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THOMAS ^BIGHt/esq. M.A., F.S.A., Hon. M.H.S.L., 

Of Trim^ CoBft, CambnJff4; CerrttptmiUitt of Ou Inttitutt of Frtuu* 
(Afdimia tm IntenpOanu tt B4litt LMntJ; ~ ...... 

Of Boeitif of Amiiqttari— of ScoOand ; Fomgn 

Iiueriptio-u tt B4liu LMntJ; Cerrt^foitdmg Mtmb*r ^ 
tnfifHoriM ofSMlitmd; Forwign M*mber of IM SocUU dm 
A Fnaet; lA* aoeUU dm Antifuarim it Normmtdi*; Ot 
jUmMmi* dm Seunen, ArU, at Billa-Uttrm dt Catm; tSt BeeidU Ettuudo- 
d4 S ^mMJ M FonuJcrift-Simtiapm, Staci^olm; O* Rofot Soeitty ^ If orOmn 
Antifarim of CaptuMagm ; ^c. ^e. ; oarf Corrm^omtliitt U»inbtr of A* 
Cmmmitttm ^poixUil tig (J(< fVmeA (7ae«riUHilf fot IM* pubHtatteii of 




,^ j'£^f:/ ' ^ A 

•^AA^q ' ■ - ■f<.i-i'cL 

NARVARO UNIviftsirv 

JAN 1 /. 1991 


THE historical sketch comprised in the following pages was 
commenced some years ago, with the desire of giving a popular 
account of the past condition of a district which is endeared to 
the writer as that in which he was bom, and in which he 
receired his earlier education. Many causes have since com- 
bined to retard its completion, and many parts of it have been 
written under circumstances which renders it necessary to ask 
for the indulgence of the readers. It was the author's wish, as 
fiir as he could, to show that the old dull fashion of compiling 
local histories might be laid aside, without making them less 
serious or less accurate, and it must be confessed that it would 
be difficult to find any district in England which offered a 
better opportunity of doing so than the borders of Wales. 
For ages the scene of many of the most important events in 
English history, and connected in a peculiar degree with the 
great revolutions in the political and social condition of English* 
men, the border districts present such a combination of beautiful 
scenery and historical associations as is seldom to be met with. 
Under the Bomans a militaiy road ran through them ftom 
north to south, which was lined with flourishing towns and 
cities; they were afterwards the favourite residence of the 
Mercian princes; and at a still later period, when the Saxons 
had given way to the Normans, they were the stronghold of the 
great baronial houses whose influence contributed so extensively 
to most of the great events of the middle ages. We find in 
that dark period poetiy and literature establishing themselves 
here in a veiy marked manner, and as the age of the refer- 


uiation approached we trace here also ia their earlier deyelopment 
the prindplea of religious freedom. It has been attempted in 
the present Tolume to describe these events more minutelj and 
continuouslj than in any former work, and a considerable mass 
of materials have been brought together for that purpose which 
had not been used before. It was the writer's first intention to 
conclude with a history of the great civil wars of the seventeenth 
oentuiy, as far as thej affected this district; but finding that 
that subject has occupied for some time the attention of a 
distinguished border antiquary, the Bev. J. Webb, of Tretire, 
who is much better qualified to do it justice, he willingly and 
gladly resigns it into his hands. With this only omission from 
his original plan, he now takes leave of a work which, taken up 
at leisure moments, lias always been one of pleasure and love. 

Brompton, London, 
July, 1852. 







Bordn^ History jtrocious to the Conquest. 

AS we ascend the stream of historj", the monuments of 
our forefathers are continually becoming morc rare, until 
vre find no other memorial of their existence than the 
earth on which they lived. The historical monuments, 
indeed, vary not only in quantity, but in their character, 
and their variations to a certain degree may be defined 
by limits. From the beginning of the tliirtccnth century 
to the present time, historical events may be verified by 
the o£Scial records which are still preserved in our public 
offices; and they arc detailed in numerous contemporary 
chronicles. During the Anglo-Norman period, from the 
conquest to the end of the twelfth centiury, a %'ery large 
portion of the official records of the kingdom have perished ; 
but their place is in some measure supplied by an unusual 
number of interesting historical narratives written by those 
who witnessed the events wliich they describe. Under 
the Anglo-Saxons, the ^vritten memorials of liistory, though 
much fewer, are still authentic and valuable: but at this 
licriod, o^ving to the divisions of the country and tlie local 


character of the chronicles, vrc know much more of some 
|Kirts of the countiy than of others. Of the Roman )x*ri<Nl 
wc have a few scattenxl notices in foreign writers; hut 
we may trace the histor}- of that people by their nwds 
and their camps. Tlie only definite memorials of the 
earlier Uritons arc their graves. 

Wc know little of the border history before the times 
of the Anglo-Saxons. Tlic numerous traces of entrench- 
ments and fortifications of a remote date, prove that this 
district was frequently the scene of MTufare. It is prolmble 
that before the Roman invasion^ the tribes who inhabitctl 
the wilds of what we now call Wales, were accustomed 
to make predatory excursions against the Britons in the 
neighbouring plains, whilst the latter, exposed also to 
piratical invasions from the north and the south, pro\'ided 
for the temporary safety of themselves and as much of 
their property as they could carry away, by forming strong- 
liolds at the tops of the loftiest hills. We have no means 
of judging how far the spirit of the mountain tribes was 
tamed by the Roman arms ; although the remains of roads 
and stations show that at least the coasts and the more 
accessible parts were reduced under the dominion of that 
extraordinary jieople. 

A Roman road may still be distinctly traced nmning 
from Wroxeter near Shrewsbury (the Uriconium or Viri- 
conium of the Romans) to Kenehester near Hereford (the 
Roman Magna), accompanied, like all such roads, by nu- 
merous tiunuli, and skirted by a continued line of strong 
camps. The formidable entrenchments which crown the 
hills that overlook this route, particularly in the narrow 
mountain passes like that of Aymestry, and which were 
doubtlessly intended to protect it from the incursions of 
the mountaineers to whom its position here exposed it, 
arc convincing proofs of the unquiet state of this ix>rtion 
of the Roman province. The neighboiurhood is supposed 
to have been the scene of the last actions of the war against 
Caractacus; but it would be difficult or imposMble now 


to |K)iiit out the i)o$itions wliick Mere occu])ioil by the 
rival anuies. 

Tliere can be no doubt that the road just mentioned, 
wliich, prolonged in its opjiositc direetions, was the line 
of connnunieation between Deva (Chester) and Blestiiun 
( Monmouth), was the one indicated in the Itinerary of 
Antoninus. From Wroxeter it runs, not south (as the 
old Antiquaries drew the road), but in a south-westerly 
direetion to Church-Stretton, whence it takes a more 
southerly direction and crosses the Oncy at Stretford 
Uridge, jKissing on by Rowton to Leintwardiue, and thence 
by Wigmorc to Aymestr}' and to Street (about three miles 
south of Aymestr}'), and thus having made a considerable 
curve proceeds in a more easterly course by Legion Cross, 
near Burton, to another Stretford Bridge, and so on towards 
Kenchester. On this line of road lay an intennediate station, 
between Uriconium and Magna, twenty-seven Roman miles 
from the former and twenty-four from the hitter place. Tliis 
town, named by the Romans Bra\inium, must have been 
situated in the immediate neighbourhood of Ludlow, jicrhaps 
nearer to the road, at or near Leintwardine ; though it may 
be doubted how far it is necessary to 8upi)ose that the 
smaller Roman towns were situated on the roads. Tlie geo- 
grapher Maimert places Bravinium at Bromfield.* 

The little historical information that we |)ossess relating 
to the invasion of our island by the Saxons, is obscured by 
much fable ; tlirough the mist of tradition we can only 
discern the indefinite traces of battles and ravages by which 
their conquests were founded and assured. It is certain, 
that long before this land had ceased to be a Roman 

* "In die NUhe tod Ludlnw, cigcntlich etwas nordwestUchcr, wo sicli 
<!cr Ouy in den Tcme-Fluss ergicsst, an dio Stclle dca Dorfes BrotnAcld." 
Mannert, Britannia, p. 140. This conjecture of Manncrt is rather sinpilar 
when coupled with another circumatancc. I am strongly inclined to be- 
lierc that the present race-course (adjacent to Bromficld), which bears tlic 
name of the Old-Field, and aronud which there arc several tumuli, was the 
silc of a Roman scKlcmcnt of some kind ; and if the tumuli were opened* 
their contents would probably be found to be pure Roman. 


province, its coasts were infested by the Saxon rovers ; and 
it is probable that their depredations increased as the Roman 
power declined, until in the middle of the fifth century 
(a. d. 449) a party who came from Jutland entered the 
Thames and established themselves in Kent. £ight*and- 
twenty years later ^lla with his Saxons landed on the 
southern coast, and founded the kingdom of the South 
Saxons, or Sussex. Another party of his countrymen un- 
der Cerdic formed, in 494, the adjacent kingdom of the 
West Saxons, or Wcssex. The Angles, a kindred race, 
were at the same time beginning to settle on the eastern 
coast, so that when Ida founded the powerful kingdom of 
Northumberland in 547, the maritime districts of England, 
from Cornwall to the Forth, including much of the low* 
lands of Scotland, were ix)rtioned out into petty Saxon 

While these states were establishing and strengthening 
themselves, a number of apparently independent chieftains 
were gradually taking possession of the territory which lay 
on their borders towanls the interior of the island. The 
lands which they thus occupied were called the mcarce, i. e. 
borders or marches, and the ixx>ple who held them were 
Myrce, or Merce^ borderers. As tlie inland Britons were 
in this manner by degrees reduced to subjection, the 
whole of the interior as far as the feet of the Welsh moun- 
tains became one extensive Saxon state, and was known by 
the name of Myrcfm-land or Myrcna-rice, the land or king* 
dom of the borderers, Latinised into ilcrcia. The name is 
still preserved in that of the Marches of Wales. 

It is a commonly received, but very erroneous, notion, 
that as the Saxon conquerors advanced, the British popula* 
tion quitted the land, and left it o^n to the invaders, ta- 
king refuge themselves in the higlilands and jiarts not yet 
subdued. In the fifth contur}' the inhabitants of the part 
of the island we now call England must have become es- 
sentially Roman ; it was covered with Roman towns and 
villages ; a large i)ortion of tho landholders were no doubt 


Romans by family ; those of the liighcr castx) and the 
inhabitants of towns who were of Dritish origin^ had be- 
come Romans in manners and by nlUanec of blood ; and 
the only pure British jKirt of the population were the lower 
clafses and the eultivators of the laiul — in fact, the serfs.* 
It may fairly be doubted whether any other but the Roman 
language was in use. The pictiure of the Anglo-Saxon in- 
vasion resembled that of the irruption of the Franks into 
Gaid. Their fury was directed chiefly against the higher 
caste, a large portion of which fell in battle ; the towns 
were plundered and burnt, and their inhabitants massa- 
cred ; but the mass of the |K>pulation became the serfs of 
the conquerors as tliey h<id previously been of the van- 
quished — ^it was but a change of masters. IVeaUi in 
Anglo-Saxon (and its equivalent in other Germanic tongues) 
signified generally a foreignei\ but was more particularly 
applied to the people who spoke the Latin tongue, or dialects 
derived from it. In German, Italy is still called Welschland. 
Tlie Anglo-Saxons gave the name of IVeakts or Wylisc- 
menn to the British iK)piUation in their o^vn territory, as 
well as to the population of the then independent districts 
in the names of which it is still preserved, Wales and Corn- 
wall (the country of the Coni-wealas). This is the origin 
of our word Welsh. The existence of a Welsh population 
in the Saxon kingdoms, more jmrticularly in Mercia and 
Wcssex, is distinctly acknowledged in the Anglo-Saxon 
laws. In the eye of the law, the Welshman, even when he 
became a landholder (which seems to have been a case 
that was rare and ne\'er to any great extent), was much in- 
ferior in value to an Englishman. Tlie learned editor of 
the Anglo-Saxon Laws, Mr. Tlioq)e, com|>ares the Wealli 
under the Saxons mth the Romanus tributarius of the 
Salic law. In the laws of Ine, king of the West-Saxons, 

* The Britiah soldiers who fought against the Saxons, wore fonnod by 
Uonun discipline. Henry of Honlingdon, speaking of Iho battle of Wod- 
nesburh, says '^um aulem BriUones more Romanoruin acics disUncto ad* 
moTOfent, Sozones vero audaclcr et confuse irrucrcnt.*' (p. 315.) 


coiiii>08efl in the latter years of the seventh century, the 
Wealh is distingiiishetl into tlic two classes of gafol-geUla 
(rent-i>ayer, or tenant) and thcow, (serf). Tlie two i)eoples 
p-adually melted into one ; but even as late as the reign 
of* Henry I, the distinction is admitted in the laws, and it 
apiK'ars not unfrequently in Doomsday in the districts near 
the borders. It was probably fi*om this intermixture of 
l)eoplc that originated the common English names of Jones, 
Davies, Price, &c. 

By the Saxons, as well as by the Franks, the Roman 
towns (and all to^vns they found were Roman) were redu- 
ced to heaps of ruins, and became the haimts of wild 
lieasts and birds of prey. After the conversion of the Ger- 
manic tribes, these ruins offered inviting situations for mo- 
nastic establishments, not only on accomit of the melau- 
choly solitude which reigned there, but also because they 
offered ready materials for building, and these monastic 
foundations were frequently the origin of new towns which 
at a later ]ieriod occupied the ancient sites. Thus the 
monastery of St. Alban's was built amid the massy ruins 
of the ancient Verulamiiun, which were but imperfectly 
cleared even in the thirteenth century. But the invaders 
seldom rei>aired the towns they had destroyed. It was pro- 
bably in the latter half of the sixth century that the Mer- 
cians ^Kissed the Severn and destroyed the towns along the 
Roman road which we have already described. The fate 
of Uriconium is jierhaps indicated in its modem name of 
Wroxeter (Wt-ace-^easfer, the town of vengeance?). Tlic 
remains of this place are still a proof of its former strength 
and importance ; the site of Magna at Kenchester was co- 
vered \ni\\ ruins so late as the time of Leland ; but the last 
definite traces of Bravinium have long disappeared.* Botli 

* Th« StxoDS gare to th« Roman towns and fortreatet the name of 
eemtitr, probably fonned from the Latin tmtirum : and wbereTer we find 
the name of a place composed of cetier, or ekaitr, we may bo sore it is 
the site of a Roman station. The Saxons gave to the forts or towns which 
they built themselves generally the name of burk, or burgh. 


rrironiuin and Magna wow important ]K)sitions to dicck 
iho inroads of tho "nionntain-dwolUns" ((ftm-scvtas) as the 
Saxons tennetl the iK^ojde who only have since Iwrnc the 
name of "Welsh ; and very shortly after their destrnction, 
the eonquerors erected two new towns in their unmediate 
vicinity: one they named Scrohlies-bnrh, the town of 
shmbsy from the wooded appearance of the nein;hboin- 
hoody now softened to Shrewsbury;* the other Ilere-ford, 
the ford of the army, because it was the iK>int at which the 
hostile armies were in the habit of passinj^ the Wye in 
their excursions. 

We have no account of the earlier jxiriod of ^Mercian 
history. That people apix»ars to have been comj^sed of 
diifercnt tribes, each governed ori^rfnally by its indeixindent 
chieftain. The tribe of the was seated in the 
modem coimtics of Worcester and Gloucester; its chief 
toivn, named Wicwara-ccaster, or Wigra-ceaster, (Wor- 
cester) had been a Koman station, the name of which 
has not been ascertained ^vith certainty. Herefordshire 
and Shropshire were possessed by a tribe named Hecanas ; 
the residence of their chief was in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of the modem town of Leominster, and is 
supposed to have been Kingsland, a village which derives 
its present name from having been a manor of the Anglo- 
Saxon kings. The first king of Mercia who holiLs an 
important place in liistory was Penda, who obtained the 
supreme power in 626, and during a reign of twenty-nine 
years was engaged in continual wai-s with Ins neighbours. 
The * mountain-dwellers' of Wales were his allies, and 
at this early period often fought under the same banners 
with the Saxons. In 643 they gained a great victory 
over the Northiunbrians at a place then called Maserfield, 
and the pious king Oswald was slain: he fell near a 
tree which was afterwards named from him Oswaldes-treow, 
now Oswestry. Penda was himself slain in Go5, in another 

* I am incUncd to take Ike BritUh origin of Shrewsbury fur a mere f.ible 
the Welsh Pengweme it probably a partial translation of the Saxon nanio. 


war Willi the Nortluiinbrimis. Morcin was the lasl of llio 
Aiiglo-Srfxon kingdoms which received Chrif«tianity> IVnda 
was a jwigan, and had liccii constantly at war with the 
Christian kings ; and the monkish chronicler exults in the 
belief that when he fell another soul was added to the 
number of the damned.* Yet the wicked Penda was the 
father of a family of saints. His daughters^ Kineburga 
and Kineswitha, lx?came nuns. Two of liis sons, Wulfere 
and Ethelnxl, reigned in succession after him : the foimer 
introducetl the Christian religion among the ]^Iercians, and 
his daughter St. Werburga became a mm at Chester : the 
latter, after a short reign, quitted his throne to enter a 
monaster}'. Another brother, Peada, was ealderman of the 
Middle Angles, and was the means of their conversion. 

Mercwald the fourth Son of Penda, was ealderman or 
chieftain of the Ilecanas, and resided, as has been said, near 
Kingsland. It was here that he was \isite<l by the Nor- 
thumbrian priest Etidfrid, or Otfrid, at whose persuasion he 
quitted the errors of paganism; and, as a proof of the 
warmth of his zeal, he built a church in honour of St. Peter, 
and founded a monaster}* of which he made Eadfrid first 
abbot, and to which he gave the name of Lcof-niinsfcr, or 
the beloved monastery. At a later period the name became 
Latinised into Ijconis-monasterimn ; and a legend was in- 
vented, according to which Eadfnd in his journey to the 
court of Mercwald, arrived in the dusk of the evening, faint 
and weary, at the spot where Leominster now stands, and 
there seated himself beneath a tree, and began to eat the 
bread' whieh he hod brought with him. Suddenly he be- 
held a fierce lion approaching towards him, ready, as he 
thought, to spring forward and devour him ; but when lie 
offered his bread to the sa%-agc animal, it became tame as a 
lamb, and, after eating, disapix^arett. The traveller accep* 
ted the omen,— he conceived the \isionar}' lion to be em- 
blematical of the unchristian ealderman of the Ilecanas ; in 

* lafersAlium niunenim animanim auxii. W. Malmsb. Hiit p. 27. 


the moniiug he presented himself at the palace, iuul Mas 
received with kindness; Mercwakl also had had a vision 
during the night, and was easily converted. The date of 
this event, and of the foundation of the monastery, is said 
to have been a. d. 660. 

Merewald married Ermenberga, daughter of the king of 
Kent^ and had by her three daughters, Milburga, Mildritha, 
and Milgitha, who became nuns. St. Milburga was placed 
over the abbey which her father founded at a place then 
called Wimnicas, but since known by the name of Wenlock. 
She had lands at a village named '' Stokes" (Stoke St. 
Milburgh), which she often visited, and where she is said to 
have performed many miracles. Her fields were believed 
for centuries afterwards to be miraculously defended from 
the depredations of the wild fowl, which it appears infested 
the lands of her neighbours. The beauty of Milburga 
attracted many suitors ; but she had made a vow of chastity, 
and rejected them all. The son of a king (perhaps a Welsh 
king) who was among the number, determined to eaiT}* 
her off by force, and laid a plan to 8\u7)rise her while she 
was on a \isit to Stoke; but St. Milburga was informed 
of her danger, and fled hastily towards Wenlock. When 
she reached the little river Cor\'C, which was there a trifling 
stream,* her pursuers were close at her heels ; but she had 
no sooner leaped over it, than the rivulet suddenly became 
a torrent, and put an effectual stop to the designs of her 
lover. Such are the legends which fill up the baiTen page 
of history in these remote ages. 

In the seventh and eighth centuries the modern counties 
of Salop and Hereford, as well as that of Gloucester and a 
great part of Monmouthshire, were firmly occupied by 
the Saxons. The independent Welsh were sometimes in 
alliance with their Mercian neighbours, and fought under 
the same banners^ in their contests with the other Saxon 

* Erat ibi amnis qiudani uomine Corf, vado mcabilis ct alvco medio- 
cria. Capgravc, Nova Lcgcuda Anglitc; where arc given lUc legends of' 
Merewald and Milburga. 



or Angle kings. But such alliances were not of long 
duration, anil, among the scanty notices of the older chro- 
nicles, M'c meet with indications of sanguinary battles 
between the Mercians and the Welsh. OITa, the greatest 
of the Anglo-Saxon monarchs before Alfred, drove the latter 
from the border, and made the wonderful earth-work which 
is still kno^vn as OiTa^s Dyke, to defend the land of the 
Ilccanas from their incursions. An old tradition says that 
every Welshman, who passeil this boundary, was to lose 
his life. Tlie vales of Herefordshire seem to have been 
a favourite resort of the Mercian king; he is supposed to 
have had a {lalace at Sutton, four miles north of Hereford, 
where remarkable earth-works, now known by the name of 
Sutton Walls, still exist. It was here, according to some, 
that in 792 the unfortunate king of the East Angles, 
Ethelbert, was murdered. His body was deposited at 
Hereford, where his shrine long gave celebrity to the 

The inhabitants of the border, hardened by their fre- 
quent wars with the Welsh, shewed an exemplary courage 
in their resistance to the Danish invaders. In 894 the 
Danish army penetrated westward to the banks of the 
Severn, and followed its course, as it appears, till they 
reached the neighbourhood of Welshpool, where they in* 
trenched themselves at a spot then called Butdigingtune, 
now Buttington ; but they were besieged by the English, 
and, after having suffered greatly from famine, were nearly 
destroyed in their attempt to force a way through the be- 
siegers. In the year following the Danes again crossed the 
border, and are said to have penetrated into Wales. In 
896, they went to a place named in the Saxon Chronicle 
Cwatbricge, on the Severn, probably the present village of 
Quatford, a little to the south of Bridgenorth ; there they 
built a fortress (and |>a^r ge-weorc worhton), and passed 
the winter. But this was the last struggle of the invaders 
against the talents and fortunes of Alfred, which restored 
peace, at least for a time, to England. The children of 


Alfred were worthy of their father. While tlioy cherished 
literature and the arts, and loved the elegance and splendour 
of peace, their vigour and courage preserved the kingdom 
from the horrors of war. It was the policy of Edward, who 
succeeded his father on the throne, to strengthen the parts 
most exiK>sed to the inroads of the Danes hy erecting 
fortresses and garrison towns. In this he was aided by the 
wisdom and enterprising spirit of his magnanimous sistcv 
Ethelfleda, the widow of the calderman of Mcrcia, — for 
Mercia was now no more than a province under the West- 
Saxon dynasty. In 912, the lady of the Mercians (Myrcna 
hlacfdige), as she was called by her admiring countrymen, 
built the fortress at Bridgenorth, then named simply Uricge. 
The Danes had been defeated on the banks of the Severn by 
her brother in the preceding year. Ethelfleda also built a 
fort at CyriC'byrig or Chirbury, in 915, at no great distance 
from the spot where the Danes had wintered in 896. The 
Welsh seem to have taken advantage of the terror inspired 
by the Danish ravages, to invade the border. In 916, 
Ethelfleda led an army into Wales, which repressed the 
turbulent mountaineers, and she took by storm the town of 
Brecenan-mere, or Brecknock. In 918, the Danes again 
invaded the borders of Wales. Leaving their sliips in thi* 
Severn, they had advanced as far as Yrcinga-feld (the Hold 
of hedge*hogs), now Archenfield, in Herefordshire, where 
they were encountered by the men of that county and of 
Gloucestershire, who defeated them, slew some of their 
chiefr, and drove them to their ships. In 920 Ethelfleda 
died and was buried at Gloucester. In 931 king Edward 
built Wicinga-mcre (Wigmorc) ; which was attacked the 
same year by the Danes, who had again entered the 
Marches of Wales. They besieged the town one day from 
morning till evening, but it was gallantly defended, and 
they were obliged to leave it, after having plundered the 
country round, and carried ofi* the cattle. 

It was not till towards the end of this century, when the 
strength of the Anglo-Saxon^i had been wasted in religious 


ractions and domestic quarrels^ that the Danes becanic 
again formidable. Wliilc Swogii with his Northmen were 
ravaging the fairest districts of the south, the indolent 
Ethclrcdy as we learn from one of the old historians, was 
living in retirement at a manor he iwsscssed in Shropshire.* 
The best proof of the suiferings of the borderers during the 
many years of devastation which followed, is the circum- 
stance that the nunnery at Wenlock, the resting place of 
the relics of St. Milburga, presented for many years after- 
wards nothing but heaps of ruins. Yet the courage of 
the people seems not to have been entirely broken, and 
when the Danish king, Hardicnut, attempted to exact from 
them an odious impost, the men of Worcester arose and 
slow the taxgatherers. Then Hardicnut in his resentment 
ordered the county to be ravaged with fire and sword. 
The inhabitants, apprised of the danger which threatened 
them^ quitted their homes, and took shelter on the borders. 
The city of Worcester was reduced to ashes; but the 
citizens also had quitted their houses, and fortified them- 
selves in an island in the river Severn then named Bever- 
cgc, or the Isle of Beavers, and successfully defied the 
attempts of their assailants, who were obliged to leave their 
mission of vengeance only half executed. The destruction 
of Worcester occurred in a. n. 1041. 

The Danish wars have left memorials in the names of 
many places on the Welsh borders. After landing in the 
south, the invaders seem generally to have followed the 
course of the ancient Roman road, and they appear to have 
established themselves frequently in the valley which it 
traverses between Aymestry and Leintwardine. The name 
of Wigmore, in Anglo-Saxon Wicinga-mere, signifies the 
moor of the pircUes. Wicingas (in Danish, vicingr), or 
sons of war, was the name adopted especially by the Danish 
rovers. Dinmore, in like manner, is perha|)s Dena-mere, 

* Roi aatem Addrcd cum oKTStitia c\ rcnfu^innc crat ad firmani tuam 
in Sal^pschirc. Hen. Huntingd. Hist p -I'^o This was in a. d. 965. 


(he moor of the Uaiies. I am inclined to think that a 
party of Danes had also estahlishcd themselves on the brow 
of the hill which is now occupied by the castle of Ludlow^ 
and that from their fortifications it took the name of 
I)cna-hamy the residence or home of the Danes^ still pre- 
served in that of Dinham. When the Normans built the 
castle on the site of the Danish fort^ they seem to have 
retained for it the name of Dinham, corrupted in old 
writings to Dinam or Dinan ; and it was not till the end of 
the twelfth century that that name was lost, except in its 
present restricted application, in that of Ludlow. 

This latter name is also Saxon, and carries us back 
probably to a very remote period of our national history. 
Lude-low, in purer Saxon Leode-hlccw, signifies tlie hill of 
the people.^ But the Anglo-Saxon hl€eu) was generally 
applied not to a natural hill like that on which the town of 
Ludlow stands, but to an artificial burial mound, a tumulus 
or barrow, like the Bart/ou? Hills in Cambridgeshire, which 
have been discovered to be Roman sepulchral monuments. 
These Uno9 were intimately connected with the mythology 
and superstitions of our early forefathers, and in t^eir minds 
were wrapped up with the notions of primeval giants and 
dragons which kept a jealous watch over their hidden 
treasures. In old times wc find them frequently the scenes 
of popular ceremonies and meetings. I was long doubtful 
as to the cause of this name being assigned to the town, 
tin I accidentally discovered a document which clears up 
the difficulty iii the most satisfactory manner. It appeai-s 
that up to the end of the twelfth century, the site of the 

* This luuno affSords a Tcry curious instance of the manner in which 
dcrirations nay become perrerted in passing from one writer to another. 
Some one of the older Antiquaries had interpreted Ludlow by the mott of 
ike pecpUf the word wioU being the reprcscntatiro of the French motte^ a 
hillock. The mote of a castle was the artificial mound of earth on which 
the dongeon tower was generally built. Writers who came aAer, tltinking 
this word moU was the representative of the Anglo-Saxon ffe-moi (remain- 
ing in such words as moot-hall, &c.) Iiavc interpreted the name of the town 
as signifying the court nfjutthc nf the pff*ph. 


present churchyard of Ludlow, the most elevated p<art of the 
hilly was occupied by a very large tumulus, or barrow. In 
the year 1199, the townsmen found it necessary to enlarge 
their church, which seems to have been of small dimensions, 
and for tliis purpose they were obliged to clear away the 
mound. In doing this, they discovered in the interior of 
the mound three sepulchral deposits, which were probabl\ 
included in square chests, as at Bartlow, and the narrator 
perhaps exaggerates a little in calling them 'mausolea of 
stone.* But the clergy of Ludlow, in the twelfth century, 
were by no means profound antiquaries ; they detennined 
in their own minds that the bones they had found were the 
relics of three Irish saints, the father, mother, and uncle of 
the famous St. Brandan, and they buried them devoutly in 
their church, with the confidence that their holiness would 
be soon evinced in numerous miracles.* It was to this 
tumulus alone that the name Leode-hlscw belonged. It was 

* The aoootmt of this event was preserved in the monastery of Clcobury 
Mortimer, in what Lcland calls a "schedula/* and was copied for that 
antiquary by a monk of the house. It is printed in Leland's Collectanea, 
Tol. iii, p. 407, but Hcame has printed it Ludlajiia instead of Ludlaiiia, 
which has caused it to be entirely overlooked. It is as follows : — 

"Anno D. 1199, contigit in quadam AngUic patria, scilicet provincia 
Salopesbiriensi, apud pagum qns Lndelavia nnncupatur, quod pagenscs 
qjusdem oppidi decrevisseni ecclesiani suam, quod breyis essct ad conti- 
nendam se plebem contingenlem, longiorem construcre. Quocirca oporiuit 
quendam terne tumulnm magnum ad occidentem eoclesic solo cotrquare, 
qua munis ejusdem debuit eztendL Cumque prsraiissum coUem fodiendo 
complanassent, invenerunt tria mansolea lapidea et corpora sanctorum 
decentia, quM dnm aperuisscnt, repererunt trinm sanctorum relliquias 
hoc scripto in uno bustorum in schodulam eomposito, quie prius intrinsecus 
cera, exterius rero plumbo fuerat inroluta, his Tirbis Anglice exprcssis : 
Hie r^gwiiitfiiwf S. FtreKtr, ptUtr Brm^dtmi^ heaia pigmra^ atmeti $cUieet 
ibmmmuii, pmtera iapUU H 9oIq imehua. Sondki fmoqus eonma, mat<r 

prmiibafi Ihwuhmi, maUrUra vkUKcH O Ot rn kilN , tUcH Dei Sameiut 

COcksi, ^'mamuB ffu»tUm mmetm» Hie nempe fmmUms deywnmt anmie, 
Amm tmtiofum BriiamUm tuUreni pairoeimmm poet oMtem Ltidm ineretfuh. 
Quorum depocita derici qjusdem eoclesic ab humo levantes, in archa 
Ugnea poiuanuit, eademquo in eccleaiam gestantes decenti locello col- 
locaTtfUBt, 3 Id. Apr. opericntes, quoad Dominus aliquas Tirtutcs eorum 
mentis et inteiccssionibus patiarc dignciur, cui laus, hnnor, ct glvrxn in 
BSDcola. Amen. 


without doubt a Roman sepulchre, and, by its importance, 
seems to indicate the neighbourhood of a Roman town, 
which is a strong confirmation of the supposition that the 
present Old Field may have been the site of the Roman 
station Bravinium. This tumulus was an object of super- 
stitious reverence among the Anglo-Saxons, and they pro- 
bably assembled there to perform games and ceremonies at 
certain fixed periods. Traces of such customs remain in 
different parts of the kingdom, even at the present day. In 
Leland^s time, the people of Leominster and '' there abouts" 
went once a year " to sport and playe" at certain intrench- 
ments on a hill side distant half-a-mile from Leominster, 
called Comfort Castle. It was thus that the law or tumulus 
became known as 'Uhe low of the people." And as a 
great portion of the people who assembled there, coming 
firom Herefordshire^ had to cross the river Teme^ the shal- 
low place where they passed obtained the name of 'Uhe 
people's ford^" Leode«ford, or Ludford. It was a common 
custom with the early missionaries to turn objects of super* 
stitioQ to christian purposes, to fix themselves on the site 
of some object of pagan worship, — ^in fact^ to attack the 
enemy in his strong hold. The little church beside the 
hw was probably the origin of the town of Ludlow. "When 
the Danes may be supposed to have occupied the other end 
of the hill^ the town did not exist ; and it seems that till 
the time when the hw was levelled with the surrounding 
ground, the town of Ludlow continued distinct in name 
from the adjacent castle of Dinham, although even in those 
times the name of the town was not unfrequently given 
popularly to the castle. 

Under the last monarch of the regal line of the Saxons, 
the movements and intrigues of the fiimily of the powerful 
earl Gk)dwin, and the jealousies which distracted the king- 
dom, were intimately connected with the history of the 
Welsh border. Godwin headed the popular party — ^that 
party which opposed the power and insolence of king Ed- 
ward's foreign favourites, who were ever ready to profit by 


^hat weak monarch's dislike of his English subjects. In 
the earlier half of the tenth century, the Welsh, severely 
chastised and humiliated, had become little better than sub- 
jects of the Anglo-Saxon crown. Athelstane had compelled 
their prince to do him homage in person at Hereford, and 
to pay him a fixed tribute, which was continued in some of 
the following reigns. But the Danish invasions, by weaken- 
ing the Saxons on the border, had restored their indepen- 
dence to the Welsh, and enabled them to become again the 
aggressor^. They were, under Edward the Confessor, as in 
after times, more or less active in all the struggles between 
the contending factions in England. 

Harold, the eldest of Godwin's sons, was earl, or ealder- 
man of Wessex. His brother Swegn was the ealderman of 
the counties of Hereford and Gloucester. Swegn, with 
another brother, Tostig, were remarkable chiefly for their 
turbulent conduct. Robert of Jumidges, the Norman Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, was remembered with execration so 
late as the twelfth century, as having been the cause of 
all the discord between king Edward and earl Godwin's 
family. Yet the first public cause of displeasure was given 
by tlie turbulent sons of the earl. In 1046 Swegn was 
engaged in a successful expedition against the Welsh ; and 
on his return, in the midst of his exultation, as the Saxon 
chronicler tells the story, he ordered Elgiva, the abbess 
of Leominster, to be brought to him, kept her " as long as 
he liked, and then sent her home." The criminal was 
banished from the kingdom; and his government was 
given to his brother Harold and his kinsman Beom. Some 
chroniclers say that Swegn fled, because he was not allowed 
to marry the abbess whom he had seduced. A few months 
afterwards he came to Pcvcnsey to obtain forgiveness of 
king Edward, and he there added to his previous crime the 
treacherous murder of Beom, and then escaped to Flanders. 
A year afterwards he obtained his pardon by the inter- 
mediation of his father, or, accoiding to others, of Aktrcd, 
bishop of Worcester. 


Uodwiii apiiears on evorv occasion to have identified 
himself with the cause of justice and patriotism. In 1051 , 
he provoked the royal displeasure by his refusal to sacrifice 
the people of Dover to the unjust vengeance of Eustace, 
count of Boulogne. Summoned to apjiear at the court, 
which was then held at Gloucester, he came with an army 
which Harold had raised in Wcssex and established at 
Beverstone, in Gloucestershire, under pretence that Swegn*s 
county of Hereford was threatened by the Welsh. His 
attempt to drive away the Norman favourites was not in 
this instance successful ; and at a parlement at London, 
God%vin and his sons were outlawed and banished, and 
his beautiful and accomplished daughter, Edith, the queen 
of the Confessor, partook in their disgrace. Godwin, with 
a part of his family, sought refuge in Flanders ; but Harold 
went to Ireland, where he fitted out some ships, and visited 
the English coasts in company with the Irish pirates, by 
whom they were at that time infested. Harold's earldom 
was given to Algar, the son of Leofnc of Mercia ; and a 
Norman garrison appears to have been placed in Hereford, 
under Radulf, one of the king's foreign relatives. King 
Edward, in his anger against the party of his father-in-law, 
invited over a foreign prince, William of Normandy, and 
promised him the succession to the English crown. 

In 105S, the Welsh, under their prince GryfTyth, taking 
advantage of their domestic feuds, made an irruption into 
the border, and cruelly ravaged Herefordshire. The Nor- 
man garrison of Hereford led the men of the county against 
them, but they were defeated, and the Welsh '^carried 
off a great prey." The same year the family of Godwin 
returned to England with an armed force, and the people 
universally joining with him, the king was comiielled to 
receive them, and the foreigners were banished. But one 
of Gk)d win's sons never returned to his native land. Swegn, 
while with his father in Flanders, had been seized with 
penitence for the murder of his kinsman Beom, and maile 
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem barefooted, to atone for his 



crime. On his way home he died of the fatigues of the 
journey, or, as others say, he was slain hy the Saracens. 

The earldom of Harold was restored, but that of Swegii 
still remained in the hands of the king. The year following 
Godwin died, and Harold became the head of the family. 
Within a few months after died Siward, the celebrated 
earl of the Northumbrians, and his earldom was given to 
Harold's turbulent brother Tostig. This year is famous in 
our annals as the date of the Tragedy of Macbeth. On the 
death of Godwin, and the elevation of Harold to his place, 
Algar (son of Leofnc and Godiva) was again made earl of 
Wessex ; but he also now fell into the king's displeasure, 
and, being accused of treason and banished, took refuge 
in Wales. The Welsh at this time, in addition to their 
common incentives to plunder, were exasperated by the 
fate of their prince's brother. Bees, who having fallen into 
the hands of the English after their former incursion, had 
been put to death, and his head sent to the king at Glou- 
cester. Algar and Gry€yth threw themselves suddenly 
into Herefordshire with a powerful army, in 1055. The 
cowardice and unskilfiilness of Badulf and his garrison of 
Normans, or Frenchmen (as the Northmen who had settled 
in Neustria began now to be called), exposed the English 
to a second defeat. The battle was fought '' at about two 
miles from Hereford ;" the Anglo-Saxons, accustomed al- 
ways to fight on foot, had by Radulf 's command been 
injudiciously mounted on horses ; and, discouraged by their 
own awkwardness in this new mode of engagement, when 
they saw their leader fly with his foreigners at the begin- 
ning of the battle, they immediately followed his example. 
The victors found Hereford without defenders, except the 
monks of St Ethelbert, who were slain fighting at the door 
of their church. The noble cathedral, which had been built 
the year before by bishop AtheUtan, and the monastery 
were reduced to ashes. The dty itself, after being plun- 
dered, was delivered to the flames, and most of the dtiiens 
who escaped the sword were carried into captivity. On 


this occasion^ Leominster ako was taken and pluudei-ecl by 
the invaders, who are said to have fortified themselves in 
or near the town. 

Harold, when he heard of these events, hastened to 
place himself at the head of the English army which was 
assembled at Gloucester, and following the Welsh, who 
retreated before him, he established liimself in the valley 
of " Straddle,*' probably in the immediate neighbourhood of 
Leominster. But the SVelsh were too well acquauited with 
the military skill and bravery of their pursuer to oppose 
him ; flying into their mountain fastnesses, they sent mes- 
sengers to api^ease his ^vrath, and soon afterwards made a 
formal submission, whilst Harold led part of his army to 
Hereford, where he rebuilt and fortified the city. The 
cathedral lay in ruins during nearly thirty years. In the 
midst of these events died earl Leofric, who had been a 
great benefactor to the churches of Leominster and Wen- 
lock; and his son Algar, after the defeat of the Welsh, 
landed in Cheshire in conjunction with a body of North- 
men, and, having taken possession of his heritage by force, 
succeeded in obtaining his pardon. 

The Welsh continued still to infest the border, till in 
106S Harold and Tostig together traversed the principality, 
and inflicted upon them a severe vengeance. In their 
despair, they sought peace by slaying their own prince, 
Gryffyth, and delivering his head to Harold, who appointed 
a successor in his place, from whom he exacted an oath 
of allegiance. Shortly after their return from diis exire- 
dition, violent dissension arose between the brothers, and 
in the royal presence at Westminster, Tostig made a brutal 
assault on Harold and tore his hair from his head. He 
then went to Hereford where Harold was preparing a 
feast to receive his sovereign, and having slain and dis- 
membered his brother*s household servants, he placed their 
legs, arms, and heads, on the vessels of wine, mead, ale, 
and other liquors which were placed ready for the festival, 
and sent word to the king that when he came he need 


bring no saused meat witli liim, as he had taken care tu 
provide plenty at his brother's house.* For this outrage 
Tostig was again outlawed and banished from tlie kingdom. 

The famiily of Godwin possessed hirge estates in Here- 
fordshire. Their manors whieh are enumerated in the 
Domesday survey are very numeroiis. Leominster, with 
all its members, Luston, Larpole, A}inestry, &c. belonged 
to his sister, queen Edith, whose name is still preserved 
in that of Stoke-Edith, as another Stoke has preser^'ed 
similarly the name of the family whieh possessed it at a 
later period in the apiiellation of Stoke-Lacy. The fate of 
Godwin's sons was singularly tragical. Swegn, as has 
been said before, died, or was slain, in the performance of 
his penance. Tostig, when the people of Northumberland 
could no longer bear his tyranny, only escaped their ven- 
geance in 1065 by flying to Denmark. Harold, imitating 
his father in putting himself forward as the champion of 
the people, defended the Northumbrians, and obtained for 
them the royal permission to choose Morcar, the son of 
Algar, for their earl. Tostig returned in 1066, with his 
northern allies, and was killed in the battle of Stamford- 
bridge, fighting against his brother. A week afterwards, 
Harold was slam at Hastings, and with him fell his younger 
brothers. Girth and Leofwine. The remaining brother, 
Wulnoth, was the captive of the Norman conqueror, and 
ended hia days in a prison. 

The Marches of Wales were connected with the name of 
the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, long after the fiital 
conflict at Hastings. A report was widely prevalent during 
the twelfth century that Harold had escaped from the 
slaughter. It was said that after seeking in vain for 

* Pamzil ad Hereforde, ubi frater siiiia corrodima regale mazimnoi 
paiaveiat ; obi oiiniatroa firatria aiat omnca delnmcaiia, aingviUa raaia villi, 
modonta, canriaic, pigmcnti, morati. siccrc cnia humanam vel caput tcI 
braduiuB impoaait, mandaritquc rcgi quod ad flnnain auam propcrana 
ciboa aalaatoa aafficicntcr iiiTcntrct, altoa sccom dcforrc curarct. lieor. 
Hunt. Iliat Ub. vi, p. 3C7. 


;u»i»ibtance from tlie people of tlie continent who were 
nearest in the fiunily of nations to his own, lie returned 
to England to pass the remainder of his life in religious 
retirement — that, disguising his name and face, he passed 
many years as a hermit on the Welsh borders, exposed 
to the insults of the jx^oplc over whom he had so often 
triumphed, and who knew not the humble individual 
whose religious habit they derided — that he afterwards 
settled at Cliester, where he ended his days, and on his 
death-bed revealed the secret to his confessor. The monks 
of ^^'altham, Harold's rich monastic foundation, received 
the legend with joy, and consigned it to writing in a manu- 
script which is still extant.* Such legends have in other 
countries followed the destruction of a native dynasty by a 
foreign and oppressive invader. 


Slate of tlie Border wider the Conqueror. 

IT will not perha|)S be uninteresting to the reader, if 
we pause in the course of our history to take a view of the 
state of the border as it appeared shortly after the establish- 
ment of the Anglo-Norman dynasty. It was the point of 
transition between an older period of which we have no 
local description, and the more modem age when the 
character of its history as well as the outward api)earance 
of the country became entirely changed. 

During nearly a century the Marches of Wales had been 
exposed to the continual ravages of the Danes or the 
Welsh. Ruins occupied the sites of what had been 

* Tlie VUa liaroidi of iho MS. alludod to has been lately printed in 
France, in the second vol. of the Chroniques Anglo-Normandcs, edited by 
M. Michel, Rouen, l£i3r>. 


ioviruhing towns ; churches, mooasterie?. and rren castles, 
had been destroyed ; land^, CanneTlj eulthrated^ lay waste, 
and were orerrun with trees and bnishword. Ordericiis 
Vitalis giTes an affecting description of the mi^err and 
d^rjrj^ilation which followed the entry of the Xonnans. 
The general depression of mind and the feeling of inserarity 
and consequent recklesmess which attend soch erents are 
moff^ ethctire in thinning the population of a country than 
the sword itself. The Domesday book describes sereral 
estates, then waste and corered with wood, as haTing been 
tilled land ander prerioos possessors. It is probable that 
even the strong castle of Wigmore had been destroyed ; for 
tlie I>omesday book states that the castle then standing had 
been recently btiilt by the 'comes Willelmns/ oo waste 
ground which had receiTed the name of * Mexeston/ or the 
town or inclosure of the moor.^ Of the kind of law which 
then existed on the immediate border, the Domesday book 
has preserred a rerj remarkable specimen : if one Welsh- 
man slew another, the relatives of the slain were to assem- 
ble and plunder the lands of the slayer and of his rclati\-cs, 
and bum their houses, until the noon of the following day, 
when the body was to be buried: of the prey they thus 
collected, the king claimed one third, and the plunderers 
were allowed to appropriate the rcst.f This cmious notice 
shows that at the time of the Conquest, by the confessed 
•ttstom of the Welsh on the border, the king of England 
laid claim to a feudal superiority over Wales, whenever he 
rould exercise it. 

Under the Saxons this {lart of the island was much more 

* Willelmua comet fecit iUnd in watts tcm qiut rocatar Mcrettim. 
Thoagli the ground were corercd with mint, if it wat naproductive, the 
Una waHs would be ttiU applicable. 

t Quod ti Walcntii Walentem occtderit, congrcgantur parentet occisi. 
el prvdantur eun qui occidil cjutque propinqiiot, et conbunmt domot 
eonim, donee in cratlinun circa meridiem corpnt mortui tcpeliatur. Dc 
hac prrda habet res terttam partem ; ilU vero totum aliud habcnt quietum. 
Dometday, toL i, fel I7*J 


densely wooded than at present. The woodlands of our 
times are, as it were, the skeleton of the extensive forests 
of former days, which wore tliickest and most considerable 
in the tract of country between Ludlow and Leominster 
and the Welsh territory. The cultivation of the plains to 
the south was protected by the strong towns of Hereford 
and Leominster. The open country in Shropshire was 
similarly defended by the larger towns of Shrewsbury, 
Bridgciiorth, &c. and by some smaller fortresses. The 
number of castles on the border, previous to the conquest, 
was not great. The Anglo-Saxons were a brave and hardy 
race, unaccustomed to depend for safety upon stone walls ; 
and the Welsh, when they crossed the border, more fre- 
quently carried back with them hard blows than any more 
profitable booty. The policy of Ethelfleda had however 
been followed from time to time ; and a few Anglo-Saxon 
castles were standing at the {leriod of the Norman conquest, 
which defended these wilder parts of the. border. There 
was an ancient castle at Caynham, or, as it was then called, 
Cayham (? the residence on the brook Cay), which so early 
as the twelfth century, was a deserted ruin. One of king 
Henry's foreign attendants named Richard, to whom the 
Anglo-Saxons gave the derisory name of Screcpe, or the 
Scrub, either on account of some inferior office which he 
held in the royal household, or perhaps as a mere satirical 
appellation, and who was one of the few Normans permitted 
to remain at court after the rest of the foreign favourites 
had been driven away, was enriched by his royal master 
with considerable possessions in this part of the border; 
and introducing there the fashion of his own countrymen, 
he built a strong castle between Ludlow and Leominster, 
which has preserved its founder's name in that of Richard's 
Castle. The lower part of the walls, and the mound on 
which the keep stood (one of the peculiar characteristics of 
the more ancient castles), still remain. The other name 
by which the builder was known became afterwards softened 
into that of Scroop. 


The nuods were not the least profitable part of the 
ground, for they gave food to numerous herds of swine, the 
llesh of u'hich formed the most general article of animal 
food amonp^ our forefathers during the middle ages. The 
stores of the baron's castle equally mth those of the 
lieasant's hut, consisted chiefly in bacon; and from this 
circumstance is derived the name which we still give to 
the place in which our meat is preserved, a larder (lar- 
darium). The extent of a wood was frequently estimated 
by the number of these animals which it would support. 
Thus at Ca}'nham there was in the days of the Conqueror 
" a wood of two hundred swine ;" at Burford there was ** a 
wood of one hundred swine.*' Another article produced 
in abundance on the waste lands (frequently covered with 
thyme), and which was infinitely more in use among our 
early forefathers than at present, was honey. The rivers and 
streams gave motion then, as now, to numerous corn-mills. 
At Ludford theif was a mill, the only one mentioned in 
the neighbourhood of Ludlow; at Little Hereford there 
were four mills; Caynham had one mill; Burford, two. 
Another article which was then reckoned a part of the 
produce of landed estates, was fish, particularly eels. Among 
the ancient Germanic tribes, fresh-water fish were con- 
sidered as game, and protected as such : an early Teutonic 
law allowed the unqualified person to have only as much 
as he could take by walking into the water and catching 
them with his hand. The com lands were tolerably ex- 
tensive, and were generally uninclosed. The fields in 
which cattle were kept, were, on the contrary, inclosed. 
To these inclosurcs our Anglo-Saxon forefathers gave the 
name of iun, our modem word town, though it then 
conveyed no idea of buildings, but meant simply a space 
inclosed by a hedge; wyrt-tun, i. e. herb-town, was a 
garden ; ffttrs-iun, i. e. grass-town, was a meadow. The 
Norman's called these inclosures haies, in Low-latin hagtB 
or hai€B, the origin of our word hedges. The more modem 
English name for such inclosures is a close. In the earliest 


collection of Aiiglo-Saxou laws, those of Athelbriht^ king of 
Kent, at the end of tlic sixth century, it is set down as a 
grievous offence to break through n man's hedge, or tun. 
In the laws of king Ine (end of the seventh century) it 
was enacted that ** If ceorls (or peasants) have a common 
meadow (gsers-tun gc-ma^nne), or other partible land, to 
fence, and some have fenced their part, some have not, 
and their neighbour's cattle stray in and eat up their corn 
or grass ; let those go who own the gap, and compensate 
to the others, who have fenced their part, the damage 
which there may be done, and let them demand buch 
justice on the cattle as may be right. But if there be a 
beast which breaks hedges and goes in everywhere, and 
lie who owns it will not or cannot restrain it; let him 
who finds it in his field take it and slay it, and let the 
owner take its skin and flesh, and forfeit the rest." In 
Domesday book we find frequent mention of such tuna or 
haics: there were five haitc at Clunton; and three in a 
waste called Chinbaldescote, belonging to the church of 
Bromfield. The Anglo-Saxon word is preserved in all 
names of places ending in tun or town, as Downton 
(the inclosure on the hill), Micelton (the great inclosure) 
Eaton (the inclosure by the river), Acton (the oak inclosure), 
Stanton (the inclosure of stone), Coinbertou (cufnbpa-tiot, 
the inclosure amid the vallies). The Anglo-Norman term 
is also prescr>'ed in places, the names of which contain the 
word Hay. Among the produce of the manor of Caynliam 
in the reign of the Conqueror is reckoned four loads of salt 
(iiij summsc salis de Wich) ; perhaps from SalimoTc. We 
may illustrate the proportions of these articles of produce by 
the instanc^of the town of I^icominster and its membei-s 
(including Luston, Larix>le, Aymestry, Brimfield, Eston, 
Stockton, Stoke, Mersetone, Upton, Hope, Bredcge, Lumton, 
* Cerlestreu,* Leinthall, * Gedeuen,' and Fenilow), which 
were then held by the king ; there were in this sjiace eight 
mills ; a hundred and twenty-five acres wci-e sown with corn ; 
a large surface of ground was covered with woods, which 


wen* estituateJ to Im* s>i\ * U-:iiriu*^* ]o\v^ and three broad ; u 
liuiidred xftrftfc, or score, t»f eel?* were taken yearly ; tin: 
annual value of the other fisili raui^ht was estimated at seven- 
teen shillinsr?*. and tliat of the honey at sixty-five schillings. 
A shilling was a very lai*ge sum of money at that period. 
In the time of the conqueror, ()sl)orn Fitz Richard, the son 
of Uichard the St^rfib before mentioned, and lord of Richard's 
Castle and Ludford, held a very large {lortion of the wood- 
lands beyond Brampton Hryan and Wigmorc, including 
Titley and other manors which were so wild that they 
w*ere not reckoned in Domesday book as affording any 
regidar produce; Osborn Fitz Richard hunted in them, 
and " had what he could catch and wo mare,*^^ 

The names of places frequently furnish us with charac- 
teristics of ancient times, of which we find few other traces. 
A thousand years ago the ^voods of Herefordshire were 
infested by wolves ; and the rivers were inhabited by 
beavers. In the time of Giraldus Cambrensis (the latter 
end of the twelfth century), beavers were found only in 
the Teivy, in the neighbourhood of Cardigan ; but at an 
earlier period they constructed their towns even in the 
Severn, where was an island, near Worcester (which we 
have already had reason to mention) named in Saxon 
Beofcr-eage, the beaver isle. Tliere is also a Beverstone in 
Gloucestershire. We have traces of the ancient haunts of 
wolves probably in Wulf-^age or Wolfes^eage (Wolphy) 
the wolfs isle, and in Wolferlow, the mound of the 
wolvc»s. The wolves had been more entirely destroyed 
than the beavers: king Edgar, in the tenth century, 
exacted from a king of Wales, instead of the money which 
the Welsh princes had previously paid to the English 
crown, an annual tribute of three hundred wolves. He 
was probably led to do this by the ravages which these 
animals, descending from the Welsh mountains, committed 

* In hit wutis territ excreverunt silvae in quibiu iste Otbcraus 
tenationcm exercet, et tnde habet quod cttperc potest. Nil aliud. Domes* 
day book. 


Oil tlie border. History tells us that this tribute wah 
punctually deliveretl for two years, but tlie destruction was 
so great that on the third ^ear the Welsh could not find 
wolves enough to pay it.* In the time of the Conqueror, 
the hundred adjoining to that of Wolphy, and apparently 
coincident with that of Wiginore. was named Hegetre^ or 
Ilightree, probably from the noble trees which still form so 
remarkable an ornament to it. 

The names of places not only picture to us the state of 
the country at a remote period, but they frequently help to 
make us acquainted ivith the custom? and, more especially, 
with the superstitions of our foietathers in former days. 
T-udlow, or the ijeople's low, was probably, as we have 
before obser^•ed, the scene of sujjerstitious ceremonies in the 
times of the Anglo-Saxons. Most of the other numerous 
laws had doubtlessly legends of different kinds connected 
with them. Wyrmes-htew, now Womielow, (the dragon's 
low), reminds us in its name of the dwelling of the fearful 
dragon which acts so prominent a part in the ancient 
Anglo-Saxon romance of Beowulf, almost the only pure 
remnant of the romantic literature which our forefathers 
brought with them into this island : — 

^* hl€Bw under hr6san, a fotc under the bank, 

holm*wylme n^h, nigh to the sea wave, 

ytS-ge-winne ; to the clashing of waterr^ ; 

se woes innan full which was full within 

wrstta mnd wira; of embossed ornaments 

and wires; 

weard un*hi6re, a savage guardian, 

gearo gu5*frecay ready and fierce in war, 

gold roiSmas he61d» held the treasures of gold, 

cald under eorSan : old under the earth : 

nses |>aet y5c ceap that was no easy pinTha>e 

t6 ge-gangenne to obtain 

gnrocna leniguni. for any ni.iM. 

• Wil. Malmkb. dc Gcblts Kcp Aug), p '•' 


fia 86 wyrm ge-be^h iheu the ilruyon bent 

8ii(ide to somnc rapidly together 

he on searwum bad : he awaited in ambush : 

ge-w6t M byrncndc then proceeded he, burning, 

ge bogen scri^an bent together, to go 

to ge-scipe ecyndan.*' to distribute contest. 

(Beowulf, U. 4817, 5131.) 

The mound or barrow at Wonnelow, is called Womiclow 
tump. There is also in Herefordshire a Wormcsley 
(Wyrmcs-leagy the lea or field of the dragon). In Beowulf 
the treasures of ancient days which the dragon guarded, 
are represented as lying in a chamber or cave underneath 
the low. An old historian of the fourtcendi ccntur}% 
Thomas of Walsingham, has preser\'ed in his chronicle a 
curious legend relating to the village of Bromficld, near 
Ludlow. In the year 1S449 he says, a certain Saracen 
physician* came to earl Warren to ask permission to kill a 
serpent or dragon, which had its den at Bromfield, and was 
committing great ravages in the earl's lands on the borders 
of Wales. The earl consented, and the dragon was over- 
come by the incantations of the Arab; but certain words 
which he had dropi)ed led to the bcUef that large treasure 
lay hid in the dragon*s den. Some men of Herefordshire, 
hearing of this, went by night, at the instigation of a 
Lombard named Peter Picard, to dig for the gold; and 
they had just reached it, when the retainers of the carl 
Warren, having discovered what was going on, fell suddenly 
upon them, and threw them into prison. The treasttre, 
which the carl took ix>sscssion of, is said by Walsingham to 
have been great. It is very probable that this treasure wa$ 
a deposit of Roman coins, &c. found in the neighbourhood 
of the Old Field ; and one of the barrows or lows there 
may have been the reputed dragoirs home. 

* The staJy uf medicine was bronght into Christian Europe in the 
twclAh and thirteenth centuries by the Arabs of i^pain. 


Many local legends might still be gathered from the 
mouth^i of the jwasantry on the Wels^h borders. At the 
extremity of the roof of the north transept of Ludlow 
church is placed an iron arrow. According to a popular 
legend still repeated, Robin Hood stood on the larger 
mound or low at the Old Field, and aimed this arrow 
at the weathercock of the church, but, falling a few yards 
short of its intended destination, it has ever since rcmained 
in the place where it fixed itself The arrow simply 
indicates that this was the Fletcher's chancel; but the 
legend, made to explain its position, after the use of arrows 
was laid aside and forgotten, was probably engrafted on the 
tradition of a former legend which connected the low in 
the Old Field with the larger low which formerly occupied 
the site of the present church ; the one was nsible from 
the other. 

As parts of the country became less wild, the fear of 
dragons gradually jMissed away, and the popular mythology 
became modified. The lows were then supposed to be 
the abode of elves and fairies; and there were people 
who believed that in the dead of night the entrance became 
visible, and that the under-ground i)eople might be seen 
issuing forth to frolic and gambol on the face of the earth. 
There can be no doubt that the Marches of Wales were 
once rich in fairy legends. In the reign of Henry VIII, 
when Lcland visited the border, the ruins of Kenchester, 
then very extensive, were believed to have been taken pos- 
session of by the diminutive beings of the popular creed ; 
the Roman coins frequently found there were called ybtVy- 
money ; and one more considerable mass of building had 
received the name of the ** king of faerie's chair.'' Other 
legends of a more terrific character, were at an early 
period connected with the ruined sites of the ancient towns. 
At the time of the composition of the Romance of the 
Fitz Warines, probably before the middle of the thirteenth 
century, a ruined city, which may possibly have been 
Wroxeter, was believed to have lioon inhabited by the 



devil, wlio guarded the vast trra'^ures i*lucb were concealed 
thiTc, and held hi« revtl** with ho^t5 of other fiends in 
it.<9 desolated lialls. 

The pagan Angl«>-Saxons were in the habit of givin<y 
the names of their zoiU to thinir* which were wonderful or 
extraordinnr}', or which niovetl tlioir su^K^r^titious feelings. 
When they obtained ix>ssession of this island, nothing 
seems to have excited their admiration more than the 
great Ilouian military ways. One of their deiti€»s whose 
name apix?ars to have had a verv- w ide influence, was named 
Eormen or Ermin. It frequently entered into the comiM>- 
sition of the names of persons of rank: Ilermhnus led 
our forefathers, then a tribe settled in Germany, ajniinst 
the Romans ; JSr //m/ieric was one of the greatest of the 
Gothic princes ; in early German such names as IrmanAcOj 
Irman\te.Td\\i, Irmanfrit^ /iv/m//gart, were common ; in 
Anglo-Saxon we have Eortncnnc (the same name as Elrman- 
eric) king of Kent in 568, whose great grand-son Eonncnred 
gaye to his three daughters the names fbrme^iberga, Eor- 
//ie;iburgha, and .Eo; v;iewgytha. ////it/i-sul was one of the 
great objects of worship to the Gennnnic tribes on the 
continent. Eorviefflc&f was the .\nglo-Saxon name of the 
mallow (malva erratica) which was belicve<l to |x>ssess 
many miraculous virtues. Tliere can scarcely be a doubt 
that this is the origin of the name given by the Anglo- 
Saxons to one of the great roads — Eo»inen-str<ety Ermiii- 
streety or Irming-street. In a similar manner, to another 
of the great roads the Anglo-Saxons gave the name of 
Wa^tUnga-strtct^ which means literally the street of the sons 
of Watla, for Wtetlinga is the genitive case plural of a jm- 
tronjmic. If more of the ancient Anglo-Saxon mythic 
|X)etry were preserved, we should doubtlessly find that 
Wfctla was a mythological personage. Florence of Wor- 
cester, who wrote when this poetry was in being, call» 
the Watling-street, " Strata quani filii Watlo* regis strave- 
nint/' It is very singular that our forefathers gave the 
name of Watling-street, or WiclHnga-stnrt to the milky-way 


in the heavens as well as to the llonmn road ; and we 
find also that among the old Oennanic tribes the name 
Iringes-wec (Iring's way) composed of a name Iritty closely 
allied to that of Innin, was given to an ancient road and 
at the same time to the milky-way. In the Vilkunga Saga 
this road is called Irungs-veggr. It may be observed also 
that among the ancient Germans the polar constellation 
was named Innins-tcageny or Innin's waggon. One of 
the ancient roads in Germany was called ITufofcneS'toec, 
IVtioteneS'Straza^ or Wodenes-tvcffc, Woden's way or street. 
An ancient carth-w*ork in the south of England was called 
by the Anglo-Saxons Wodnes-dicy or the dyke of the god 
Woden, now softened down into Wans-dyke. In the 
modification which the superstitions of the Anglo-Saxons 
underwent after their conversion to Christianity, their older 
gods became transformed into devils, and it was by this 
change that originated all our Devil's-dykes, Devil's- 
bridgcs, &c. The name of Wa^tlinga-stnet was given to 
the Roman road which ran from Kenchester to Wroxeter, 
as well as to the great road which traversed the island. 
During the Saxon period of our history, the Herefordshire 
Watling-street, the remains of which are still known by 
that name, continued to be the regular line of commu- 
nication between Shrewsbury and Hereford; and it was 
probably not until later on, in the twelfth century, when 
part of the old road was found to be too solitary and 
insecure, that the traveller turned from the Watling-etreet 
at Chiuch Stretton, along a road which passed under the 
strong castle of Ludlow, and which, perhaps, instead of 
following the present route to Leominster, crossed the hill 
and rejoined the ancient road near the no less formidable 
castle of Wigmore. The then new road passed by the 
abbey of Bromfield, and proceeded to Ludlow apparently 
along the lane which now leads on the south side of the 
Teme, so that the traveller who was bound to Ludlow 
had to pass the river under the castle walls to enter at 
Dinham gate. 


If we quit the not uiipleasing subject of the beuigs of 
superstition who were sup|K>sed to hold the woods and 
wildsy to consider the more real one of the |K)ssessors and 
culti\'ators of the soil, we shall find their names no less 
frequently indicated in the modem local appellations. Many 
of the names of places of which the meaning seems most 
difEcult to explain, are compounded of those of Anglo-Saxon 
possessors or cultivators; and the original forms of such 
words are readily discovered by a reference to Domesday 
book. Thus on the Herefordshire side of Ludlow we 
have Ehnodes-treow, <«• the tree of Klmod (now AjTnestr}*) ; 
Widferdes-tune, or the inclosurc of Widferd (Woofferton); 
Willaves-lage, or the lee f salt its) of Willaf (probably, 
Willey) ; Edwardes-tune, or the inclosure of Edward (Ad- 
ferton ?) ; Elnodes-tune, or the inclosure of Elnod (Elton ?) ; 
Bemoldune, or the hill of Bemold. In Shropshire there 
are Chinbaldes-cote or the cot of Chinbald, a place men- 
tioned as dependant upon Bromfield; ^fillmundes-tunc, or 
the inclosure of Elmund ; Elmunde-mc, or the dwelling of 
Elmund ; Alnodes treow, or the tree of Elnod, &c. Names 
of places having ing in the middle are generally formed 
from patronymics, which in Anglo-Saxon had this temii* 
nation. Thus a son of Alfred was an j£lfreding, his 
descendants in general were jGlfredingas, or Alfrcdings. 
These patronymics are generally compounded with ham^ 
tuny &c. and whenever we can find the name of the place 
in pure Saxon documents, we have the patronymic in 
the genitive case plural. Thus Birmingham was Hcor- 
minga-ham, the home or residence of the sons or descen- 
dants of Beorm. There arc not many names of this form 
in the neighbourhood of Ludlow ; lk*rrington (Beoringa- 
tun) was, perhaps, the inclosure of the sons or family of 
Beor, and Culmington that of the family of Culm. 

Under Edward the Confessor the large estates in the 
borders of Wales had been chiefly |)ossessed by the great 
nobles allied to the houses of Godwin and of l^eofric of 
Mercia, and were confiscated after the entrance of the 



Nunnaiisi. With the exception of the estates of KichanI 
Scrcoix», hardly a foot of j^ouiul ivinainecl in the hnndb of 
the old proprietors. At the time of the Domesday sm-vey, 
the whole of Shropsliire, with some trifling exceptionj?, 
belonged to the Conqueror's kinsman, Roger dc Mont- 
gomery, who had let out parts of it on feudal tenures to the 
knights who attended him. One of his retainers named 
Helgot, held lands in Clee and Stanton, and built in the 
latter demesne a castle, wliich from its possessor bore after- 
wanls the name of castle Helgot or Holgate. Herefordshire* 
was parcelled out in smaller estates, under numerous 
barons; but there the most extensive {possessions wei*c those 
of Roger de Lacy, whose head castle was at Eivyas, and 
Ralph dc Mortimer, whose castles were Wigmore and 
Clcobury in Shropshire. The other estates lay scattered 
over the country. To the south, among the chief pro- 
prietors were William Fitz Norman, and Ralph de Todenei, 
who held the castle of Clifford. Hereford and Leominster, 
mth their members, were held by the king. In the inter- 
vening country, along the street, lay the estates of Roger 
de Jlicelgros, Robert Gernon, who held LaqK>le of the 
king, and William de Scotries, who ap^iears to have resided 
at Croft, which had bclonge<l to earl Etlwin. Tlie estates 
de|iendant upon Wigmore extended from Shobdon (Sceope- 
dun, the sheep's hill) to Downton. The lands from Ludford 
to Richard's castle, with extensive waste lands on the 
extreme border, and Burford in Shropshire, belonged to 
Oslwme Fitz Richard. There were a few other smaller 
land-holders, such as Hugo L'Asue, or Hugh (he Ass, 
who held Bemoldune in Herefordshire, and king William's 
physician Nigellus, generally entitled Xigellus Medicus, 
who held Clee in Shroi>shire, and also some estates in 
nercfordshire. Caynham, which had been an estate of 
earl Morcar, belonged now to Ral])h de Mortimer. Roger 
de Lacy possessed also some land"? in Shropshire in the 
neighbourluxHl of Hodnet. 

The silence of Domesday book is a satisfactory pn)of 


that tliere wun nntlier town nor castle at Ludlow when it 
%va9 madts about a. d. 1085. Althougli the places around 
are all mentioned, we find in that record no such names as 
Ludlow or Dinhani. In fact the one belonged only to a 
mound of earth, the other perhaps to a deserted Danish 
<amp. If there were a church, or rather perhaps a hermit's 
cell, previous to that period, it had probably been destroyed 
in the Danish wars. The only church mentioned in 
Domesday book as Ixnng in this neighbourhood is that of 
Bromfield. We have a distinct testimony that the castle 
was begini by Uoger dc Montgomery, but not finished till 
after his death.* Other considerations aid us in fixing 
the period at which this castle was commenced. The 
oldest part of it, the massive keep, was built in imitation of 
the style which bishop Gundulf had first exhibited in his 
castle of Rochester, built after the year 1088 : it must 
therefore be dated between that time and 1094, the date of 
Roger de Montgomery's death. The first beginning of the 
town was situated, under protection of the castle walls, in 
the district still named Dinham, and this was the name 
given to both, although at an early period the people of the 
neighbourhood, who knew the place by the superstitions 
attached to it, would speak of them as the castle and town 
at the peopl^^s hw, or Ludlow. 


Border Htstofy from the Conquest to the end of the twelfth 


ONE of the immediate results of the Norman Conquest 
was a long period of complicated disorders in the Marches 
of Wales. Under the Saxons, with a few fortresses, the 

• St comeu^A un chasUel 4 Brugge, • iu autre chattel comenra en 
Utujiti ; m^t yl ne let parfitt poynt. Romaace of Fiti Warine. 


iMinlor had lx»eii more effectually protected than it was now 
by the numerous range of Anj;lo-Xomian castles. After the 
death of Harold at Hasting, tho possessions of his family 
in Herefordshire were naturally seized into the hands of 
the new king. The Saxon Edric was for a time allowed to 
retain his earldom of Shrewsbury ; that of Hereford was 
given to one of the Conqueror's most faithful and able 
oounsellors, William Fitz ()sl)orne. Eilric, irritated at an 
offence he had received from the king, raised the standard 
of revolt ; his lands were invaded Jind ravaged by the 
Normans of Herefordshire^ under Richard Screope, who 
was entrusted with the command of the garrison of Here- 
ford ; but Edric called in the WeUli, comi>elled the Normans 
to retire to Hereford, and laid waste the country up to tho 
gates of that city. The most skilful of the Norman chiefs, 
Roger de Montgomery, Ralph de Mortimer, and Walter de 
I^cy, were employed against the insurgents, who, although 
deserted by their Welsh allies who were satisfied with 
the plunder they had made and anxious to secure it, made 
a protracted resistance. Edric himself had seized u]K)n 
Wigmore, from which he was with difficulty expelled by 
Ralph dc Mortimer. For his services on this occasion, 
Roger dc Montgomery obtained the earldom of Shropshire, 
with all the possessions of Edric, which comprised nearly 
the whole county ; Ralph de Mortimer obtained Wigmore 
and its dependencies; and other lands in Herefordshire 
were bestowed u]K)n Walter de Lacy. The Welsh began 
now to be continually troublesome ; they were instigated 
by the Saxon refugees to make frequent incursions ; in 
1068-9, they ravaged Shropshire and laid siege to Shrews- 
bury, and king William was obliged to go in person to 
drive them from the border. In his way he laid the foun- 
dation of Nottingham castle, which he entrusted to the 
keeping of M'illiam Peverel. 

William Fitz Osborne was a man of great prudence and 
aclivilv, remarkable for his liberality as well as for the 
vi;;our of hi»« govrrnment. His salutary regulations survived 


the vicissitudes of many years, and were still in force in 
the time of William of Malmsbury.* According to Domes- 
day book, the earl William rebuilt the castle of Wigmore. 
In 1070 he and Walter de Lacy invaded Brecknockshire, 
and defeated the Welsh princes Rces and Cadoc. Shortly 
afterwards earl William was slain in Flanders, and in 1071 
he was succeeded in the earldom of Hereford by his son 

Roger de Montgomery also ruled Shropshire with vigour 
and justice (the justice, at least, which might be expected 
from a conqueror). He made considerable encroachments 
on the territory of the independent Welsh, and one of his 
retainers, named Baldwin, established a post which from 
him received the name of Bald^vin's town, and at which 
earl Roger afterwards built a castle and gave it his own 
name of Montgomery. He also strengthened the castle 
of Bridgnorth on the east, and, in his latter days, he laid 
the foundation of the castle of Ludlow, and probably com- 
pleted the keep tower, to fortify his southern frontier. 

In 1075, according to the Saxon chronicle, occurred tlie 
celebrated marriage at Norwich, the fatal consequences of 
which were long proverbial. Roger Fits William, the 
earl of Hereford, harboured treasonable designs against his 
sovereign, and, perhaps in furtherance of these designs, he 
proposed to give his sister Emma in marriage to Ralph, 
earl of Norfolk. The Conqueror forbade the match ; yet 
the marriage was solemnized at Norwich, while the king 
was absent in Normandy, and at a splendid and well- 
attended feast a league was formed to deprive William of 
his English throne. The Saxon chronicle has preserved 
the popular saying which perpetuated the memory of the 
fatal results of this meeting, — 

* Manet in Lunc di«m in comitAtu ejus apud Herefordam logum qiiM 
tlAtitit inconcussa firmiUs ; ut uullus miles pro qiialicunqne commisso 
plus s«pteni solidis solvat: cum ia sliis prorinciis ob parram oceasiun- 
culam ill transp'essiono pneccpti herilis, %igiiiti vel viginti quinquc pen- 
dsntcr. Wil. Malmsb. Hist p. lOTi Conccniitii: William Fill C^sbf^rDc, 
icc nuillstime dc Jumt^g^t pp. ^1, 67 G, and Ordcncus. 


