore, his brother Davyd and other barons, revolted about this time, and he defeated them and seized their lands; and Davyd fled to England and was well received by the king, which likely offended LLEWELYN.
Edward I. was crowned on August 18th 1274, and while Alexander III. of Scotland, attended the ceremony and paid homage, LLEWELYN, was conspicuous by his absence. King Edward determined to compel him to pay homage, and went to Chester and summoned him there, but L LEWELYN refused to attend, and Edward returned to England in anger It was about this time that Eleanor de Montfort, under the escort of her brother Amaury, sailed for Gwyned to marry LLEWELYN; but the vessels of her party were captured by Bristol sailors. Amaury was imprisoned and King Edward meanly and unchivalrously, caused Eleanor to be detained in captivity, as one of the queen's household. LLEWELYN sent many messages to the king, with the view of obtaining the release of his bride and forming a durable peace, but they were fruitless.
Border hostilities opened in 1276, and in November of that year, Edward formally declared war against LLEWELYN and invaded Wales with three armies; one of which the king personally commanded. LLEWELYN was finally surrounded in the mountains of Snowdon and compelled to submit. The Treaty of Conway was signed, which completely undid the work of 1267 and reduced LLEWELYN almost to the position of a baron. He agreed to pay 50000 marks indemnity and the larger portion of the principality passed from his sway. His brothers Davyd and 0 wain were granted lands by the king, in this settlement.
Later the king remitted the fine and about Christmas time 1278, the king allowed the marriage of LLEWELYN and Eleanor to take place. Eleanor died in childbirth in 1280, leaving a daughter named Gwenllian,
LLEWELYN and Davyd, his brother, had become reconciled to each other and a general uprising seems to have been agreeded upon, throughout North and South Wales; mainly to contend against the substitution of Norman-English laws for the Welsh laws of HOWEL DA. The campaign was commenced by Davyd, who suddenly attacked and took Hawarden castle and captured Roger Clifford, the Justiciar. LLEWELVN at once crossed the Conway and ravaged the country up to Chester itself, and besieged Rhuddlan and Flint. Also, almost simultaneously, the chiefs among the southern barons, Gruffyd ab Maredyd and Rhys ab Maelgwn, took Aberystwyth, burned the castle and destroyed the ramparts around the town. The Archbishop of Canterbury attempted to intercede, but LLEWELVN and the king could not agree on the terms, and King Edward marched into Gwyned at the head of his army and LLEWELVN and his allies were finally defeated, and LLEWELYN was killed on December 10th 1282, near Buallt Castle, by a force commanded by Sir Edmund Mortimer. His head was sent to Edward and it was afterwards exhibited in London. He is usually regarded as the last Cymric Prince of Wales, and this view is literally true, for he was the last lineal descendent of RHODRI MAWR, who ruled over the whole, or nearly the whole of the ancient kingdom of Gwyned and Wales. However to his brother Davyd III., must be technically accorded the melancholy honor, of being the last ruling Welsh prince, if we except the temporary success of Owen Glyndwr many years later.
Davyd was in command in Snowdon, when LLEWELVN was killed, and he was at once acknowledged as their prince, by the Welsh barons. For a time he held out, but was finally betrayed into the king's hands and was imprisoned at Rhuddlan castle. The Welsh barons now surrendered and Wales was finally completely and firmly in English hands and has so remained to this day, with the exception of the several years when Owen Glyndwr was in power in the principality.
Davyd was tried as a baron of England, by a Parliament held at Shrewsbury; was convicted, and on October 3d 1283, was hanged, drawn and quartered.
Thus on the death of Llewelyn III. (L LEWELYN AB GRUFFYD) and Davyd III. (Davyd ab Gruffyd), we have seen the end of Welsh independence, the final closing of the affairs of Wales as a separate nation; and more than this:—it brought to a finale, the rule of one of the very oldest of the reigning families of western Europe—a family that could trace its origin to the time when Britain still formed a part of the Roman Empire, and which had, with some brief intervals, ruled in Gwyned, and in other sections of Wales; also at times over the whole of it, as well as over the ancient British nation, which comprised about all of western England and Scotland and included Wales, for nearly nine hundred years. The Britons were singularly devoted and loyal to this long line of kings and princes and their memory is greatly revered and cherished to this day. During this long period these Cymric kings or princes of the line of CUNEDA, at various times, beginning with the reign of Alfred the Great in England, paid personal homage to the Saxon, Norman and English kings; but this did not involve any authority of these foreign kings in the administration of the national affairs, or laws, of the Cymric nation, It was personal only, and the custom was doubtless begun in Alfred's time, for purposes of alliance against the Danes. The formality was not always practiced however, as some of these Cymric rulers neglected to perform the honor.
There is not in all history, another such example of prolonged, persistent and tenacious resistance of a nation or people, against a vastly more numerous and powerful foe, as this desperate struggle of these Britons for nearly nine hundred years, for the maintenance of their independence, and it is interesting to surmise what might have been the reward of such a people, had they refrained from their almost continual fighting among themselves and conserved their strength for their foreign enemies. n
Edward I. did not add to England the Welsh possessions which he had now gained by conquest; the principality was still maintained, but annexed to the English Crown; and in 1301 his son Edward, who was born in Wales, and who became his successor, as Edward II., was created "Prince of Wales," and it became the custom,(which has been
Edward resolved to make his hold on Wales secure and immediately built several great castles, of which Carnar von is the best known example; and he also encouraged the settlement of English traders and artisans in the principality.
While the English authority in Wales was now supreme, they could not change the customs and language of these obstinate and perservering Britons, and even to this day, the predominant spoken language in Wales is Brythonic, (Welsh).
As we have stated, the independence of Wales ended with the successes of Edward I. and it has remained under the government of England to the present time, except for a period of about seven years in the early part of the fiifteenth century, during which Owen Glyndwr (Owen Glendower) was the real ruler over the principality. There is however much satisfaction, from a Welsh view-point, in the fact, that a descendant of CUNEDA, a prince of Welsh blood, who came of the line of the South Wales princes, finally became king of England and Wales, in the person of Henry Tudor (The Earl of Richmond). who became Henry VII. and king of England, after his victory over Richard III. on Bosworth Field, August 22d, 1485. Henry was the first of the Tudor dynasty of England and was son of Edmund Tudor and grandson of Owen Tudor, a Welsh knight, who was a great-grandson of (C 32) THOMAS AP LLEWELYN AP RHYS, a decendent of the Princes of South Wales. Henry VII. was succeeded by his son Henry VIII. April 21, 1509. Then came the son of the latter, Edward VI., who was king in 1547-1553, and following him was Mary I., (Bloody Mary), who was a daughter of Henry VIII. She was queen, July 13, 1553 to 1558, and was succeeded by Elizabeth, another daughter of Henry VIII, the last and most prominent of the Tudor dynasty and one of the most illustrious and very greatest, of the rulers of Great Britain; who was queen, 15581603. Elizabeth was as stated, the last of the so-called Tudor dynasty; however all the long line of kings and queens of England after Elizabeth were decendents of the first Tudor king, Henry VII., and so also is the present king, Edward VII.
