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in turn exacted large tribute from the Welsh, although they were deprived by the grant of their pasture lands. There is little wonder, that with the severity of the laws at the time, against both the English and the Welsh, and the virtual deposition of Henry by the "Mad Parliament" at Oxford, on June 11th, 1258, that the Welsh complaints to Llywelyn received both his sympathy and vigorous denunciation.1
The jealousy of Owain and David at the growing popularity of their brother Llywelyn led to their taking up arms against him at Bryn Derwin' in 1254. Owain was captured and confined in Dolbadarn Castle, but David escaped to England and did much mischief.
Llywelyn alone took up the Welsh cause to combat the annexation of their land, with the probable destruction of their customs and incidents of tenure. Individuals had already suffered much injustice by reason of illegal imprisonment, violent evictions, and general oppression at the hands of Edward's officers." Llywelyn took the field in 1256, and subdued Perfeddwlad, with the exception of the the Castles of Dyserth and Deganwy. He was secretly assisted by the Barons. Prince Edward led a force into his own territories, but effected nothing beyond
1 His speech is given in Parry's Royal Visits, 121.
2 Brut 8. a., 1254.
4 Brut s. a., 1255.
3 Leland, v, 45.
5 Geoffrey de Langley, 1256 A.D. Ann. Camb., 1256: "Henricus filius tunc Comes Cestriæ circa Kalendas Augusti ad castra sua, videlicet de Digannoy et de Disserth videndum et Terrasquo recedente et facta visitatione nobiles Walliæ indignati et suis spoliati libertatibus et honoribus, more Machabaeorum, zelo justitiæ accensi elegerunt potius. cum honore in bello pro libertate sua mori quam sic ab extraneis et indignis hostibus calcari, ad nobilem juvenem, videlicet Lewelinum filium Grifini filii Lewelini accesserunt, suam ei exponentes captivitatem, tribulationem, cum lachrymis et gemitibus."
6 Wykes, 133. Flores, ii, 478.
temporary relief to the hard-pressed garrisons of Dyserth and Deganwy, and was then recalled by his father. This increased the courage of the Welshmen, who carried their devastation right up to the walls of Chester.
The King came to his son's assistance with a great army, and also with the help of a naval contingent from the Cinque Ports,' on August 19th, 1257. The army was divided into two parts, one of which he joined at Chester.2 The sieges at Dyserth and Deganwy were raised, and Henry remained at the latter fortress from August 26th until the Feast of St. Mary (September 4th) expecting to receive assistance from Ireland, which failed. Llywelyn was at this time in the fastnesses of Snowdon, together with the families of his troops and their flocks. During the King's retreat towards Chester, after this, his final, inglorious and unprofitable invasion of the Principality, Henry was severely harassed by Llywelyn.*
On September 11th Henry was again encamped at Dyserth, but his late disappointment threw him into a fever which kept him in bed for some time. The war was chiefly confined to the lands of Prince Edward and those of zealous Royalists, until June 1258, when a truce was agreed upon at Oxford in the following terms:—
June 16th, Oxford. Grant by the King for himself, Edward his son, and all his men, English and Welsh, to Llywelyn son of Griffith, by Anian, Abbot
1 Annales Monastici de Osseneia, vol. iv, Rolls Series.
2 Rymer's Foedera, i, 361; Matt. Paris.
3 Brut y Tywys., 345.
4 Chronica Maiorum et Vicecomitum London., 29. Rymer's Foedera, 363.
6 Parry's Royal Visits.
7 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 42 Hen. III.
8 2000 marks, the money of A., bishop-elect of Winchester, was taken for the war in Wales! Cal. Pat. Rolls, 43 Hen. III.
of Aber Connewy, and Master Madoc, son of Philip, his plenipotentiaries, of a truce from Monday before Midsummer, 1258, to St. Peter ad Vincula, August 1st, 1259, so that each party have seisin of the lands, castles, and other things, as they have now. Further
it shall be lawful for the King and his men, to visit his Castles of Dissard and Gannock, and throughout the said time to munition them with victuals and other necessaries, by two boats, of twelve oars each, or less, or by land if there be tempest or other impediments of the sea: and Imbert Pugey has sworn in the King's name to keep this, and the said Abbot and Madoc in the name of Llywelyn.
This letter was handed over to John de Sancto Dionisio, Clerk of John Mansell, to be delivered to the Welsh by the counsel of Edward the King's son. The Welsh letters of this truce, were handed over to Peter de Wintonia, Clerk of the Wardrobe, to be kept, on Thursday after midsummer.