5aer waes \>xi bryd-eala 
TDannum to bcala. 

(there was that bridal feast 
a cause of misfortune to men.) 

The parties concerned in this league were to rise simul- 
taneously. Earl Ralph ojiencd conimuiiications mth the 
Saxons who still bore anns in the marshes of Ely and the 
fens of Lincolnshire. Roger Fitz William collected the 
men of Herefordshire, and >nth a considerable body of 
Welsh auxiliaries, marched to the banks of the Severn, 
intending to join his brother-in-law. But the secret of the 
conspirators had been betrayed, and, to use the expression 
of the native chronicler just quoted, earl Roger was " hin- 
dered." The hindrance was caused by the forces raised by 
Urso, sheriff of Worcester, and bishop Wolstan, joined with 
those of Agelwy, abbot of Evesham, and Walter de Lacy. 
The earl Ralph, thrown upon his own resources, hastened 
to Brittany to seek aid from his countrymen, and left his 
xnfe Emma to defend the castle of Xorwdch, which she did 
with 80 much courage that she obtained fair terms for her 
garrison even from the ferocious bishop Odo. Earl Roger 
was deprived of his lands and honours, and thrown into 
prison. It was in consequence of this insurrection that the 
brave and innocent Waltheof was put to death. 

In the latter part of his reign, it appears that the Con- 
queror again led his army to the border, and invaded Wales, 
provoked perhaps by the ravages of the Welsh, who are 
said to have over-run the southern part of the border as far 
as the city of Worcester, in lOSO. But we find no detail of 
these transactions; and we know only from the assertions 
of older ^vriters tliat William left M'ales to his successor as 
an appendant of the English crown, and that he had com- 
pelled the Welsh to acknowledge his supremacy.* 

* This U most explicitly staled b)* the contemporary Saxon rhroii icier, 
"The laud of Uic Uritons was iu his jurisdiction, and he built canth:* 
therein, and ruled all that people.*' 


The general statement of Domesday book would lead u» 
to conclude that during the Conqueror's reign, the English 
counties bordering on Wales enjoyed a certain degree of 
security. At this early period, the historians seldom men- 
tion the predatory inroads of the Welsh, when they are not 
connected with some more important political event; but 
the peace which had been established by this king's rigorous 
government seems to have been first broken by the tur- 
bulence of the Anglo-Norman barons. At his death, in 
the September of the year 1087, he left the succession 
to his crown to be disputed by his two sons, William 
Rufus, and Robert Courthose, who was in possession of 
the dukedom of Normandy. Bishop Odo, who had been 
in prison in the latter yeais of the preceding reign, raise<l 
and organized a party in England in favour of duke 
Robert. The great barons on the border immediately 
espoused the same cause; and Roger de Montgomery, 
Ralph de Mortimer, Roger de I^acy, and their neighbours, 
armed their de{)endants, and called in the aid of the 
Welsh in 1088, to make war against king William Rufus.* 
A large body of the men of Herefordshire and Shro])shirc, 
with their Welsh auxiliaries, led by Osborne Fitz Richard 
(the lord of Richard's Castle and Ludford), and his kins- 
man, Bernard de Newmarket,t entered Worcestershire, 
and ravaged the country up to the walls of the city, which 
they threatened to bum. But as they were preparing 
to attack the ioyrn on the side of the cathedral, bishop 
Wolstan sallied out with the townsmen and the garrison, 
beat off the assailants, and obliged them to return homo 
with disgrace, instead of the rich plunder on which they 
calculated. The king soon after succeeded in detaching 

• Proceros qnoqiic do llcrcfi>rili.i. cl dc Scrobc»«biric cum inultitudiiH' 
Vttllentinm. l%og. Iluvcdcii. p. IGI. rruicipc« rcru llercfurddhyic et 
8alop€»cyrc rum WhIcii^iIhu. Ilciir Hunt. PriurijH-*, tii ihc lailrr 
writer is perhaps a more ciror of llir ftciibe for procnea. 

t Ordcricut V it alts, p. ri<*»<i. 


Roger dc Montgomery from tlio oonfcilcracy, and the insur- 
rection of the other barons Avas soon repressed. 

The phnider which the AVelsh carried off on this occasion 
incited them to fnrtlier depredations, and the early years of 
the reign of the second WiUinin, were marked by constant 
hostilities between them and the barons on the border. 
The Welsh were still more encouraijed bv the death of 
Roger de Montgomery in 1004 ; and the same year they 
invaded Shropshire and Herefordshire in numerous parties, 
destro}'ing several castles, and carrying away much plunder. 
They were beaten in many encounters by Hugh de Mont- 
gomerj', the son and successor of Roger, but other parties 
continued their ravages, and to use the words of a con- 
temporary, " omitted no evil that they could do." In 
the year following they repeated their incursions, in which 
they took and destroyed the castle of Montgomery, and 
massacred the garrison and inhabitants. The king, who 
was just returned from Nomandy, raised a powerful army 
and hastened to the border, to put a stop to their depre- 
dations. He suffered more from the badness of the roads 
and the inclemency of the weather, than from the enemy, 
who fled into their forests and mountain fastnesses at 
his approach. The English king continued his march into 
the heart of the country, and on the day of All Saints his 
army arrived at Snowdon ; but the season was far advanced 
and he returned without fighting a battle, with the loss 
of but a few hoi*ses and men, but he had effected nothing, 
and the Welsh were rather emboldened than daunted 
by his invasion. They appear again to have carried 
destruction into the English counties in the year follow- 
ing; and early in 1097 the king raised a still more 
powerful army, and chose a more favourable time of the 
year to carry his design of vengeance into execution. He 
entered Wales about Lent, and is said to have remained 
there during the summer; but the Welsh followed the 
same system of retiring into the woods, and he was disap- 
{K>inted in his endeavours to bring them to a regular 


fngaj;i»inciiL The En<;lis1i, hmvover, over-run the country, 
involvinj? all they mot with, younj^ or oM, in one common 
<le^truction, and the Welsh a|ii)ear now to have boon 
effectuJilly humbled. An old chronicler, Peter Langtoft, 
who wrote more than two centuries after this event, calls 
it " the jpreat vengeance."* The king, before he returned 
to England, onlerwl several castles to be built on the Welsh 
side of the border to check their future attempts. The 
Welsh chiefs or princes appear on this occasion to have 
renewed the fealty and tribute which they had given to 
William the ('onqueror; and "the kings of Wales" arc 
enumerated in the chronicle of Geoffrey Gaimar, among 
the attendants at the court of Rufus when he held a great 
festival at Westminster.f 

The year following, a. d. 1098, Hugh de Montgomery and 
Hugh earl of Chester, taking advantage of some domestic 
quarrels, invaded North Wales with a iK>werful army to 
avenge the wrongs which they had received by the Welsh 
invasions of Shropshire, and they penetrated as far as the 
Isle of Anglesea, of which they took possession and put its 
inhabitants to the sword. But their conquest was almost 
immediately abandoned on the death of Hugh de Mont> 
gomery, who was killed in a skirmish with a party of Danes, 
who also came to attack that island. Hugh was succeeded 
in the earldom of Shropshire by his brother Robert de 
Belesme, who had succeeded to the Norman estates of his 
father Roger, and who now obtained the English succession 
by paying three thousand pounds to the king. 

• Le sccounde an apres le rayn ettut movers 
1'ut dratt en quarreme, kant fu paste la mer, 
Bn Galea eat ales lea Walayt chaatier, 
Ke aa terre alaynt deatnire ct waatcr. 
Le rayt William lea prent ct let fel tuer, 
Ad joren ne ad tcIi ne volt etparnyer. 
I'nkea fu Tcngaonce en Galet fet ti fcr! 
Aprf • la frande vengaunce ke en Galea fet estayt, etc. 
Peter Langtoft. MS. Cotton. Julius. A. V. (ia Brit. Mus.) f.>l. HI. 

t Chroniqucs Anglo*Nonnandct, torn, i, p. i*\ 


Robert de Belesme was a restless aud ambitious man, 
and merited the hatred of his contemi)oraries by his tyranny 
and cruelty. In the popular traditions of Maine^ where 
part of his Norman possessions lay, he is still indentified 
M-ith the half-fiend, half-human Robert-the-Devil of middle- 
age legend/ and the acts of the fabulous tyrant arc less 
horrible than the monstrous crimes which historians lay to 
the charge of the earl of Shrewsbur}\ It is said that he 
caused men and women to be impaled on stakes, that he 
might amuse himself by watching their agonies as they 
pined to death; and he tore out the eyes of a little boy, 
who was his own godchild, and who was his hostage for 
the fidelity of its father, when it came to meet him in 
playful fondness. The earl Robert had been high in favour 
with king William Rufus;t but his uneasy spirit urged 
him to seek employment by fomenting the troubles which 
were likely to break out after the accession of Henry, and 
he was already plotting to dethrone him, when the king, 
aware of his treachery, cited him before his court. The earl 
had already fortified and provisioned his numerous castles 
in England, particularly those of Anmdel, Shrewsbury, 
Bridgenorth, and Tickhill in Yorkshire, which with Blyth 
in Nottinghamshire he had inherited from Roger de Buslcy; 
he obeyed the king's citation, and made his appearance in 
court slightly attended, but when he found that his designs 
were known, he fled precipitately to the Welsh border, 

* Pluqaet'f note on the Roman du Rou. ii. 33i. Lnppcnberg Ge- 
flchichte von England, it. 232, 233. 

t Wacc give* the following account of him,— 

" Robert de Belesme, un baron 
Ke Ten tcneit por mult {i\on, 
Aveit li Reis en Tost od sei, 
Et il C5tcit mult btcn del Rei. 
Robert de Belesme fu fals, 
E felonies sout e mals ; 
De felons gieus ert coneui, 
E do fcrc mals ert cremus.'* 

Romnn du Rou, /. 15042. 


where his greatest strength lay, and raised the standard of 
rebellion at Bridgcnorth.* Tlie king immediately collected 
an army, and having taken the castle of Arundel, marched 
towards the Severn. On his way he took the castle of 
Blyth, in Nottingliamshire ; and Tickhill had already sur- 
rendered to the Bishop of Lincoln. In addition to his 
own powerful forces, he had hired a large body of Welsh 
auxiliaries under their princes Cadogan and Jorwerth ap 
Rees, and they were occupied in ravaging Staffordsliirc 
when the king's army approached. At the king's approach, 
Robert de Belesme left Uridgenorth under the command 
of Roger Fitz Corbet, and retired to Shrewsbury, where 
he prepared for a vigorous struggle. The siege of Bridge- 
north lasted thirty days; it was thus protracted by the 
lukewarmness of the barons who followed the king, and 
who foresaw that the destruction of the sons of the great 
Roger de Montgomery would be a severe blow at their 
own power, for the struggle between royalty and aristocracy 
had already commenced; they represented to him the 
difficulties of the warfare in which he was engaged, and 
urged him to offer favourable terms to his enemy, and to 
seek reconcilement. Henrj' was discouraged and already 
wavered, when the knights and landholders of Shropshire, 
to the number of three thousand, arrived at his camp. 
Weary of the galling tyranny of their great feudal lord, 
Robert de Belesme, they had chosen for their leader 
William Pantulf of Wem, who, the faithful and valued 
retainer of carl Roger, had been goaded by numerous 
injuries to regard his son with implacable hatred; and 
they exhorted the king to complete the destruction of the 
earl of Shrewsbury, and offered to march first to the 
assault, and shed their last blood in reducing the garrison 
of Bridgcnorth. He accepted their services with joy ; and 
the fortress was taken. This was one of the first instances 

* Bncontre l« rey Henri k Durg sa gwere crye 
En Salopftchire, qe fa en m bnillye. 


in which the commons of England sided openly with the 
king against the feudal aristocracy. 

The ruin of Robert dc Belesnie was completed by the 
defection of the Welsh. Their mercenary leaders were 
easily seduced by the offer of better pay, and the secret 
expectation of more plunder; and after ravaging Stafford- 
shire as the allies of the rebels, they returned under the 
banner of the king to lay waste the county of Salop. 
Henry advanced with his anny direct to Shrewsbury. The 
retainers of the earl attempted to defend the extensive and 
then almost impassable forests which covered the approach 
to that town; but the king, witli incredible labour and 
perseverance, cut his way through mth the axe ; and 
having thus forced the diiRcult pass of Wenlock-edge, 
established his host in the plain on the other side. As he 
came near, the inhabitants of Shrewsbury sent him the key 
of the town; and Robert de lielesme, deserted by the 
armies in which he trusted, was compelled to surrender at 
discretion. Robert, with his brother Amulf de Mont^romery 
(who had conquered extensive lands from the Welsh and 
was lord of Pembroke) and other border barons, were 
banished the kingdom and their estates confiscated. The 
earl fled to his estates in Normandy, and, after committing 
new treasons, attended by the same violence and cruelty, 
he ended his life in prison. The only benefit which he 
conferred on the Marches of Wales was the introduction 
of a fine breed of horses, which he brought from Spain, 
a country celebrated in the middle-ages for the superiority 
of its horses ; at the end of the twelfth century the breed 
was still preserved, chiefly in Powis-land, and ^vas famous 
throughout England.* 

* In bac tcrtia WalHae portione quit PowisU dicitur, sunt equitia 
peroptima, et cqui emUsarii laiidatissimi, de Hispanteiisiiini equoniin 
^neroaitate, qiios olioi comes Slopcsburie Robcrtus do Belesmo in finea 
Utof adtluci curavenit, originaliter propa^rati. Undo et qui hinc exeunt 
eqni, rum nobili furmfr picture ip^a protrahente nature, tam membroaa 
fua majcstate, quum incomparebtit vclocitatc, raldc comtnGinorebilc« 
repcriuntur. (itreld. Cambr. Kin. ii, 12. 


King Henry distributed the estates of the banished 
nobles amongst the knights >vho had served him ^nth most 
zeal. Some of the strongest castles he kept in his oi\'n 
hands. He made Richard de Belmeis (or de Beaumes), 
an ecclesiastic who had enjoyed the confidence of Bogcr de 
Montgomery, steward or governor of Shropshire, and Here- 
fordshire also appears to have been included in his juris- 
diction. Richard de Bcaumes, ha^nng been created bishop 
of London in 1108, was succeeded by Paganus (or Paine) 
Fitz John, who ruled Herefordshire and Shropshire with 
great vigour, and compelled the barons of the IMarches to 
respect the law. On his marriage with Adela of Boulogne 
in 1121, the king gave the earldom of Slirewsbury to his 
new wife, who appointed William Fitz Alan, lord of 
Oswestry, sheriff or governor (vice-comes) of the county. 
It appears to have been about this time that the king gave 
''the castle of Dinan (or Dinham) and all the country 
around it towards the river of Corve with all the honour" 
to a favourite knight named Joce or Gotso, who from that 
time took the name of Joce de Dinan. " This Joce finished 
the castle which Roger de Montgomery in his time had 
begun, and was a strong and valiant knight. And the 
town was very long time called Dynan, which is now called 
Ludelawe. This Joce caused to be made below the town 
of Dynan a bridge of stone and lime, over the river of 
Temede, into the high road which goes through the March 
firom Chester to Bristol. Joce made his castle of Dynan of 
three wards (baylles), and surrounded it with a double foss, 
one within and one without."* 

During the reign of the first Henry, several remarkable 
measures were adopted to repress the turbulence of the 
Welsh. The king seems to have been extremely dissatis- 
fied with the conduct of his allies in the war with Robert 
de Belesme, and soon afterwards he caused their prince 
Jorwerth to be seized and detained in close prison about 

• Romuice of the Fid Warinet, p. d. 


four years. During this period a destructive guerilla war- 
fare was constantly kept up on the southern border. At 
this time numbers of Flemings, a hardy and industrious 
race of men, came over to England. Some of their country- 
men had already settled in this country in the days of the 
Conqueror, and we find them established about Do^vnton 
at the period of the Domesday survey. An eruption of the 
sea into Flanders compelled the inhabitants to emigrate 
in great numbers ; a large portion went to Germany, but 
many sought a refuge m England, and were allowed to 
inhabit the border of Scotland. Shortly afterwards (11 07-9), 
the king moved this colony to the Welsh border, and gave 
the Flemish refugees the district about Ross in Hereford- 
shire, and Haverfordwest and Tenby in Pembrokeshire. 
They were however chiefly settled about the former place, 
and they brought there their manners and language, of which 
many traces remained even as late as the time of queen 
Elizabeth. Giraldus has given us an interesting account of 
their superstitions.* They were beneficial in many respects 
to the country ; they laid the foundation of the trade in 
wool for which Herefordshire was afterwards celebrated; 
and, equally ready to handle the plough or the sword, they 
enriched the county by their industry and tamed the 
Welsh by their courage.f Checked in their depredations 
in the south, the latter now turned their fury against the 
northern boundary. The king was obliged on more than 

* Girald. Camb. Itin. i, 11. Compare the account there giren with the 
rery timilar superstitions of the Tartar inraders of Europe in the following 
century, as related by William de Rubniquis. 

t GiraU 1. c; W. Malmsb. p. 158; Roger Hoveden. ; Rad. Dicet. fin 
the Decern Scriptures), &c. Lappeuberg, Geschichie ron England ii, 283. 
Giraldus describes these Flemings as being in his time—Gens fortis et 
robusta, continuoqne belli couftictu gens Cambrensibus inimicissima; gens, 
inquam, lantficiis, gens merpimoniis usitatisstma ; quocunque labore sive 
pericttlo terra marique lucrum qu«rere gens pervalida; vicissim loco et 
tempore nunc ad aratmm nunc ad arma gens promplissima ; gens utique 
felix et forttfl, si rel regibus ut deceret Cambria cordi fuisset, vel prsesti- 
tults saltern et prsefectis injuriarum dedecus animo rindice dispUcuissel. 


one occasion to leal an anny against them ; and in one of 
these expeditions he narrowly escaped with his life. As he 
was carefully making his way through the woods, Henry 
was struck on the breast by an arrow, which was fortu- 
nately turned off by the mail mth which he was covered. 
The king asserted that the blow had been treacherously 
aimed by one of his o^ru men. The Welsh always escai)ed 
by carrying their goods to the tops of the least accesfsible 
mountains. Taking advantage of the death of Richard 
earl of Chester, who was droivned in the celebrated wreck 
of the White-ship, they entered Cheshire in 1119, massacred 
many inhabitants, and burnt two castles. Henry hastened 
to the border, and an English army after a painful march 
again encam\)ed at the foot of Snowdon. There the Welsh 
came with rich gifts and, according to the English chroni- 
clers, begged for peace in the most abject manner. The 
king took hostages and returned home; but within a dozen 
years, in spite of the severe chastisement which they had 
received on this occasion, they were again in arms, and 
invading Herefordshire, they burnt ' Cans/ a town belong* 
ing to Paine Fitz John, who was still sheriff of that county, 
and treated the inhabitants with extreme cruelty. King 
Henry, who w*as in Normandy, hastened to England to 
punish their contumacy; but death stopped him on the 
road, and left the crown of England to another usurper, 
and the kingdom to be torn by a new contest for the suc- 
cession, more fatal than all which had gone before. 

The Welsh continued in arms after the accession of 
Stephen, but they were occupied in domestic quarrels, and 
in attacking the castles which had been built in the interior 
of the country during the preceding reign.* The great 

* TheM hottilitiei were carried on chiefly in the Muth of Walet, on 
the const of the Bristol ciiAnael. The coniinuator of Florence of Wor- 
cester speakinf of tlie number sUin in one battle in 1136. says. Corpora 
vero eonim a lupis horrthtlitcr per airrus (li«rerpu et devoruta sunt. p. bVL 
This is the latest mention of wolves in Wales that I remember to ha«e 
met with. 


barons of Herefordshire and Salop were engaged in more 
important projects than the prosecution of border warfare. 
It was here that the conspiracy was formed against the 
king, in favour of the claims of the empress Matilda, 
which soon afterwards involved the whole kingdom in the 
horrors of civil war. In 1138, the third year of Stephen's 
reign, nearly all the castles and strong towns on the border 
Avere fortified against him. Kobert earl of Gloucester (the 
illegitimate son of Henry I.) occupied Bristol, which formed 
the head quarters of the rebellion, and Gloucester ; Geoffrey 
Talbot garrisoned his own castle of Weobly and seized 
upon Herefonl; William Fitz Alan, the sheriff of Shrop- 
shire, established himself in the castle of Shrewsbury; 
Ralph Paganel, an active and influential partizan of the 
empress, fortified himself in his castle of Dudley ; and 
Gervase Paganel, probably the brother or kinsman of 
Ralph, seized upon that of Ludlow. William Pcverel, in 
like manner raised the standard of rebellion in his castles 
of Ellesmere, Whittington, &c. From these strong holds 
the revolted barons sent out their emissaries, who ravaged 
and plundered the surrounding country in the most ruthless 

Stephen was no less active than his enemies ; he quickly 
made himself master of Hereford, and Geoffrey Talbot 
sought refuge in the castle of Weobly, from which also 
he was driven by the king. After placing a garrison in 
both these fortresses, the king quitted the border. In these 
cruel wars, the towns as well as the country suffered 
equally from both parties. In the attack upon Hereford 
by the king, all the city on one side of the Wye bridge 
was burnt; and, as soon as he was gone, Geofirey Talbot 
with his army, consisting in great part of Welshmen, came 
and burnt that part of the city which stood on the other 
side of the bridge.* On this occasion the assailants were 

* In the king's atUck Civitaa Hercfordensis infra pontem fluminit 
Wtgft comburitur igne. Contin. of Florenco of Worcester, p. 520. la 
Tslbot's attack the part ' ultra pontem Wegc' was bomt. lb. p. 52L 


beaten off with loss by Stephen's garrison ; and shortly 
afterwards Tallwt, in an attempt upon the city of Uatli, was 
taken prisoner by the bisliop, who however was induced by 
the threats of the terrible garrison of Bristol to set him at 
liberty. Tlie king accused the bishop of Bath of treachery, 
and again advanced towards Gloucestershire, taking several 
castles in his way, but he failed in an attempt upon Bristol. 
From thence he went to Dudley, which he appears not to 
have taken; but, having burnt and plundered the neigh- 
bourhood, he hastened to Shrewsbury. William Fitz Alan 
fled at his approach, leaWng a strong garrison, which 
sustained a protracted siege. Stephen employed against 
Shrewsbury castle all the most powerful warlike engines 
which were then in use; the besieged were almost suffo- 
cated with clouds of thick smoke which were thrown into 
the place ; and one of the gates being at length driven in, 
it was taken by storm. Part of the garrison escaped; 
many were slain ; and a few of the prisoners of rank were 
hanged by order of the king.* The siege of Shrewsbury 
occurred in the July of the year 1188. The invasion of 
the northern counties by the Scots called the king from the 
further prosecution of the war on the border. Immediately 
after Christmas, Stephen hastened towards Scotland in 
person; but the invaders had sustained a severe defeat, 
and, having signed a treaty of peace at Durham, the EngUah 
king returned to Shropshire, carr}4ng with him the Scottish 
king*s son, Henry earl of Northumberland, who had been 
delivered to him as a hostage. We hear nothing of the 
king*s proceedings till he reached Ludlow; probably the 
lesser fortresses of Shropshire had been given up without a 
struggle ; but the castle of Ludlow, under Gervase Paganel, 
made an obstinate resistance. Two forts were erected by 
the asAailants, and the siege was prosecuted with great 
vigour, yet it was not successful; and it needed all the 
prudence of the monarch to hinder sanguinarj* feuds from 

• The contioitator of Florence of Worcester, p. 523. 


hr<'?ikiTi;^ o:ii anions llu* hc^^iriifcvs.^ In nur of tlif attacks, 
tlio Src»ttisli princi' a|)pii):uhinp^ rashly too iu*nv to the walls, 
\v,i:> seized In an iron i^raiiplc' tlirown out from tlie castle, 
and wouM hav(^ been taken piisoncr, but the kinj^ with his 
characteristic bravery ruslied to the spot, and saved his 
liostaj^fo at the innninent peril of his own life. The king 
soon afterwards raised the siejj^e, and repaired to Oxfoi'd, 
where his jnx>sence was necess«iry. 

After the arrival of ^Fatilda in England, her araiy was 
strengthened by ten thousand Welsh auxiliaries, raised by 
Robert earl of Gloucester. Her cause was sustained in 
Herefordshire bv Geofii(^v Talbot and Gilbert de Lacv, 
with Milo, constable of Cf!ouce<tcr, the son of Walter, 
constable of Shropshire in the prccediuLr reign. At the 
end of the autunni of 1139, they plundered and partly 
burnt the city of Worcester. Immediately afterwards Talbot 
attacked Hereford, set fire to the cathedral, slaughtered 
the monks, and sacked the town. The king liastened to 
Worcester, and then pushing forwards encamped his anny 
at Little Hereford and Leominster. In the folio winjj vear 
he again occupied Little Hercford,t not far distant from 
Ludlow, which we may suppose to have been still held 
by Gcrvase Paganel. Stephen's progress in this quarter 
was arrested bv other events. In 1141, earl Rolwrt's 
Welshmen took part in the battle of Lincoln, where the 
king was made captive. J Milo de Gloucester, for hi.> 

• The account of tliis siege is chiefly tnkcii fit'in ilic Cumii.ii.ii«»i ot" 
Florence of Worct'^ter, pp. 527, 528. He spclU thir i.ainc Lutfrhirc. The 
orthography in oilier accuiints of the same event is, Lufllnuc in Ilcnry i»r 
Huntingdon; Ludvhncc in Roj^cr de Hovcdcn; Ltulehhirt in M.UfIi«>\\ 
I*4iis; Lo'lclowe in Ralph de Dicct and in Robert of (il«)U< ester. 

t These particnlars arc given by ilic CuntinuaUir nl* Floreni «.• of Wor- 
cester, pp. 5.31, 5.T2, 5.33. 

1 Two of our most valuable border lu9tt)ri:in.s oiid \%ith (in.- viar. 
Ordericus Vitalis, a native of ShropsIiire» whose father wa^i a iitiTity 
minister of Roger de Montgomery, and tlie anonymoii:$ nmnk of Wor- 
cester, who continued the Chronicle of ricirei.rc of V.«»n'r-.UT fimn ihc 
year 1118. 


•"lO I UK HISTORY OF Lrmxiw. 

f'oiuluct ill tliU i'iigagriiu»nt, was rewarded by Matilda with 
the earldom of llerefonl : and among the witnes^srs to the 
ii;rant arc the sij^natnn*> of Ralph Paganel and Gill)erl 
do Lacy.* During the various vicissitudes of the year 
which followed, the Welsh border seems to have been less 
frequently the scene of Jictive warfare between the con- 
tending parties. In the summer of 1160, the city of 
Worcester was taken by the army of Stephen, and a con- 
siderable portion of it was again burnt to the ground.f 
The castle of Ludlow also fell into the king's hands, but it 
is not known when or how. It appears to have been 
restored to Joce de Dinan, who is mentioned as holding it 
in a deed of the last year of the reign of Stephen (1154). 
This deed is a grant of the earldom of Hereford to Roger 
son of Milo dc Gloucester. William Fitz Alan was restored 
to the office of sheriff of Shropshire on the accession of 
Henry 11. 

Henry II began his reign by destropng no less than 
cle%'cn hundred of the i)etty castles, the inmates of which 
had oppressed the country so grievously during the reign of 
Stephen ; and by seizing the royal fortresses which had 
been usurped by the more powerful barons. Among the 
latter was the castle of Bridgenorth, held by Hugh de 
Mortimer who refused to surrender it ; and when the king 
approached with his army to reduce him to obedience, he 
])ersuaded Roger earl of Hereford to join in his rebellion, 
and to fortify against his sovereign the castles of Hereford 
and Gloucester. The carl of Hereford was soon restored 
to ol)edience by Gilbert Foliot, the bishop of that sec; 
but Hugh de Mortimer defended Bridgenorth castle with 
obstinacy. During the siege the king, who was directing 
the operations, narrowly escaped from an aiTOw which 
was aimed at him by one of the garrison; his faithful 
attendant, Hugh dc St. Clair, threw himself before the 

* This grant is printed in Rymer's Fedem, last edition, i. 14. 
t Robert of Gloucester*! Chronicle, p. 465 (ed. Hearse). 


monarch and received the weapon in his own breasi. 
Mortimer was soon afterwards conii)ellcd to surrender. 
The humbled baron ap|)ears to liave wreaked his wrath 
upon his neighbours, and we soon afterwards find him 
engaged in open warfare with Joce de Dinan. The latter 
could scarcely quit the walls of his castle of Ludlow 
^nthout danger of being taken by Mortimer's men ; but, 
learning one day that the lord of Wigtnorc was to ride 
out alone^ Joce sent some of his men to lay wait, who 
made him prisoner and brought him to Ludlow, where 
he was confined for some length of time in a tower in 
the third "baylle" or waird, till he obtained his liberty 
by the payment of a very heavy ransom.* The tower, 
which we are told in an old writer, was tlie loftiest in 
the third ward of the castle, was known in the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centiuies by the name of Mortimer's Tower ,t 
a name which it took from this circumstance, and whicli 
is still preserved. 

The Welsh on the border continued to be exceedingly 
troublesome during the whole of Henry's reign. In 1157, 
less than three years after his accession to the crown, the 
king led an anny into Flintshire, to repress the hostilities 
of these mountaineers under their prince Owen Gwynned. 
The enemy retired before him, and took refuge in the woods, 
and he had reached the forest of Coleshill in the neigh- 
bourhood of Flint, when, wth the ardour of youth, he 
threw himself with his army into a wooded and dangerous 
iwss. The Welsh from the mountains and woods attacked 
him on every side ; many of his best men were killed, 
among others Eustace Fitz John and Robert de Courcy ; 
and Henry de Essex,* the royal standard bearer, hearing 

• History of the f«nnd«tion of Wipnorc Abl)cy, printed iu ICllU's 
Uugdalc, Tol. Ti, p. 3 10. 

t Lc pliia h:ilt lour q'cst en la tcrce bayle del cbastel, qc or est ai^clt- 
dc plusours Mortciucr. Komance of the Viit Wariness. 

t The Pictorial History of England calls him Henry v»t\ of K«:$e7 
The carl of Essex at !hi«« time wa» (Jeoffrcy de Mandcville. 


that the king w;i< killed^ threw down his standard cMui 
spread the alanu through the anny. Tho confii>itni was 
great and many of the EngUsh were shiin, but Rotrer earl 
of Clare, with his omu retainers, raised up the* king's 
standard and pressed forwawls into the heat of the battle, 
and the spirited exertions of the young king restored the 
army to order. As soon ns he had extrieated himself 
from this diffieulty, he recruited his army and led it to 
the south, and advancing along the coast by Glamorgan, 
reached Pencadair near Cannarthen, where Ileos prince 
of South Wales surrendered to him. Owen, the prince 
of the north, also submitted, and gave hostages; and the 
king returned by ' Elenith and Melenith* to England, car- 
rying with him Roes as his prisoner, who however was 
permitted to return home on taking the oath of fealty and 
giving hostages.* Henry de Essex was disgraced for his 
conduct in the battle of Coleshill. Six years afterwards, in 
a quarrel with Robert de Montfort, the latter openly accused 
him of treason in throwing down the standard with the 
intention of betraying the king : Henr}' de Essex retorted 
the charge, and the cause was decided by a judicial combat 
in an island in the Thames near the abbey of Reading. 
The standard bearer was vanquished and left for dead, 
and his body was carried by the monks to their church to 
be buried there. But when released from the weight of his 
amour, he reeoveretl, and soon afterwards became a monk 
of the abbey of Reading.f 

* Giraldtts Cambrensis, llibcm. Bzpugn. c. 30 ; Itin. Cam. lib. i, c. 10. 
and lib. ii, c. 10, compared with tiie other hit torians of the period. 

t Cronica Joscelini de Drakclonda (edited by John Gage Rukewodc, 
Esq. for the Camden Society), pp. 50-52. The account ditfcrs a little from 
that commonly given, but Jotccline de Brakelonde received it from Henry 
de EtMZ's own month, after the latter had taken tl;o cuwl at Reading. 
The standard bearer assured him that he re.illy believed the king had 
been slain*-'in tci vcntnte, prirdictus llenricus de K«^eMa uu liiuni regcm 
llenricnm secundum, \Valcn!«utni rr.iu<libuf^ intcrcrpium, dnn rluuiii«9<* 
•*redidit eztremtmi 


At the time when this combat took jOacc (v. n. ll(>»Jj, 
tlic AVclsh ivgnrtlle^s of the safety of their hostages, wen^ 
again in anns. Beaten by the borderers, tliey were not 
discouraged, and early in 11G5, the princes of North and 
South Wales, in conjunction with Owen Kevclioc prince of 
Powis, renounced their dependance on the English king. 
Henry raised a great army and entered Po^vis-land by 
Oswestry. The Welsh, as usual, retreated to their woods 
and mountains, but they were closely pursued, and were 
defeated with great loss on the banks of the river Ceiriog. 
The English army at length encamped at the foot of the 
13erwin mountains, but here the inclemency of the weather 
was more fatal to the invaders than the cunning of the 
Welsh in the former war. The rain fell in torrents and 
swelled the mountain streams, and the position of the 
English became so untenable, that they were obliged to 
return home in confusion, and, being pursued by parties of 
the enemy, lost many men in the retreat. Henry stung 
mth mortification at this second disaster, took vengeance 
on liis unfortunate hostages, who were by his order deprived 
of their eyes. Giraldus Cambrensis, an attentive obser^'cr 
of these events, but prejudiced against the king by his 
personal feelings, blames him for undertaking such expe- 
ditions without seeking the aid and advice of the border 
cliieftains, who, by long experience, were better able to 
carry on hostilities with the mountain hordes.* 

It is probable, however, that king Henry saw little 
reason for placing confidence in the fidelity of the barons 
who occupied the castles in the Marches of Wales, and 
who appear to have been busily occupied with their own 
private feuds, which had been increased and embittered 
by the confiscations and changes of property during the 
preceding reigns. W^c have already seen Joce de Dinan 
at war with his jKiwerfnl neighl>our Hugh de Mortimer; 
M>iMi afterwards we find him rnga;;t»d in a still more 

* GiralU. Cuinl». Itin. lil>. it, c. lO. 


desperate feud with another of the old border chieftaill^. 
Walter dc Lacy. It api)ears by the deed of the last year 
of the reign of Stephen, mentioned above, that Hugh dc 
Lacy then laid claim to lands which Joce do l>inan held 
in Herefordshire, and it is not improbable that those con- 
tending claims were the ground of the dissensions in which 
**many a good knight lost his life;*' '.he traditions of which 
continued to be the subject of minstrel song in the following 
century,* and in the course of which the castle of Ludlow 
passed into the family of the Fit/ Warines. 

The first of this family .vho l>ore the name of Fulke Fitz 
Warine had inherited by his mother Melcttc, daughter of 
William Pevercl, the castle and honour of Whittington, 
when seven years of age, Fulke was, according to the 
custom of those times, placed in the family of Joce do 
Dinan to be educated in the practice of knightly exercises, 
for Joce was **a knight of good experience," and as he 
grew up he became ''handsome, strong, and of goodly 
stature." At the time when the hostilities between Joce 
de Dinan and Walter de Lacy raged with most violence, 
Fulke Fitz Warine had reached the age of eighteen. 

One summer's day, Joce de Dinan arose early in the 
morning, and mounted a tower in the middle of his castle 
to survey the country. Turning his eyes towards Whit- 
clifie, he was surprised to see the fields covered with 
knights and soldiers in all the api)arel of war, and to behold 
among others the banner of his mortal enemy Sir Walter 
de I^cy. He ordered part of his knights to arm and 
mount in haste, and to take with them arbalastcrs and 
archers to go and defend the bridge and ford "below the 
town of Dinan," and they drove back the Lacy's men, who 

* For an account of the Romance of tlie Fiti Warincs* ncc a note at 
the beginninir of our next section. It may be observed that the article^ 
on tiiifl (amily in Burke'a Extinct Peerage it full of errors. Walter ilt* 
I«acy did not become in his own right lord of Ewy<i9 till after hi« father's 
HcAth in 11A5. but ai the latter was constantly engaged in Ireland, he was 
probably runsidered a« the head of the family on the bonier of Walr<. 


were already occupying the jiass. Soon after came Joce, 
with five hundred knights and men at aims, besides the 
burgesses of the town, and crossing the water they engaged 
and entirely defeated the invaders. Walter de Lacy, after 
having lost his banner and seen his men dispersed, fled 
along the road which ran near tlie banks of tlic Teme 
tow*ards Bromfield, called by the Anglo-Nonnan writer 
Champ-Geneste (campus gencsta*). Joce do Dinan seeing 
Walter de Lacy flvins: in this direction, followed him 
unattended, and overtook him in a little valley within 
sight of the castle, between the wood and the river, and 
I^icy was already wounded and on the point of being made 
a prisoner, when three of his knights suddenly made their 
appearance ami came to his aid. 

Joce's lady, with her two daughters Sibille and Hawyse, 
had witnessed the combat and the subsequent flight from 
a tower in the castle ; and terrified with the danger which 
threatened their lord, who was now alone against four, 
they made the place resound with their screams. Fulkc 
Fitz Warine, who on account of his youth had been left in 
the castle, was drawn to the spot by the cries of the ladies, 
and, seeing them in tears, he inquired of Hawyse the cause 
of their distress. " Hold thy tongue," she replied ; " thou 
rcsemblest little thy father who is so bold and strong ; and 
thou art but a coward, and ever wilt be. Seest thou not where 
my father, who has cherished and bred thee with so much 
care, is in danger of his life for want of help ? and thou 
art not ashamed to go up and down safe without paying 
any attention!" Fulke, stung by the maiden's reproof, 
hurried into the hall of the castle, where he found nothing 
but an old rusty helmet, which he put on as well as he 
could, for he hsid not yet attained to the age of bearing 
armour, and seizing a great Danish a^e he ran to the 
stable which was close to the i)ostern that led to the river. 
There he found a cart-horse, which he mounted, and 
spurring across the river, he reached the spot where Joce 
de Dinan, overcome by the number of his opjionents, was 


ulroaily iHsmoinitoil and on tlir ground. Yonn**: Fulkr 
was no sooner amvcd, than xvitli one blow of his for- 
midable weapon he cut in two the back-bone of one of 
Ijacy's men who was securing; the fallen lord of I^inllow, 
and with a second he clove the scull of another who was 
coming to encounter him. Joce was now soon remoinited, 
and Walter de Lacy wth his remaining companion, Arnold 
do Lisle, who had both been severely wounded in the 
action, were easily made priscmers. They were brought 
to Ludlow castle and confined in a tower which was called 

Tlie two prisoners were treated ^ith kindness, and wer<» 
frequently \4sited by the ladies of the household. Amongst 
them was a " very gentle damsel" named Marion de la 
Bruere (Marian of the Heath), who was smitten with 
the courtly mien of Arnold de Lisle, and allowetl herself to 
be seduced by his fair words and promises of marriage*. 
IIa>nng thus placed herself in his power by her impru- 
dence, she was further induced secretly to aid the escai>e 
of the prisoners through one of the ivindows of the tower 
by means of towels and napkins attached together. After 
Walter de Lacy had obtained his liberty, he sent to his 
father in Ireland for soldiers, resolved to avenge himself 
on Joce de Dinan ; but after having carried on their hos- 
tilities for a short time, the two barons were reconciled 
by the interference of their neighbours. Soon after peace 
had thus been restored, Fulke Fitz Warine was married mth 
great ceremony to Ilawysc de Dinan ; and after the fes- 
tivities were ended, Joce de Dinan with his household and 
son-in-law, and Warine the father of Fulke, went to 
* Ilertland,' baring entrusted the castle of Ludlow to 
the care of thirty trusty knights and seventy good soldiers, 
" for fear of the Lacy and other people." 

* Romance of the Piti Wahnes, p. 17. The tower called Pcndover 
was certainly not the keep or donjon. It appears from Ihc context to 
hare been a tower in the outer wall, looking towards Linncy, an^l 
common ica ting with the wail that ran at the back of the chapel, perhaps 
the one marked 10 in our plan of the castle. 



No sooner had Joce dc Dinnn quitted his c<astle, than 
Marion do hi Brucrc, who had remained behind on pretence 
of iUncss, sent a private message to her lover AruoUl dc 
lasle^ acquainting him mth the state of the castle^ and 
inviting him to pay her a visit, promising to let him enter 
by the same ^vindow from wliich he and Walter de Lacy 
had made their escape from prison. Arnold communicated 
his intelligence to Walter de Lacy, and obtained his consent 
to making an attempt on the castle. Havmg provided 
himself with a ladder of leather of the length indicated 
to him by the unsuspecting lady, he took with him above a 
thousand knights and soldiers, the main body of whom 
he concealed in the woods by ^Vhitcliffe, and the rest 
were placed in ambush in the gardens below the castle. 
It seems by the story that the ground under the castle, 
bordering on the river, was then laid out in gardens for 
the recreation of the family of the lord of Ludlow. It 
was during a dark night that these movements were 
effected; when Arnold, with an attendant who carried 
the ladder, approached the wall of the tower, his mistress 
was ready at the window, and threw do^vn a cord by which 
the ladder was drawn up and fixed. The lady led liim 
to her chamber^ and the ladder was left suspended at 
the window. 

In the mean time Arnold's attendant had returned to the 
gardens, and brought forth the soldiers who were placed in 
ambush. A hundred men, well armed, mounted by the 
leathern ladder into the tower of Pendovcr, and whilst one 
party, descending from the tower to the wall which led be- 
hind the chapel,* threw the sleeping sentinel into the deep 
foss wliich separated it from the outer ward, another party 
went into the inner ward, and slew in their beds the 
knights and soldiers who had been left to gtianl the castle. 
They then issued from the castle, opened Dinham gate 
(la porte de D]man vers la ry>'ere), to admit the rest of 

*B 8*cn avalcTcnt dc la tour dc Pcndovrc, o s'cn alcrcnl yM ie mur Uo« 
rcre lachapolc. Romance of the Fitz-Wariuos, p. 24. 


Lacy'8 moil, and placing i>artie8 of soldiers at the end ot 
each street, tliey burnt the to^vn and massacred the inliabi- 
taiit^, siKirinp; neither woman nor child. At day-break, 
Marion, who was in bed with her lover Sir Arnold, was 
awakenetl by tlie shouts of the victors; she arose, and, 
looking tlirough a window, learnt the treason which had 
been acted during the night. In the agony of despair, she 
seized upon Sir Arnold's sword and thrust it through his 
body, and immediately afterwards threw herself out of a 
window which looked towards Linney (Lyne}'e), and 
^' broke her neck." As soon as he received intelligence of 
the success of this attack, ^yalter de Lacy came with all 
his force, and took possession of Ludlow castle. 

Tidings of these events were brought to Joce de Dinan 
at Lamboume. Joce and the Warines, having assembled 
their friends and dependants, came with about seven 
thousand men, and established themselves in the castle of 
Cainham (Keyenhom), situated on a hillock about a league 
from Ludlow, and then ''very old and the gates rotten.*' 
The siege of Ludlow castle lasted long; the attacks were 
frequent and vigorous, but Lacy who had many Lish troo^is, 
as well as his own knights and retainers, defended the place 
against them ; when however he ventured to go out from 
the castle, he was severely beaten by the besiegers, and the 
gardens about Ludlow were more than onoo covered with 
the bodies of his soldiers who were slain in these skirmishes. 
The attack was made on the side of the castle to which the 
approach is now covered by the town ; the town, as we ha%'e 
alieady observed, seems at this time to have been situated 
only in Dinham and towards Mill-street. At length the 
besiegers made a fire at the gateway witli bacon and grease, 
so fierce that it burnt not only the treble door of the gate- 
way tower, but also destroyed the tower itself, and Joce de 
Dinan became master of the outer ward. In this assault 
the chief tower in the outer ^vard of the castle (Mortimer's 
tower) was nearly levelled with the ground, and almost the 
whole ward destroyed. In the midst of these events Fulke 


Fitz Warine's father died, ami Fulko became TiOrd of Wliil- 

Walter de Lacy finding himself hard presso<l, fsent for 
assistance to Jorw'crth Dnr\Tidwn (i. c. Jonverth with the 
broken nose), prince of Wales, who invaded the Marches 
with twenty thousand Welshmen, ravaged the countiy, 
burning towns and. slaying the inhabitants, and six>edily 
approached Ludlow. Joce and Fidkc fought against the 
invaders with great braverj', but they were at length com- 
I^ellcd to retire to Cainham, where they were besieged 
during three days. Cut off from all hope of assistance, and 
unable even to procure provisions, on the foivth day they 
sallied out from the ruined fortress, and attempted to force 
their way through tlieir enemies. After killing many of 
the Welsh and Irish, they were ovenvhelmed by numbers, 
and Joce de Dinan, with most of his knights that wxrc 
not killed, was taken prisoner and committed to the dun- 
geon of Ludlow castle. Fulke Fitz Warine, seeing his 
fiEither-in-law carried away, made a desperate attempt to 
rescue liim, and ran his lance through the body of the knight 
who had. him in charge ; but he was himself sorely wounded 
by Owen Kevelioc, and with difficulty escaped from the 
field, and fled towards Gloucester, where king Henry was 
at that time making his stay. 

The king received Fidke M'ith great consideration, and 
claimed him as his kinsman. He made his wife Hawyse 
a lady of the queen's chamber, and sent orders to Walter de 
Lacy to set at liberty his prisonei*9, on pain of incurring a 
severe chastisement. Lacy was too well acquainted with the 
vigour and skill of king Henry to disobey his commands, 
and Joce de Dinan joined his son-in-law at the royal court. 
Immediately after his arrival at court, the lady Hawj'se gave 
birth to a son, who was named after his father FuIkc Fitz 
Warine. Joce died at Lamboume a short time afterwards ; 
and it was probably on his death that the king made a 
grant confirming tlie right of his son-in-law to the castle of 
Ludlow and the doiK'ndant honour of Con'c-dalc. This 


grant is said to have been made about the year 1176. 
Fulke rose rapi<Uy in the favour of his sovereign, who made 
him lieutenant of the Marches, in which capacity he was 
very active in rosistinpj the aggressions of the Welsh, who 
during the latter part of this king's reign again ravaged 
Shropshire and Herefordshire.* He defeated the Welsh 
prince in several combats, and particularly in a great 
battle at 'Wormeslowc' near Hereford; and after these 
hostilities had continued more or less during four years, a 
reconciliation was effected between the Welsh prince and 
king Henry, the former being allowed to retain EUesmere, 
Whittington, Maylour, and other places on the border, and 
Henry's daughter Joane was betrothed to Lewis, Jorwerth's 
son. In recompence for the loss of these lands, the king 
gave to Fulke the honour of ' Alleston.' It seems doubtful 
if he ever again obtained possession of Ludlow castle. The 
town which had been utterly destroyed in the wars between 
Walter de Lacy and Joc^ de Dinan, was rebuilt, and tlic 
new town was probably placed nearer to the church and 
about the present Broad-street and Old-street ; it was 
henceforth known only by the name of Ludlow. Perhai>s 
amid the troubles and dissensions on the border, Walter dc 
Lacy was aUowed to retain possession. Fulke Fitz Warine 
continued to enjoy the favours of king Henry and of his 
son and successor Richard, early in whose reign he died. 

The preaching of archbishop Baldwin had led the way 
to that outbreak of enthusiasm for the crusade which 
characterised the opening years of the reign of Richard I. 
The king, and wiUi him nimibers of the first nobles and 
best knights of England and Wales, deserted their country 
to seek a new field of action in the East. Contemporary 
historians, carried with the general impulse, fill their pages 
with the wonderful dcctls of valour performed in S}'ria, and 
give us but a very imiKrfect account of the state of England 
diuiiig UirhanrK absence. The jMirtial notices wliich have 

* Romance <>( tho Ivi Waritu». p. T2. 


come <lown to us shew that England was torn by discord. 
Tlic feudal barons had not yet forgotten the licence of 
the days of Stephen, and tlicy were glad to be liberated 
from the iron-anncd justice of the reign of his successor.* 
The ambition of Jolm, Richard's eldest brother^ encouraged 
their exiiectations, and laid the foundation of those hostile 
combinations which a few years afterwards troubled his 
own reign. 

In the first year of his reign, king Richard provoked the 
resentment of the Welsh by his uncomiieous treatment of 
their prince Rhecs, who came to Oxford^ under the safe 
conduct of prince John, to confer with him. King Henry 
had Ix^n accustomed to meet the Welsh prince at this 
place ; but Richard, despising the example of his father, 
refused to quit his capital, and Rhees, ^'exceedingly angry," 
returned home.f On his departure for the Holy Land, the 
king appointed Fulke Fitz Warine warden of the Marches ; 
but his name scarcely occurs in the different events of the 
following years. Soon after the king's departure^ in the 
arrangement between prince John and the Chancellor, arch- 
bishop Hubert, arising out of the siege of Lincoln by the 
latter and the occupation of the castles of Nottingham and 
Tickhill by John, tlie castle of Hereford was delivered to the 
keeping of Roger Bigod, one of the Chancellor's partizans. 
In 1197, Hubert was called to the border, to make peace 
between the sons of the Welsh prince Rhees, who had quar- 
relled about their inheritance after their father's death. At 
the Christmas of the year following, 1198^ Hubert was 
again on the borders^ and took from the lords who had 
unlawfully usurped them the castles of Hereford, Bridge- 
north, and Ludlow, which he delivered to new keepers.^ 

• See WilUam of Newbury, p. 380. Edit 1610. 

t Roger do Horcden, p. 661. 

X Bodcm anno, die natalis Domini, Hnbortut-— fiiit in Owallia apnd 
Ilcrcfurd. ct reccpit in manu sua castollum do Hereford, ct castellum do 
Brigcs, ci castcUum do Ludclaw, ozpulsis inde custodibus qui ea dtu 
cusludicrant, ct tradidit ca aliis custodibus custodicnda ad opus regis. 
Roger do Hovcilcn, p. 775. 


In the fifth year of this reign, 1194, the custody of Ludlow 
castle had been given to GiU)ert Talbot , whose father 
ap^xmrs to have been nephew of the Geoffrey Talbot who 
was so active in Herefordshire during the reign of Stephen. 
A few months after his last visit to the border, Hubert yxns 
deposed from his secular dignities, and was succeeded by 
Gteofirey Fitz Peter, who was almost immediately called 
with an army to Wales to assist William dc Braose, who 
was besieged by Gwenwynw^n in his own castle. The 
Welsh were defeated with a great slaughter.* 

This William de Braose, lord of Builth and Brecknock, 
and allied by kindred to the Lacies and most of the great 
border families, was deeply hated by the Welsh, and was 
constantly engaged in hostilities with their princes. His 
wife, Maude de Saint Waleri, was one of the most re- 
markable women of her time, and was no less active in the 
wars than her husband. At the beginning of the turbulent 
reign of John, she and her husband enjoyed the royal 
favour. She on one occasion presenteil to the queen three 
hundred cows and one bull, all of them white ^*ith red 
ears; and she boasted that she possessed above twelve 
thousand milch cows, and that she had in her stores so 
many cheeses, that if a hundred of the most vigorous men 
in England were besieged in a castle during a month, and 
if they were obliged to defend themselves by continually 
throwing her cheeses at the assailants, let them throw them 
as fast as they might, they would still have some left at the 
end of the month. William de Braose and his wife soon 
incurred the displeasure of king John; they returned a 
proud answer to his message, and he went with an army 
towards Wales. On his approach, William de Braose fled 
to France, and Maude yxith her eldest son William went 
over to Ireland to seek protection from their kinsman 
Hugh de Ijacy, who was likeii'ise under the king's dis- 
pleasure. As John piusued them from castle to castle in 

* Roger 4e lloveden, p. 761. 


Ireland, they fled to the Isle of Mail and to Scotland, 
where Maude and her son WiUiam were taken and sent to 
the king. He ordered them to be inclosed in a room in 
Corfc castle, with a sheaf of wheat and a piece of raw 
bacon for their only provisions. On the eleventh day their 
prison was opened, and they were found both dead ; the 
mother was sitting upright between her son's legs with her 
head leaning back on his breast, whilst he was also in a 
sitting posture ^vith his face turned towards the groiuid. 
Maude de Braose, in her last pangs of hunger, had knawed 
the cheeks of her son, then probably dead, and after diis 
effort she appeared to have fallen into the position in wliich 
she was found.* 



Adventures of the younger Ftdke Fitz Warinc. 

THE first Fulke Fitz Warine had, by liis ^vife Hawyse 
de Dinan, five sons, Fulke, William, Philip, John, and Alan. 
Fulke, as we have already stated, was bom soon after the 
capture of Ludlow castle by Walter de Lacy ; he, as well 
as bis younger brothers, and his cousin Baldwin de Hodnet 
was educated with the children of Henry II; and he 
enjoyed the favour of king Richard I during the whole of 
that monarch's reign. After his father's death, which is 
said to have occurred before the king embarked for the 
crusade, Fulke had livery of his lands, and in 1195 he was 

also restored to the possession of Whittington, which in the 


* ThcM ptxticuUn relating to the Braoies, differing considerably 
from the acconnte commonly receired, are taken from an anonymous 
writer who Ured at the time, and was intimately acquainted with the 
domestic erents of the reign of John : his work, in a strong Norman dialect, 
was first printed by the Soci^t6 do I'Histoiro do France, in 8vo. 1840. 
The account of Maude de Braose will bo found at pp. U 1*1 15. 


preceding reign had been allowed to remain in the hands 
of Roger prince of Powis. He continued during this reip^i 
to enjoy the charge of warden of the Marches. On the 
accession of John, Fulke lost the royal favour, and became 
an out-law. He was held one of the bravest knights and 
strongest men of his time; and his adventures, while he 
lived in the woods and on the seas, were the theme 
of general admiration during the two centuries which 

* Wo cito tho intorMting namtiTo of tho adTcnturcs of Fulko by the 
titlo of the Romance of the Fitz Warinee ; but it must not bo supposed that 
by this titlo we mean to conrey a doubt of its being historical. The word 
r owfl uft , in its original aoeeptation, meant a book of any king written in 
th« middle-ago dialects dariTed ftom the latin* each of which was called 
LmguaRpmana, or Langue Romanes pure Latin being always characterised 
as the Luupia Latma, or Langue Latme. The name Rommu (i. e. iiber 
BomtmusJ became more peculiarly applied to the long poetical narratives 
sung by the minstrels in the baronial halls, which sometimes recorded Um 
old traditions of tho country, at others celebrated the deeds of the barons 
in whose halls they were chanted and their feuds with their neighbours, 
and at a later period becamo gradually restricted to stories of a more 
imaginatiTc character, from whence has arisen our modem application of 
the word. The Romance of the Fits Warines was rery popular during a 
long period of time: it was first composed in Anglo-Norman rerse; 
there appeared a reision in English Terse probably before the end of 
ths thirteenth century ; and at the beginning of the fourteenth century 
the original Anglo-Norman poem was transformed into a prose rcrsion. 
The Anglo-Norman and English poems were extant in the time of 
Leland, who has given an imperfect abstract of them ; but the prose 
Torsion alone, as Csr as can be ascertained, is now presenred; it is 
contained in a manuscript of the reign of Edward 11, in the British 
Museum, MS. Reg. 12, C. XII. The writer who made the prose Torsion 
has followed his original so closely, that we haTo cTidcntly the Tcry words 
of the poem a little transposed, and with a little care we mi^t restore 
the original verses of a considerable portion of it At tho end of the 
aocoont of Joce's wars with Walter de Lacy, it is said " Now you haTO 
heard how Sir Joce do Dynan, Sibillo, the elder, and Hawysc, the 
youngor, his daughters, were disinherited of tho castle and honour of 
Dynan, which Sir Walter de Lacy holds wrongfully** (ore a«cs oy com- 
ment sire Joce de Dynan, ftc. furent disherit es de la chostcl e Tonour do 
Dynan, que sire Walter de Lacy tietU A tort). This must have been 
written before 1341, when Walter de Lacy died (the only Lacy who held 
the castle of Ludlow), and therefore during the life of the younger Fulke 
Fits Warine, of whose adrcnturcs chiefly it treats. Thu circumstance, 


The cniuity which existed so long between king John and 
the family of the Fitz Warines, is said to have originated 
in their boyish quarrels. While they were little more 
than children in king Henry's household^ John and Fulke 
were one day playing at chess, and the former, whose evil 
disposition was exhibited in his childhood, angry at the 
superior skill of his playfellow, struck him violently on 
the head mth the chess-board. Fulke returned the blow 
mth 80 much force, that the prince was thrown with his 
head against the wall, and fell senseless on the floor. He 
was soon restored to his senses by the exertions of his 
playfellow, for they were alone; and he immediately ran 
to his father the king to make his complaint. But Ifonry 
knew his son's character, and not only rebuked him for 
his quarrelsomeness, telling liim that if Fulke had beaten 
him he had no doubt it was what he merited, but he seiit 
for the prince's master and ordered him to be again beaten 
" finely and well" for complaining. 

John never forgot that Fulke Fitz Warine had been 
the cause of this disgrace. Immediately after his accession 
to the throne, he gave not only the wardenship of the 
Marches, but also the family possessions of the Fitz W''a- 
rines at Whittington, to Morice, son of Roger of Powis.* 

and the exact knowledge which the minstrel shows that he possessed of 
Lndlow castle and the bord«>r, leads mc to bclioTe the poem was 
originally composed by a minstrel attached to the family of Fulke at 
Whittington, when the jealousies were still alive which arose out of the 
transfer of Ludlow from the Fitz Warines to the Lories. 1 have little 
doubt that the incidents of the story arc in the main truc« if we make 
allowance for the inaccuracies which must have arisen in their passage 
from one mouth to another, with the embellislnncnts which party fccliiif; 
would naturally give to them, and which in fact appear mure or less in 
erery historical narrative. The poet, however, seems to have thought 
himself justified in giving full scope to his imagination when he described 
Fulke's adventures in distant lands, which it has not been thought neces- 
sary to insert here. It ought to be observed, that since the present work 
was begun, the prose text of the Komnncc of the Fitz Wsrincs has been 
printed at Paris fSvo. 1810). 

• The grant of ' Witinlonc and Overton' to Morice Fitz Roger (Mcurico 


Iieforc mentioned, who was known to the Normans by the 
name of Morico Fitz Roger. When Fulke Icamt the injus- 
tice which had been done to him, he immediately repaired 
with his brothers and Baldwin dc Hodnet, to the court, 
then at Winchester,* and in the royal presence, demanded 
his right by the judgement of the common law. The king 
refused to listen to him; he said that he had given the 
lands to Moricc Fitz Roger, ''who should keep them, be 
angry who might ;" and Morice coming forwards addressed 
the claimant in reproachful words ; — ** Sir knight,'* he 
said, ** you are a very fool, to challenge my lands. If you 
say that you have a right to Whittington, you lie ; and, if 
we were out of the king's presence, I would prove it on 
your body." He had scarcely ended speaking, when 
William Fitz Warine, less scrupulous in this particular, 
stepped forward and struck him a blow with bis mafled fist 
which left his face covered with blood. The knights who 
were present interfered to put a stop to the fray; and 
Fulke turning to the king reproached him ^ith bis injustice 
and, having publicly withdra^vn his fealty, hastened with 
his kinsmen from the court. They bad scarcely proceeded 
half a league from the city, when they were overtaken by 
fifteen of the king's best knights, well armed and mounted, 
who called on them to stop, ** for," said they, ** we have 
promised to give your beads to the king." "Fair sirs," 
said Fulke, ''you were, in faith, very foolish when you 
promised to give what you had not got." And thereupon 
sotting upon them, they slew or severely wounded fourteen, 
and left but one able to ride back to carry the news to 
king John. 

Fulke hurried to bis castle of Alberbury, where his 

ftlio Rogert de PeowUX <Uted at Worcester, April 11, 130(X it found on 
the Charter Rolls at the Tower. King John was at Woieester from 
the 6th to the 12th of ApriU 

• It is most probable that Winchester is a mistake for Westminster, 
where the king was on the ISih, 19lh, and 20th of AprU, 1200. He was 
not ai Winchester during that year. 


mother was living, and having taken his leave of her, 
he went hy sea to Bretagne, accompanied by his brothers 
and his cousins Audulf de Bracy and Baldwin de Hodnet, 
and carrying ^nth him large treasures which he had laid 
up in his castle. King John immediately seized u))on 
all his lands in England. After staying a short time in 
Bretagne, where they were hospitably received by their 
kindred (for their family was of Breton descent), Fulke and 
his brothers and cousins returned to England, where they 
were soon joined by others who were sufferers from the 
injustice of the king. By day they concealed themselves in 
the woods and moors, and travelled only by night, for fear 
of the king's power, because they were as yet few in 
number. At ' Huggeford' they were hospitably entertained 
by Sir Walter de Huggeford,* who had married the sister of 
Fulke's mother. From thence they went to the woods in 
the neighbourhood of Alberbury, Fulke's paternal mansion, 
where he learnt that his mother was dead. He next 
removed to the forest of 'Babbyng,' near Whittiugton, 
where he took up his abode ^vith his companions, in order 
to watch the motions of his enemy Morice Fitz Roger. A 
retainer of Morice saw them in the forest, and informed 
his master, who went forth %nth his men to seek after 
them. But Fulke no sooner saw them approach, than 
he and his kinsmen rushed out of their hiding place, and, 
attacking them fiercely, drove them back to the castle. 
Morice was severely wounded in the shoulder, and was 
closely pursued by Fulke Fitz Wariue, who approached 
80 near the gateway, that he was shot in tlie leg by an 
arrow from the wall. When the king was informed by the 

* This Walter de Huggeford (of Shropshire) is mentioned in the 
records, and appears to hate been constantly in rebellion against king 
John. In September, 1207, he was a prisoner; Mandamus tibi quod 
liberati facias Hugoni de Nuvillc vel ccrto nuncio suo litteras suas de- 
ferent! Wahcrum de Hugcforde prison cm pro forests. (Patent Rolls, 
6 Sept 1207). He was one of those who, in arms against John at the 
time of that monarch's death, returned to his allegiance in 1217, the 
second year of the reign of ilcnry Iff. (Close Rolls, p. 373.) 


messenger of Moricc Fitz Roger that Fulke was in England, 
he became " wonderfully wroth," and appointed a hundred 
knights with all their retainers to scour the eountrj- in 
search of him, promising a great reward to him who should 
capture the outlaw either alive or dead. Tliese knights 
separated and went into different parts of England ; but 
the historian insinuates that whenever any one of them 
had private intelligence that the object of their search 
was in a particular quarter, he took especial care to go 
in another direction, for they had not only a distaste for 
Fulkc's blows, but they many of them also cherished an 
affection for his person, and had no real desire that he 
should fall into the king's hands. This Fulke knew well, 
and he carefully avoided offering any injury to those who 
were not his avowed enemies. 

Fulke and his company went to the forest of ' Bradene,* 
where they remained some time unobserved. One day 
there came ten merchants who brought from foreign lands 
rich cloths and other valuable merchandise, which they had 
bought for the king and queen of England, ^vith money 
furnished for the royal treasury. As the convoy passed 
under the wood, followed by twenty-four seijeants at arms 
to guard the king's goods, John Fitz Warine was sent out 
to inquire who they were. John met with a rude recep- 
tion ; but Fulke and his companions came forwards, and, in 
spite of their obstinate defence, captured the whole party, 
and carried them with their convoy into the forest. ^Vlien 
Fulke heard that they were the king's merchants, and that 
the loss would not fall upon their oivn heads, he ordered 
the rich cloths and furs to be brought forth, and, measuring 
them out with his lance, gave to all his men their shares, 
each according to his degree and deserts, ''but each was 
served with large measure enough." He then sent the 
merchants to the king, bearers of Fulke Fitz Warine's 
grateful thanks for the fine robes with which his majesty 
had clad all Fulko's good men. 

After this adventure they rcmovofl to the forest of Kent. 


Intelligence >vas rarricd to king John's knights who were 
in search of liini, that Fnlke Fitz Warino was in a certain 
wood ; and they innnediatcly raised the country about, 
and came witli a groat number of })eoplc of all sorts to 
surround the place where he was lodged. They placed 
bands of men on every side to watch his egress; and 
distributed watclnnen over the fields and plains with horns 
to raise the cry if they saw hira pass from his hiding place. 
The first intelligence of these movements which reached 
Fiilke, was conveyed by the horn of one of his pursuers, 
who was at no great distance from him. Fulke and his 
companions instantly mounted their steeds, and with all 
their company, horse and foot, they issued from the forest. 
After several rude encounters, in which many of their 
pursuers were slain, and in one of which John Fitz 
Warinc received a severe wound on the head, the whole 
party got clear of the snares which were laid for them, and 
pursued the high road till they came to an abbey. Here 
Alan Fitz Warine, having secured the iK>rter and taken 
possession of the keys, sheltered the whole company within 
the walls, except Fulke, who, dressed in the guise of 
an old monk, took a great club and supported himself 
upon it, and limping with one foot, walked very slowly 
along the road side. He had not been long there before 
a large body of knights, Serjeants, and their company, 
arrived at fidl speed. " Old monk," said they, " have you 
seen no knights in armour pass here 1" " Yes," said Fulke, 
" and God repay them the hurt they have done me !" ''And 
what hurt have they done you ?" said the knight who was 
foremost. " Sir," said Fulke, ** I am very old and decrepit, 
and with difficulty help myself. On a sudden there came 
seven knights and fifteen men on foot, and because I could 
not get out of the way, they made no stoppage but run 
over me, and it was a chance that I had not been killed." 
** Never mind," said the knight, "before night I promise 
thou shalt be well avenged ;" and without more words the 
whole party continued their route at full sjieed. Soon after- 


wards arrived eleyen other knights, magnificently mounted 
on choice steeds. As they approached the place where 
FiUke was standing, the chief of them burst into a fit of 
laughter, and said, " Here is an old fat monk, who has a 
fine belly to hold two gallons in it." Fulke, without utter- 
ing a word, raised his club, and struck the knight such a 
fearful blow under the ear as laid him breathless on the 
ground. His brothers and their companions, who were 
looking on, rushed from the abbey, and seizing upon the 
knights, bound them and locked them up in the porter's 
lodge, and taking the horses they mounted their whole 
company, and rode without making any considerable pause 
till they come to ' Huggeford,' where John Fitz Warine was 
cured of his wound. 

While they remained at ' Huggeford,' a messenger 
arrived from Hubert le Botiler, or Hubert Walter, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. Hubert's brother, Theobald Wal- 
ter, had married Maude dc Cans, (daughter of Robert 
Vavasour), a rich heiress, and one of the handsomest 
women in England;* and Theobald being now dead, the 
lady sought protection of her brother-in-law the archbishop, 
from the piursuit of the king, who, struck with her beauty, 
harboured designs against her honour. Fulke and his 
brother William, in obedience to the archbishop, who re- 
quested an interview, went to Canterbury in the disguise 
of merchants, and there, at the decree also of the arch- 
bishop, Fulke Fitz Warine was married to dame Maude 
de Cans. After remaining two days at Canterbury, Fulke 
left his wife with the archbishop, and returned to his 
men, ''who made great mirth and laughed and called 
Fulke husebaunde, and asked him where he intended to 

* She appean to hare been remarried by the king't license after 
Folke'a pardon. ("See Patent Rolls, p. 74.) Hubert, archbishop of 
Canterbury, died in l'i0>. There arose a misunderstanding between the 
archbishop and the king in 1S01 (Matthew Paris pp. 205» 206) which 
may have had some connection with the circumstances mentioned in 
the text. 


uke his wife, to his castle ov to )ii$ wood, and encouraged 
one another and were very joyful." 

At this time there dwelt on the borders of Scotland a 
worthy knight named Robert Fitz Sampson, who with his 
lady had often received Fulke Fitz Warine into his house 
ivith great honour and hospitality. There was also in the 
same neighbourhood a knight called Piers de Bruville, 
who with a band of riotous companions used to wander 
over the northern country and rob gentlemen and mer- 
chants who were not on their guard, and commit many 
other outrages, and all this he did under the name of 
Fulke Fitz Warine, to Fulke's no small discredit. One 
day Fulke came to the Scottish border, and as he ap- 
proached the house of Robert Fitz Sampson, towards 
night, he saw a great light in the hall, and on coming 
nearer he heard frequent mention of his own name. 
Having placed his companions ready at the outside of 
the door, Fulke entered the hall silently, and there he 
saw Piers de Bruville and his companions, all masked 
and sitting at table, while Robert Fitz Sampson and his 
lady lay bound in one comer of the hall, and the lady 
cried piteously. — " Ha ! Sir Fulke," said she " have 
mercy on us : I never did you any injury, but have always 
shewn you good friendship !** Fulke Fitz Warine could 
contain himself no longer ; without waiting for his com- 
panions, he drew his sword and advanced into the hall, 
and, with a voice of thunder, threatened that the first 
who stirred from his place should be cut into small pieces. 
''And now,*' said he, ''which of you is it who calls 
himself Fulke T' " Sir,*' said Piers, " I am a knight, and 
am called Fulke.** "By the love of God! then," said 
Fulke Fitz Warine, " rise up Sir Fulke, without delay !" 
Piers de Bruville, terrified at the fierce deportment of 
the intruder, rose from his seat, and, without attempting 
to resist, bound his companions one by one to their seats ; 
and when they were all bound, Fulke made him cut oiT 
their heads. Then addressing Piers de Bruville, he said 


'" you false knight, who call yourself Fulke, you lie ! I aui 
Fulkc, and that you shall soon know, for I will now punish 
you for all the ivicked deeds you have done in my name !" 
and so saying, he struck off his head with his sword. 

Having thus released Robert Fitz Sampson and his 
lady from the hands of Piers de Bruville, Fulke repaired 
again to Alberbury, and established himself in the wood 
on the bank of the river. One of his companions, named 
John de Rampaigne, was an excellent musician, and very 
skilful 'jogclour/ who undertook to go to the castle of 
Alberbury and report upon the movements of Fulke's old 
enemy Morice Fitz Roger. John rolled up the leaves of a 
certain herb, and put them in his mouth, and his face im- 
mediately b^;an to swell and become discoloured so that his 
companions scarcely knew him ; then taking a box with his 
implements of ' joglerie,' and a stout club in his hand, he 
presented himself at the castle gate, and was immediately 
admitted: for ])erformer8 of this kind seldom found the 
gates of the ancient feudal barons closed against them. 
The porter led him into the presence of Morice Fitz Roger, 
who asked him where he was born. " On the borders of 
Scotland," was the answer. " And what is the news 
there ?" " Sir, I know none, except of Fulke Fitz Warine, 
who has been slain in robbing the house of Robert Fitz 
Sampson." " Is that true ?" asked Morice. " Yes," said 
he; ''at least all the people of the country say so." 
" Minstrel," said he, " for your news I give you this cup of 
fine gold." .\nd thus John de Rampaigne departed, Bficr 
having leanit that the next day Morice was going to 
Shrewsbury, slenderly attended. Accordingly on the mor* 
row Fulke was up betimes, and having armed all his 
company, he laid wait for his enemy, who soon api)eared 
with his household retainers, and the four sons of Guy Fitz 
Candelou of Porkington. Morice attacketl Fulke vigour- 
ously, but in the end his party were entirely defeated, and 
himself with the four sons of Guy Fitz Candelou, and 
fifteen knights were slain. And thereby, says the nar- 


rater of these events, '* Fiilke had just so many the fewer 

During his wanderings, Fulke was frequently pursued 
veiy closely by the king's men, who followed the track of 
his horse's heels. But Fulke was crafty as well as brave ; 
and he often caused the horses of his troop to be shoed the 
wrong way before, so that his enemies were sent in a 
contrary direction to that in which he had gone. Many a 
hard adventure he suffered before he recovered his heritage. 
After the slaughter of his grand enemy ISIorice Fitz Roger, 
he went to Rhuddlan to Llewelyn prince of Wales, who 
had married Joane daughter of Henry II of England, and 
who like himself was constantly at war with king John. 
The Welsh prince^ though grieving for the death of his 
kinsman Morice^ gave the outlawed baron a friendly 
welcome, and took him into his service. Since the times 
of the Saxons, Wales had been the frequent refuge of 
English outlaws. Fulke had not been long with prince 
Llewelyn, before he put an end to the feud which had 
raged sometime between him and Gwenwynwyn, the sou 
of Owen Kevelioc, and by his pei-suasions effected a rccon- 
cUiation between the two princes. 

King John was at Winchester, and had not long heard 
of Fulke's marriage at Canterbury, when news was brought 
at the same moment of the death of Morice Fitz Soger and 
of the reception of the slayer at the court of the prince of 
Wales. For a few minutes the king sat still in silent 
anger, unable to utter a word ; then he started up from his 
seat — " Ha ! St. Mary !" said he, ** I am a king, England I 
rule, and am duke of Anjou and Normandy, and all Ireland 
bows before my sceptre, yet can I not find a man in my 
dominions for all my offers, who will avenge me of the 
injuries put upon me by one nnridy baron. But, though I 
cannot catch Fulke, I will not fail to make a signal ex- 
ample of the Welsli prince who has harboured him !'* He 
immediately ordered writs to be issued, summoning his 


barons to meet him with their retainers on a certain day at 
Slu'ewsbury, to make war upon the Welsh. 

