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which time had wrought, become “entertaining, in common with the exceedingly imperfect, and by no rest of their countrymen, an means sufficiently comprehensive to bounded animosity towards the meet the contingencies of the State. Welsh, exercised their authority A statute, therefore, was enacted, with unsparing and remorseless vi(12 Ed. I.,) by which a system of gilance, and entirely subverted the jurisprudence was established, more judicious measures of their Mosuitable to the condition of the narch.” Shamefully indeed were the Welsh, and better adapted to the Welsh treated by the despotic typurposes of the conqueror. This ranny of the King's officers; and we Statute (which is called the Statute select a few examples of their unof Rhuddlaw) is in the form of a justifiable oppression, from a long Charter, and contains a very com * Memorial of the Greefes and Inplete and concise code of laws, for juries offered by the King and his the government of Wales, as well as officers to the Men of Ros:” many salutary regulations for carry “ The Lord the King did promise the ing the laws themselves into effect. men of Ros that they should have justice Instead of retaining the ancient di- in their sutes : after granting of the which visions of cantreos (hundreds) and articles, the said men did homage to the commwds (communes), Edward di- King. And then the King promised vided Wales into counties, with a them, with his owne mouth, faithfullie to Sheriff, Coroner, and other officers in observe the said articles. This, notwith. each. County-Courts were also ap- standing, a certaine noble man, passing by pointed to be holden monthly, and the King's hie waie, with his wife, in the those of the Sheriff half-yearly. The King's peace, met certaine English laborforms of writs were likewise settled,
ers and masons going to Ruthlan, where with the method to be used in all they did then worke, who attempted, by law.proceedings, which were to be force, to take awaie his wife from him ; carried on and decided within the could, one of them killed the wife, and
and while he defended hir, as weell as he Principality ; it being expressly pro- he who killed hir, with his fallowes, was vided, that the Welsh should not be taken : and when the kindred of hir which sued for debts and trespasses in the was slaine required lawe, at the Justice English Courts.
of Chester's hands, (for their kinswoman,) These salutary enactments were, they were put in prison, and the mur. in themselves, well calculated to ef- therers were delivered.” fect, eventually, that amelioration in “ Item. A certain man killed a gentlethe condition of the Welsh which the man, who had killed the son of Grono ap English Monarch had in view ; for Heilyn, and was taken : but when cer. although it was not to be expected taine of the kindred required justice bethat the Cambro-British would im- fore the Justice of Chester, certaine of mediately conform to the decrees of them were imprisoned, the offender set at their conqueror, yet the advantages libertie, and justice denied to the kindred.” which they must have derived from should cut our woodes without our leave :
“ Item. It is our right that no stranger these temperate proceedings would inevitably have cancelled the obsti- clamation at Ruthlan, that it should be
yet this, notwithstanding there was a pro. nacy of national prejudice. But, un
law full for all other men to cut downe fortunately for the Welsh, the exe
our woodes, but to us it was forbidden." cution of these laws was entrusted to " Item. When aine commeth to RuthEnglish officers, who, to use the lan with merchandize, if he refuse what. words of a contemporary writer, soever anie English man offereth, he is
homage to Edward, according to a treaty concluded between the two Sovereigns. The Welshmen, as their custom was, brought with them large retinues, which were quartered at Islington, and the neighbouring villages. These places did not afford milk sufficient for so many people, who liked neither the wine nor the ale of London; and, although plentifully entertained, they were much displeased with their new manner of living. Their pride, too, was offended by the perpetual curiosity and sarcasms of the Londoners, who followed them in crowds, to gaze and jeer at their uncommon garn. "No," cried the indignant Welshmen ; “ we never again will visit Islington, except as conquerors !” And from that instant they resolved to take up arms.
Carte from a M$. in the Mostyn Collection.
forthwith sent to the castell to prison, and quires no very great sagacity to forethe buier hath the things, and the King tel the consequences of these intemhath the price : then the souldiers of the perate proceedings. Revolt after recastell first spoile and beate the partie, volt sprang up, to the great injury of and then cause bim to pay the porter, and the Welsh, who suffered severely for let him goe.'' “ Item. If anie Welsh man buie anie they asserted their rights, and re
the temerity and boldness with which thing in Ruthlan, and anie English man do meete him, he will take it from him, time after the subjugation of their
venged their wrongs : and, for a long and give him lesse than he paid for it."