The truce was extended, however, for some years, though there was little gain to Llywelyn, since the Castles of Gannoc and Dyserth commanded a large piece of territory. The Barons' war proceeded with varied success. Their friendliness with Llywelyn, the
latter's alliance with the Earl of Leicester and the Scotch nobles, together with the tyrannical, yet weak government of Henry, brought matters to a crisis. War broke out again in 1263, with greater severity, in both the Marches and Perfeddwlad. Henry issued a Mandate from Westminster on March 23rd.
"To Knights, freemen, and others, of the Counties.
1 Rymer's Foedera.
2 Chronica Will. Rishanger, 13. Rolls Series.
3 Rymer's Foedera, i, 370. Bain's Scotch Documents, i, 421.
4 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 47 Hen. III.
of Salop, Stafford and Hereford, to be of counsel and aid to Edward, the King's first-born son, whom the King is sending to the March of Wales to resist Llywelyn, son of Griffin, and his accomplices, who have invaded the lands of the King,' and his, in the said March, against his homage and fealty and the form of the Truce."
A Mandate was also issued from Westminster two days afterwards, to Richard de Tillebiry, Constable of the Tower of London, to let Edward, the King's son, have from the treasure in the Tower, for his expedition to the parts of Wales, 900 marks in part payment of £1000, which the King has ordered to be delivered to him.
Llywelyn, aided by Gruffydd, son of Madoc, laid siege to Dyserth Castle' at the end of June. A formidable struggle took place, and the previously successful garrison was overpowered after a five-weeks' resistance, on the day before the Feast of S. Oswald," August 4th, 1263. The Castle was utterly destroyed, stone over stone being thrown down the rock, which had been their strength.7
1 Chronica Will. Rishanger, 12. Rolls Series.
2 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 47 Hen. III.
3 Ann. Cest. states that the siege was undertaken "de mandato baronum," and Tout, Owens College Essays, 99, note 73.
4 Chaer Faelan. Ann. Camb.; Brut Tywys.
5 "Et dominus Lewelinus cum magno exercitu et apparatu accessit ad castrum de Disserth circa Kalendas Augusti, et illud bello cepit et statim solo tenus destruxit, ita ut non ibi lapis super lapidem in brevi inveniretur."
6 Ann. Cest., 1263.
7 An erroneous story, many times copied, and noted by Pennant as being a reference from one of the Hengwrt MSS., is to the effect that "Einion, the son of Ririd Flaidd, was slain during the siege. A cross was erected on the spot, called Croes Einion, the shaft of which, ornamented with strange sculpture, now is supposed to form the stile into the churchyard." The stile has been done away with,
War was continued by Llywelyn until the end of 1265. In September of that year, Llywelyn made an inroad into Chester, and also formed an alliance with Gilbert de Clare,1 Earl of Gloucester. The latter made peace with the King, and Ottobon, the Papal legate, arranged terms between Llywelyn and Edward. By
but it is probable that it forms a part of the existing wall by the western gateway.
Gruffydd Hiraethog, a local bard and antiquary, states that it bore the following inscription :
"Oc si petatur lapis iste Kausa notatur
Einion Oxi Ririd Flaidd filius hoc memoratur."
Another rendering of the same in the Peniarth MS. 134, obviously corrupt, is as follows:
"Hoc sy petatur lapis ysti cavassa notatur
Einion Oxi Riddid Vlaidd filius hoc memoratur."
"If the meaning be asked of this inscription
Einion, the son of Ririd Flaidd, is here commemorated."
Rhirid Flaidd, Rhirid the Wolf, so called from the ancestral crest he bore, was lord of Penllyn.
The bard Cynddelw describes him as :—
"Nid blaidd coed williadd allael
"Not a wolf of the forest, fierce and savage,
But a wolf of the field, courteous and liberal."
He took his surname of Blaidd, or Wolf, from his ancestor, Y Blaidd Rhud, The Red Wolf, of Y Gest, in Carnarvonshire. On his shield he bore a wolf passant.
The story that Einion was slain at the siege of Dyserth Castle cannot possibly be correct. His father lived in the eleventh century; it is therefore impossible that the son could be fighting in A.D. 1263. That the cross was raised to Einion, son of Rhirid Flaidd, is clearly indicated by the inscription quoted above. It is therefore probable that he met his death at Dyserth in conflict with Robert of Rhuddlan, or Earl Hugh of Chester. The cross is of earlier date than 1263, and can now perhaps be ascribed to the end of the eleventh century. (For a drawing, see Westwood's Lapidarium Wallic.) The day schools now occupy the site.
1 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 50 Hen. III.