Before the day thus appoint;^^ Llewelyn and Gwenwyn- 
wyn had received intelligence of the hostile designs of the 
English king. They assembled a great army at ' Castle 
Balaham in Pentlyn/ and by the advice of Fulke Fitz 
Warine, they fortified a narrow pass between the woods 
and marshes, called the ford or pass of 6}'mele (le gu£ 
Gymele), by which the army of king John was obliged to 
march. The English failed in the attempt to force this 
pass, and the king, after losing many of his men, returned 
to Shrewsbury.* The Welsh princes, in the midst of their 
triumph, after having taken and destroyed the castle of 
Ronton (belonging to John L'Estrange,t who was an active 
partizan of the king), met at ' Castle Balaham,* and there 
Llewelyn restored to Fulke his ancient heritage of Whit- 
tington, Estrat, and Dynorben, to be held in fee of the 
princes of Powis. 

The king dispatched Henry dc Alditheley, or Audley, 
with John L*Estrange, and a part of his army, to expel 
Fulke from Whittington, of which he had immediately 
taken possession. Fulke was celebrating his return to his 
paternal castle with great festivity, and had with him a 
large body of knights and retainers. When he heard of 
the approach of the king's troops, he advanced to meet 
them at the pass of * Mudle,' which he defended as Jong as 
he was able %vith his inferior force, and then drew off to his 

* King John was not «t Shrewtbnxy during the first four yesn of his 
rcifrn; but he was on the border, at Hereford on the 4th and 5th, at 
Ledbury on the 6th, and at Bridgenorth on the Hth, 12th and 13th of 
November, 1200. He had been at Worcester in the preceding ApriL The 
minstrel who composed the l*oem of Fulke Fitz Warine*s adTentures, 
has evidently been led into errors of this kind by following popular 
reports. King John was not at Winchester this year. He was there on 
the 6th, 7th« and 8th of May of the year folIowiDg (1201). 

t The name of John L' Estrange occurs frequently in the records of tho 
reigu of king John. We find a grant to Johannes Extvanens April 16, 
1200 (Charter RoUs, p. 45). He waa one of those who were to conduct 
1 lewelyn to the king in 1304 (PaUat Rolls, p. 39j. 


castle. In the defence of the pass, Fulk Fitz Wariiic, 
as usual, performed many valourous deeds, as did also his 
friend and companion Sir Thomas Corbet.* Fulkc's brothers 
Alan and Philip were wounded, and one of his best knights, 
Sir Audulf de Bracy, having been accidentally dismounted, 
was overcome by the number of his assailants, and made a 
prisoner. Henry de Alditheley ap^tears to have proceeded 
no farther with his enterprise, but, satisfied with the deplo- 
rable ravage which he had committed on the coimtry over 
which he passed, he carried his misoner Audulf de Bracy 
to the king. 

Fulke was exceedingly grieved when he learnt the fate 
of Sir Audulf; and John de Rampaigne was employed 
on another minstrcPs adventure to free him from prison. 
John as has been already observed, was skilful in all the 
arts belonging to the minstrel's craft. Having, by means of 
a certain mixture with which he was acquainted, stained 
his hair and flesh black, he dressed himself in garments 
of very rich material, but formed in a strange fashion, 
hung a handsome tabour about his neck, and rode on 
a fair palfrey through the streets of Shrewsbury to the 
gates of the castle, to the no small wonder of the good 
people of the town. He was quickly carried before the 
king, whom, falling on his knees, he saluted " very cour- 
teously." The king, returning his salutation, asked him 
who he was. *' Sire,'* said he, " I am an Ethiopian min- 
strel, born in Ethiopia." '' Are all the people of Ethiopia 
of the same colour as you ?" asked the king. ** Yes, my 
lord, men and women." " What say they of me in those 
foreign lands?" '^Sire," answered John de Rampaigne, 
'' you are the most renowned king of all Christendom ; and 
your great renown has induced me to visit your court." 
" Fair sir," said the king, " you are welcome." And 
during the afternoon, John exhibited many a feat of min- 

* Thomas Corbet is also mentioned in authentic documents of the 
same period : he joined with Ihc barons ngainst John, in (he latter part of 
that king's reign. 


strelsy both on the tabour and on other instruments, till 
night drew on, and the king and his court left the hall 
to seek repose in their beds. Sir Henry de Alditheley was 
making merry with some of his companions in his own 
chamber, and, when he heard that the king had retired, 
he sent for the black minstrel to increase and join in their 
mirth. And " they made groat melody," and dnmk deep, 
till at last Sir Henry turned to a valet and said, ^* Go fetch 
Sir Audulf de Bracy, whom the king intends to kill to- 
morrow; he shall have one merr}' night before he dies.'* 
Audulf was soon led into the room; and they continued 
talking and playing till a late hour. To the muistrel was 
g^ven the honourable ofRce of serving round the cup, in the 
performance of which duty he was very skilful ; and, when 
the whole party were nearly overcome ^nth the effects of 
the liquor they had been drinking, he took an opportunity 
of dropping into the cup a powder which he had provided, 
and which soon threw them all into a heavy slumber. 
John de Rampaigne had already made himself known to 
Audulf de Bracy by means of a song which they had 
been in the habit of singing ; and placing the king's fool 
between the two knights who had Audulf in guard, they 
let themselves down from the window towards the Severn 
by means of the towels and napkins which were in the 
chamber, and next day they reached the castle of Whit- 

Fulke's lady, dame Maude de Cans, whose adventures 
were hardly less remarkable than those of her husband, 
rejoined him at the court of the prince of Wales. King 
John enraged at her marriage with Fulke, had employed 
spies to watch her motions, and to carry her off as soon 
as they could find an opportunity. She was concealed 
some months in the cathedral of Canterbury, where, pro- 
tected by the sanctity of the place, she had given Urth 
to a daughter, to whom the archbishop gave the name of 
Hawyse. Fulke and his companions went secretly by 
night to Canterbury and took her from thence to Ilug* 


geford; and from thence she was caiTicd to Alberbury, 
where she remained for some time in great secrecy ; but 
being discovered by the king's emissaries she fled to Shrews- 
bury, %vhere she took refuge in St. Mary's church, and 
was there delivered of another daughter which received the 
name of Joane. Her third child was bom two months 
before its time, on one of the Welsh mountains, and, being 
a boy, it was christened by the name of John in the stream 
which ran from the " maidens' fountain." Both the mother 
and her offspring were too weak to be removed far, so they 
were carried from the mountain to a grange "w^hich was 
tliat at Carreganant." When this child was re-christened 
by the bishop, his name was changed to Fulke. 

King John, disappointed in all his projects of vengeance, 
now proposed a reconciliation with the prince of Wales, on 
condition that Fulke Fitz Warine should be delivered up, 
or at least dismissed from his service.* Fulke was made 
acquainted with this proposal by the princess Joane, Llew- 
elyn's wife, and, suspicious of treason, he sent his lady 
secretly to Canterbury under the guidance of Bald^an de 
Hodnet, and having committed her again to the care of 
the ai-chbishop, he sailed with his companions to France. 
Having remained there a short time, he fitted out a ship, 
and took to the sea. After performing many wonderful 
adventures on this element, wliich are too romantic to find 
a place in a sober history, Fulke landed at Dover, and 
stationed his ship in a position to be easily regained in case 
of danger. 

Hearing that king John was at Windsor, Fulke and his 
companions directed their course thither, travelling by night 
and seeking repose and concealment by day, till they reached 

* We hftTe no details in the old historians concerning this brief war. 
A peace was condnded between king John and Llewelyn, prince of Wales, 
on the 11th of July, 1202 (Patent Rolls, pp. 8, 9). There must therefore 
haTe occurred some hostilities with the Welsh during the first years of 
the king's reign, which may hare called for the king's presence on the 
border in 1200, and may hare been the same to which our story relates. 


Windsor forest^ where they lodged themselves in an unfre- 
quented place which they had formerly occupied, for they 
were well acquainted with every part of the forest. They 
had not been there long before they learnt by the sounding 
of horns and the shouts of the foresters that the king was 
gone to the chase. While his companions armed and 
placed themselves in ambush, Fulke went out alone to seek 
adventures. As he walked along, he met with a char- 
bonnier, or maker of charcoal, who was poorly dressed and 
black with the dust of the charcoal, and carried in his 
hand a three-pronged fork. Having changed his dress with 
this man, and disguised himself as a charbonnier, Fulke 
seated himself by the pile of charcoal, and taking the 
fork in his hand, began to stir and arrange the fire. While 
he was thus busied, the king rode up to the spot, at- 
tended only by three knights; on which Fulke, imitating 
the gestures of a peasant, threw aside his fork, and fell on 
his knees very humbly before him. At first the king laughed 
and joked at his grim look and dirty garments; then he 
said, " Master clown, have you seen any buck or doe pass 
this wayT* Fulke answered "Yes, my lord, just now." 
" >Vhat kind of beast was it ?•* " Sire, my lord, a homed 
one, and it had long horns." " Where is it gone ?'• " Sire, 
my lord, I could easily lead you to the place where I saw 
it !" " Go on, then, clown, and we will follow." " Sire," 
said the pretended charbonnier, ''may I take my fork in 
my hand ? for if any one stole it, it would be a great loss to 
me." " Yes, clown," said the king, " if you like," and 
thus Fulke led the king and his three knights to the spot 
where his companions were concealed, who came out and 
made them prisoners; and only sot them free after the 
king had given his solemn oath to pardon them all, and 
restore them to their lands. 

The king was no sooner at liberty than, disregarding 
his oath, he sent a party of men in pursuit of the outlaws, 
under a knight of Normandy named Sir James. Fulke 
and his companions slew or disabled tlic*m all, and taking 


Sir James, they disarmed him, bandaged his mouth so that 
he was unable to utter a word, and then put on him Fulkc's 
old armour. Fulke and his men invested themselves in the 
gay armour of Sir James and his foUo^vers, and thus dis- 
guised rode towards the king; and Fulke having left his 
men at a certain distance, delivered Sir James to the king, 
and then returned, as be pretended, to pursue Fulke's 
companions, for which purpose the king gave him his own 
horse, which was remarkable for its swiftness of foot. 
Fulke and his companions then fled to a wood at a consider- 
able distance, where they dismounted to repose themselves, 
and to dress the wounds of his brother ^yilliam, who had 
been desperately hurt in the encounter. The king, be- 
lieving that Fulke was now in his power, ordered him to be 
hanged immediately ; but when they proceeded to take off 
his helmet for that purpose, he discovered the trick which 
had been put upon him. The king now ordered a much 
larger body of knights to go in pursuit of Fulke, who came 
upon him unawares in his place of concealment, and the 
outlaws did not make their escape without great difficulty. 
William Fitz Warine, too weak to defend himself, was made 
a prisoner, and Fulke was carried away insensible from loss 
of blood, by a wound which he had received on the back. 
They reached their ship without further accident, and, after 
Fulke had been restored to strength by the medicinal skill 
of John de Rampaigne, they set out again in search of 
adventures by sea. 

In this voyage Fulke obtained much riches, and brought 
home a cargo of valuable merchandise. As soon as he 
reached the English coast, his first care was to learn the 
fate of his brother William, who had fallen into the king's 
hands in the encounter in Windsor forest. John de Ram- 
paigne was employed upon this mission. Dressed ''very 
richly" in the guise of a merchant, he went to London, 
and took up his lodgings in the house of the mayor, with 
whom he soon made himself acquainted, and whose esteem 
he obtained by the valuable presents he gave to him. 


Julni ile Kainpaignc, who spoke ''broken Latin" (Latyn 
corupt) which the mayor understood, desired to be pre- 
sented to the king, and the mayor took him to the court 
at Westminster. The merchant saluted the king *'very 
courteously/' and spoke to him also in broken Latin, which 
the king understood with the same facility as the mayor of 
London,^ and asked him who he was and from whence 
he came. " Sire," said he, " I am a merchant of Greece ; 
I have been in Babylonia, Alexandria, and in India the 
Greater, and I have a ship laden with spicery, rich cloths, 
precious stones, horses, and other things, which would 
be of great value to this kingdom." King John, after 
giving him a safe-conduct for his ship and company, ordered 
him to stay to dinner, and the merchant with his friend the 
mayor were placed at table before the king. While they 
were eating, there came two sergeants-at-mace, who led 
into the hall a great knight, with a long black heard, and a 
very ill-favoured dress, and they placed him in the middle 
of the court and gave him his dinner. The mayor told 
John de Rampaigne that this was the outlaw William Fitz 
Warine, who was brought into the court in this manner 
every day, and he began to recount to him the adventures 
of Fulke and his companions. 

John de Rampaigne lost no time in carrying this intel- 
ligence to Fulke Fitz Warine, and they brought the ship as 
near to London as they could. The day after their arrival, 
the merchant repaired to court and presented to king John 
a beautiful white palfrey, of very great value ; and by his 
liberal gifts he soon purchased the favour of the courtiers. 
One day he took his companions, and they armed them- 
selves well, and then put on their ' gowns' according to the 

* This will be eMily understood, when we consider that the king 
and all the better classes of the people at this time spoke the language 
known by the name of Anglo-Norman, which was one of the family of 
languages derived from the Latin ; and that each of these differed from 
Che other hardly more than the Bnglish dialects of diflerent count ice at 
the present day. All these languages were, in fact, ' Latyn corupt.' 


manner of mariners, and went to the court at Westminster, 
where they were ' nobly' received, and William Fitz Warine 
was brought into the hall as before. The mercliant and 
his party rose early from table, and watched the return of 
William Fitz Warine to his prison, when they set upon his 
guards and in spite of their resistance carried off the prisoner, 
and having brought him safely on board their ship, they 
set sail and were soon out of reach of their pursuers. 

After staying some time in Britany, Fulke again returned 
to England, and landed in the New Forest. It happened 
that at this time king John himself was hunting in the 
same part of the country, and while closely pursuing a 
boar, with a slight attendance, he fell a second time into 
the power of the outlaws. The result was, that the king 
again pledged his oath to [Mrdon them as soon as he should 
be at liberty. This time the king kept his word ; according 
to the story, he called a parliament at Westminster, and 
caused it be proclaimed publicly that he had granted his 
peace to Fulke Fitz Warine and to all his companions, and 
that he had restored to them their possessions.* 

We have authentic documents relating to this last scene 

of Fulke*s adventures. Tlic general pardon of the outlaws 

is entered on the Patent Roll of the fifth year of king John 

(in the Tower of London), for it was during the first five 

years of that monarch's reign that the events we have been 

relating occurred. So early as the third year of this reign 

(80th April, 1SQ2), a pardon was granted to Eustace de 

Kivilly, one of Fulke's band, who seems to have deserted 

the company. The king was in Normandy, and not at 

Westminster, when he granted his pardon to Fulke Fitz 

Warine. In three successive months (August, September, 

and October, 1S08), John gave three different safe-conducts 

to Fulke, mth Baldwin de Hodnet and their companions, 

* This muat be considered as one of the embellishmcnU of the stoiy. 
The king wss not in the New Forest during the year 1203. In the 
^SBiury of 1204, we find the king at different places in Wiluhire, so that 
he may then hare been hunting in the forest, but it was two months after 
the date of Fulke*s pardon. 


to repair to his presence. The pardon itself is dated at 
Uouen, the 11th November folloiving. On the roll we hare 
a list of his eompanioiis, among which we recogniae aeveral 
of the names which occur in the story, and many of them 
appear to be men of Shropshire and the Border. These 
names are (besides Vivian de Prestecotes, who received a 
separate pardon), Baldwin de Hodnet, William Fitz Fulke, 
John de Tracy, Roger de Prestone, Philip Fit* Warine, 
Ivo Fitz Warine, Ralf Gras, (or the Fat), Stephen de 
Ilodnet, Henry de Pontesbury, Herbert Branche, Henry le 
Norreis, William Malveissin, Ralf Fitz WilUam, Abraham 
Passavant, Matthew de Dulvustry, Hugh Ruffiis, (or the 
Red), William Gernun, Walter de Alwestane, John de 
Prestone, Richard de Prestono, Philip de Hanewude, 
Hamo de Wikefelde, Arfin Mamur, Adam de Creckefergus, 
Walter le Sumter, Gilbert de Dover, William de Eggte- 
munde, John de Lambome, Henry ' Waleng,* (probably 
Walensis), John Descunfit, William Fet, William Cook, 
Geoffrey his son, Philip de Wemme, Richard Scott, Thomas 
de Lidetune, Henry Gloucester, Hugh Fresselle, Orune de 
Prestecotes, Roger de Waletone, Reiner Fitz Reiner, Wil- 
liam Fitz William, William Fitz Richard of Berton, Richard 
de Wakefelde, Henry son of Robert King of Uffinton, John 
Fitz Toke, Henry le Francois (or French), Walter Gk)dric, 
Thomas his brother, Roger de Onderoude, (Underwood), 
Roger de la Hande, William Fitz John. 

In 1204, king John restored to Fulke Fitz Warine, his 
castle of Whittington,* and different entries on the roUs 
show that he continued to enjoy the royal favour until the 
latter end of the king's reign, when he joined the party of 
the barons. According to the story, Fulke after being 
thus restored to his inheritance, ser\'ed in the wars in 
Ireland with Randolph earl of Chester. On his return to 
Whittington, he founded, near Alberbury, in a wood on the 

* Rtz, Ike. ticccomiU Salopctbirw. 8ciu qood rtddidimot Pulconi 
flUo Owsriai eMteUam de Wuitlatoiia cum omaibiu portiaeatiis suit, ticut 
jut tt hmvdiUUn. Patent RoUf, p. 4C. 


bank of the Severn, a priory which was called the new 
Abbey, and in which, after his death at Whittington, he 
was buried. Fulke was blind during the last seven years 
of his life. The prose romance ends with two lines which 
are evidently taken verbatim from the metrical one, and 
which tell us that the body of the lord of Whittington was 
laid near the altar of the Abbey Church : — 

** Joste le auter gist le cors. 
Deus eit inerci de tous, vifs e mortz !*' 

The date of Fulke*s death appears to be unknown, but it 
probably occurred towards the middle of the reign of king 
Henry III. Dugdale, who states him to be the same 
Fulke Fitz Warine who perished at the battle of Leaves in 
1268, certainly confounded him ni-ith his son, and thus 
missed a whole generation in the pedigree. 'NVlien Fulke 
was left warden of the Marches by Richard I (not later 
than the beginning of the year 1190) he mxist have been at 
least twenty years old, so that at the beginning of the 
twelfth century he would be thirty ; if we add this to sixty- 
ihxee, it will appear that according to Dugdale's statement, 
Fulke Fitz Warine was at least ninety-three years old at 
the battle of Lewes, which is destitute of all probability. 
On the same supposition Fulke's son, born about 1S04, 
would have been alive in 1314, at the improbable ago of 
one hundred and ten years.* 


Border Antiquities of the Twelfth Century, 

IN the twelfth century, the Welsh border was covered 

* If the Romanco of iho Fits Warines was written durmg the life of 
Fulke, it it of course understood that the details relating to his death were 
added at a later period. It is howorer Tcry uncertain whcthci he did not 
die some years before Walter de Lary. 


with castles aud monastic houses. A manuscript of the 
earlier part of the reign of Henry III. preserved in the 
British Museum^ furnishes us with a list of the most 
important of such buildings then existing in Hereford- 
shire and Shropshire* The list of castles in this district 

* The following is the portion of this document (presenred in MS. 
Cotton. Vespes. A. XVIIL fol. 159, Ac) which relates to the Counties of 
Hereford and Salop. 

t Bpiicopatifl. Hereford. S. Mr. et S. AthebertL Canonici sccularos. 
Abbatia. Wiggemore. S. JacobL Canonici nigri. 
Abbatia. Dore. S. Marie. Monachi albi. 
Prioratos. Lcemenstre. 8. JacobL Monachi nigri de Rcdinge. 
Prioratna. Hereford. 8. Petri et Panli. Monachi nigrt 

Prioratos. Bartone. S Monachi nigii 

Prioratns. CUiford. S. Mar. Monachi nigri de Clnniaco. 
Prioratoi. Hereford. 8. Petri ot PaoU, et S. Oathlaci Monialcs nigr«. 
Prioratns. Monemne: 8. Mar. et S. Florent Menachi nigri de Saiimer. 
Pfioratns. Acemebery. S. Katerin». Moniales albc 

Prioratns. Lingebroke; 8 Moniales albc 

Prioratns. de Kilpek. 
Prioratos. Ewyu Haraldi. 

% Caatella. Hereford. Kilpek. Bwyaa Haraldu Ewyaa LacL Grosoinnd. 
Skeaefireid. Caatnim Album. Moaemue. Qotrige. Wiltone. Cliffnrd. 
Witesneic* Huntindone. Herdeleye. Wigmorre. Radcnowere. Keueuen- 
leis. Ledebure north. Seynt BreTcL 


f Abbatia. Salopcebery. 8.PetrietPauiiet8.MUbnrgc. Monachi nigri. 
Abbatia. Beldowaa. 8. Mar. Monachi nigri. 
Abbatia. Cumbemere. 8. Mar. Monachi albi. 

Abbatia. Lilleshelle. 8 • Canonici nigri. 

Abbatia. Hagemaa. 8. Mar. Canonid albL 

Prioratos. Wenelok. 8. Milborga. Monachi nigri de Cluniaco. 

Prioratos. Stone. 8.Michaelis. Monachi nigri. 

Prioratos. Dudelege. 8, • Monachi nigri, 

Prioratns. Bramieldi 8 Monachi nigri. 

Prioratos. Wyggcmor. Canonici albi. 

% Castella. Bruges. Salopesbery. Holgod. Corfham. Lndelaoo. Eiicsmere. 
Cans. Blaacmoster. ij*. 


includes the names of Hereford^ Kili)cck, Ewyas Harold 
and Ewyas Lacy^ Grosmont^ Scrcufritb, White Castle, 
Monmoutli, Goodrich Castle, Wilton, Clifford, Whitney, 
Huntintgon, Eardesley, Wigmore, Radnor, ' Keueuenleis,' 
Ledbury North, and St. Brieyels, and, in Shropshire, Bridge- 
north, Shrewsbury, Holgod, Corfham, Ludlow, EUesmere, 
Cause, and ' Blancmuster* or Oswestry. Of these castles, 
those of Hereford, Monmouth, Goodrich (Castrum Godrici), 
Wigmore, Radnor, Bridgenorth, and Shrewsbury, were 
originally Saxon fortresses, and formed the defence of 
the border previous to the Norman Conquest. Of some 
of the castles in the above list no traces now remain ; but 
the greater number, with others that are omitted in it, 
still adorn the country by their imposing and picturesque 

These numerous castles may be divided into three or 
four principal groups, of which the largest was formed by 
the line of fortresses running along the Welsh boundary 
of the south-western part of Herefordshire. Beginning 
with Monmouth, we have in continued succession. White 
Castle, Screnfrith, and Grosmont, within Monmouthshire, 
and in Herefordshire, Kilpeck, with the two Ewyases, 
Wilton, Clifford, Whitney, Eardisley, the chain being thus 
continued to Radnor. It will be observed that the castles 
on this line are nearly all Anglo-Norman; it formed the 
basis of the operations of the early Norman barons in the 
interior of Wales. Another line of castles skirted the 
Roman road from Hereford to Shrewsbury. These, after 
the entry of the Normans, became of less importance, and, 
with the exception of Wigmore, the importance of which 
arose iGrom its being the chief seat of the great and powerful 
family of the Mortimers are scarcely mentioned in history. 
Wigmore, with Richard's Castle, and perhaps Croft Castle, 
were originally Saxon buildings. To this group was added 
by the Normans the castle of Brampton Bryan, built by 
Bryan de Brampton in the twelfth century. Ludlow 
formed part of a line of castles which stretched from 


Richard's Castle along Corve Dale, and included the castles 
of Corfham and Holgate, Another group^ including 
Knighton, Clun, Bishop's Castle, &c. defended the Welsh 
border on the north-west. 

With the exception of Ludlow, the most interesting 
ruins of the castellated buildings of the Norman period 
belong to the first of these groups, and are scattered along 
the southern and western borders of Herefordshire. In 
general the remains of the castles which were built before 
the Conquest are very imimportant. GkKidrich castle is a 
fine and remarkable ruin; but the site of the castle of 
Hereford is covered with streets, and of Wigmore castle 
and tlichard's Castle the foundations and a few fragments 
of the walls are all that remains. Of tlie history of 
Caynham castle, which appears to have been deserted 
from a very remote period, we are entirely ignorant. It 
occupied the summit of a hill about two miles to the south- 
east of Ludlow, which appears on the right hand side 
of our view of the town and castle. 

The only part of Ludlow castle which dates from the 
time of Boger de Montgomery, and perhaps the only part 
which that great feudal baron completed, is the donjeon, 
or keep, built probably soon after the year 1090. This 
massive tower, which rises to the height of a hundred and 
ten feet, is a very fine example of the style which was 
introduced by bishop Gundulf, as it is seen at Rochester 
(built in 1088), and at Hedingham in Essex and Richmond 
in Yorkshire, both erected at very nearly the same date. 
The ke^p of Ludlow castle has from various circumstances 
sustained several alterations which are not visible in the 
others. The original entrance was on the first floor, at the 
east turret, and was probably approached by a flight of steps 
or an inclined plane, running down by the nde of the tower. 
The old entrance still exists, but its inconvenience being 
felt in the fifteenth century, the steps were taken away, 
and a new entrance worked in the mass of the wall, with a 
door-way of the time of Henry VII leading by a flight 


of Steps to the first floor, and opening into the chief room 
of the keep, at the foot of the newel staircase which runs 
up the northern turret and formed the communication 
between the different floors and the top of the tower. The 
dungeon or vault underneath this tower appears to have 
been approached by a passage which descended in the mass 
of the wall from the above-mentioned entrance ; but i;i lator 
times a door was made in the north eastern side, on a level 
with the ground. Most of the windows and door-ways of 
this tower are distinguished by their round Norman arches. 
It has been already shown that this tower is not the one 
which in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries went by the 
name of Pendover. 

When the castle was completed by Jooe de Dinan in the 
reign of Henry I, it appears to have covered the same 
ground as at present. The three wards of which it was 
oomiiosed were, first, the keep or last strong hold in case of 
extremity ; second, the castle properly so called, or the mass 
of buildings within the inner moat, round what is now 
popularly termed the inner court; third, the large court 
without, also surrounded by strong walls and towers, and 
by a moat towards the town, and intended for the reception 
of cattle and of the peasantry in case of hostile incursions. 
The two moats, or fosses, mentioned in the Romance of the 
Fits Warines, were the one which still remains, and another 
which occupied the place of the present walks on the side 
of the town. The opposite side of the castle being situated 
on the edge of the rock, did not require a moat, inasmuch 
as, from the character of the ground, it was not exposed to 
a regular approach. 'When the castle was besieged, the 
attack was made from the side now occupied by the town ; 
and the townsmen, who were not then numerous, and who 
had probably no wall to defend them, took refuge with all 
their property they could carry away in the outer ward of 
the castle. The two forts erected by the besiegers under 
king Stephen, doubtlessly occupied some part of the site of 
the present town ; and it was from the wall on this side that 


the grappling machine was thrown out by which the Scottish 
prince was to have been captured. It is a mere popular 
error which lays the scene of this event at the north front 
of the castle.* The first important step in a successful 
attacks was to gain possession of the outer court or ward. 
We have seen that Uiis was effected by Joce de Dinan and 
Fulke Fitz Warine^ who evidently made the assault on the 
side of the town, and burnt the gateway tower. On this 
occasion the walls and towers of the outer ward of Ludlow 
castle were partially destroyed. When the outer ward was 
taken, the garrison retired into the castle. 

The foregoing observations apply, of course, only to the 
period before the town of Ludlow had attained to any 
importance, and therefore before it had been regularly 
walled. The town, which had been reduced to ashes in the 
wars between Joce de Dinan and Walter de Lacy, was re- 
built after the castle had come into the possession of the 
latter baron, and appears to have increased very quickly. 
In 1199, as we have already stated, the church was found 
too small for the population. It was probably towards4his 
period that the walls of the town were built. 

The chapel of Ludlow castle was probably built by Jooe 
de Dinan, in the reign of Henry I. This seems to be dis- 
tinctly stated in the Romance of the Fitz Warines, and we 
are there informed that it was dedicated to St. Maiy Mag- 
dalen, and that the day of its dedication was ** the day of 
St. Cyriac (Aug. 8) and seventy days of pardon/'f All that 
now remains of Joce*s chapel is the nave, a circular building 
which may be classed with the four round churches at 
Northampton, Cambridge, Little Maplestead in Essex, and 
the Temple church in London. The chapel of Ludlow 

• It it pr«t«Bdcd iluU Um fvappUas npnt wu Uitowb out of the 
of Uie towtr marked 13 la oar plea. 

t Joce de Dyaan lera autia; e t'ea ale 4 «e ckapeh dedeai eon 
chMtel, que foit fet e dediA ea roaoor de ta If sfdaleyae, dovat le Joor de 
la dedicalioa eet le jenr eeyat Cyryac e Ux« jenn de pardona. Ronaace 
of Um Fill Warinee, p. 19. 


M either the eariiest, or (if the church of St. Sepulchre at 
Cambridge be rightly attributed to the reign of Henry I) one 
of the two earliest buildings of this description in England. 
It is entered from the west by a remarkably elegant Norman 
door-way, richly adorned with the ornaments peculiar to 
the ityle of the period at which it was built. 

On the opposite side is a large Norman arch, also very 
beautifully ornamented, which once formed the entrance 
into the choir, now entirely destroyed. It was formed by 
two parallel walls, running nearly on the dotted lines in our 
plan of the castle, and joining the circular building (o the 
eaatem wall of the castle. There can be no doubt that this 
dwir formed a part of the original building, from the 


character of the arcli, which led to it; and its position ib 
intimated in the Romance of the Fitz Warines by the 
mention of the '* wall running at the back of the chapel." 
The round building which now remains has three semi- 
circular-headed %vindows. A filleted ornament runs round 
the exterior of the wall. Within it is surrounded by an 
arcade, formed by small pillars with indented capitals, 
supporting round arches with alternate plain and zigzag 
mouldings. About three feet above this arcade is a line 
of projecting corbels, carved as heads, &c., which appear to 
have supported a gallery. A covered way formerly led 
from the state apartments on the north to a door-way in 
the wall of the chai>el %vhich afforded an entry into this 
gallery. This was standing in 1768, and the place where 
it joined the building containing the state apartments is 
still distinctly visible. This chapel, even in its present 
state, is a noble monument of the taste of Joce de Dinan. 
In the time of queen Elizabeth, when it was entire, but 
when the style in which it %vas built was very imperfectly 
appreciated, it called forth the admiration of die poet 
Churchyarde, who describes it as — 

So bravely wrought, so fayre and finely fram'd, 
That to world's end the beautie may endure.** 

At that period the interior of the chapel was deformed, 
rather than ornamented, by being covered with pannels 
exhibiting the '' armes in colours sitch as few can shewe,** 
which Churchyarde admired ; they began with Walter de 
I^Acy, who was in possession of the castle at the end of the 
twelfth century. 

We ought perhaps not to pass over in silence the attempt 
which has been made by the late historian of Shrewsbury, 
to deprive Roger de Montgomery of the honour of having 
been the founder of Ludlow castle.* Mr. Blakeway en- 

* Mr BUkewfty's bypothetU wm firtt published in the ftccooBt of 
Ludlow cMtle ia Britten's Architectnrml AntiqniliM, mnd lias bsea rsc«nlly 


deavours with some ingenuity to show that Ludlow was 
originally a possession of the Lacy family, and that it 
continued so until the death of Walter de Lacy in the 
reign of Henry III. The arguments brought forward in 
support of this hypothesis will, however, not bear the test 
of criticism. He has totally misunderstood the character of 
the Romance of the Fitz Warines, which he describes as 
'' entirely fabulous" and " of not the slightest authority.'* 
This story, as has been before observed, was ^vritten during 
the life of Walter de Lacy, the only one of his family who 
is known in history as having possessed Ludlow, and it 
represents the traditionary history of the castle as it then 
existed in the family which had previously held it. It is 
not credible that that family can have been so ignorant as 
not to know whether it was an inheritance of the Lacics or 
not. Although, without doubt, mixed up with exaggera- 
tions and legends, the nunstrePs narrative is very straight- 
forward and consistent; and the accuracy with which the 
writer speaks of persons and places,* shows that he was 
by no means ignorant of what he was doing. The contrary 
hypothesis presents many very grave difficulties. 

The most ancient monastic establishments on the Welsh 
border were those of Leominster and Wenlock, which date 
from the seventh century, and which were both houses 

given in a more enlarfed form in the raluable collection of docnmeuts 
relating to Ludlow published by the Hon. R. H. Glive, since the foregoing 
sheets were printed. 

* K minute examination of the records would probubly identify all the 
persons mentioned in the history in question. Audulf de Bracy, the hero 
of th^ story related at pp. 75, 76 (of the present volume), is mentioned in 
the Abreviat. Placit p. 59, as being engaged in a dispute with Roger de 
Mortimer on the subject of some lands, in the ninth and tenth of John. 
The name ' Mudle' (p. 74, of the present volume) occurs in the chartulary 
of Haghmon, MS. Harl. No. 446, ful. 21 ; it is the same as the modern 
Middle. All these coincidences tend to show that the writer of the 
Romance of the Fits Wariues had either authentic Jocumeuts before him, 
or that he liTed near the time of the events which he relates, and was 
weU acquainted with the families of the persons who had taken a part in 


of nuu8. That of Leominster was founded about the year 
660. St. Ethelred, king of Mercia^ is said to have been 
buried in this priory.* At a later period, Leofric, earl of 
Mercia, was a great benefactor to it, as well as to Wenlock. 
During the Danish invasions the nuns were compelled to 
seek safety by flight, and their habitation was reduced to 
ruins, in which state it remained many years. At the time 
of the compilation of Domesday book we again find the 
nuns in possession of the monastery, for they and their 
abbess are frequently mentioned in that important record. 
In what manner the society of nuns was broken up and 
dispersed we are not informed, but in the time of Henry I. 
it had fallen into the possession of laymen.f That monarch 
gave it in 1125 to his new foundation at Reading, monks 
were placed in it, and it remained dependant on that house 
until the time of the dissolution. A register of this priory 
is preserved in the British Museum.^ The church, in its 
present state, built probably soon after the priory was given 
to the abbey of Reading, is a fine specimen of the English 
style of architecture, in its most profusely ornamented form, 
but contains some early Norman work in the north aisle. 

The nunnery of Wenlock, of which the remains form a 
very interesting monument of early English architecture, is 
said to have been founded about the year 680, by St. 
Milbuiga.|| This establishment was twice destroyed by 
the Danes. It was raised from the ruins, and entirely 

* Et Adelredni la loco qiii didtur at*Leomeiist«r, prop« anmem Lneg*. 
List of SainU buried in BngUnd, giTen in LeUnd, CoUecUn. ilL 81. !%• 
sane lUtement it made in the Anglo-Saxon Ust of Saintly piiated by 
Hickea, from a MS. at Cambridge. 

t Qnam abbatiam manni laica din poeeedit, are the words of klag 
Heary's charter to the abbey of Reading. 

{ MS. Cotton. Domit. A. III., a Tolnme of great Talne to the historiaa 
of Herefordshire. 

I The Aagio-Saicoa liet of 8aint% quoted aboTe» oalls her Winbaiga- 
tkmne rested See. Wiabnrii on Nm myaitfe Wenlocan aeah Hf sa H 
aoB Scfem hateS. 


rebuilt in 1080, by Roger de Montgomery, who placed in it 
a congregation of monks from Seez in Normandy. William 
of Malmesbury describes the exultation not only of the 
monks, but of the whole neighbourhood, when, soon after 
their arrival, an accident brought to light the tomb of 
St. Milburga, the position of which, amid the mass of ruins 
by which the place was encumbered, had been entirely 

The abbey of St. Peter's at Gloucester also laid claim 
to great antiquity, having been founded, as was said, by 
king Osric, in 681. A part of the body of the sainted king 
Oswald, slain in the battle of Maserfeld near Oswestry, 
is said to have been buried here.t The magnificent church 
of the abbey is now the cathedral. 

The monks of St Ethelbert in Hereford possessed in 
their cathedral the body of their saint. The priory of 
St. Guthlac, in that city, also appears to have existed 
before the Norman conquest. It afterwards became a cell 
to the abbey of St. Peter's at Gloucester. 

We find in Domesday book that these different religious 
houses held considerable landed estates in the counties of 
Hereford and Salop. After that period their riches con- 
tinued to increase; and before the end of the twelfth 
century numerous other monastic establishments had been 

Three years after having rebuilt Wenlock, in 1088 Roger 
de Montgomery founded the monastery of St. Peter and 
St Paul at Shrewsbury, which also he filled with monks 
of Seez. The church of this monastery still remains, a 
valuable example of the earlier Norman style. 

* WU. Malmib. D« Oettu Pontificum, p. 287. 

t IKmne la sea. Otwaldes heafod eyninget mid tee. CaM>eitat lieha- 
msn, and Ids swi^e eann it on Bebbanbyrig, and te o9er d»l la on Glewe- 
eoastre on niwan mjrnttre. (Anglo-Saxon Liat of Sainta)— Then the head 
of St Oswald the king ia wiUi the body of St. Cnthbert (at Durham), 
and hie right arm ia at Bamborooght and the other part ia at Gtonceeter, 
in the new minster. 


In the year 1100, William Fitz Alan of Clun founded 
the abbey of Haghmon, of which the ruins are still con- 
siderable. Among them is a remarkably fine Norman 

In the same year, Harold, lord of that Ewyas which 
from him has since continued to bear the name of Ewyas 
Haroldi, founded the priory of Ewyas, and gave it as a cell 
to the abbey of St. Peter's at Gloucester. 

In 1105, was founded the priory of Bromfield, near 
Ludlow, as a place of secular canons. In 1155, the prior 
and canons, wishing to become monks, placed themselves 
under the government of the abbey of St. Peter's of Glou- 
cester, and from that time Bromfield was considered as only 
a cell to that great monastic foundation.* The remains of 
the priory consist of a gateway of late date and some insig- 
nificant ruins adjoining to the church. 

About the same time, in the reign of Henry I, a cell of 
Cluniac monks, subordinate to the priory of Lewes in 
Sussex, was founded at Clifibrd in Herefordshire, by Simon 
the son of Richard Fitz Ponce, lord of Clifford castle. This 
Simon was the uncle of '' fair Rosamond" the celebrated 
mistress of Henry II. 

In 1134, was founded the small priory of Kilpeck, in 
Herefordshire, which was given in the same year by Hugh 
son of William Fitz Normand, the lord of Kilpeck castle, 
to the abbey of St. Peter's at Gloucester. The little church 
of Kilpeck, preserved in nearly its original condition, is 
one of the most remarkable buildings of the twelfth century 
that can now be shown. It exhibits a mixture of sim- 
plicity in arrangement and extremely elaborate ornaments 
in detail. 

In the year following, 11S5, Roger, bishop of Chester, 
the foundation of the great abbey of Buildwas, between 

* Abbo Domini m. c. !▼. canontct de Dromfeld d«denut •cclotiam 
•t teiptot «d moDftchatam eccelctia Suicti Petri GloncMtriv. Chron. 
or01oiiec«t«r» MS. C<Mtoii. Domit. VIII. fol. ISO, t. 


Shrewsbury and Wenlock. Its ruins are extensive and 
very picturesque. 

In 1136 was founded the abbey of Lantony, in the deep 
Tale of Ewyas. Giraldus speaks with admiration of its 
situation. It was probably rebuilt or much enlarged early 
in the thirteenth century; for the ruins of this ancient 
abbey exhibit the transition style of that period ; a mixture 
of round and pointed arches. 

Dore abbey was founded by Robert de Ewyas, in the 
reign of Stephen. In the same reign, a. d. 1145, was 
founded the abbey of Lilleshall, near Donnington in Shrop- 
shire. It was endowed with the estates of a college of 
St. Alkmond, said to have been founded by Ethelfleda the 
lady of the Mercians. The remains of the abbey church 
exhibit some fine specimens of Norman workmanship. 

The most considerable monastic foundation in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of Ludlow was the abbey of Wigmore. 
A small college had been founded at this place in the 
year 1100 by Ralph de Mortimer, but of its subsequent 
history we know little or notliing. Some years later (about, 
or soon after, a. d. 1141*) a small religious house was 
founded at Shobdon by a knight named Oliver de Merli- 
mond, who placed in it two or three monks whom he had 
invited over from the famous abbey of St. Victor at Paris, 
but it does not appear to have been dependant upon the 

* The reMons for fixing this date are these. We learn from the 
History of IJ^gniore given at the end of the present Section, that the 
chnrch was dedicated by Robert Beton, bishop of Hereford; that the 
builder, nhen he turned his foundation into a priory, applied to Gilduin, 
abbot of St. y ictor^ then very old, for monks of his house to place in it ; 
about which latter period arose a great quarrel between bishop Beton and 
Mtlo, earl of Hereford* Gilduin, the successor of the famous Guillaume 
de Champeaus, died abbot of St Victor at a Tery advanced age in 1155 ; 
Robert de Reton presided over the see of Hereford from il3i to 1148; 
and Blilo enjoyed the earldom of Hereford from 1141 to 1154, and his 
qaairel with the bishop preceded the close of the ciril wars, as we learn 
from his life. The beginning of Mile's earldom consequently appears to 
be the most probable date of the construction of the church of Shobdon. 
and iiiitt best the other circumstances of the story. 


foreign monastery. Amid the troubles on the border, the 
monks were driven from their resting place, and after many 
vicissitudes, were allowed to settle at Wigmore, under the 
patronage of Hugh de Mortimer. That powerful baron 
founded the abbey of Wigmore, according to the generally 
received account, in 1179.* Little now remains of the 
ancient abbey .f 

In the reign of Richard I, a nunnery was founded not 
far from Wigmore, at a place called Lymbroke or linge- 
broke. Leland describes it as " a place of nunnes withyn 
ii. myles of Wygmore." By some the founder is said to 
have been one Robert de Lingam : others make it a foun- 
dation of the Mortimers. A member of this latter family 
also founded a small religious house at ' Feverlege/ but it 
was afterwards suppressed, and its endowments given to 
the houses of Wigmore and L}'mbroke. 

Another nunnery was founded, in the reign of king 
John, at Acombury, three miles from Hereford, by Mar- 

• AeeordiBg to the old chronicle of Woicetter, in If S. Cotton Cftlif. 
A. X. which hat boon printed by Wharton in hit Anglia Sacra, tho 
foondation of Wigmore took place in 1173. The founder died In 11R5, 
aoeording to the same authority, 

t Dug dale hat printod from a MS. then in the poeeeeeion of lord BniM» 
two aoooonta of the foundation and history of Wigmore abbey, one in 
Anglo-Norman, eompoeed apparently early in the thirteenth eentnry, the 
other in Latin, much more brieC but brought down to the time of Edward 
IV. I do not know what has become of the original manuscript ; but as 
the interesting Anglo-Kormaa tract is printed with great inaccuracy In 
Dugdale, I shall give a more correct test with a translation in an appendix 
to the present Section. The chartulary of Wigmore is preserred in the 
arehiToe of the earl of Oxford. There are manuscripts of a chronicle of 
Wigmore ; the best copy belonged to Mr. Heber, and is now in the pee- 
eeasion of Sir Thomas Phillippe. Bart al Middle HUU Worcestershire. I 
have been desirous of ascertaining if there were any documenu in Prance 
which might throw some light on the eariy connection between Shobdon 
and the abbey of St Victor ; but the only chartulary of St Victor which I 
eould find in Paris is preeerred in the ArchiToe du Royanme in the H6tel 
Soubise, and the charters which it contains are neariy all of a later datig 
and relate only to the abbey's poesewions in Prance. 


garet the wife of Wcaltcr dc Lacy. In the same reign was 
founclcd the priory of Chirbury in Shropshire. 

One or two otiier monastic houses are mentioned in the 
early list given in a note on a preceding page/ some of 
which arc erroneously placed in Shropshire and Hereford- 
shire. In the remains of these buildings, we may in 
general consider the parts which exhibit the Norman style 
as being coeval with the date of the foundation of the 
monastery, particularly in those of smaller importance ; 
for the mode of building then in use seldom required con- 
siderable repairs mthin a century after it was completed, 
unless it wei-e destroyed by some outward accident. Tlie 
number of accidents, however, to which the larger religious 
buildings were subject, during the twelfth century, is quite 
extraordinary. We leai-n from the old chronicle of Wor- 
cester in the Cottonian manuscript, that the cathedral 
of that city was destroyed or seriously damaged at least 
three, if not four, times between II IS and ISOS, inde- 
pendent of the injuries it must have sustained in the time 
of Stephen.t In the thirteenth century the religious orders 
multiplied rapidly, and the number of monks was much 
increased; in consequence of which most of the monastic 
houses were enlarged, and many were taken down and 

The insignificance of the town of Ludlow during the 
twelfth century is evident from the circumstance that it 
appears to have possessed no religious house before the 

* See page 81. 

t The following entries occur in this chronicle. — 

A.D. 1113. Ciyitas Wygornia cum principali monaaterio et castello 
igne cremata est, xiij. kal. Jun. One monk and twenty men were burnt 
on this occasion. 

A. D. 1175. Turris nova Wigom. corruit (this was, of course, the 
steeple of the cathedral). 

▲. D. 1189. Tota fere Wigornia igno combusta est. 

A. D. 1202. Ecclcsia catlicdralis Wyg. cum omnibus a^acentibua ci 
oiBcinis et magna parte ciyitatis, .xt. kal Mai. igne conflagrtTit alicno 
quarta nocto Pasch. 



reigii of king Joliii. It was ]>robably at the close of that 
reign, or certainly VC17 early in that of Henry III. that 
Peter Undcrgod founded the hospital of St. Jolm the 
Uaptist near the bridge which led over the Temc to Ludfoni, 
and furnished it with friars of the order of St. Augustine. 
Tlie site on which the house was built he bought of Walter 
Fitz Nicholas. Besides other revenues, he endowed it witli 
the fulling-mill which appears to have stood near it, and 
which he had bought of Gilbert de Lacy, and with all his 
lands in Ludford (et totam terram meam quam cmi, habui, 
et tenui in villa et campis de Ludford). Tlie witnesses to 
Peter Undergod's charter were Walter de Lacy, Sir John 
de Monmouth, Pain (Paganus) de Ludford, Pain ' Carbnell,* 
Philip Colcvile, and Edmund de Ludlow. Walter de Lacy's 
confirmation of the foundation of Peter Undcrgod is wit- 
nessed by John de Monmouth, Walter Omiguen, Walter 
Coudcocke, Richard de Ghnvesende, William Fitz Osbert, 
Henry de Hibemia, Pain de Ludford, and Master Herbert, 
clerc. The charters of Peter Undergod and Walter de 
Lacy have no date, but the royal confirmation is dated 
the 18th day of July, 5 Hen. HL (1««1).» 

We learn from these charters that in the reign of king 
John there was a bridge at Ludford. It had probably 
been built at the latter end of the twelfth century, and it 
seems to have been known by the name of Teme bridge 
(pontem do Temede). 

Besides the remains of monastic edifices in the Marches 
of Wales, there are numerous little churches of the twelfth 
century, some of which remain in a perfect state, and 
which are singularly interesting to the antiquary. The 
church of Kilpeck, on the southern border of Herefordshire, 
and the remains of that of Shobdon, not far from Leo- 
minster, are two of the most remarkable monuments of the 

• Copiw of the ehitftert of 81. John** hotpiul at Ladlow (made appa- 
rently about the tame of Jamca I) are protenred in the Britiah Mnseunii 
US. Harl. No. 6690, fol. 89, Ac The chartcra of Peter Undcrgod, Walter 
de Lacy, and Henry III, are printed very imperfectly in Dvcdale* 


kind in £i)g:land. In the cailier hair of the twelfth century, 
Shubdoii had only :i cliai>cl, dei^ndeiit on the church of 
Aymcstry, and built of wood, a material employed in the 
roiutruction of many churches mentioned in I)omcsday-book. 
The original church of Aymestry must have been of consi- 
derable antiquity." Among the numerous churches which 
exliibit s)>ccimcns of Norman architecture, with the distin- 
sniishing semi-circuLir hcndwl dooi-s and windows, we may 
mention in the more immediate neighbourhood of Ludluiv, 
those of Little Hereford, Burfurd, Puddlestone, the Ileadi 
chapel, the church of Eye. and the htile church of Avron. 

Tlic Heath chaitel is a remarkably curious spccinieu o( 
Anglo-Norman architecture ia its simplest form. It stands 

• Connet of regular block* of lr»Teriinc otciit in Ihc foignts nnd ollior 
part*, eipccialljr in Ibc chancel end, of (he prracnt fabric and are pviilmily 
the worked up rotlerialt of ■ more ancienl church, wlijrh wu pr<>l>.il>]) 
luilt of that material. Moccaa church, coutiiiiing a NMnnnli niili. niul 
curiout tympanum, i* built on a simitar ground plan to that of Kiliicik. 
with B circular cud, and ii alloecthcr coinpo^cd "t thai malerial wlii'h 
mav l>c iccu formiiif; in Ihc gruuuili atlj-niiiii): 



in a very retired district at the foot of the Brown Clee Hill, 
a little more than two miles to the north of the village 
of Stoke St. Milborough, and is seldom visited by travellcFB. 
it is a plain rectangular building, consisting of a nave 
and a small chancel. The south door has a semi-circular 
arch, ornamented with a rather bold zig-zag moulding, 
with an unadorned tympanum. The windows, particularly 
at the west end, arc mere loop-holes. Even the cai^t 
ivindow exhibits the same characteristics, being enlai^cd 
internally to a moderate sized round headed uvb. Our 
engraving represeiits a view of this chapel from the west. 

The interior is represented in our second view, and ia as 
devoid of ornament as the exterior. The nave is separated 
from the chancel by a plain but not inelegant round arch. 
The font is also curious, and ia without doubt a work of 
the twelfth century. It is placed in our wood cut on a 
different spot to that which it really occupies in the church, 
in order that it might be brought into the picture. It was 
probably such a church as this which in the Iwclftli century 


liUiud besiik- tlio f'mieniry iiiniiiiil nii i\uj smuiiiit ut' tlic Uill 
nt Ludlow, niMl which in 111)!) was fimnd Xo be too siimll 
for the incrciising populnttoii of the town. 

Thv little church at Aston, three miles from Ludlow 
on the road to AVi^ore, which also stands in the im- 
mediate vicintty of two tumuli or lows, exhibits the same 
simplicity of design ; but the nrcli and tympanum, repre- 
sented in the cut on the present page, are more ornamented. 
The latter represents the lamb with the cross, in a circular 
compartment in the middle, supported by a grifHn and a 
cow, both winged. Of the four Bgures on the border of 
the tympanum, the two to the left were evidently intended 
to represent a cow and a horse, but the others are at present 
not 80 easily defined. 

Early fonts are preserved in the churches of Lydbury, 
the Heath chapel, Leint>vardine, Orleton, Hereford cathe- 
dral, Tedstonc, Delamere, Eardisley, and Castle Frome. 
Tlicy arc all interesting, and several of tliom are adorned 
with remarkable and beaiitiftd sculpture. 


History of tfie Foundation of Wigmore Abbey, 

IN the time of king Stephen, son of the count of Ulois, 
who reigned in England by force after king Henry the son 
of William the Bastard, there was a very noble bachelor in 
England, worthy, valiant, and bold, Monfticur Hu<^h do 
Mortimer by name, noble by nature and by blood, of fair 
stature, courageous in arms, very reasonable in speech, 
profound in council, and very rich in landed possessions^ 
and the most glorious knight, renowned and feared before 
all who were then living in England. Of whom if we 
should commit to writing all the worthy actions which ho 
ix^rformcd chivalrously in England, in Wales, and else- 
where, they would amount to a great volume. Moreover, 
he was the most open-hearted and liberal in giving of all 
who were known anywhere in his time. The noble earl 
of Herefonl, Roger, rich and valiant, with a great body 
of retainers, but proud and haughty, frequently made so 
much ado that he was obliged to remain fortified in his 
castles for fear of him. In like manner king Henry, 

f^mdatienis ^futdem Bistoria. 

EN !• tempt del roy Esterene, fits al countc do Bloyi, qui regna en- 
Angleterre par force api^t le roy Henry fiU A William Bastardt eatoii 
na tresnoble bachiler en Bngleteiro, preus, Tailant, et hardy, moimaieur 
Hugh de Mortimer h nomc, noble do nature [c] de sane, de bealo et taUire, 
▼aillaat en armee, renoble en parlor, parfond do consail, ei trctrichc do 
terieu (SKoltes* et lo pint glorioaa cheraler, renomo et dote devant totes 
que adonqne lareat en Bngleterre Tirants. De qny si nais aeistans (f) 
en eaerit touts lee pruettii leequeU U fist chevalerousement en Engletcrre, 
en Owalee et par allora, si amonterent-U d un graunt Tolume. Et outre 
^eo, !ut-U le plu franc et liberal de diTert dons de tuts ceux qui out 
conuseeyent en ton tcmpe nule part Le noble conte do IlcrcrorX 
Roger, riche et Taitlant, et de graunt rctenancc dct gents, et fccrt, el 
orgoilottt, tant fort demena toTcnt que & force ly coTicnt en refut dcmorcr 
en tet chattcU dcmoyne pur doutc de ly. Entcmcnt lo roy Henry, 


who came after king Stephen , laboiured often with his 
whole army, as is fully ^vritten below. 

Hoir the very noble lord Monsieur Hugh de Mortimer 
made Oliver de Merlimond his chief steward, and gave 
him the town of Shobdon to serve him loyally, and how 
the church of Bhobdon was made. 

This very noble and honourable lord, wishing to give 
himself up freely to his pleasures and amusements, without 
charging himself with or intermeddling in other things, 
chose a prudent man, ^vise and experienced, who was 
named Oliver de Merlimond, and made him chief steward 
of all his land and manager of all his property. This 
Oliver possessed the land of Ledecote by descent of heritage, 
and his lord Monsieur Hugh de Mortimer gave him in 
addition all the town of Shobdon, to serve him more 
loyally and more laboriously. And to Eode, son of the 
said Oliver, he gave the parsonage of the church of Ayme- 
stry. At that time there was in Shobdon no church, but 
only a chapel of St. Juliana, and that was of wood, and 
subjected to the church of Aymestry; whereupon Oliver 
was very thoughtful on the building of a new church in 
Shobdon, and in honour of what saint he would have it 
dedicated when it was finished. At last he selected St. John 

protchen apr^s Is ro^ Etterene, sovent — od toat son host trsTailla 
corns ssi plsinemsnt dssons sscrit. 

Com mf U trmMobie 99jfgnour moumiewr Hugh tie MorUmerJS$t OUver de 
MefUmond mm ehi^ eeneeehai^ et ly dona la vile de SehMedon pur ly 
leaiemetU eertir, ei eometU Vegliee de Sehobbedon fist fete. 

Ce[8]ti tresnoble seygnur et honorable, Teillans entendre frtnchement Ik 
les delitez et Ik ses deduts, santz soy carker ou entremettre d'autres chosez, 
olnst nn sage home, coynte et averty, que out nom Olyrer de Merlymond, et 
ly fist chef seneschal de tote sa terre et mestrc do tote sa possession. Ccsti 
Olyrer aveit la terre de Ledecote par descente de heritage, et son seignur 
Monnsienr Hugh de Blortimer ly dona 2k 9 eo tote la Tille do Shobbedon, pur 
ly pins lealment serrir et plus peniblement. Et 4 Eode fitz k dit Olyrer dona- 
U la personage de I'eglise de Aylmondestreo. Adonke n'esteit en Schobbedon 
nulo eglise, m^s tant soulement une chapel de sainctc Juliane, ct celc fut do 
fust et sogett^ hi I'egUso de Aylmondestreo ; doimt Olyyor esteit mout pensifs 
de fere lever une noTelc cglise en Schobbedon, et en honour de quel seinct 
t'oleyt que ele fat dedy^ quant elc fut parfoto. Aiiderrein si elust-il sainct Johait 


the Evangelist, whom Jesus Christ chose before all the 
other disciples, to be patron of the church. 

After that, he sent for Eoile his son, parson of Aymestry, 
and they took counsel together how his church of Shobdon 
might be relieved from its subjection to the church of 
Aymestry, by an annual payment of two shillings. When 
this matter was settled, the said Oliver began the building 
of the church of Shobdon. In the mean time this same 
Oliver was seized with devotion and desire to perform the 
voyage to St. James (of Compostello) in pilgrimage, and he 
entrusted to a knight named Bernard the whole care of the 
work, with the necessary funds; and he undertook the 
pilgrimage in the name of God, and came to St. James safe 
and sound. When he had performed his duties there, 
he returned, always thoughtful of the work at Shobdon : 
and when he approached the city of Paris, a canon of the 
abbey of St. Victor overtook him, and very devoutly prayed 
him to take up his lodgings in the abbey, and he with 
great difficulty agreed to it, and entered into the abbey 
with him, and was handsomely and courteously received 
with great honour. 

While he was therein, he examined and carefully consi- 
dered all things which he saw in the hostelry, in the 
cloisters, and in the choir, and particularly the service which 

rEvtn^cli4, loqud Jcsu Crist dust dcvant (utz les autres disciplcj, pur caire 
pnUon de Teglue. 

Apr^s feo fiiA-il apeler Eode ion fiti, per tone de Aylmondestreo et entrc- 
con«elerenl comcnt tt egliie de Schob)>cdon puit cilre hon de subjeclion de 
realise de Aylmondestreo, par unc cmpcn^un annuele rciidaunt de .ii. a. Quant 
ce[s]te chose Cut afBmii*, »c etitremist Ic dit Oliver dc ToveravDC dc Tegliv dc 
Scbobbedon. De cntrc ^eo ft*aveil roeynics ccly Olyver devociun et talent de 
prendre le vja^e d SciotU Jake en pclerina^e, ct baila u un chevalcr Bernard 
tote la cure de Toverayne, od esfienseA nccessaires ; et empris tlepelc rinagc el 
non DeUf d vynt Ik Seinct Jakes seyn et heyte. Quant tl out fet iieokes ^eo qe 
fere dust, w retoma, tot dis penMf de Toverayne de Scliobbednn ; et quant it 
aproachea Ik la ehk de Paris un chanoine de I'abbeye dc Seinct \'iclor ly 
atteint, ct nolt devoutenent le pria dc sun hostel prendre en Pablicyc, et il k 
frant peyne ly otrea» et nd ly en I'abbey entra, et fut bel ct cortciscment 
re^eu A f^raunt honour. 

Tarii cooie il fuileinr, Mrepanla*il ct entcntivcnicnt aviu totes chosen q'il 
vi*t en Toaerie, en IVncIoystre, en le qncor, rt nomcmcnt Ic service qe 


was iierformecl around tlie altar ; and his heart was much 
moved at the decency which lie saw among them in all 
places. Then he took leave of the abbot and the other 
brothers there^ and returned to his own country. And 
when his church was entirely finished, he very humbly 
requested Sir Robert de Beton, bishop of Hereford, of 
whose gift we have the church of Lydbury-north, that 
he would condescend to dedicate his chiurch of Shobdon ; 
and he granted the request, and fixed the day of the dedi- 
cation. At the day assigned came the bishop, and all 
the great lords of the country, knights, clergy, and others, 
without number, to be present at the solemnity, and before 
them all was read the composition made between Oliver 
and Eodc his son, and it was confirmed by the bishop, and 
witnessed by all the people. And when the church had 
been dedicated, the feast was very ceremoniously laid out 
for the bishop, and for the others who were invited, and for 
those who might come of their own accord. 

Immediately afterwards OUver heard that the parson of 
the church of Burley, who was named Wolward, was de- 
prived for his ill-conduct, and he prayed the bishop Robert 
that he would grant him the patronage of that church; and 
the latter granted his request because nobody could deny 
what he desired, inasmuch as he was second after Sir Hugh 

ODt fis( eotoor Tauter ; et inut \y v\ nt al queor de devocion la honest^ q*il vist 
pareiitre eus en tutz lieus. Doiit il prist coiige de i*ahbe et des aulres freres 
deleyns, si letiirna il sun proprc pais. £t quant sa cjjlise fut tote parfete, si 
requi^-il mut humblement Sire Robert de Betun, eve>ke de Hereford, dc quy 
done nus avouns Ic e^ dc Lyde bury -north, qu'il dei^nast sa eglise de 
Schobbedon dedyer ; et il ly f^raunta, et jour dc la dedicaciun ly assigna. A 
eel jour a-isignc vynt reveH]UC^ et totes les »rants sci^nieurs du pais, chivaiers, 
cler.i el autre?, sans nombre, pur esire u la soilempnete ; devant queux loutz fut 
Icwe la coinposicion fete parentre Oliver et Eode sun fitz, et de Tevcske fut 
coiifirme, et de tote la people tesmony^. Et quant I'eglise fut dedy6, si fnst la 
mangcrie mut soileinpnemenl apparile pur Pevcske, et pur autres apelez, et pur 
ceus que vindrent de {;re. 

Tost aprcs si oyt Oliver que la |)er!>oiic lie ro*,']i<^c de Bu\rlcy qu*out 
iioin Wolward, par m?s deserts fut dejuvr, >i pria re\e>ke Robert que il ly 
vousit ;:riint[er] la doiio\:>oii de ce) o^rlin^ ; il ly ;:r.-iiita pur ^eo que nul 
n'osa nyer & la cho«e (pi'il desiraj c \r il oloit Ic M'rond apr^^s Sire Hugh 



(Ic Moi'tiiiier. And when Oliver had the church of Shobdoa 
and that of Hurley, and his land at I^cdccotc and Lantony, 
in his handy he dcteniiincd to give them to people of 
religion, and he remembered the decency that he had seen 
formerly among the canons of St. Victor at Paris, and sent 
a letter by one in whom he trusted, named Roger White, 
to the honourable and Jiged abbot of St. Victor, whose name 
was Gilduin, begging that he would send him two or three 
of his canons, for whom when thev came he would find all 
that should be needful for them, and in abundance. 

To which message and letter the abbot gave no credit 
because it was sealed by Oliver's own authority, and not 
bv an authentic seal : and thus for that time the mcs- 
senger returned without having cfTected the purpose of his 
mission. And when Oliver leanit from his messenger the 
result, he went to the aforesaid bishop of Hereford, and 
shewed him all his intention fuUv : of which intention and 
dovotinn the bishop was very glad, and caused a letter to 
be made and sealed >vith his seal and that of Oliver con- 
jointly, and sent them by Roger Knoth, one of his secretaries, 
to tlie same abbot of St. Victor, urging the same request 
Mhich liad been made before. Whereupon the abbot 
by the advice of all liis chapter selected two, namely 

Je M«»[i]icinfr. Rt f|ii.ini Oliver avcit IVglin* clc Schobbedon cl dc Buyrler, 
H "a lorre dc LcdecMe ci dc Laiitonc, cii sa niayn, si out en purpoj de 
U*< duncr u sjeiils do religion, el se remembra de ThonoMelo qii*il viM auire 
iVez enire )c< ili.inoynes dc Sei net Victor dcPHr\s, el manda par Jk'z Icflres 
par ini de (|'jy il atfia, qii*out a nom Ro<;er le Blanc, al honoral>le abb^ 
et veN, f|iii out nom (iilwyn, dc Seinct Victor, emphaunt qii'il vou«it maunder 
a ly .il. on lii. de <ez chanoine^, a* qucles qnant eu« veiii^«ent il lor irovereil 
|o| veo que mejlrc lor -eniit, et fox son. 

Aqitt'I ine«-aj:e t>c a«! leUre< ne donna Tabbc foy, pur ^eo que par >a 
aii'li»rile deine\ nc fircnt en«eelcs el non pa» par srel autcntik ; et isji 
retorna Ic iiict^ajre ado»ikc dcsc^^pleit^, D qnant Olwcr avojt enteado 
par »on me»*a:re L'eu fut frt, <i aU • !*a\'antdit e\e^Ue de Hereford, et 
moMra 4 l\ tut ?on pirpf-s ple!r.( inent ; «lo qnele piirpo* el dcvoriun m 
fii*t l*e\e«ke nmt rei"*;, el fi*-! fere •<*< le!:re«» enM'cle< de ^un «el cl dfl ^cl 
Olwer joynlentent, rt le% m.iii<U par R«;:iT Knoili, iin *\v .*cz pivo*. a 
mr)inez I'abbe de .^eincl Victor, etnpriant l.i re<|Me>t [lajqnel il a\o\t avaiint 
prit". Dont Tahbe par C"n*eil de tot lonr cln(»o!re cln<i .ii , c*ct-ii-$aroir 


Roger and Arnold, of whom Roger was afterwards made 
abbot of 'Owens6' and Arnold abbot of St. Victor. The 
abbot sent these two to Oliver, to whom he gave all that he 
had promised beforehand for their sustenance, namely the 
church of Burley and the church of Shobdon, where he 
gave them an habitation in a very decent house near the 
church. He gave them in like manner his land of Lede- 
cote, mth the granges full of wheat, and oxen, sheep, and 
pigs in great plenty, with two carucs of land. 

At this time arose a dispute between Robert bishop of 
Hereford and Milo earl of Hereford, insomuch that the 
bishop excommunicated the aforesaid earl, then present, 
with all the city of Hereford, and caused the doors of the 
church to be stopped up with thoiiis, and the crosses to be 
beaten down to the ground, and came to Shobdon at the 
request of Oliver, and lived among the canons at his own 
expense, until the earl was reconciled to him and his party 
and all the aforesaid city. Then after^vards the canon^s 
were very sorrowful for the departure of the bishop from 
their society, and also ver}' sad because they were so far 
distant from their abl>cy, and they sent to the abbot 
Gilduin of St. ^'ictor, bo<;<;ing thcit he would send others in 

Roger ei Eniys, dMqneui Roger fui fet aprit abb« dc Owcnse ci Emys 
mbM de Seinct Victor. Ccut .it. si manda Tabbe u Olyrcr, aqocU il batla 
toiet lea cboaes qu*il '• avcit promis cndemcntres pui lor sustinauncc, c'ct- 
A-earoir Teglisc dcs Buyrlr [et] Tcglise de Sckobbcdon oii il les list habttcr 
en on meson asscz koneslc prcs de rcglisc. II lor dona cuscment s»a (circ 
de Ledecotc, orc^kc Ics granges plcines de blocs, cl bcaHi, bcrbiz, ct pores 
tt grant plcnt^' orcske .ii. carucz de tcrre. 

En yccl temps .sourdy uu cuutck parcntre Hubert c%oskc Uc Hereford 
ei Myles contc dc Hereford, en t:ini que Tcvcskc e\kumc(;a Tavautdit 
conic adonc present, uwskc tote la cite de Hereford, ct list estoper Ics 
boys dc Tcglise dcs cspynes. et les croiz abatre tot u la tcrre ct vynt a 
Schobbedon par la request dc Oliver, ct vcsquit entrc les chanoincs a ce» 
costagcs demeync, jcske atant que le contc fut aeorde ;i ly ct as sons, el 
iuie la citi- arantdite. Puys aprc5 isteyeiit Ic:* elianoiiics niut dolenis 
pur [lei departure de I'eveske de lt>r ruuipaiiic, ct rnsonieni Irop iiKairiH < 
pur ^eo que cus furnit inul \*t\i\y de l»r ahliey, si iiiunderi'iil a I'.iMm- 
liildwyn dc Seiiiet \ ictor, cinpriaiitz qu'il vousist luaiider autic^i eu i^r 


iheir place^ who knew how to speak and understood the 
English language^ and who knew the manners of the 
English^ and that they might be allowed to return to their 
abbey. And at the same time they sent word that the 
place which they had was good and agreeable, with sufficient 
goods to furnish what was needful. And the abbot granted 
their request, and sent thither three brethren bom and bred 
in England; and when they came to Shobdon, they were 
very handsomely received, and established there, and the 
others departed thence and returned to their abbey. 

And soon after arose a quarrel very great and terrible 
between Monsieur Hugh de Mortimer and the aforesaid 
Oliver, so that Oliver quitted him, and went to Sir Milo 
earl of Hereford, who was then entirely his friend. And 
when Sir Hugh was aware of this, he caused him to be 
sunmioned three times into his court to answer to the accu- 
sations he had against him. And because Oliver feared 
the cruelty and the malice of his lord, he did not dare to 
appear in his court, but kept himself meanwhile in peace. 
And when Sir Hugh perceived well that he would not 
come, or send another in his place, he seized into his own 
hand all things which belonged to Oliver, with the goods of 

lyv, qui tiUMiit parler et entendre Ungtge d'Bngleterre, et qui mneni U 
mnner dee EngUi, et ke ene puaeent retorner it lor abbey. Et cnecmblc- 
ment manderent que le lyn q'iU eroyent fut bon et aTenant* et anea 
dee bent par trover lor neceeeaxiet. Et Tabb^ granta loor reqneet, et 
manda iUeoquea .iiL freree nei et norris en Engleterre; et qnant eve 
Tindrent k Scbobbedon, ai forcnt mut honcetement reccoe, et ileoke plaatet* 
et lea autree a'ea departirent d'ileokee 4 loor abbey. 

Et bien toet aprte eoordy vn deeeord trop fraont et hidoaa parentre 
Moaaatew Hugh de Moilemer et TaTantdit Olyrer, iaai qe Olyrer •*€& 
departi de ly, et ala k Sire Milca conte de Hereford, qe ceteit admkee 
•on amy enter. Et qoant Sire Hogh ^eo apercenet, le fist apeler troia 
feet en ea conrte por retp<«ndre at qnerelet letqnelee il aveit Tert ly. Et 
puT f eo qne Otyrer dota la malice et la cmeltv dc ann eeignnr, n*oea 
apparance fere en ea covrte, m^ ae tynt en pees enderoentree. Et quant 
8ire Hugh viat ben q*il ne roleit Tcnir, ne autre en ion lyu maunder, 
priat ea ea main totee let choeet qe furrut u Olyver OTc»kc let beeaa 


the canons. Nevertheless he would not do any severity to 
the canons without judgment^ and he gave them respite to 
dwell there a year; and after the year they were to go 
where they pleased, as people who had entered on his land 
without his leave, and had been brought thither by his 
adversary. And as the canons neither would nor could 
remain in the country, they prepared to fly secretly, for 
they had neither succour nor aid from any one. 

Sir Gilbert de Lacy saw this, and thought to please Sir 
Hugh de Mortimer ; he came to Lantony, and took by seig- 
nory all the things which belonged to the canons, and caused 
their wheat to be carried away, which amounted to a great 
sum of money. And because where earthly aid fails, God 
comes forward to assist, it happened that there was a great 
congregation assembled at Leominster for business of impor- 
tance, at which assembly were the bishop of Hereford with his 
attendants, and Sir Hugh de Mortimer with his, and Robert 
prior of Shobdon, and many other knights, clergy, and laics, 
assembled from all parts. And when the affairs were settled 
for which they came, mention was made of the canons of 
Shobdon, for whom the bishop and the knights there present 

dea dumoinet. Nepurquani U De Toleit fere as chanoinei nule durett^ 
Mats jiifeineiitt ti lor dona reepit jeek'k nn an entiwani de fere demeore; 
et aprte Tan alaascnt d*ileokes \k o& beal lor fat, si come cetia qe IVirent 
entries en ta terre tants sun conf^, «t amenees ileokcs par tun adTersarie. 
Et let chanuines no voloyent ne no poyent estre en la contr^, ae apparile- 
rest de sey mettre en fuyte privement, car toconra ne aveyent ne eyde de 

Cete choec Tist Sire Gilbert de Lacy, ct Toleit (fere] plcaire k Sire 
Hugh de Mortemer; Tint k Lautony, et totct les choset que forent as 
ehattoines si par seineoric, et lor bles fist aporter, qe amonta A 
grant somme d'argent. Et pur f eo qe par la oA tericn cide delant Dens 
i BMt socours, avient qu*il y aveit one fTsnt congregacion assenbU k 
Leonnestre par hautcs busoynes; aqnd assemble estett I'eTeske de 
Hereford od les toons, et Sire Hu^ de Mortemer od les seons, et Robert 
le priour de Schobbcdon, ct autrcs plusoor, chiralers, clercs, et laycs, 
assembles dc totes parte. Et quant les bosoynes furcnt tcrmines pur 
quels eus Tindrcnt, fut mcneiun fete ileokcs de les chanoincs de Scliob* 
bedoBt por quels reveske et les chevalcrs qe ilcokes ostcieat prierent 


prayed Sir Hugh de Mortimer that he would have compassion 
on them. And when he had advised with his friends^ at 
last he said with a loud voice, ^* If I had/' said he, " an 
abbot, I would grant them all the goods which OUver gave 
them, and I would give them more thereto.'* 

At these words the bishop took the prior by the hand, 
and said, ''Lo, Sir! here I give you an abbot! Do what 
you have promised." Whom he received at once, and 
with the bishop and the other great lords led him to the 
altar, chanting aloud Te Dettm laudamuSy and there he 
granted to them in quit all the things which Oliver had 
pven them, together with a benefice in the church of 
Wigmore, which was then vacant, and he granted them 
all the other benefices in the same church when they 
should be vacant. He begged the lord of Huggeley, who 
was then present, to give them his church of Huggeley, 
and he consented; which church, as it was then vacant, 
he gave at once before all the people to the elect of 
Shobdon, and to the canons. At the same time he pro* 
mised them the town of Cheilmers, where he. had had the 
design of making them a lasting habitation far removed 
from Wales. And when the elect was returned to his 
house, he had good hope to live in ix?ace and quiet ; 

& Sire Huf h de Moftener qa*U usi mercy de eus. El qoanC U ouC conale 
od les seons, audarrain dist eD ham vutz, " Si joo ii«se/* Ji!4-ii, " tin abbe, 
lull let btcns qe Olyvcr lor dona lor granleray, ct phis a fco lor dorray.'* 

A ccstet paroles, priM Tevcske le priour par la main, ct dist, ** Veea, 
Sire! ifi toui bail iio abbr*. fetes fro que %*ous avez promis.** Lequel il 
rccufi meintenani, ct oveske Tevcskc ct aiilres i^ranles seyi^neurs le 
waiere nt A Tatiter, ehantanU en haot voyt, Te Dtmm iamdammt, ct ilcokes 
franta-il k eus t«lcs les choses que Oliver lor avoit don^ quiicment, 
en«mblenenl od uim pfoveodr* en realise de Wyi^emore qe fiM adooke 
vacanle, ct totaa let MIfta prormidrcs en meimet I'ei^lisc lor fraaia quant 
eus fiiint vacant!. A I leignour de Hu^rj^eley, qe adonke fut ilcoies 
ptcseni, pria-il qe il Ijr voumI doner sa c^ltse de Hug^^ley, ct il ly icrauta ; 
laqtiele etlise meintenannt si doita>il dcrant tote le people h Tel it de 
Schotbedon, ct k let chanoines, laqnel e^liic fui adonke rarante. lleoU*« 
promist a eus la ville de Chetlmcrs, ou il a%-eit em|iens«* de fere A cii> 
|ief|ieliiele babiiaciun lot lojns remeift'c** de Gale\s. Kl quant Ic elit fiM 
rftomc il sa mcsua, ct aveit Imne e^icrauncr do vi%*rc en fee* ct en quieie ; 


but in a short time after Sir Hugh de Mortimer took from 
them the town of Shobdon ; and he never gave them the 
town of Cheilmers, which he had promised them. 