Returning to the narrative of historical affairs in Wales, it can
SYCHERTH OR CVNI,A14:TH.
Viewed from the North.
The site of one of the mansions of Owen Glyndwr, near Llansilin, North Wales.
Owen Glyndwr and his brother, (A. C, D, 34) TUDOR GLYNDWR, (Tudor ap Griffith Vychan), who was associated with him in the rebellion, were direct decendents in the male line, of the celebrated BLEDYN AB CYNFYN, Prince of Powys and also for a time of Gwyned; whose career has been briefly given, in the preceding pages; and on their mother's side from Prince LLEWELYN, the last British Prince of all Wales, also from, RHYS AB TEWDWR, Prince of South Wales.
BLEDYN AB CYNFYN had a son, MAREDYD AB BLEDYN, Who died in 1129 or 1130, and he had a son MADOG AB MAREDYD (Madoc ap Meredith), who died in 1157, and left a son, (A 26) GRUFFYD AB MADOG (Griffith ap Madoc), who inherited Lower Powys, or Powys Fadog. This GRUFFYD AB MADOG had a son (A 27) MADOG AB GRUFFYD (Madoc ap Griffith), who in the year 1200 founded the beautiful Abbey of Valle Crucis, the ruins of which, stand in one of the loveliest nooks of the Vale of Llangollen and presents one of the most exquisite pictures of the kind in Britain. Beneath its grass grown aisles lies the dust of this chieftain of Powys.
On a conical hill rising some eight hundred feet above the ruins of the Abbey, stands the ruins of Castle Dinas Bran, the most proudly perched mediaeval fortress in Wales and perhaps in all Britain. Here in this eagles nest, swung twixt earth and heaven, lived the Princes of Powys Fadog, and Lords of Bromfield and Yale.
MADOG AB GRUFFYD, the founder of the Abbey, had a son, (A 28) GRUFFYD AB MADOG (Griffith ap Madoc), who was also grandson on the maternal side of Owain Gwyned, Prince of North Wales, and who died in 1270 and was interred in Valle Crucis Abbey. He had at times been on friendly terms with the English king, and at other times was in alliance with the Welsh. He married EMMA, daughter of James, Lord Audley, who had done great service for Henry III. against the Welsh, with a body of German cavalry. Madoc ap Griffith, one of the sons of Griffith and Emma followed, and he died leaving two young sons Llew‑
These two boys were by the law, wards of King Edward I., and he placed them in the custody of the great marcher barons, Warren Mortimer and Roger Mortimer. Warren had Llewelyn and Roger had Griffith. The two boys soon disappeared and a black tale is told of a deep pool in the Dee, beneath Holt castle, and a midnight tragedy therein enacted. At any rate, the boys were seen no more and the Earls, according tocustom, succeeded to their estates. It seems, however, that the conscience of Earl Warren was stirred later on, to in some measure atone for the outrage he had perpetrated upon the family, as he petitioned the king, while at Rhuddlen in 1282, to have the manors of Glyndyfrdwy, on the Dee beyond Llangollen, and of Cynllaeth, a few miles to the south of it, restored to (A 29) GRIFFITH, an uncle of the two boys who had so mysteriously disappeared. This GRIFFITH was another son of that GRIFFITH AP MADOC who had married EMMA, the daughter of Lord Audley.
In this manner GRIFFITH succeeded to these estates, and he was known as Y. Baron Gwyn or "the White Baron," Lord of Glyndyfrdwy in Yale. He died about the year 1300. Fourth in direct descent from him, and occupying the same position. was (A 33) GRIFFITH VYCHAN, the father of Owen Glyndwr and TUDOR GLYNDWR.
Such was the parentage and ancestry of Owen and his brother TUDOR, through their father.
On their mother's side their descent was also quite as distinguished. Owen stated that their mother, ELEN, or Eleanor, was a great-granddaughter of the Princess Catherine, the daughter of the last Prince Llewelyn, who was the last British Prince of Wales, and no doubt she was, as it is unlikely that Owen could be mistaken about it, and the statement is confirmed by Burke's Peerage (Mostyn), Page 1173 (1906 Ed.) But be this as it may, she also came from other princely stock. She was a daughter of (C 32) THOMAS AP LLEWELYN AP RHYS, a descendent of the Sovereign Prince of South Wales and Lord of Iscoede Vchirwen in Cardigan and of Trefgarn in the parish of Brawdy, Pembrokeshire. ELEN'S sister, Margaret, another daughter of THOMAS AP LLEWELYN AP RFIYS, was the wife of Tudor ap Gronow, of Pen‑
mynydd, and they were the grand parents of the famous Owen Tudor from whom the Tudor Kings and Queens of England were descended. Thus it will be seen, that THOMAS AP LLEWELVK AP RHVS, was the ancestor of Owen Glyndwr and TUDOR GLYNDWR, and also of the present king of England, Edward VII.
Shakespeare in his Henry IV. depicts Owen Glyndwr as a Wild Welsh chieftain, but on the contrary he was a polished, educated gentleman of princely birth and accustomed to king's courts and military associations. He was a student at Law at the Inns of Court of London. After receiving his education he seems to have taken up the profession of arms at the English court, and later on he became, certainly, squire of the body to Henry Bolingbroke who afterwards became Henry IV; and it seems strange that men so intimately acquainted and linked together in a relationship so intimate as these two were, should later engage in such a long and bitter war, as the Welsh rebellion under Owen's leadership involved.
Some Welsh authorities state that Owen was also squire of the body, to Richard II. during the later years of his reign: and it is likely he was, after Henry was banished to France in 1398. He is said to have been present when Richard II was made a prisoner by Henry at Flint castle, and if he was, he must have viewed the proceedings with feelings of sorrow and regret, for he was at that time an intimate friend of both.