“ Item. Certaine gentlemen of the country, they continued to emit, at cantrev of Ros, bought certaine offices, intervals, sparks of that fiery valour, and paid their monie for the same : yet which all the oppressive efforts of the Justice of Chester tooke the said their enemies could not entirely offices from them without cause."
quench. “ Item. Our causes ought to be decid. The affairs of the Welsh were in ed after the custome of our lawes; but this situation, and an interval of our men be compelled to sweare against nearly a century and a half had etheir consciences, else they be not suffer. lapsed since the conquest of their ed to sweare: furthermore, we spent three country,---when a champion stood hundreth markes in going to the King forth in the cause of freedom, whose for justice in the foresaid articles. And valour had well nigh dissevered the when we beleeved to recover full justice, chain which bound them so strongly, the King sent to our partes the Lord Re- and whose name will never be ginald Gray *, to whom the King hath set all the landes to farme, to handle the with sentiments of pride and admira
breathed by his countrymen, except men of the said cantrevs as it pleaseth him : who compelled us to sweare in his tion. We need scarcely add, that name, whereas we should sweare in the this heroic champion was. Owain King's name. And where the King's GLYNDWR. crosse ought to be erected, he caused his
Owain Vychan, or Vaughan, usucrosse to be erected, in token that he is ally called Glyndwrf, was born on the verie true lord : and the said Lord the 28th of May 1349," a year," we Reginald, at his first comming to those are informed, “ remarkable for the partes of Wales, sold to certaine servants first appearance of the pestilence in of the King, offices for 1x markes, which Wales, and for the birth of Owain the said servants bought before, of the Glyndwr.” Holinshed, who seems King, for xxiiij markes : which offices to have imbibed a most violent anought not to be sold at the choice of the tipathy to the “ Welsh rebel,” as he lord.”
calls him, relates a circumstance at“ Item. The King gave Meredyth ap tending the birth of this chieftain, Madoc a captaineship for his service; which is doubtless intended to bear Reginald Gray took it from him : neither could he get anie remedie at the King's
some allusion to his sanguinary and handes for the same t.".
turbulent career : “ Strange wonders,” he says,
“ happened at the These will suffice to shew how birth of this man : for the same assiduously the new laws were con- nighte that he was borne, all his fatemned and violated by those very in- ther's horses, in the stable, were dividuals whose duty it was to carry founde to stande in bloude up to them fairly into effect ; and it re their bellies !” He became allied to
This Reginald Gray seems to have been a perfect despot ; for it is elsewhere said of him, that as soon as he returned to Wales, he determined to take “ xxiiij men of every cantrev, and either behead them, or imprison them perpetuallie." Whether he actually performed the beneficent promise, we have not been able to ascertain. + Froin MS. in the Hêngwrt collection.
The family name of this hero was Vychan, or Vaughan ; he is styled Glyndwr, froin his patrimony of Glyndyvrdwy, or the Bank-side of the Dee. No naine, per. haps, has been so variously contorted ; he is called, indifferently, Glendour, Glendown, Glendower, Glyndour, Glyndower, and Glyndwr ; the last, according to Welsh orthography, being the most correct, and that which we have consequently adopted. In one statute, (4, Henry iv. ch. 34..) he is described as “ Owen ar Glyndourdy, traitour a nostre Sr. le Roy."
the Hanmers of Hanmer, in Flint- amongst his happy and devoted tenshire, by marriage with Margaret, antry; and probably with no loftier daughter of Sir David Hanmer, wishes than those of contributing to Chief-Justice of the King's-Bench, the contentment and happiness of in the reign of Richard the Second; his dependants. But he was roused and he appears to have chosen, not from this peaceful inactivity by oponly an amiable and virtuous wife, pression unendurable by a Briton. but a benevolent and prolific one; Lord Reginald Gray of Ruthin, for Iolococh, (or the red,) the hero's whose lordship was contiguous to chief bard, thus eulogizes her trans- Glyndyvrdwy, wishing to confine his cendant virtues.
neighbour within the bounds of the
Dee, claimed the hills on his side of A Gwraig orau o'r gwragedd !
the river, and took possession of Gwyn fy myd, o'i gwin a'i medd : Merch rglur, llin marchawglyw,
them, although they had long been Urddol, hael, o reiob ryw.
the property of the Glyndwr family. Ai blant, a ddeuantbob yn ddau,
This unjust seizure produced a suit Nythod teg o benn-aethau !
in the courts of law, in which the
Welshman obtained a restitution of His wife, the best of wives !
his lands, and Lord Gray became, Happy am I in her wine and metheglin. in consequence, his most inveterate Eminent woman of a knightly family. and deadly enemy: Honourable, beneficent, noble,
On the accession of Henry the His children come in pairs,
Fourth to the crown, Gray, relying A beautiful nest of chieftains !
upon the favour and protection of A large family was the result of his monarch, again seized those lands, this union; and the sons followed which had been legally awarded to their father to the field, while the Owain ; and when the latter laid daughters were married to chieftains his case before the Parliament, he of considerable eminence in the coun obtained no redress, nor was his aptry.
plication even noticed. This conGlyndwr was a lineal descendant tumely was aggravated by an insult from the princes of Wales, and of greater, and, eventually, of fatal lord of considerable possessions near consequence.