It happened after that, that the aforesaid bishop of Here- 
ford passed the sea and went to a council in France, and 
died there, and was brought in an ox's hide to Hereford, 
and there buried. That saw the elect of Shobdon, how he 
was deprived and despoiled of the advice of the bishop and 
of his help for ever, and of the presence of Oliver who had 
called them into England, and they were robbed of their 
land of Shobdon and of I^ntony, from which lands they 
derived their subsistence, and what grieved him more, how 
he was often abused and vilified by Sir Hugh de Mortimer 
and his people; and he left all the goods he had on his 
hands without keeper, as a man who was simple and 
mthout malice, and returned to his abbev. 

After that, there came a canon into England who was 
named brother Richard de Warwick, who was afterwards 
abbot of Bristol, to visit his friends in the time of August ; 
and he came to Shobdon and got in the wheat, and 
stacked it and left it in the keeping of Serjeants, and soon 
after went away. After him came a canon of St. Victor 
named brother Henry, a man of good and soimd counsel 

m^ en brief temps apris Sire Ha|fh de Moftemer lor tolit la vWe de 
Schobbedon ; et la vitle dc Cheilmers, laqnel il lor promial, nnkes ne lor 

At'tent apr^s ^eo qe Parantdit ercske de Hereford p«»«a la mere et Tint en 
France, % un concyl, et morut ileokes, ei fut mene en un quyer de beof jesk'a 
Hereford, et ileokes enter ri*. Ceo vyt le elyt de Schobbedon, q*il fut privee 
del i:onsail Tevexke et de Min eyde a totes jur^ et dc^poilt'*, et de la pretence 
Olyver qui lor apela en Engl«terre, et o>tes de lor lerro do Schobbedon et dc 
Lantone, de quels terres cus aveyeni lour ^uMinaiincc. et qe pluis ly ;reva, 
qui! fut «o\'etit leden«re et avily par Sire Hu^h de Monomer et Irs aeons ; lesM 
totes les cho«c9 qn*tl .iveit ptr <icmi« se% maiii« <.in(7 «; ir io:t, mine home simple 
et 9anti malice, si retorna h n abbey. 

Enapr^s rynt une chanoine en Kii<rlo(ci rr i|ii*«ii nom frcre Richard dr 
Warrearyk qi fiit apr^« abbi'* d«« Bri»t«»ll, piir vi-it.T ^-^ ami<oz en lemps de 
Am ; et vyiit II .Schobbetlon, ct q'ly'y lc< lili-f*. ••! I<?< nu«.t m laas ct Ic* 
lf*««a en le (rarde dcs srruatitz, ct tanio^t s\u Av\^Ar.i. Apr* a h vym une cha* 
iioiifc dcSi'inct Victor qn'ont nom frere Henry, homo do bon con^tl ct de ie}n 


and coarageous in ooort, who was well acquainted with 
Gilbert Foliot then bishop of Herefinrd, and kinsman to Sir 
Hugh de Mortimer, who was leoeiTed by them very honour- 
ably, and took charge of the things which were left at 
Shobdon. This man, when he had learnt from lus people 
what things Sir Hugh de Mortimer had given to the 
canons, and what he had promised, and what he had taken 
from them, went to him, praying that he, for the love of 
God and in aid of lus sool and of those of his very honour- 
able progenitots, would restore the things which he had 
taken away, and fiilfil the promise he had made ; and he 
promised to do it, but always put it off with flattering 
words and fair promises. But Henry followed him in 
different places, and at last he granted them the town of 

When brother Henry had the town of Shobdon in peace, 
he considered that the place was very hx frtxn water, <jf 
which they were much in want, and he determined to 
remove thence to Aymestry, in a place they call Eye, dose 
to the river Lug, which appeared to him to be a very com- 
modious dwelling place for them. And then they removed 
aU tlic things they had fi:om Shobdon thither, by the advice 
and help of Sir Hugh dc Mortimer, and laid the foundation 

ei TAilant en oovre, qu'ettoil ben acoiiite de Gilebert PoljoUi sdmike eredie 
de Hereford, et parent a Sire Hngh de Mortemer, leqnel Ait recue de eoe 
nittl honurablcmeni, c( prist fcard dot rhotct qe Inrent a Schobbedon leteees. 
Ce[t]ti« quant il out entendu de(«) eeont quelee choeet Sire Hugh de Mor- 
tcmer aveil done a[t] cbanotncc, et quclet il out promis, et qnelet il out tolet« 
approcha k If. empriant qe iU pnr Tamour de Dten et en remedye de ta alme 
et dee trcehonourable profenitoure, routist reetorer arere lee cboeee qn*tl 
aveit Metret, et la prometee q*il fist a perimpler ; et il le proniet fere, a^t 
tnti jnre le mitt en delay par blandieanlee parolee e bealee promeeeee. MH 
Henry ly siwy par plseoie lyw^ et andarreia lor graata la Tille de Scbob- 


Qoant frere I lenry oat la ville de Schobbedon pcetble«enl, aTiea qe le lyn 
fnt mat toyne de Tewe, de qoele eoe aveyent treefimnt deCrate, ee pntpoea 
de renrorr d'lleokee jetkee k Aylaiondeetreo» en on place qe ont apele ISye, tot 
pri^ de la nrvrre de 1 n|Bpe, leqnel ly futt avyt convenable i^ cue pur demorer. 
Kt dotikc remiirrcnt toiet lor rhoset qu'ils a% event k Schobilon je»kn» 
la, par conieil et eidc de Sire llugrh de llortemer, et mietrent le fondeoieni 


of the church, as people who proposed to fix there a lasting 
habitation for themselves and their successors. In the 
mean time died Peter Bald (?), canon of Lantony, to 
whom bishop Robert Beton had given the church of Led- 
bury-north, with the archdeacon of Salop ; and when prior 
Henry heard that, he sent thither three of his canons, and 
the dean of Pembridge, who put them in immediate posses- 
sion of the same church of Ledbury. 

After that, the prior Henry received into his establishment 
more canons, and thought to live well in great tranquillity 
after his labour. But it happened otherwise; for there 
arose at that time a very great war between Sir Hugh de 
Mortimer and Sir Joce de Dinan, then lord of Ludlow, 
insomuch that this same Joce could not freely or at pleasure 
enter or quit his castle of Ludlow for fear of Sir Hugh, 
60 pertinaciously the latter pursued the war. And because 
Joce could avail nothing against Sir Hugh by force, he 
set spies along the roads where he heard that Sir Hugh 
was to pass unattended, and took him and held him in his 
castle in prison until he had paid his ransom of three thou- 
sand marks of silver, besides all his plate and his horses 
and birds (hawks). And to hasten this ransom as speedily 
as possible, he requested aid of his friends on aU sides; 

d« Vmgfim, eone trenCt q/t avtycol •npeniA de (tn il«okM peqwiiMl babilacioB 
pur eus ct pur lor sucee«ours. EiKienentrcfl oMrut Pen k Kauf, chmnoine de 
Lanionqr k ^uy Tcveske Robert Betun aveit doni Tcyliae de Lydebury-noitb, 
ovetke le eroedekne de Salopnre ; ct quaot le priour Heory oyt (eo, nanda 
ileokci .iii. des ses chaiiotnes^ ct le decn de Peobrugge, lequel lor mist eii 
poMcsriun neiolenaiit de roeiuies ref;lise de Lyddebury. 

Apr^ fco si receust le priour Heury k sa rcligiun pluis de clianoines, ti 
<|uidoiit ben de vivrc en grant quiete apr^s sun travail. Mcs autrvnicnt ful ; 
car il surdy en cei temps tresgraut pere parentrc Sire Huj^h de Monomer et 
Joccde Dynanty adonke aeygneur de Loddelawe, en tant qe meiiuet ccly Joce 
lie poeyi franchement ne baudemcnt cntrer ne raer sun chasicl de Ijoddebwe 
por doule de Sire Hugh, lant fort Ic demetia-il. Et pur ^eo qo Joce reu ne ptHM 
fere conire Sire Hugh par furre, si mi^ e^pyes (lar le.< chemins |>ar oiii il 
enlrndy que Sire Hu^h pa&<crcit sengle, si Ic prist et le tint en sun elia:4el en 
prisonc je4e<» il an fel sa raiizon de .iii. mil maio d'ar^reat, forNpri^ ti>l«* m 
veMeIc et >e« chcvau^ et k*o o\«eK. i.'i pur p!u< ton hnsier rel ranion, m 



and he desired the prior Henry to allow him to put an 
assessment of money on his people of Shobdon in aid of this 
ransom. And the prior to the utmost of his power denied 
and opposed it, and said that a thing once given to God and 
to holy church freely, could not afterwards be taxed or put 
in servage for any secular aflSur, and that the custom of his 
country did not suffer it. And the prior rather than in any 
manner grant his request, left all the things he had in the 
keeping of the canons, the same as he had received them, 
and returned to his abbey of St. Victor, whence he came. 

After that came another named brother Robert of Che- 
resboth, and remained with the canons ; not as prior, but 
forasmuch as he came from beyond sea he was in the plsoe 
of a prior, because they wished to have an abbot over them, 
to effect which Sir Hugh was very desirous and earnest. 
While they were in this mind, they heard speak of master 
Andrew who was then prior of St Victor at Paris, master 
of divinity, distinguished by his many noble virtues and his 
sobriety; to him they sent, praying that he would deign 
to come to them and take the charge of abbot and be 
governor over them, to ordain their affiurs as their prelate. 
Which Andrew came to them, and was received wiUi great 
reverence, and consecrated abbot by the bishop. 

prU-il ckle d« UAm paiti d« tcs nmy ; ct al priour lleorie m pria-U qa*il 
vottMl ^ranlcr par adtre m affatcMent d'argcnc nr ta gent da Schobbadon 
en eyde 6e cd ran ton. El le prioor en qtiant il poet le nya et contrecitttl, ct 
dW qe chotea ne feet donfc h Dca ct k trincie e)rlite francbemenl, ne dcH paa 
autre feei ejtre tail^ ne mis en terrace pur nul bosoygna teenier, ne U eoat« 
tume de tun pa)-t ne le vHTry mle. El <piant le priour en nnle nanefa ne \j 
volcit aa reqaeil grannler, li lean toCci let ebotet qtt*U avoU en la ^ida daa cba- 
fioinet letquen t il out rcceu, ct retoma k ta abbey de Seinct Victor, dnnt U Tjnt. 
Apr^ cdj vynt nn antra ^^ont noa frara Robert de Chrretboth, ct deio r a 
ore*ke let ehanomet! ne mye pryonr, mi» pnr fco qu*il Tynt de onl Hun r, fat 
e«i lyu lie prior, pur feo qu*ila voleient arer on abb^ nr cos, ct 4 cde cbece 
fere tt fat Sira Hof h Bat dnirat ct duraacnt cntalcntA. Tant coate coa faraat 
en tH porpttt, if oyrcnl purler de oMtlK Andrew ^ nn adonke pciof de Sciact 
Victor de Parya, oMtira de diviniid, ct de noUct vertoea ct plaaan , ct anbra ; 
li ■MUtdcfenl 4 lay, caprUolB qa*il deicnaM A eoa venir ct ptendra U cara de 
abb^ ct cMra gOTtrno ar aor cot, lor ebeiet ordyner coate prdat. Lequel 
Andrew T)nt k eat ct fut le^eu A gr«ttnt rct'crrnce, ct abb^ bcnct de revoke. 

TttB HkSTOIlT cut LUDLOW. 115 

Soon after the friends of Sir Hugh de Mortimer, and 
particularly Sir Hugh de Lacy» obseryed the church which 
the canons had erected at Aymestry, and came to Sir Hugh 
de Mortimer, admonishing and advising him not to spffer 
that work to be finished there at the entrance of his land, 
lest his enemies might come by chance to the entrance of 
his land and there haye a lodging place and strong-hold in 
despite of him, and to the damage of all the country ; for 
be bad then on all sides many enemies and there was great 
hostility towards him. And he acted after their counsel, 
and made the canons remove to the town of Wigmore, and 
carry their goods with them, and begin dwellings there, as 
though they were to dwell there for ever. 

Then the abbot and his canons saw that the place which 
they were to inhabit was too narrow and rough to 
make a habitation for them, and that there was too great 
deficiency, particularly of water, and the ascent to the 
church was very disagreeable to them, and the language of 
their neighbours was very vulgar and coarse, and they 
often complained among themselves and considered to 
what place they might remove from thence, because they 
neither could nor would in any manner remain there, for 
the reasons above stated. And when Sir Hugh de Mortimer 

Tott apris Tirant let amis 8ire Hugh de Mortemer, ei nomeeaieBi Sire 
Hugh de Lacy, h Tegtise Uquele let chanoyne* avoyent fet fere a Aylmon- 
dettreo, ai Tindrent k Sire Hugti de Mortcmer, amnnct tanli ly ei conaeylaaU 
qu*il ne aeoffresist paa ccl oTeraine ileokea eatre parfet en Tentre de aa Cerre* 
que aea enemiea par cat ne Tenitaent en entrl* do aa terre et ileokea oaacnt 
refui et recet en deapti de ly et al damage de lolo la pais ; car il aroit adonke 
de tote parts muls dca cnvmyes ct ad%crtiti* graunU Ei il ovary aprva lor 
consaila ai fiat lea chaiioyucs remucr jcakct a U vile dc Wygemore, ei porter 
lour choaea oveake eua, ct com[en]cer ileokea mauaiuus, come duasent a tuts 
jnia deoMrer ileokea. 

Done virent Tabbe et aea chanotnea que la place oA ens abiter deveyeat 
fat trop eatreit et hidoua pur habitaciun fere pur eua, et trop grant defaute, 
Bosataent de ewe, et le monter aus vers reglise mut lor grera, ^ eo furent 
vildnea parolea et deaboneatea de ccua qt habiterent prte de ena, et ae 
entreplainderent, aovent et se purpenscrent a quel ly w ils pussent remewer 
d'ileokcSp pnr f eo que ne poyent ne ne voluyent ileokea demorrer en nulc 
manor par renchesuns ausdiia, Et quani Sire Hugh dc Mortemer feo 


perceived that, it was quite agreeable to him, aiid he 
oommanded them that they should seek through all the 
country for a more convenient place^ and one where they 
would be more at their ease, to remain always there, and 
that they should inform him of it. In the mean time arose 
a coolness between the abbot Andrew and his canons, in 
consequence of which the abbot quitted them, and left 
them all at their wiU, and returned to his house of St 
Victor. And forasmuch as they would not be without an 
abbot, they elected firom among themselves a canon named 
Roger, who was a novice in the order, but wise to govern 
their temporal afairs ; whom they presented to the bishop, 
and he was consecrated by him, and made prelate over the 
other canons* 

At that time king Henry, then newly crowned, sent to 
Sir Hugh de Mortimer to come to him; and he, being 
inflated with great pride and exaltation, refused to obey, 
and garrisoned his castles in aU parts against him to with- 
stand the king by ibroe. At which the king was very 
much enraged and fiercely stirred up against him, and he 
besieged him in his castle of Bridgenorth a long time, and 
he caused his other castles every where to be besiege d by 
his people. And when Gilbert FoKoth, who was then 

ipcretoc, mvfi ly rtiM k ftk^ d let eowmJi qllt fcftml — qiwwr ptr toC 
•on pals phis Avcnante placv, ct plos cise, pur cos k d«iBorir k toix jort, 
•I Ijr fetriaiC A saver. Emliinsnlrw acHirdjr wi dinancc parentre PatM 
Andrew d ms chipoinw per ont (!) I'abM s'cn dcpaiti de eat, ci lor lessa 
to( 4 tor volool^y cl retoraa k sa aMUNi de Scinct Victor. Bl par ^eo ^oe 
eus ne volejreat aijr care sanit abbd, doslrsoc de cot muHmm on chaoovne 
4|0*oat k 9om Rofer, qui fast noriee en Toidie, m^ safe k go w r e r n o i lor 
temporalis ; le^od ens prrseolcrent k I'eTCske el fat benet de lj« cl fct 
pedal dee ulfai Hunnlnco- 

Eo yeel leaps si nMnda le roj Henry, adooke novel rpv, k Sire Ho^b 
de Mnrtemfr de venir A ly ; ct it par grant orfoil d hantestd de qneor 
enenSS, 4 ly venir dedci|pia, el ses chailels de tots pails conire ly 
Samissa par wmtrscster le roy A foree. De «|arie cImm le roy fat moot 
curooc^ ct dttrcnMol vers ly cnaewe, ct ly aas|ry en enn cbaslel 
de Drit^rc north loosr leaqi«, ct tcs aatm chaMeU fiti-il aasrpr partut 
par Mrs ecuti. ¥j i|ii«ni Gilebert FolioUi fco viit, qe ettck adooke 


bishop of Hereford, saw that, how the king was fiercely 
moved and enraged against Sir Hugh de Mortimer, and how 
Sir Hugh was on all sides surrounded by his enemies, he 
went to the king to complain that Sir Hugh held by force 
his town of Ledbury and refused to deliver it to him. The 
king, as soon as he had heard this, in great anger and spite 
commanded the bishop that he should go and take back 
his town with all its appurtenances. And when the canons 
heard this, they sent duther two canons, namely Simon son 
of Oliver de Merlimond and Richard de Blakemere, to 
guard their church of Ledbury, together with the other 
things which they had there. And when the bishop was 
aware of that, he sent to them his servants, who at first 
admonished them with smooth words, and afterwards used 
threats, and at last laid their hands on them and dragged 
them out, ordering them to go immediately and talk with 
the bishop. 

The canons were neither overcome by their fair words, 
nor abashed in any degree by their threats, but held firmly 
in the church, and did not stir out for any violence which 
was offered them, like good i)cople of religion, loving the 
profit of their house. And as soon as the abbot Roger 
heard this of his brethren, he appealed to the court of Rome 

•vatke de Hereford* qe le roy fiui dttremeat eamew^ et eoioiio6 v«n 
Sire Hugh de Mortemer, et qe Sire Hugh fut de tote pertx eTirond de ees 
enemyet, ale el roy ompUynauiit qe Sire Hugh tient k force ea vile de 
Lydebury, et U dedcigna rendre. Le roy, ausi tost come il aroyt ^ eo oy, 
par grant ire ct rancor comanda u Tovctke qu'il alast et prist arere sa tUo 
od tutcs Ics apurtcnonccs. Et quant Ics chanoincs 900 oyrent, enveierent 
ilcokcs .ii. chanoincs, c'ct-A-sarer Symond Ic Fits OlyTcr Mcrlymond et 
Richard dc BUkcmcrc, pur gardcr lour egltsc de Lydebury, cnsemblemcnt 
od autres choscs qo ilcokes avcycnt Et quant revcske fee apcrceust 
manda a eus ccm ministres lesqucus a-dc^primcs Ics amoetcrent par blan* 
disantz paroles, ct d*cn-apr^s par menaces, audarrain mistrent mains sur 
eus ct Ics sakcrcnt, cucomandaiitz qu*ils Tcnisscnt tost parler a Teveske. 

Lcs clianoincs jA pur lours bclcs paroles nc furcnt rcnkus, ne pur 

lors manaccz ahayz en nul poynt, mcs sc tindrcnt fcrmement dedens 

rcglisc, saniz rcmcwrr hors do Icyua pur nule \iolcnco qe lor fut fete, 

come Imncz {cuittz dc religiiin, amantz Ic profit dc lor mcsua. Et ausi 

lost come rabb«*' Uoper ^co oy <le scs Trcrcff, apcia ft la courto de Ronme 


against the damages, insults, and Tiolence, which were 
done to him and to his brethren and to his church of L^- 
bury, and signed all his property under the protection of 
the pope, and then prepared to take the road to the court 
of Rome in his own person. And when the friends of 
either party heard this, they interfered to make an accord 
between them, and reestablished peace entirely, so that the 
bishop granted to them the said church to hold for ever 
in peace, and confirmed it by his letter sealed with his 

The canons continued to be very much incommoded and 
annoyed daily by their residence at Wigmore as is afore said, 
and they went about the country on every side to seek and 
consider of a place where they could make a decent and 
large dwelling for themselves and others far ever. It hap- 
pened one day in August, that one of the canons, whose 
name was Walter Agaymeth, sat on the field of Beodune, 
among the reapers, and contemplated all the country 
about, and considered attentively, and saw the place where 
the abbey is now situated, and marked the spot, and re- 
turned to his house and told the abbot and the brethren 
what he had seen; who went with him and considered 
the place on all sides ; and saw well that the spot was very 

dt dtiDAffet, hnnUget, et Tiolencet, qe furent fetet ik ly et « sex frcret et k 
•a egUte de Lidcbuiy, et sigDA totes sei ehotes dems U protcctiun 
r«poetoU, et meinteiiaDt se appanU prendre le chemin rert U courte de 
Ronme en propre penone. Et qnADt se ojrent lee amis de une pert el 
d'«iitre» ei entremletrent de fere ecord perentre ens, et refoamerent U pet 
eaterenieDt, ieti qe Tereeke fruit* k eve Udite egUee de «Ter k tut temps 
•B peet, et la coaSniiA par sa lettre enseleo de tiia teal 

Unkara aateint lee chaaoinea trop malemeut encombi ea et euiyea de 
j«r ea Jar par kmr deaseor k Wy^cmott^ cooie est araat dit, ai s'ea alerent 
par la paia ea ehascim part pur qaarir at avyscr placa la o4 ana pnsseui 
manahm kaoaala at large fere pur ens et par aatrea 4 tnta Jura. ATieat 
par «B Jaar ea Aat, qe ane dee chaaoiaeap frera Watar Agaymeth A aoav 
aiaC ear la dwaftp da Beodvae eatre les syoars» et ragarda lot la paya 
aTiroB* et aviaa aataatiTeaieal, et viat la place o* I'abbeya eat ore asaise, 
at aou la lya, at retonia k [sa] mesoa. et coata k Tabb^ et aa frerea 
fao qa'il oat vaa; leaqaels aleyeat oveako ly et aTiseraat la place 


good and large and convenient to make their abbey there. 
And they were very joyful and glad beyond measure, and 
went to Sir Hugh de Mortimer^ and told him what they 
had found, and that the place suited them well to make a 
perpetual dwelling by his aid. And immediately he granted 
it them fully and with much joy, and promised them his 
aid ; and commanded immediately that they should remove 
thither the goods they had at Wigmore. And when they 
had orders to do thus, they made small delay in putting them 
in effect, and built themselves for the time little habitations 
of wood, by the aid and advice of Sir Hugh. 

Meanwhile died the parson of Meole-Bracy, which church 
Sir Hugh gave immediately to the canons in perpetual 
alms. And soon after that died the abbot Roger, and was 
religiously buried; and immediately they held a consul- 
tation for the appointing an abbot, and they sent to St. 
Victor's by three of the most prudent of their brethren, to 
pray master Andrew, who had formerly been their abbot, to 
come and be their superior and their abbot as before, who 
with much difficulty consented, and came with them and 
was received with great joy, and remained abbot in the 
same manner as formerly he had been. 

dt toU parti, ei virent ben qe ie lyu fut astes b<m ot Urge et avenani 
pur Un ileoket lor abbeya. Si fnrani miU Joyona at lai k damasora, at 
alajanl k Sira Hugh de Mortemer et flrant k aarar k Ij ^aa qu'Ua avaycBt 
troTei, at qa lor ploa ban la plaoa pnr perpatuala maaainn fera par aide de 
ly. Et il lor granta auai tost bcnemeot et k grant joya, at lor promiit 
qe il lea eidareit; et comanda ausi tost que eus ramawasani totea choaas 
qe ena aveyant al Wygemore jcske Ik, Et quant eus aveyent conandemant 
de ^eo lore, na targarent gercs do 1* mettre en fet, et ae fescyent enda* 
mentrea patites habtiacitina da fust par eyde et conseil de Sira Hugh. 

Endemeatres morut la peraone de Meolea-Bracy, laquel eglise dona 
Sira Hugh aa chanoines ausi toat en perpetuele almoygnc. £t apr^a ^eo 
tost momst Tabbv Roger et fust religiousement enterrce; et tantost ae 
entreparlereat do una abb^ aver et manderent par .iii de lor frerea qui 
lurant lea plus sagea, k Sainct Victor, pur prior k mestra Andrew, qui fut 
lor abb^ pardarant, de venir et estre lor soverayn et loi abb^ coma avant, 
laqnela A grant peine lor granta, et Tint oveake eus et fust receu A grant 
joye, et demorra abbv en la manor que il estoit. 


At this same time Andrew de Stanton, lord of Bucknell, 
was charged in king Henry's court with grave misdemeanors, 
80 that he could not remain publicly in England ; and he 
came into the chapter of the canons, and in the presence of 
Walter Folioth archdeacon of Shropshire he gave them 
the church of Bucknell in pure and perpetual alms. To 
whom, as long as he remained thus in England in conceal- 
ment, they honestly furnished all his necessaries; and 
when he could no longer remain, he passed into Scotland, 
and remained there in safety till his peace was made with 
the king ; and then he returned to his own land. And 
while he was absent, they furnished to his i^-ife Maude de 
Ports what was needful for her. 

After that, came Sir Hugh de Mortimer from beyond sea, 
and dwelt at Cleobury. Then died Achelard parson of 
Caynham, which church the canons received of the free 
gift of Sir Hugh. And not long after came Sir Hugh 
to visit the canons and their place; and there by the 
request of his people, and particularly of Brian de Bramp- 
ton and his son John, he sent for a monk of Worcester, 
who, when he had marked out the site of the church, 
caused the foundation to be dug and laid out; to which 

En maimet eel umpt Andrew de SUnnion, Mjgnenr de BekenhnU, fbt 
meamk v«n le roy Henry greToaMment* iaei que U ne poet de morer en 
Baglelerre «pertement; ti vynt en le chapltre dee chanoinet, eC en U 
pretence de Waller PolyoCh ereedeakne de Balopeire lor dona Tegtiae de 
Bokenboll en pnre el perpeioel aumoygne. A qy, tanl come al demora iati 
en Bngleterre en tapeisaant, at troverent k \y totet tea necesaaries honea- 
tfemeni ; el quant U ne pont plna longea de merer, ai paaaa-U en Eicoce. 
•i demora Ueokca aeurement jeakea atant qe aa peea fat fete al roy ; ct 
deoke retn»a-U k aa terre demeine. Et tani come il fnt abaent, ai 
tiovennt ens A aa feme Mahand de Porta fieo qoe meatre iy foft. 

Aprda feo Tynt Sire Hogh de Mortemer de ontremere, et dcmorra u 
Ckybnri. Adonke morut Achelard peraone de Kayham, laqtwle c^litc let 
ckanoinca recenatrent en proprea hnyca del done Sire lluph. Et iic mic 
loaf Icmpa aprra irynt Sire Hugh par viaitnr lea chanoines rt lor lyu ; ci 
ileokra par rrqurtt de eeons, rt nomtecnt de Brian dr Bromplon ot dr 
Johan can ftia, manda pur an rooyn de Wyrpcettrr, Icqtirl, quint i! out 
•igtif la p!.ii«< tW \'vc\'.yi\ ii»t fuwcr ct mrtttc Ic loujitlfniciit , a i|ucl 


foundation Sir Hugh de Mortimer laid the first stone, and 
promised them ten marcs in aid, but afterwards he com- 
pleted it at his own expense. Brian de Brampton laid the 
second stone, and promised a hundred sols; but he gave 
them nothing in money, though he granted them all ' ease- 
ments' in his lauds in wood and in field everywhere, which 
easements aided them greatly in their work. John, son of 
the said Brian, laid the third stone, and neither gave nor 
promised any tiling ; but what he did not do then in 
promise, he performed fully afterwards in deed, for by him 
was the church of Kynleth given to the abbey. 

Thereujion the canons set themselves laboriously and 
vigorously to the work of their church. About the same 
time died master Andrew their abbot, and was buried with 
great honour. After that, they elected their prior Simon, 
the son of Oliver de Alerlimond, to be their abbot, but he 
died before he had been consecrated by the bishop. After 
the death of Simon, they elected brother Randolph, their 
sacristan, a man humble and fearing God; in the time of 
which abbot. Sir Hugh gave to the abbey the manor of 
Caynham, with all its appurtenances along with its body, 
in pare and perpetual alms; but a lady continued to 
hold the town of Suytton in the name of dower. After 

fott a d c f I II Sire Huyh de Mortimer^eocha le piCBicr pere» ct lor prpmifl dys 
muTM en eyde, ni^t enapret ii Tachevy A tea coiUfet demeine. Brian de 
BnMnplon cocha la fecumle pere, et promist cent snaa; m^ ren ne dooa 
d*ar|tcnl, n^t il lor crania toies eiaemeiitz eo sa terre en boys el en champs par 
loC» letqueles eyscmentz eidereiit graunlmenC k lour overaine. Johan le flts 
al dii Brian coclu U icrce pere, el reii ne dona ne promM ; m^s ^eo qu*il ne flu 
mye adonkes en prom4*^«<*, tl le iierfouriny ben apr^s en eovre, kar |iar ly fui 
rexli^^e de Kvnleili doiic u Tabbcv. 

Enaprcs les rhanoiues sVntrcinisirvnl durement et vi{*rouAenicnt de Toverayne 
de lor e^ li«e. Kndcinenlr«*« si morutt mcstre .Andrew lor abb^, el fiit euierr^ 
4 grani honenr. Apres ^eo «i elurcnl-eiis SyOHind lor prionr, fit h Olyver de 
Merhnound, pur e>ire lor abbir, leqitel morust avant v<^ qu*il ful lienei de 
reire«kc. Apres la niort Syinond, si elurvnt-eus frere Randulpb lor aef re«te}-n, 
boase humble et Peu d4tt;int ; rn t^mps dequel «>«be Sire Hugh dona a Tabfye 
le maner de Kay ham, ovMe tole< Irs apporienanri«s en«emblement nd mn 
corp«, eu pure et |M*r|H'tMfl anmoync : mc« unc diime t\nl uiiLore la vilr de 
Sn)tton en nonm douor. Apr^t ^co rscheereni k ru* Iesrgli9es et chapeles 


that, there fell to them in a short time the churches and 
chapels mentioned below by the gift of Sir Hugh de Morti- 
mer, namely the church of Leintwardine, the church of 
Aymestry, the church of Cheilmers, the chapels of Downton, 
Borcton, Elton, and Leinthall, and the church of Kynleth, 
and the mill of Leintwardine, and land of the yearly value 
of twenty sols which Sir Hugh de Mortimer bought of 
Herbert du Chastel, and the land below Wigmore, and the 
land of Newton, and the rent of the mill of Boriton, and the 
rent of Elton and of Brinshop. 

In the midst of these afiairs. Sir Hugh de Mortimer was 
very inquisitive and took much pains about the work of 
their church, which he completed at his own expense ; and 
when it was entirely finished, he caused it to be dedi- 
dated by the hand of Sir Bobert Folioth, then bishop of 
Hereford, in honour of St. James the apostle. And when 
the church was dedicated. Sir Hugh de Mortimer renewed 
and confirmed to the church all the gifts which he had 
before made to the canons, and particularly the manor of 
Cayoham, with its appurtenances, which manor he gave to 
the canons in presence of all the people who were there 
assembled, and confirmed by his charter. After that he 
gave to the church a chalice of fine gold, and a cup of gold, 

to put the eucharist in, and two candlesticks of silver gilt ; 


d«pig-ditrt par doun Sire lliiicb de Mortiner en bref tempt, c'ct-ii««f«r, 
I'tfirliK de Lvin«-arJ\n, l*ri;li«e de Aylmofidetfre, I'ei^life de Chcilaert, let 
eha|ielef de Oounton, Dorcinn, ticion, et Leynthale, el l*e|(li«e de Kynldb, d le 
■M>l)n de l>intwardin, vi vint foiide de lerre la<piel Sire Hugh de TllnrHTr 
•k«U de Ilrrcberte du Cbtitcl, ct la Icne dcMg Wiffemore, et U lenv de la 
Newton, <t la reuir del molyn de Boriloa, ct la feme de Eleion ct de Bruntbop. 
O'entre cesie» clio r« >i fiii Sire Huyb de Mortimer miit curious ct ptnible 
emear Toveraine de lor e;:life, laqiirle il Sit loie parfrre & cet cuiUset ; et 
^piant ele fat loie parlrte, li la liM dcd>er par U ma>n Sire Robert Kolyoib, 
adoiike evr>lie de Hereford, en le boonr de Seim Jale t*apocile. Cl ^oial 
Tesli** fwt dcdye, li iM Sire llui:b de Mortimer renoveler ct coitfirmer loati 
lctd<NMi k*il avoM ki a« chanotnet pardevairt A Tajsluic, el nom^ment te maacr 
da Kabam, nd le* apofienaneet, le^iiel maarr docia<il a le» chaaoincs deeaal 
Mle la pvofile ^ic illeokrt ful avembl^. ct le coiiAfma |iar m cbartre. Apr^ 
feo dona. il b Vt$\ »e un rb4lii d*or An H on cot**f« d'nr, pur aieitre dcdeim 
r, et deoa ebaondelers d*arfet4 dorrei : n Atf IVtetke ef Tabb^ od lul 


and the bUhop and the abbot with all the convent and with 
all the priesto who were present pronounced sentence of 
excommunication against all those who should alienate any 
of these jewels from the house, except only for hunger (?) and 
fire : and he then gave to the bishop a goblet of silver full 
of pimenty which he received as a great gift. And the 
bishop gave to the same church a cape of purple leather for 
the choir, very becoming and richly adorned with orfrey. 

And when these things were all well ordered, each 
according to its convenience, died Sir Hugh de Mortimer at 
Cleobury at a good old age and full of good works, after 
professing himself a canon in the presence of abbot Randulf, 
who gave him the habit of canon with some of his brothers 
before his death. The corpse was carried thence to his 
abbey of Wigmore and honourably buried before the high 
altar; whose soul, as we believe, rests with the elected of 
God in everlasting joy. Amen. For the soul of which 
Hugh a mass is chanted every day by a canon, and every 
week the office of the dead, that is. Placebo and Dirige, 
once of nine lessons in the convent with the mass of matins 
the day following; and every week bread and ale with 
other meats arc distributed to the poor by the hands of the 

W coTCBl ct od tolt Ics prcitrei <|e presentes furrnt excumciiKcr luts ceut quy 
nal dcf ecus jeveus alloynaiieat dc la aMtuo, for uuot Mulemeot par fcya ct 
aistto : ct II dona adonkct k Tevcikc une June d« argent pleine de pyfaiciil» 
laqiiclc U rcceusi pur praani douo. El revcske dona d oMiniCf Tcflisc 
VDC chape dc qucor pourpre, attci hoocaia el ricbeneni aouro^ det 

El quani celcs choscs furcnl ben ordines clicican a sun avanaunt, 
■Mrust Sire Hugh de Monincr k Clebury en bone velesCe ct picine des 
bones covres, ct chanoyiic profes en la presence de Tabb^ Randulpb, 
leqiiel Ir baila Tabit de chanoine od aakuns de ses frert*s devaot sa aMit. 
D*ilcolies fut le corps port^ jeskes k sa abbeic de Wygemorc, ct honour- 
ablcnenl enlcrre pardcvani le haul anier; ralme de qney, sy cooc bus 
creomf, re)>n9e od elitz de Dieu en joye perdurable. Amen. Pur ralme 
dc quel Hugh si cM cliaunte cbescun jour une niesK par chanoine el 
cheseon symaignc Toflicc de mortz, c*ct-A-dire Plaeeho ct Dirig€, une feet 
dc Dcof lessons en coveni, oveskc la messe matinale t'endemain ; ct chescun 
nmjigne pain ct cervovN: ove altrc* vyaun<lo.'i partie< as porere^ |»ar U 


almoner, besides other distributions which he had directed 
to the poor and strangers in the course of the year. And 
on the day of his anniversary a hundred poor persons are^ 
plentifully fed, and each shall have a loaf and two her- 
rings and pottage, because his anniversary hapjiens in L^nt. 
The other charities which he had established for himself 
each day to beggars and strangers in the hostelry, and 
elsewhere, and the spiritual benefits which are done by the 
canons for him, and which will be done hereafter, no man 
can number them; but to Jesus Christ they are fully 

And forasmuch as Roger his son and heir was held in 
the king's keeping for the death of one named Cadwallan, 
whom his attendants had killed, the king's servants held 
the castle of Wigmore with its appurtenances ; in which 
time thirteen Welshmen were taken in battle, and were 
held in prison in the castle of Wigmore firmly shackled ; 
who one night while their keepers were asleep escaped to 
the said abbey, and were devoutly received and encouraged 
to eat and drink, and the shackles with which they were 
bound fell from them by miracle; which shackles were 
suspended publicly in the church, and the Welshmen 
there in peace till they had leave to go to their 

main d« ranmoner, cttre antret parttionei qe OQt fet par my Tan as 
pOTtrtt et k Mtranget. Et en le jour dc sun anniTcrsarie si «ant rrat 
poTeret piiyt ■offytonamit, ct chcscun avcra uuc michc ct Jcux !i«r..nkea 
•t potage, par fco que sun anniTcrsarie chect en qnarcroe. Lea am ret 
awnoynes que out fet pur hiy chcscun jour as cstas et as cstranfre en le 
eetelerye, et par aUoon, ct lea bienfei espirituels qe sunt fet par ciianoynea 
pvr ly, et sernint fets A remenaitnt, nombrer ne poit nul home; m^a A 
Jheeo Crist snat pletnement conews. 

Et pur feo qne Roger son fis ct heir fat tenns en la garde le roy pnr la 
Bort de an Cadwallan k noun, leqnel lr[s] Hcnns lucreni, let niitiesttes le 
roy tyndrent le chastcl de \Vyir{;emore od les ap]»nrtci>nmis; en quel 
temft treese homes Galeys forent pris cu b^taile. c-t lurent triini i n i>rU«>n 
en le chastel de Wjremore fermrmcnt fyrpca; U')iqtu*U pnr une luiyi lant 
come lor gardeins di>rmtteat Vf '....pistut jr<kki» a !4 on .ihbe\r. vi hini i 
dcvottlemenl rcreus et rihcitft dc uiaiipcr ci biuit*. tt Icnr in^iy «•«• 
chcicrcnt dunt cut funiit lyci pir ii<irii v, !«»qii«tf. •> li..*: : i < t ' a 
«*%ertement en rcgbsc, et let Galcys demorcrent ileokes en pea jeskea 4 


onii country without hindrance. Several other similar 
cases happened at this same abbey^ which are not written 
in book, but have been omitted by negligence. 

And when Sir Roger de Mortimer was set free from the 
king's custody 9 he came to the abbey, and was received by 
the abbot and convent with great joy, and led by the abbot 
and prior into the church before the high altar ; and when 
he had worshipped at the altar, he kissed all the convent, 
promising them safety and good peace. But as soon as the 
mass was finished, at his issuing from the church, he began 
to challenge fiercely their right to the manor of Caynham, 
and commanded that they should restore it to him, and said 
that they held it wrongfully. And the abbot and convent 
placed their hope in God, and would not suffer a single 
foot of the manor to be taken from them. Thereupon Sir 
Roger was enraged beyond measure, and persecuted them so 
much by himself and by his friends that towards Christmas 
day the abbot and convent were obliged to go to Shobdon, 
except a few canons who remained to guard the church; 
and there they remained till after Christmas, when at the 
command of king Henry they returned to their abbey. For 
the king sent his commands to Sir Roger, that he should 

Uni qe arent grmce de aler k lor p iit tantt di*»tourber. Plusun antret 
cases •emblablei tont aTenns k mcime ceic abbey, letqueut ne tiut ny 
escriis eii ti^re, ni^« sunt par itcplipt uce lc«seez 

Et quant Sire l«u^cr dc .NJurtcnicr fut Icue hort dc la garde da roy 
franchemcut, si vynt & l*abboy, ct fut rcccu de l*abb^ ct del covent k 
graunt juyc, et inene par I'abb^ ct Ic priour en Teglise jeskes dersDt le 
haul auter; et quant il seo avoit a ore (?) u Tauur, si bei«a tote le coTent, 
en prumcttaut seurte et bone pvcs. Mi^s ausi u *\ com la messe Alt fynie, 
k sun issir hors dv ri*(:li>e, «t de lor chalcnger durement pur 
lour maner dc Knyham, ct ru»mr<la qc ens le rendi»seut k \y, et diet qe 
eus k tort le tindrent. Kt ruMK* i*t \v ruvent ci«trent loor esperaac* 
en Ueti, ct ne soffrircnt pi9 qo lor fui io!< t t-.n |«l«'io p^e del maner. De 
feo fut Sire Kof:«*r mut coronet* u li'mcsiMo. it i*« |M»nivy tani par ly et 
par left seuns, qe rontrc )v juur do N(•\^t'l rot<*.«iritt u Pabb^ et lecoTenl 
d*aler jeskes a Scbubbcduu. foi«pris pn\<: de cliai.oinea qui deniorerent 
pur garder Teglisc; et illcokts di snoiiTiM ji«ko» apr^s Nowel, qe par 
conaundement ie roy Henry retomerent k lor abb^« Car le roy comanda 


do no harm or damage to the canons^ but leave them ia 
peace under God's protection and his own^ to serve God 
in quiet. 

Then the canons desired much to have the love and 
good-will of Sir Roger, and they prayed humbly for a 
reconciliation by their firiendsy that he would agree to be 
their friend for the love of Grod, and they were in great 
hope to have his friendship. But soon after died the lady 
who had the town of Snytton in dower, which town Sir 
Roger at first granted them freely to hold. But in a short 
time he was urged by evil counsellors to take it from 
them into his own hands, and so it was done ; for they said 
that this place was very private and agreeable to have 
his dwelling between Wigmore and Cleobury. And when 
the canons saw that, they held themselves quiet, as people 
who greatly hated to quarrel with their, lord, and placed 
their right in the ordering of Grod. 

It happened after that, that lady Isabel de Ferrers, the 
wife of Sir Roger de Mortimer, was with child, and passed 
through Snytton, and there lodged, and was taken ill, and 
in her illness was delivered of a male child, which died as 
soon as it was baptized, and was buried in the church of 
Cleobury. Whereupon the said Isabel at the suggestion of 

it Sire Roger, ^*U ne feiet mal ne damife at cbanotnee, mH lee leeeast en 
peee deeot U protection de Den ei U eowc, pur Deu eerrir en qaicte. 

Dttttk deeirercnt lee chanotnes mut d'aver amour et beuTotlauiice de 
Sire Roger, et acord le priercnt dcTuottmeut par lors amites, <|U*il Touaut 
cetre lor ami pur Tamour de Deu. ct ti aveyent grant eepertnce de e*ainiei« 
aver. MH toet apr^ morut ccle dame qe avoit la vile de ttnitton en 
dower« Uquele Tile granta Sire Roger devant A eut de la franchemont aver 
▼eit eut. U^ en bref tenpe fut-il brocM par mauvcyt conailcre pur la 
prendre de eve Teie Ij, et enst fut fet; ear eue diacycnt qe eel lyu fut 
BSt prtfi et eiee pur eon recet aver pareatre Wygemore ct Cleybury. Et 
qnaat lee cbaaoiaee rirent ^ eo. ei tindrent en peee eome gents qe baireat 
mot eontAer od fan aTowe, et mbtrent lor droit k rordiaaunee de Den. 

Aviaat enaprda qe dame Itabelte de Ferrers, la feme d Sire Roger de 
MoitcmeT Int enceynta, et paeea par Snytton, et illeokee borbiga, et 
deviant malade, et an ea maJadye fut deliYre de un enfant awdle, .'eqoel 
ii toat eome fut bapus^ moruet« et fut enterr^ en Teglise de Cleibury. 
Dent Indite leabeHe par procurement dee tagas genti pria it aun aeigneur 


prudent people prayed her lord humbly and devoutly in 
tears that he would give back to the canons their town 
of Snytton, wliich he held wrongfully, and said that by 
reason of that she had suflfered great pain in child-birth, 
and when she had hope of great comfort by the life of her 
son, she had had great sorrow for his death. At whose 
request, he commanded immediately to be restored to them 
the town freely, with the manor of Caynham, to hold 
for ever. 

The lady Isabel de Ferrers was of good and clean life ; 
and after the death of her lord she built a good house for 
monks at Lechlade, for the soul of her lord and her own 
soul, and endowed it plentifully with fair lands and rents 
for ever ; and there she is buried. 

The aforesaid Roger de Mortimer, son of the founder, 
was according to the character of his age, a gay youth, and 
very changeable of heart, and especially headstrong, and 
he had about him many men of light counsel, who advised 
him often to his pleasure, and not to his profit, as is the 
manner of many sychophants who have an eye to the 
pleasure of their lords, which often falls to their disad- 
vantage. This same Roger de Mortimer, at that time by 
evil advisers, and by his own will, inflicted in various 

InuBblMaeBt ct d«Toteiii«nt en UmMnt, qa'il vonsift rendra arere u 
ehaaoiBM lor vile de Snitton, laquel il tynt A tort, et dist qe per eocbeson 
de f eo si eveit grant torment en enfaniant, et areit etperance de aver en 
grant solas de la wye de sun fii, si avcit ele grauut tristure de sa mort A 
la request de quy, coniman Ja tost rcndre k eus U vile franchement, oretke 
le manor de Kayham, de aver ii remenant. 

Cole dame Isabelle de Fcrers fut de bon vyc et de nctte; laquele apr^s 
la mort de sun seigneur tist fere unc bone mcsun de gents de religion k 
Lecbelade pur Talme sun scygueur et la sowe, et la feffa plentivousement 
de beles terres et de rentes ii remenant, et ileukes est ele enterri. 

L'avantdtt Roger de Morlemer, fit al founder, esieit solunc la denaonde de 
sun age, Jolyf juvencel et mult volages de quoor, et aukes volunlrif a-de- 
primes, ct aveit pr^s de ly plusurs de Irgcr consail qe ly coiisilerent sovent & 
son pleiaeri et non pas A sun proftt, come le manerc est de ptusurs losengers 
qui portent oyl sus pur plere k lor seygneurs, t^c lor chct sovent k damage. 
Meimes celj Roger de Moitenier, en icel icmp^ par mauve) s conn lers, et par 
M volumA demetne, to trop grann durestf y «t grrvaocc^ Hiversements k Tabb^ 


manners very great hardships and grievances on the abbot 
and convent and on their people, against the franchise of 
their church. Whereat good men on all sides were very 
sorrowful^ but there was none who could or dared aid them, 
so they placed all their hope in God Almighty, praying 
humbly and devoutly night and day that of his pity he 
would deign to effect a speedy reformation of the error 
of their lord, so that he should not remain long in peril of 
his soul by reason of theiu, and that they might have in 
peace and quiet and for ever the things that were given to 
them, in alms. 

While this persecution continued, it happened, by God*s 
ordering, that Sir Roger de Mortimer was journeying one 
morning after his pleasure, with his company, on the 
day of the anniversary of his father, of which at the time 
he had no thoughts ; and as he rode between the house of 
the sick and the town of Stanway, he observed the fields on 
each side which his father had given to the abbey, and saw 
on one part the wheat sprouting well and green and pretty 
thick, according to the season. And he called some of his 
companions, saying spitefully, ''See, fair lords, how my 
father advanced himself and entirely forgot me, who was 
his eldest son and heir, to whom by all reasons he ought 
to have left his whole heritage, without dismembering 

ct covent el k Inr ^et\\t centre la franclii«« de liir r^W^. Dimkr Icf bones (»entt 
ti tentirenl de iii(c» part 7 dure dr mfiir, ci nul rMeil qi eider lor piia ne o«««t, n 
miMrent lote lor r»per4tince eti [X*u toi pu«<>anl, nu\t et jour liurobleinent et 
derouiement emprianic c|ii'il pur m ptti* dcisrna^ meitre htMif amendeoienl k 
Terrour de lor a%'oui>, t«M qii'il iie deni«ira«( lonjrf^s en peril d*alroe |>ar enrl.ejan 
de eus, el qe eii« aver puv<ent en iM^en el en qtiieie let choie» qe k eus furenC 
dooet c( k lolet jurt en auino\noz. 

Endemenlret Unt come rcie periiecuciiin dura, avi[n]i par Pordinance de 
Diea, ke Sire Hotrer de Mortimer fut cheminani par un matin vers ton dedu%i, 
ore%ke m mcf ne, te jour de Tannt versa rie de »iin piere, de qiiel ly oe tov\ n( 
pait adonVes : el come il chevaurhout parent re la inesun de malades el la vile 
Si4n«e>e» »i re^arda le$ rhjmp«, d*aaibefi4rti le%|iieus nin |iere out don^ A 
Tabbeje, ri \ist Ics blert de tine pari l»en creui el %'eirt et aues cx;>cf soliin la 
teMtn. Si A|iela auk>in» d«r(*l *eon«, en di»ant 4iis;ui«^«niiieni«nt, ** Veei, beaU 
*exofUf« mment roon p^r m* tcMnoblia et «» »> df tut iniM en nbliarirr, qiiy fu 
•on 6*1 r»|»Mr <l h«'ir et ai<^i(ere (*) ii •!'•» p«f toir* re%un« du*t 4vrr \ourhe* 


these fields which you see here, >5'ith other lands and 
tenements, iu disinheriting of me, to give them to those 
clowns of the abbey !" And he uttered many expressions of 
regret, and as he rode along thus in bitterness of heart, all 
the bells of the abbey began to ring as it were a funeral 
peal, and when he heard that, he called a canon of the 
same abbey who was then his chaplain, and asked him 
why the bells rang so loud. And he answered and said, 
'^Sir, to-day it is so many years since your father, the 
founder of our house, died, and to-day is his obit, for which 
they make great solemnity especially for his soul, and will 
always do so, and justly. 

Then Sir Roger asked him what were the good works which 
they did for him in the course of the day ; and he recounted 
to him one by one all the good works which were done for his 
soul in the same abbey, as is before written. And when he 
had very leisurely listened to the whole, he was visited by the 
Holy Spirit, and said to all his company, " I>ct us go in 
the name of God to the abbey ! and let us sec tlie service 
and solemnity which they will make there for the soul of 
my father.** And they rode up to the abbey. And as 
voon as the abbot wixs aware of their arrival, he led out all 
the convent with him, and they went towards him in form 

Miif to( sun lieritage, yanti dcnM»inbrer ces dmnips qe yci voos rtcn, ove»kc 
atitr«* terret cC tenemcnix, en desbcrtUuncc de iii«y ; m nd-il doo^ A ceu« 
vUcyntda I'abbeye !** El ccte cbow r^rMta toTent. El t«il euoi U ri aoguis- 
aous de queor chevaucha, si sonerent tolct les cloches de Pabbey en manere de 
glaas ; eC quant il ^eo oyt, si apela iin chanoyne de meynies l*abbe}-e qu'esicyt 
aJonke tira chapele>*n, el ly dcmaunda pur que[i] Im rlocbcs tonereni lani fori. 
Ki il ly respoundy et di^t, " Sire, hion a tanix des anx moral vostre pere, 
funduur de nosire mesiiii, et buy est sun obil, pur qu[e]t ont fel granl aollcmp- 
iiiti'e pur s'almc es})eciabnctit, el h tutt jurs fra, et i^ resun.*' 

Dune dcmaunda Sire Ro$rcr A ly qtiux furent les benfces qe on i fisi pur ly 
a la jomeye ; el il ly counta de chef en chef tolt le^ bcnfees qe fureni fefer piu 
«*aluie en la dile aliliey**, mmo c«i par.lrvani c«cri|it. El quant il avoit tot » 
erant lcl«ir paroyce, fnl viMttf par ic !%iMiiclc K«piri^l, el di«t h lote u mcyi^tK*, 
*' Almi9-nns en le nom dc Dicn u I'aliU'yc ! et a%*i«4m«>nus le tcTv'n et la 
%*k*m|mii£ qe om fra tloolkC« pur Paliitc muii |H?re.'* El clievaiKlioyent 
K>li'> a ral>lM*ye. El qti.iiit TiiblM* fnl .i|ii*rrcu tic ^.t veniK*, ti aniena tni 
le cuveni ovc«Le ly, el ale>cni coiiirc ly en l*i mancrc dc procc«iiui ; rar 



of procession, for he did not enter the house for some 
time, but they received him honourably and with great 
joy, in the hope of obtaining his love and good-will. Then 
the abbot chanted the mass, and with loud voice and great 
devotion they sung the service which belonged to the occasion. 
To which service Sir Roger paid great attention throughout, 
and how the hundred poor people were served, and he was 
wonderfully well satisfied and very repentant of his error. 
And when they had finished chanting the mass, and the 
whole service was over, he called the abbot and convent 
into the chapter, and begged their pardon with very humble 
heart for the grievances which he had done them, and pro- 
mised amendment by the help of God, and was reconciled 
to them, and absolved of his trespasses, and he and the 
convent kissed one another with great gladness on both 

After that, he caused to be read all the muniments 
which his father had made them of lands, tenements, rents, 
woods, meadows, pastures, commons, moors, and other 
franchises, and likewise of the churches which he had 
given them, and of the others which he had procured to be 
given them .by his feudal dependants. And when the 
charters were all read, he agreed to all that his father had 

il D^nitra mye U oiesun grvn pece panlcrMi, co lor rectMrenl (f ) honora- 
blameot d grant joy eti e*perance 4e s'aaiare aver H -n beaTcilaneo. 
Atant le abbe chanta Ic mmo, et Ic covent a haute voyw d 4 grant 
dcrocion chanterent la oftu-e qe apent. De qucle ofllce Sire Ro:rtr prtti 
lre»boitr gard[e] m toCt'z |»niiiu n coiiietit l«s centi poven furcnt turv)ei, 
M- fut tt iDCrvc}l« b(*n pa\c ft mm re|)entauiii <ie sun ermr. El i|uaiit U 
mesM fut tot perchant^, ct tnte te oflice parfet, ti apela-il Tabbd H Ic cownt 
cii lor cbapitre, et le« pria panJon mut ile bomble coer dc lor grevaoce* 
f)u«u« tl k eu* ave>t fri, rt promi^ |>ar l*eiJe «le Dieo amend e lae u t, et fut 
aconJi k e«i«, ef auoui Je «aii trr^|.«z, ct efiir«lie\ M.*y 1) ct le covaiit & grant 
t«*«'«ti^ d*«mbeiianiez. 

Apr^t fro flit-tl lire (uit le« niunimrnfi qe mn |ierc avrit fet k t»% de 
terrc#, tenement t, rentei, bt»it. preei, panore*, commune*, moffe<» et dcs 
auirei fraocbiv^, et eniemcnt dri cgli^es le«]uel» il lor donna, et de« auinr* 
lo^loeU il procura eMre danc d ci.« de res genit deme>n«*. Kt ifiiairt le* 
rlurfrc* fiircni |oic^ |».irU«r>. ^'% ajrra •|ii4nl Ic ^m \nru* «•! fii, li coiiArma par 


given, and confirmed by his charter, sealed with liis seal, 
all that his father had done, with various easements and 
franchises which he then and afterwards gave them by his 
charters sealed. After that, he received the benediction, 
and took leave of the abbot and convent, and returned 
joyfully to his castle of Wigmore. 

The news was soon spread through the country, how he 
had been at the abbey and what he had done there; at 
which good men had great joy, and the wicked very great 
spite ; and among the spiteful was a steward of his, who 
was angry beyond measure, and said to his lord, '^Sir, 
have you been to the abbey, and confirmed all that your 
father did to the canons, and made away more of your land 
to them, so that there now remains nothing near them, 
land, meadow, pasture, nor moor, which they do not 
possess, of the gift of your father or of your own, except 
the Treasure of Mortimer?*' and he added in mockery, 
''Now it is good that you give that land to them, that 
notliing of yours remain to you or your heirs near to 
them !•• 

These words he said meaning that he did not wish him 
to give that land to them, but that he should* retain it in 
his own i)08session. And when Sir Roger had heard his 

n chutrt, cmd^ dc wo kI, lot la fd de warn ptft, ofsiki plosun 
frannchiwt, leti|afus il lor doaa adooke d •prte par an chartres 
Aprvs 9C0 pri9l*il beneyton et congi dc l*abM eC du eoTcnti si retoroa 
juyowsement k sun chaAel de Wygenore. 

Tost fut la Doveic n|iandcwe |)ar mi la pays, coMaiii il ouil etlA it Tabbeye, 
ct quel chose il out ileokes fet, duot Ics booei gonts en aveyeol sraot joye, ci les 
mauveys treii^nuit eiivye : entre queus enryoas si esieil un sun wnesrhal trop 
rorouci* h, dtmewre, si disi k sun seyirneiir, " Sire ! aves-vous e»4v A Tabbcye, 
ct confenuc tolc la fc( VMtre pere & let chanoines, el plus de voslre lerre A eus 
aroyt«i, inn* qe ne remcini ore endreit pr^ dc eu«, terre, prve, pasture, ne 
miuc«, qc ens nr unt del ilun de vosire pere el dc vosire, ror«prin le Tre^r de 
Morteiner f** el disi en moskeis, *' Ore est bon ke vous doi^^net ctrle terre a eus, 
ktf ren no rcmeyne a voiis ne ik vos hdres du vosire pr^s dc eus !** 

Cdcs |Nirole:» d'K-\\ en sa nucni« qii*it ne voteit mic qn*il dtma^ rele lerre k 
iMM, mmS «|m*iI U riiinH*M«l vvr* ty niiMnM*<. Kl «|iianl Sire Ro«;cr avcil e^nle se* 


words, he inquired of the others what tliat place was 
which they called the Treasure of Mortimer. And it was 
told him that it was a croft adjoining to the abbey, ver>' 
good land and large, and marvellously fruitful. And when 
he had heard that of the others, he said to the aforesaid 
steward, "By my head, fair friend, you have said and 
advised well, and after your council will I work ; and since 
that place is called the Treasure of Mortimer, I will deliver 
it to such treasurer to keep for my use, who will place 
it in a treasury where no thief will steal it nor moth eat 
it, and where it shall not be trodden under foot by beasts, 
but it shall bear fruit to my soul.*' And immediately 
he took with him {)eople who knew the place, and they 
showed it him. And when he had seen it, he entered 
into the abbey and gave it in pure and perpetual alms 
to the house for ever, for the souls of himself, his ancestors, 
and his successors, and confirmed it by his charter, sealed 
by his seal, before all the people. 

parolet, denuinda det antrct qoele Ait cele pUc6 qe ont ap«l& le Tresor d« 
Mortimer. Et ly fut dtst, qe f eo fat one croufta jojiuuit k I'abbeye, a«cs 
bone terre ct Urge, ct h manreile ben Ihictiflante, Et quant 11 aveit ^ co 
oye des autret. si di$t k Tavantdit aeneechal, ** Par miin cheC bealt amya. 
ben ni*aTeit dit et consil^, et apr^t voctre conaeil voU-jeo orcryr ; ct pur vco 
ke cele place ad ii noum le Tresor de Mortimer, jco le baudmi u tcl trcsorer 
por garder u mun cops, qui le mcttra en tele tresoric oii nul Uruii l'ciublcr.i 
na artetun la mangera, ne dea bestet defol^ aerra, m^s & m*alnie rruciiliera.*' 
Et auai toat prisi-il oveske ly genu qui connsacycnt la i>I.ioc. ct la 
demuetrerent k ly. Et quant out fet la tewe, cutra en rabbcyc, ei l.« doua 
en pure et en perpctuelc aunioyue a la mc»un it tuli jour« pur •'alnic ct 
si't aunceatra< et scs succci»curt, et la coufcnna par sa chartre cnscK* Uc 
Run ieel devant tote le people. 



The liftroiihf Wa 

THE thirteenth century is one of the innst iinjmrtaiit and 
inteiestiiig periods in our national annala. In Uie reign of 
the cunning and worthless John began the great struggle 
for the English liberties, (o which the course of events had 
long tended. The period to which more particularly be- 
longs the title of Aiigfo-Norman was now ended; during 
the first ccnlur}' afVcr the conquest, the king and his Nor- 
man barons had been closely tied together by their conunon 
<qip06ition to the native English ; but in the latter end of 
the twelfth century the two races were already joining in • 
community of interests and blood, and the alliance waa 
completeil and rciuleml dunble by the continual attempts 
of king John to strengthen his ]>ower by the introduction 
of strangers. After tliJN lime tli<: dcMeiidanls uf the Xur- 
man bnrons who lin<l come in with duke WilH.ini railed 


themselves Englishmen, and became distinguished by their 
hatred to " foreigners." 

On the accession of John to the throne^ the country was 
filled with gloomy apprehensions; he neither loved, nor 
was he loved by his people, who already anticipated the 
evil days which were approaching. Even the doctors of the 
church were carried along by the general feeling, and went 
about preaching that the thousand years of the Revelations 
were now completed, and that the old dragon was about to 
be let loose upon the earth; if the world, they said, had 
suffered so many evils in the time during which he was 
bound, what might be expected now that he was set at 
liberty ?* Nothing shews us more distinctly the unsettled 
state of the kingdom in the time of king John, than 
his constant movements from one part of the island to 
another, for during the whole of the eighteen years of 
liis reign he scarcely ever remained more than a few days 
in one place. During this period the Welsh were in a 
continual state of hostility, either among themselves or 
with their neighbours, and the king frequently approached 
the border, but our account of lus transactions there la very 
imperfect. At the end of October, a. d. 1200, he went to 
Gloucester, and he was at Hereford in the first days of 
November ; on the 6th of that month he was at Ledbury, 
on the 7th at Upton Bishop, on the 8th and 9th at Fecken- 
ham in Worcestersliire, and from the 11th to the ISth 
at Uridgcnorth, from whence he returned to Nottingham, 
and he spent the three follo^nng years in Normandy. In 
the latter part of 1301, or early in 1203, fourteen pounds 
eighteen shillings and five pence were exi^nded out of the 

* Doctorw notiri pnHicavenmt tolatiiai cMe dncoBcm illuii anU. 
quom, qui est diabolof et SatbABM. dietnttt ▼«! vc ! ▼• habitenlibiis in 

um ! qaonUm solutus est antiqaus draco, etc Ataerabaiit itaqne 

doclorcf BOttri illoa nillc annos jam ett« coosumptot, et diabolum tolatum. 
Vn> trmr at babiuntititit in ca! quia ti dinboliu It^lns tot ct tanta 
iniulrrit mala mvado, qnoi ct quanta inferel solnloa? Rof. de Hovcdrn, 
Aunat. lu an. 1201, p. bit). 


royal treasury in repairing the castles of Hereford^ Gros- 
mont. White Castle, and Screiifrith,* and it was probably 
on this part of the border that the Welsh were most 
troublesome. John repaired to the border immediately 
after his return from the continent, and was at Worcester 
on the ISth and 14th of March, 1204. On the 11th 
of August, 1204, he again arrived at Worcester, where 
he remained till the 20th.t In the December of the 
same year he was at Bristol for three days, and from the 
20th to the 24th of March, 1205, he was a third time at 
Worcester. In the September of the year last mentioned, 
he passed two days (the 9th and 10th) at Bristol; and 
between the 21st and 24th of January, 1206, he was again 
at Tewkesbury and Worcester, from whence he returned to 
pass over into Normandy. There can be no doubt that 
on the last mentioned occasion the king was called to 
the border by the turbulence of the lords of the Marches, 
and more particularly of William de Braose, >vith whom 
he had a quarrel at this ])eriod. While at Worcester, on 
the 2Srd of January, William de Braose made his peace 
with the king, and gave him, among other things, three 
steeds, and ten greyhounds, in return for which his castles 
of Screnfritli, Grosmout, and * Lantely ' were to be restored 
to him.^ Some circumstiince, as it apjiears, occuiTed to 
hinder the delivery of the castles, as we learn from the Close 
Rolls that twenty marks were afterwards given out of the 

* In emcndationc caateUonim de Hcrcforde et Grosmunte ct Blanch- 
CMtell, ct Schcncfrid, .xiiii. li ct ,\r'i\i. s. et .v. d. Rotulus CaucclUr. iit. 
Johan., p. lOG. In the same roll (p. 12*2) under the head Shropshire, wc 
have the following entry. Et A^inioui do Lens .iiii. ni. ad sustcnta- 
tiooem aoam ad qusrendum utlapitos homines. He was probably one 
of the men employed in looking aAcr Fulke Fttz Wartnc and his 

t On the 15th he went to I'crshorc. 

X Trr» do\tri(ri«»9 ••! (|uiiii|iic « !i"i?ui'- « I .wuij. >"U*«»> cl .x. lcpuraii'»s. 
Close Rolls. 


royal treasury to Hubert de Burgh, (who had beeu ap^ 
pointed in the third year of John's reign to be warden 
of the Marches, with an attendance of a hundred knights), 
to fortify them. It was not till the latter end of the same 
year that king John was reconciled to this powerful baron, 
and on the 18th of December Walter de Clifford, then 
sheriff of Herefordshire, received an order to put into the 
hands of William de Braose his three fortresses.* About 
the same time Walter de Lacy likewise incurred the king's 
displeasure. On the £7th of May, 1206, Ludlow Castle 
was in his possession ;t but towards the end of that year, 
or early in 1207, it had been seized by the king, and on 
the 5th of March, in the latter year, William de Braoee, 
into whose custody it had been given, was ordered to deliver 
it to Philip de Albeny,^ in whose custody we find it a few 
days afterwards (March 10),§ and who restored it on the 
18th of July following to WiUiam de Braoee, in whose 
keeping the castle and town were to remain during the 
king's pleasure.|| On the 19th of March, 1208, the 
castle of Ludlow vras still in the possession of William 
de On the 19th of July, 1207, king John gave 
the castle of Knighton to Thomas de Erdington,^ his 
favourite, and whom he chose shortly afterwards to be the 

• Psuat BoUt, p. 57. 

t Close Rolls, p. 71. 

I Patent Rolls, p. 69. 

4 Close Rolls, p. 79. EigfateeD days afterwards, If arch 2^ the con* 
stable of Bristol was ordered to send three hofiheads of wine to Lndlov 
to store the castle. Rex constah. Bristol!, etc. MandaaiM tibi ^od asitti 
facias tria dolia Tiai asqne ad eastmn de Lndelawe ia wamistiuaai, el 
rompatabttnr tibi ad scaccartum. Close Rolls» p. SO. 

I Patent Rolls, p. 74. 
^ Patent RolU, p. HK 
•• Patent RolU. p. 71 


chief of a secret mission sent to the Mohammedan emir of 
Spain to obtain his assistance against the pope.* 

On his return from Normandy in 1207, the king had 
again visited the border of Wales. On the S2nd and 2StA 
of August he was at Worcester, and Tewkesbury; he 
immediately returned to Winchester, but on the 17th of 
September he had again approached as far as Bristol, where 
he remained till the 19th, and returned to Westminster. 
Two months later John was again in progress towards 
Wales; on the 12th and 18th of November he was at 
Tewkesbury ; on the last mentioned day he went to Glou- 
cester, where we find him signing documents on the 18th 
and 14th ; from the 15th to the 17th he was at St. Brievel's ; 
and from the 18th to the 22nd we find him at Hereford, 
from whence he returned direct to Mahnsbury, and towards 
London. On the 5th of March, 1208, John came again to 
Bristol, where he remained till the 7th, when he appears to 
have been suddenly called away ; but in the month following 
he returned, and we find him successively at Tewkesbury 
from the 19th to the 21st of April, at Gloucester on the 
S2nd and 2Srd of the same month, at Hereford from tlie 
24th to the 28th, from whence he returned by Tewkesbury 
(where he was on the 28th and 29th), to Woodstock. 
From the 26th of Jime following to the end of the same 
month the king was again at Hereford,* from the 1st to the 
3rd of July he was at Worcester, whence he returned to 
Woodstock. On the Srd of October in the same year he 
was again at Tewkesbury; we have some difiiculty in 
ascertaining his movements during the following days, but 
on the 8th and 9th he was at Shrewsbur}', and on the 20th 
he was at Oxford on his way to Westminster. The king's 
progresses towards the border were no less frequent in the 
year 1209 ; on the 20th of January he was at Gloucester, 
he was at Tewkesbury on the 21st and S2ad, at Worcester 
on the 23nl, at Shrewsbury from the 20th to the 29th, and 

* The detAiUof ihit mission arc given bj Matthew Paris, sub an. 1215. 


at Worcester from the 1st to the Srd of February, from 
whence he was called to Lambeth ; he came again to Glou- 
cester on the 8th of May ; he was again at Bristol, Glou- 
cester, and Tewkesbury from the 7th to the 17th of July ; 
he came a fourth time in September, on the 25th of which 
month he was at Bristol ; and he made a fifth progress to 
the same part of the kingdom in November, being at 
Tewkesbury from the 26th to the 28th of that month, and 
at Gloucester, St. Brievel's, and Bristol, in the first days of 
December. These frequent visits are an evidence of the 
unquiet state of the Welsh border; they were probably 
caused as much by the turbulence of the English lords 
of the Marches as by the hostilities of the Welsh. On 
one of these occasions Gwenwynwyn prince of Wales 
is said to have come to confer with the king's council at 
Shrewsbury, and was there detained a prisoner, whilst 
Llewellyn prince of North Wales invaded his territory. In 
the latter part of 1209 king John was probably drawn to 
the border by the rebellious conduct of the families of 
Braoee and Lacy, who fled to their possessions in Ireland. 
From the 14th to the ITth of May, 1210, the king was 
at Bristol with an anny dra^rn together for the purpose of 
pursuing his fugitive barons ; he was at Si^'ansca on the 
28th and 29th, and at Haverfordwest on the 3 1st, from 
whence he passed over to Ireland at the beginning of June, 
and was engaged in hostilities there during tliat month 
and July. On the 27th of Augxist he was at Haverfordwest 
on his return to Bristol. 

The courage of the AVelsh appears to have been raised by 
the absence of the king, and they commenced hostilities 
against the famous Ranulph earl of Chester. It was pro- 
bably on this occasion that the earl being attacked suddenly 
was obliged to take shelter in the castle of Rhuddlau in 
Flintshire, where he was besieged by a numerous army of 
Welshmen. Tradition has cotmected la-ith this event the 
origin of a siii«rular office or di;;iiit y which long existoil in tlio 
principality of ('hector, of nliich the title may be tnui^latod 


into English by master of the rogues and strumpets, and 
which seems to have had some affinity with the office of the 
J2ea: Ribaldamm in France. According to the story, when 
the earl of Chester found himself in danger of being taken 
by the Welsh, he sent for aid to his constable of Cheshire, 
Roger de Lacy, baron of Halton, who by his fiery courage 
(and perhaps for other causes) had obtained the surname of 
Hell. It happened to be the time of one of the great fairs 
held at Chester (in Midsummer), where was assembled a 
vast concourse of people of the class above mentioned, who 
came to join in and profit by the festivities of the occasion, 
and among them no small number of wandering minstrels, 
who were considered as belonging to the same class. Roger 
de Lacy collected these people, and hastened ^vith them 
to Rhuddlan ; and the Welsh, astonished at the numerous 
army (as they supi)osed it to be) which was approaching, 
raised the siege. The earl, we arc told, in gratitude for his 
constable's timely arrival and as a memorial of the event, 
made Roger de Lacy ' master of the rogues and stnunpets 
of Cheshire,' an office which he or Iiis successor transferred 
to their steward, Hugh de Dutton, and his heirs.* This 
singular office was continued up to a late period. In the 
14th Henrj' VII (a. d. 1498), Lawrence Dutton, lord of 
Dutton, in answer to a quo-warranto on behalf of prince 
Arthur as earl of Chester, claimed that all minstrels inha- 
biting or exercising their office within the county and city 
of Chester ought to appear before him, or his steward, at 
Chester, at the feast of St. John the Baptist yearly, and 
should give him at the said feast four flagons of wine and 
one lance ; and also every minstrel should pay him four- 
pence half-penny at the said feast; and that he should 
have from ever}* strumpet residing and exercising her calling 
witliin the county and city of Chester four-pence yearly 
at the feast aforesaid ; for all wliich he pleaded prescription. 