Owen, being the eldest son, born in 1359, had succeeded to the estates of Glyndyfrdwy and Cynllaeth, (or Sycherth), and through his mother he had also inherited property in Pembroke. The two former estates were close together, if they did not actually join, and there were mansions on each. Glyndyfrdwy was the most important property, but Sycherth or Sychnant was the most imposing edifice. It comprised a gate house, a strong tower and a moat. The main house contained nine halls, each with a wardrobe filled with the raiment of Owen's retainers. Near the house, on a verdant bank, was a wooden building supported on posts and roofed with tiles, containing eight apartments for the guests. There was also a church in the form of a cross, and several chapels. The mansion was surrounded with every convenience and every essential, for the maintenance of profuse hospitality: a park, warren and pigeon house, mill, orchards and vineyard; a Well stocked fish pond, a heronry and plenty of game of all sorts; and it is stated that the
The Commote of Glyndyfrdwy, which formed Owen's Dee property lay in the then newly formed county of Merioneth, though on the east it was wedged in by the Marcher lordships of Chirk, Bromfield and Yale; while on the north it touched the Norman lordships of Ruthin and Denbigh. His rent roll was about two hundred pounds a year, which was very large for those days, and he was probably one of the richest native Welshmen of his times, and all of the contemporary bards unite in praise of his hospitality.
A strip of land known as the Common of Croesau, lay between the Dee valley and the water shed of the Clwyd, It was claimed by Owen, and also by Reginald, Lord Grey, of Ruthin, and was the primary cause of Owen Glyndwr's rebellion. It originally belonged to Owen's estate, but was seized by Lord Grey. Owen appealed to Richard II. and the case was decided in his favor; but later when Henry IV. was king, Lord Grey again seized it, and when Owen once more took his case to the king, Henry refused to even listen to his plea, and Grey was permitted to remain in possession. But this was not the only outrage Grey perpetrated upon him. About this time the king was preparing for his expedition against the Scots, in July 1400, and among the noblemen and gentlemen summoned to his standard was, Owen Glyndwr. This summons was sent through Lord Grey, who kept Owen in ignorance of it until it was too late, to either join the kings army or send an explanation; and on this account Owen was adjudged a rebel at the English court. Owen seems to have remained quietly on his estates, however, for sometime afterwards, although a few of his Welsh contemporaries were at this time making some trouble for the Norman and English barons in their midst, and giving evidence of a general unrest and spirit of retaliation among the people, They only needed a leader to make a general uprising an actual fact, and this leader was soon to be found, in the person of Owen Glyndwr, then the leading and most influential and popular Welshman in North Wales. Lord Grey of Ruthin
castle, seems to have determined to take advantage of Owen's unfavorable standing at court at this time and perhaps designed to seize his estates. At any rate he collected his forces and joined them with his brother, Earl Talbot of Chirk castle, and they suddenly attacked Owen at one of his manors, (it is uncertain whether it was at Glyndyfrdwy or Sycherth), and he only had time to escape to the neighboring woodlands before it was surrounded. Owen's two manors were about seven or eight miles apart and separated by the Berwyn mountains.
This attack was the last drop needed to fill this Welshman's cup of bitterness to the brim, and it was an evil day for Grey, as well as for his master Henry IV., when this lion was finally hunted from his lair. This gallant and experienced fighter of princely blood was just the leader the Welsh people needed at this time, to set in action their already high strung desire for war. He was a chief after their own heart, and most important of all was the fact that in his veins flowed the blood of the Princes of Powys, of South Wales and of Llewelyn the Great. He was the right man to lead them and also to stir up the enthusiasm and rouse the long crushed patriotism, of an emotional and martial race.
Owen stepped at once to the front and was hailed with acclamation, as their leader, and promptly raised his standard: the ancient Red Dragon of Wales, upon a white ground. He was at this time forty-one years of age, handsome, brave, experienced and able. The hardy mountaineers flocked to his support with their bows and spears and so also did the courageous and tough warlike sons of Wales, come from the valleys, vales and uplands, ready to contest against their country's wrongs.
Thus, in the year 1400, was begun the decade of strife which desolated Wales and embittered the life of Henry IV. of England. Nothing is known of the real cause of the personal emnity between Henry IV. and Owen, which seems to have been evidenced just previous to this time, but it muss have been something radical and unforgivable, to break the long, intimate and close friendship of these two. In any event, to Lord Grey, of the great Red Castle of Ruthin, is accorded the undesirable honor, of being the immediate instigator of this devastating war.
In the van of the hosts gathering to Owen's standard, came the Welsh bards, with their harps, and carrying also the bent bow, which was symbolic of war; and to them indeed Owen owed, in great measure, the
Owen naturally made his first attack on his relentless enemy, Lord Grey of Ruthin. He fell on the little town and made a c!ean sweep of the stock and valuables; thence he passed eastward and crossed the English border, spreading panic everywhere; harrying and burning the properity of the English and their sympathizers, He invaded western Shropshire, capturing castles and burning houses; in fact threatened Shrewsbury itself,
In the meantime the king who had effected nothing in the north against the Scots, learned of the warlike events in Wales and promptly turned about and hastened southward. He reached Northampton Sept. 14, 1400 and promptly summoned his sheriffs of the midland and border counties, to join him at once with their troops, to quell the insurrection in Wales. He marched at once to Shrewsbury and thence into Wales. Naturally neither Henry or his soldiers knew anything about Welsh campaigning or of Welsh tactics and they expected an easy victory. They little realized what an indomitable and wily foe they were to contend with, and in this first campaign they did not even get sight of them; however they got out of the country without feeling the pricks of their spears, which is more than can he said of later invasions. The only success attained in this first campaign was the plundering of the Abbey of Llanfaes, and the invasion is designated by authorities as a "promenade." Henry however on his return to England declared Owen's estates confiscated and bestowed them on his own half-brother, the Earl of Somerset; but many years were to elapse before any English nobleman dared take possession of them. On November 20th a general pardon was offered to all except Owen; but only a very few took any notice of it. It is due King Henry however to state, that he was inclined to greater clemency at this time, than the Parliament.
During the succeeding winter Owen was carefully and wisely making his plans, and the enthusiasm of the day was spreading throughout the land and reached even to the colleges of England, where there were many Welsh students. At Oxford many Welshmen put aside
their books and stole home to join Owen's standard, filled with the glow of rekindled patriotism.
In the early spring of 1401, William and Rhys ap Tudor, of the ever famous stock of Penmynydd, took the great castle at Conway by strategy, with forty followers. William and Rhys were among Owen Glyndwr's most trusted lieutenants; however William, who retained command in Conway, was finally starved into submission by Henry Percy (Hotspur), who was then Justice of North Wales for the king. By the terms of surrender, William ap Tudor retired from the fortress, leaving nine hostages in Henry's hands, who promptly put them to death after the usual brutal fashion of the time.
