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A further reference in Annales Cestrienses states:— "In August, 1241, about the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (August 15) King Henry III came first to Chester, and having entered Wales at Rhuddlan, he remained for eight days. The lord of the land, David, son of Llywelyn, came to him there, restoring the land to him (the King), and he gave up Griffin, his brother (whom he had imprisoned). Also the King built a Castle at Disserth, and caused the foundation of Mold to be laid.""
The bloodless war, which terminated at Alnetum (Gwern Eigron) in August, 1241, no doubt created a feeling of uneasiness and insecurity amongst the Welsh; the King, anxious to dispel this, and also to undo the prospects of Prince David, issued from Shrewsbury, on August 13th, 1241, a "Notification to all the Welsh in the parts of North Wales, that whoever will come to the King's Peace and to the fealty and service of Griffin son of Llywelyn," sometime Prince of North Wales, and his sons, the King would willingly accept them, their wives and their children and their goods."
A fortnight later (August 27th, 1241) the King was in camp at Rhuddlan," and on September 3rd at Chester." In both places the clergy were able to gain his favour.
"Power was given to Brother Gregory de Basingwerk, to conduct the harness of the Bishop of Bangor to Rothelan until Saturday after the decollation of John the Baptist.
Protection, without term, for H, Bishop of St. Asaph, for himself, his clerks, and other men:
Directed to John L'Estrange, Justice of Chester." The death of Prince Gruffydd, in 1244, seems to
1 Annales Cestrienses.
2 Mold Castle was evidently not new, for the English seized it from Llywelyn in 1198.
3 Welsh People, 323.
5 Half-brother of David.
7 Howel ap Ednyfed.
4 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 25 Hen. III.
6 Pat. Rolls, 25 Hen. III.
have enraged David,' who thereupon summoned all his good men, and attacked his foes, driving them from all their borders, except such as were in castles. He sent messengers to all the Princes of Wales; and everybody joined him except Gruffydd, son of Madog; Gruffydd, son of Gwenwynwyn; and Morgan, son of Howel. To these he caused many losses, and compelled them, against their will, to submit and assist." A despatch was sent by L'Estrange in June, 1244, to the King, stating that David, son of Llywelyn, had retired, but was still troublesome; support was needed at Diserth, and that a great army was needed to prevent David's approach. There were nightly raids on English territory, and Diserth was almost cut off from its base at Chester.
On June 28th the King replied: "We thank you for your unwearied diligence in our service. Apply the revenues of the border counties to their defence. You shall receive help if necessary."
Every encouragement was given to the garrison, to withstand a siege, and strategy was adopted to cover their weakness, by "challenging the Welsh to come." Success attended their efforts and border warfare continued into A.D. 1245. The Welsh were beaten at Montgomery, but were successful in retaking Mold Castle. King Henry made further arrangements for prosecuting the war, and issued a Mandate from Wood
1 Brut y Tywysogion, 330; Brut S. A. 1244. His anger was surely not caused by the death of a rival?
2 Powell and Wynne, 264.
3 The war was general as early as June 3rd. Pat. Rolls, i, 427. 4 28 Hen. III. Letters.
5 Quod sine magno exercitu castrum vestrum de Dissard non possum appropinquare.
6 Matt. Paris, iv, 385.
7 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 28 Hen. III.
8 Quod si contingat castrum de Dissard vel aliud obsideri, consilium festinum in vobis apponemus, vel personaliter ad partes illas veniendo, etc. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 28 Hen. III,
9 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 29 Hen. III.
stock on the 11th July, 1245, to the knights and free tenants of the county of Chester, as follows:
The King having heard that David son of Llywelyn has given siege to the castle of Dissard, to be with their horses, arms and whole power at Chester on Thursday the feast of St. Margaret the Virgin, to meet the Earls and Barons, whom the King is sending there, to rescue the said castle, and to be vigorous in the said castle.
A similar order was issued to The Mayor and Sheriffs of London, who were commanded to lend the King1 10 shields, etc., for the expedition into Wales, to be given back when the King returns.
The Constable1 of the Tower of London to send 40 crossbows to Richard Mares, Chester, along with the King's tents.
The Sheriff1 of Salop to send wax to Chester.