* The wortU of the charter are, MafriAtcrium omnium leccatonim et 
roeretricun) totius Cestrrshire, sicut libcriu^ ilium mnpistcrium icnco de 
comile, talvA jure men mihi ct hn>redibus mcis. 



It is also certain that the Duttons used to keep a court every 
year upon the above feast, being the fair day, where Jill the 
minstrels of the county and city attended and played before 
the lord of Dutton or his steward, upon their several instru- 
ments, to and from divine service, after which the old 
licences granted to the minstrels, &c. were renewed, and 
new ones granted.* 

The hostilities of the AVelsh continued during this year 
and the year following. In the month of March, 1^11, 
king John marched to the Borders of Wales ; we trace him 
by the signatures on the records, at Bristol, on the 4th of 
March, at Gloucester on the 6th and 7th, at Hereford on 
the 9th, at Kilpeck on the 11th, at Abergavenny on the 
ISth, again at Hereford on the 16th and 17th, and at Led- 
bury on the 18th, from whence he returned to London. 
The official records for the remainder of the year and a part 
of the year following, appear to be for the greater part lost, 
and we can only ascertain from what remains that the king 
was at Hereford on the ISth and 18th of November. This 
is the more to be regretted, as some of the most important 
events connected mth the history of Wales in this reign 
occurred during that year. According to the Welsh ac- 
counts, the king at the urgent solicitations of the Lords 
Marches, came to Chester with a great army in the spring 
or in the beginning of summer of that year, and marched by 
the coast to Rhuddlan, the Welsh retiring to the moun- 
tains as he advanced. John pursued his course, crossed the 
river Clwyd, and encamiied under the castle of Digiinwy, 
which had been built by the earl of Chester in the prece- 
ding year. Tlierc his army suffered much from fatigue and 
disease, and being surrounded by the Welsh and in danger 
of being deprived of provisions, he was obliged to make a 
hasty retreat into England. From the English chroniclers 
we have a more accurate account of what followed. John 
enragetl at the failure of his first attempt, assembled a 

* See Du|k1a1c*« Baronage, and Uloonl'i Ancient TciinriS Cir I'urthet 
iafonnaiion concernins I hit tinsiiUr custom. 


numerous army at Oswestry (Album Monasterium) the 
castle of John Fitz Alan^ on the 8th of July, and marcliing 
into Wales, devastating the country over which he passed 
in the most cruel manner, he crossed the river Conway 
and encamped at the foot of Snowdon. The Welsh 
princes were compelled to submit, and Llewellyn obtained 
peace by the intercession of his wife Joane, who was king 
John's illigitimate daughter,* and by the delivery of twenty 
eight hostages, and the king returned in triumph to Oswestry 
on the 25th of Augustf 

Towards the end of the year the Welsh were again in 
arms. At the beginning of 1212, they issued from their 
strong holds, made themselves masters of several castles 
and put to death tlie garrisons, plundered and burnt a 
multitude of small towns, and then retired with their booty. 
The intelligence of these hostilities was brought to the king 
while engaged in festivities at London; and in a fit of 
violent anger he ordered a vast army to be collected, and 
swore that he would lay waste the whole of Wales and 
exterminate its inhabitants. On his arrival at Nottingham, 
he ordered the twenty-eight children of Welsh chiefs whom 
he had taken as hostages to be hanged before dinner. He 
then sat Aovm to table; in the middle of his meal he 
received a message from the king of Scotland, warning him 
of a conspiracy against his person; before he rose from 
table, another messenger brought a letter from his daughter 
Joane princess of Wales, also warning him of treasons medi- 
tated against him. The king despised these warnings, and 
continued his progress to Chester; but he was there met 
by other messengers, who brought him more distinct inti- 
mations, that if lie proceeded with his enterprise he would 
cither be killed by his o>vn soldiers, or Iw delivered up 
to his deadly cr.emios the Welsh ; and J^truck with sudden 

• And not his J»i.>tcr, n^* Jias been ^t.'\lff^ in a former part of the present 
work, p, 73 

. Mattlit \v I'ariSi j^til' ai.n. 



consternation he disbanded his anny and returned to 
London. It was at this moment that the pope was excom- 
municating the contumacious monarch, and offering his 
kingdom to the king of France ; and shortly afterwards 
John, distrustful of his own people, surrendered his crown 
to the papal legate, and consented to receive it again as a 
vassal of the Romish see.* 

After his apprehensions had been calmed by the exaction 
of hostages from his barons, the king returned towards 
the Borders of Wales, but with what retinue we have no 
information. He was at Tewkesbury on the 80th of July, 
1212, at Worcester on the two following days, at Bridge- 
north on the 2nd and 8rd of August, at Shrewsbury on the 
4th, and at Bridgenorth on his return on the 5th. He 
again came to Bristol in October^ and was there on the 
18th and 19th of that month. He made a third progress 
towards Wales in the beginning of November, and was at 
Flaxley in the Forest of Dean on the 8th and 9th of that 
month, at St. Briavers from the 10th to the 12th^ at 
Flaxley again on the latter day, at Tewkesbury on the 18th, 
at Hereford from the 18th to the 18th, and he went from 
thence by Tewkesbury to Warwick and London. King 
John did not again visit the border till November 1218^ 
on the 20th and 21st of which month he was at Tewkes- 
bury, and he was at Hanley Castle from the 22nd to the 
24th, at Hereford from the 25th to the 27th, at Kilpeck on 
the S6th and the 27th, at St. Briavers on the 28th and 
29th, at Monmouth on the 29th and SOth, and on the 
latter day he returned to St. BriavePs on his way to Lon- 
don. One of the most important events which occurred 
on the borders at this period was the restoration of Walter 
do Lacy to all his lands and possessions except Ludlow,t 

* Matthew Paris, sub ann. 

t Plcnariam saUinam de onmilms terns titis et tenementif 

pi.rttr I.MtlcUwc, ipiAni in manuni uotMm rctiuuiatts quamdiu nobis 
placuciit. Close Koll», p. 147. 


on the 29th of July, 121S, that great feudal baron having 
given four hostages for his fidelity. The castle of Ludlow 
was then in the custody of Engelard de Cygony, an active 
agent of king John. On the 23rd of October^ 1214, the 
king ordered Engelard de Cygony to deliver the town of 
Ludlow to Walter de Lacy ;* but Engelard appears to have 
expostulated with his royal master, and to have represented 
that the place was too important to be trusted out of his 
own hands, for the king wrote to him again on the 2nd 
of November, approving of his conduct, and authorizing 
him to retain the casile, " although it were better to give it 
up than pay forty marks a year to keep it," but ordering 
him to deliver up the town to Walter de Lacy, in accor- 
dance with the convention which he had made with him.t 
Shortly afterwards the king appears to have placed entire 
confidence in the loyalty of Walter de Lacy, for on the 12th 
of April, 1215, he ordered Engelard do Cygony to deliver 
^'his (Lacy's) castle" of Ludlow (castnim suum de Lude- 
lawe) into his custody.^ At the time when Walter de 
Lacy was restored to the king's favour, John Fitz Alan of 
Clun, among others, became an object of distrust, and all 
his lands with the churches of Oswestry and Shrawardine 
were seized by the king and, June 10, 1213, delivered into 
the hands of John Mareschal, then warden of tlie ISIarches, 
who held them till the 11th of July, 1214, when by the 
king's direction he delivered them to Tliomas de Erdington, 
one of John's creatures, who was son-in-law of William 
Fitz Alan, the elder brother of John Fitz Alan.§ 

In the great struggle between the king and the barons 

• Close Rolls, p. 175. 

t Res Engelardo do Cygon, salntcin. l)c kiiis qiix niaiidaatiii vos 
feciate de porcis, bene fccUtU. Bt licet plus valcai rctldcrc castnim do 
Lodelawe quam dare pro custodia caslri xl. m. per annum, rctcnto 
lamen in mtnu nostra casiro illo, viilam M'altcro dc* Lasov habere facias 
secundum conTcntionem inter nos ct ip^um far (am, quia a conventione 
ilia nolumns rc»ilirc. Close Rolls P' 17ri. 

^ Talcnl RoU^p. I3i. ^^ r*atcii( I:'.*IIf, pp |(i>», IlK 


during the latter years of John's reign, die Welsh entered 
into a close alliance with the baronial party. Immediately 
after his return from Normandy in 1214, John repaired 
to the border; from the 14th to the 17th of December he 
was at Gloucester; he was at Monmouth on the 18th; 
at Kilpeck on the 18th and 19th ; at Hereford fitxm the 
2l8t to the 2Srd ; at Worcester from the 25th to the 27th ; 
and at Tewkesbury on his return on the 27th. Some of 
the most powerful of the border families, as the Mortimers 
and the Lacies, were staunch adherents to the royal cause, 
but many others, and among the rest the Fitz Alans and the 
well-known Fulk Fitz Warine, were as firm adherents to 
the baronial confederacy. John upon this occasion, appears 
to haye seized on many of the castles of his enemies, and 
garrisoned them for his own use ; before he left the border 
he gaTe the castle of Grrosmont,* and probably Screnfrith 
and the other fortresses in the neighbourhood to John de 
Monmouth. He had previously given a strong castle in 
the Marches to Falcasius de Breauti, one of the most 
violent and cruel of his foreign meroenarie8.t 

In the spring of 1215 the barons were in aims, and 
Llewellyn marched with his Welshmen to Shrewsbury and 
took possession of that town. The bishop Giles de Braose, 
as well as the earl of Hereford, joined the barons, and 
White Castle, Grosmont, Hay, Builth, Clun and other 
castles were seized and strongly garrisoned by their adhe- 
rents. The bishop of Hereford soon afterwards made his 
peace ^rith the king. 

On the 15th of June the king signed Magna Charta. 
At the end of the next month he made another brief visit to 
the border, and was at Shrewsbury on the 30th and 81st 
of July, at Bridgenorth on the 1st of August, and at Wor- 
cester the next day. Tliroughout the records of this year 
we trace the king's anxiety to store the castles which were 
in his hands, and to place them in safe custody against 
iho impending contest. On the 10th of July the ra*itk» of 

* ClMt RoUf, p. XVX t Matt. I*«rif» Hut. M«j. tub ann. 1212 


Hereford was committed to the custody of the graud jus- 
ticiary Hubert de Burgh; on tlic 14th of August, at his 
petition, it was transferred to the younger Walter de Clif- 
ford;* and in the October following wc find jmyments 
made to Clifford for lus expenses in fortifying it.f About 
this time the bishop of Hereford died, and on the 18th of 
November the king ordered his castles to be delivered into 
the hands of the younger Walter de Clifford.^ The king 
appears also to have obtained possession of the casdcs on 
the south-western border of Herefordshire, for he restores 
Grosmont to John de Monmouth on the 1st of December.§ 
It was not till the summer of 1S16 that king John, after 
having ravaged with fire and sword a large portion of his 
kingdom, came with his foreign mercenaries to the border, 
which wc may suppose to have suffered all the worst etkcta 
of their cruelty. On the 19th and 20th of July wc find the 
king at Bristol and Berkeley, on the Slst he was at Glou- 
cester, on the 22nd and Sdrd at Tewkesbury, and firom the 
24th to the 27th at Hereford. At this time he ordered 
Thomas de Erdington to deliver up the castle of Bridge- 

* Patent Rolls, pp. 119, 153. The family of the Cliffords potsesscd 
Urge estates on the border. The Walter de Clifford here mentioned was 
tlie brother of Rosamond de Clifford, the mistress of Henry II, better 
known by the more celebrated name of *' Fair Rosamond." Among his 
estates were Corfham and Cnlmington, in the neighbourhood of Ludlow. 
(See the Rot Fin. 1 John.) Another sister, Lucy, was married to Hugh 
de Say, lord of Richard's Castle and Ludford (who was the direct de- 
scendant of " Richard the Scrub,*' baring changed the fiunily name of Fits 
Osbom for that of Say), and, aAcr her husband's death, she married 
Bartholomew de Mortimer. Their grand-daughter, Margery de Ferrers, 
inherited Richard's Castle, and conrcycd it by marriage to Robert dc 

t Close Rolls, p. 231. Honey was still a very important portion of the 
produce of lands on the border. It appears by an entry this year, that 
Stephen D'Erereux (de Ebroicis) held Badlingham of the king by the 
tenure of paying thirty -two gallons of honey yearly to the king's use in 
the castle of Hereford. Close Rolls, p. 219. This probably formed part 
««f the stores for the U4c of the g«irrisou. 

; Taleni Rolls, p. IjU. >' raicnl RulU, p. IGO. 


north aiul the county of Salop to the custody of tlie earl of 
Chester.* From Hereford he is said to have written to 
Llewellyn prince of Wales and to Reginald de Braose 
(brother of the late bishop of Hereford, and third son of the 
famous William de Braose), offering them favourable terms 
if they would join him against Louis of France, who had 
been called in by the barons. Being unsuccessful in his 
attempt to detach them from the alliance of the baronial 
party he marched to Hay Castle, which he took and de- 
stroyed. He was at Hay on the S7th and 88th of July, 
and on the latter day he wrote again to some of the Welsh 
nobles, inviting them to an interview, and declaring that 
he was come to the border for their benefit, and not with 
any intention to injure them.t From Hay Castle the king 
xetuxned to Hereford, where he remained from the S9tfa to 
the 81st of July. On the latter day he went to Leominster, 
where he was on the 1st of August On the Snd day of 
August he was at Badnor, where also he destroyed the 
castle, and he went the same day to Kingsmead. On the 8rd 
he was at Kingsmead and Clnn, and on the 4th at Shrews- 
bury. From the 6th to the 10th of August the king was 
at Oswestry, the castle of John Fitz Alan, which he burnt 
to the ground. From this place, on the 7th of August, 
John sent another safe-conduct to the Welshmen to repair 
to his presence.^ From the 1 1th to the 14th the king was 
again at Shrewsbury. On the 12th he granted to Robert 
de Mortimer a market to be held weekly, and a fair to be 
held yearly on St. Owcn*s day (March 4), and the five fol- 
lowing days, in his town of Richard's From the 
14th to the 16th of August the king was at Bridgcnorth, 
and on the latter day he gave into the hands of the carl 

• Pateat Rolls, p. 175. 

t Sciatit quod propter commodum Tettnun ft bob dimintttionem 
Tettiam Tel dampnnm Tcnimos in partct isut, quod per opera nostra 
manifette perpendcre potcritis rslcnt Rolls, p. 191. 

; Paieni Rolls, p. V.n. ^ Ch*^r Rolls, p. 2^1. 



uf Chester th« custody of Shrewsbury, Bridgcnorth, and 
the county of Salop.* From Bridgenorth John went to 
Woioester^ where he was on the 16th and 17 th of August, 
and thence to Gloucester, which he reached on the latter 
day. The whole of the king's movements on this occasion 
show that his chief object was to tamper with the Welsh, 
and with the lords of the Marches, in whom lay his last 
hope of raising an army sufficient to afford any solid 
prospect of opposing the progress of his enemies. He had 
taken the opportimity of wreaking his vengeance on a few 
of the barons on the immediate border who were opposed to 
him, and before he left this part of the kingdom for the 
last time, on the 18th of August he took the castle of 
Hereford firom Walter de Cliffi)rd and gave it to the keeping 
<tf Walter de Lacy, with orders for fortifying and storing 
it,t and on the 20th he again gave to John de Monmouth 
the castles of Ghrosmont, Screnfrith, and Lantely4 From 
Gloucester king John proceeded on that progress which 
ended at Newark upon Trent, where he died on the 10th 
of October. At his own request his body was carried to 
Worcester, where it was deposited in the cathedral. One 
of his last acts connected mth the border of Wales was his 
grant, on the 10th of October, of three carucates of land in 
the forest of Acombury to Margaret de Lacy for the founda- 
tion of her monastery.^ 

After John had been buried, his son Henry was carried 
to Gloucester to be crowned, and he remained there till the 
middle of December. Tlic hostile parties continued still in 
the same position, and it was not till the latter end of the 
year following that the kingdom was restored to peace. 
On the Srd of November, 1S16, Hugh de Kilpeck received 
orders from the king to pay immediately the usual panagc 
of his pigs in the wood of Trivelle to Walter de Lacy to 

* Patent RolU, p. 193. t Patent RolU, pp. 193, 194. 

t Patent Rolb, p. KM. \ Patent RoUt. p. 199. 


store the castle of Hcrefiml.* By the treaty with Louw 
and his adherents in the September of 1217, Llewellyn 
prince of Wales, who, with his barons had been excom- 
municated, were to deliver up to the king all the fortresses 
on the border which he had taken during the baronial 
contest ; and he came to Hereford on the Octanes of St, 
Martin (Noyember 18), probably for the purpose of nego- 
tiating on that subject. As the king could not meet him 
at that time, Llewellyn received a safe-conduct to come 
to the court at Northampton ;t but this he appears not 
to have used, and the king sent him another safe-conduct 
to meet him at Worcester on the second Sunday after Ash- 
Wednesday (March 11), 1S184 Accordingly, we trace the 
king in his progress to the place of meeting by his signature 
on the documents of the period : he was at Gloucester on 
the 8th of March, and at Tewkesbury on the 11th, which 
day he probably reached Worcester, where he remained 
till the 17th. Llewellyn came there at the appointed time, 
and bound himself by an oath to certain conditions of peace 
and alliance which were then agreed upoQ.$ During his 
stay at Worcester, on the 16th of March, the king directed 
the market-day at Leominster to be changed from Sunday 
to Thursday; and the same day he ordered the Sheriff 
of Salop to assist Jolm L'Estmngc in* strengthening liis 
castle of Knockin.ll The king was again at Gloucester on 
the 20th of April, and at AVorcester from the 20th to 

* CI<MC Rolls, p. 293. Panagc (pasnagium porconim) was the fe« paid 
for the p«nnttium to turn pigi into the forests to feed ; in this instance, 
and ia many others, it was probably paid in kind, for baron, as we hare 
btfora observed, p. 21, wan the principal article In the larder of the 

t Rymcr's Frdera, new cdittou. rol. I, p. I to. | Frdera, toL 1, p. 150. 
f A copy or the oath in printed in the Tardera, ib. 

I Close RoIIk, p. 3o5. It appear* by ulker entries on the Rolls, that 
|trrtivu« lu lhi» iiiii«* in towh^ m ihi» part of the kine«loD). Sundav 
was Ibc n-^ual uarkii'day. 


Tlie feuds bct^vcen the Welsh and the lords of the border, 
%vliich had originated, or been cherished^ during the baro- 
nial contest, were not, however, easily extinguished, and 
many years passed away before this part of the kingdom 
ceased to be the scene of a continual succession of predatory 
warfare. At the commencement of the year 1£20, these 
hostilities had taken a character which called for the active 
interference of the king. On the 1st of May in that 
year, the king wrote to Llewelljrn inviting him to meet 
him at Shrewsbury on the Monday after the Ascension ;* on 
the £5th of April he had ordered sixty pounds to be paid out 
of his treasury to defiray the expenses of his joumey,t and 
wo find him at Shrewsbury on the 7th of May, where it is 
probable that the Welsh prince sent excuses for not attend- 
ing to his invitation. On the 9th the king returned to 
Bridgenorth, where he granted licenses to the burgesses of 
Shrewsbury and Bridgenorth to cut down timber in his 
forests for the strengthening of their respective towns.^ 
On the 10th he had reached Worcester, and on the 17th 
he arrived at Westminster, where he appears to have taken 
immediate measures for raising a considerable army. The 
especial objects of Llewellyn's enmity were William Marcs- 
chal, carl of Pembroke (the son of king Henry's guardian), 
and Reginald de Braose, and he was preparing to invade 
their lands with a powerful army. Henry appeared again 
on the border in August ; he was at Berkeley on the 15th 
and 16th of that month, at Monmouth on the 17th, at 
Scnmfrith on the 19th, at White Castle on the 20th, and at 
Striguil on the 81st, where he appears to have heard first 
of the real extent of Llewellyn's preparations, and he 
learnt that he was then marching against Reginald de 

* Fttdera, p. 159. 

t Liberalo ctiam dc theMuro nostra cidcm Willclmo texAginta lihras 
dcferendaa nobiscuni ad expen^a!* nottras rcrtuf Salopesbir. Clone UoWs 
1>. 11 G. 

I CKmo U»IK pp. IK, 11^. 


Biaoee.* On the SSrd, the king was at Bristol on hii^ 
retom from the border, and the Welsh proceeded ^rith 
their hostilities^ but before the end of September their 
progress had been arrested by Henry's interference, who, 
on the 6th of October, wrote to the Welsh prince, citing 
him to appear before him at Worcester on the Octaves of 
St Andrew (December 7).t It does not appear that this 
meeting took place, but Llewellyn had agreed to make 
amends for the damages he had committed. A new ap- 
pointment was probably made and kept in the year following, 
as the king came to Shrewsbury on the 28th of June, when 
a truce, if not a recondhation between the hostile parties, 
was agreed upon. Early in the following year the Welsh 
appear to have again assumed a threatening attitude, and 
we find the 'RngliA monarch at Screnfiith from the 4th to 
the 7th of March, but the truce was finally prolonged on 
the 80th of April. 

Llewellyn appears to have taken advantage of the truce 
to prepare on a larger scale for a new invasion of the 
English border. In the JMywnttig of March, 12SS, the 
king was called from a progress in the northern part of 
England by the intelligence that the Welsh prince was 
besieging Whittington, the castle of Fulkc Fitz Warine.$ 
Henry reached Shrewsbury on the 7th of March, and on 
his approach it is probable that the Welsh retired ; and he 
proceeded by Bridgenorth, Kidderminster, Worcester, and 
Gloucester, towards the capital. After the king's departure 
the Welsh renewed their hostilities ; a letter of safe-con- 
duct, sent on the 22nd of June to Llewell}!! to meet the 
king at Worcester on the Monday after the feast of St. 
John the Baptist,^ was disregarded; and when the king 
arrived kt AVorccster with an army at the beginning of 
July, he loamt that the Welsh had taken AMiittington as 
well as the castle of Kinardsley, or Kiiuicr^Iey, belonging 

• CloM RolU» p. 126. t Kctdcrm, p. |r»|. 

t Closo Hull?, p 537. ( FrT<{er4. i, p. ]ft>^. 


to Baldwin de Hodiiet. lie immediately sent orders to 
put Shrewsbury in a state of defence, and after staying at 
Woicester till the 16th, and at Gloucester till the £2nd, he 
retiumed to Windsor, where, on the llSth of September, he 
received intelligence from Reginald de Braose that he was 
closely besieged in his o>vu castle of Biiilth, and that the 
English foix^s were insufficient to withstand the progress 
of Llewellyn and his AVelshmen.* The king immediately 
called together a powerful army, which was to meet at 
Gloucester, and on tlie 19th of September he reached 
Hereford in i^erson. He caused the fortifications of that 
city to be put in a good condition, and remained there till 
the 25th ; on the 26th he was with his army at Leominster ; 
on the 29th he was at Shrewsbury; and the next day 
he marched with his army to Montgomery. Here, having 
terrified the Welsh by the greatness of his preparations, 
and by the ravages which he began to commit upon them, 
he received hostages from Llewellyn for their future sub- 
mission.f But the king determined to put a check uiion 
their incursions on this part of the border, by building a 
new and strong castle at Montgomery. Immediately afler 
his arrival he wrote to the sheriff of Shropshire for arms, 
and to Hereford for stores. At the same time he restored 
to Baldwin de Hodnet and Fulke Fitz Warine their castles 
of Kinardsley and Whittington. On the 7th of October, 
he sent for twenty ** good miners" from the Forest of Dean, 
to make the fosses and lay the foundations.^ Having 
remained at Montgomery till the 11th, he returned to 
Shrewsbury on that day or on the 12th, and imssed through 
Brid^cnorth (on the 13th), and Kidderminster (on the 
14th), to Worcester, where he remained from the 14th to 

* rccdcra, i, p. 170. Matt. Paris, Ilitt Maj. sub ann. 1221. The 
historian is entirely wrong in the date he gives to these occurrences. 

t Fvdera, i, p. 170. 

X Ad opcratioucs raslri uostri q.iod iMdrm conslniimus fariendas. 
CMuse ItoU^ p. 000. 


the IGthy and from thence he went to Gloucester. From 
both these cities he sent to Montgomery money and mate- 
rials for the works^ with abundance of stores and arms. 
On the 18th of November he ordered six hogsheads of 
gascon wine and fifty '' bacons" to be sent from Bristol to 
the castle of Hereford. On the 28nd, he sent to Mont- 
gomery six thousand quarells, or cross-bow arrows, which 
had been made at St. BriavePs, where there appears to 
have been an extensive manufactory of these weapons. Ou 
the SSrd, the king appointed a chaplain to serve in the 
'new castle ' of Montgomery. During the whole of the 
year 1224, the king was occupied in strengthening the 
border, and in building his castle, which appears to have 
been finished in September. On the 19th of that month 
he arrived at Worcester, where he was met by his sister 
Joane, Llewelljm's wife;* on the 21st he was at Kidder- 
minster, on the 22nd, at Bridgenorth, and from the 24th to 
the 80th at Shrewsbury, where he strengthened the fortifi- 
cations of the castle. On the let of October the king 
visited the castle of Montgomeiy, which he entrusted to 
Baldwin de Hodnet. On the 2nd of October he was at 
Ludlow, on the 4th at Hereford, and on the 7th at Gloa- 

At this period the family of the Mortimers was increasing 
fitft in power and importance; and their possessions on 
the border were repeatedly enlarged by alliances with the 
heiresses of the old lords of the Marches, whose families 
were becoming extinct. Three successive lords of Wigmoro 
intermarried with the house of the Braoses; Hugh dc 
Mortimer, the grand-son of Soger who founded Wigmore, 
married Annora, the daughter of William de Braose ; Ralph 
dc Mortimer married the widow of Reginald dc Braose; 
and his son Roger dc Mortimer married Maude the daughter 
and co-heir of Reginald's son, the second William de Braose. 
All these barons wore distingttished by their loyalty, and 
by their hostility to the Welsh. IIu|;h do Mortimer diod 

• Cl««c n«IU, p. 622. 


in November, 1227, in consequence of wounds which he 
had received in a tournament. His brother Ralph, who suc- 
ceeded to his estates was remaikable throughout the whole 
of his life for his hatred towards the Welsh, which appears 
to have been founded partly on resentment for personal 
injuries. In 1231, according to a chronicle of the abbey of 
Wigmorc,* while Ralph was a prisoner in France, the 
Welsh invaded his estates, and carrying their ravages as far 
as Wigmore, they entered the abbey on the first Sunday in 
Lent, plundered it of every thing worth carrying away, 
and then burnt all the houses and offices to the ground, 
leaving no part of the building entire except the church. 

The year after that in which the new castle of Mont- 
gomery was completed, we find Llewellyn again in arms. 
While William Mareschal was absent in Ireland, the prince 
suddenly invaded his lands, seized upon two of his castles, 
and, having massacred the defenders, garrisoned them with 
Welshmen. William Mareschal returned in haste, and 
soon recovered his castles ; and in revenge he invaded the 
lands of Llewellyn, who raised a large army to oppose him. 
Tlie hostile parties engaged on the banks of the Tivy, and, 
according to the English chronicles, the English obtained a 
decisive and sanguinary victory .f But the earPs success 
must have been partial, for Llewellyn continued to harass 
the English during the remainder of the year. He was 
probably encouraged by the inability of the king, who 
was occupied with other afiairs, to come to the assistance of 
the barons. Henry cited the Welsh prince to meet him 
at Worcester fifteen days after the feast of St. John the 
Baptist (July 9tli) ;X in June he sent to inform him that 
other matters of iiniK>rtancc then occupied him, and he 
changed the day of meeting to the Assumption of the 
Blessed Virp^n (August 15th).§ In spite of tlie king*8 

* 111 the BJouasticon, last cUiUoii» vol. vi, p. 3^ 


t Matthew Vutts, ulio jilaccs these transactions in the year 1223. 
1 Firtlcia, I, p 171). { F<rclcra, i, p. ISO. 


threats and expostulations, Llewellyn proceeded witli his 
hostile preparations, which had assumed so serious a cha* 
racter in the autumn of the same year that Henry obtained 
from the pope a bull of excommunication against the person 
of his refractory kinsman.* This war appears to have been 
partly excited by Hugh de Lacy aiid some other barons, 
who had withdrawn their allegiance from the king, and 
joined their forces with those of the Welsh.f According to 
some accounts, a peace was at length concluded between 
Henry and Llewelljm, who met at Ludlow.^ 

But at this period no peace between the English and 
Welsh was lasting ; and for many years the border was the 
scene of continual strife. The grounds of the great baronial 
confederacy were already laid, which soon afterwards hum- 
bled the crown at its feet During the thirteenth century 
the turbulence of the Welsh was in no small degree a 
safeguard to the liberties of England. When the defenders 
of the great charter were defeated or overpowered, they 
found a never-failing refuge in the mountains on the other 
side of the border, and they oould there hold their ooundls 
and raise their forces for friture operations ; while the first 
notice of an insurrectionary movement among the Bnglifh 
barons was the signal for a rising among the Welsh, who 
were led by the love of plunder to join their banners. In 
1826 feelings of mistrust arose between the king and 
William Mareschal, who retired to his castles in Wales ; 
and on the 88th of July in that year we find Henry at 

• F<rd«n. i. p. 18a The bull i* dated in October. It ii there Mid of 
the priace of Wales, Nuae vero idem, tanquam homo prv?mrieationi 
aaMietaa et tadUt ad IhllcBdiim, te aimol, et famam et pfomina cob* 
faadeaa, Regi obedire fecvaat* ei castra tibi ab eo rommina dtmoBi^ araa 
contra ipeum Rcgem erexiC, et ei et qjoa fidelibua, prvciptte aobilt viio 
W. comtti Penebroccnti, baliro refrio, guerram moret. 

t Matthew Paris. 

I Caraduc of Llaacarran. As the Rolls of this period have not yvt 
been printed, mc are no lunger able Iv trace the king in his progrcs.'*e«, 
escept by a few isolated document « printed by Rymcr 


Worcester, sending a safe-conduct to Llewellyn to meet 
him at Shrewsbury.* During the next year the border 
appears to have been more tranquil, but it was the scene of 
new troubles in 1228. They are said to have originated in 
an attempt of the garrison of Montgomery to clear the 
woods on a public road in the neighbourhood which was 
infested by robbers who murdered and plundered the pas- 
sengers. The Welsh assembled in large numbers, and, 
fidling suddenly upon the English, drove them back into 
the castle, to which they laid siege. The garrison imme- 
diately sent intelligence of their perilous situation to the 
grand justiciary Hubert de Buigh, whom the king had 
just before this event invested with the district and castle 
of Montgomery. Henry himself, mth a small army, 
hastened to the spot, and compelled the Welsh to raise the 
siege; and then, having received large reinforcements, he 
proceeded to clear the wood in question, and marched 
as far as Kerry in Montgomeryshire, where he laid the 
foundations of a strong castle. But his workmen and 
soldiers were continually interrupted, and many of them 
slain, by the repeated attacks of the enemy ; some of the 
king's best knights were slain in the attempt to fetch in 
provisions for the army ; and his eflforts were paralysed by 
the disaffection of his own army. After a great expen- 
ditttie of money and time, he was obliged to make a 
disgraceful treaty with the Welsh prince, by which he 
agreed to destroy the castle which he had begun.f 

Among the prisoners made by the Welsh was William 
de Braose, the son of Reginald de Braose, who was retained 
in captivity after the treaty, and whose fate has since 
become the subject of many a ]K)pular legend. It is said 
that William de Braose, confined in the castle of Abcr, 
captivated the affections of the princess Joane ; and that 
her husband, becoming acquainted with their intimacy 
after his prisoner had l)ocn set at lil)orty» treaclierously 
invited him to an Eastrr festival, ami then* ( .:iisod him to 

• Fcrdcra, i. p IS'2. 1 Matthew rati» &uU Ann. VtIK 


be seized and hanged upon a gallows. The legends add 
tkat the princess was also put to deaths after having been 
shown the corpse of her lover.* 

Early in 12S1, the Welsh began to ravage the lands 
which had belonged to the unfortunate William de Braose, 
but on the approach of the king they retreated to their 
strong holds. Henry was at Worcester on the 27th of 
May, on which day he sent to Llewelljrn a safe-conduct 
for his messengers to meet his council at Shrewsbury on 
the Tuesday after the quinzaine of the Holy Trinity.f The 
king' then proceeded towards the south, leaving to Hubert 
de Burgh the care of negociating with the hostile moun- 
taineers; but no sooner had he left the border, than the 
Welsh recommenced hostilities, and began to plunder the 
neighbourhood of Montgomery. The knights who had the 
guard of the castle, irritated at being thus bearded within 
their own waUs, issued suddenly and fell upon the inva- 
ders, and, after inflicting upon them a severe defeat, sent 
numerous prisoners to the grand justiciary (Hubert de 
Burgh), who ordered them to be executed as rebeb and 
their heads sent to the king. This act of severity was 
the signal for a general rising amongst the Welsh ; LIewell}*n 
assembled a numerous army, invaded the lands of the lords 
marchers, and committed the most frightful ravages, burn- 
ing even the churches and monasteries, and in them seveml 
noble ladies and young maidens who had taken refuge 
there. The king of England was indignant at the tur- 
bulence of his feudal de|iendant. He immediately prepared 
to inflict a severe punishment ; on the Soth of June he 
sent orders to the justiciary of Ireland to make war on the 
Welsh from the sea, and, on the ISth of July, he assembled 
a great army at Oxford, where the English bishops and 

• Th9 UtUr ffttt of tho ttoi^ do6t not appoor to have any hittoricat 
fotrndatioB. Tho ouuuior and came of tho execution of William de Braoae 
are mentioned by Uatthew I*ari«, tnb ann. 1230. 

t Ftfden, p. VHK 


prelates solemnly anathematized Llewellyn and his accom- 
plices. The king then made a rapid march to Hereford^ 
where he learnt that the Welsh were encamped in the 
neighbourhood of Montgomery, and that Llewellyn lay in 
ambitsh to entrap the garrison of the castle. They were 
relieved from their perilous situation by the advance of the 
king ; who rebuilt the castle of Matilda (castrum Matildro)^ 
formerly destroyed by the Welsh, and placed in it a strong 
force to repress their future incursions. On the SOth of 
November, a truce was agreed upon between Llewellyn 
and the king, which waa renewed on the SOth of February 
following.* The Welsh were however only pacified for a 
moment; during the year IZS2 they were continually 
infesting the border. On the 20th July we find the king 
on his way to Shrewsbury to meet Llewellyn^ to whom 
he sent a safe-conduct to last till the vigil of St. Lawrence 
(August 9); and, after further hostilities, the king was 
at the same place on the 7th of December, making a 
'provision' with the Welsh prince.f Tliis provision, 
like all those which had preceded, was of little effect or 

The troubles wliich marked the rear 1233 arc said to 
have been preceded by extraordinary uatiural phenomena; 
when the sun rose over the counties of Hereford and Wor- 
cester on the morning of the 8th of April, the inhabitants 
of those districts were astonished at beholding it accom- 
panied by four other suns, arranged in a visible circle 
wliich appeared to embrace within its circumference the 
whole of England, this larger circle being cut by four 
smaller ones, the four false suns forming the |)oint$ of 
intersection.^ The ap]>rehen$ion$ excittMl by this prodigy 
were heightened by the knowledge of the distrust which 
already appeared between the ill-adns^Hl monarch and his 

• Fflcdcra, pp. fOl, 20-2. Mm t hew l».iri!«, «ub ann. 1232. 

f Fotdcra, pp. 2115. 2in;, 2<i6 I Matthew Parts, $ub ann. 123^1. 



Henry daily inclined more and more to his foreign fa- 
vourites, to the injury of his subjects, and the great and just 
Hubert de Burgh had already fallen a sacrifice to his own 
integrity, and was a close prisoner in the castle of Devizes. 
The English barons began to confederate together^ and the 
king, full of fears and suspicions, invited them to a grand 
meeting at London on the kalends of August. He had 
already deprived several barons of their estates to bestow 
them on the Poitevins who surrounded his coiurt, and 
Richard Mareschal was now the object of his jealousy. 
The wife of Richard earl of Cornwall (the king's brother) 
was the earl Mareschal's sister, and when he paid her a 
visit on his way to the appointed meeting, she took him 
aside and informed him that a plot had been laid to seize 
upon his person. The earl immediately turned back, and 
never stopped till he found himself safe on the border of 
Wales, where he was joined by others who had fallen 
equally with himself, under the king's displeasure, amongst 
whom were Gilbert Basset, Richard Suard, and Walter 
de Clifford, with many other knights distinguished for 
their influence and ])ersonal bravery. The king then 
summoned the refractory barons to appear before him at 
Gloucester on the Sunday before the Assumption of the 
>'irgin Mary, and on their refusal to obey, gave orders 
to invade and ravage their lands as the possessions of 
traitors to his crown. At the same time he declared them 
outlaws, and gave their confiscated estates to his Poitevins, 
on wliich Richard Mareschal and his friends entered into 
an alliance with the prince of Wales. 

Tlie king inunediately marched to Hereford with a 
formidable army, consisting cliiefly of foreigners, more 
csiMxrially of Flemings. He vms at Hay castle on the 
2ud of September, when he sent messengers to Lcwcllyn to 
try to detach hiin from the confederacy.* From Ilcrefonl 

• r*Td«r.T. |» 'i\ ». 1\\v kinc had bcfor*.* been .il Tewkt^bury «!u- 
>far, «»n ihc 2**th of M.iy. VnAi ra, \*. 7*^J 


lie sent his defiance, or declaration of war, to the earl 
Marcschal, and laid siege to one of his castles^ hut with 
so little success that he saw himself on the point of being 
obliged to retire from before it. Humiliated by this cheeky 
he opened negociations with the earl, offering, on condition 
the castle should be immediately placed in his hands, to 
t<akc him again into favour, and to reform the corruptions in 
the government of which the barons complained, or to 
restore the castle in a fortnight. On these conditions the 
earl gave up the castle, and the king appointed the Sunday 
before Michaelmas to receive the outlawed barons at West- 
minster. When that day arrived, the king had fulfilled 
none of his promises, and in defiance of the advice of his 
best counsellors, he treated vrith contempt the earl's claim 
for the restitution of his castle. The latter took up arms 
and, after a very brief siege, made himself master of his 
own fortress. At the same time the aged justiciary, Hubert 
dc Burgh, was carried away by force from his prison by 
some of his friends, who armed him according to his rank 
and conducted him to the border, where he joined the 
revolted barons, and strengthened their cause by his expe- 
rience and influence, as well as by the sympathy excited 
by his injuries. 

The king was furious M'hen he received intelligence of 
these events. He assembled in haste a formidable army 
at Gloucester, and marched with it to Hereford; but the 
barons had carried all their cattle and other effects from the 
open country into their castles, and, unable to support 
his vast host in a country which thus afforded no pro- 
visions, he retired to the castle of Grosmont, intondin^^ to 
remain there some days, and, confident in his numbers, 
encam]>e(L negligently in the fields ^-ithout the castle. The 
barons, who had gootl intelHgrnce, were informed of his 
position ; the earl Maresehal refused to join in an attack 
uix>n the person of the king, but the other confederates 
marched during the nljjht with a numeruus army of Kn^Iish 
and Welsh, and at davbrcnk on the feast of St. Martin 

(Xofember 11;, fell g|>33 the royal camp, diore away 
the knights and soldieTS without strudng a blow, and made 
themsehes mastent of abore five hundred hoises, and all 
the equipage and baggage of the camp. The king was 
safely lodged in die castle of Grosmont, but he lost all 
his money and provisons, and many of his principal men 
were oUiged to ily almost in a state of nudity. 

After this refene the king felt himself no longer secure 
at Gbosmont, and retired to Gloucester, hatring garrisoned 
an the castles in his possession on the bender with bands 
of hungry Poiterins and Flemings under the command 
of John de Monmouth and Baoul de Thony , to the latter of 
whom he had gi^en the castle of Matilda. These garrisons 
of stnmgets soon became the tenor of the peasantry, for 
they did nothing but plunder and ravage the co untry 
round* But Henry's departure increased the boldness 
of the confederate barons, who now retaliated by invading 
the lands of John de Monmouth and the other partisans of 
the king. Richard Mareschal, at the head of the united 
anny of the outlaws, marched towards Monmouth at the 
latter end of November, intending to lay siege to the castle, 
which was entrusted to the care of a Flenush knight named 
Baldwin de Guines. AMiile the army was moving to its 
quarters, the carl, attended only by a hundred knights, 
approached to reconnoitre the castle. He was observed and 
recognised by Baldwin do Guines, wlio assembled a thou- 
sand of his bravest warriors, and sallied out to capture his 
enemy. The com]>amons of Richard Mareschal advised 
him to make his csca]M? M-ith as much speed as possible; 
but their gallant leader told them that he had never yet 
turned his back on an enemy who offered him battle, and, 
ho added, " I shall not change my custom to-day.** For 
se%-eral hours, in spite of the inequality of numbers, the 
earl Mareschal and his men defended themselves ^-aliantly 
with their s])cars and swords. At length, despairing ot 
ovcrroming the whole party collectively, lialdwin do Guines 
chose twelve of lii« i^ni|iaiiioiis to single out the MareschaK 


^hile the rest were engaged in the attack upon his knights ; 
and, although the earl slew most of his assailants, his 
horse was at length killed under him, and he was thrown 
in his heavy armour to the ground. Baldwin de Guines, 
furious at his obstinate resistance, threw himself on the 
earl, and tore his casque from his head with so much 
violence, that Richard's face was covered with blood ; then, 
having placed him on a horse, he drew it by the bridle 
towards the castle of Monmouth, while some of his men 
held him and pushed him from behind. At this critical 
moment one of Richard Mareschal's arbalestriers, seeing 
the danger of his master, aimed an arrow at Baldwin dc 
Guines, which pierced through his armour, made a dan- 
gerous wound in his breast, and stretched him apparently 
lifeless on the earth. His men, believing him dead, left 
their captive to attend to their lord ; and at the same time 
the earl Mareschal's army, having received intelligence of 
the combat, arrived at the spot. The soldiers of Baldwin 
de Guines now sought safety by flight, but when they 
came to the river which they had to pass, they found the 
bridge broken down, and a few only with their wounded 
leader reached the castle. The rest were either drowned 
in attempting to pass the river, or were slain by their 
pursuers, or were taken prisoners and obliged to pay heavy 
ransoms for their liberty. The field of battle was covered 
with the dead. " From the time of this skirmish," says 
Matthew Paris, who is our authority for this episode in tlic 
border history, " the carl Mareschal, Gilbert Basset, Richard 
Suard, and the other exiles and those who were in league 
with them, laid fatal snares for the Poitevins who occupied 
the castles of the king of England, so that whenever one of 
them issued forth to pillage the countr)*, they laid hold 
of him and would acce]>t no other ransom thcin his head. 
It soon came to that point, that the roads and other places 
were strewed with the bodies of these foreigners, in such 
numbers that the air was comijitcd by them.*' 

The king, humiliated by ihcso rovcr»i*s, endeavourcil 


vainly to entrap the earl Mareschal by s]iecious offers of 
pardon. His failure in this attempt, and the represen- 
tations of his foreign favourites, embittered still more his 
hatred against the confederate barons. Henry held his 
Christmas at Gloucester, with a small attendance of English 
nobles, for he had been abandoned by most of the barons 
who had been ^vith him at the memorable defeat at Gros- 
mont. On the Monday after Christmas-day, John de 
Monmouth, the king's most zealous partizan in these parts, 
collected a large army to attack the earl Mareschal by sur- 
prise. But his vigilant antagonist had received intimation 
of his design, and when the soldiers of John de Monmouth 
was making their way with difficulty through the intricacies 
of a forest they had to pass, the confederates fell upon them 
suddenly with terrible shouts, drove them oat of the forest, 
and pursued them with so much fury, that John de Mon- 
mouth was almost the only one who escaped. Richard 
Mareschal, emboldened by this success, invaded the lands 
of John de Monmouth, and ravaged them with such perse- 
vering hostility, that '' from a rich man he became suddenly 
poor and needy." At the same time his partisans carried 
on a similar kind of destructive warfare against the other 
royalists. Richard Suard burnt the lands of the king's 
brother, Richard earl of Cornwall, near Brchull, rooting up 
and destroying utterly even the woods and single trees. 
Tlicy treated in the same manner the domain of Segrave, 
belonging to the grand justiciar}* Stephen dc Segrave, and a 
manor near it belonging to the bishop of Winchester, who 
was one of Henry's evil counsellors. In the midst of these 
ravages, the confederates made a rule to injure none but the 
evil advisers of the king. 

Soon after these occurrences, a little before the octaves of 
the Epiphany (January ISth), Richard Mareschal and 
prince Llewellyn, with their united armies, marched to 
Shrewsburj', destro}*ing the country in their way. After 
having collected an immon«* iKwty, and ha^inj* burnt a larjjp 
part of the town of SlinMvsbury, thoy returned into Wales. 


The king, finding it impossible to put a stop to these 
ravages^ left Gloucester and went towards Winchester. 
Unable to succeed by open force, he had recourse to trea- 
chery, and a plot was formed in Ireland against the earl, 
who, called thither to defend his positions in the sister 
island, became a victim to the treachery of his o\vn friends. 
When the king heard of his death, he is said to have burst 
into tears, and to have declared that the earl of Pembroke 
had not left behind him a knight who was worthy even to 
be second to him in courage and military skill. 

The death of this able baron was followed by a recon- 
ciliation between the king and the rest of the exiles. Among 
the first of those who were restored to favour was the aged 
justiciary, Hubert dc Bui-gh. On the 16th of June, 1234, 
the king, then at Tewkesbury, took into his grace Gilbert 
Mareschal, Richard's brother and heir ; and on the 30th 
day of the same month he concluded a truce with Llewellpi*. 
This was followed by a treaty of peace between Henry and 
the Welsh prince towards the end of November. 

During the remainder of Llewellyn's life, his transactions 
with the English king were of a more pacific character. It 
appears, indeed, from a document bearing date t)ie 18th of 
February, 1236,t that the Welsh prince liad infringed the 
peace, or rather truce, concluded in the preceding year; 
but a new one was signed by the king at Tewkesbury 
on the 11th of July following,* when Lie well jti came to 
Shrewsbury and Wcnlock to renew his oaths of allegiance 
and fidclity.55 The truce was prolonged at the beginning of 
June, 1337, and again in March, 1238, the king being 
then at Tewkesbur}*, and in the July of the same yoar.|| 
In the follo^nng year the king a^ain quarrelled with the 
family of the Mareschals, who retired to their ])o$sessions 
on the lx>rder. Soon aftcnvards the king treated with equal 
indignity Simon de Montfort, who was destined shortly 

• Focdera, pp. 212, 213. t Fo^Ucra, p. 223. 

t F<riler.i. p. 229. t FocdcM, p. 230. il Focdcm, pp. 232, 235. 


to play so distinguished a part in the history of the time ; 
and the same year Henry brought a new accusation against 
the aged Hubert de Burgh^ which served as a pretext for 
extorting from him four of his castles, White Castle, Grroe- 
mont, Skenfrith, and * Hanfeld.'* The two following years 
were still more fruitful in events which influenced the 
fate of the border. On the 11th April, 1840, Llewellyn 
died, and left his principality to be contended for by his 
children, David and Griffith. The former called his brother 
to a pacific conference and there ti-cacherously seized upon 
him and committed him to close prison. Early in 1241, 
died Walter de Lacy, overcome with age and infirmities, 
leaving his extensive possessions to be divided among 
heiresses. Near the same time Gilbert Mareschal was 
slain at a tournament, and was succeeded in the title and 
estates first by his brother Walter l^Iareschal, and then by 
the remaining brother Anselme, who died at the end of the 
year 1£45. Thus two of the most powerful fiunilies on the 
border became extinct. 

At the latter end of October, 1240 (the Tuesday after 
St. Dunstan*8 day), the king renewed with David the truce, 
or peace, which had been made with Llewellyn, and in the 
following month wc find the king and the prince deciding 
by arbitration a dispute wliich had arisen between them. 
The domestic quarrels of the Welsh, as might be expected, 
did not fail to affect the ])cace of the border. In the 
following spring Dnnd was at war with Ralph de Mortimer, 
and attempted to seize a ship belonging to the city of 
Chester.f At the same time Griffith and his friends were 
urging the king of England to interfere in his behalf, and 
release him from his chains. On the 11th and 12th of 
February, Henry was at Worcester,^ called thither doubt* 
Icssly by the affairs of Wales, for not long after^nrds he 
summoned all his fiefs who held of the crown by military 

* MaUlicw Parif tub ann. 1239. f Fordcra, pp. 212, 213. 

I li*ucfl of the Exrhrqiicr, cd. 1*y Uctun, 1S3S, pp. 17, IS. 


servicOy to assemble Avitli unixs ami baggage at Gloucester 
at the beginning of autumn. On the 2nd of August he 
held a council at Shrewsbmy, and, Da^-id having refused to 
attend, he ordered the aimy which he had taken mth him 
to Shrewsbury to advance against his refractory nephew.* 
We find the king with his numerous and well provisioned 
host, at Rhudlan on the 31st of August.f The prince, 
terrified by the formidable preparations of the invader, 
made no attempt to resist, but gave up his brother, mth an 
earnest recommendation to the king to keep him close 
confined, if he wished to retain Wales in peace. Henry 
willingly agreed to this condition, and Griffith ^vith the 
Welsh hostages were sent to London and committed to safe 
custody in the Tower. David himself came to London in 
November, and took a solemn oath of allegiance and fidelity 
to the English crown. 

Griffith remained in confinement till the year 1244, when 
David, having sufficiently strengthened his power in Wales, 
conceived the idea of withdrawing from his dependence 
on the crown of England. He appears to have been partly 
urged to this mcasiure by the pope, who was dissatisfied 
with the English, and absolved the Welsh from their oath 
to the king. Negociations had been opened for the purpose 
of obtaining Griffith's liberty, but these ha\dng failed, he 
and the other hostages made an attempt to escape from the 
Tower. His companions succeeded in their enterprise, but 
Griffith fell from the wall to the groimd, and being fat 
and heax-y, he was killed on the spot. This event occurred 
at the end of April ;J it was followed by an active war be- 
tween the A^'clsh and the Knglish lords of the Marches wlio 
were encouraged by the promises of the king to assist tlieni. 
On the 15th of July, a truce a)>i)car$ to have been niade,§ 
but it was of short duration, for innnediately ai'torwards, to 
use the words of Matllicw Paris, " the Welsh issuing from 

• Matthew I'sirU sub aim. ]'2l\. f nr.ltrn, j.. '213. 



their retreats like a swarm of bees/' spread desolation over 
the border. The king, who was just returned from 
Scotland with a powerful army, instead of hastening to 
repress their rebellion, sent an insufficient force imder 
Herbert Fitz Matthew, dispersed the rest of his host, and 
resigned himself to idle repose at London. On his arrival, 
Herbert found that Ralph de Mortimer and the earl of 
Hereford, who had joined their forces to withstand the 
invaders, had sustained a severe defeat. The next day he 
made an attempt to retrieve the honour of the English, but 
with no better success; his army was almost destroyed, 
and he sought a precarious asylum in his castles. From 
this time the audacity of the Welsh knew no bounds. 
David formally mthdrew himself firom the allegiance of the 
king of England, and placed himself under the protection of 
the pope ; and Henry, in return, caused him to be excom- 
municated by his bishops on the 29th of November, and 
prepared to invade Wales in the following year. 

On the 6th of January, 1245, the king summoned David 
and his adherents to appear in his court at Westminster, to 
make amends for the devastation which they had caused on 
the borders of Wales.* On the 10th of the same month he 
sent orders to the justiciary of Ireland, Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
to invade the Welsh coasts. In March, an ineffectual at- 
tempt appears to have been made to negotiate.f But 
hostilities continuing, during lent, a body of Welsh fell into 
an ambush in the neighbourhood of Montgomery, and above 
three hundred were slain by the garrison of that place. 
Dand nn'cnged this check by a long series of sudden and 
sanguinary incursions, scarcely a night passing in which the 
Welsh did not enter some part of the border and put every- 
thing they met to fire and sword. In these invasions they 
were frequently repulsed by the borderers; and on one 
occasion, the English ha^dng engaged the Welsh in a 
wooded pass, the brave Herbert Fitz Matthew was slain.^ 

* Do li Willie t<lii9, inccndiit, dcprvdalionibus, &c. Fa*dcr«, p. '2*)*^. 
f Fffdcra. p. 251f. | ftUtthow ParU, tub ann. 12 Ki. 


Another party of Welsh were surprised near Montgomery, 
and put to the sword ; and from one outrage to another, the 
struggle gradually became a war of extermination. 

On the 7th of June, we find the king hastening his pre- 
parations for the invasion of Wales.* About the beginning 
of July, he summoned all his nobles and military fiefs to 
assemble on the Border ;t and on the 20th of August he 
was at Chester.^ Instead of marching into the interior, 
Henry began by cutting off all communication between the 
Welsh and their neighbours ; and by this measure, assisted 
with the ravages of war, he reduced a great portion of the 
country to a state' of extreme misery. He encamped on the 
northern coast at ' Gannoc' (the name given by the English 
at that period to Diganwy, in Caernarvonshire), where he 
spent nearly three months in fortifying a strong castle, 
which became, as Matthew Paris observes, a sore in the 
eyes of the Welshmen. At the approach of winter he left 
the castle well stored and garrisoned, and returned to 
London. The campaign had been most disastrous to the 
Welsh; vast numbers had fallen by the swords of the 
English and of the Irish who had been landed on their 
coasts, and the numbers who perished by starvation and 
by the hardships of war were scarcely less numerous. 
The greater part of those who remained were reduced to 
the greatest distress. On the 10th of November, the king 
was at Worcester, where he issued a new proclamation 
forbidding his subjects to hold any communication with his 
enemies the Welsh.§ At the beginning of spring, David, 
the cause of all these disasters, died, heart-broken, as it 
was said, by the misfortunes of his countrj'mcu. His 
nephew Grif&th, son of that Griffith who had been killed 
in his attempt to escai)c from the Tower of London, was 
chosen by the Welsh to succeed Iiim. His countrymen 
were too much exhausted to continue their hostilities against 

* Foeden. f Matthew Paris, sub ann, 1245. 

i Forden, p. 26.'). ( Fee Icra. p. Sol. 


the Englishy and, for two years the whole of North Wales 
remained in a state of extreme desolation. 

The Welsh were moved by a two-fold incitement to take 
part with the English barons in the great struggle which 
was now approaching. The plunder of the lands and pos- 
sessions of the adverse party was a sufficient temptation to 
them to join in the quarrel, as they had done before on 
similar occasions ; but at the present time the extortions and 
oppressions under which the English themselves suffered, 
pressed with double weight on the imfortunate inhabitants 
of the principality, who had been placed at the mercy of tlie 
king and his favourites by their disastrous war under David. 
The country was distributed like Turkish pashaliks, to the 
highest bidders, who ground the wretched inhabitants to 
dust, that they might extract from them their last piece 
of money to pour into the king's treasury, and into their 
own. It was thus that Alan de la Zouche, who had suc- 
ceeded John de Grrey in the government of the country 
bordering on Cheshire, drew in 1251 eleven hundred marks 
of annual revenue from a district which, in the time of 
his predecessor, had paid only five hundred. In the year 
following, when Alan de la Zouche passed through St. Albana 
with a number of carriages heavily laden with the produce 
of his extortions, which he ivas carrying to the treasury, he 
declared publicly that the whole of Wales was now at 
length reduced to absolute obedience to the English laws, 
and that it was in a state of profound tranquillity.* 

But this peace, although it lasted for two or three years 
afterwards, could not be of long duration — ^it was the 
silence of dispair. After having supported the tyranny of a 
succession of paltry exactors, the patience of the Welsh was 
at length exhausted, and in 1S56 they were forced into 
rebellion by the oppressions of Gcofiry de Langeley, then 
collector of the revenues for the king. At first the rising 
appears to have lioen partial, and it was disowned by their 

• Matthew r«m. «u1> ann. r/5l-«2. 


prince Llcwellyiiy who demanded a personal interview with 
the kiugj who was at Gloucester on the 2^nd of July,* 
probably on his way to the border for that puq)ose. But the 
meeting did not take place, and as winter (the season most 
favourable to the Welsh) approached, the insurrection 
became luorc 3 ::icir.l. They began by attacking the posses- 
sions of prince Edward, to whom the government of Wales 
had been entrusted. Their first efforts were attended with 
complete success, for they were not only favoured by the 
unusual humidity of the weather which rendered it impos- 
sible to enter Wales with a r^ular army, but they appear 
to have been secretly assisted and encouraged by the 
English barons. Nevertheless, it was Peter de Montfort 
(one of Simon's sons), who was governor of Abergavenny, 
who made the most vigorous resistance against their inroads. 
On the Thursday after the feast of St. Matthew (Sep- 
tember SIst), the Welsh advanced in considerable force 
against the castles held by this baron, who, assisted by 
John de Grey, Roger dc Mortimer, Reginald Fitz Peter, 
Humplirey de Bohun, and other lords of the Marches, 
defeated them in several encounters,t yet not many days 
after Peter de Montfort gives the king an account of these 
successes, he ^vrites another letter, begging for speedy 
assistance, and describing his o^^oi position as being ex- 
tremely critical.^ The retreat of prince Edward increased 
the courage of the Welsh, who crossing the northern border, 
carried tlieir devastations up to the walls of Chester. At 
the same time they drove from his lands their countryman 
OrifHth de Bromiield, who had meriteil their hatred by his 
obsequiousness to their English opprcs^^ors. During the 
winter and the following spring the Marches of Wales 
continued thus to present a scene of rapine and bloodshed. 

It is said that at first the king refused to pay any atten- 
tion to the messages of his son Edwanl and the barons of 
the l)ordor, nllcdginjj that they oujrht to be able to take 

• Foril.Ta, i. p. Ill t F»rH.ra, i. p X\\i ; Fopdcw, i. p. 311. 


care of what was their owii. But, on the 18th of July, 
he summoned a great army to assemble on the border in 
two divisions, one to join the English barons on the borders 
of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, while the other re- 
paired to Chester, where he was to join them in person,* and 
on the 11th of September we find him encamped at Diserth, 
in Flintshire.f The Welsh, however, had carried into the 
most inaccessible parts of Snowdon their families and flocks, 
and Henry's expedition had so little effect, that his disap- 
pouitment threw him into a fever, by wliich he was con- 
fined to his bed for some time after his return. During 
the remainder of the autumn, and the following winter, the 
Marches continued to be in a lamentable state of distrac- 
tion, and several castles on the southern borders were taken 
and plundered, and some of them occupied, by the Welsh.} 
Even Griffith de Bromfield, who had suffered so much for 
his fidelity to the English, found it necessary to desert the 
king, and was received into the confederacy of the Welsh 
barons. At the beginning of the year 1258, the Marches 
of Wales were literally reduced to a desert.^ 

Tlie time was now come when the English barons found 
it necessary to make open resistance to the king and his 
foreign favourites; and the supposition that the Welsh 
were in secret league with the former seems to be confirmed 
by the circumstance that they now made eager proposals for 
peace. It may be observed that their ravages had extended 
chiefly to the lands and possessions of prince Edward and 
of some of the lords Marchers who were zealous royalists. 
In the spring of 1258, Henry again summoned his ba- 
ronage to attend him into Wales, but they answered with 
complaints of the fatigues and losses which they had already 
sustained in this service. Yet, after a brief and stormy 
meeting at Westminster, they all came in warlike army to 
the parliament held at Oxford in July, with the excuse that 

• Fadera, i. p. 361. Uatthow Paris. f Foedcra, p. 3C3. 

I In X'l^i**, Willmiii lie Al)Ctot wa> nlain at the <iv'^v uf Ewya^ ('n«(U. 
\ Matthew Pari)*, *uh ann. ri'i*. 


it was tiecesaary they should be in readiness to march 
against the Welsh. This parliament may be considered as 
the proclamation of war of the barons. The messengers of 
prince Llewellyn were conducted to it by Peter de lilontfort, 
and a truce for one year was concluded on the 17th of 
July.* Yet on the 18th of August, the Welsh had already 
infiinged the truce, and Peter de ^lontfort and James de 
Alditheley were sent to require amends.t After this the 
peace was observed with little interruption during two 

In the summer of 1260, while the English parliament 
was sitting at London, Llewellyn again invaded the 
Marches, laid waste the lands of prince Edward and many 
of the lords Marchers in the most cruel manner,^ and took 
Roger de Mortimer's castle of Builth, while that feudal 
baron was absent with the parliamcnt.§ On the 1st of 
August the king summoned his barons to assemble with 
their retainers at Shrewsbury on the Nativity of St. Mary ; 
the place of meeting was afterwards changed to Chester, 
where Hcnrj' remained vrith his army during the whole of 
the autumn, but with little success. || A truce was after- 
wards made, which was renewed at different times till the 
end of the year 126S. AVlien the king landed at Dover on 
the 20th of December of that year, he received intelligence 
of a new insurrection of the Welsh. Llewellyn had at- 
tacked Roger de Mortimer, one of the most staunch of the 
king^s adherents, and the Welsh, after taking the castle of 
Knockin, burnt and plundered the border up to Weobley, 
Eardislcy, and the x^alley of Wigmorc. At the end of 

• Foedcra, i. p. 372. t Fofdem, u p. 377. 

I Eodem anno LcwcUnus filtus Grifllni junctis in auxilium Walensibus 
terras regis Anglis ct Edwardi filit sui per totam marrliiam ccrpit Tattare 
ct destnicrct pucros jaccutes in cunis ct mulicn s in pucrpcrio dccubantes 
sine misericord ta inhumane occidcndo. Chronicon Abendon. ed. Halli- 
well. p. 12. 

\ Fit- Jcra, 1. p. yyj, 4 I'u'di'ra, i\ pnrmn profcii', CUrou. Abcndon, p. 12. 


December the bishop of Hereford, one of the king's foreign 
favourites, wrote in haste to the king that Hereford itself 
was in danger, unless the garrison were strengthened.* 
Henry immediately ordered Ralph Basset, of Drayton, to 
repair to Hereford; and at the same time he summoned 
the principal barons of the border Roger and Hugh dc 
Mortimer, John Fitz Alan, the elder and younger John 
L*Estrange, Hamo L'Estrange, Thomas Corbet, Griffith 
ap Wennewin, Fulke Fitz Warine, Ralph le Botiler, and 
Walter de DunstanyiUe, to meet James de Alditheley at 
Ludlow on the octaves of the Purification (9th February). 
Prince Edward repaired in person to Shrewsbury, and we 
find him there on the 15th of ApriLf After a severe 
contest, the Welsh were driven to seek refuge in their 
strong holds in Snowdon ; but before Edward could make 
any satisfactory conclusion of the war, he was called away 
to help his father to make head against the barons. A 
truce was made with the Welsh in autumn, Simou de 
Montfort being one of the negotiators.^ 

The war between the king and his barons began on the 
border, where the partizans of each had numerous castles. 
Roger de Mortimer raised his tenantry, and invaded and 
ravaged the lands of Simon de Montfort. The bitter, who 
had akeady made an alliance with Llewellyn (who after- 
wards married his daughter) sent also a ][)ortion of the 
baronial army to retaliate on the possessions of the Mor- 
timers, and they laid siege to Wiginorc castle. They 
seized upon Macy de Bezile, a foreigner whom the king 
had made sheriff of Gloucestershire, and the obnoxious 
bishop of Hereford, whom they dragged from the altar of 
his cathedral church, and imprisoned them both in tlie 
castle of Eardisley.^ Macy do Bezile was taken in the 
castle of Gloucester, after an obstinate defence ; Simon de 

• Foedcn, i. i». 4*23. t Fffdrra, i. p. 42.'). * Tcrdera, i. p. \:kl 


Moutfort, who had directed the siege, then marched with 
his army to AVorcester, which, already taken and rudely 
tzeated by Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby, willingly 
opened its gates to the barons. From thence Montfort 
marched to Bridgenorth and Shrewsbury, both of which he 
garrisoned against the king. The citizens of Shrewsbury 
shut their gates, and at first defended themselves stoutly, 
but hearing that the Welsh were approaching on the other 
side, they gave up the town. 

Towards the end of February, 1264, Edward, with an 
army consisting in a great measure of foreigners, hastened 
to the border, to relieve Roger de Mortimer, who was 
closely besieged in Wigmore castle. Edward came to 
Hereford, and took the castles of Hay, Huntingdon, and 
Brecknock, which he gave to Roger de Mortimer, who fled 
secretly from Wigmore to join him at Hereford ; but Wig- 
more castle fell into the hands of the barons,* who then 
pursued the prince fitnn Hereford to Gloucester, where he 
took refuge in the castle, which was delivered up to him 
by Roger de Clifford. The barons immediately took pos- 
session of the town, and after some bickerings and nego- 
tiations, Edward ngreed to make his jx^ace with them, 
and swore to obser\'e the statutes w*hich had been made at 
Oxford. The baronial armv then moved towards London. 
No sooner were they gone, than Edward showed how little 
he intended to keep his engagements; as a punishment 
for having received his enemies, he trcjichcrously imprisoned 
many of the burgesses, severely amerced the to^vn, and 
liangcil the {lorters who had opened the gates, one of wlioin 
was named Ilobkin of Ludlow ;t and then he marched 
towards Northampton, ravaging the lands of the barons a< 

* Chron Abandon, cd. Ha Hi well, p. IG. 

t Sir Itogcr of CHflfurd the porters vatte iium 
Tliot poiterx were Attc gnte tho Jon Cjiirunl ii; i"in, 
At lluhekin of Liidluwe, ami i : filawc^ aUo, 
And kl h'»m uyn !]i«' wt^^f cm- an-ho:.-. |i. i.. i., 

/i'«»'»t I f ..f ii' ft*.', if t , ft '> i J 


he went. On the other hand^ Llewellyn and his Welsh- 
men, who had beqn called to the aid of the barons when 
they marched against Roger de Mortimer, laid waste the 
lands of prince Edward, and took and destroyed his two 
castles of Gannoc (Diganwy) and Dissert. A little before 
Easter they defeated, near Kerry, the younger John L'Es* 
trange, who held Montgomery for the king; but shortly 
afterwards they received a severe check at Clun. 

These events were followed by a short cessation of arms, 
during which some of the barons deserted their cause, 
and the king again b^an to take courage. Next came the 
attack upon Northampton, the siege of Rochester, and the 
decisive battle of Lewes, which placed the king and his son 
Edward at the mercy of the barons. 

After the battle of Lewes, the Marchers were the first 
to raise their heads in opposition to the party who were 
now in power. In the autumn of 1264, the most influential 
of the border barons, Roger de Mortimer, James de Alditbe- 
ley or Audeley, Roger de Leybume, Roger de CliAnd, Hamo 
L'Estrange, Hugh and Roger de Turbeville, and t>ther89 
were in arms, and were encouraged and supported by 
the earl of Gloucester. Simon de Montfort immediately 
marched with his army towards the border, taking with 
him the king and prince Edward, who had been kept a 
prisoner at Dover. They were at Worcester on the 15Ui of 
December.* From thence Simon de Montfort marched to 
Hereford, and joined himself with the Welsh under Llew* 
ellyn, his ally. They took Hay castle, and Simon de 
Montfort invaded the lands of the Mortimers, captured 
first Richard's castle, which he 'delivered to his partizan, 
John Fits John, and afterwards the castle of Ludlow, and 
pursued Roger do Mortimer to Montgomery castle, where 
the latter was obliged to make his peace.f On the 2nd of 
April, 1£65, the castle of Montgomery was given to the 
custody of John L*Estrangc.^ 

♦ Fo'Jrrn, i. p. 119. 

t HithangcriClironiilc, oU. IliiU^^cli, p X». KjiuJ. coutiu. Mnt. raii> 

t Fordcra, i. p. 16 1. 


Simon de Montfort then moved with his royal ptisoners 
towards the souths but he was soon called back by new 
movements on the border. The carl of Gloucester had 
entirely broken his alliance with the party in power^ and 
was, with John Giffard, gathering strength in the forest of 
Dean; Roger de Mortimer again raised the standard of 
revolt at Wigmore ; Robert Walerand, Warine de Bassing- 
bum, and others seized upon the castle of Bristol; and at 
the same time two powerful nobles who had escaped from 
the battle of Lewes, and taken refuge on the continent, 
John de Warren, earl of Surrey, and William de Valence, 
carl of Pembroke, landed at Pembroke and joined the con- 
federacy. Simon de Montfort, after holding a council at 
Oxford, marched again to Worcester. The barons of the 
opposite party attempted to oppose him, and broke down the 
bridges over the Severn, but the prince of Wales had also 
called together his army, and the borderers were obliged to 
make their submission, and were again deprived of many of 
their castles. A temporary reconciliation was at the same 
time effected between the earl of Gloucester and Simon de 
Mortimer. But this was of very short duration, and Simon 
was soon recalled to the Marches.* 

Simon de Montfort was again at Worcester in May, and 
on the 18th day of that month he was at Hereford, with the 
king and prince Edward, and he remained there till the 
latter end of June.f A plot was formed by the Marchers 
to deUver the prince from his confinement Roger de 
Mortimer, one day towards the end of May, sent the prince 
a present of a very swift steed, vriih. a private intimation 
that he should ask permission of his keepers to trj* it on 
a certain day on the Widcmarsh (Wydmcrsh), and tliat the 
moment he saw a person on a white horse make a signal 
from the hill towards Tullington, he should leave his 
attendants and ride in that direction at his utmost speed. 

* RUliangcr, ut supra. Robert of Glottrcslor, pp. 551, 552. 
t Fa*«li'ra, i. pp. 45r», IJC, |.*»7. 


The required permission was easily obtained, and on the 
day appointed the stratagem was carried into effect, and the 
knight who made the signal, who was the lord of Croft, 
led the prince to the park at Tullington, where Boger de 
Mortimer, with Roger de Clifford, John Giffiird, and five 
hundred men in arms, were waiting to receive him. The 
prince was closely pursued, for the whole country (tota 
patria) was up to guard him ; but when the pursuers saw 
the forces of Roger de Mortimer, they returned in dismay. 
Edward was conducted to Wigmore, where he was received 
joyfully by dame Maude de Mortimer (Roger's wife), and 
from thence he went to Pembroke, where John de War- 
renne and WilKam de Valence were raising forces.* The 
borderers were encouraged by the success of their stratagem, 
and soon raising a large army, they took successively Ches- 
ter, Shrewsbury, Bridgenorth, and Ludlow,t and shortly 
afterwards Worcester and Gloucester. The earl Simon, in 
retaliation, took the castle of Monmouth and levelled it 
with the ground, and then joining with the army of prince 
Llewellyn in Glamorganshire, proceeded to ravage and lay 
waste the lands of the confederates. Inmiediately afterwards 
he prepared to return into England to strengthen his party, 
and came to Hereford. 

In the mean time prince Edward and his friends, being 

* llUtory of tho MortimcM in the MonasUcoii, tom. ri. p. 351. Coat 
Rishanger and Robert of Gloucester. 

t It appotn probable that the last and tucccttftil inrarittetion against 
Simon do Bfontfort was planned at Ludlow. Simon do Montfoxi waa 
revorcncod aa a saint after his death, and wo are told, in tho collection of 
his miracleSfe that he appeared in a dream to tho vicar of Warden, telling 
him to ware Gooffroj de Stalares that if he did not repent and make 
amends for his seditious plots at Ludlow against tho earl Simon, ho would 
Ikll into some sudden misfortune (ut OaUridum de Stalares militem ex 
parte sua moneret, quod scditioncs et machinamenta quM contra comitem 
Symonem et suos complices spud Luddelow feccrat, emcndaret). Geoffrey 
neglected this admonition ; and soon after, being on his «*ay to London, 
he was burnt ^ith nil hi< retinue in a house where he had taken up his 
(•'•l»:in{;s ll.\ni«(.ll» Ki^haii;:!'?, ^t y» 


at Worcester, learnt that the younger Simon de Montfort, 
with many of the influential men of the party, were at 
Kenilworth, and by a forced march from Worcester, they fell 
upon them by surprise, and made the greater number pri- 
soners. The earl Simon, >vitli the king in his company, was 
on his way to join his son, and arrived at Kempsey, near 
Worcester, on the feast of St. Peter-ad- Vincula (August 
Ist), when he learnt that prince Edward was arrived at 
Worcester with forces far superior to his own. He marched 
the same night to Evesham, where on the 5th of August, 
was fought the celebrated battle which ruined the baronial 
cause, and in which Simon de Montfort, with two of his 
sons, and most of the leading men of his party, were slain. 
The body of the earl was barbarously mutilated, and his 
head was carried to Worcester, and presented to dame 
Maude de Mortimer, who Avas staying there. Among the 
prisoners were John Fitz John, the younger Humfrcy de 
Bohun, with two sons of Simon de Montfort, and several 
other barons. 