In the meantime Owen had turned his attention to the south. South Wales had hitherto not shown much desire to rise; but when the now renowned Glyndwr raised his Dragon standard on the summit of Plinlinunon, there was prompt response in men and arms. He now fell with a heavy hand on this southern country, and almost in the beginning of this campaign, fought a battle which aroused great enthusiasm and brought almost every wavering Welshman to his support. It seems he was encamped on the summit of Mynydd Hyddgant, with less than 500 men and was surrounded during the night, by 1500 Flemings. Owen promptly took the lead of his troops, and fell upon the enemy with such fury, that he and most of his men cut their way out, leaving 200 dead Flemings on the mountain side.
During this entire summer of 1401, Owen was fighting and ravaging throughout South and Mid-Wales; castles here and there were taken and New Radnor, under Sir John Grendor, was stormed and taken, and the sixty defenders were hung on the ramparts, by way of encouragement to others to yield. He also destroyed the noble abbey of Cwmhir about this time, doubtless on account of the animosity of the Church to his success, and swept on down the Severn Valley; being finally halted by the great Red Castle of Powys, from which he was repulsed, after much hard fighting and the destruction of the suburbs of the town.
In the meantime Henry Percy (Hotspur) had abandoned North Wales and, now in August 1401, throughout all of North, South and Mid-Wales, so far as the open country was concerned, the rule of Owen Glyndwr was supreme, from the English border to the sea.
The English and King Henry were panic-stricken by these events
engagement, they were compelled to retreat to Shrewsbury. where the army was disbanded before the end of the same month. They lost much
of their equipment in this campaign, through the harrying of Owen's troops; and the only results attained were the destruction of the Abbey of Ystradfflur, where eleven Welsh Princes, of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were interred, the execution of an eminent Welsh gentleman and patriot, Llewelyn ab Griffith Vychan of Cayo, who had purposely misled the army, and the capture of one thousand Welsh children.
Following these events Owen moved into North Wales and early in November attacked the great English castle of Carnarvon. Its garrison had, however, been reinforced and he was repulsed with a loss of 300 men. Owen soon afterwards went into winter quarters at Glyndyfrdwy, with his captains and bards. The castle Dinas Bran, then possessed by the English Earl of Arundel, was in plain sight, and the great Chirk castle, in English hands, was less than a dozen miles away; however, the whole country, outside of the castles, was openly or secretly, in sympathy with Owen, and the movement had now become national. There was nothing to check the songs and revelry, which sounded high above the breakers of the Dee, in the long winter nights, in Owen's quarters.
During December, Owen made a dash upon Harlech castle, but it was saved to the king for the time, by reinforcements from Chester, con‑
sisting of 400 archers and 100 men-at-arms. However a more satisfactory expedition to Ruthin, in January 1402, resulted in the defeat
and capture of Owen's old enemy, Lord Grey, whose force was cut to
pieces by Owen's followers. Grey was confined in the castle of Dolbadarn, in the Snowdon mountains, and his ransom was set at ten thousand
marks. He was held by Owen for nearly a year, when he was released on payment down of six thousand marks and the guaranty of the re‑
maining four thousand, by placing hostages in Owen's hands, among which was his eldest son; Grey was also compelled to agree to never bear arms against Owen, during the remainder of his life. This settlement was arranged with Owen, by the king, through a commission, and it is stated it left Grey a poor man as long as he lived.
This tumulus is the site of the mansion of Glyndyfrdwy, one of the two mansions on the estates of Owen Glyndwr. It is near the railroad about five minutes to the westward of Glyndyfrdwy st ition in North Wales. The site of the other mansion, called Sycherth, lies in a meadow, between a wooded hill and the Cynllaeth brook, near Lla.nsilin, and is conspicuous from the road leading up the valley to the little hamlet.
Griffith Vychan, the father of ()wen Glyndwr and his brother TUDOR GLYNDWR (Tudor ap Griffith Vychan), was the lord of these estates, and on his death they passed to Owen, the eldest son. They had been in possession of the family from the time their princely ancestors were dispossessed of their sovereign authority.
In the meantime Owen and Henry Percy (Hotspur) had met, and it seems some understanding, which had bearing on future events, was arranged. Owen also at this time was in communication with the King of Scotland and the native chieftains of Ireland, as well as the King of France; with the object of forming alliances against the English King. His messengers bearing his letters, to King Robert of Scotland and to the Irish chieftains, were however captured and beheaded. The letter to Robert of Scotland is of much interest and it is given in full as fol‑
"Most high and Mighty and redoubted Lord and Cousin. I commend me to your most High and Royal Majesty, humbly as it beseemeth me with all honour and reverence. Most redoubted Lord and Sovereign Cousin, please it you and your most high Majesty to know that Brutus, your most noble ancestor and mine, which was the first crowned King who dwelt in this realm of England, which of old times was called Great Britain. The which Brutus begat three sons; to wit, Albanact; Locrine, and Camber, from which same Albanact you are descended in direct line. And the issue of the same Camber reigned loyally down to Cadwalladar, who was the last crowned King of the people, and from whom I, your simple Cousin am descended in direct line; and after whose decease, I and my ancestors and all my said people have been and still are, under the tryanny and bondage of mine and your mortal enemies, the Saxons: whereof you most redoubted Lord and very Sovereign Cousin, have good knowledge. And from this tyranny and bondage the prophecy saith that I shall be delivered by the help and succour of your Royal Majesty. But most redoubted Lord and Sovereign Cousin, I make a grevious plaint to your Royal Majesty, and most Sovereign Cousinship, that it faileth me much in soldiers, therefore most redoubted Lord and very Sovereign Cousin, I humbly beseech you kneeling upon my knees, that it may please your Royal Majesty to send me a certain number of soldiers, who may aid me and withstand, with God's help, mine and your enemies, having regard most redoubted Lord and very Sovereign Cousin to the chastisement of this mischief and of all the many past mischiefs which I and my ancestors of Wales have suffered at the hands of mine and your mortal enemies. And be it understood, most redoubted Lord and very Sovereign Cousin that I shall not fail all the days of my'life to be bounden to do your service and to repay you. And in that I cannot send unto you all my business in writing, I send these present bearers fully informed in all things, to whom be pleased to give faith and belief in what they shall say to you by word of mouth. From myCourt, most redoubted Lord and very Sovereign Cousin, may the Almighty Lord have you in his keeping."
Written in North Wales on the twenty-ninth day of November (1401).