When Henry went Corwen, in Merionethshire. He re on his first expedition against the ceived his education in England, and Scots, Owain was to have accompaappears to have been admitted a stu nied him, with a certain number of dent in one of Inns of Court; for, his retainers. A writ of summons, says Holinshed, “ he was first set to for this purpose, was entrusted to study the lawes of the realme, and Gray, who designedly and rashly becoine an vtter barrester, or appren withheld it, till the time for Owain's tice of the lawe, as they terme him." appearance had elapsed, and it was But he soon quitted the drudgery of impossible for him to obey the royal this profession for avocations more mandate. Lord Gray represented his congenial with his ardent and san absence as an act of wilful, and, guine dispositions; and, during the therefore, of traitorous disobedience ; tumults which agitated the country by which wicked and treacherous in the reign of Richard the Second, transactions he procured from Henry he did not remain an inactive spec a grant of all Owain's lands; the tator, but espoused the cause of the knight himself being, at the same King, to whom he was sincerely and time, declared a traitor. This was warmly attached. As a reward for not to be patiently endured by the his loyalty, he was created a knight, aggrieved and choleric Cambrian ; and appointed scutiger, or squire of and a short time from this period the body, to that unfortunate mo saw Owain Glyndwr, with a trusty narch; and when Richard was de- and gallant band of Britons, spreadposed, Owain retired to his estates in ing fire and desolation through the Wales, deprecating and lamenting territories of the presumptuous Gray. the downfall of his beloved master. He soon recovered the lands of which
At Glyndyvrdwy, then, four cen he had been so unjustly deprived ; turies ago, lived this Cambrian be and, actuated by the spirit of retaliaro, dispensing numerous blessings tion, took possession of a large por
tion of the domains of his enemy. ness of the rebel-chieftain, and to Nor did the consequences rest here. crush, if possible, a revolt daily beAmbition now entered the mind of coming more extensive and momenthe infuriated chieftain ; he called tous. For this purpose, he assembled to his recollection his high and his troops, and hastened into Wales ; princely lineage, and, directing his but Glyndwr, whose forces were not arms to a noble cause--the freedom yet sufficiently powerful, retreated to of his country-involved both na the hills of Snowdon, and Henry was tions in a war which lasted some compelled to return to England, years, sacrificed many thou and without obtaining any material ad. lives, and drenched both countries vantage. In order, however, to weaken with blood.
his opponent, he made a grant of Although the Welsh were at first all the estates of Glyndwr, in North despised as a barefooted rabble *, and and South Wales, to his own brother, their disaffection treated with con John Earl of Somerset ; an act as tempt, they were soon found to be a ineffectual as it was irritating; for formidable and dangerous enemy. The Owain was so far from any danger intelligence of Glyndwr's retaliation of being dispossessed of them, that at upon Lord Gray no sooner reached this very time he was daily growing the Court, than the King immediate more powerful, by the accession of ly dispatched some troops, under the new forces. It is remarkable that command of that nobleman and the the chieftain's revenue, in money, at Lord Talbot, to chastise him; and this period, did not exceed 300 marks, they arrived with such speed and di- which shewed that his rents, in kind, ligence, that they nearly succeeded must have been very considerable. in surrounding his house before he Preparations were now made by the gained any intimation of their ‘ap- King to coinmence a regular war proach. He contrived, however, to with the Welsh; and that they might escape into the woods, where he did have no plea of undue severity to not long remain ; but having raised urge, a proclamation was issued on a band of men, and caused himself the 30th of November, in the same to be proclaimed Prince of Wales, on year, (1400,) offering to protect all the 20th of September 1400, he sur Welshmen who would repair to prised, plundered, and burnt to the Chester, and there make submission ground, the greater part of the town to Prince Henry; after which, they of Ruthin, (the property of Gray,) should be at full liberty to return to at a time when fair was held there. their respective homes. Few, howHaving achieved this, he retired to ever, availed themselves of the mothe mountain-fastnesses, and direct- narch's clemency. The martial spied his attention to the speedy aug- rit of the Welsh was once more mentation of his forces.