The king, now at liberty and restored to power, was 
at Worcester on tlic 7th of August, the second day after 
the battle.* He removed thence to Gloucester, where, on 
the 24th of August, he levied a heavy fine on the citizens 
of Hereford for their attachment to the baronial cause.t 
On the 88th of November following, a tnioe was made 
with the Welsh ; but they still continued in arms for many 
months. On the 21st of September, 1266, the king was at 
Shrewsbury, negotiating with Llewellyn ; and on the 25th 
he was at Montgomer>% where, four days afterwards, a 
peace was agreed to.$ Tliis i)eace vms confirmed at Mi- 
chaelmas, 1268, when Henry again went to Shrc^vsbury 
xnih an army ; yet, on the 21st of May, in the year fol- 
loiving, we find Edward once more obliged to meet the 
Welsh prince at Montgomery. 

Although the })avty of Simon do Montfort was destroyed 

• FuMlcra, i. p. r>«». * f r«C'lcra, th. * Ttr^lcra, i. p. 173. 


in the battle of Evesham^ the civil war was not ended. 
The temains of the great baronial confederacy held out at 
Kenilworth, Chesterfield, and especially in the Isle of Ely. 
Even the earl of Gloucester, whose defection had been the 
causb of the overthrow of the barons, turned round again, 
and forced the royalists to give ground before the popular 
feelings of the nation. The immediate consequences of 
this great revolution were large confiscations of estates, and 
changes of possessors of landed property. None benefitted 
more by these confiscations than the borderers who had 
stood firmly by the king, and particularly the already 
powerful femily of the Mortimers, who, after a few gene- 
rations, wiU be found contending for the crown itself. 
Roger dc Mortimer of Wigmore, the bitter enemy of Simon 
de Montfort, received immediately after the battle of Eve- 
sham, grants of lands in Wales, of which, in the troubles 
whidh preceded, he had taken forcible possession, and his 
extensive territory was increased by the addition of Kerry 
and Kedewyn, and the castle of Delvoryn** 

As far as England was concerned, the liberties for whidi 
the barons had fought were not lost in the carnage at 
Evesham: they not only survived the slaughter of their 
defenders, but they triumphed even in their defeat. During 
the struggle between the king and the barons, a party 
which had lain dormant during the times of Anglo-Norman 
t}Tanny, the commonalty, stcpi^ed into the field and gained 
an influence which no victories or intrigues could afterwards 
destroy: in the destruction of the barons, it was partly 
relieved from a power which might have been more fetal to 
its interests than that of the most despotic of monarchies. 
The feudal aristocracy of the Anglo-Norman barons had 
ceased to exist in the force which it possessed in the twelfth 
century, but the aristocracy itself siurvived a little longer to 
perish by the sword in the sanguinary wars of the Roses, 
or by the axe under the peaceful but no less sanguinary 
reigns of the first Tudor*. 

• History of the Uortimrn, |>rifiteU in the Monatttcoa, vi. p. 3&1. 


It is thus that the fatal conflict at Evesham closes a 
distinctly marked period of English history. Its effect on 
the history of Wales was still more remarkable. Since the 
reign of the Conqueror the Welsh had enjoyed a precarious 
independence, which was equally useless and equally inju- 
rious to both parties, English as well as Welsh. Wales, as 
the smaller power, lived only by the internal quarrels of 
the greater power; and it lived in a state of existence 
which could only be tolerated because the greater power 
had too much to do at home to bring a remedy to it. 
When the power of the English barons was even partially 
broken, the fate of Wales was decided. From the time of 
the Norman conquest to the battle of Evesham, Wales 
had an historical importance which probably it had never 
had before. But in Aat battle its importance was lost. It 
made a fruitless struggle in the follomng reign, whicli 
ended in the extinction of its native princes. 



QmditioH of (he Border at the beginning of the Reign of 

Edward L 

POLITICAL events may be traced on the face of the 
ground where they occurred, as well as in the pages of the 
chronicler, and it is by no means an wiim][)ortant part of 
the historian's task to obser>'e their local effects at the time 
as well as the marks which they have left behind them. 
The appearance of the border in the latter jiart of the 
thirteenth century, after the long continued warfare which 
has been recited in the preceding chapter, must liavc 
contrasted strongly ^vith its appearance in the twelfth cen* 
tury, and in the time of the Anglo-Saxons. In the first 
place, the towns had been increasing greatly in ini][K)rtance ; 


amid the shock of contending parties, they were beginning 
to obtain rights and privileges which gave them a new 
existence. They became corporate bodies acknowledged 
by all parties; little republics in the midst of an aimed 
aristocracy, which elected their own governors in the form 
of what are now called corporations, and took care of their 
own safety; they were defended from the jealousy of the 
aristocracy by strong waUs manned with their own soldiers, 
and by the protection of the crown. In many cases the 
hamlet which had originally been formed under the pro- 
tection of the baron's castle, perhaps by his own serfe and 
retainers, now lifted its head with scorn against its former 
masters. In the TVelsh wars of the thirteenth century^ the 
border towns suffered far less than the border castles. It 
was a step towards a new and better state of things. 

At the close of the great baronial contest, the open 
country on the border of Wales must have presented a 
fearful picture of desolation, such as we can now with 
difficulty conceive. Even much of the forests had been 
destroyed by the effects of war, cither cleared away that they 
might no longer serve as a retreat or place of ambush for 
crafly enemies, or cut down to (iimish wood for the continual 
repairs of the fortification of castles and towns, destroyed 
by designing or accidental incendiaries.* The M-oods which 
remained were long afterwards the haunt of thieves and out- 
laws, who not only robbed and murdered tlie |>assctigcrs on 
the high roads when they travelled singly or weakly armed, 
but even at times associated together to attack and plunder 
the fairs and markets. The position and extent of these 
forests may be traced by the modem wood-lands, and by 
the magnificent old forest-trees which have been spared 
by the axe to adorn our parks and fields. Few parts of 
England are so rich in noble trees of this kind as the border 
of Wales. Among the most remarkable specimens of such 

* Wc lc.\ni from tlir llundrcU RulU of 39 Henry III (>••!. ii. \\ iM, 
Ikat a «*M)il ai Toritt* (|tulcinni ndDu-*, iit ir'iiuiii vi intcztuni) lind licvii 
rnlircly rut d«»mit l>y tin- btirfrcsics uf Slirc«>l>iiry, with the kiiu'*^ liccmi*. 


trees in the neighbourhood of Ludlow, may be mentioned 
the aged oak on the brow of the hill at Nomiptoii, or >' imV 
Upton, near the village of Little Hereford, which vcax 
ptolwbly Uanding there previous to the Norman Conquest, 
end then surrounded by a thick forest. It would ap|x?ar 
by its name that the manor formerly belonged to one of the 
border cotiTents. The tree is hollowed by decay, and its 
branches mutilated by the effects of time; the circuinfcrem-c 
of the trunk, near the ground, is fifly fci't; and ut the 
height of a yard and a half from the ground, it is thirty- 
three feet. 

After the arrival of Edward I in England, one of liis first 
cares was to put a atop to the numerous cases uf oppression 
and injustice which had boon suffered to arise and con- 
tinue amid the troubles of his f.illier's rci};n. F^ir this 
purpose inquisitions were made throughout ilie llnudti-ds 


in every county, the results of which have been preserved 
in the Hundred Rolls, documents of singular importance 
for the light which they throw on the condition of the 
country at this period. The laws and customs of the forests 
were the source at all times of injustice and oppression, 
and these roUs afford us instances of the violence with 
which they were then put in force by the border barons. 
The principal forests were retained in the hands of the 
king, who appointed foresters and granted them lands or 
the tenure of keeping guard over them. The yeomanry 
and the burgesses of towns were allowed to keep their swine 
in them on the payment of a certain fee, named pannage ; 
and the foresters themselves were allowed certain privil^;e8 
and perquisites. Robert the forester of Wellington held 
freely of the king half a virgate of land for keeping the 
wood and common of Wellington, The cattle of the town 
of Wellington were allowed to go in during the whole year, 
except the month in which occurred the feast of St. John 
the Baptist, and the i)eriod from Michaelmas to Martinmas, 
the swine paying every year two pence for those above a 
year old, and one penny for those which were under a year, 
and for the young pigs nothing. The forester was allowed 
as his perquisite, all retropanage, and dead wood, and oaks 
blown down by the mnd to the number of five (those above 
that number going to the kin;:), and also all branches blown 
down by the \vind; and he rented of the king four acres 
and a rood of purpresturc or enclosed forest-land, for which 
he paid eighteen pence an acre.* The foresters of Walter 
de Clifford claimed as a fee from every house in the baili- 
wick of Clee a hen at Cliristmas and five eggs at Easter, 
and if they were not readily given, they treated the inhabi- 
tants with great rigour.f Tlie foresters api^ar to have 
been in the general habit of levying fees of tliis kind. 
Goats as well as pigs were kept in the forest lands by the 
fore^ter^ themselves, and also by the poor, who paid a 

•Hun4r«a Relit, vol li. p 5< f lb. p. 83 


^reiy small acknowledgement. This was the case in the 
manner of Stretton, when the inhabitants declared that, 
unless they were allowed as heretofore to have their goats 
^' going in the woods and in the mountains without 
woods,** they could no longer live there.* At the time of 
the inquisitions above alluded to, numerous encroachments 
had been made upon the king's forests on the border, by 
inclosures, &c., without any regular permission from the 

The Hundred Rolls give us numerous remarkable in- 
stances of the insecurity of person as well as property at 
this period. The jealousies between the lords of the castles 
and the landed proprietors, and the towns, and even 
between one to^vn and another, gave rise to frequent scenes 
of violence. In the year preceding that on which the 
inquisition was made, on the Sunday after the feast of St. 
Matthew the Apostle, (127S) Richard Russel constable of 
Salop, gave four pence to a certain lad named William de 
Somerset to pass through the village of ' Christcsheth* 
shouting out all the time, wckarc ! wekare ! '' to the shame 
of man and woman." It is not at present clear in what 
the insult consisted. But the lad performed his task; 
and as he was going through the village a woman came 
out and said, ** you say iU !" on which he struck her with 
his knife, and she cried out, and one William Madoc came 
and asked him why he struck her. The lad struck him 
also and cut off his thumb, and, seeing him fall dowix as if 
he were dead, he quitted the high road and fled. Then the 
woman raised the cry upon him, and the whole rillage 
joined in the pursuit, and in the end one was slain by an 
arrow, but it is not quite clear whether it was the original 
trespasser or one of his pursucrs.f 

On another occasion, Lucas the beadio of Cloobury mth 
two of his townsmen came to Ludlow fair, on St. Law- 
rence's day (1274). and bought some oxen, and because 

* Hundred Rolls, rol. ii. p. 81. t lb« |t. 92. 


they refused to observe the customary rules in passings 
through Goalford gate (porta de Caldeford), the gate- 
keeper, Roger Tyrel, refused to let him pass. A quarrel 
ensued, and the Cleobury men beat and wounded the gate- 
keeper, and took from him a Danish axe of the value of 
twelve-pence. At this moment came Thomas de Wul- 
verslow, bailiff of Ludlow, and his servants, who foimd the 
men of Cleobury dragging away prisoner the gate-keeper, 
and proceeded to stop them. But they also were attacked 
by Hugh Donville, bailiff of the hundred of Stottesdon, 
who happened to be there with a considerable body of his 
men, and who attempted to carry off the bailifis and their 
servants, but being unable to do this, they took from them 
by force another Danish axe of the value of eight-pence.* 

The townsmen of Ludlow appear to have been frequently 
ill-treated by their neighbours, particularly by the retainers 
of the lords of Wigmore and Corfham. The foresters of 
Wigmore on one occasion came to the mill on the.Corve, 
and seized upon the miller and carried him to Bromfield, 
where they extorted from him six-pence and his knife and 
girdle. On another occasion the same foresters seized on 
Elias Millar of Ludlow, on the liighway between Ludlow and 
the Sheet (La Setc)» and took from him his sword and bow, 
and having tied his hands behind Iiim, they led him in that 
condition to Stevcnton, where they further extorted from 
him two shillings, and then let him go.f One day as the 
bailiffs of Castle Holgod were bringing six quarters of oats 
towards Ludlow, in passing by Corfliam they were attacked 
on the high road by the bailiffs of John Gifford of Corfham, 
who led the horses iuto the demesne of their lord, and 
there immediately sowed the oats and harrowed the ground 
with the horses which had carried thcin. At another time, 
when a love-day had been ap))ointc*d to arrange a quarrel 
betwccit John Burden and Hugh de Bulledon, the constable 
of Corfham, who appears to have been a friend of the latter, 

• MmidrH Hn\\%, vol. ti. p. 1>9. t lb. p. 99. 


attacked John Burdon treacherously as he was going to the 
place of meeting, knocked him down, and compelled him 
unjustly to pay a fine of twenty shillings as the price of 
reconciliation with his opponent.* On another occasion, a 
cart of John Gifford, passing through the town of Ludlow, 
broke a chaldron belonging to Richard de Orleton, one of 
the burgesses, and the carter not having wherewith to make 
good the damage, left one of his horses in pledge. The 
constable of Corfham as soon as he heard of this, ordered 
the cattle of dame Sibil de Orleton to be seized, and kept 
them a week, till Richard de Orleton (who was probably 
her husband) not only gave up the horse, but consented to 
pay a fine of sixty shillings, of which he was obliged to 
pay down forty shillings and seven-pence, apparently all 
the ready money he had in hand. In a similar manner the 
constable of Wigmorc seized forty head of cattle belonging 
to burgesses of Ludlow, as they were passing through the 
barony of Clun from Montgomery fair, and drove them 
thence to Wigmore castle, where he retained them eight 
days, on account of a piece of cloth of a woman of Wigmore 
which he pretended had been cut and sold in the town 
of Ludlow.f 

Such instances of oppression as the above are of frequent 
occurrence in these Rolls, and show us in a remarkable 
manner the uncertainty of justice on the border at that 
period. Assaults and robbery, and even manslaughter, 
were common, and when perpetrated by the servants 
and retainers of the barons, appear to have been seldom 
punished efToctively. A remarkable instance occurred just 
before the inquisition in the hundred of Condover. Alice 
de Ilaumon ( ? Ilngmon), dwelling at Biriton broke open 
the door of the church of Biriton (Ikrrinjj^ton), and stole 
thence a cloth belonging to Richard de Bath, which had 
probably been dc]K)sited there as in a i>larc of security. At 
his complaint she was imprisoned in Shrewsbury jail, but 

• Hundred RolU, voi. ii. p. 101. t lb- V- ^« 


escaped without judgement by the iavour of William de 
Munslow, whom she had bribed by the gift of a cow ; and 
at the time the inquisition was made, she and her husband 
Nicholas were threatening Richard de Bath to kill him or 
lame him and bum his house.* The entries on these im- 
portant documents form a practical commentary on a popular 
song of the time, in which the venality of the law courts is 
satirically described ;t and in which the servants and officers 
of the judges are represented as thirsting greedily after the 
money of the poor — 

*' Ad pedes sedent clericiy 
Qui velot famelici 

sunt, donis inhiantes; 

et pro lege dantes. 
Quod hii qui nichil dederint, 
Qnamvis cito venerintt 

eront expectantes." 

Equality of laws, and the liberty of the people, were things 
as yet but imperfectly understood. 

Among the names of the barons and more powerful 
landed proprietors on the border in the latter part of the 
thirteenth centur}% wc still find many of those of the ori- 
ginal Norman settlers. Wc have already obsen-ed that the 
change among them caused by the domestic wars of the 
reign of Henry III was not great. Tlic chief families 
in the north of Shropshire were represented, in 1255 
(S9 Henry III),^ by James de Aldithcley, Robert and 
Roger Corbet, John and Hamo L'Estrange, William and 
John Fits Abn, John de Verdun, Giles de Herdington 
(lord of Wellington), Robert de Lacy, Robert de Say, Fulke 
Fitz Warinc of Whittington, Odo de Hodnet, William 
Mauduit, %vho was lord of Castle Ilolgod in the neighbour- 

* Hundred Rollt, yoL tL p. 92. 

t Print c«l in the Politiral Sonr« (Camtlcn Society rublii'aii<»n). p. 224. 

{ The following information i« taken thicfly from tha Hundred Rolla. 


hood of Ludlow^ Ralph de Botiler (lord of Weni), and the 
family of the Wan-ens. William Mauduit of Castle Holgod 
had alao the manor of Steventon, and' large estates in the 
Clees. Robert de Lacy held Walton and Onibury; John 
de Verdun (who had married one of the heiresses of Walter 
de Lacy) had Stokesay, Stanton Lacy, and other manors ; 
John Fitz Alan was lord of Clun, and also held Shelderton 
and the View, then called Weho. To the west, Thomas 
Corbet held the greater portion of Chirbury hundred ; and 
John de Alditheley was lord of Ford. In the southern part 
of the county, Ludlow, with the other heiress of Walter de 
Lacy, had gone to the family of the Genvilles, from 
whom it afterwards passed, by an heiress, to the Mortimers. 
The country round about was divided among a multitude of 
lords. The Ashfords, and lands in the neighbourhood, were 
held by Hugh Carbonell, Henry de Budlcrs or Bowdlers, 
and William de Stuteville, the latter being lord also of Bur- ' 
f<nrd ; Ledwich belonged to Simon de Hugford ; Roger de 
Mortimer possessed Cainham, the Sheet, Hope (held under 
him by Robert Baghard), and further to the east Cleobury 
Mortimer, and other estates in its nei<>libourhood ; Brian 
de Brompton held some lands under him in this part of 
the county; Hopton belonged to Robert de Waire. On 
the other side of Ludlow, Acley (Oakley Park), with 
other lands, was the property of Simon de Halton; 
and Corfham belonged to Walter de CUfford; while the 
family of the Bumells held the miudle of the county. 
The way in which the Cliffords had obtained the castle 
of Corfham was not the most honourable; it appeared 
by the inquisition of 1^74, that Henry II had given 
it to Walter de Clifford for the love of his daughter 
Rosamond.* The changes M*hich had taken place at the 
date last mentioned were not great, most of the principal 
families still held their ground ; but Richard carl of Corn- 
wall (the brother of luhvard 111) had estates about Bridge- 

* HundieH Rolls, toI. t. p.93. Sec before p. 11') of the present volume. 


north and in Condover hundred, and had also obtained of 
William Mauduit the manor of Castle Holgod, which he 
had subsequently giyen to the Templars. At this time 
Geoffirey de Genville held Stanton Lacy. One half of 
the town of Ludlow belonged to John de Verdun, the 
other to E. de Eturville ( ? 6. de Grenyille). Cainham 
had been given by Boger de Mortimer to the abbot of 
Wigmore ; and Ledwich had passed into the hands of the 
prior of Bromfield. 

We have only an abstract of the Hundred RoUs for Here- 
fordshire of the third year of Edward I. The most powerful 
baron in that county was 'Eioget de Mortimer, who possessed 
Wigmore and Radnor, llie two estates of Simon de 
Montfort, Lugwardine and Mawardine, had been seized by 
prince Edward after the battle of Evesham, and had passed 
the latter to Roger de Mortimer, and the other to Robert 
Waleraund. At this time, John Grifford had Clifford ; John 
and Roger de Clifford, Eardisley ; and Humfrey de Bohun, 
Huntingdon. Hugh de Mortimer of Richard's Castle was 
recently dead, and that manor was in the hands of the 
king's eschaetor, who soon afterwards delivered it to his 
son Robert de Mortimer. Some of the juries eihibit 
in their answers to the questions of the judges, strong 
feelings of jealousy at the increasing power and encroach- 
ments of Roger de Mortimer, after the battle of Evesham 
(post helium de Evesham). 

All these estates were held, and under-let, by various 
tenures, the most frequent of which was military service 
to keep guard at and aid in the defence of the border 
castles, or to accompany the king in his invasions of Wales. 
Most of the estates in Chirbury hundred had to ftimish 
soldiers to keep the castle of Montgomery. Part of Purslow 
hundred was under the same kind of obligation to the 
castle of Wigmore. Similar service was also paid to the 
towns ; Robert IXnilc held land in Wigley, by the tenure 
of guarding tlic Totrrr of Ludlow fifteen days in time 
of war. Many houses, &r. in Ludlow were bound by 


similar tenures to funiisk different articles to Ludlow castle. 
William Millar of Ludlow held the old fish-pond (vetus 
vivarium) by paying at the feast of St. Mary Magdalen a 
pound of wax to the castle of Ludlow. At Bridgenorth, the 
manor of Little Bridgenorth was held by a similar obliga- 
tion to furnish coals for the castle whenever the king should 
happen to be there. Godfrey de Thorpe held the hamlet of 
Aston Major, dependent on the manor of Edgemimd, by the 
service of presenting to Henry de Alditheley on Christmas- 
day a pair of gloves of the value of one penny. 

Amid all these changes, the names of places alone were 
permanent, and at the present day almost all names of 
places in England are Anglo-Saxon. In most cases even 
the manors retained the names of their Saxon possessors. 
In a few instances they received, about the time of which 
we are now speaking, adjuncts which indicate their Norman 
lords. Thus we have Stanton Lacy (a manor of Walter de 
Lacy) and Ewyas Lacy; Ashford Carbonel and Ashford 
Bowdler, from the two families whom we have seen located 
there; Hopton Wafers, which belonged to Robert de 
Wafre ; Stoke-Say, from the family of the Says, to whom it 
belonged ; Hope Baggot, wliich belonged to the family of 
Baggot or Baghard ; Brampton Brian, the manor of Brian 
de Brampton ; Cleobury Mortimer, one of the chief castles 
of the Mortimers, &c. 

The thirteenth century was the period at which origi- 
nated most of our common family names. Before that time, 
people possessed only the name which they had received at 
the baptismal font, individuals, where there happened to be 
more than one of a name, being distinguished among their 
friends and neighbours by what we should now call nick- 
names. As population increased, the nick- names thus 
required were more numerous, till gradually and almost 
imperceptibly the nick-name of the fatlier became a heir- 
loom of the family, and descended to his children, thus 
becoming a family name. Tlie simplest mode in which 
these names were fonncd was that of adding the name of 


the father to that of the son. Thus^ if there were three 
men living in the same place whose names were Richard, 
Stephen, and John, and each of them had a son called 
William, the three Williams were distinguished by the 
names of William son of Richard, William son of Stephen, 
and William son of John, or in the shorter phraseology of 
the time, WUUam Richardson, William Stevenson, and 
William Johnson. This is the origin of all our modem 
names ending in son. Many persons took their nick-names 
from the places at which they resided, or from whence they 
came. These were often names of towns : Ludlow seems 
to have been populous, for we find frequent mention of 
people of the name in difierent parts of England, in the 
various ranks of society. We have already seen Hobkin 
of Ludlow, a gate keeper at Gloucester; we often meet 
with clerks and monks of the name in the monastic hooaes 
and ecclesiastical benefices on the border ; and we even find 
one or two knights who went by the same appellation. In 
the Hundred Rolls we find a freeholder in Oxfordshire 
of the name of Richard de Lodelawe (ii. 7SS), a John de 
Lodelawe at Coventry (ib. 229), a Nicholas de Lodelawe in 
Northamptonshire (ib. IS), a merchant of London named 
Nicholas de Ludelawe (i. 406), a William de Lodelawe in the 
hundred of Ford in Shropshire (ib. 96), &c.* It thus 
happens that there are many distinct families of the name 
of Ludlow remaining at the present day. In the same man- 
ner, at Ludlow we find in the thirteenth century men of the 
name of Leominster, Orleton, Burton, Stanton, &c as having 
come from those places. In the country the nick-names 
of people were more frequently derived from the places at 
which they were resident, as at the wood^ at the stream. 

* W« Snd a Lavrencc d« LodcUw (ntmcd of conne after th« |Mtroii 
Saiat of the dnnch) conacctod wtUi Uio celobniod IlaUan meieaiiUle 
iMmso of tho Ricardi of Loeca, in the nineteenUi year of the reign of 
Edward I. (Defon't Iteuet of the Exchequer, p. 102). Walter dc Lodclowc 
wa» preccnior of the Abbey of Wigmore, in the thirteenth ccntur)-. (5e«. 
farther on in the present Tolumc, p. 195.) 


at the hill. Sec,, from which come our common names of 
Wood, Hill, and the like. Thus we find in the Hundred 
Bolls many such names as Johannes de la HuUe and 
Simon de la Hulle (of the Hill, answering to the present 
names of John and Simon Hill) ; Ricardus de Aula and 
WUlehnus de la Hall (of the Hall, or Richard and Wil- 
liam Hall) ; Henricus de Bosco (of the Wood, or Henry 
Wood); Johannes de Molendino and Martinus de Molen- 
dinis (of the Mill or Mills, or John Mill and Martin Mills) ; 
Johannes ad Boscum and Gilbertus atte Wode (at the 
Wood, Atwood); Simon ad Fontem and Robertus atte 
Welle (at the Well, Atwell) ; Johannes atte Wey (at the 
Way, Atway); Ricardus ultra Viam (beyond the Way); 
Johannes atte Grene (at the Green, this name was very 
common, because every village had its green, about which 
the houses of the peasantry were built); Rogerus ad 
Montem (at the Hill) ; Walter atte Strem (at the Stream) ; 
Alice atte Tunishende (at the Town's-end, Townsend); 
Walterus ad Portam (at the Gate). Many of these nick- 
names were given on account of some personal charac- 
teristic of temper, form, size, colour, &c. Thus we have 
John le Wylde (the wild, John Wilde) ; Nicholas le Lung 
(the long, Nicholas Long); Peter le Blake (the black, 
Peter Black); Jacobus Hardheved (hard-head); Adam le 
Bole (the bull, Adam BuU); Alicia le Hane (the hen, 
Alice Hen) ; Walterus and Isabelle le Gous (the goose) ; 
Willelmus le Enfant (the child, William Child) ; and such 
common names as Ghrim, Grodswayn (the good swain), 
Godknave, Godman, Godhosbonde, Godheved (good head), 
Gtodegrom (the good groom), Godeson, Bademan, &c. In 
towns, people took their family names from the trade or 
profession of the first who received the nick-name, which 
was the more naturally transmitted to his descendants, since 
professions were generally continued from father to son: 
thus wc have Ricardus le Massun (the mason, Richard 
Mason) ; Jacobus Ic Cok (the cook, James Cook) ; Johannes 
le Porter (the porter, John Porter) ; Robertus Clcricus (the 


clerk^ Robert Clark) and Johannes filius Clerid (the son of 
the clerk, John Clarkson); Johannes le Franchome (the 
free-man, John Freeman) ; Robertus le Paumer (the palmer, 
Robert Palmer. To exemplify the foregoing observations, 
it may be stated that, in the time of the inquiation befiwe 
alluded to, the following names occur as burgesses of 
Ludlow: Reginaldus filius Stephani (Steven's son), Ri- 
cardus de Orleton (of Orleton), Willelmus le Gkurdiner (the 
gardener), Robertus Clericus (the derk), Galfiidus Leo- 
minstre (of Leominster), Rogerus Monetarius (the coiner or 
money-dealer), Ricardus de HuUe (of the hill), Reginaldus 
le Fulur (the fowler), Elyas Molendinarius (the miller), 
Stephanus le Grrindar (the grinder), Thomas Cyrothecarius 
(the glorer), GhJfiidus Aurifaber (the goldsmith), Nicholans 
filius Andree (Andrew's son), Wxllehnus Pistor (the baker), 
Thomas de Capella (of the chapel), Reginaldus Tinctor 
(the dyer), Hugo le Mercer (the mercer). There can be no 
doubt that diese names belonged literally to the persons 
whom they designated, that two of them were really sons 
of Stephen and Andrew, that three came from Orleton, 
Leominster, and the Hill, and that the others exercised 
the trades and callings alluded to; perhaps one of them 
was a clericus attached to the church of St Lawrence ; but 
it is no less certain that these names answered to what 
at the present day would be, Reginald Stevenson, Richard 
Orleton, William Gardiner, Robert Claik, Geoffiney Leo- 
minster, Roger Coiner, Richard Hill, Reginald Fowler, 
Elias Millar, Stephen Ghrinder, Thomas Glover, Geoffrey 
Groldsmith, Nicholas Anderson, William Baker, Thomas 
Chappel, Reginald Dyer, and Hugh Mercer. These names 
help to show us the number and character of the trades 
then cxerdsed in Ludlow ; there were without doubt many 
more than here indicated. It is probable that rqpe-maldng 
was carried on here, and the little island formed by the 
winding of the Corve (Lyneye, L e. island of flax), appears 
to have produc<Nl the materials. The occurrence of the 
name in its present form in the Romance of the Fits 

e : 


Warines, shows that it is too ancient to admit of any of the 
more ingenious derivations which have been proposed. 

While these great changes were taking place in the cha- 
racter and political condition of the people, their language 
^* and literature were also undergoing important modifications. 

>s ' During two centuries after the Norman conquest, the Ian- 

I- guage spoken by the better classes of society was what is 

i- called Anglo-Norman, a dialect of the French tongue ; and 

[it- the Anglo-Saxon was laid aside, except as the language 

of the lower orders, and in a few books written in that 
language in order to be understood by them. During the 
7 baronial wars a great revolution was eflfected; and, after 

:&- the middle of the thirteenth century, the Anglo-Saxon 

05 language, much altered in form, and mixed with numerous 

Anglo-Norman words, came again into general use, and 
r from the shape imder which it then appeared it has been 

c gradually moulded down into the modem English. It is 

I to the mixture of Anglo-Norman and Anglo-Saxon that we 

i owe most of the modem English words which have an 

affinity with the Latin. Several books are still preserved 
which show that the border of Wales had as important a 
connection with early English literature, as with English 
history. On the banks of the Severn, was composed one of 
the earliest important poems in the EngUih language, the 
Brut of Layamon,^ a native of the hamlet of Emley. It is 
a long poem, and is extremely interesting as a spedmen of 
the transition period of our language, even the versification 
being a mixture of the Anglo-Saxon alliterative couplets and 
the Anglo-Norman rimes. A few lines, giving an account 
of the fabtdous origin of the^ name of the Severn, from 
Abren the daughter of Locrine who, with her mother, is 
said to have been drowned in it, will serve as a specimen 
of the language spoken by the borderers at the beginning 
of the thirteenth century. The same legend is alluded to 
by another poet who wrote on the border at a later period, 
when he speaks of, — 

* This work is ediud by Six Frederick Madden. 



'' Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death/' 

After relating the war between Locrine and his discarded 
consort Gnendolena, in which the king was slain, Layamon 
proceeds to say, — 

"Onendoleine hefde fe afere 

and i-ahnede hire al this lond : 

and heo ferde to yuk castle 

^r JBstrild wes inne ; 

heo nom JSstrild and Abren, 

and lette heom i-bindin, 

and lette heom wrpen, 

in ane dcope watere, 

fer heo adronken, 

and yet heo deat^ ^leden. 

pa wes Ouendoleine 

leodene Isefiii, 

^ hehte heo ane heste 

mid haigere wttte 

^t men scalden yoi ilk water 

|per Abren wes adnanken 

depien hit AvrsBf 

for ^ane mseidene Abien, 

and for Locrine*s lofii 

fe wes hire kine*loTerd, 

|pe streonede Abren 

uppen .£strild« 

pa hefde heo i-sctawen |»cne 

and fe neowe qaene and heora 

and Arren hatte get thas se, 


at Cri9tcs*chirc1ic heo failed i 
^re $m. 

Gaendolena had the npper 

and possessed herself of all this 

and she went to the castle 
where JSstrild was in ; 
She took JEstrild and Abren, 
and let bind them, 
and let throw them 
into a deep water, 
where they were drowned, 
and where they saffered death. 
Then was Gaendolena 
mistress (Udj) of the people, 
then she ordered a command 
with lofty wit, 
that men should that same 

where Abren was drowned 
call it Avenip 
for the maiden Abren, 
and for the love of Locrine 
who was her nataral lord, 
who begat Abren 
npon iBstrlld. 
Then had she slain the king 

and the new qneen and her 

and that river is still called 

it falleth into the sea at Cliri^t- 



Among the manuscripts in the library of Corpus Christi 
college, Cambridge, is a copy of the early English Rule of 
Nuns (translated from the Latin of Simon de Ghent), which 
is a valuable example of English prose of the age of 
Layamon, and which formerly belonged to the library of 
the abbey of Wigmore, to which it was given by John 
Percel, at the instigation of Walter de Ludlow, who was at 
that time precentor of the abbey.* 

Among the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum 
(MS. Harl. No. 27S), is a book which belonged at the 
end of the thirteenth century, or beginning of the four- 
teenth, to the church or to the college attached to the 
church of St. Lawrence, at Ludlow. From a calendar at 
the beginning we learn that the church of St. Lawrence 
was dedicated on the ISth of February,! but the year is not 
stated. The greater part of this volume b written in the 
Anglo-Norman knguage, which continued to be in use 
till late in the fourteenth century, and its contents are 
of a mixed theological and literary kind, illustrating the 
class of reading then fiEishionable with a man of taste of the 
clerical order. It contains first a calendar, in which is the 
entry concerning the dedication of the church ; S, a copy of 
the early Anglo-Norman prose version of the Psalms ; S, a 
metrical Anglo-Norman version of some parts of the 
Psalms; 4, the Bestiaire d' Amours, a poetical description 
of animals, &c. with curious mondisations ; 5, the rules 
given by Robert Grrosteste for regulating the household 
and lands of a nobleman ; 6, the French version of Turpin's 
History of Charlemagne; 7, a F^nch treatise on confes- 
sion ; 8, various fragments, among which are many charms 
and a treatise on chiromancy ; 9, the Manuel des Pech^, a 
well-known religious poem attributed to Robert Grosteste ; 

• M 8. C. C. C. Camb. No. 402. The paiticulan tutcd abofe are giTea 
in an ioaeiiptioii on the llrtt leaf. 

t Idas Fcbr. Dcdicacion dc 1a rglisc Seint Laurence Ac Lodclawc. 

fol. 1 T«. 


10, an account of St. Patrick's Purgatory, in French verse ; 

11, a French poem entitled La Pleinte d' Amour; 1£, 
Tarious religious matters, in Latin. 

In the reign of Edward I, Kved Robert of Gloucester, 
the author of a chronicle of England in English Terse, who 
may be considered as one of our earliest known border 
poets after Layamon. A few lines will serve as a specimen 
of the language of this writer; it will be seen that it is 
rather a strong dialect, bearing some resemblance to that of 
Somersetshire at the present day. Robert of Gloucester 
says of king Stephen, — 

** In the serene yer of hys kynedom the kyng the castel noukf 
Ac the empeiesse ne vend he nogt, tho he yn oom. 
Mache robberye me dade aboate in ererycdi touiy 
And bounde men and enprisonede, vorte hii fynede rmunioiin. 
Hii ne sparede namore olerkes than lewed men y-wys ; 
So that the byssopes vorte amendy thys, 
In the eygtethe yere of the kynges kynedom 
At Londone hii hnlde a parlement, that many man to com. 
And the kyng hymsolf was therate; hii amansede tho 
AUe thalke that clerkes such daspjt dude and wo, 
That no man, bote the pope one, hem asoyly ne mygte. 
So that me hold cleAcs dierafter bet to rygte.'* 

One of the most interesting manuscript collections of 
early English poetry known, preserved in the Harleian 
library in the British Museimi (No. 2253), appears to havo 
been written in Herefordshire, and most probably by a 
' ckrk' of the priory of Leominster. It comprises a great 
variety of matters, in English and Anglo-Norman verse, 
and was written soon after the year 1S07, but contains 
pieces composed during the reigns of Henry III. and Edward 
I. There are some political songs in it;* and that against 

• !%• MBp htn alladtd to, v printed ia Um PolUicml SoBfi^ (edited 
by the writer of the preeeat volume), pp. €% 1S&, 137, 149^ 1&3» l&ft» 
183, 187, 212, 231, 237, 241. Sone ofthe nieeelhuieoai poems from thie 
manufrnpt arc printed in the RelK|iit» Antiqur, edited by Thomas Wriflii 
and Jamet Orchard HalliweU, 2 Tola. 6ro. |H|I, and 1812. 


the king of Almaigiie^ the Lament of Simon de Montfort, 
the Order of Fair Ease, the Song of the Husbandman, 
another against the Pride of the Ladies, a Satire on the 
Consistory Courts, the Song against the King's Taxes, the 
Songs on the Flemish Insurrection and on the Execution 
of Sir Simon Eraser, the Outlaw's Songs of Traillebaston, 
the Song against the Retainers of the Great People, and 
the Lament on the Death of Edward I, show how much 
interest the borderers took in the passing events of the 
time. Among the more interesting parts of this volume 
are the lyrical pieces,* from among which we will select 
as a specimen of tha lang^uage of the border at the begin- 
ning of the fourteenth century (a hundred years after the 
date of the lines quoted above from Layamon), a love-song, 
in which mention is made of the beautiful river Wye. 

*^ Ichot a bnrde in a bour ase beryl so bryht, 
Ase saphyr in selver semly on syht, 
Ase jaspe the gentil that lemeth with lyht, 
Ase gemet in golde, ant mby wel ryhty 
Ase onycle he ys on y-holdcn on hyht« 
Ase diamannde the dere in day when he is dyht ; 
He is coral y-cnd with cayser and knyht, 
Ase emerande a-morewen this may havcth myht. 
The myht of the margarite haveth this mai mere, 
For charbocle ich hire ches hi chyn ant by chore. 

Hire rode is ase rose that red is on rys. 
With lilye-white leres lossom he Is ; 
The primcrole he pa^seth, the parvenkc of pri?, 
With alisanndre tharcto, ache ant an ys ; 
Covntc ase columbinc« such hire cunde vs, 

* The lyrical pieces from this rolume have been edited by the writer 
of the present work in « traall collection entitled Specimens of the 
Lyric Poetry of England in the reign of Edward I (published by the 
IVrcy Society). In the preface to that book arc jsi.itnl the reasons for 
believing the MS. to have been written at Leominster. 



Glad under gore in gro ant in gry8» 

He is blosme opon bleo brihtest under bis» 

With celydoyne ant sauge, ase thou thi self syt. 

That syht upon that semlj, to blis he is broht. 

He b solsecle to sanne ys for-soht. 

He is papejai in pyn that beteth me my bale. 
To trewe tortle in a tour y telle the mi tale ; 
He is thrustle thryven in thro that singeth in sale. 
The trilde laveroc ant wolc ant the wodewale ; 
He k faucoun in friht demest in dale. 
Ant with eTeruch a gome gladest in gale, 
From Weye he is wbist into Wyrhale ; 
Hire nome is in a note of the nyhtegale. 

In annote is hire nome, nempneth hit non ; 

Whose ryht redeth, ronne to Johon* 

Muge he is ant roondrake, thouh miht of the mone ; 

Trewe triacle y*told with tonges in trone; 

Such liooris mai leohe from lyre to lone. 

Such Sucre mon seeheth that saveth men sone. 

Blithe y-blessed of Crist that bayeth me mi bone ; 

When deme dede is in dayne, deme are done ; 

Ase gromyl in grene, grene is the grone ; 

Ase quibibe ant comyn cud is in crone. 
Cud comyn in court, canel in cofre. 
With gyngyTre ant sedewale ant the gylofre. 

He is If edieme of miht, mercie of mede, 

Rekene ase Regnas resoun to rede ; 

Trewe as Tegen in tour, ase Wyrwein in wede ; 

Baldore then Byrne that of the bor bede; 

Ase Wylcadouo he is wys, dohty of dede; 

Feyrore then Floyras, folkes to fede ; 

Cud ase Cradoc in court carf the brede ; 

Hendora then Hilda that havoth me to hede. 
He haTeth me to hede, this bendy anon, 
Gentil ase Jonas he joycth with Jon.'' 

The allusions to Ihc popular romanci*^ of the time iu thr 


last Unes of the foregoing song, show that they were fami- 
liar to the ears of the people of the borders of Wales. 

The next great border poet whom we hear of is the 
author of the remarkable poem entitled Piers Ploughman, 
written soon after the middle of the fourteenth century, 
and one of the most popular works of the middle ages. Its 
influence on the minds of our forefathers paved the way for 
the Reformation.* The history of its author is very obscure ; 
but there can be no doubt of its being written at, or in the 
neighbourhood of, Malvern. The following are the open 
lines of this poem ; they form a link in our sketch of the 
changes of the language spoken by the people of the Welsh 
Marches. The alliterative verse of the Anglo-Saxons had 
again come into use : it marks a new revolution in the 
public mind. 

*• In a somer seson 
When soft was the sonne» 
I shoop me into sbroudes 
As I a sheep weere, 
In habile as an heremite 
Unholy of worket, 
Wente wide in this worlde 
Wonders to here ; 
Ac on a May morwenynge 
On Malveme hilles 
Me bifel a ferly, 
Of fairye mc thoughte. 
I was werv for-wandrcd, 
And wentc mc to teste 
Under a brood bank 
By a bournes sydc ; 
And as I lay and Icnede, 
And loked on the watres, 
I slombred into a slepyng. 

It sweved so mnrre." 

* • 

* An edition of thi^ rcmarkaMo poom has been rccenllx edited 1»y 
the writer of the present Tolumc, 3 vols, foolicap Sto. rickerins, 1842. 


About seventy years after the date of Piers Ploughman, 
in the beginning of the reign of the unfortunate Henry YI 
(▲. D. 14£6), another border poet named John Awdlay (a 
blind bard), wrote in the monastery of Hagmon, a religious 
work, or perhaps rather a series of religious poems, preserved 
in a manuscript in the library of Mr. Douce (now in the 
Bodleian Kbrary at Oxford),* which, though inferior in 
merit and importance to Piers Ploughman, is still curious 
as a moniunent of the language of Slm^hire in the earlier 
part of the fifteenth century. The following lines, which 
were almost prophetic of the misfortunes which fell upon 
that iU-fi&ted monarch, may serve as a specimen. 

'< Pray we that Lord is lord of all. 
To save our king, his reme lyalle, 
And let never myschip nppon him falle, 

Ne false tray toore him to betray f 
I praye youe, sens, of year gentr^, 
8yng this carol reverently ; 
Fore it is mad of king Herr6, 

Oret ned fore him we han to pray ! 
Gif he fare wele, wele schul we be, 
Or cUis we may be ful sor^ ; 
Fore him schul wepe mon^ an e. 

Thus prophecis Uie blynd Awdlay." 

The book concludes ivith the following lines, 

** No mon this book be take away, 
Ny kutt owte noo leef, y say for why, 

For hyt ys sacrelege, sims, y yow say, 
[And] beth a-cnned in the dede truly ; 

Oef ye wil have any oopi, 
Askos leeve and ye shal have. 

To pray fi>r hym specialy 
That hyt made, yoor soules to save, 

« MS. Douce, No. 302. See HaDiwell, Introd. to Waikworth't Chfo* 
nii'lc, p. xiT. Foi Ik detailed dwrrirlion of Ibi? MS sec \hv tccently 
published Catalogue of the Douce Libimry. 


Jon the blynde Awdelay, 
The fnrat prest to the lord Strange he was ; 
Of thys chauntr^ here in thys place. 
That made thjs bok by Goddos grace, 

Deeff, sick, blynd, as he lay." 

Contemporary, or nearly so, with '^blynde Awdelay," 
lived John Myrk, or Myrkes, a regular canon of the mo- 
nastery of Lilleshul, who also was, if not a poet, at least a 
versifyer. His poem on the duties of a parish priest (along 
with a prose English Liber FestivaUs by the same writer) 
is still preserved in the British Museum ;* and is a curious 
picture of the manners of the time, little flattering to the 
learning or private character of the parish priests on the 
border in the fifteenth century. The following are the 
opening lines of this poem. 

*^ Ood seyth h3rm self, as wry ten we fynde. 
That whenne the blynde ledeth the blynde, 
Into the dyche they fallen boo. 
For they ne sen whare by to g^. 
So faren prestes now by dawe, 
They beth blynde in Ooddes lawe, 
That whenne they scholde the pepol rede. 
Into synne they do hem lede. 
Tfaos they have do now fiille yore. 
And alle ys for defawte of lore. 
Wharefore thou preste curatoure, 
6ef thou plese thy savyonre, 
Gref thow be not grete derke, 
Loke thow rooste on thys werk ; 
For here thow myhte fynde and rcdc, 
That the behoveth to conne nede, 
How thow shalt thy parescbe preche, 
And what the nedeth hem to teche ; 

« MS. Cotton. CUudiuB, A II. In the mmuscript tho aatkor is 
described fts, 'fratcr Jonnncs Myrcu?, canonicus rcpUaris monaster u dc 


And wLyche tbou xnoste thy self be. 
Here also thow myght by t se ; 
For Inytel ys worthy thy prechynge, 
Gref thow be of evyl lyvyngc/' 

The foregoing extracts present the skeleton of the history 
of Old English Poetry, — ^in Layamon, in the poems of 
what we will call the 'Leominster Manuscript/ and in 
Piers Ploughman, it is full of spirit and rigour ; but after 
Chaucer, as it progresses towards the middle of the fifteenth 
century, the darkest period of English history, it becomes 
continually heavier and duller imtil it degenerates into the 
prosaic rhymes of Awdelay and John Myrk. 

It will be seen by these specimens that the English 
language had gone through a great change since the days 
of Layamon. It is unnecessary to trace it ftuther, for the 
alteration since the days of '' blind Awdelay'* is compara- 
tiyely small. Among the Harleian manuscripts (No. 30S8), 
is preserved a book in Latin, which was written for the 
abbey of Buildwas in 1176; some borderer in the fifteenth 
century, who appears to have suffered ftom the agents of 
the law, has written on a fly leaf the following lines, the 
burden of which is that '' two executors and one overseer 
make three thieves.'* 

** Wise mon if thu art. 
Of thi god take part 

or thn hcnse wyndc ; 
For if thou leve thi part 
In thi secaturs wardy 

thi part non part at last end. 
Too secaturs and an overseere make tlirc thccvcs." 

Many other interesting manuscripts, which belonged 
originally to the border monasteries, are probably extant 
in our public libraries. A fine monument of border science 
is preserved in the larpc map of the world, mndc npparcntly 
nltont the I)cginning of the thirteenth century, now in 


Hereford Cathedral. The original is fast going to decay ; 
but a careful facsimile has been made for the Royal Society 
of Geography in London (at wliose rooms it may be seen)^ 
and another copy more recently has been deposited among 
the collection of early maps in the Bibliothdque du Roi 
at Paris.* 

In the thirteenth century the monasteries were seats 
of literature. We do not find much increase in the 
number of religious houses on the border after the twelfth 
century, but they increased rapidly in wealth. From the 
twelfth century to the fifteenth, there was a continual 
transfer of landed property finom the laity to the monastic 
houses, imtil their united riches exceeded those of any 
other class of the community. Although the monasteries 
were originally the schools of learning, the ad¥Bnce of 
science did not, unfortunately, keep pace with the increase 
in monastic wealth and influence ; the monks, with their 
riches, became luxurious and worldly minded ; their desire 
was to stifle knowledge, rather than diffuse it, because 
Uieir own false and anomalous position in society was not 
calculated to bear the light. They had even drawn within 
their influence, and sdfled, the universities, which had 
been the fertile hotbeds of science during the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries. 

In Shropsh]xe,t the principal houses founded during the 
thirteenth century, were, Brewood, a priory of white or 

* Hut cuxioui map it cosfixmod by tho Pope as being a true pictim of 
the earth. It is stated in the following metrical description to hare been 
made by Richard of Haldingham and LafTord.- - 

Tus hi cest estorie ont. 

On oyront, on Inront, ou veront ; 

Prient A Jhcsn en deyt^» 

De Richard de Haldingham c dc Laiford eyt pitd, 

Ki I'at fet e compass^*, 

Ki joye en eel li sett done. 

t In our list of the earlier mcnAstcrUs, in a furmcr section, we \itK\c 
omillci that d Wcin'ridirc. fcwidcd in thi iwcSf'h icuiur} l») WUliaiu 


Cistercian nuns^ founded about the beginning of the oen* 
tury, the site of which is now named White Ladies, and is 
celebrated as having been a place of refuge to Charles n^ 
after the battle of Worcester; the abbey of PnemonstFa- 
tensian canons at Halesowen, founded by Peter de Rupibus, 
bishop of Winchester, about the end of the reign of king 
John; a priory of black canons, founded by Robert de 
Bowdlers at Snede, or Snet, perhaps as late as the begin- 
ning of the reign of Henry IH, and removed before the end 
of that reign to Chirbury ; a house of grey friars established 
at Shrewsbury in the reign of Henry HI; a house of 
Augustine friars, founded at Woodhouse, near Cleobury 
Mortimer, in the sarnie reign ; a house of black monks of 
the order of Grandmont, at Alberbury, founded by Fulke 
Fitz Warine. There was also a house of the order of 
Grandmont at Diddlebury in Corve Dale. At Ludlow, 
there was a house of Augustine (or Austin) friars without 
Gh)alford Gate, founded a short time before the year 128S, 
where it is first mentioned ; in the 9th Edward H (▲. d. 
1S£6), Robert Dobyn gave them two acres of land to 
enlaige their dwellhag.* At a later period, about the 
year 1849, a house of white friars was established without 
Corve Grate; its founder is said to have been Lawrence 
de Ludlow, lord of the castle of Stoke. 

In Herefordshire, the new religious foundations were not 
less numerous than in Shropshire. There was a priory at 
Barton at the beginning of the twelfth century. The 
principal monasteries founded in the reign of Henry III 
were, Wormcsley (formerly named De Pionia), a priory of 
black canons, the foundation of Gilbert Talbot ; Flanesford, 
near Goodrich castle, another priory of black canons, 
founded by Richard Talbot, who was lord of Goodrich; 
a priory of the order of Grandmont, at Cresswell, or Cares- 
well, near Ewyas, supposed to have been founded by Walter 
de Lacy; Home Lacy, an abbey of Prvmonstratcnsian 


M, founded by William Fitz Swain. To these we 
may add a hospital at Ledbury, founded by the bishop of 
Hereford, in 123S. The house of the grey fzian to Here- 
ford was founded by William de Pembmgge in the rei^ of 
Edward I. The friars preachers were settled in Hereford in 
the beginning of the same reign. 

Besides these chief monastic houses, there were numerous 
smaller foundations, as cells to the others : among which 
may be mentioned, — in Shropshire, Morfield, or Momerfield, 
a cell of the abbey of Shrewsbury ; Batlingcope, Rot- 
chinchop, or Rotelynghope, a cell to Wigmore, established 
about the time of king John ; Prene, Preone, or Prune, a 
priory of Cluniac monks, a cell to Wenlock. In Here- 
fordshire there were several alien priories, as Monkland, 
a cell to the abbey of Conches in Normandy ; Adey, a cell 
of the abbey of Ljtc (Lira) ; Titley, or TuteW, a cell to the 
abbey of Tyrone in France. To this long list of religious 
houses niight be added several smaller cells, and numerous 

A considerable number of the chtuthcs on the Welsh 
border were collegiate, and some of them were richly en- 
dowed. One of the most remarkable of these churches 
was that of St. T^wrence at Ludlow, which, in its present 


shape, was built probably in the reign of Edward JI, or early 
in that of Edward III. The college, which belonged to a 
gild of palmers (gilda palmariorum), was founded by 
Edward III, probably in 1SS9, when their first charter 
appears to have been granted.* One of its main objects, 
as stated in the early documents relating to it, was to 
proyide by association and from a common fund for the 
protection of the members when robbed or oppressed by 
others ; and it may therefore be supposed to have had its 
origin amid the personal insecurity occasioned by the 
continual troubles on the Welsh border. Such was the cha- 
racter of all the more ancient gilds, though in course of time 
they became mere charitable establishments. Richard II is 
said to have augmented this gild ; and its charters were con- 
finned by Henry VUI. The college consisted of a warden, 
seven priests, four singing men, two deacons, six choristers, 
to sing divine service in the church of St. Lawrence ; and its 
revenues maintained also a schoolmaster for the firee-gram- 
mar school, and thirty-two poor almspeople. This statement 
shows that the grammar school at Ludlow is one of the 
most ancient in this kingdom. 

The Knights Templars and the Hospitalers were settled 
on the border early in the thirteenth century. In the 89th 
of Henry III, the former were seated at Kil, or Kel, and at 
Lidlay, in Shropshire, and possessed lands in various parts 
of the county. Between that time and the beginning of 
the reign of Edward I, Richard, earl of Cornwall, having 
obtained from William Mauduit the castle and manor of 
Holgod, gave it with other lands to the Templars, who 
frx>m that time made it one of their principal seats. But 
when that order was suppressed, this went like their other 
possessions to the Hospitalers of St John of Jerusalem. 
This last mentioned order had previously had settlements 

• la th« priotod Ctlcaaar of tbs PAteat BoUs (whkik to cxi 
impOTlbetX tilers m i&diestioM of thrc« catriM rtUtins to Ui« Pfthntr** 
Gild Bt Ludlow dnring the reign of Edward HI, namely in tbi! .^rd, l^th. 
and 3Ut ytan of his rcifn, a. d. 1329, 1314, and 1357. 


at Dinmore Hill, in Herefordshire^ and at Bridgenorth, in 
Shropshire. The Hospitalers of Dinmore possessed the 
hamlet of Turford, in Shropshire, and had a hospital in 
Hereford ; they had also possessions in Ludlow, given them 
by Hugh de Lacy, which ''they had assigned to the 
support of a certain chaplain of the chapel of St. Leonard 
in Ludlow."* 

Few new castles had been erected since the twelfth 
century, but the existing fortresses were frequently enlarged 
and strengthened. The few rolls of expenses in reparations 
and building, still proserved in some of our record offices, 
throw much light on the manners of the age in which they 
were composed. A fragment of one of these rolls, con- 
taining aocoimts relating to the town and castle of Oswestry, 
written apparently about the end of the reign of Edward I, 
or in that of Edward II, gives the following account of the 
expenses of building '' the New House*' of the king '' in 
the middle of the town." A carter, with his cart, was 
employed three days in canning stones and gravel to fill up 
the foss (probably dug for laying the foundations) at the 
rate of five-pence each day. A man who was employed to 
help him had three-halQpcmce a day. Three men occupied 
in making the foundations had also three*halfpence each 
during the three days. Another carter had also five-pence 
a day during two days for bringing wood for the building, 
and had a man to help him at three-halfpence a day. The 
carpenter had seventeen shillings for all his works. The 
laths for the waUs cost six-pence ; and two men employed 
three days in making these walls with the same laths 
received three-halfpence a day each. A thousand planks 
cost eight shillings; and their carriage, one penny. The 
sawyers and carpenters received twelve-pence a hundred for 
making planks out of the king's timber. Four hundred 
spike-naUs cost sixteen-pcnce ; four hundred board-nails, 
twelve-pence; a thousand lath-nails, ten-pence; and five 

« Httndred Rolto, p. 69. 


hundred '' single nails/' ten-pence. Moreover, sixteen- 
pence was expended in ** gumphs" and hinges ; and a carter 
receiyed five-pence a day during four days for carrying day 
to plaster the walls ; a man who dug the clay had three- 
halfpence a day during the same period ; and the man who 
plastered the walls received two shillings and two-pence for 
the entire work. The whole cost of huilding the house was 
forty-three shillings and eleven-pence.* It appears by this 
statement that the chief labour of building a house fell, not 
upon the mason, but upon the carpenter. The common 
wages of a labourer appears to have been three*halfpence a 
day. In the same roll four pounds and fourteen-pence 
halfpenny are paid for pulling down ruinous buildings in the 
castle, and repairing others, and building a new kitchen 
and sheds; eight-pence to a smith for making spikes 
and hinges for the jail; three-pence for making with the 
king's own lead a vessel for warming water; five shillings 
to a carpenter for covering the ''foiles" with boards; twelve- 

* lUm, eompot. ia ttipciid. j. eareeUr. cam ctrset* loa yn .ig. diat ad 
cariftnd p€tnf et argUhim ad implead. foMtm tab nora domo domini in 
medio TiUe, .xt. d. capient. per diem, .t. d. Et ia mercede j. homiais 
Juvaiit diet, carectar. per dictos tret diea .iiij. d. ob. captent. per diem 
g. d. ob. Et in mercede .iij. hominum ad faciend. rab told, predicta, 
Tidi. fundament per .iij. diet, .xiij. d ob. capient. per diem j. d. ob. Et 
in ttipend. J. carectar. cam carecta ana carienU mereminm ad dictam 
toldam de noro faciend. per .ij diet, .x. d. Et in mercede J. hominia 
jQvant. eidem per dictot dnot dift, .iij. d. Et in ttipend. carpen. &c. 
dictam domom ad tatc. .XTij. t. Et in virs* empt. pro paiietibna, .^i. d. 
Et in ttipend. ij. hominnm facient. dictat parietet cnm dictit Tirf • per ig. 
diet, .ix. d. cap. per diem .j. d. ob. Et in j. mille tindell. empt. de Johanne 
Lojt, iij. t. Et in cariag. dictaram tindellaram ad dictam domum, .Q. d. 
Et in ttipen. tarratoram et carpen. facient. oecc. tindelL de meremlo 
domini .iiij. a. daad. pro. c. xij* d« Et in .ccce. tpiking. empt ad idem 
xvj. a. fet in xccc bordnail empt. ad idem .xy. d. Et in mille tatbeoail 
empt. ad idem .x. d. Et in .t. c tingelnail empt. ad idem .z. den. Et in 
gumphit et Tertinellit emp. ad ideoi, .xv). d. Et la ttipen. J. carectar. 
carient. argiUam pro dictit parietibot plattraad. per iig. diet, .zx. d. cap. 
per diem .v. d. Et in ttipen. J. hoaiialt fodieat diet ar^ per .lig. 
diet .vj. d. Et ia ttipen. .j. bominii ad plattrand. diet paiiet ad tatc 
IJ. t .ij. d. Summa .xltij. • xj- Fragment of a bill of Accounts of a 
BatUff of '* Otwaldettrt," temp. Edw. II., at tbt RoUt Hoate. 


pence for the boards used for that purpose; two shillings 
and nine-pence for eleven hundred board-nails^ and two 
shillings and six-pence for sixteen hundred single-nails, 
also for the same object; two-pence for repairing the pin- 
fold, and the same sum for a lock for the pinfold-door; 
two-pence for a lock for the chamber in the tower ; three* 
pence for mending the wall of the '^brutage/* and two- 
pence for a lock for it ; two shillings for a week's wages of 
a carpenter employed in building a small house beyond the 
well; three shillings and four-pence for tiles for covering 
this house, and eight-pence for two hundred spike-nails for 
that purpose ; two shillings for a week's wages of a car- 
penter for preparing the tiles and covering the house; 
three-halfpence each for four men employed one day in 
removing stones; and five-pence for plastering ''the foiles" 
with lime.* 

* Item, eompuU in dlTers. •xpesiu stipend, circa depotidonem domo- 
nun in castro, quia niinos., a fetto Sancii Mich, usque ad fattum Sancti 
Nidiolait et ad reparand. Teteres camera* ultia portam castii eapelle ei 
pontit caslxi, et ad odificand. coquinara caatri et partem toldaxun de nore» 
et parcos reparand. .iiij. IL .ziiy. d. ob. ut patet per billam ezaminat per 
sen. et tigillo tuo eignat Et in stipend, labr. Client gumphos et Tertinellos 
corur. gaiole ad tasc. .viij. d. Et in factor. J. plumbi de plnmbo domiai 
pro aqua califlcand. .iij. den. Et in stipend .J. carpentar. eoopertent le 
ffoiles cam aindell. ad taac .t. t. Item ia sindelL empt ad iden^ .xij. d. 
El ia miUe bordaail empt. ad idem* .y. s. .ij. d. pvec. .e. ay. d. Et in 
mille et cccc singol nail empt. ad idem< .y. a. .iiij. d. prec x. .ij. d. 
£t in reparacione del puntfield .ij. d. Et in semr. ad hoetium ejusdem 
.iJ. d. Et in serur. empt. ad cameram in tnrr. .y. d. El in rtparae. 
pariet. del bmtag. .iy. d. Et in eerur. empt. ad dietom bmlef. .y.d. Et 
in stipen. .j. carpent. fiicient. parram dumum nltra putenm per j. 
septim. .y. a. Et in .Ix. tabul. empt. pro. coopertor. dicte domna 
•iy. 8. .iiij. d. Et in .cc spiking, empt. ad idem .Tiy. d. Et in stipend, 
dicti carpen. per .j. septim. ad pariend. diet, tabnlas et ad eooperiend. 
dactam domam .y. a. Et in stipend, .iiy. homiaam ad remorsad. petraa 
de area mercand. per .J. diem .ij. d. Et ad plastrand. pariet. de le foilee. 
cvm calce .t. d. Summa .c .y. s. .is. d. ob. iM. 



7%« MorHHuri of Wtgrnore. 

AFTER the battle of ETeshsm, the English counties en 
the Welih border were delivered from the inrokdz of Qa 
Webb. Their prince Llewelyn obaerred with good ftith 
daring the tenuunder of Henry'i leign the tretty which he 
hid made with the Engliah monarch after the erent alluded 
to; but on the accession of his son to the throne, he 
appeu* again to have entertained hopes of establishing hi* 
own independence. For some time he aroided open hosti- 
lities. King Edward was crowned at Westminster on the 
19th of August, 1274, immedialeljr after his arnTml in 
England. Llewelfn had been soinmoned to attend the 
king on that occasion, in order to take the tame oath of 
allegiance by which he had been bound to king Henry; 
but he treated the snmnons with contempt, as ¥rell as 
another in the year folbwing to attend the king's first 
parliament in Londoo. The abbots of Dore and Hagmm) 


were then directed to meet Llewelyn at the ford of Mont- 
gomery, and there receive his oath: they went to the 
appointed place, and waited, but the Welsh prince did 
not come. He afterwards excused himself on the ground 
of troubles on the Welsh side of the Border and the 
danger in which he stood from his domestic enemies; 
whereupon he was again summoned to meet the two 
ecclesiastics at the same place, on the first Sunday in May, 
1275, and they waited a second time in vain. After 
this, Edward appointed successively as places of meeting, 
Shrewsbury, Chester, Westminster, Winchester, and other 
towns ; but his messages were all dvaded, and after a slight 
attempt at negociation, the prince of Wales placed himself 
in a hostile attitude, and on the l£th December, 1876, the 
king summoned his army to meet at Worcester on the 
octaves of St. John the Baptist (July 1, lUi). 

At this conjuncture a circumstance occurred which em- 
barrassed Llewelyn in his plans. Before the battle of 
Evesham, he had been betrothed to Alianora daughter of his 
fiiend Simon de Montfort, on whose death the countess fled 
with her daughter to a nimnery at Montargis, which had 
been founded by the sister of her husband. At the begin- 
ning of 1277, not aware probably of the hostile feelings then 
existing between Llewelyn and the king of England, the 
countess of Leicester sent her daughter to Wales, escorted 
by her brother Aimery de Montfort, in order that the 
marriage might be solemnized ; but in passing round the 
point of Cornwall the ship which carried her fell in with a 
Bristol fleet, and they were seized and carried before the 
king, who committed Aimer)* to sure custody, and retained 
the lady at his court as his ward. 

The king having assembled his army on the border, 
arrived at Chester early in the autumn of 1277. His 
presence on this occasion is said to have been rendered 
necessary by the invasion of the lands of the lords Marchers 
by the Welsh. We find him at Flint on the 23rd of 
August. After having driven the Welsh to their strong 


holds in the mountains, and cruelly ravaged a considerable 
extent of country, he returned to Shrewsbury, which place 
he again quitted on the 16th of October. He soon obtained 
possession of the castle of Rhuddlan, where we find him on 
the 10th of November. He was then negotiating with 
Llewelyn, who had retired to Aberconway. In the pacifi- 
cation which was soon afterwards concluded, the Welsh 
historians accuse their prince of sacrificing his patriotism to 
the desire of obtaining possession of his wife, which vtbb 
one of the chief articles stipulated in the treaty, in all other 
respects extremely galling to the Welsh. The king remained 
at Bhuddlan till about the middle of November, and returned 
slowly towards London. On the 6th of December he had 
proceeded no further than Worcester. The marriage of 
Llewelyn with Alianora de Montfiirt took place soon after 
the ratification of the treaty. 

About three years after the marriage of Llewelyn and 
Alianora de Montfiirt, the struggle began in which the in- 
dependanoe of the Welsh was finally destroyed. Llewelyn's 
brother David, who had been Edward's ally in his former 
wars, was accused of being the principal instigator of the 
rebellion of 1S82. On the night of Palm Sunday in that 
year (which was the S2nd of March) he surprised the castle 
of Hawardine, slew the knights who had the care of its 
defence, and carried away captive the justiGiary of Wales, 
Roger de Clifford. He then joined with his brother in 
laying siege to the castles of Flint and Bhuddlan. King 
Edward was celebrating Easter at Deviies, when inteU 
Kgence was brought him of the rising of the Welsh, and he 
immediately determined to enter Wales with a large army. 
On the 6th of April he summoned his batons to march 
towards the border; on the ISth of the same month we 
find him giving orders to the barons of the Cinque-Ports to 
fit out an expedition against the Welsh by sea ; and on the 
30th he arrived in person at Gloucester. We can trace the 
kingN movrmcnf< slowly along the border, while he was 
arranging hi^ extensive plan of operations. On the SOth 


of May, being then at Worcester, he appointed his army to 
meet at Bhuddlan ; on the Z4th he was at Hartlebujy, in 
his progress towards Chester, where we find him on the 
8th and 10th of June. He was at Rhuddlan before the 
15th of July, on which day he wrote to the Sheriff of 
Gloucestershire for a hundred good caupu^ores (cutters, or 
pioneers) to cut down trees and clear the roads through 
which he was prepared to march. The Welsh had retreated 
on his approach. 

The progress of the English king was slow, but sure. 
In a few months he had overrun North Wales, and pene- 
trated into the recesses of Snowdon. But the approach 
of winter checked his progress, and restored courage to 
the Welsh. At this moment the barons of Herefordshire 
and Gloucestershire invaded the country from the south. 
Llewelyn, leaving his brother to keep the English in check 
in the north, hastened to oppose them. He had reached 
the banks of the Wye near Builth, when he was attacked 
by the conjoint forces of Edmund de Mortimer and John 
Giffard of Brimsfield. The accounts of the engagement 
are obscure, and differ from each other ; but it appears that 
Llewelyn being separated from his army i^-ith a few atten- 
dants, was slain in the scuffle by one Adam de Francton, 
who did not know, till he returned and found his victim 
dying, that he had killed the Welsh prince. After his 
death, which occurred on the 12th of December, 128S, they 
cut off his head, and scut it to king Edward, who ordered 
it to be placed on the Tower of London. The arch-bishop 
of Cantcrbur}', who was present at Llewelyn's death, wrote 
an account of some of the circumstances connected with it 
in a letter to the king, which is still preserved.* It apjicars 
that Maude de Longesj^oe, the ii-ife of John Giffard, im- 
plored the arch-bishop to absolve the Welsh prince, and 
render to him the last services of the church, which the 
prelate refused on tlie gro\ind that lie had shown no si«j(iis 

o ,. 


of repentance in his last monieuts^ although her charitable 
request was supported by Edmund de Mortimer, who as- 
serted that he had heard Llewelyn call for a priest before 
he died.* In Llewelyn's pocket were found private papers 
which are said to have implicated so many of the lords 
Marchers in his rebellion, that they were studiously sup- 

Early in November the king had retired to Rhuddlan, 
where he remained during the winter. In the following 
March, Edward again advanced into the wilds of Snowdon, 
in pursuit of David, who continued in arms till June, when 
he was betrayed into the hands of his enemies, and carried 
a jmsoner to Rhuddlan. The capture of David completed 
the subjugation of his country; and the king, finding no 
further oppoaition, returned slowly towards England. He 
reached Shrewsbury at Michaelmas, to meet the parliament 
which he had summoned there for the purpose of passing 
judgment on *' his traitor*' David, who was condemned to 
undergo the cruel and revolting punishment which con- 
tinued for ages afterwards to be inflicted for the crime of 
high treason. On the 28th of December king Edward was 
at Chester, still occupied in securing his new conquest. 

By this campaign, the Welsh appeared to be sufficiently 
tamed ; yet few years had passed by when, supposing that 
the king had quitted England to conduct in person his 
war in France, they again rose in arms. This i«-as in the 
summer of 1S87 ; under Recs ap ^lercduc and other popular 
leaders, the mountaineers attacked the lords of the Marches, 
and obtained possession of several castles and towns. The 
most active of the borderers on this occasion were Gilbert de 

* The Udy hsre nestiosed wu davshter sad hcirsti of Walter dc 
Clifford, lord Af Corfton and Calmington, the nephew of Fair noaamond. 
She waa the widow of William Longcfpee, and had been forcibly carried 
away from her manor •honae by John Giffard,.who afterwards obtained the 
kinf*a allowance of hia marriage, which had been contracted without 
licence. On the Cih of November, 12S0, a licence was given to this John 
(!itf'.tr<I /'I /'/'(/ ir-»/ri» irith thuj% mtf in all forests in KmcIauiI 
Foedera, li. p. 597. 



Clare, who had been driven from his estates in the county 
of Glamorgan, and Edmund do Mortimer. The ^yel8h, 
however, were mistaken on one point: the king had not 
quitted the English shore when he received intelligence 
of their insurrection, and he liastened into Wales ^vith a 
powerful army. This was the last great struggle of the 
Welsh for their independence, and it ended much in the 
same way as those which had preceded it; after their 
country had been ravaged with fire and sword, they were 
driven by famine to an unconditional surrender, and their 
chieftains were carried away into captivity. But the king 
was obliged to pass his winter in Wales, where he cele- 
brated the festival of Christmas at 'Aberton.' Before his 
return to England he built the castle of Beaumaris; and 
further to ensure the obedience of the Welsh he is said to 
have cut down and cleared the principal woods which had 
served for a refuge to his enemies. From this time, if we 
believe the ancient chronicles, the Welsh laid aside much 
of their rudeness, and, settling peacefully in towns, they 
began to amass wealth and indulge in the luxuries of life, 
until their manners became assimilated to those of their 
English neighbours.* In subsequent years the more warlike 

* A quo tempore werne in Wallia qnieTenint, et Wallenset more 
An^iooram pene viTere inocepenmt, thetaiizoe congreguitec et remm dtmna 
de cctero formidantce. The. Welaingham, p. 63. A similer accoont of 
the change in the manners of the Welah is given in the lythmical 
f/wtoHM^ printed among the poems of Walter Mapesi L 185 :— 

Mores bmtales Britonnm 
jam, ex convictu Saxonum, 
commutantur in melius, 
ut patct luce clarius. 
Hortos et agros excolunt ; 
ad oppida sa conferunt ; 
et loricati equitant, 
et calceati pcditant ; 
urbane sc reflciunt ; 
ft sub tapctis dormiunt : 
ul ju«lircn!nr An?li« i. 
nunc potius quam W.illi< t 

Hinc si qusratur ratio, 
quietiui qnam solito 
cur illi Tivant hodic ; 
in causa sunt divitic, 
quas cito gens hcc pcrderet 
si passim nune confligcret. 
Timor damni hoe retrahit ; 
nam nil habens nil mctuit, 
ct, ut dixit Satyricus 
i-nntat viator Tacutw 
• ••lam latroiu* tniioi 
qium plinlcMtus dttior 



part of the population was drawn off to serve in the Scottish 

At this period the three most powerful families on the 
English side of the horder were those of Clare^ Bohun, and 
Mortimer. Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, who 
fought at Evesham on the royal side, although he had 
fought at Lewes for Simon de Montfort, contrived to reap 
advantage from the defeat of his old colleagues. He was 
high in favour with Edward I, whose daughter, Joane of 
Acre, he married. He had the command of the army 
which invaded South Wales in 1287. He died in 1295; 
and was succeeded by his son Gilbert, who was slain in 
1818 at the disastrous battle of Bannockbum, when the 
earldom of Gloucester became extinct. 

The Bohuns, during several generations, had been dis- 
tinguished by their patriotism. Henry de Bohun was one 
of the firmest supporters of the baronial party in their 
opposition to king John, and was one of those excommu- 
nicated by the pope for the part he took in extorting the 
Magna Charta from that monarch. His son, Humphrey 
da Bohun, earl of Hereford, and his grandson, Humphrey, 
who died, before his father, were staunch adherents of 
Simon de Montfort, and were both among the prisoners 
taken at the battle of Evesham. Humphrey do Bohun, tlie 
son of the latter, who succeeded to his grandfather's titles, 
was equally distinguished by his courageous opposition to 
the unconstitutional measures of Edward I. He died in 
1298, and his son, also named Humphrey, who married a 
daughter of Edward I, Elizabeth Plantagcnet, fell a sacrifice 
to bis attachment to the popular cause in the reign of 
Edward n. 