About this time occured the famous personal encounter between Owen and his cousin Howel Sele the Lord of Nannau. Howel had not been friendly to Owen's cause, but the latter was induced, by the abbot of Cymmer, to visit him at Nannau, with the hope of promoting a better understanding. Owen came with only a few attendants and during the day, the two went for a stroll in the park, Howel who was a celebrated marksman with the bow, carried this weapon with him, and Owen, seeing a buck through the trees suggested that his cousin try his skill; Howel bent his bow and pretended to take aim, but suddenly swung around and discharged his arrow full at Owen's breast. He, however, had a coat of mail beneath his tunic and the shaft fell harmlessly to the ground. The fate of Howel was swift and terrible and Owen at once burned the house at Nannau to the ground. It is said, that no one but Owen and his companion, Madog, knew of the exact vengence meted out to Howel. He never returned and his real fate was unknown to his family and followers for many years afterwards. However, one tempestuous evening in November, long years later, a lone horseman was seen urging his flagging steed up the bights of Nannau, and it proved to be Madog; who after the death of the fiery yet generous Glyndwr, was hastening to fullfill his last command and disclose the resting place of Howel's remains. He pointed out a great hollow oak tree, which had heen the last resting place of the remains of the lord of Nannau. This tree was afterwards known as the "hollow oak of demons" and the "Haunted Oak". It fell on July 13, 1813 from sheer age and measured at that time twenty-seven feet and four inches in circumference. Sir Walter Scott in his "Marmion," has helped to immortalize this memorable combat between Owen and Howel.
While these events were taking place the Scots were at war with the English in the north and were confronted by Henry Percy, who was a host in himself, in the defence of the English border.
Owen was having things about his own way in Wales, and late in May 1402, with a large force, defeated and captured Edmund Mortimer,
uncle and guardian of his nephew, Edmund Mortimer, (the Earl of March), who was the legal heir to the English throne. Eleven hundred English men, including great numbers of knights, were slaughtered in this battle. which occured in a narrow valley below Pilleth Hill, near Knighton. King Henry refused to ransom Mortimer, which greatly incensed Henry Percy (Hotspur), Mortimers brother-in-law, and the great Percy left the Kings presence in anger, and as it happened never to return.
Owen followed up the great victory of Pilleth, and strong in its prestige, went burning and ravaging, fiercely through Glamorgan and fell upon Cardiff, destroying the whole town except a street where stood a religious house of his friends, the Franciscans, thence he went to the north and invested the three great castles of Carnarvon, Harlech and Criccieth. These events brought to his dragon standard, many wavering Welshmen, who hitherto had not heartily welcomed it with its accompaniment of flaming torches and pitiless spears.
King Henry was greatly aroused and disturbed by Owens achievements; and although the Scots, with French allies, were strongly pressing his forces under Henry Percy in the north and his son Prince Thomas, viceroy in Ireland, was reduced by want of money, to sore straits, he was bent upon raising a great army to subdue Wales. He in fact assembled three great armies, which on August 27th 1402 were assembled at Chester, Shrewsbury and Hereford, under the commands of the Prince of Wales, (the kings son,) the king himself, and the Earl of Warwick, respectively. In all there were one hundred thousand men and they crossed the border into Wales the first week in September.
Henry had learned of Owen's power of "calling spirits from the vasty deep," to his aid, and in less than a week he was convinced that he was the very devil himself. No one had ever before seen such terrible weather, as now descended upon Henry's troops, and by September 22, 1402 there was not an Englishman in Wales, outside of the few castles which still remained in their hands. The vast army had been beaten and driven out of Wales, without the prick of a single Welsh spear, or the flight of a solitary arrow. Henry Percy, had in the meantime, been fighting the Scots and had defeated them in a great battle and captured eighty noblemen and knights, including the Earl Douglas himself. King Henry learned of his victory, at once upon his return in
Soon after these events some sort of an alliance was formed between Owen Glyndwr, Henry Percy (Hotspur) and Edmund Mortimer—who, as will be recalled was a prisoner in Owen's hands—for attacking Henry IV. of England; and in the meantime Mortimer had married, in November 1402, Owen's fourth daughter, Jane.
Owen, in the fore part of 1403, summoned representatives from all Wales, to gather for a parliament at, Machynlleth. There were four from each "Cantref." Owen was by this assembly crowned the "Prince of Wales" and seated on the throne. The persons attending this assembly were not all friends, however, and there was at least one who went there expressly to assassinate Owen. This was Davy Gam, who at one time, had been a member of King Henry's household. His intentions were discovered and he was cast into a dungeon, where he remained many years, being nevertheless eventually freed. Owen in the meantime, however, burned and destroyed his property.
Owen Glyndwr was now in actual and complete possession of all Wales, except some few strong castles which were yet held by the English; however the g-arrisons of the castles had no influence outside. Owen was the real and actual ruler in Wales at this time. His troops were successfully besieging the great castles of Harlech and Carnarvon and he felt sure of their ultimate fall, and during the early summer of 1403 turned his attention to South Wales, where he was engaged against the remaining English power in that quarter, when in May 1403, Prince Henry made a raid from Shrewsbury and burned Owen's two mansions at Glyndyfrdwy and Sycherth.
Owen was also, certainly, still busily engaged in South Wales, nearly a hundred miles away from Shrewsbury, about the time of the great battle between Henry Percy and King Henry, at that place. There is no doubt that there had been an understanding, between the Percy's and Owen Glyndwr and Edmund Mortimer, to act in unison against King Henry; but Hotspur's messengers must have failed to reach Owen; as he was negotiating with Carew of Pembroke, on July 12, 1403, and for several days afterwards, was busily engaged before the castle of Dynevor. He had no thought at that time of leaving South
Looking up the Mawddach from Nannau.
Wales, and he certainly knew nothing of the impending battle between "Hotspur" and Henry; yet he was likely expecting messages from Hotspur, as he undoubtedly contemplated invading England in conjunction with the Percys. He is represented by some writers, as being within sight of the battle of Shrewsbury while it was going on, but he was certainly far away in South Wales at the time and in ignorance of the fact that Hotspur so sorely needed his aid. Hotspur and his ally, Earl Douglas, with an army of 15,000 men, was confronted with a force twice as large under the command of the King, and after one of the most desperate and bloody battles that ever occurred on English soil, the lionhearted Percy was signally defeated and slain, July 21, 1403.
The loss of the battle of Shrewsbury was a great blow to Owen's cause and it is interesting to imagine, how different the subsequent history of Great Britain might have been, had Percy's messengers reached Owen, so he could have stood with him at Shrewsbury, with ten thousand Welsh spears.
Anyway by the time King Henry was ready for another invasion of Wales in September, 1403, Owen was as strong as ever, and had in the meantime invaded Herefordshire England, with success. On the 15th of September, Henry invaded Wales and reached Carmarthen, but almost at once retreated and returned to Hereford and thence to London, having accomplished nothing, and Owen's troops again poured over the borders into England and ravaged Herefordshire.
The number of Owen's troops have been variously estimated. It is said however he had 30,000 archers and spearmen in Carmarthen at one time. The Welsh spears were exceptionally long and his men of Merioneth, had an especial reputation for making use of them.