kindled into action ; and Glyndwr The disturbance in the Principali soon found his cause espoused by ty had hitherto been chiefly consi- numbers of his countrymen. Mula dered as a private quarrel between titudes, from all quarters, flocked to Gray and Glyndwr, and the Govern- his standard, and contributed to ment did not seem to be much con make him a most formidable oppocerned as to its issue. Now, how. nent, --so formidable, indeed, that ever, it assumed a more serious and Henry, notwithstanding some very important aspect, and became alto- urgent affairs which had detained gether a national contest. The pro- him at the capital, resolved to march clamation issued by Owain alarmed again into Wales; and entering the Henry, who determined to march in Principality about the beginning of person into Wales, to curb the bold- June 1401, he ravaged the country
* John Trevor, Bishop of St. Asaph, foreseeing the danger of driving into despe. rate measures a person of Owain's interest, spirit, and abilities, advised more temperate proceedings, adding, that Owain was by no means a despicable enemy, and that the Welsh would certainly be provoked into a general insurrection : his advice was rejected, and he was answered, by an English nobleman, in the House of Lords, “ Se de illis scurris nudipedibus non curare." Pennant's Tours, Vol. III., p. 319. Syo, edition, and Barrington's Observations on the Ancient Statutes.
in his progress; but was finally by the Parliament, on account of his forced to retreat, his men having suf descent from Lionel, Duke of Cla. fered severely from fatigue and fa- rence, third son of Edward the mine.
Third. Owain, therefore, aware of The misfortunes which befel the the importance of this youthful noKing greatly encouraged the rebels; bleman, directed his attention to the and a comet, which ushered in the plundering of his domains, hoping, year 1402, infused new spirit into eventually, to become possessed of the minds of a superstitious people, his person. But his designs were and imparted additional vigour to valiantly opposed by Sir Edward their exertions. A victory, also, Mortimer, uncle to the Earl, who, which Glyndwr obtained, about this unable any longer to endure the detime, over a powerful band com- predations of Glyndwr, collected a manded by Lord Gray, strengthened large body of his nephew's retainers, their hopes of success, and gained and marched boldly to stem the prothe Chieftain many friends and fol- gress of the invader. A bloody enlowers. By this event, Gray fell in- gagement ensued on Bryn-glas, a to the hands of the insurgents, and mountain south-west of Kinghtor, in was secured in close confinement, Radnorshire, and victory declared in till a ransom of six thousand marks, favour of Owain. Stow asserts, that and a promise to marry one of the archers of Mortimer's army bent Owain's daughters, released him from their bows against their own party ; captivity * So elated were the but another old writer affirms that Welsh with these successes, that, if the Earl's Welsh tenants took to we may believe the prejudiced Ho- flight on the first onset, and this oclinshed, they were uplifted with casioned the defeat t. However this high pride, and their wicked and pre- may be, Sir Edward Mortimer sussumptuous attempts were marvel- tained a very severe loss, and was lously increased."" At all events, the himself taken prisoner by the Welsh. Welsh patriot now extended his de- It was after this engagement that signs, and plundered the domains of those disgusting practices, alluded to such as were inimical to bim, spread- by Shakespeare, and detailed by Waling fire and sword through the lands singham and Holinshed, are said to of his opponents. He revenged, also, have been performed on the lifeless in some degree, the indignities in- bodies of the enemy. “Such shameficted upon the unfortunate Richard. ful villany,” says the latter," was John Trevor, Bishop of St. Asaph, executed upon the carcasses of the who had voted for the deposition of dead men, by the Welsh women, as that King, became a marked object the like (I do believe) hath never of his resentment ; and the cathe- or seldom been practised
. wbich dral, Episcopal palace, and Canons' is worthy to be recorded to the houses belonging to the See, were shame of a sexe, pretending to the completely destroyed. But none suf- title of weaker vessels, and yet ragefered so severely as the vassals of ing with such force of fierceness and Edward Mortimer, Earl of March, barbarism I. Owain's ravages bea child of ten years old, and who, came now so considerable, and were with his brother Roger, was at that so fearlessly committed, that Henry time in the custody of the King. was once more compelled to march Henry was very sensible of the just into Wales; and, to insure success, claim which this child had to the it was determined that the English crown, for his title to the Sovereign- army should enter the Principality in ty had been formally acknowledged three different quarters. The ren
His release, however, was not effected till Henry appointed a Commission, dated the 10th of October 1402, empowering Sir William de Ross, Sir Richard de Gray, Sir William de Willoughby, Sir William de la Zouch, and six other persons, to treat with Oxain about the ransom, when the sum specified in the text was agreed upon, and his Worship liberated. Rymer, viii. 279. + Vita Ricardi Secundi, p. 178.
Holinshed's Historie, p. 527. See also Walsingham, apud Camdair Script. Angl. P 577.