There was also an order on July 1st, 1245, from Westminster to the Sheriffs of Staffordshire and Shropshire to deliver at Chester, by the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula (August 1st) or within the octave of the said feast, 50 oxen and fat cows, 1000 quarters of wheat, 500 of oats; and on July 4th, 1245, an additional order for 1000 bacons was given along with an undertaking that payment would be made for them.3
The King's army, which consisted of English and Gascons, relieved the garrison of Diserth and proceeded to Deganwy, but not without severe loss; they were intercepted by the Welsh in a narrow pass. A great number of nobility and all the Gascons were slain, and the army was reduced to severe straits,5 watching, fasting, praying, and freezing." The half
1 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 29 Hen. III.
2 Claus. 29 Hen. III, m. 7. Dodsworth's Collections, Vol. 108. 3 lb. in coll. W. Mytton. Parry's Royal Visits, 120.
4 Powell 265.
6 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 29 Hen. III.
6TH SER. VOL. XII.
5 Matthew Paris.
penny loaf had risen to fivepence, a bushel of corn to 20s., and varied' was the success of the ships which carried victuals from Chester and Ireland.
King Henry issued the following order2 from Gannoc (Deganwy) on October 13th, 1245: "Robt. de Mucegros and others are commanded to send ships laden with wheat, bacon, etc., from Chester for the munition of Dissard Castle."
Wearied out with miseries, the English, after munitioning the castles, returned ingloriously to England.
David and Gruffydd's supporters and friends became reconciled, but David did not long survive this amity and agreement for, falling sick towards the end of the year, he died in the following March (1246) in his palace at Aber, and was buried at Conway, leaving no issue to succeed.
His widow, Isabella, was at Dissard Castle, and King Henry having a care for his obstinate nephew's bereaved one, commanded from Windsor on April 21st, 1246, "The Abbot of Basingwerk to receive the said Isabella (widow of David, son of Llewellin, Prince of Wales) from Philip le Bret, Constable of Dissard Castle, and conduct her to Godestowe to stay with the Abbess of that house. The said Isabella is commanded to go with the Abbot as abovesaid. Philip le Bret is commanded to deliver her to the Abbot. The Abbess of Godestowe is requested to receive her and treat her honourably."
In this season of calamity' the Welsh nobility elected
1 Powell and Wynne, 265-7.
2 Close Rolls, 29 Hen. III. 3 Powell and Wynne, 268.
4 Close Rolls, 29 Hen. III.
5 It will be noticed that on this occasion the King's command recognises David as the Prince of Wales; whereas in 1241, when it better suited his purpose, David's half-brother Griffin was so styled.
6 He succeeded John L'Estrange as Constable on Oct. 27th, 1245. 7 Parry's Royal Visits, 120.
Llywelyn, the son of Gruffydd (David's half-brother, who was killed in the Tower of London), to succeed his uncle, in defiance of the agreement of 1241, by which the Principality was to pass to the English Crown. Llywelyn, however, had two brothers, Owain Goch (who shared his father's captivity for a time, and was afterwards released, and received into favour by the King) and David, who was the last of the Welsh princes.
Llywelyn, who had been staying with the King in London for some months, on hearing of his elevation, stole privately away. He occupied parts of Pervedd wlad in defiance of his uncle David and the English authorities.3
With the consent of the barons, Owain and Llywelyn assumed the sovereignty, divided the possessions of their house, and made provision for their younger brother David. They were at once treated as rebels,2 and their lands in the south were seized by Nicholas de Myles, who promptly marched north as far as Deganwy.
The King was more magnanimous, and came to an understanding with the princes, in which he pardoned their rebellion, and conferred on them the residue of the Principality, retaining for himself the land east of the Conway (which includes Dyserth) and the land occupied by De Myles, except an allotment given to Maelgwyn Fychan.
Notwithstanding the severe sufferings of the English in their expedition, Henry, on his arrival at Oxford, issued the following:
Oxon. 25th November, 1246. Justices for custody
1 Sebright MSS.
2 Welsh People, 325.
3 Warrington, 428. History of the Gwydir Family, 28.
Both princes paid homage to the King at Woodstock in 1247. (Welsh People, 325.)
5 Close Rolls, 30 Hen. III.