About this time Owen had made some sort of an alliance with the King of France, and French troops were landing in Wales to aid him; but it was not until two years later that the greatest French effort was made in his behalf.
Early in the year 1404 Owen finally captured Harlech castle and it is supposed he moved his family there and made it his headquarters. Later on he also summoned a parliament to meet at Harlech. On July 14th, 1404, a treaty of alliance was concluded between Owen and the King of France and it was signed by their respective ambassadors on that date. At this time Owen's council house was at Dolgelly. The seal
By the treaty made, with King Charles of France, Owen was recognized and acknowledged as the Prince of Wales, by the French King; and at the same time Henry IV. was designated: Henry of Lancaster, as Charles did not recognize him as the King of England and never had done so.
During 1404, Owen's forces continued the sieges of the castles yet in English hands and ravaged again and again the English border counties. Two fierce engagements occurred during the summer, between Owen and the Earl of Warwick, at Mynydd-cwm-du and at Craig-y-dorth. Owen was defeated in the former and he himself came near being captured; but in the latter battle he signally defeated the English and forced them back over the border.
Aberystwith castle had fallen to Owen during the year, but Harlech was the seat of his government during the winter of 1404-05. On its matchless site, some of the ancient British princes in the early centuries, had built their fortresses: from Bran the Blessed to Maelgwyn.
With Owen this winter, there were no doubt gathered in majestic Harlech, all of his family and near relatives, including his son-in-law Edmund Mortimer and his younger brother TunoR GLYNDWR, as well as his principal captains, and the great Bishop Trevor, who had lately came over to his side. His bards, were of course, also there, to entertain the distinguished company with their patriotic songs. Owen Glyndwr was now at the high tide of his power and renown and it is well to state here, that to this day he is regarded by the majority of the Welsh people as the greatest of the Welsh Princes, from Owen Gwyned to the last L le welyn.
The opening of the spring of 1405 was now at hand and with this season, came the first serious reverses to Owen's arms. His trusted captain, the renowned Rhys Gethin, with 8000 Welsh troops, moved in March 1405, to the English border and attacked Grosmont, where Prince Henry then was with a strong force. The prince and his followers sallied forth from the castle and attacked the Welsh and after a bloody battle completely routed them, with a loss of 800 men.
Owen, learning of this reverse pushed forward fresh forces under his brother, (ACD 34) TUDOR GLYNDWR, and in less than a week they met Prince Henry with a large force, at Mynydd-y-Pwll-Melyn, in Brecon, and a desperate battle, attended with great slaughter ensued, in which the Welsh commander, TUDOR GLYNDWR himself, was slain, •
and 1500 of his followers were either killed or taken prisoners. TUDOR was so much like his illustrious brother, in face and form, that the
English at first thought the much dreaded elder Glyndwr had fallen;
but the absence of a wart under the left eye, a distinguishing mark of Owen, soon disproved their premature conclusion. The slaughter in
this battle, had perhaps never before been exceeded or equalled in Wales. Owens son Gryffydd was also taken prisoner at this time and was sent to London and confined in the Tower, where a year later the young King of Scotland was his companion.
These two reverses were a great blow to Owen's cause. King Henry however was kept busy in the early summer of 1405 by the Scots, and by
the Earl of Northumberland, who was again in revolt, and who also,
had been intriguing with Owen. Furthermore a great French expedition, consisting of 140 ships and 4000 to 5000 men, appeared in July or August
of this year and landed at Milford Haven to join Owen's fortunes, and he met them at Tenby with 10000 Welshmen at his back. The French were nominally under the command of the Marshal of France, but Sire de Hugueville was the leading spirit.
These events seemingly made up for 0 wen's losses in the two engagements earlier in the year.
Owen and his French allies at once invaded England, retaking Glamorgan which had recently receded from him, and also capturing
Carmarthen on the way. The allies pushed on through Herefordshire
and reached the vicinity of the town of Worcester about the middle of August, where they encamped on the summit of Woodbury hill, still known
as "Owen.'s camp." Henry IV. with a large army met them here and
took an advantageous position on the northern ridge. Each army feared to attack the other in its commanding position and here, in the heart of
England, these two armies faced each other for eight days, with no results except a few skirmishes in which some 500 men fell. Henry had recourse to abundant provisions, but the Welsh and French soon ran short of supplies and were thus compelled to retreat. The English king
During the next month, about September 10, 1405, Henry again invaded Wales, but was soon driven out by Owen and his soldiers, with the aid of the elements, having accomplished practically nothing.
All except some 1700 of the French returned to their own country before Christmas, 1405, but Owen was unmolested by the English during that winter and had, as before, practically entire control of Wales. The French had counted on booty as their reward, and Owen and the Welsh were much disappointed with the results of their expedition, and also displeased with their conduct.
In the meantime, Owen had finally succeeded in subduing Western Pembroke, known as "Little England," and the earl agreed to pay him £200 for a truce to last until May 1406.
Owen now again retired to Harlech castle for the winter of 14051406.
The chief event of the early part of 1406, was the signing of the "Tripartite Indenture," which has been attributed by Shakespeare and others to an earlier date, before the battle of Shrewsbury.
The old Earl of Northumberland (Percy), and Bardolph of Scotland, met Owen Glyndwr and Edmund Mortimer at Aberdaron, and on the 28th of February 1406, the notable instrument was signed. By its terms they were bound into a solemn alliance and they agreed thereby, to divide the Kingdom of England and the Principality of Wales between themselves. Owen was to have \Vales with considerable English territory added, and Percy and Mortimer, were to have the remainder of England.
Little came of this understanding, however, and as the year 1406 advanced Owen's influence and power seemed to decline. Glamorgan and Ystrad Towi in the south and Anglesey in the north, fell away from him, apparently through weariness of strife and lack of provisions, coupled with the offer of pardons from Henry of England. These defections were, anyway, certainly not due to pressure of English arms.
During the latter part of 1406 and part of 1407, Owen seems to have disappeared to some extent from public view; however his family and friends were yet in possession of Harlech castle and he also held
On the coast of Merioneth, North Wales.
_ An ancient British fortress was erected on this site by the early British Kings, but the castle represented by the present grand ruins was built by Edward I., in 1286, and was seemingly impregnable. It is of special interest in this work on account of being Owen Glyndwr's headquarters and seat of government for several years, 1404-1408, after he had captured it from the English. It is also interesting on account of the fact that a kinsman of the Yale ancestors, Davyd ap Ievan ap Einion, was in command of the for ce which successfully held it for the Lancastrians against assault, during the War of the Roses, for nine years, surrendering finally on honorable terms in 1468. In response to the demand of the Earl of Pembroke for its surrender, when he invested it, Davyd said: "I held a castle in France until all the old women in Wales heard of it, and now I will hold this Welsh Tower till all the old women of France hear of it." The "March of the Men of Harlech" commemorates this event.