The power and wealth of the Mortimers had been con* 
stantly increasing since the leign of Henry III, when 
Roger de Mortimer had contributed so greatly to the final 
triumph of the crown. He was eminent among Iiis con- 
lenii><>rario^ fi>r lii^ s|>l<'ii«lom- ami innmiifi* rnrf. Wliri* 
his tlircf* M>n*, Eflmund, William, and (•iHiffrrv. were 


knighted by king Edward I^ he held a great tournament ut 
Kenilworth^ and a ' round tabic/ entertaining sumptuously 
for three days a hundred knights^ Avith as many ladies, at 
his own expense ; and having himself gained the prize of a 
lion of gold, on the fourth day he carried all his guests to 
Warwick. The fame of Roger's gallantry was Kpread 
through distant lands, and the queen of Navarre is said 
to have fallen in love with him, and to have sent him to 
the tournament at Kenilworth, which had been according 
to custom proclaimed in foreign countries, wooden vessels, 
bound with gilt hoops and wax, as flasks of wine, but 
which, when opened, proved to be filled with gold. These 
' flasks * were long preserved in the abbey of Wigmore : 
and for the queen's love Roger de Mortimer added a car- 
buncle to his arms during his life.* He died in 128S, and 
was buried in Wigmore abbey. His son Edmund was, 
like himself, actively engaged in the Welsh wars. Previous 
to the death of Llewelyn, at which he was present, his 
relationship to that prince caused him to be suspected of 
conniving at his rebellion. In ISOS, or 1304, in a battle 
with the Welsh near Builth, in the same neighbourhood 
where IJewelyn was slain, Edmund de Mortimer received a 
mortal wound, of which he died soon after in his castle of 
Wigmore, and was buried in the abbey. 

Roger de Mortimer, the eldest son and successor of 
Edmund, was only sixteen years of age at the time of his 
fethcT*s death, and was given in ward by the king to Piers 
Cravcston, to whom he subsequently paid two thousand five 
hundred marks to redeem himself and obtain permission to 
marry at his own pleasure. He married Joane de Gcncville, 
by wliich union he added to his vast possessions the 
castle of Ludlow. Tlio castle of Wigmore continued, 

* Ad dicta hasliludia in dictis rcgnis prsconizata, flaKulat ligneat, 
deauratis banris ct ccra ligatos, rini sub specie, auro tamcn plenos, in dicta 
Abbatliia de MTyggcmore a<11iuc habitos, cidom Ropcro ferlur tmnsmisissc; 
ipsoqur d'>niir.u* K«'j«'rMs rj\;c.l, n: r» {rln.^- oK nmorcn, r.iiYiunrMlum .irmi-. 
stiis ad totam vitAm ^tnin aiMi'Us^c noscitur. Monastu on. ri. p. 3^]. 



however, to be the chief scat of the Mortimer family : and 
the few mouldering nuDS which still remain are sufficient 
to show the strength and importance of this once princely 

The three great border lords, R<^er de Mortimer, Gilbert 
de Clare carl of Gloucester, and Humphrey de Bohun 
carl of Hereford, were all actively engaged in the Scottish 
war. Gilbert dc C'lnrc and Humphrey de Bohun led the 
attack at the battle of Itaiinockbum, where the former was 
slain, and the latter immediately afterwards was made • 
prisoner by the Scots in Dothwell castle, where be had 
taken shelter. He obtained his liberty by exchange, and 
rctumcd with Roger de Atortimer to protect their own 
estates from the threatened invasion of the Welsh. In 
1515, a Welsh chief named Llewelyn Bren, collected to- 
gether a great number of his countrymen, and invaded 
Gloucestershire, cruelly deraslating the country through 
which he passed. One of the banms most active in this 
war was John dc Cherlton of Cherlton, or Charlton, in 

brturen Wifm-'rr iin<l l.ii-Miw. 


Shropshire, who had manied the heiress of the lordships of 
Powys and Pool. This war was not finished till the year 
following, 1316, when Llewelyn Bren was sent prisoner to 
London. In the same year Roger de Mortimer was ap- 
pointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. 

The barons of the Wekh border acted a prominent part 
in the civil dissension which ended in the deposition of 
the weak and unprincipled monarch who now sat on the 
English throne. Gilbert de Clare had been one of the 
most active among the persecutors of Edward's first fa- 
vourite. Piers Gavestone ; and the king gave to his second 
and no less unpopular favourite, Hugh Despenser, with 
Grilbert's daughter, his estates and honours in Glouces- 
tershire and Wales. This was a signal for the borderers 
to take up arms. Humphrey de Bohun, Roger de Mor- 
timer of Wigmore, his great-uncle, Roger de Mortimer of 
Chirk, and others, invaded the lands of Hugh Despenser, 
fought several battles, took Cardiff, and carried the governor 
a prisoner to Wigmore castle, and then seized upon the 
castle of Clun. The pretence for these hostilities is said to 
have been a quarrel concerning a piece of land which Roger 
Mortimer had agreed to purchase, but of which he was 
deprived by Hugh Despenser's influence.* 

This partial outbreaJc was but a prelude to a more for- 
midable insurrection. The earl of Lancaster, with a powerful 
force and numerous friends went to the border, and nearly 
all the lords of the Marches joined him, and marched in a 
body towards London. The result of this movement is 
well known. The barons overawed the king for a while, 
and obtained the banishment of the Dcspenf^crs ; but the 
tide turned, and at the battle of Borouglibridge, in IS'22, 
Humphrey de Bohun was slain, and Henrk* of I^ncaster 
taken and put to death. Among the prisoners on this 
occasion were the two Rogers de Mortimer, John de Chcrl- 
ton, and many other 1x>nlorers. John do C^horlton obtainetl 

• See Tb. WaUlnsbam, p. ILL 


liis pardon ; but the Mortiinei*s were cominitlod to rigorous 
confinemeut in the tower, where the elder died soon after. 

It is said that the king had ahneady condemned Roger de 
Mortimer of Wigmore to the scafibld, when he was unex- 
pectedly deprived of his prey. On the feast of St. Peter 
ad Vincula (the 1st day of August), 1328, Roger de Mor- 
timer gave an entertainment to the constable of the tower, 
Stephen de Segrave, and they passed the evening in drink- 
ing and making merry. As the night advanced, Roger 
seized an opportunity of throwing a soporiforous drug into 
S^;rave's cup, and while he was labouring under its effects, 
escaped from his place of confinement, by connivance (as it 
is said) of his keeper, passed through the several wards of the 
tower^ and reached the river, where he foimd a boat ready 
to convey him away. He immediately sailed for France, 
where he was received by queen Isabella. On the 6th of 
August, as soon as Mortimer*s escape was known at court, 
several proclamations were issued, commanding the king's 
subjects to raise the hue-and-cry afiter him ''our enemy 
and rebel ^ (inimicus et rebellis noster), as he is termed in 
them.* The king appears to have been long uncertain of 
his having left the kingdom. On the 1st of October 
another proclamatioti appeared, forbidding any one to har- 
bour or encourage him ; and as late as the 14th of November, 
letters were addressed to the lords of the Welsh border, 
commanding them to raise the hue-and-cry after him in all 
directions, as though it were supposed that he lay concealed 
there.f In this latter document, among other crimes, he is 
charged with having risen in arms against the king, and 
having taken castles, &c. in Wales and England. The 
history of his criminal intimacy with the queen, and of the 
part which he took in bringing her back to England and 
dethroning the king, are too well knoivn to be detatlc«l 
here. On his return to England, as a memorial of his 
c«ra]K», he built a chapel in the outer ward of the castle of 

• FccKm, \"1 ii. pin I, p. b^K f ru'<lrr.«, 'A p '*\7 


Ludlow, which he dedicated to St. Peter, on whose festival 
he had escaped from the Tower, and placed in it a chantry 
priest.* The ruins, as it is supposed, of this chapel were 
remaining in the last centiuy. 

One of the most ardent partisans of Roger de Mortimer 
was Adam de Orleton, bishop of Hereford. He had been 
raised to that see in 1S17 ; and as the parish of Orleton, 
from which he took his name and of which he was probably 
a native^ was part of the possessions of that great baronial 
family, it is probable that he owed his elevation to Mor- 
timer's influence and protection. After the defeat of the 
party of the earl of Lancaster, he shared in the disgrace of 
his patron, and, in spite of the complaints and expostula- 
tions of his brother ecclesiastics, he was condemned for 
high treason, and deprived of his temporalities. The 
principal circumstance of the charges against this prelate, 
as it was related in the depositions at his trial, affords a 
curious anecdote of border turbulence.f It is there stated 
that in the months of November, December, and January, 
in the fifteenth year of the king's reign (a. d. 1321, £), 
Roger do Mortimer of Wigmore, having raised a great 
number of armed men (horse and foot), marched with them 
in warlike array about the border. When they came to 
Bromyard, where they passed one night, they robbed and 
plundered divers inhabitants of the town and neighbour- 
hood of goods and money to the amount of forty pounds ; 
of John de Masonne of Stancford, they took brazen pots and 
platters, and linen and woollen cloth, of the value of twenty 
shillings; and of John le Shepherd of Bruncestor, they 
took a cow of the price of eight shillings. From thence 
they went towards licdbury, and stopped at Bosebury» 

* Unde ct in bonorem S. Petri capelltm in ultcriori warda castri do 
LodoUwe, illam capolltm S. Petri Tocatam, cum unitia capellani ibi 
peipetvo celebraturi cantuaria noscitur coottnixi&sc. Accmint of tbe 
Ifortimei*. in tbe Monaslicon, vi. p. 351. 

t UolU of Parliament, \ol it. p. 1*27. One ot' the pcricn^ ^lio made 
tbli deposition bore (be sinpiUr nnme of Adam ilalfcnaked. 




where they had a long consultation with the bishop of 
Hereford. They then went to Ledbury^ where they robbed 
diflEerent persons to the amount of more than a hundred 
pounds. Among the rest^ they took from Roger Fortherath, 
beef^ pork^ bread, beer, and brazen pots, to the amoimt of 
twenty shillings. Two days afterwards, Adam de Orleton, 
who was still at Boeebury, sent them a body of his own 
men and retainers, well mounted and armed ; and with this 
addition to his army, Roger de Mortimer marched direct 
towards Gloucester. 

On the arrival of the queen, Adam de Orleton joined her 
standard, and at Oxford he delivered a public discourse 
from the pulpit against the king's government, taking for 
his text the words Doht miii caput, and representing that 
since the sickness of the head affiscted the whole body, when 
the head was found to be unfit for government, it was 
requisite that some eflfective remedy should be applied. It 
is said also that this prelate instigated the queen to the 
murder of her husband : and, aooording to a popular story, 
it was he who fabricated the ftmous message which, by the 
diflferent placing of a comma, admits of entirely opposite 
interpretations : — 


<« Edirardum occidere oolite Umere bonum est. 

It was prelcndc<l that if the receiver of this message placed 
the stop after the word Umere, and obeyed the order thus 
conveyed to put the king to death, the sender would be 
excused by placing the stop after the previous weed, as 
having intended to forbid the evil deed. 

One of the first acts of the parliament caUed by Mortimer 
and the queen, vtub to reverse the judgment against Adam 
de Orleton. In the same year we find this prelate involved 
in a dispute with the crown, by having ambitiously obtained 
his election to the vacant see of Worcester. Yet he was 
finally allowed not only to retain WonostiT, but a few 
voars afterwards, in 1S33, he was further advanced to the 


bishopric of Winchester, in the possession of which he died 
in 1845. This promotion was also the fruit of his political 
intrigues^ and contrary to the wishes of the king, in whose 
fiivour he appears never to have stood very high. Adam de 
Orletou had been sent as an ambassador to the king of 
France, and through that monarch's influence with the 
pope he obtained the vacant see in spite of king Edward's 
xecommendation to the sovereign pontiff of another claimant. 
Edward was angry at the pope's decision ; he accused 
Adam de Orleton of misconduct in his official capacity, 
alledging that he had neglected his master's business to 
ingratiate himself with his enemy the king of France ; and 
he vented his humour against the pope^ who had listened to 
the French king sooner than to himself. In this part of 
his complaint he had with him the sentiments of his people, 
who were beginning to cry out bitterly against foreign 
interference in the affairs of the English church. The king 
^^c^cordingly, seized upon the temporalities of the see of 
Winchester, and retained them in his hands during several 
months, until the other prelates petitioned in parliament 
for their restoration.* 

When the unfortunate king found himself deserted by his 
subjects, he fled directly to Wales, but he met with so few 
fiiends that he was obliged to conceal himself among the 
woods in the neighbourhood of Glamorgan. Roger de 
Mortimer with tlic queen hastened to the border; and 
INisscd the last days of the year 1SS7 at Hereford. Thither 
tlie unfortunate king was brought a prisoner; and before 
they left that city several of his partizans were beheaded or 
hanged. The favourite, Hugh Despenscr, was condemned 
to the same cruel punishment to which the Welsh prince, 
DaWd, had been subjected at Shrewsbury ; with this dif- 
ference only, that the English 'traitor,' was suspended on a 
gallows fifiy feet liigh. 

Within u few months after tlic deposition of Edward II, 

* Tho. WnUiiighJini, 11 bt. Aiigl. p. IXX 


Roger de Mortimer was created an earl^ by the title of earl 
of March. Immediately afterwards he imitated his grand- 
father in holding a '' round table ;" and he conducted the 
queen and the young king (Edward III) to the Marches of 
Wales^ where he welcomed them with magnificent festivities, 
accompanied with tournaments and other princely recrea- 
tions, in his castles of Ludlow and Wigmore^* Hoger de 
Mortimer was now blinded by Us ambition, and set no 
bounds to his ostentation. He scarcely took pains to con- 
ceal his familiarity with the queen; he usurped all the 
powers of the government, and offended many of the nobles 
by his haughtiness. It is said that his own son GeoflBrey 
was accustomed to speak of him as the '' king of folly/* 
A conspiracy was formed against him, headed by the young 
king, who was desirous of taking the government of his 
country into his own hands ; and the powerful nobleman 
was captured by surprise in the castle of Nottingham, and 
having been convicted of high treason by a parliament 
called for that purpose, in ISSl, he was hanged on the 
common gallows in London. The sentence was perhaps 
one rather of vengeance than of justice : the chief charge 
brought against him was that of having usurped the so- 
vereign power, and of having injured the country by mal- 
administration. In most of the particular cases specified the 
accusations were general and indefinite ; in a few he had 
perhaps adopted the best measures which the circumstances 
would admit.t Several of Mortimer's fiiends were con- 
demned along with 

• Bzinda ttx Bdwaidna ttrtim ad Muchiftm Iranitit, el in eaitiif dicti 
Rogni comitis, de Loddelow ei d« Wjgfemore, forestii^iM M 
pMcia. emB maximit expentU In oommiiniis, hMtiludiis, ei aliif ■olaeUa, 
wnauBdaqmb donaiiis tSbi M Mb bfglter cAmIs^ ragdiler par nonanUoa 
diaa tneUCai» 4e. Manaaticon, vL p. SftS. 

t The chargea asatnai Roger da Mortimer apaciiled in the RoUa of Par- 
liament, 4 Edward III, are, that he had been, by hia intrignca, inatrumental 
in the f.tll of Edward II ; that he bad cau«o<l htm to be removed from 
Kenil worth to Berkeley eattlr, where he had been at loatt privy to hia 


There appears to be some doubt as to the place of burial 
of this powerful baron. The history of the family printed in 
the Monasticon states that he was interred with due respect 
in the church of the Friars Minors at Shrewsbury, on the 
eve of St. Andrew (S9th November), 1331, from whence 
some years afterwards his body was removed to Wigmore. 
This statement, however, seems to be contradicted by a 
document printed in the FoederS, by which the king on the 
ieventh day of November, in the same year, orders the 
Fiiars Minors of Coventry to deliver up the body of the 
earl, which they were said to have in their possession, to 
his widow and eldest son, in order that it might be carried 
to Wigmore for interment.* He left four sons and seven 
daughters ; one of the latter was married to John de Cherl- 
ton, the son of the baron of that name who had obtained 
the lordship of Powys. 

None of the direct descendants of Roger de Mortimer 
made the same conspicuous figure as their forefieithers. Most 
of them were left minors, and died at an early age. Edmund 

murder ; that h« OTorawed the parliament anembled at SalUbury by force 
of armi, and obtained by undue means large grante from the crown, and 
the title of earl of March; that he had opprened and perMcnted the eari 
of Lancaster and other peers of the land, because they opposed themselTes 
to his tyranny and ambition ; that he had* by his intrigues, urged the earl 
of Kent Into open rebellion* and then procured his eondemnation and 
execution for high treason ; that, usurping the royal power, he had caused 
the king to bestow on his ISunily and friends, castles, towns, manors^ and 
franchises in England, Walesa and Ireland, to the pr^dice of the crown ; 
that he had turned to his own uses the taxes raised for the war In 
Gascony ; that he had stirred up discord between the late king and his 
queen ; that he had expended the royal treasure for his own private usee; 
that he had used in the same manner twenty thousand marks paid by 
the Scots ; that he had fiiTOured the Irish who had attacked and opposed 
the ministers of the late king; and that he had caused the person of the 
young monarch to be surrounded by hit own creatures. 

• Rex delectis sibl gardiano et fratribus Minorum de CoTentr. sal. 
Quia de gratia nostra speciali concessimus Johanns, que fuit uxor Rogeri 
de Mortuomari nuper comitis Uarchia, et Edmundo flli<^ ejusdcm comitls. 
quod corpus ipsius Rogeri usque Wypgcmorc duccrc rt illud il>i<lcn tradcrc 
possint ecclesiaslkm sepuUurv. Fsdera, ii. p. 928. 


de Mortimer^ Roger's eldest son^ survived his father a few 
years^ and left a son, named Roger, only three years of age. 
His castles in the Marches of Wales were committed, during 
his minority, to the custody of his step-father, William de 
Bohun, earl of Northampton. The greater portion of 
Roger's after life was spent in France, where he was en- 
gaged in the wars of Edward III, who created him a knight 
of the garter. In 1S54 he obtained a reversal of the at* 
tainder of his grand-father, and it was declared in full 
parliament that the charges on which Roger de Mortimer 
had been condemned were false, and his sentence unjust. 
Roger de Mortimer, now restored to the title of earl of 
March, was subsequently made constable of Dover castle 
and warden of the Cinque Ports. He died in Burgundy in 
1860, in command of the English forces in that country, 
and left a son, Edmund Mortimer, then in his minority. 

Young Edmund de Mortimer was distinguished above 
his years by his prudence and manly abilities, and he was 
employed at the early age of eighteen to treat with the 
commissioners of the king of France for a peace between 
the two kingdoms. Early in the reign of Richard TL he 
was made lord lieutenant of Ireland, in which oflke he died 
in 1S81. He married the lady Philippa Plantagenet, 
daughter and heir of Lionel duke of Clarence, by which 
union he gave to his descendants theb title to the Eoglish 
crown, the cause of so much bloodshed in the following 
century. Besides his heir and successor, Roger de Mor* 
timer, he lefl two sons and the same number of daughters, 
all of whom were more or less involved in the intrigues and 
conspiracies of the following age. Edmund, his second 
sou, married the daughter of Owen Glyndwr. Jchn de 
Mortimer, the third son, was condemned and executed for 
treasonable speeches in the reign of Henry VI. Of the 
daughters, Elinbeth, the eldest, was married to Henry 
Percy, Shakespeare's Hotspur. 

Rojjcv ^fortiinor, fourth carl of March, wav only «rvrn 
ycar^ old at the time of ht* father's death, and hr was 


given in ward by the king to Richard earl of Arundel. He 
was made by Richard II lord lieutenant of Ireland, as the 
successor of his father, and was slain in a battle there in 
1S98, leaving two sons and two daughters. In the parlia- 
ment held in the ninth year of the reign of Richard II, 
A. D. 1385, this Roger de Mortimer was declared heir 
apparent to the crown, by his descent from Lionel duke of 
Clarence. His eldest daughter, Anne, was married to 
Richard Plantagenet duke of Cambridge, younger son of 
Edmund duke of York, and therefore the grandson of 
Edward UI. 

Edmund Mortimer, fifth earl of March, was left an orphan 
at the age of six years, and was cominitted in ward to 
Henry prince of Wales. After having distinguished him- 
self in the French wars, he died childless in 1424, and the 
male line of this branch of the Mortimer family, with the 
title of earl of March, became extinct. The baronies of 
Mortimer, and the other dignities and estates, were inherited 
by his nephew, Richard Plantagenet duke of York, the son 
of Richard duke of Cambridge, who married his sister. 
This was the same duke of York who was subsequently 
put to death after the battle of Wakefield. 



7^ Wekh Border during the fourteenth and early pari of 

the fifleentli cetiturics, 

THE condition of society in England undenvent no 
great variations during the fourteenth century, although it 
%vas in a continual state of fermentation. Tlic lower orders 
were oppressed and miserable, and during the whole of the 
]icrio<l ju!»t mentioned thry wore cither passively or actively 
at war with their suiwriors. Thr country was overrun l»\ 


bands of armed robbers, encouraged by the political troubles 
of the time ; and the peasants themselves seldom missed an 
opportunity of slaughtering a wandering knight or defence- 
less merchant. In return the peasantry were oppressed by 
the purveyors of the king and of the barons ; who violently 
carried away their provisions, treated them with contempt 
and rudeness, and frequently beat them and ofiered violence 
to their wives and daughters. In addition to these evils, the 
people were burdened by foreign wars, and more than deci- 
mated by destructive pestilences. The impressions of the 
purveyors and taxers on the one hand, and Uie turbulence of 
the peasantry on the other, form frequent subjects of com- 
plaint in the parliaments of Edward III and Richard 11. 

The borders of Wales not only bore their full share of 
these grievances, but they had also to suffer firom the vidnity 
of a people of a diflSerent race, who, though nominally in 
peace and alliance, cherished the hostile feelings and recol- 
lections of several centuries. The two peoples, although 
now placed under the same government, were separated 
not only by different customs of old standing, but by the 
inequality created by new laws. The Welsh were in many 
respects treated as a vanquished people; and by repeated 
enactments during the fourteenth century they were de- 
prived of many social rights, particularly that of buying 
and possessing lands, more especially on the English border. 
One reason assigned for this law was that, by the " procu- 
ration, help, counsel, and favour of Welshmen buying and 
possessing lands in the English counties on the border, 
divers malefactors of Wales of their acquaintance in great 
multitudes, sometimes a hundred or two hundred, and at 
other times three hundred and more, suddenly entering 
these counties in warlike array, perpetrate Uiere daily 
divers mansUughters, felonies and oUier transgressions and 
enormities, and then retreat in haste to the other side of 
the border, beyond the jurisdiction of the magistrates of the 
counties in which tho offences were committed.*** The 

• Rolls of rarliuaent, rol. iii p. 391. 


different laws and customs relating to merchants and traders 
were also the source of much injustice and continual dis- 
putes. Merchants and others^ passing from one jurisdiction 
to another, were frequently arrested under false pretences, 
and were not set at liberty until they had satisfied the 
avarice of their persecutors. The particular privileges of 
the county palatine of Chester served also as a cover and 
encouragement to similar violences and injustice. In dif- 
ferent parliaments of Richard II, these privileges were the 
subjects of earnest complaint on the part of the commons, 
it being stated that not only the counties of Salop, Hereford, 
Worcester, and Gloucester, but even those of Lancaster, 
Derby, Leicester, and York, were daily disturbed by the 
inhabitants of Cheshire, who " come sometimes by day and 
sometimes by night, ^vith great routs of armed men in war- 
like array, and there commit various felonies, trespasses 
and extortions, namely, they slay people, bum houses, 
ravish ladies and damsels, and other people they maim, 
beat, and other^^dse wound, and maim and kill their oxen, 
to the great destruction and oppression of the aforesaid 
commons, for which no punishment is inflicted, or forfeiture 
ordained of the goods and chattels which they have within 
the aforesaid county of Chester, because of their franchise.'** 
At other times they carried away the daughters of gentle- 
men and men of property, and if their fiienda would not 
consent to redeem them for exorbitant sums of money, 
or to give with them their dowers, in marriage to their 
ra^-ishers, thoy not only ill treated them, but they made 
these and other causes of quarrels Mith their families, and 
suddenly entered and ravaged their lands, and then returned 
and took shelter under the same franchises. 

The records of the dissensions and political troubles of 
this period furnish many statistical notices illustrati%*e of 
the social condition of our forefathers. The accounts of 
the tax of a fifteenth of personal property raised in 1301, as 

• Ko'.li of raruaiuri.t, vol, in. j-p. \\J. -'"I, *>»> 

2 II 


far as it concerned Colchester, give us an account of the goods 
and chattels of every inhabitant of that township. We 
observe few persons who had more than one article of fur- 
niture in their houses, and a large number had none at all. 
The richest houses of the burgesses must have been very 
scantily furnished, generally, with one or two beds in the 
chamber, and a three-legged table (tripos) in the sitting room 
Chairs are not mentioned; people probably sat on stone 
seats by the side of the wall. The number of persons who 
had money in their houses is comparatively small ; and few 
of the tradesmen possessed a large stock in trade. Articles 
of clothing appear to have been most expensive. The 
following instances will give a general idea of the whole. 
As persons whose property amounted only to a few pence 
were subjected to the taxes at this period, they must have 
weighed heavy on the lower classes of society. — ^William 
the miliar had, in money, a mark of silver ; in his cup- 
board, or chest, one silver dasp, of the value of 9d. and one 
ring, valued at 18d. ; in his chamber, one robe, price 10s., 
one bed, price Ss., one napkin 9d., one towel, 6d. ; in his 
kitchen, one brass pot, 2s., one brazen platter, 12d., one 
brazen saucepan (pocinatum), 8d., one ander (an instrument 
for arranging the fire), 6d., one tripod, or table, 4d. ; in the 
granary, one quarter of wheat, 4s., one quarter of barley, 
8s., two quarters of oats, at 8s. the quarter; two pigs, 6b. 
each, two porkers 18d. each, one pound of wool, Ss., fagots 
for the fire, 2s. 6d. — Alice Maynard possessed one brass 
saucepan, lOd., and one towel 5d. — ^Matilda la Base had in 
her house, one cup of mazer (a kind of wood), 12d., one 
mantle, half a mark, one old robe, 4s., one bed, 4s., one 
brass pot. Is. 6d., one old brass platter, 6d, one quarter of 
fine wheat, 8s., one quarter of barley, 8s., one heifer (afrus), 
8s. 4d., one bullock, 6s., one weak cart, 8s., one ander and 
one gridiron, 8d., one tripod, 8d. — ^Philippa de Brome had 
in her house, one robe, 8s., one bed 5s., one table-cloth, 
12d., one towel, 6d., one brazen pot, 20d., one brazen plat- 
ter, 8d., a washing bowl and a basin, 12d., a triixxl, 4d., 


two quarters of fine wheat, 3s. the quarter, one quarter of 
oats, £0d., one mare, 3s., two oxen, each 6$., two bullocks, 
each 2b., two cows, each 5s. — Nicholas le Coupere (i. e. the 
wood cutter), had a super-tunic, or frock, 2s., and a pig, 
12d. — John Scott, butcher, had an old worn robe, valued at 
Ss. ; in his chamber, ''nothing;*' in his shop, meat, suet, 
and fat^" to the value of 5s., a knife and an axe, together 
valued at 6d. — John Orpede, another butcher, had in his 
house, a silver clasp, 3|d., a bed, old and crazy, 2s. 6d., a 
robe, in a similar condition, 5s., a brazen platter, 17d., two 
carcases of oxen, 4s. each, seven flagons (l^^i^s^)? worth 6d. 
each. — John de Tendringge, who appears to have been a 
tanner, and to have been one of the richer burgesses, had 
in his house a silver clasp and a ring, valued at 18d. ; in 
the chamber, two robes, 15s., two beds, 3s. each, two table- 
cloths, 2s., two towels, 8d. each ; in the brewhouse, a brazen 
pot, 20d., a saucepan, lOd., a brazen platter, 12d. ; in his 
grange, one quarter of fine wheat, Ss., two quarters of 
barley, 8s. each, two quarters of fine oats, at 20d. per 
quarter, one heifer (affirus), half a mark, hay, 2s., one cow, 
Ss., two pigs, 18d. each, one piece of russet cloth, 8s. ; bark 
in the tannery, half a mark, hides, two marks, tubs and 
' algese' for tanning, half a mark ; a gridiron and a tripod, 
6d. ; in all £5 : 6s. : lOd. — ^William Gray, apparently a 
mercer, one clasp, 12d., two silver spoons, 8d. each ; in his 
chamber, two robes, 7s. 6d. each, two beds, 2s. 6d. each, 
one table-cloth, 12d., two towels, 6d. each ; in the kitchen, 
one brazen pot, 28., one saucepan, 12d. ; one cow, .5$., two 
pigs, 2s. each, one hackney, 4$., hay, 12d. ; one piece of 
russet cloth, a mark ; one quarter of barley, ds., one quarter 
of fine oats, 20d., fire wood, 12d. ; in gloves, purses, j^rdles, 
wax and other small things in his mercer)*, 16s. ; two tubs, 
18d., two barrels, 12cl., two small tubs, 6d., two *algcjc/ 
6d. ; one fire-iron, 3|d., one triixxl, 2id. — ^Cristina la 
Glovere had one bullock, valued at 2s. 8d., and " no other 
chattels.'* — Ajmes the miller had in moiiov, 2s. ; in her 
treasury, or cupboard, one silver clasp, lOd., and one ring, 


6d. ; in her chamber^ one robe, Ss., two beds, 58., one table- 
doth, 12d., one towel, 6d. ; in tbe brewhouse, two small 
brazen pots, 18d. each, one brazen platter, lOd. ; one 
quarter of wheat, 4s., half a quarter of a different quality, 
18d., one quarter of barley, ds., one quarter of oats, 2s. ; 
stones for hand mills, 4s., divers cords, 5s., oil, lis., a 
tripod, 4d. — ^Roger, son of Lettice (or Lettison), who ap- 
pears to have been a waterman, had one mark in money, a 
robe, valued at half a mark, a bed, 2s. 6d., a cow, 5s.^ a 
pig, 18d., a brazen pot, 18d., a brazen platter, 8d.j half a 
quarter of wheat, 18d., a quarter of barley, 3s., a quarter of 
oats, 20d., a boat, 10s., a tripod, Sd. — Sir Robert Fitz 
Walter, had in his manor at Lexinden, ten quarters of 
wheat, 8s. the quarter, twenty quarters of oats, SSs. 4d., 
six mares, worth Ss. each, four oxen, lOs. each^ sixty ewes, 
l£d. each, forty lambs, 6d. each. 

We may compare these prices of articles with the value of 
land at nearly the same period. From an inquisition con- 
cerning the manor of Combes in Suffolk, taken in 1824, we 
find that there was in that estate a capital messuage with a 
garden, worth 12d. a year ; six score and ten acres of arable 
land, worth by the year 4d. an acre ; five acres of meadow, 
worth per annum 2s. an acre, " and not more, because full 
of rushes ;" eight acres of wood and undcnu'ood, worth 6d. 
an acre per annum ; three acres of pasture, worth 6d. an 
acre per annum; half a water mill and half a windmill, 
estimated at 10$. a year, " and not more, because weak and 
ruinous.'** In 13G3, when poultry was scarce and extra- 
vagantly dear, an act of parliament was passed, fixing the 
highest prices of a young capon at Sd ; an old capon, 4d. ; 
a hen, 2d.; a chicken,. Id.; a goose, 4d.t In 1382, the 
highest retail prices of wines were fixed at 6d. a gallon for 
the best wines of Gascony, Oseye, and Spain ; 4d. a gallon 
for the best wine of Rupelle; and 6d. a gallon for the best 
Rhenish wine.^ 

• Rolls of Parliament, toI t. p. 420. f Ih. vol ii. p. 2W. 

I Rolls of ParlumcBl, vol. iii. p. 392. 


In addition to the constant petty depredations of the 
Welsh, the border was frequently disturbed by quarrels 
arising out of the extensive and often clashing privileges 
and claims of the lords marchers. The kind of service on 
which these feudal cliieftains were employed in the earlier 
times of Norman rule, and the mode in which they obtained 
possession of their lordships, were rewarded and compen- 
sated by feudal tenures and rights of a much larger and 
more comprehensive nature than those of other estates. 
Long after the Principality of Wales had been placed under 
the English crown, the lords marchers continued to claim 
and exercise within their particular jurisdictions the same 
rights which, frequently unjust and indefinite, were equally 
troublesome to the crown and to the people. Successive 
monarchs endeavoured in vain to abolish them. When the 
justices of Edward I attempted to enforce the writ of Quo 
Warranto in the case of John de Warren earl of Surrey, and 
questioned his title to his lordships of Bromficld and Yale, 
that haughty baron brought forth an old rusty sword, and, 
unsheathing it, " behold," said he, '' my title : by this sword 
my forefathers, who came in with William the bastard, 
obtained their lands, and by it will I hold and defend them, 
against whomsoever shall endeavour to dispossess me." It 
is not to be wondered if we find that men, thus disposed to 
try their claims against their sovereign, used the same 
argument against one another. The quarrels which arose 
out of these disputes, and in which the native Welsh were 
generally led to take a part, sometimes ended in open 
rebellions. Wlicn John de Cherlton claimed through liis 
wife the lordship of Pow}'s, he was allowed to establish his 
rights in this manner. The feud continued unappeased 
many years, during which period we have no information 
as to the bloodshed and heart-burnings to which it gave 
rise; but they were still engaged in open war in 1330 (the 
fourth of Edward III), when, as we learn from the Rolls of 
Parliament, ''our lord the king understanding, that by 
reason of tlie feud wliirli linb long time been between 



Monsire John de Cherlton and Monsire Grriffith de la Pole 
(of Pool), they on both sides assemble men of arms and 
collect force of war, whereby great evils and breach of the 
peace, and peradventure war may easil j happen in Wales 
and on the Marches," formally ordered them to desist, 
adding to his admonition, ''that if either of them were 
aggrieved by the other he might lay his complaint before 
the king, who would administer a speedy remedy.*'* In 
the same year John de Cherlton, who it appears had been 
instrumental in the seizure of Edmund Fitzalan, earl of 
Arundel, and lord of Clun, Oswestry, and Shrawardine, 
executed at Hereford in the beginning of Edward's reign 
(or rather at the end .of that of his fother), was engaged 
in another feud, on that account, with his son Richard 
Fitzalan, restored the same year to his father's estates; 
and the two barons were only hindered from making war 
on each other by the king's interference. Two generations 
afterwards the fiunilies of Cherlton and Fitzalan inter- 

The protection afforded by the fieudal privileges of the 
lords marchers was as destructive to the tranquillity of the 
border, as the peculiar jurisdiction claimed by the county of 
Chester. In the parliament of the ninth year of the reign 
of Edward III, petitions were presented by the lords 
marchers in defence of their rights ; who represented that 
the magistrates and courts of the counties in which their 
estates lay were in the habit of intrenching upon them. But 
the king, who was little inclined to favour their claims, 
returned the cold answer, that ** any one who felt himself 
grieved, might come to his chancery, and have his remedy. "f 

Edward III appears to have been ever suspicious of the 
fidelity of the Welsh. In 13S4, he issued orders for 
examining and putting in proper state of defence all his 
castles in Wales. Similar orders were given in the year 

* Rolls of Parliament, vol. it. |v 59. 
t Rolls of Parliament, \o\ ii. p. 91. 


following^ when the king was engaged in his wars in Scot- 
land, and was apprehensive that the Welsh, of whose levity 
and turbulence he complains ^*ith much bitterness,* would 
seize on that occasion of breaking the peace. The same 
orders concerning the visiting and storing the castles were 
repeated, under similar circumstances, in ISST.f 

In the transactions of this period, the castle and town of 
Ludlow are seldom mentioned. In the second year of the 
reign of Edward III, R(^r de Mortimer and Joane his 
wife obtained license to hold a fair in Ludlow on the eve of 
St. Katherine (the 25th of November) and the four days 
following, for ever.$ The second Roger de Mortimer, earl 
of March, became possessed of the whole of the manor of 
Ludlow, by exchange with William de Ferrers, to whom 
he gave his manor of Crendon for the moiety of Ludlow 
which had descended to him from the Vemons.§ 

In November, 1375, his son, Edmund de Mortimer, 
enfeoffed the castle and manor of Ludlow, with other manors 
on the border of Wales, to William Latymer, knight, of 
Daneby, Richard Lescrop, knight, Nicholas de Caireu, 
Peter de la Marc, knight, John de Bisshopestone, clerk, 

• Ex quorum effncnata leTiUte tim sunt pluriet mala plurima proTcntro. 

t Fcedera, it. pp. 895, 913, Ac. A singular occurrence it alluded to in 
a doeiim«nt of the year 1336 fiL p. 937). It appcan that Edward 1 1, in his 
flight Into Wales, had carried with him his treasure, which, in his last 
perils, he had huried. The document just mentioned is an order for an 
Inquisition relating to the discoTery of this treasure, *' in florenis, denariis 
numeratis, rasis aureis et argenteis, jocalihus, armsturis, Tictualibus, et 
alits rebus," to the amount of sixty thousand pounds, found ** in partibus 
de Glamorgan et Morgannok in Wallia," and dispersed and carried away 
by " diTers malefactors.'* 

t See the Calendar to the Charter Rolls, p. 159. and the Libtr Ki^tr of 
Wignore, MS. Harl. No. 124Q, fol. 24. to. 

f The charters relating to this transfer are enumerated in the raluable 
Libtr Niftr, or Black Book, of Wignore, mentioned in the foregoing note : 
unfortunately the leaves which contained the copies of them, hare been 
•mt out 


Walter de Colmptone, clerk, and Hugh de Borastone, for 
the term of their lives, with reversion to Simon bishop 
of London^ William bishop of Winchester, William bishop 
of Hereford, Boger de Beaudiamp, knight, and John de 
Bridwode, clerk, for the term of their lives, after which it 
was to revert to the Mortimers. Edmund de SIortimcr*s 
charter of this grant is dated at Hereford, on the 25th 
of November.* 

During the rest of the reign of Edward III, the Welsh 
seem to have continued in quiet obedience to the English 
laws. They api)ear in history chiefly as furnishing con* 
tiuual levies to increase the English armies in Scotland and 
France. The materials for border history during this period 
are very scant, yet they afford evidence that the submission 
of the Welsh did not altogether insure the tranquillity of 
the English marches. It appears that towards the middle 
of the fourteenth century the English counties beyond the 
Severn were overrun by bands of outlaws. In Gloucester- 
•hire they had joined together and elected themselves a 
chieftain, to whom they gave sovereign power^ and in 
whoee name they issued proclamations; and, setting in 
defiance the king and his laws, they infested equally the 
sea and the land, capturing and plundering the king's 
ships on the one element, and murdering and robbing his 
tabjecta on the other. In 1S47 the king sent a commission 
to Gloucester to concert means of seeking out the offenders, 
and bringing them to justice.f 

The kkig's suspicions of the fidelity of his Welsh subjects 
appear, however, not to have decreased, and we find him 
ordering frequent measures of surety against a rebellion. 
The border fortresses were kept in a good state of defence. 
In 1309 an order was issued forbidding the men of Shrews- 
bury to quit their houses on the pretence of attending the 


• See the Liber Nigrr of Wi^roore. MS. llarU No. 1210, fol id, to. 
t FcrilrM, %ol. in, p. I2^» 


foreign wars, lest by their absence the town should be 
weak of defence in case of a sudden rising of the Welsh. 
In 1370 the sheriff of the Welsh counties were ordered to 
put the castles in Wales in a state to support sieges, and to 
arm the English population, for the purpose of withstanding 
the French, who threatened an invasion towards Christmas, 
with the hopes of diverting the king from his conquests by 
raising up enemies nearer home. In 1377 the same fears of 
a French invasion appear to have been entertained, and 
similar orders were repeated for the defence of the coasts of 

We have no means of ascertaining how far the borderers 
took part in the popular insurrections of the opening years 
of the reign of Richard II. These movements were chiefly 
confined to the eastern parts of the island : but we have 
many reasons for believing that the inhabitants of the 
English counties on the borders of Wales shared largely in 
the reforming spirit of that age. Even before the preaching 
of Wiclyfie, this neighbourhood had produced the bold 
satirical poem already mentioned, which is so well known 
under the title of Piers Ploughman. In the reign of 
Richard II the border had already become the strong-hold 
of the Lollards. One of the most remarkable men of this 
sect, the history of whose persecutions in 1393 will be 
found in Foxe's Acts and Monuments, was a native of 
Herefordshire; his name was Walter Brut, or Bright, 
probably a member of one of the families of that name 
which still have their representatives in Herefordshire and 
Shropshire. The mode in which his contemporaries spoke 
of this early champion of the reformation may bo seen in 
the following s{)ecimcn of a political poem, resembling in 
style the Visions of Piers Ploughman, and probably, like it, 
written on the border, under the title of the Creed of Piers 

** Alle that permeation 
In pure liif jsiiflTroiu 

• Fopdcra. vol. iii. pp. 869, fK)l, 1075. 

2 I 


They han the benison of God, 

Blissed in erthe. 

I pray» parceyve now 

The punnt of a frere. 

In what mesure of a mekenesse 

Thise men delcth. 

Byhold upon Water Brut 

Hon bisiliche thei purenedeny 

For he seid hem the sothe.* 

Hy may no mo marren hem. 

But men telleth 

That he is an heretik. 

And yyele byleyeth. 

And precheth it in pnlpit 

To blenden the pnple. 

They wolden awyrien that wight 

For hit wel dedee. 

And ao they chewen charity. 

As chewen ahaf bonndea/'f 

A few yean later, the celebrated Sir John Oldcastle Qotd 
Cobham), the head of the Lollard party, took refuge on the 
Welsh border from the enmity of his persecutors, and was 
there discovered and arrested by his pursuers. 

King Richard appears to have used all occasions of 
showing favour to the Welsh, and to have looked to them 
for support and aid in case of need. He also placed great 
dependance in the people of Cheshire, who were governed 
by one of his creatures, Thomas Molineux, constable of 
Chester. We have already seen how obnoxious the people 
of Cheshire were at this time to the inhabitants of the 
neighbouring counties. It is probable that the favourable 
eye with wliich Richard regarded them tended not a little 
to render him unpopular on the border. In 1387, when 

* t. •. b«caiiM he told them the troth. 

t They would rnrsc thii creature (Walter Bni!) for his p^od dfed? 
and to they Mchcw chanty, at dop eschew chaff. 


the great barons had begun to enter into hostile league 
against the king's favounte^ Robert de Vere^ then newly 
created duke of Ireland^ Hichard and the favourite repaired 
into Wales in order to consult with more security on means 
to crush the conspiracy. They returned from thence to 
Nottingham^ ivhere a parliament was called^ and the barons 
were cited to appear and answer the charges which were 
brought against them. But they called together their tenants^ 
and prepared to meet the favourite in arms. The duke of 
Ireland raised the men of Cheshire, and joining >vith them 
some Welsh levies, he marched into Oxfordshire, where he 
was met by the barons at Radcote Bridge, on the Isis. But 
the courage of the favourite forsook him in the moment of 
danger, and, seeing no other way of escape, he quitted his 
armour, threw himself into the river, and swam down the 
stream. His army was easily put to the rout, and the 
leader of the Cheshire men, Thomas Molineux, was slain 
by one of the baronial party named Thomas de Mortimer. 
The duke of Ireland escaped to the continent ; and in his 
absence he was attainted and outlawed. 

In the last melancholy act of Richard's history, he again 
sought help in Wales. In 1398 a parliament had been 
held at Shrewsbury. In the same }*ear, Roger de Mortimer, 
earl of March, was slain in a battle against the Irish. The 
king immediately declared his intention of going in person 
to chastise the rebels in Ireland, wliich he put in effect 
towards Easter, carrying with him an army raised chiefly 
in Cheshire. While the king was engaged in the Irish 
war, Henry of Lancaster landed in England ; and the 
king's creatures, Bushy, Bagot, and Greene, fled imme- 
diately towards the border of Wales, two of them taking 
shelter in Bristol castle, while the other hurried to Chester. 
Bristol was soon taken by the Lancastrians. Tlie sequel is 
well knoitii. King Richard left Ireland and landed in 
Wales; after wandering about the coast deserted by his 
friends, and not findinjr the support he ex]>ected from the 
Welsh, he threw hinii^elf iuio Cunwav cu>tlc. rrom thence 


he removed to the castle of Flint, and there he surrendered 
to his victorious rival. The interest which the people of 
the Welsh border took in these events is proved by a 
political poem in alliterative verse (written in imitation of 
the Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman), on the deposition 
of Richard II, which is a strong declaration of the prin- 
ciples and motives of the party who placed Henry lY on 
the throne. It appears to have been composed at Bristol.* 
In the first parliament of the new monarch, the commons 
presented a vigorous petition against the outrages com- 
mitted by the people of Cheshire against their neighbours^ 
and they were probably, after this, efiectually restrained. 
It is certain that the complainants had found little redress 
during Richard's reign ^^ and the men of Chester appear 
to have been in open rebellion at the beginning of that 
of his successor.} 

The Welsh, who had remained quiet while king Richard 
was in need of their assistance, took up arms in his cause 
after his death, and remained during several years in open 
rebellion against king Henry. They were probably first 
urged into action by the disaffected party in England ; and 
they looked for assistance not only to the Scots in the 
north, who pretended that Richard was aUve in their 
hands, but to the French, who were to land upon some 
part of the coast. Nevertheless, this last great insurrection 
of the mountaineers bore much less the character of a 
patriotic movement, than of a combination of resentments 
for personal offences added to the love of plunder. Among 
the persons most earnestly engaged in the struggle, few speak 
of any other griefs than some old feud with a powerful 

* This poem has been publiihed by Um Camden Society. 

t The eonunont, in Uieir petition for redreta of this grieTtace, 1 
Heaiy IV, tay, **coiiie eoTeat atmat let henree ad eet6 puieaes ei montisa 
en pluaoun parlementi en tempe Richard le Sccounde jadyt roy d'Engle- 
terre, sans ancuoe remedie.'* Rol. Pari. toL iii, p. 440. 

I Sec Nicbola»'« Trocccdlngt of the Privy Council, vol. i, p. 113. 


neighbour^ or some recent mark of personal disrespect ; and 
they write letters in English which may be compared with 
the effusions of John Ball and the insurgent peasantry at 
the beginning of the preceding reign. Gryffyth ap David 
ap GryfFythy one of the most active of the insurgents, who 
is characterised as ^' the strongest thief in Wales," closes a 
letter of defiance to Lord Grey of Buthyn, in the following 
rude rhymes. — 

" We hope we shall do the a privy thing ; 
a ropCy a ladder, and a ryDg ; 
high on gallows for to hynge. 
And thus shall be your endyng : 
and he that made the be ther to helpyng : 
and we on our behalf shall be well*willyng, 
for thy lettreis kuowledging."* 

The same person in another letter, says, " Hit was told me 
that ye ben in purpos for to make your men bran (burn J 
and sle in qwatesoe%'er cuntr^ that I be, and am sesened in. 
Withowten doubt as mony men that ye sleu and as mony 
howsin that ye bran for my sake, as mony wol I bran and 
sle for your sake ; and doute not I wollc have both bredde 
and ale of the best that is in your lordschip."t 

The rebellion began in the sununer of 1400, and was at 
first directed chiefly against lord Ghrey of Ruthyn, who was 
commissioned by the king to repress the '^misgovemanoe and 
riot'* which ** he heard was begun in the Marches/' In 
his answer to the king, lord Grey represented the difficulties 
which surrounded him, and the lukewarmncss of many of 
the officers and families on the border.^ About the same 

" BUU*t OrigiDAl LetUra, second ■crici, toU i, p. 5. f /i(. p. 7. 

} '* Ther been many officers, snmc of oar liege lord the kynges lond, 
same of the erles of the Marchers lond, sums of the erlers lond of Atondele, 
some of Powise lond, some of my lond, same of other lordes londes here 
nbottte, that ben kynnc nnto this nictgnce that be risen ; and tyll ye putte 
thos officers ill betl«T covfrn.iu**-, \\\'\^ cunt re ^f N'Tih Walr«» <hall ncrcrr 
hare peese." EUis, ib. p. 4. 


time the chamberlain of Carnarvon, in a letter of intelli- 
gence, speaking of the " governance of the Walsh peple,'* 
says, ''they selleth her catell, and byeth hem hors, and 
hameys, and sume of hem sCelleth hors, and sume robbeth 
hors, and purveycn hem of saddles, boives, and arowes, and 
other hameys, &c. ; and recheles men of many divers 
cuntries voiden her groundes and her thrifty governance, 
and assemblen hem in dissolate places and wilde, and 
maken many divers congi'cgacioncs and metynges pryvely, 
though her comisailc be holdcn yet secrete fro us, wher- 
throgh yong peple are the more wilde in governance.'* 

The English court api^ears to have considered the re- 
bellion of the Welsh as partial and carrying with it no 
serious danger, during several months. At last, on the 
19th of September, 1400, the king, who was then at 
Northampton, received intelligence that the Welsh were 
assembled in much greater numbers than he supposed, that 
they had already taken castles and towns, and that they 
were spreading devastation in every direction. On the 
same day he issued his writs to the sheriflb of the tfii^lanH 
counties of England to assemble tlieir men at arms and 
join him at Coventry, and to the bailiffs and men of 
Shrewsbury to put their town in a state of defence.* The 
king however, instead of going in |)crson against the 
Welsh, met his parliament at Westminster; but prince 
Henry repaired to Chester, and tlience, towards the end of 
November, he issued a proclamation, offering a general 
pardon to all the insiugents who would submit and return 
to their obedience. Early in January an order was issued 
to the towns on the border and the ports of South Wales, 
to provide armed ships and barges to defend their coasts 
against a foreign invasion.f In the parliament which was 
now sitting the commons petitioned that the lords Marchers 
should be requested to act against the Welsh with vigour, 
each in his own district; and it was ordained that no 

* Fotdcn, old edit* vol. iii, p. l*>t* f Fu'dcra, vol ui, p. I'jO. 


Welshman should in future be capable of buying or holding 
lands in or about the towns of Chester, Shrewsbury, 
Bridgenorth, Ludlow, Leominster, Hereford, Gloucester, 
Worcester, or other market towns on the English side of 
the border, or of being a freeman or holding any franchises 
in them, and that all those who already enjoyed such 
possessions or privileges should be made to give security for 
their good behaviour.* On the 18th of March, 1401, an 
oppressive ordinance was published against the insui^nt 
Welsh, one article of which was that ^' the minstrels, bards, 
rhymers, wasters, and other vagabond Wekh in North 
Wales, be not suffered henceforth to overrun the country, 
as has been done before ; but let them be entirely forbidden, 
on pain of a year's imprisonment."t Previous to this, on 
the 10th of March, another general pardon had been offered 
to the rebels who would submit, excepting three, Owen 
Glyndwr, Rees ap Tudor, and William ap Tudor.| 

This is the first mention of Owen Glyndwr in the docu* 
ments relating to the insurrection of the Welsh at this 
period, lue personal history of this remarkable man is 

* Rolls of Parliament, toU iii. pp. 472, 476. 

t " Item, quo les ministrcbc, bardes, rymours, et wastoun, et aatrea 
Tasabnndea Galeya deinx Nortbgmlea, ne aoient desorm^s ioeffrex 4e sor- 
charger le paits, come ad ett6 derant; maia toient-ila outreaent deffmidiii, 
tor peine d'emprisonement d'lin an." Feedera, p. 200. 

The following items oociir among the petitions of the commoca in this 
parliament, RoL Pari. vol. iii, p. 308.— 

Item, que nulle west ours, et rymours, mynstrales, ou racabundes, nc 
soient sustenuz en Gales, pur faire kymorthas'ou quyllagres snr le commune 
poeple, Icsqueuz par lour diTinationes, messonges, ct excitations, sount 
concause de la insurrection et rebellion q'or est en Gales. R4»p<m»io. 
Le roy le voet. 

Item, que nulle commauTaes ou congregations soient fiitz ou soeffres 
estre faitz par les Galoises, pur ascuns counseill ou purposes faire, s*il ne 
soit pur cTidente cause, et par licence de les chiefs ministres du aetunri^ 
et en lour presence, sur peyne. Rttptrntio, Le roy le Toet, tor peyaa 
d*emprtsonement, et de faire fyn et ranceon a la volent^e da toy. 

{ FoMlcra, vul. iii, p. 106. 


obscure. He is said to have been bom about the middle of 
the fourteenth century, and, when in the height of his 
power, he pretended to a direct descent from the ancient 
Cambrian princes. If we believe the contemporary chi-o- 
niders, he was bred in an English Inn of Court, and was 
an esquire of the body to king Richard II ; it is even said 
that he was one of the few persons who remained mth that 
monarch when he surrendered to the duke of Lancaster in 
Flint castle. He was afterwards for a short time esquire to 
the earl of Arundel, and then retired to his estate in 
Wales, where he was living in 1400, when he petitioned 
the parliament for redress against his neighbour, lord Grey 
of Ruthyn, whom he accused of usurping a portion of his 
paternal inheritance. The parUament decided against 
him; and when the bishop of St Asaph, who appears to 
have been friendly disposed towards him, urged the parlia- 
ment not to despise altogether Owen's claims, it was 
answered that the legislative body would not condescend to 
be awed by a set of ''bare-footed clowns." It does not 
appear that Owen Olyndwr immediately attempted to 
obtain forcible possession of the land he* claimed, or that he 
took an active part in the Welsh insurrection at first. 
Perhaps he was only induced to place himself at the head 
of the movement when it had gained sufficient strength to 
promise some chance of success. From this period, how- 
ever, it began to take a more serious character ; and even 
the Welsh students in the English universities, and those 
who held offices or places of emolument, quitted their 
studies and their gains to return to their native mountains. 
The king seized Owen*s estates in South Wales, and granted 
them to John earl of Somerset* 

In the spring of 1401, William ap Tudor and his brother 
Bees ap Tudor had obtained possession of the castle of 
Conway, where they were immediately besieged by Henry 
Percy, so well known to the readers of Shakespeare by the 

• Calcndai to the Patent Rolls, p. 2li. 


name of H6t6pur^ who held the office of justice of North 
Wales and Chester.* On the 4th of May, Percy writes to 
the privy council from Caemarvony that all North Wales 
was quiet and submissiye, with the exception of Conway 
castle^ and those who were with Rees ap Tudor in the 
mountains. Soon after this the Welsh garrison of Conway 
appear to have entered into ncgociations with Percy and 
the prince of Wales, who had joined in the siege, for 
conditions of surrender. On the 17th of May his position 
had become more gloomy; he speaks of the pride and 
intractability of the insurgents, and complains of the diffi- 
culties and expenses of his office, which he subsequently 
resigned. On the 4th of June Percy again complains of 
the increasing turbulence of the country in which he was 
stationed ; he speaks of having defeated the insurgents in 
Cader Idris, complains of receiving little aid from any of 
the lords Marchers except the earl of Arundel and Sir Hugh 
Bowe,t and sends news that the lord of Powis (Edward 
de Cherlton) had fought and defeated Owen Glyndwr in 

Glyndwr appears to have been occupied at this time in 
invading the English side of the border; and his pro- 
ceedings were of such a threatening character that the king 
thought it necessary to march against him in person. In 
his letters to the sherifb of counties for the assembling of 
his army, he states that he had received intelligence on the 
26th of May that Owen Gl]mdwr and his Welsh rebels had 
assembled in the Marches of Caermarthcn, and that they 
had proclaimed it as their intention to enter England with 

• DcTon's Pell Rolls, p. 283. Proceedings of the Priry Council, 
▼ol. i. p. 147. 

t The king gave about this time to Hugh Bowe all the lands in 
Cheshire and Salop which had belonged to Robert de Pulesden, who had 
joined himself with Owen Glyndwr. See Calendar to the Patent Rolls, 
p. 242. 

I Proceedings of the Priry Council, toI. x, pp. 150, 151, 152. 


an anned force for the purpose of destroying the English 
people and language.* The king was then at Wallingford, 
and with his characteristic activity l^e prepared to move 
towards the border on the following day. He was at Wor- 
cester on the 8th of June^ on which day he wrote two 
letters to his privy council^ one directing them to prepare a 
fleet to repel an invasion, the other informing them that on 
his approach the Welsh had retired from the border^ 
although they were increasing in numbers, and that he waa 
determined to advance.f The king returned from Wales 
late in September or early in November; but we have no 
narrative of his operations. Some of the Welsh chiefs 
stood firm to their allegiance ; others had submitted, and 
received pardon ; and many of the castles w^re strengthened, 
and put into better hands.} But Glyndwr still stood out, 
and with him the larger part of those who had taken up 
arms. After his return, the king appointed Percy's uncle, 
the earl of Worcester, captain of Cardigan castle, and his 
lieutenant in Wales. 

At this time the afSurs of the insurgents wet^ certainly 
npt prosperous, for our next intelligence of Owen Glyndwr 
is, thatt as winter approached, he was in ** good intent** 
(bon entente) to return to his allegiance to the king.$ In 
a report from the earl of Northumberland (Henry Percy's 
father), we learn that Owen had sent to the earl to say that 
he had a great affection for him |)ersonally, and that he 
would willingly speak with him ; with respect to the insur- 
rection and mischtef done by the Welsh, he said that he 
was not the cause of it, and that he would willingly have 

* ProeeediBgi of llis Priry Council, toL ii, p. 54. 

t Pfoooodinfi of the PriTj Coancil, roL i, p. 133» and toI. ii, p. 56. 

t At tUt time the fiunoni LoUerd, Sir John Oldceetle, wet made captain 
of BnUth : in the year foUowing (1402) be had the command of Kidwelly 

( Proceediaft of I'nvy Council, Minutee of Council, ^ol. i, p. KJ. 


peace ; and as regarded the heritage which he claimed^ he 
stated that he had possession of the greater part of it^ but that 
there was a part remaining for which he was willing to 
oome to the English Marches to negociate. This declaration 
of Glyndwr appears to support the notion that the insur- 
rection did not originate with him ; and his advances at this 
period^ in which he seems only to have had regard to his 
personal safety and that of his estates^ do little honour 
to his patriotism. His offers appear to have been favourably 
received by the English court, but it is probable that other 
circumstances^ of which we know nothings rendered them 
ineffectual. The English council gave orders for strengthen- 
ing the border castles; and the Welsh spent the winter 
(the season which had always been favourable to them) in 
preparing for active operations at the first break of spring. 

In 1402 the insurrection had reached its greatest force. 
At the approach of spring the operations of Glyndwr had 
become more extensive. A fortunate accident made his great 
enemy and most active opponent, lord Grey of Ruthyn, 
his prisoner, and there remained but a few ill garrisoned 
castles to hinder his crossing the border. Early in the 
year tlie prince of Wales had been sent to Shrewsbury, 
where he was organizing an army to hold North Wales in 
check. A letter wliicli he wrote* to the privy touncil on 
the 15th of May, and of which the foUo^ving is a translation, 
gives a curious picture of the kind of warfare carried on 
between the rival parties. 

*• Very dear and entirely well beloved, we greet you earnestly 
with our entire heart, thanking you very dearly for the good 
care which you have had of the businesses which concern us in 
our absence, and we pray you very affectionately for your good 
and friendly continuance, as our trust is in you. And for 
news in this part, if you will know, among others, we were 
lately informed that Oweyn dc Glyndourdy assembled his forces 
of other rebels, his adherents, in great number, purposing tu 

• The original is in Ficnth. 



make an incanion, and to fight if the English would resist him 
in his purpose, and so he boasted to his people. Wherefore we 
took our forces and went to a place of the said Oweyn, well 
built, which was his principal mansioni named Saghem, where 
we expected to haye found him, if he had had will to fight 
in manner as he said; and at our coming thither, we found 
nobody, and therefore we caused the whole place to be burnt, 
and several other houses thereabouts of his tenants. And then 
we went straight to his other place of Olendourdy, to seek him 
there, and there we burnt a fair lodge in his park, and all the 
country there about. And we lodged ourselves by there all 
that night, and certain of our people sallied forth there into the 
country, and took a great gentleman of the country who was 
one of the said Oweyn's chieftains, who oflTered five hondrad 
pounds for his ransom to have had his life, and to have paid 
the said sum within two weeks; aevertheless it was not ao- 
oepted, but he was pat to death, as well as diyers others of his 
oompaniona who were taken in the said expedition. And then 
we went into the Commote of Edeymion, in the ooonty of 
Merionnyth, and there we ravaged with fire a fair country, and 
well inhabited. And thence we went into Powys, and there 
being a scarcity of provender for horses in Wales, we caused 
our men to carry oats with them, and we remained • • • • daya. 
And to inform you more fully of this expedition, and of all 
other news here at present, we send to you our very dear 
esquire, John de Waterton, to whom you will be pleased to give 
entire fidth and credence in what he shall report to you from 
us touching the news above mentioned. And may our Lord 
have you always in his holy keeping. Given under our signet, 
at Shroueabury, thia 16th day of May.'' 

Soon after the return of their prince from thia '' foray,*' 
Owen Olyndwr, whoae atrength waa evidently increasing, 
approached the Engliah border, with the intention of ravag- 
ing Herefordshire and Shropshire. Edmund de Mortimer, 
the uncle of the young earl of March, hastily levied the 
men of Herefordshire, and met the Wclah on the hilla in 
the neighbourhood of Badnor, at Maelienydd. In thia 
battlr, which was fought on tlir l**tli of Juno, the men of 


Herefordshire were entirely defeated, and Mortimer himself 
taken prisoner. The contemporary chroniclers give us no 
particulars of this battle beyond recording the savage bar- 
barity of the Welsh women who followed their country- 
men/ but it was afterwards the tradition of the place that 
Edmund de Mortimer was taken after a long and desperate 
personal combat with Glyndwr himself. The victors are 
said to have advanced as far as Leominster, where they 
established themselves, and from whence they issued to 
plunder and lay waste the neighbouring country. The 
house at Leominster is still shown in which, according to 
tradition, Glyndwr deposited his prisoner; and he is said 
to have robbed the priory church, as well as several churches 
in the vicinity, some of which were nearly destroyed by his 
men. He appears to have returned in haste into Caermar- 
thenshire, to collect there his forces for the reduction of 
the strong places in that county which were still in the 
hands of the English. 

The state of Wales at this time will be best pictured by 
two or three other contemporary letters which have escaped 
the ravages of time. The first was written to John Fairford, 
receiver of Brecknock, by John Scudamore, who held the 
castle of Carregcennen for the king. 

** Worscbipfiil Sir, I recomand me to yow, and forasmocbe 
as I may nought spare no man from this place away fro me, 
to oertefie neyther the king ne^ my lord the prynce, of the 
myschefs of these countrees aboote, ne no man may pas by no 
wey hennes, I pray yow and require yow that ye certefie hem 
how al Kermerdyn schire, Kcdewely, Camwakham, and 
Yskenyn, ben sworen to Owcyn yesterday, and he lay to night 
3m the castel of Drosselan, with Rees ap Gruffiith. And ther I 
was, and spake with hym upon truys, and prayed of a sauf- 
conduyt* under his seal to send home my wif and her moder 
and their mayn^,' but he wolde none graunte me. And on this 

• See Thomas WalBinghaoi, Hist. Angl. p. 365. 
(ilossnrtf.'»'i Ni«r. 2 S.ifc-c«»n'lii« I .1 lIuusch^M. 


day he is about the towne of Kermerdyni and ther thinketh to 
abide til he may have the towne and the caste! . And hia 
purpos 78 from thehnes into Pembroke schire ; for he halt hjm 
stker' of all the castell and towns in Kedewelly, Gowerslonde^ 
and Glamorgan, for the same countrees have undertaken the 
sieges of hem til thei ben wonncn. Wherfbre wryteth to 
Sir Hugh Waterton» and to alle thilke that ye suppose wol 
take this matter to hert, that thei excite the kyng hederwardes 
in al haste to vengen hym on summe of his false traytors the 
whiche he hath overmoche cherischid, and to rescewe the 
townes and casteles in these countrocs; for I drede ful sore 
ther be too fewe trewe men in hem. I can* no more as nowe ; 
but pray God help yow and us that thmken to be trewe. 
Written at the castel of Carreckennen, the .t. day of Juil. 
yowresy John Skydmore." 

The attack upon Caennarthen was sucoeaafuL On the 
7th of July^ the constable of Dynevor caaUe, " Jankyn 
Hauard,'' writes thus to the reodyer of Brecknock r 

** Dears frende* I do yow to we^' that Oweyn Olendonr, 
Henri Don, Res Day, Res ap Griffith ap Llewelyn, and Res 
Gothin, ban y-won the town of Kermerdyn, and Wyg^or, 
constable of the castell, had yeld up the castell of Kermerdyn 
to Oweyn : and [they] ban y-brend^ the town, y-slay' of men of 
[the] town more than fifty men ; and thei budd in purpo^ to 
Kedweli ; and a siege is ordeynyd at the castell that I kepe, 
and that is gret peril for me, and all that buth wyddein f for 
thei ban y-tnade bar aTow* that thei will algate^ haye us dead 
therein. Wherfore I pray yow that ye nul not bugil us, that 
ye send to us warning wythin schort time whether schul we 

• The data of this letter (tlM test of St, Thomss the Meftyr) orast be 
inteaded for the test of tlie TreasUtion of St. ThoniM. July 7. 

t WU^B OrigiAel Letteis. eeeond leriee, toL i, p. 13. la theee letten 
I haye {Mutlj aioderaiied tbe speUiaf . 

OlMMfy.— 1 Holds himself sore. 2 Know. 3 I giTe 700 to koow. 
4 Bornt. 5 Slain. 6 Remiiin in pnrpoM, i. e. continue in the intention to 
^. 7 AU tLat arc within [the castle]. 8 Made tlu ir 1 o w. U At ail ci cuts. 


have any help or no : and but ther be help coming,* th'at we 
haye an answer, that we may come bi night and steal away to 
Brecknoc : cause that we faylyth vitals, and men, and namely 
men. AJso Jenkyn ap Llewelyn hath yeld up the castell of 
Endyn wyth free wyll ; and also William Gwyn, Thomas ap 
David ap Griffith, and moni gentils ben in person wyth Owen. 
Warning herof I pray that ye send me bi the berer of this 
letter. Fareth well, yn the name of the Trinitie. Y-wrigt at 
Dynevour, yn haste and yn drede, yn the feast of Seint Thomas 
the Martir." 

The following undated letter from the same person^ 
appears to have been ^vritten a few days later. 

** Deare frynd, I do you to wetyn that Owyn was in purpds 
to Kedewelly, and the baron of Carewe was that day comyng 
wyth a grete retenu toward Seint Cier, and so Owyn changed 
hb purpos and rode to-genes* the baron; and that nyght a 
lodged hym at Seint Cler, and destroyed al the contrie about. 
And m Tuesday they weren at tretys* al day ; and that nyght 
he lodged hym at the town of Locharn, six miles out of the 
town of Kermerdyn. His purpose is, if so that the baron and 
he aeordeth in tretys^ than a turneth agein to Kermerdyn for his 
part of the goods, and Res Duy his part; and mony of these 
grete maisters stond yet in the castell of Kermerdyn, for they 
have not y-made har ordinance whether the castell and the town 
shall be brend or no, and therfore, if ther is any help comyng, 
haste hem with al haste toward us, for they mowe have goodes 
and vy telles plentie ; for every hous is full aboute us of her* 
poultrie, and yet wyn and hony ynow in the contrie, and 
wheat and beancs, and al maner of vytells. And we of the 
castell of Dunevor had tretys of ham* Monday, Tuesday, and 
Wedynsday, and now a woll' ordeyn for ns to have that castell, 
for there a casteth to ben y-circled thence, for that was the 
chef place in old tyme. A.nd Oweyn's muster a Monday was, 
as they seyen hcmselven, seven thousand and twelve score 
speres, such as they were. Other tidyng I not^ now, but God 

OlMfary.-^l And if there be no help c«>mincr. 2 Ajrriinst. 3 At 
trcatisci i. c. a-trcatiug. 4 Their. Thcui. He will. 7 Know not. 


of hevene send yow and us from all enemies. Y-wryten at 
Dynevor, this Wedynsday, in haste." 

The next letter is written from Hereford^ on the 8th of 
July^ by Richard Kingston, archdeacon of Hereford. It 
is addressed to the king, and gives us a singular picture of 
the fears of the people on the English side of the border, 
who had already suffered from Olyndwr's incursion in the 
preceding month. Tlie original of the archdeacon's letter 
is written in French. 

** Our Tcry redoubted and sovereign lord the king, I recom- 
mend myself humbly to your highness as your lowly creature 
and continual bedesman. And our very redoubted and so- 
vereign lord the king, please you to know that from day to day 
letters come from Wales containing intelligence by which you 
may learn that the whole country is lost, if you do not come as 
quickly as possible. For which reason may it please you to 
direct yourself towards oar parts with all the power you can, 
riding day and night for the salvation of these parts. And 
please you to know that it will be a great disgrace, as well as 
loss, if you should lose or suffer to be lost, at your commence- 
ment, the country which your noble ancestors have won and for 
so long a time peaceably held ; for people talk very ill-favour- 
edly. And I send to your highness the copy of a letter which 
came from John Scudaroore this morning. Our most redoubted 
and sovereign lord the king, I pray to the Almighty that be 
grant you a good and holy life, with victory over your enemies. 
Written in haste, great haste, at Hereford, the 8th day of 


The archdeacon's postscript, written in English, is still 

_ __ . 

more pressing. 

** And for Oodes love my lyge lord, thinketh on yourself 
and yoare estate, or by my truth all is lost ellcs, bat an ye 
come Toureitolf with haste, all other wuUe folwen after. And 
now on Fry day la^t Kcrmcrdyn town it taken and brent, and 


the castell yolden^ by Robert Wigmore, and the castell Emelyn 
18 y-yolden, and slayn of the town of Kermerdyn mo than 50 
penonea. Writen in ryght gret haste on Sunday ; and I crye 
you mercy, and patte me in youre hye^grace, that I write so 
schortly, for, by my truthe that I owe to you, it is needful." 

The last of these letters of intelligence that I shall quote 
is from the mayor and burgesses of Caerleon to those of 
Monmouth ; it gives us a curious trait in the character of 
the Welsh leader^ who is introduced consulting a " master 
of Brut)" as he is called, or a common prophet or soothsayer, 
concerning the fate of his undertaking. Hopkin ap Thomas's 
prophecy turned out false. 

*^ Gretyng to yow, our gode frendes and worschipful burgeis 
of Monemoothe, we do yow to understonde of tydynges the 
whiche we have y*herd of Owein Glyndor, that is to wet^, of 
lettres under seel the whiche were y-sente to us by the capteyne 
of the lowno of Kedewelly ; and in the lettres were y-wrete* 
words that there was a day of batell y-take bytwyxt the worthy 
baron of Carewe and Oweine Glyndor ; and we do you to 
understonde that thys day of bataill schuld have be do the 
•xii. day of Jule ;* and the nyght before that thys bateil schnld 
be do, Oweyn was in purpos to have avoided hym to the hull^ 
ageinward. And foP he wold y-wete^ wher his wey were clere 
enowe to passe, yf be hede nede, to the hull, he sente .vii. .c. 
of his mein^^ to serche the weyes, and these .vii. .c. menne 
went to serche these weyes, and ther these .vii. .c. menne were 
y-mette with the barons men of Carewe, and y-slay up every 
one, that ther was not one that scaped alive. And these words 
beth y-do us to understonde, that it is sothe* withoute lesyng.* 
And forthermore we do vou to understonde that Oweine the 
[••••••] was in the towne of Kairmcrthcn, he sent after 

Hopkyn ap Thomas of Gower to come and speke with hym 
upon truce} and when Hopkyn came to Owcin, he praicde 
hym, inasmoche as he hold hym maistcr of Brut, that he schud 
do hym to understonde how and what manner hit schold bcfullc 

G know. 7 Host, company. ^ true 'J faUchooil. 



of hym ; and he told hym wittliche' that he scbold be take 
withinne a bref tyme; and the takyng schold be betwene 
Kayrmerthen and Gower ; and the takyng schold be under a 
blak baner : knowelichyd that this blake baner scholde dessese 
hym, and not that he schold be take under hym. No more 
con we say to yow at thys tyme ; bote beth glad and mery, and 
dreede you nought, for we hopeth to God thai ye haye no nede* 
And we do yow to understonde that al these tydynges beth 
sothe withoute doute. Par le Mimre et les Burgeu de 

The king prepared slowly for his expedition into Wales, 
for his attention was diverted to other quarters. The Scots 
attempted to favour the Welsh by an incursion into the 
northern counties of England : and the French were threat- 
ening a simultaneous invasion* Henry's first proclamation 
declaring his intention of marching in person against 
** Owen Glyndwr and the other rebels of Wales" is dated 
on the S5th of June, when he had just received intelligence 
of the capture of Edmund Mortimer.* On the Slst of July 
he issued another proclamation, fixing the 8Tth of August 
for the day of meeting of the army at Chester.f A letter 
fifom Edward Cherlton, earl of Powys, dated from the casUe 
of Pool on the 5th of August (apparently of this year), 
represents the Welsh as becoming ever}* day more active 
in their incursions on the border in his neighbourhood, 
and presses urgently for assistance.^ The chronicIers§ state 
that the king moved towards Wales just before the feast 
of the Assumption of the Virgin (August 15) ; the insur* 
gents retired at his approach, and left the English army 
to pursue a course of plunder and devastation uninterrupted 

1 Of a certainty. 

• Pttd«fm, Tol. !▼, part 1, p. 30. ProcMdiast of tiie Privy CoaBcil* 
▼ol. U f. 1S5. t Pcedtia, A. p. 33. 

X ProcecdinsB of the Piiry rovBcil, vol. ti, p. 70. 

