« PreviousContinue »
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, 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.
of the Jews are commanded to collect from them 40 marks of gold for the King's happy return from the parts of Wales.1
Difficulties in obtaining ready money for the upkeep of the Welsh Castles are apparent. On June 1st, 1246, at Windsor, a bond to R. Earl of Cornwall, the King's brother, in 500 marks, payable at Michaelmas next, for 500 marks lent to the King for the munition of the Castles of Gannock and Dissard; and in 250 marks payable at the same term, out of the 500 marks which the Earl receives yearly at the Exchequer, until the King provide him with land, which he is bound to provide.
The like3 is written by Letters Close, to the Earl of Ferrars, Roger de Monte Alto, Warrin de Vernon, Hamo de Massey, Hugh de Venables, Henry de Aldethelegh, Thomas Corbet, John, son of Alan, Ralph Basset of Periton, Roger de Summery, and Walter de Dunstanvill.
Request to the good men of Shrewsbury, if they have any horses, arms and harness of the King's sergeants dwelling in their town to pawn, to deliver the same to them, as the said sergeants will pay their debts, or if necessary the King will pay for them, and hereby binds himself to do so.
The like to the good men of Montgomery.
The Constableship of Diserth Castle was changed on August 28th, 1246, by "the appointment, during pleasure, of John de Grey," Justice of Chester, to the keeping of the Castle of Dissard :" with Mandate to Philip le Bret, Constable of that Castle, "to deliver
1 This is but one of many occasions in which money was borrowed from the Jews, paying back is not recorded.
2 Pat. Rolls, 30 Hen. III.
3 Pat. Rolls, 30 Hen. III.
5 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 30 Hen. III.
it to him with its whole equipment" (warnestura), and on November 1st at Chester, Protection' with clause volumus (i.e., action cannot be taken against him) was granted to Philip le Bret so long as he is in charge of the Castle of Dissard.
A Grant was made on November 30th, at Clarendon,2 to John de Grey, of 200 marks a year at the Exchequer for the custody of the County of Chester and of the King's Castles of Gannoc and Dissard during the war with the Welsh.
This appointment had its sequel3 in 1248, when Walkelin Ardern and Philip le Bret, Sheriff of Salop, "is commanded to distrain them to come before the King to show why they have not paid wages to the King's servants in Gannoc and Dissard Castles."
The ravages of war prevented the tilling of the soil, and efforts were made by the King to tenant the houses in the vicinity of Dyserth Castle by a command from Farendon on June 1st, 1248, to J. De Grey, Justice of Chester, "to deliver burgages to those who will receive and inhabit them near Dissard Castle." At the same time commands were issued to the same Justice "to deliver money out of the issues. of the county and of the bailiwick of the Peak, to Adam de Bocking to buy corn, &c., for the munition of Gannoc and Dissard Castles." Also " permission for his men to buy wheat in Counties Nottingham, Derby, Salop and Stafford for the munition of the
1 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 30 Hen. III.
2 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 31 Hen. III.
6 Only two houses remain in a renovated state which bespeak the period in the manner of their construction. One, known as Dyserth Castle, is situated at the side of the ruined fortress, and inhabited by the owner, J. B. Price, Esq., who presented Coronation mementoes to the children of Dyserth in 1911.
7 Close Rolls, 32 Hen. III.
he was also "commanded to be prepared to go to Ireland to fetch victual for their munition."
An order was given about this time to John de Grey, Justice of Chester, to replace the wooden palisade round Chester Castle with stone and repair that of Dissard; no date is given, though in 34 Hen. III (1250) there was an acquittance of suits of counties and hundreds for one year, in Wiltshire made to Will. de Grimested, Constable of Dissard; and Alan la Zuche, who was appointed Justice of Chester3 in 1251, is commanded to appoint the Constables of Gannoc and Dissard, the overseers of the King's works there.
On July 2nd, 1250, a Mandate was issued from Marlborough to Walkelin de Ardern, William de Boydell, Geoffrey de Dutton, and Robert Patric, to go personally to the Castles of Gannoc and Dissard, in North Wales, and the King's castles and manors in the county of Chester, and to view in what state J. de Grey let them go, and in what state A. la Zuche, Justice of Chester, accepted them, and how they are munitioned with arms and other necessaries, and what they find they are to draw up in writing and cause it to be chirographed between them and the said Justice; one part to be delivered to the said Justice, and the other to be sent under their seals to the King.
Rightly or wrongly, we learn from Matthew Paris that Zuche replaced De Grey, promising to make the Welsh portion of his charge more profitable to the Exchequer. He extracted' 1100 marks from a district,
1 Pat. Rolls, Letters, Hen. III, vol. ii, 45.
2 Close Rolls, 34 Hen. III.
3 Annales Cestrienses.
4 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 35 Hen. III.
5 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 34 Hen. III.
6 Matt. Paris, Chron., v, 227. Cf. Ann. Cest., s. a.
7 Matt. Paris, s. a., 1251-2.—Parry's Royal Visits, 123.
which, in the time of his predecessors, only yielded 500, and declared publicly at St. Albans, when on his way to the Treasury, that the whole of Wales was now at length subdued to absolute obedience to the English laws, and that it was in a state of profound tranquility.
Alan la Zuche,1 however, resigned his Justiciary and was commanded on September 16th to deliver his charge to Gilbert Talbot, by whom he was succeeded on September 29th, 1255. The appointment of Justiciary of Ireland was given to Zuche in 1256, and he sailed from Chester on June 24th.
The efforts of King Henry to obtain tenants for the property near Dissard Castle met with success, although there appears to have been some question as to the holding of the same. It was decided that the lands should be held by free and own tenure, not by knights' service, as the following Mandate to Alan la Zuche, Justice of Chester, shows:
Jany. 12 (1251), Westminster, 35 Hen. III. To cause burgages to be assessed and assigned by view and testimony of good men of Gannoc and Dissard, as the King commanded him at another time; and the King has granted to all persons dwelling there or hereafter the same liberties and free customs hitherto used among the burgesses of Chester.
In October, 1254, a change of affairs was brought about by the marriage of the King's son and heir, Edward, on whom he conferred the earldom of Chester, and all his lands in Wales (practically, Flintshire and Denbighshire, etc.). Edward, who was but a boy of 16, took some part in the administration, though the real government was conducted by ministers who
1 Ann. Cestrienses, 71.
2 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 35 Hen. III.
3 Married Eleanor, daughter of Ferdinand the Saint.