Aberystwith castle, with a strong force, and sometime during 1407 he made a raid through Pembroke.
A great attempt was made by the English in the early fall of 1407 against Aberystwith castle. About all the great English leaders assembled there, including Prince Henry, the Duke of York and the Earl of Warwick; as well as many other notable commanders and thousands of knights and men at arms. They brought with them engines of war of every then known kind, including the "King's cannon" which weighed four and one-half tons. But they were powerless against the great castle and the brave Welshmen commanded by Owen's lieutenant, Rhys ap Griffith ap Llewelyn. Provisions ran low, however, and in September, a truce was agreed upon until November 1st (1407). when the Welshmen were to deliver up the castle, unless Glyndwr in the meantime should appear and relieve it. Thereupon Prince Henry and his nobles returned to England, leaving a force of 500 soldiers on guard.
During October, just at the right time, Owen appeared upon the scene and went into the castle with a fresh force, and remained in possession of the west coast and its castles during the winter of 1407-1408.
The summer of 1408 toned Owen still active and formidable, but in this year Prince Henry renewed the sieges of both Aberystwith and Harlech and they both fell to the English during the winter of 14081409, after prolonged and desperate resistance; being in fact starved into submission.
By the fall of Harlech castle, Owen's wife and practically all of his family, with the exception of three married daughters then in England, fell into the hands of the English and were taken to London. Edmund Mortimer, his son-in-law and a member of the Royal family of England, had however died during the siege. Owen himself escaped, doubtless still hoping to retrieve his losses and rescue his family. He held for a time some castles and strongholds in the Snowdon mountains, but his sway was now practically at its end, and after some desultory skirmishes it reached a final close, Numbers of his brave commanders in English hands were executed, including Rhys and William Tudor, who were thus disposed of at Chester.
Owen Glyndvvr's career having reached its melancholy finale he retired from public view. He was offered a pardon by Henry V., who had succeeded his father on the English throne, but the proud old hero
Owen had accomplished much, yet in the end the reward was bitter failure for his cherished, patriotic aspirations, and a devastated and ruined country, which required many years for its up-building and recovery, from the desperate, bloody, strife, of nearly a decade. He was the absolute and almost undisputed ruler and monarch of all of Wales, except a few castles, for about seven years; and for nearly ten years he had successfully conducted a war, with a power vastly superior in resources of wealth and men, and in fact one of the very greatest powers of the world at that time, as it is now; and moreover the territory for which he was contending was contiguous to this great power and therefore within striking distance.
This was the last attempt, the last struggle, for Welsh independence. From its close, Wales has remained absolutely, if not always passively, under the government of the throne of England. Welsh pride and Welsh ideals were however in a great measure satisfied, when a King of Welsh princely blood ascended the throne of England, in the person of Henry VII., the first ruler of the Tudor dynasty, to which we have heretofore referred in the preceding pages.
In concluding this brief history of Wales it seems desirable to refer more particularly to some of the places where these Welsh Kings and Princes lived, and also where some of the principal events occurred.
Plates and special remarks are presented herein, of The Town of Llangollen, Castle Dinas Bran, Aberystwith Castle, Harlech Castle, Sycherth, Carew Castle and Pembroke Castle and of other places as well, of which no further description seems required; but there are other places of perhaps equal interest, among which are the following:
Rhuddlan Castle, North Wales, as it now stands, represents the great stronghold built by Edward I.; but an earlier stronghold was built and occupied on this site by Llewelyn ab Seisyllt, Prince of Wales, and his son. There was also an earlier Welsh castle built by former Welsh Princes, on a mount called Tuthill, a furlong south of the castle.
Mold and Caergwrle (Hope) castles, and also a fortified Tower near
Mold, North Wales, were frequently the scenes of British and English engagements. Mold was razed by Prince Owain Gwyned in 1144, but was rebuilt and afterwards was taken and retaken in the struggles of the Welsh and English.
Hawarden Castle, North Wales, was stormed and taken by Prince Davyd, brother of the last Prince of Wales, Llewelyn, in 1281, near the close of their final struggle with the English. Llewelyn and Simon de Montfort signed their memorable compact here.
Denbigh Castle stands on the site of an earlier Welsh castle, held by Prince Davyd, as lord of Denbigh, when his brother Llewelyn was Prince of Wales.
Dolbadarn Castle in Snowdonia, North Wales, was one of a number of fortresses built and maintained in the passes of the Snowdon mountains, by the ancient British or Welsh kings and princes, and proved for many centuries, safe retreats, when they were from time to time, driven by their enimies from the more accessible places. It is said to be one of the first of Welsh castles, and it is certainly very old; it is doubtful whether it was built before, or after Roman times in Britain.
Dynevor (Dinefwr) Castle. in Carmarthen, South Wales, stands where an earlier Welsh castle was built by Rhodri Mawr (Roderick the Great), for his son Cadell, Prince of South Wales, whose successors later on moved the seat of government to Carmarthen castle, which for many years was the headquarters of these Princes and their descendants.
Cardigan Castle, with Cardiganshire and other territories, belonged for many years to Prince Rhys, grandson of Rhys ab Tewdwr, and Prince Rhys' son Griffith.
Tenby Castle and the great walls surrounding the town, in Pembrokeshire, were built by the Flemings, under the command of Gerald de Windsor, Governor of Pembroke.
Many other places and castles, which were associated with early Welsh history, could be referred to with interest, but space which should perhaps properly be assigned to such matters, in a work of this kind, has already been much enlarged, and the author feels that he must be content with the foregoing.
The Direct Male Line.
He is supposed to have been a member of the family of Gherardini of Florence, Italy; and this is seemingly confirmed by the Latin form of the name, "Geraldini," assumed by the descendants; in any event he was a nobleman and came from Florence. This noble passed over into Normandy and thence into England, in 1057, where he became so great a favorite of King Edward, the Confessor, that he excited the jealousy of the Saxon thanes.
His English possessions were enormous and at his death they devolved upon his son, Walter Fitz Otho.
WALTER FITZ OTHO.
After the Conquest in 1066, he was treated by the Normans as one of their fellow-countrymen, a fact which seems somewhat remarkable, and he was mentioned in the Doomsday Book as being in possession of his father's estates in 1078. He was Castellan of Windsor and Warden of the forests in county of Berks.
This fortunate heir put the cope-stone to his prosperity, by marriage with Gladys, the daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn, Prince of North Wales, by whom he was father of three sons, namely:
GERALD FITZ WALTER (Gerald de Windsor), the eldest son and successor.
Robert de Windsor, Baron of Eston.
William de Windsor, Ancestor of the Barons of Windsor and Earls of Plymouth, also of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
GERALD FITZ WALTER (Gerald de Windsor).
The principal recorded events of his career are given in connection with the history of Wales in this work, as he took a prominent part in the Norman invasion of that principality. Through his wife Nesta, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales, who as we have seen was dramatically abducted by Owain ab Cadwgan, he came into possession of Carew castle and other properties in South Wales. He was also for many years the Governor of Pembroke castle, Pembrokeshire, "Little England beyond Wales," where a colony of Flemings settled and under his leadership, successfully resisted the onslaughts of the Welsh. The Flemings under Gerald's direction fortified Tenby in Pembrokeshire, building walls of great strength and heighth around the town and also a strong and magnificent castle. Under his guidance they also fortified other towns and strongholds in that section of Wales, making Pembrokeshire, in fact, almost impregnable against the military genius of the times.
Nesta, the wife of Gerald, was even more famous than he. She was a descendant, through her father Rhys ap Tudor, (or Tewdwr) of the long line of kings and princes who had ruled over Britain and Wales for many centuries, and was said to have been the most beautiful woman of her time, being called the "Helen of Wales." She was mistress of Henry I., King of England, and her sons by him were named Fitz Henry. Henry seems to have put her aside, perhaps for political reasons, for Matilda, the daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland; and she then married Gerald de Windsor. Anyway the settlement of affairs between herself and Henry must have been mutually agreeable, as it is well known that her husband Gerald, was a staunch friend of the English King for many years after he married Nesta.
Gerald and Nesta had three sons, namely:
MAURICE FITZ GERALD, Lord of Maynooth and heir to his father's estates. Ancestor of the Dukes of Leinster, Earls of Kildare and other noble families.
William Fitz Gerald. Ancestor of the great noble family of Carew,
David Fitz Gerald. The Bishop of St. David's, who died in 1176. They also had a daughter,
Angharad, who married William de Barri and was the mother of Gerald de Barri (Giraldus Cambrensis),the noted British historian.
After the death of Gerald de Windsor, Nesta married Stephen the Castellan and by him was mother of Robert Fitz Stephen, who was associated with his brother, Maurice Fitz Gerald, in leading the first invasion of Ireland, in the Norman conquest, in 1169.
Nesta was certainly one of the most noted women of her time, and she was as we have stated, the maternal ancestor of a number of the greatest families of England, Ireland and Wales.
MAURICE FITZ GERALD
The name of Maurice Fitz Gerald is indelibly and prominently associated with the Norman conquest of Ireland and he was the patriarch of the Irish Geraldines and the ancestor of the Dukes of Leinster, Earls of Kildare and other noble families, representing Ireland's most prominent nobility. In 1168, Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster, having been driven from his territory by Roderick O'Connor, sought aid from the English, and succeeded in enlisting in his cause Richard de Clare, the second Earl of Pembroke, also called "Richard Strongbow." Dermot, having concluded his arrangements with Richard, started on his return to Ireland; it being understood that the latter was to follow as soon as he could collect his forces. Having reached St. Davids, Wales, on his return journey, Dermot was kindly received by David Fitz Gerald, the Bishop, and at the prelate's suggestion, his brother Maurice Fitz Gerald and his half brother Robert Fitz Stephen, engaged to assist the Irish King with their forces; and in May, 1169, Maurice and Robert embarked with a small body of soldiers in two ships. They first captured Wrexford, with which lordship Maurice was invested, and then they marched forward and took Dublin.
Strongbow did not land in Ireland and join Maurice and Robert until in August 1170, thus it will be noted, that to Maurice Fitz Gerald
In 1171 Maurice and Strong-bow, with a force of only 600 men, were beleaguered in Dublin, by 30000 Irish under Roderick the Irish King, who was also assisted by a blockading fleet of 30 Manx vessels.
In this desperate emergency, through Maurice's earnest advice and inspiriting exhortations, the garrison resolved to sally forth and attack the enemy. The bold exploit was crowned with success; the Irish were completely defeated, and Roderick made his escape with difficulty.
Maurice Fitz Gerald married Alice, daughter of Arnulf de Montgomery, who was son of Roger de Montgomery, the greatest of the Norman lords and the foremost among the Norman leaders, next to William the Conqueror himself.
Maurice died in 1177 at Wrexford and was buried in the Abbey of Grey Friars, outside the walls of the town.
By his wife Alice he left five sons among whom were: William Fitz Maurice, Baron of Naas; Gerald Fitz Maurice, Baron of Offaly; ThomAs FITZ MAURICE, ancestor of the Earls of Desmond and Decies.
THOMAS FITZ MAURICE (Fitz Gerald).
He was the third son of Maurice Fitz Gerald, by his wife Alice. Thomas Fitz Maurice left a son: JOHN FITZ THOMAS (Fitz Gerald), Lord of Decies and Desmond.
JOHN FITZ THOMAS (Fitz Gerald).
He was Lord of Decies and Desmond and a Count Palatine in the year 1259. By virtue of the latter royal position, he created three of his sons by his second wife Honora, hereditary knights; and thus originated the titles of the "White Knight," the "Knight of Glyn" and the "Knight of Kerry."
He also was father of a son by his first wife, who was called,
OSBORN FITZ GERALD (Osbwrn, or Osbern, Wyddel).
As has been stated Osborn was a son of John Fitz Thomas-Fitz Gerald. Lord of Decies and Desmond, by his first wife. He left Ireland, his native country, about the year 1260, and went to Wales, where he obtained extensive possessions, by grant or marriage, or by both, in Co. Merioneth in North Wales, including the site of the present mansion of Cors-y-Gedol.
As we have seen, Osborn's ancestors had formerly lived in Wales and were closely and highly associated with the national affairs of the principality. His great-great-great-grandmother Gladys, and his great, great-grandmother Nesta, were Welsh princesses, while his great-grandmother Alice was granddaughter of the greatest of the Norman lords.
Also, as we have seen, his great-grandfather, Maurice Fitz Gerald, was the leader of the first successful Norman invasion of Ireland.
Truly the greatness of his ancestry was all that could be desired and it is evident that he was no stranger to Wales, or to Welsh affairs, when he emigrated there from Ireland. He was the ancestor of the Yales in the direct male line and he was certainly living in Co. Merioneth in 1293, as he was assessed in that year, in the parish of Llanaber, towards the tax of a Fifteenth. He had a son; CYNRIK AP OSBORN.
CYNRIK AP O