\ Sec Thomas of WaUinsham, p. 105 


except by the elements. These appeared as though they 
had conspired with the Welsh; so tempestuous a season 
had not been witnessed for many years ; and the English 
army^ after considerable loss^ although it had committed 
terrible havoc and carried away much plunder, was obliged 
to return without having effected much of that for which 
it was called together. It is said that the king himself 
was on one or two occasions exposed to personal danger 
by the inclemency of the weather. This check con- 
firmed the common jieople in a behef which had already 
gained some ground, that Owen Glyndwr added to his 
other qualities that of being a powerful magician, and they 
attributed to his unholy incantations the storms which had 
baffled his enemies.* Immediately after his return from 
Wales, on the 10th of October, the king gave orders for the 
payment of the ransom demanded by Glyndwr for the 
release of lord Grey of Ruthyn.f 

Edmund Mortimer remained still a prisoner: it is said 
that the king was unwilling to pay his ransom, and that in 
revenge he entered into a confederacy with the Welsh 
chieftain. On the ISth day of December, Mortimer pro- 
claimed to his tenantry that he had taken up the quarrel of 
Owen Glyndwr, and that his design was to dethrone king 

* Shakespeare puts these words into the mouth of Glyndwr:-— 

•' Atroyhirth, 

The front of heaTon was full of fiery shapes ; 

The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds 

Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields. 

These signs hare mark*d me extraordinary: 

And all the courses of my life do shew, 

I am not in the roll of common men. 

Where is ho living, — clipp'd in with the sea 

That chides the bounds of England, Scotland, Wales,— 

Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me ? 

And bring him out, that is but woman's »on, 

Can trace me in the tedious wavs of art. 

And hoM mo pare in dopji cspcrimrni«.'* 

t Fcedera, vol. iv, part 1, p. 'Wj. 


Henry in favour of his nephew^ the rightful heir of the 
house of York, and secure at the same time the indepen- 
dence of the Welsh.* This alliahoe was cemented by the 
marriage of Edmund Mortimer and Glyndwr^s daughter. 
The accession of Edmund Mortimer probably was rather a 
nominal than a physical addition to the force of the insur- 
gents ; but a few months later their success appeared to be 
rendered certain by the addition of the powerful family of 
the Percies to the confederacy. A triple league was formed 
between Glyndwr, Henry Percy (Hotspur), and Edmund 
Mortimer. The latter fought no longer for his nephew: 
he laid claim to his own share of the spoils. It was agreed 
that if it should appear, by the success of their enterprise, 
that the three parties of the league were the three persons 
who, according to the prophecies of Merlin, were to obtain 
possession of the isle of Britain and divide it between them, 
the partition should be made in the following manner. 
Owen Glyndwr, as prince of Wales, was to have the whole 
of Wales and the adjoining border up to the banks of the 
Severn, Trent, and Mersey; the Percies were to have in 
their sovereignty all the counties north of the Trent, with 
those of Leicester, Northampton, Warwick, and Norfolk ; 
and Edmimd Mortimer was to take the remainder for 
Iiimsclf and his successors.t 

The less important events of this period have been 
forgotten amid the great events which followed. A letter 
is extant addressed by the inhabitants of Shropshire to the 
privy council, and dated on the 21st of April, probably in 
1403, by which it appears that the Welsh where then 
threatening the border with devastation.^ We learn that 
the custody of Ludlow castle at this time was considered of 

* Tbt orlgiaAl procUmsUoB it priatsd in EUit'i OrisiBAl Letters* 
second icriet, toL i, p. 24. 

t See Uie p«rticttUn of this treaty elated in en eztncl from a BIS. 
Chronicle printed in EUi«, A. p 27. 

I rroceedingt of ibe Vtirj Council, toL ii, p. 77. 


sufficient importance to be entrusted to the eaxe of Sir 
Thomas Beaufort, one of the most eminent statesmen and 
soldiers of the age, afterwards earl of Dorset and duke of 
Exeter;* while Richard's Castle, as well as the castle of 
Montgomery, were in the charge of Sir Thomas Talbot.t On 
the 16th of June, the kiitg ^^n-ote to the sheriffs of the 
English counties on the border, that he had learnt that Owen 
Gl}'ndwr '* and his other rebels" were marching in great 
force towards the English border, to carry away the stores, 
bum the country, and destroy the inhabitants.^ Henry was 
himself preparing to visit the north, when, in the xoiddle 
of July, he received certain information of the great con- 
federacy formed against him, and learnt that young' Henry 
Percy was marching to join the Welsh with an army of 
English and Scots, which, when increased by the men of 
Cheshire led by his uncle, the earl of Worcester, amoimted 
to nearly fourteen thousand men. The king was then at 
Burton upon Trent; with singular rapidity he marched 
towards the border, and entered Shrewsbury when the 
army of the Percies was already near the town, and before 
the Welsh had time to join them. The decisive battle of 
Shrewsbury, fought the next day, in which not less than 
ten thousand men are said to have fallen, destroyed the 
hopes of the confederates. Most of the leaders of the ijebels 
were killed or taken : Henry Percy was slain in the battle; 
and his uncle and one or two others were captured and 
immediately beheaded. 

The king quitted the border immediately after the battle, 
in order to secure the northern counties. Early in the 
spring he had appointed prince Henry his lieutenant in 

* PeU. RoUt, p. 295. 7th December. To Sir Thonut Beaufort, knight, 
keeper of ' Lodelowe' cattle, in money paid to him by the hande of Mathew 
Penketh, Ac for the wages of himself, his men at arms, and others dwelling 
with him in the garrison of ' Lodelowe castle in Wales,' to resist the 
invasion of the rebels there, £88 : 18s : 9d. t /^. p. 293. 

I F«dera, xoU iii. part I, p. 46. 



Wales ;* and now, in quitting the Marches, on the 25th of 
July, the king (then at Stafford) gave him authority to 
pursue and punish the rebels, as well as to receive into 
his grace and pardon those who would return to their 
allegiance.f Although Glyndwr had not succeeded in 
joining the Percies before their 'engagement with the king's 
army, he had invaded English counties with a formidable 
army. It is probable that he entered England, as on other 
occasions, by way of Radnor and Knighton, and tradi* 
tion says, that, as he retired before the victorious troops of 
prince Henry, the rival armies encamped within a short 
distance of each other in the neighbourhood of Leominster. 
Although it is said that the Welsh were defeated in several 
unimportant engagements, it does not appear that the 
English did more than drive them over the border, and the 
king returned to direct the operations of his army in person, 
after he had repressed the presumption of his northern 
bajons. We find him at Worcester on the 8th of Sep- 
tember, giving orders for the strengthening of the Welsh 
castles, the neglect of which, he asserts, had been the cause 
of Glyndwr's success.^ On the of the same month he 
was still at Worcester; from whence he proceeded to 
Hereford, whore we find him on the 14th, giving power to 
William Beauchamp to take into his grace the rebels about 
Abergavenny and Ewyas Harold. From Hereford the king 
marched directly into M'ales. On the 15th of September 
he was at Devynock, in the neighbourhood of Brecknock, 
granting a commission, similar to the one just mentioned, 
to Sir John Oldcastle, John ap Henry, and John Fairford, 
clerk, to pardon and disarm the inhabitants of the districts 
of Brecknock, Builth, ' Cancresselly,* Hay, 'Glynboug,* 
and Dynas.S On the 27th of September the king pro- 
claimed a general imrdon, ^rith a few exceptions, to the 
people of Cheshire, who had been active in the rebellion, 

t ib. p. 55. i Ih. p. .y,. 


and had fought against him at the battle of Shrewsbury. 
A considerable number of the persons excepted were par- 
sons.* On the 29th of September king Henry was at 
Caermarthen, where he seems to have remained till about 
the 8th of October,! when he returned by way of Glou- 

The old chroniclers inform us that the king had been 
called to the border by the great destruction which the 
Welsh continued to commit since the battle of Shrews- 
bury, in spite of the presence of his son ; and that Henry's 
own endeavours to repress them were equally unsuccessful, 
which they attribute to his want of money to carry on the 
war.$ It is probable that, as on former occasions, the 
insurgents retired before him, and immediately resumed 
the offensive when they were relieved from his presence. 
At the beginning of November they had laid siege to the 
castle of Llanbadam, in South Wales, which afterwards fell 
into their hands.§ 

During the year follo^ving (1404) Owen Glyndwr appears 
to have been almost undisturbed master of Wales, with 
the exception of the stronger castles that were garrisoned 
and provisioned by the English. According to Thomas of 
Walsingham, ''all this summer he plundered, burnt, and 
destroyed the districts around him, and by means either of 
treachery or open force made many prisoners, slew many of 
the English, and took many castles, some of which ho 
levelled with the ground, while he fortified others as strong- 
holds for himself.'*|| The king seems to have satisfied him- 
self with keeping a small force distributed over the counties 

• Foedera, toI. iv, part 1, p. 57. 

t Proceedings of the Privy Council, to), i, p. 217. 

X Thomas of Walsingham, p. 561. 

^ Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol. i, p. 210. 

I( Walsingham, p. ri02. 


of Hereford and Salop to protect the English side of the 
bordet. As summer approached this force was foimd insuf- 
ficient^ and prince Henry repaired to the border in person. 
On the 10th of June, the sheriff, escheator, and gentry of 
Herefordshire write fix>m Hereford that the Welsh rebels 
had invaded and plundered ' Inchonefelde* (Irchingfield) in 
that county, and that they threatened a more general inva- 
sion the foUomng week with a force which the few English 
troops there were unable to withstand.* They appear to 
have effected their threat, and were only driven back by the 
arrival of prince Henry. On the 26th of June, the latter 
writes to the king, who was then marching towards Soot- 
land, that he had just arrived at Worcester, where he learnt 
that the Welsh had entered the county of Hereford in great 
force, burning and destroying on every side, that they were 
provisioned for fifteen days, and that they had already 
committed great havoc, when his approach had compelled 
them to retire; but he states that the insurgents were 
threatening to enter the county again in still greater num- 
bers, and that he had called the chief men of the border 
to meet him at Worcester for the purpose of concerting 
measures to avert the danger.f Hie prince appears to 
have made Worcester his head quarters ; and we trace him 
there €fr in other parts of the border during the summer 
Old autumn. 

In this year the English monarch was threatened by 
another confederacy. When the battle of Shrewbury had 
deprived him of the alliance of the Perries, Owen Glyndwr 
began to fix his hopes on assistance from France ; and in 
the course of the year 1404 a treaty was concluded between 
him and Charles VI, by virtue of which the Welsh were to 

* Pioc— dingi of th« PriTj CoimcU, toI. i, p. 2*2.1. 

t 4h. p* 229. **Je feu ceiUffiet que Ics Galoyt fcurcnt dctccndut en Ic 
n>nBtf« de Hereford ftrdanti ct dettraantt mesmc \c count «'-c en ircKcraiiilt 
poviiirt, ct frurcni vitftillez pur xv .i«mr% 91 \*'\t< v^x <| Ts «-gt at/ cl ini* 
gfaa4 dcHiiicciottn en Ice bordures du dit countt'f /* 


be assisted with a force of serenl thousand Frenchmen. 
Glyndwr's first letter to the French king is dated at Dolgelly, 
on the 10th of May, 1404, which he caUs the fourth year 
of his principality (et principatus nostri quarto) : in this 
document he stiles himself prince of Wales. The treaty 
itself, which is worded as being a league between the king 
of France and the '' prince of Wales'* against the usurper 
Henry duke of Lancaster, is dated at Paris on the 14th of 
June. Glyndwr's ratification of the treaty bears date the 
12th of January, 1405, in " his" castle of Llanbadarn (in 
castro nostro del Lampadam).* During the latter part of 
the year 1404, the French had made some ineffectual 
attempts to carry over an army to Wales, which were frus- 
trated by storms and other impediments ; and the promised 
aid did not arrive till the beginning of the year following, 
which was perhaps the cause of the delay in Glyndwr's 
ratification of the treaty. A French army, said to have 
amounted to twelve thousand men, was then landed at 
Milford Haven, from a fleet of one hundred and twenty, or, 
according to some accounts, one hundred and forty ships. 

The arrival of the French auxiliaries struck consternation 
into the English inhabitants of the border. They first took 
and burnt the town of Havcrford West, but were defeated 
in their attempt upon the castle. They then marched 
towards Caermarthen, burning and destroying on the way. 
From a letter written from Conway on the Saturday after 
the Epipltany, we learn that the French were then preparing 
for a second attack upon the town of Caernarvon, having 
failed in their first attempt. Letters from Chester dated a 
few days later (15th and 16th of January) describe Harlech 
and' Conway castles as being likewise in great danger of 
falling into the hands of the Welsh.f In March their 
successes were iutcrrupted for a moment by a severe defeat 

* Fttdeta, toI. it, part 1, pp. S5, 69, 75. 

t TliMC letters »re printed in EUU't Original Letters, sup. cit pp. 
30—38. Tbcy ccruinly belong to 1405 and not as there sappoiod lo UOL 


on the borders of Herefordshire. A body of eight thousand 
Welsh had come suddenly to Grosmont, where they burnt 
part of the town; the prince, who was at Hereford, col- 
lected a small body of men, marched rapidly against them, 
and, on the 11th of March, defeated them with great 
slaughter. Eight hundred or a thousand of the Welsh are 
said to have been left dead on the field, amongst whom 
was Glyndwr's brother, Tudor; and his eldest son, Griffith, 
who commanded the expedition, was taken prisoner.* It 
appears that the king, alarmed by the successes of his 
enemies, intended to proceed in person against the Welsh 
about the end of April, and that he was at Worcester on 
the 8th of May ; but he was called off to the north by the 
rebellion of the earl of Northumberland and the archbishop 
of York, and was again compelled to leave the prosecution 
of the war against Owen Glyndwr to the management of 

At Caermarthen the French were joined by Glyndwr 
with about ten thousand Welshmen. The combined army, 
after having gained some other advantages in Wales, ad- 
vanced towards England; and prince Henry, pressed by 
superior numbers, was compelled to retreat to Worcester, 
pursued almost to the gates of the city by the invaders. 
This was late in the summer. The king, who had reduced 
to obedience his rebellious subjects in the north, hastened to 
the relief of his son. On the 8th of August he had sent 
directions to the sherifis to raise the forces of the border 
counties, and meet him at Hereford. On the 27th of 
August he was at Worcester.^ The Welsh and French 
retired before him, and we find him with his army at 
Hereford on the 4th of September. It appears that there 

^ The Utter of prince HeoTj to hit latlier, deecribiiif tliis affiur, is 
printed ia the P«d«>rm, toL !▼» pert 1, p. 79; in EUis. A. p, 38, and ia 
the Proceedinst of the Priry Cooacil. toL 1, p. 248. 

t rrorecdinfTs of the Privj Council, rol i, p. 251. 

I I'otdciA, id. PI*. bO. bi. 


was some fighting, in which the French suffered considerable 
loss ; and it is said that on one occasion the hostile armies 
lay in view of each other during eight days^ separated only 
by a deep Yalley, but that the French and Welsh were at 
length obliged to retreat by want of provisions. King Henry 
made but a short stay at Hereford^ for on the 10th of 
September we find him again in the north, at Beverley in 
Yorkshire. The French appear to have reaped little satis- 
faction from the kind of warfare in which they were en- 
gaged: they had hardly landed in Wales^ when the ships 
of the cinque ports attacked and partly destroyed their fleet, 
and every attempt of the French government to send them 
stores and provisions had been defeated: and now, dis- 
heartened probably by a painful retreat, they re-embarked 
and left the Welsh to their own resources. 

The latter, more habituated to their mountain warfare, 
defended themselves bravely, but they were no longer able 
to act on the same extensive scale. The English army had 
penetrated into Wales, and, by the 22nd of September, 
it had laid close si^e to the castle of Llanbadam. The 
king, in a document of the date just mentioned, describes 
this as the last strong-hold of the rebels, the fall of which 
would ensure the pacification of the country, and he speaks 
of hb intention to proceed thither and push forward the siege 
in person.* Accordingly, we find him again at Worcester 
on the 6th of October. In the course of the month he 
entered Wales, but we have an indistinct and confused 
account of his operations. On the Std of November, he 
was at Dunstable, on his return to his capital. According 
to some accounts, he had been compelled to retreat by want 
of money and provisions ; others say that he had experienced 
a rude check from the enemy by incautiously invohing his 
anny among the mountain passes. It is certain, however, 
that after this year the Welsh insurrection never presented 
the same formidable character whir)i it had previously 

• Ficdera. lA. p. 9U. 


But Owen Glyndwr still preserved his independence^ and 
for several years he kept prince Henry constantly occupied. 
It appears that he had nourished the hope of obtaining, by 
means of his French allies^ a formal acknowledgement of 
his independence from the English monarch, whose weak- 
ness and embarrassments were much overrated by his 
foreign and domestic enemies. In 1406 the Welsh were 
again encouraged by the prospect of assistance from France, 
but they were, as before, disappointed in the results which 
they anticipated from it A fleet of nearly thirty ships put 
to sea, but many of them weie taken or rudely treated on 
the way, and those which succeeded with difficulty in 
reaching the Welsh coast exerted little influence on the 
war. Fifteen ships laden with provisions, which followed 
them, were aU captoxed by the English. Prince Henry 
drove the rebels gradually out of South Wales, and many 
of Glyndwr's most faithful partaans were taken and com- 
mitted to prison. In April we find the king issuing more 
general orders for taking the rebels into grace, and a few 
months later the inhabitants of South Wales were ordered 
by proclamation to return to their houses. Prince Henry 
established himself at Caernarvon, from whence he directed 
this petty but desolating warfare, which was continued 
without interruption during the following year. We learn 
from the contemporary chroniclers that in the summer of 
1407, the prince besieged and took the castle of Aberys- 
twith, which was however almost immediately retaken by 
Glyndwr.* In the latter months of the same year king 
Henry held his parliament at Gloucester. 

In 1408, some kind of an insurrection appears to have 
taken place in Shropshire in favour of Glyndwr, for it is 
stated that John Talbot, lord Fumival, who went at that time 
with two hundred men towards Caernarvon against Owen 
Glyndwr and his adherents, was stopped at Shrewsbury by 
the constable of the castle and town, who shut the gates 

* ThomM of WaUuigluni, p. 568. 


against them.* In the year following Shropshire became 
the seat of still greater troubles. On the 16th of May the 
king directed letters to Edward de Charleton^ lord of Powys, 
and other barons on the border, stating that he had heard 
that Owen Glyndwr and "John the 2)retended bishop of 
St. Asaph" had collected together many rebels and traitors 
and joined themselves with " our enemies of France, Scot- 
land, and other parts in the principality of Wales, continuing 
their rebellion and committing great hayoc."t The Welsh 
chieftain, about this time, sent a strong party headed by 
Rhys Ddu and Philipot Scudamore, his nephew, who overran 
and plundered a great part of Shropshire, till they were 
entirely defeated by the English. Rhys Ddu was taken, 
and executed in London. 

From this period we know very little of Glyndwr's 
personal history. It is clear that he continued to hold a 
certain degree of precarious power, though tradition repre- 
sents him as being frequently reduced to the most distressing 
expedients to escape the pursuits of his enemies. In the 
last year of the reign of king Henry IV, the English 
monarch authorised John Tiptoft, seneschal of Brecknock, 
and William Botiller, receiver of Brecknock, to treat with 
Owen for the ransom of David Gamme, a Welsh gentleman 
who has rendered himself famous in tradition and history as 
the enemy of Glyndwr.} Tet at this period the hardy chief- 
tain must have felt severely the desolation attendant upon 
civil strife ; his bravest and most faithful friends had been 
slain in battle, or they had perished more ignominiously 
on the scaffold ; even his nearest relations, the members of 
his o^vn household, were lingering in English prisons. As 
early as 1408 we find his own secretar}- and his son Griffith 
prisoners at Nottingham, in the custody of Richard Grey of 
Codnor ; and wc Icam among the records of the first year of 
king Henry V, that on the 27th of June in that year (1413) 
thirty pounds were paid to John Wcale " for the expenses 

• MS. Aildit. MiH. Brit. No. i:>00. art. 3«\ 

t Foedera, vol. iv, part 1, p. 154. I lb. 


of the wife of Owen Glpidwr, the wife of Edmund Mor- 
timer (Glyndwr's daughter), and others their sons and 
daughters, in his custody in the city of London, at the 
king's charge."* On the 19th of February following, one 
pound was paid to " a certain Welshman, coming to London, 
and there continuing for a certain time, to giTC information 
respecting the conduct and designs of Owen Glyndwr.'*t 

The manner and place of Glyndwr's death are extremely 
doubtful, but that event is said to haye occurred in 1416. 
Twice in that year Sir Gilbert Talbot was commissioned to 
negotiate directly or indirectly with him and the other 
insurgents who had not yet submitted, for their pardons. 

The results of this long insurrection were visible in Wales 
and on the border for many years. During more than 
a century afterwards, the inhabitants of the walled towns 
and castles pointed out the ruins which had been made by 
Owen Glyndwr. The people of Herefordshire and Shrop- 
shire had suffered much from the parties of marauders who 
carried off every thing that they could find in the shape of 
plunder, and destroyed what they could not remove. In 
the parliament held at Gloucester in 1407, the people of 
Shrewsbury presented a petition setting forth their losses 
and grievances, by which it appears that all the sheep 
and other Uve stock in the neighbourhood of the town had 
been repeatedly carried away by the Welsh; and that 
Glyndwr had burnt no less than eight villages within the 
liberties of the town, as well as the suburbs of the town 
up to the gates, from whence he had been driven by the 
exertions of the burgesses. 

On the other hand, the Welsh had lost in the war all the 
advantages of social position which they had gained during 
the preceding century, lliey had become again a per- 
secuted people — and were placed under severe laws, which 
deprived them of most of the political rights of Englishmen, 
particularly the capability of holding lands or offices in the 

• D«Ton •% i*cll ItolU, \K ^•i\, t PcU. Rolls, th. 


Englifih counties. Their condition was a frequent subject 
of petition and debate in the ensuing parliaments. Many 
Welshmen who had served the king in the war^ and dis- 
tinguished themselves by their attachment to the English 
party, and others who had since gained the good will of the 
court, obtained marks of freedom emancipating them from 
the restrictions under which their less fortunate countrymen 

The border remained long in a state of excitement. Many 
Welsh and Englishmen joined together as outlaws and 
bandits, and infested the woods and highways. The 
restless inhabitants of the mountains persecuted the people 
of the counties of Hereford and Salop in the same manner 
as the people of Cheshire had done in the reign of Richard 
II: — ^they crossed the border in small parties, surprised 
and carried away prisoners men of substance, and retained 
them in captivity for months, till themselves or their friends 
procured their redemption by the payment of a heavy ran- 
som.* A remarkable instance of such personal attacks is 
related in the Rolls of Parliament of the fourth of Henry Y 
(a. d. 1416). As Robert Whitington, Esq. and his son 
Guy were riding home from the city of Hereford to their 
own house, in company ^vith their three valets and two pages, 
on the Monday before the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude 
(the latter end of October), they were suddenly attacked in 
the village of Mordiford by about thirty men ' armed and 
arrayed in manner of war,* among whom they recognised 
Philip Lyngeyn, John Crew, Richard Loutley, Laurence 
Smith, William Kervere (Carver), Walter Bradford, John 
Bradford, and Walter Walker, who arc described as the 
servants of Richard Oldecastle, Esq. These men led them 
forcibly to " a moimtain named Dynniorchillc,'* where they 
robbed them of their horses and harness and retained them 
tiU night, when they carried them on foot to a chapel which 
their prisoners did not know, at a distance of about two 

* Rolls of Parliament, toI. it, p. 52. 


leagues, and in this chapel they imprisoned them all night, 
threatening them vehemently either to kill them imme- 
diately or to carry them prisoners into Wales. On the 
Tuesday they carried their prisoners from one wood to 
another, all of which were equally unknown to them, till 
they came to an old miU, where they passed the second 
night, and there they renewed their threats of carrying 
them into Wales, unless they freed themselves by sufficient 
sureties in the county to the amount of six hundred pounds 
to cease and let fall all personal actions against the parties 
concerned for this or any other personal trespass. Guy 
Whitington was sent in search of the necessary securities, 
whilst his father and the others were kept prisoners in the 
mill, and at length he found three gentlemen of Gloucester- 
shire, John Brown, John Paunton, and John Rich, who 
each of them gave a bond of a hundred and eleven pounds 
that Robert Whitington should, after his release, give under 
his seal to the said Philip Lyngeyn and his companions, 
and to Richard Oldecastle and Walter Hackluyt, Esqrcs. 
two general acquittances and releases of all manner of 
personal actions from the beginning of the world to the 
feast of All Saints foUoM-ing, upon which they were set at 
liberty.* Tlie petition of the parties aggrieved gives us no 
information relating to the origin of this border feud. 

* RoUt of ParliaoMBtt toU W, p. 99- 


The Wars of the Roses. 

AS we have before observed, the borders of Wales 
continued in an luisettled state during many years after the 
suppression of Glyndwr's insurrection. The war had sunk 
into that which had originally given rise to it, a compli- 
cation of personal feuds and jealousies. The first parliament 
of Henry V, iu 1413, passed an act against such of the late 
rebels and their friends as were guilty of prosecuting and 
attacking the king's loyal subjects to revenge the individual 
acts of hostility which the latter had committed in his 
cause during the war f and this act was renewed in 1427, 
twenty years after the suppression of the rebellion, it being 
then expressly alleged that the Welshmen concerned in the 
late rising, still continued to prosecute the feuds arising out 
of it against the king's faithful subjects.! 

It may perhaps be not altogether out of place to give 
here one or two other incidents, taken from the Rolls of 
Parliament, which tend to show the state of the border, 
and the manners of the times^ at the eve of the sanguinary 
war between the two rival dynasties. In the twentieth 
year of the reign of Henry VI (1442), bitter complaints wei6 
made by the Commons of the counties of Hereford, Glou- 
cester, and Salop, of *' the great oppressions and extortions 
which the people of Wales and the l^Iarches committed daily 
on the inhabitants of the said counties, by taking and car- 
r}'ing away their horses, cattle, and other goods and chattels 
into the Marches," and there retaining them till the persons 
to whom they belonged ransomed them or compounded 
for thcm4 A law was made to punish those malefactors ; 
but it appears to have been of little cflTect, for they were 

• Rolls of Parliament, yo\. ir, p. 10. f Ibid. p. 329. 

I Rolls of ParliAincnt, vol. v, p. 53. 

2 X 


protected by the troubles of the time and by the peculiar 
jurisdiction of the lords marchers within whose lordships 
they dwelt. The privilege of the benefit of clergy, by 
which an offender who could read and possessed any degree 
of learning might appeal from a secular to an ecclesiastical 
courts began to be extensively abused in the reign of Henry 
VI ; in the parliament of 1449^ the Commons represented 
to the king that ''murdres, manslaghters, robberies, and 
other theftes, ^vythinne this your rewme dayly encrecen 
and multiplien, by thoo felons that ben clerkes and can 
rede, by cause of the grete- boldnes of their clergie ; whech 
felons of thair robberies leven a certeyn somme of money 
with their recetteurs or (rendes, savely to be kept, and 
sent unto thaym at what tyme hit shall fortune hem to be 
taken for the felonyes doon by theym, and therof to be 
atteynted or convicte, and commytted after the lawe of the 
churche to the ordinarie, to be dispended for thair pur- 
gation ; and what t)'me the seid felons been so purged, 
they murdren, sleen, and robben youre liege people, withoute 
any drede or mercy, and kcpen of thair robberies doon after 
their seid purgation another somme of money, to make 
thair purgation agcyn, yf it fortune theym to be attaynted 
or convicte cftsoncs of any suche felonye, yn fynall destruc- 
tion of your seide people in every part of this rewme, yn so 
mochc that tho pcrsoncs that been so robbed, nowthcr the 
frendos of thajm, nowthcr the frcndes of thaym that ben so 
sla}*!!, darcn not take upiK)n hem to labour aycnst suche 
felons, for drede of deth, seyng howe bold manaces and 
thrctnyngos the seide felons after thair seid purgation, and 
also before thair purgation, putten unto your seide people.*** 
It was referred to the church to find a remedy for this 
enl. The same records furnish many individual instances 
of the insecurity of person and property at this period. Wc 
learn from a petition of John Stuche of the county of 
Salop, in 1439, that " oon Thomas Dunstorvyle, of the 

* KuUs of rurliamcnt, \ul. v, p, 151. 


same counts, for his title and right in certeine londes and 
tenementis in the towne of Spondesley, in the shire of Salop, 
sewed assise of novel disseisine, agayns on Phelip Eggerton 
late of Spondesley aforeseide ; which assise hangyng tindis* 
cussed, the same Phelip desired often tymes of the seide 
Johan, for to have made the seide Thomas, because he is 
his cosyn, for to relees unto the same Phelip al his seide 
right and title in the seide londes and tenementis. And 
forasmuche as the seide Thomas wold not relees unto the 
seide Phelip his seide right and title in the same londes 
and tenementis, the seide Phelip, for that cause and noon 
other, hath contynuelly sithen bi the space of v. yere made 
werre unto the seide Johan, as in lyggyng often tjrmes in 
awaite to slee hym and his tenauntis, servauntis, and 
cosyns, and many of thaym hath beten and mayheimed, 
and the seide Johan and othre therefore dryven oute of 
oontrey, with grete ryottis of the people of the counts 
of Chestre ; and diverses houses, sithen the recovere of the 
seide londes bi the saide assise agayns hym, hath broke, 
and som of thajrm brent ; so that the seide Johan, and his 
seide tenauntis, dar not menure thaire cattcll, nor tille theire 
londe, but as compellid for drede hath leide downe viii. 
plowes, and the seide Thomas in like wise hath Icide downe 
ii. plowes ; whcreappon the seide Johan many tjmes hath 
made diverse meeves and tietice, for to have pees with the 
seide Phelip, unto the which there can no pcrsonno bi any 
raisounable wcy that can be devised make the same Phelip 
to enclyne; wherefore the seide Johan also hath sued 
diverse letters of the kinges privee seal, for to have made 
the saide Phelip to have append biforc the kinges counscill 
at a ccrteyne dai, under grevous and gretc poyncs, which 
he hath obstinatly disobeyed at al t}*mes, so tliat the sci<lc 
Johan can not see nor fynde no wey bi lawc nor othre wise, 
for to have this open and ryoteux wrong and opprcssioun 
remedied, unto the verry and uttercst undoyng of the same 
Johan, and hi« ^iidc tenauntis : the which PhoHp \n lawc- 
fally cndittMl and oittlawo<l nf «Hvitm' niunlri^, frlDuicff, and 


trespasses in the counteeS of Stafford and Salop above saide, 
and of othere grete injuries^ oppressions, extortions, riots, 
and wrongs manyfold, which the seide Phelip of long 
tyme hath contynuelly don in the seide counts of Salop, 
and yut daily doth."* In this same year, 1439, Margaret, 
widow of Sir Thomas Malefimt, knight, makes a complaint 
against one Lewis Ljrson, ** oderwyse called Lewse Gethei, 
late of Glomorgan, yn the Marchc of Wales, that wheras 
the seide Lewse was of consayll and toward the seide sire 
Thomas hur husbond yn his lyf, and founden by hym to 
courte, and was wyth hym atte hes deth, and most tristed 
of any man ner to hym; after whoos deth, for grete trist 
and affection, Jane Asteley, that was the wyf of Thomas 
Asteley, moder of the seide Margaret, hadd yn hym, and 
be cause he swore that he was weddid, and that he wold 
bryng the seide Maigaiet safly unto her moder to London, 
she send letters and tokens by the same Lewse unto here. 
And the seide Lewse by sotiU and unlawfiill menes, pur- 
posyng and ymagenyng to rayysshe the seide Margaret, and 
to have hure to hes wyf, die seide ' letters brake, and 
countrefeted yn hur seide husbondis name, as he hadd ben 
on lyf, after hes oune conseit, prayng and desiryng by the 
same, her to come unto London yn all the hast that she 
myght, for hes grete confort yn hes scknes ; and therapon the 
seide Margaret bcyng in Goddes pese and our soreraigne loid 
atte Oucketon in Penbrokeshir, not knowyng thenne of hur 
seide husbondcs deth, on Wytsonday, the xvi. yere of the 
regne of our seide soreraigne lorde, come the seide Lewse with 
the seide countrefiet letters, declaryng Griffith ap Nicholas 
and dyverse other of hur enmyes to lye yn awaytc for hur, 
and put hur yn grete fere, promyttyng nerthelcs and swear* 
yng that he wold safly bryng hur to hur husbond to London, 
or els to die therforc. And she tru8t)'ng yn hes grete and feyr 
promyse, for the comfort of hur seide husbond, acoordyng to 
the desire by the seide letters and other tokenes, came forth 

• Do) It of Parliament, toI. t, p. 17. 


with hym with diverse of hur oiine servantes^ supposyng 
safly to have gon ; and so thei went and travayled all that 
day, and all the morrow after til evyn, that they came by a 
parke side, called the park of Prys, mthynne the lordshepe 
of Gowere ; wheras there came oute of the same park a 
grete bushement, ther beyng by the assent and ordinaunce 
of the seide Lewse yn maner of werre arayed, and came 
with swerdis drawen, and made a grete affray and assaute 
apon the seide Margaret, and ther smoten hur apon hur 
arme, and ther beaten hur senrantes ; and the seide Lewse 
ther thenne made non defence, bote seid she shold go with 
hym, and he wold undertake for hur lyf ; and so she for fer 
of hur lyf graimted to go with hym, and so departed hur 
fro all hur scrvantes, and had hur forth yn to the monteyns, 
ther y-kepte withoute mete or drynke til she was nye dede, 
^vyng that she liadd wheye to drynke atte dyvers places, til 
the Wondisday uexte after; atte whiche day he brought 
her to on Gilbert Turbervyle is place, withynnc the lordshep 
of Glomorgan, and hur ther kepte as a prisoner, and hur 
manassed atte dyvers tymes, yn lesse then she wold be 
wedded to the seide Lewse, to carie hur ynto the monteyns, 
tlier to abide withoute confort of eny man of hur kyn or 
fryndis, to hur tmdoyng and shortyng of hur lyf; and so 
be cause and fere of sich manasse hadd by the seide Lewse, 
and other of hes covyne, by the worchyng and assent of the 
seide Gilbert and hes Mryf, with the governance of on sire 
Hough, vicar of the chcrche of Tw)'ggeston in Wales, with 
mcny mo, on Monday nexte therafter, the seide Margaret 
was brought and ladd to the seide chcrche of Twyggcston 
ayenncs hur wil, and ther wold have made hur ayenst 
hur willc to take the seide Lcwsc to husbond ; the which 
she ever refused, and pryvely and openly seide unto the 
seide vicar, that she wold never of hur godc will have hym 
to hur husbond ; the which iioghtwithstondyng, thei com« 
pclled hur to suffrc the solcmpnytce to be don, she then 
lH*ynjj with child by hur seide la to husbondman, and gretly 
ili>jK»u|»ori*(l, and noglit of godc niyiid, ne never agreyng nc 


havyng yn mynde ne yn remembrauns of eny wordis of 
matrimouie by hur mouth ne hert uttered : and after that 
tyme hadde hur yn to the seide Turbervyle is place atte 
Twyggeston aforesaide, and ther hadd hur yn to a chaum* 
bre withynne a strong towre,'' where she was subjected 
to very brutal treatment; ''and yn suche wyse ther 
was kepte, til Friday nexte after the fest of Seynt Johan 
Baptiste, that she with wyse governance was hadde fro 
thennesy and came to London to hur moder."* No redress 
could be obtained in cases like these without the immediate 
interference of parliament^ and even then the privileges of 
the lords marchers required to be respected. We might 
easily collect many other instances of the unsettled state of 
the country at the beginning of the reign of Henry VI. 

These private quarrels and petty depredations are, how- 
ever, soon lost sight of in the greater events in which the 
border was now on the eve of taking a prominent part. 

In spite of the general popularity of Henry V, there 
were not wanting persons who even in his reign would 
willingly have aided to eject the house of Lancaster, and in 
that case the family of the Mortimers of Wigmore and 
Ludlow, which had now only one representative, was the 
nearest in blood to the English crown. Edmund l^Iortimer 
earl of March, as a descendant of Lionel duke of Clarence, 
had a stronger hereditary right to the throne than the 
Lancastrian princes, and on that account he had been 
detained in close custody during the reign of Henry IV, 
but he was set at liberty at the commencement of the 
succeeding reign. Young Edmund Mortimer, for he was 
at this time only twenty-one years of age, ix)ssessod little 
of the energy which had distinguished the illustrious race 
from which he was descended, and his name was only put 
forward to colour the intrigues of others. We have already 
seen the use which was made of it in 61yndwr*s rebellion : 
early in the reign of Henry V, Richard Plantagenet earl of 

* lUAW of rariiARicnt, vol. r. p. Ifi. 


Cambridge, who had married Edmund Mortimer's sister, 
Henry lord Scrope of Masham, and Sir Thomas Grey of 
Heton in Northumberland, entered into a new conspiracy, 
the declared object of which was to carry the earl of March 
into Wales, and there to proclaim him king of England, 
and to collect forces to make war on Henry as an usurper. 
They were to be joined by Sir Henry Percy, who had pro- 
mised to march from Scotland with " a power of Scottys.'' 
It appears from the confession of the earl of Cambridge that 
Edmund Mortimer was driven to consent to this plot by his 
priests, for he states that '' as touchyng the erle of Marche 
and Lusy his man, they seydyn me bothe that the erle was 
nauth schreven of a great whyle but that all hys confes- 
sours putte hym in penaunce to clayme that they callydyn 
hys ryth."* The moment chosen for carrying this plan 
into execution was that of the king's departure for the 
invasion of France in 1415; but Henry was made ac* 
quainted with the plot, the chief conspirators were seized, 
and the earl of Cambridge, lord Scrope, and Sir Thomas 
Grey were attainted and executed at Southampton. Years 
transpired before any further attempt was made to revive 
the slumbering claims, which, on the death of the last of 
the Mortimers, were silently transmitted with the estates and 
title of earl of March to his nephew, Richard Plantagenet, 
the son of the attainted earl of Cambridge, who, however, 
had been allowed to succeed to his grandfather's title of 
duke of York, after the death of the second duke of York 
at Azincourt. 

Richard Plantagenet duke of York selected Ludlow 
Castle as his chief place of residence ; the following letter 
from two of his sons, written probably at the commencement 
of tlic political intrigues wliich led eventually to civil war, 
is chiefly curious as connecting with that place two names 
which afterwards held a prominent place in history.f 

* Ellis's Original Letters, necond «cric^ vol. i, p. 46. 

t This letter WAS lirst printed in Kili»'« Onginal Letters, toU i, p. U. 


" Ryght hiegh and ryght myghty prince, oare fal rcdouted and 
ryght noble lorde and ffitdar, as lowely xfith alle oiire hertca as 
we yonre trewe and natarell sonnes can or may« we recomaande 
us unto your noble grace, hambly besecbyng your nobley' and 
worthy ffaderhode* daily to geve* us your bertely blessyng, 
thrugh wbiche we trust mucbe the rather to encrees and growe 
to vertUy and to spede the bettur in alle matiers and thinges that 
we Bchallo use, occupie, and exercise. Ryght high and ryght 
myghty prince, our ful redouted lorde and ffadur, we thanke 
our blessed Lorde not oonly of your honourable conduite* and 
good spede in alle your matiers and besynesse, and of your 
gracious prevailed agenst thentent and malice of your evilwillers, 
but also of the knowelage that hit pleased your nobley to lete 
us nowe late have of the same by relacion of Syr Watier 
DoTreuz, knyght, and Johan Milewatier, squire, and Johan at 
Nokes, yemon of your honorable chambur. Also we thonke 
your noblesse* and good ffaderhode of oure grene gowues nowe 
late sende unto us to our grete comfort; beseching your good 
lordeschip to rembre our porteux,' and that we myght have 
summe fyne bonettes sende unto us by the next seure measige,* 
for necessity so requireth. Overe Uiis, ryght noble lord and 
£fadur, please hit your highnesse to witte that we have charged 
your servant William Smyth, berer of thees, for to declare unto 
your nobley certayne thinges on our behalf, namely, concernyng 
and touching the odicux reulc and dcmenyng' of Richard 
Crofte and of his brother. Wherefore we beseche your graciouse 
lordeschip and fullc noble ffaderhode to here him in cxposicion 
of the same, and to his relacion to yevc ful faith and credence. 
Ryght hiegh and ryght myghty prince, our ful redoubted and 
ryght noble lorde and ffadur, we beseche almyghty Jhesu yeve 
yowo as good lyfe and long, with as muchc contenual pcrfite 
prosperity, as your princely hert con best desire. Writen at 
your castill of Lodelowe, on Setursday in the Astur Woke.** 

Your humble Sonnes, 

B. Marchc, and 

E. Rutlonde." 

C/oM(iry.— I KobleoeM. 2 Fatherhood. 3 Give. IConthiclinc 5Surrcss. 
prevailing, li Noblciic»9, iiobi.ity. 7 A brcMurv, 'T *« r\ivc bovk. 8 Sui*- 
mesMBger. 9 Demesnoar. 10 Easter week. 


The duke*8 constant opposition to the unpopular measures 
of the court, although it procured him the enmity of the 
gOYemment, made him beloYed by a large portion of the 
people. He inherited from a family which had enjoyed 
the same popularity during several generations, the name 
of which was mixed up in one way or other with all the 
partial insurrections and political tumults which marked 
the earlier years of the reign of Henry VI. It has been 
observed by a former writer that the rebels of this period 
always expected popularity from connecting their pro- 
ceedings with the family of Mortimer. When Cade raised 
the Commons of Kent in 1450, he assumed the name of 
Mortimer. At a later period, among other articles of accu- 
sation brought against the duke of York, it was stated that 
'' he beyng in Irland, by youre graunte youre lieutenaunt 
there, at which tyme John Cade, otherwise called Jakke 
Cade, youre grete traitour, made a grete insurrection ayenst 
youre hignnes in youre shire of Kent, to what entent and 
for whome, it was after confessed by some of hem his adhe- 
rentes whan they shuld dye, that is to sey, to have exalted 
the seid duk, ayenst alle reason, lawe, and trouth, to the 
estate that God and nature hath ordeyned you and youre 
succesnon to be born to."* There is however no reason 
for believing that the duke was in any way connected with 
the rebellion of the Kentish men ; yet the use thus made of 
his name shows that the popular party had already begun 
to talk of restoring the branch of the regal line which had 
been set aside to make way for the house of Lancaster. 

In the summer of 1451, the duke of York became so 
much dissatisfied with the proceedings of the court, that he 
suddenly resigned his command in Ireland, and returned to 
England with a sufficient force to render unavailing the 
measures that are said to have been taken to prevent 
his landing. He marched direct to London, and, as it was 
alleged, forced his way violently into the king's presence, 

* Roll! of rarliamcnt, voK ▼, p. 316. 



after which he retired to his castle of Fotheringay. The 
parliament, which assembled soon after^ was the scene of 
violent and angry debates, and a proposal was made to 
name the duke of York next heir to the throne. The 
discussions between the different parties rose now so high, 
that the duke found it necessary to retreat to his castle 
of Ludlow, where he was in the midst of his friends, and 
he occupied himself difigently in collecting together an 
army among his tenantry and adherents* The following 
letter,* dated at Ludlow on the Srd of February, 1452, 
to the burgesses of Shrewsbury, who were firmly attached 
to his cause, contains the duke's own declarations of the 
objects he had in view. 

*' Right worshipful friends, I rsoommend me unto yon, and 
I sappose it is well known unto you, as well by experience as by 
common langaage said and reported throughout all christeudom, 
what laud, what worship, honour, and manhood was ascribed 
of all iiatioos unto the people of this realm whilst the kingdom's 
sovereign lord stood possessed of his lordship in the realm of 
France and dutchy of Normandy, and what derogation, loss 
of merchandize, lesion of honour, and villany is said and 
reported generally unto the English nation for loss of the same; 
namely, unto the duke of Somerset, when he had the command 
and charge thereof. The which loss hath caased and encou- 
raged the king's enemies for to conquer and get Gtescony and 
Gyanno, and now daily they make their advance for to lay 
siege unto Calais, and to other places in the Marches there, for to 
apply them to their obeisance, and so for to come into the land 
with great puissance, to the final destruction thereof, if they 
might prevail, and to put the land in their subjection, which 
Ood defend. And on the other part it b to be supposed it is 
not unknown to you how that, after my coming out of Ireland* 
I, as the king's true liege man and servant, and ever shall be 
to my life's end, and for my true acquital, perceiving the 
inconvenience before rehearsed, advised his royal majesty of 

• Thi5 letter been printed in Kllis*s Original Letters, vol. i. p. ll| 
in modernised orthogrmphy. 


certun articles concerning the weal and safeguard as well of 

his most royal person as the tranquility and conservation of all 

this hb realm ; the which advertisements, howbeit that it was 

thought that they were fall necessary, were laid apart, and to 

be of none effect^ through the envy, malice, and untruth of the 

said duke of Somerset, which for my truth, faith, and allepriance 

that I owe to the king, and the good-will and favour that I 

have to all the realm, laboureth continually about the king's 

highness for my undoing, and to corrupt my blood, and to 

disherit me and my heirs and such persons as be about me, 

without any desert or cause done or attempted on my part or 

theirs, I make our Lord judge. Wherefore, worshipful friends, 

to the intent that every man shall know my purpose, and desire 

for to declare me such as I am, I signify unto you that with the 

help and supportation of Almighty God, and of our Lady, and 

of all the company of heaven, I, after long sufferance and 

delays, not my will or intent to displease my sovereign lord, 

seeing that the said duke ever prevaileth and ruleth about 

the king's person, that by this means the land is likely to be 

destroyed, am fully concluded to proceed in all haste against 

him, with the help of my kinsmen and friends, in such wise 

that it shall prove to promote ease, peace, and tranquility, and 

safeguard of all this land ; and more, keeping mo within the 

bounds of my liegeancc, as it pertaineth to my duty, praying 

and exhorting you to fortify, enforce, and assist me, and to 

oome to me with all diligence, wheresoever I shall be or draw« 

with as many goodly and likely men as ye may make to 

execute the intent abovcsaid. Written under my signet, at my 

castle of Ludlow, the 3rd day of February. 

** Furthermore, I pray you, that such strait ap|K>intment 

and ordinance be made, that the people which shall come in 

your fellowship, or be sent unto me by your agreement, be 

demeaned in such wise by the way, that they do no offence, 

nor robbery, nor oppression upon the people in legion of 

justice. Written as abo%'e, etc. 

You re good frend, 

R. YORK.** 
** To my right worshipful friends the 
hailiffis, burge«>e5, and crnimon* of 
the good town of Shrocsbury." 


With the army which he had collected on the border, 
the duke of York advanced towards London^ and by a 
ciTCuitous rout avoided the forces which the king was 
leading in person to meet him. Before he reached the 
capital^ he received certain intelligence that the Londoners 
were not willing to admit him^ probably rendered cautious 
by the violences committed by the rebels under Jack Cade 
two years before; and the duke passed the Thames at 
Kingston bridge, marched into Kent, where the popular 
cause was always strong, and, on the 1st of March, en- 
camped in a strong position at Brentheath, near Dartford. 
The royal army followed, and soon after was encamped on 
Blackheath, the same place which had been occupied by 
the Kentish insurgents. This was the first time that the 
two opposing political parties had faced each other in war- 
like array, and neither side appears to have been anxioua 
to fight The duke's forces were very considerable, for a 
contemporary, who was perhaps present, informs us that 
"ther was my lorde of Torkes ordinaunce .iij. thowsand 
gownneres, and hymselff in the middelle warde with viij. 
thowsand, my lorde of Devynshere by the southe side with 
vi. thowsand, and lorde Cobbame with vi. thowsand at the 
water side, and vii. shippers with ther stufie.'** A brief 
negotiation in which the bishops of Winchester and Ely 
acted for the king, and the earls of Salisbury and Warwick 
and others for the duke, ended by the king acquitting him 
of treason, promising to listen to all his complaints, and 
agreeing to place the duke of Somerset under arrest and 
call a new council, in which the duke of York was to have 
a place. The latter on these conditions disbanded his 
army ; but when he came before the kiug he found that he 
had been deceived, for Somerset was at liberty and accused 
him as a traitor, and he was retained as a prisoner and 
sent to London to stand his trial. The court, however, 

* This if taken from Mine contempermry notes of a Yorkist psitisna 

in a MS. in the British Museum, communicated by Sir Frederic Madden 

i« the Ai<*l»«-ol'>gt.i, vol a\ix, i». -"^26. 


suddenly stopped further proceedings^ alarmed as it is said 
by a report that the duke's eldest son, Edward earl of 
March, was marching towards London at the head of a 
powerful army of Welshmen to rescue his father; and, 
after having on the 10th of March made his submission 
and taken his oath in St. Paul's to be a true, faithful, and 
obedient subject in the presence of the king and most of 
the nobility, he was allowed to retire to his castle of 
Wigmore, " where," says Grafton, ** he studyed both howe 
to displease his enemies, and to obteyne his purpose. And 
80 by meanes of the absence of the duke of York, which 
was in maner banished the court and the king's presence, 
the duke of Somerset rose up in high favour with the king 
and the queene, and his worde onely ruled and his voyco 
was onely heard." 

It appears that some of the men of Kent suffered for the 
favour they had shown to the duke of York in this affair^ 
and that his actions were looked upon with suspicion and 
jealousy after his return to Wigmore castle. We learn this 
from the following note by the same contemporary writer 
mentioned above, who also speaks of tumults which had 
arisen at Ludlow, in which a messenger of the king was slain. 
— ** Then affter, the kynges yeman of his chambure, namyde 
Fazakerley, with letteris was sent to Ludlow to my lorde of 
Yorkcj chazgynge to do forthe a certeyne of his mayny/ 
Artheme, squiere, Sharpe, squiere, etc., the whiche Faza- 
kerley hylde in avowtry* Sharpus wiff, the whiche Sharpe 
slowe Fazakerley; and a bakere of Ludlow roos and the 
commyns, etc.;' the whiche bakere is at Kyllyngworthe 
(Kenilworth) castcUe, etc. Affter this my lorde of Shrous- 
bury, etc. rode into Kent, and set up \i, (x^yre of galowes, 
and dcde execucione uix>ne Johan Wylkyns, takcue and 
broght to the townc as for capteyne, and with othcre mony 
mo/ of the whiche xxviij. were hangcde and bchedede, the 

1 DismiM a certain number of hit household retainers. 2 Held in 
Adultery. 3 i. c. a baker of Ludlow rose up, and tho icmmons or towns* 
people with him, ho ltd an insurrection of thv town. 4 Many more. 


whiche hedes were sent to Londone^ and Londone said thcr 
shulde no mo hedes be set upone there/* 

The course of events soon opened a new path to the 
ambition of the duke of York. In the October of 1458, 
the unfortunate king was attacked by a malady which was 
attended with mental as well as bodily weakness. We learn 
from an interesting letter of intelligence, dated the 19th of 
January, 1454, that when the prince of Wales, then three 
months of age, was presented to his father, neither the 
duke of Buckingham nor the queen could obtain any sign 
of recognition. — ^**At the princes comyng to Wyndesore, 
the due of Bukingham toke hym in his armes, and pre* 
sented him to the kyng in godely wise, besechyng the 
kyng to blisse hym ; and the kyng yave no maner answere. 
Natheles the due abode stille with the prince by the kyng ; 
and whan he coude no maner answere have, the queene 
come in and toke the prince in hir armes, and presented 
hym in Uke fourme as the duke hade done, desiryng that 
he shulde blisse it ; but alle their labour was in veyne, for 
they departed thens without any answere or countenaunce, 
savyng onely that ones he loked on the prince, and caste 
doune his eyene ayen, without any more.*'* It appears 
that the real state of the king's health was kept secret as 
long as possible, and the queen, chiefly by the assistance of 
the archbishop of Canterbury, retained for a while the 
executive govcmnicut in her own hands. Wc loam from 
the letter just mentioned, that Margaret was at that time 
taking steps to obtain an act of parliament, giving her the 
sole regency of the kingdom, while a bill of attainder 
against the duke of York was at the same time in pre- 
paration; and that the latter was preparing to meet his 
friends at London with a powerful retinue. Two months 
later, the death of the archbishop on the 2Snd of March, 
led to an immediate change in the position of the diiTerent 
parties. A deputation of the lords forced their way into 



the royal presence to consult with the king on the election 
of a new primate^ and a scene similar to that of the presen- 
tation of the prince, but more public, occurred ; upon which 
the parliament elected the duke of York protector. The 
duke of Somerset, the queen's favourite, had already been 
committed to the Tower. 

The duke of York's first protectorate lasted only nine 
months. At the end of the year the king recovered his 
reason, and was restored to the full exercise of royalty, 
and the queen regained her influence. One of the first 
measures of the court was to liberate the duke of Somerset, 
and this was followed by other acts equally unpopular. 
The duke of York, as a necessary measure of personal 
safety, retired again to his castle of Ludlow, where he was 
joined by the duke of Norfolk, the earls of Warwick and 
Salisbury, and otlier powerful friends. Having assembled 
a small but trusty army of borderers and Welshmen, the 
duke marched again towards London, and on the 22nd of 
May 1455, surprised the king at St. Alban's, to which 
place he had marched on his way to meet the confederates. 
Neither army was considerable; that of the Yorkists is 
estimated by a contemporary writer at about three thousand 
men, of whom a large portion were archers, but the king 
had the advantage of occupying the town. The duke made 
a halt in the fields before the town, and sent a herald to 
the king, with professions of loyalty and obedience, but be 
demanded the person of the duke of Somerset. The king 
appears to have been little more than a passive agent, and 
the Lancastrians resolved to run the chances of a battle, 
AVlien the duke of York learnt that his overtures had been 
rejected, on Friday the 23rd of May, he marched to attack 
the royal army in the town. He was for some time held 
in check at the barriers, until the earl of Warwick^ 
marching by a circuitous path, entered the town on another 
side. The battle continued for a short time in the 
streets and laiu^, l»iit oiul#»d in the entire defeat of the 
royalists, who fled in the utmost disorder. The leaders of 


the court party appear to have been singled out for destruc- 
tion by the Yorkists, and among the slain were the duke 
of Somerset, the earl of Northumberland, and the lord 
Clifford, while the duke of Buckingham, the earl of 
Stafford, and the lord Dudley, were more or less severely 
wounded in the conflict, and were taken prisoners. The 
king was himself slightly wounded io the neck with an 
arrow, and had taken shelter in the house of a tanner, 
where he was found by the victors. The following letter, 
addressed to John Paston, and written the second day after 
the battle, gives us an interesting picture of the confusion 
into which people were thrown by this first hostile engage- 
ment between the two parties who now divided the 

<< Right worshipfall and entierly welbeloved sir, I recom- 
maunde me unto yon, desiring hertly to here of your welfare. 
Furthermore lettyng yon wete,' as for such tydinges as we 
have here, such tbre lordes be dede, the duke of Somerset^ 
the erle of Northombrelonde, and the lord Clyfford, and as for 
any other men of name I knowe noon, save only Qaotton of 
Cammbrigeshire. As for any other lordes, many of theym be 
hurt ; and as for Fenyngley, he ly veth and fareth well as fer as 
I can enqaere. And as for any grete maltytude of people 
that ther was, as we can tell, ther was at most slayn vj« score. 
And as for the lordes that were with the kyng, they and her* 
men wer pilled' and spoyled oat of all thcyr barneys and 
horses. And as for what rule we shall have, yit I wote nott, 
save only ther be made newe certayn officers: my lord of 
Torke, constabil of Englande ; my lord of Warweke is made 
captayn of Calyes; my lord Burgchier is made treasorer of 
Englande. And as yit other tydinges have 1 none. And as 
for onr soverayn lorde, thanked be Ood, he hathe no grete 

** No more to yoa at this tyme, but I pray you sende this 
lettyr to my maistresse Patton when ye have sene hit, preyng 

(7fo«Mry.**»l Know. 2 Their. 3 Ptnndered. 

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being their friends ; and the Lancastrians remained without 
the walls, and met at the White Friars. After some 
negotiation^ both parties submitted to the award of the 
king, and the Yorkists having agreed to perfonn certain 
acts of satisfaction to the fimiilies of the nobles killed at 
St Alban's, the court party joined the others in the city, 
and they marched lovingly together in a public procession 
to St Paul's, amid the joy of the populace. On this 
occasion the duke of York and the queen walked hand in 
hand, and the earl of Salisbury in a similar manner gave 
his hand to the duke of Somerset. This procession took 
place on the 25th of March, and a pompous description 
of the ceremony is given in the old chroniclers. The 
following song, preserved in a contemponuy manuscript in 
the British Museum,* which we believe has not previously 
been printed, is a remarkable monument of the popular 
gladness with which this apparent reconciliation was 

** Whan chants is chosen with states to stonde 

Stedfts and skills without distannce, 
Than wrathe may be exiled out of this londe. 

And God cure gide to have the goveniaiince. 
Wisdom and wellth, with alle plesaunoe, 

May rightful regne, and prosperity; 
For love hath underlaide wrathful venjaunce ; 

Rejoise, Auglond, cure lordes aeorded to be. 

** Rejose and thanke God fore evermore, 

For now shal encrese thi consolacion ; 
Onre enemyes qnaken and dreden fal sore, 

That peas' is made ther was division. 
Which to them is a gret eonfusioD, 

And to us joy and felicity. 
God hold hero longe in every season. 

That Anglond may rejoise* concord and unit^. 

* MS. Cotton. VMpi». B zvi. fol. < r« 
0h$mrf —1 PMce. 9 E&jojr. 


'* Now u Borowe with shame fled into Fraunce, 

As a felon that hath forsworn this londe ; 
Love hath put out malicious govemaunce, 

In every place bothe fre and bonde. 
In Yorkcy in Somerset, as I understonde, 

In Warrewik is love and charit^, 
In Sarisbury eke and in Northumbrelande, 

That every man may rejoise concord and unit^. 

** Egremown and Cliffordy with other forsaide, 

Ben set in the same opynyon. 
In every quarter love is thus laide ; 

Orace and wisdom hath tlius the dominacion. 
Awake, welth, and walke in this region, 

Ronnde aboute in tonn and cit^; 
And thanke them that brought hit to this concluson : 

Rejoise, Anglond, to concord and unit4. 

'^ At Poules in Londonn with gret renoun, 

On oure ladi day in Lent this peas was wrought; 
The kyng, the queue, with lordes many oone, 

To worship that virglne as thei ought, 
Wenten a procession, and spariden* right nought, 

In sighte of alle the corny nalt^, 
In token that love was in herte and thought : 

Rejose, Anglond, in concorde and unit^. 

** Ther was bytwyn hem lovely countynaunce, 

Whiche was gret joy to alle that ther were; 
That long tyme hadden be in variaunce. 

As frendcs for ever that had be in fere. 
Thei wenten togeder and made goud* chere. 

France and Britayn rcpcnte thul thei ; 
For the bargain shul thei abye' ful dcrc ; 

Rejose, Anglond, in concorde and unit4. 

** Oare soveraigne lord kyng God kcpe ahrey, 

The quene, and the archhisshop of Canterbury, 

GfeMnry.— 1 Spared. 2 Good. 3 Pay for. 


And the biMhop of Wynokestre, chanceller of Anglond, 

And other that han labored to this love-day. 
Gh)d preaenre hem we pray hertly. 

And Londoun* for the! fnl diligently 
Kepten the peas in trowbel and adTersit^, 

To bryng in reste thei labored fnl tmly : 

Rejoise, Anglond, in Concorde and unit^. 

** Of thre thynges I praise the worshipfal cit^ ; 

The first the troe faithe that thei have to the kynge ; 
The seconde of love to the oomynalt^ ; 

The thrid goad mle for evermore kepynge^ 
The which God maynteyn evermore dorynge. 

And save the maier and alle the worthi eit<; 
And that is amys Ood brynge to amendyngSy 

That Anglond may rejoise to oonoorde and nnit^. 

Other similar documents prove the insincerity of the 
reconciliation between the rival parties ; and a ballad by a 
Lancastrian^ written in the same year, and probably soon 
after the procession which gave rise to the foregoing song, 
represents the state as a ship exposed to the storm, and 
trusting for safety to its able mariners, who axe the leaders 
of the Lancastrians, while the Yorlusts axe described as 
the ** foe*meu" against whom it required defence;* it ends 
with the following lines. — 

** Now helpf saynt George, onre lady knyg^t, 
And be core lode-sterre' day and nyght. 
To strengthe oars kynge, and England ryght, 

And felle oars fomenns* pryde. 
Now is core shype dressed In hys kynde, 
With his taklynge before and behynde; 
Whoso love it not, God make bym blynde. 
In paynes to abyde !" 

* Arch»olo(riA» vol. xxii, p. 326. 

G^ftfry.— 1 Polar utar, by which the Tetael WM fuidtd. 2 Fooaitn't. 


It was evident, indeed, that the queen and her party had 
only smothered their enmity until the arrival of a favourable 
moment for vengeance, and the leaders of both parties 
found it necessary to surround themselves with armed men. 
The first public out-break was a serious afiray at West- 
minster, where the earl of Warwick was attacked by some 
of the queen*s household, and narrowly escaped by a boat 
on the river. The earl, after a conference with his father 
the earl of Salisbury and the duke of York, proceeded to 
Calais, which, under the government of Warwick, had 
become the strong hold of the Yorkists. " The duke and 
the erle of Salesbury,'* to use the words of the old translator 
of Polydore Vergil, " much moved with this offence, spake 
openly betwixt themselves in bitter and sharpe termes, 
that die matter was nothing els but the firaude and fury of 
a woman, who, thinking she might do whatsoever she 
listed, sought nor minded anything so much as by womanish 
slight to torment, consume, and utterly destroy all the 
nobilitie of the lande." Accordingly the great Yorlust 
leaders began again to raise their vassals, with the intention 
of marching towards London. At the beginning of Sep- 
tember, 1459, the duke of York, who had been in Ireland, 
landed at Redbank, near Chester, and hastened to Ludlow.* 
The earl of Salisbury, who had collected an army in the 
north, marched towards the south; but when he reached 
the borders of Staffordshire his further advance was disputed 
by a superior army under the command of a devoted Lan* 
castrian, James Touchet lord Audley. On Sunday the 
SSrd of September, 1459, the second battle between the 
Yorkists and Lancastrians was fought at Bloreheath, near 
Drayton, in Shropshire, and the Lancastrians were again 
defeated, lord Audley and two thousand of his men being 
slain. After the battle the earl of Salisburv continued his 
march to Ludlow. 

• Circa frstum bratir Maris* rcversiis c^t dux Ebornri dp Hibcmia, et 
arnvavit apud Ucdbunkc prope Cctiriam, et ibidem cum paucis meavit ad 
caftnim de Ludlowe. W. Wrrc. ap. Heamt, I ib. Kip* p. 49% 


The court had ako been making great exertions to avert 
the threatened danger, and had raised a much more nu- 
merous army than that of their opponents. The king 
hastened to Worcester with sixty thousand men: as he 
advanced towards Ludlow, the army of the Yorkists was 
drawn out into an intrenched camp in the fields of Lud- 
ford. They had been joined by the earl of Warwick, who 
brought a body of veteran troops from Calais, under an old 
and experienced commander. Sir Andrew Trollop. Some 
attempt was made at negotiation , and the Yorkist leaders 
addressed a letter to the king which is printed by Stowe. 
On the 13th of October the king's army came in view of 
the intrenchments of Ludford, and were received with a 
brisk cannonade, which compelled them to retire, and no 
further attack was made on that day. In the evening the 
duke of York and the two earls held a council of war, 
at which it was determined to attack the enemy by surprise 
early in the morning, which would probably have been 
attended with success; but during the night Sir Andrew 
'nroUop, who had been made the marshal of the Yorkist 
army, deserted to the royalists, carrying with him the veteran 
troops under his own particular command, and betrayed 
all their councik to the king. The Yorkists, dismayed 
by this defection, broke up their camp in the night and 
fled ; the duke of York and his younger son the earl of 
Rutland escaping to Ireland, while the earls of Warwick and 
Salisbury, with Edward earl of Maroh, succeeded in reach- 
ing Calais in safety.* The Lancastrians entered Ludlow, 

* In th« tttbflcqnent tct of attainder, the foUowtng acconnt U giTen of 
the traneacttont at Ludlow :— 

** And the Friday, in the Tigill of the fest of the tranalation of seint 
Edward kjn$ and confetaonr, the xixriiith yere of yonre moott noble 
reigne, at Lodeford in the ehtre of Hereford, in the feldee of the lame, 
the eeid Richard dos of York, Edward crie of llarche, Richard erle of 
Warrewyk. Richard erle of Saletbnry, Edmond erle of Rutlond, Johan 
Clynton lord Clynton, Johan Wenlok. knyght, James Pykcrynp. knyght. 
the acid Joban Conycrs, and Thomas I'arre, knvglttcs, Joiian Hourghchicr. 
Edward Boorgchier, aqnien, nemci to the aeid duo of York, Thomaa CoH 


and wreaked their vengeance upon the town and castle, 
which, as the old historians inform us, were plundered 
" to the bare walls." The duchess of York with her two 

lata of London, gentilman, Johan Clay late of Chesthunt in tho thire of 
Hertford, squier, Roger Eyton late of Shrouesbury in Shropshire, iqaive, 
and Robert Bonldc, brother to Herry Boulde, knyght, with other knyghtee 
and people, such at they had blynded and assembled by wages, promyses, 
and other exquisite meanes, brought in certeyn persones bifore the people, 
to fwere that ye were decessed, doyng masse to be said, and offeryng all 
to make the people the lease to drede to take the feld. NoTertheletse, 
after ezortation to all the lordes, knyghtes, and nobley in youre host, made 
by youre owne mouth, in so irttty, so knyghtly, so manly, in so comfortable 
wise, with so pryncely apporte and assured maner, of which the lordes 
and the people toke such joye and comfort, that all their desire was oonly 
to bast to fulfill youre corageous knyghtly desire, albe tho ympedyment of 
the weyes and streitnesse, and by lette of waters, it was nygh eryn or 
je myght come to take grounde covenable for youre felde, displaied 
yooie baners, raunged youre batailles, pighted youre tentes; they 
beyng in the same feldes the same day and place, traitorously ranngod 
in balaill, fortefied their chosen ground, their cartes with gonnes sette 
bilbre their batailles, made their escarmysshcs, laide their cnbusshmentet 
th0f6t sodenly to hare taken the avauntage of youre host And they 
oatandyiig the destruction of youre most noble persoon, the same Friday 
and toune, in the feld there falsely and traitorously rered wcrre ayenat 
yon, and than and there shotte their scid gonnes, and shotte as wele ai 
yefOfo noet roiall persone, as at youre lordes and people with you than and 
thera beyng. But God, in whos handcs the hertes of kynges been, made 
to ba kaowen* that they whoa hertes and desires were oonly sette to 
antronth, fUsenesse, and cruelty, subtily coloured, and feyned telyag 
justice, ment tho grcttest falscncs and treason, most ymmodcrate coretise 
that erer was wrought in any realme : insomoche that by Robert Radclit 
oca of the felauship of the scid due of York, and erles of Warrewyk and 
8aleabnry, it was confessed at his dying, that both the coronne of 
Englond and duchie of Lancaster they wuld have translated at their 
wiUe and pleasure. But Almyghty God, that scth the hertes of people, to 
whome is nothyng hidde, smote the hertes of the setd due of York and 
arias sodenly from that most presumptuouse pryde, to the most shamefull 
fhlla of cowardise that coude be thought, so that abouto mydnyght than 
next tuyng Ihey stale awey outa of the felde, under colour they wold have 
rafreehed theym awhile in the toune of Ludlowe, leryng their standardes 
and banan in their bataill directly ayenst youre feld, fledde oule of the 
tooao onaimad with fewa persones into Wales ; understondyng that yours 
peopio hertes assembled, was blynded by theym afore, were the more 
partia converted by Goddes inspiration to repent theym, and humbly 
sttbmytte theym to you, and aske youre graee, which so didda the grata 


youngest sons were taken, and placed in safe ward; and 
many of the richer partizana of the duke were executed and 
their estates confiscated. On the SOth of November a 
parliament met at CoTcntry, in which a number of the 
Torkist leaders were attainted, who are thus enumerated 
in a contemporary letter among the Fasten correspondence. 
— ^" The due of York ; therle of Marche ; therle of Rutland ; 
therle of Warrwyk ; therle of Salusbury ; the lord Powys; 
the lord Clynton; the countesse of Sarr. ; Sir Thomas 
Neyyle ; Sir Johan Nevyle ; Sir Thomas Haryngton ; Sir 
Thomas oTarre; Sir Johan Conyers; Sir Johan Wenlok; 
Sir William Oldhall ; Edward Bourghcier, sq. ; a brother of 
his; Thomas Vaughan; Thomas Colte; Thomas Clay; 
Johan Denham; Thomas Moryng; Johan Oter; maistre 
Bic Fisher; Hastyngs, and other that as yet we can not 
know there names, Ac As for the lord Fowys, he come 
inne and hadde grace as for his lyf, but as forhisegodes the 
forfeture passid.** In spite however of this disaster, the 
Yorkists did not lose their courage ; at Calais, the earl of 
Warwick entirely defeated the attempt to drive him from 
his government, and the fleet having revolted to him, made 
him master of the English coasts, and enabled him to hold 
easy communication with the duke in Ireland. One of the 
letters in the Fasten correspondence, dated in the month of 
January, 1400, says, "The duke of York is at Dublin, 
strengthened with his earls and homagers ;*' and that the 
court was in dread of further danger appears by another 
letter in the same collection, dated on the S9th of January, 

put ; to whooM, ftt our* lordat revcrvncc and sciai Edward, yt ympaitad 
laigely yoor snca. Bat, iOTerayiK lorda, it if not to be thooflit, but tboy 
and it had baon po«ibla to tha} m by any maana, tbetr willa waa to haTo 
aecompUabad thair eniall» oialieiotta, and traitaroua aatcnt, to tba fynal 
daatractaon of your moat roiall persone. And to abava fortbennora tba 
contynQanea of tbair most dataatabla llzad tfailffroaa pnipoaa and dcaira 
ayanat yon* aorafaina lorda^ and yonra magaatA roiall, and tba wala of 
youra raalma and snbfrettea, some of therm been arryt-ed in youre tonna of 
Caleii* whcrby the toune stondcth in jupartic, atirele aa all the goodca of 
all yoar owrebanatas baynf of tba atapla tbeta." 


firmn wUdi we learn that the king on his way to London 
was ^'zaising the people/' and that great activity was 
displayed in preparing a powerful army for immediate 

The Tindicdve measures of the court had indeed left no 
altematiTe to the Yorkist leaders but to seek safety in open 
war. It appears evidently by several contemporary songs 
still preserved that their cause was popular among the 
Knglish commonalty. In one of these songs, which appears 
to have been written in May, 1460, the chief men on the 
Yorkist side are designated by twelve letters which were 
to " save alle Inglande.'** The song goes on to tell us — 

** Y for Yorke, that is manly and myghtfulle, 
That be (^) grace of Gk>d and gret revelacion, 
Beynyng with rules resonable and rtghtAilIe, 
The which for oure sakes hathe snfferd vexaoion.** 

The duke*s eldest son, Edward earl of March, had now 
made himself conspicuous by his manners and his talents, 
and from henceforth he begins to appear as one of the most 
prominent actors on this tragical and eventful scene. The 
song describes him as enjoying the highest popular favour: — 

«< £ for Edward, whos fiune the erthe shal sprede, 
Becanse of his wisdom, named pmdeuce, 
Shal save alle Englond by his manlyheds, 
Wherfbre we owe to do hym reverence. 

M for Marehe, trewe in every tryalle, 
Drawen by dtscrecion that worthy and wise is, 
Conseived in wedlok, and comyn of biode ryalle, 
Joynyng unto vertn, exdadyng alle vises.*' 

In the popular songs of this time it was common to 
speak of the leading barons by their badges and devices, 
wliich were then as familiar to the hearers as their names. 

• Printed in Uie Arcbcologia, vol zxiil, p 33i*. 



The earls of Salisbury and Warwick are here introduced by 
their characteristic badges^ the eagle and the ragged staff. — 

** E for the Egle, that gret worship hathe wonne 
Thorow tpredyng of his wynges that nerer dyd fle ; 
Ther was never byrde that bred andre sonne. 
More fortunat in felde than that byrde hathe be. 

** R for the Ragged Staff, that no roan may skapen. 
From Scotland to Gales thereof men stond in awe ; 
In al cristen landes is none so fellc a wepen. 
To correcte soche caytiffes as do agayne the lawe.** 

The song ends with a prayer for the success of the cause — 

" Now pray we to the prynce moste precious and pnrSf 
That sy tteth with his seyntis' in blys etemaUe, 
Hnr* entent and pnrpos may last and endure. 
To the pleasannoe of God and the welfare of us alle.*' 

A few weeks after the period at which this song was 
composed, in the month of June, the Yorkist lords sailed 
from Calais and landed at Dover, and they were soon 
joined by the old supporters of their cause, the men of 
Kent. Thus reinforced, they marched direct for London, 
where they arrived on the 2nd of July, and were favourably 
received by the citizens. The king was at Coventry when 
the news of the landing of the Yorkists arrived, and the 
I^ncastrian army marched to meet them and reached 
Northampton, where they strongly entrenched themselves. 
Edward earl of March, who was now equally eminent for 
his abilities and activity, and for his great popularity, left in 
London the carl of Salisbury, lord Cobham, and Sir John 
Wenlock, to watch the Tower which was held for the king 
by lord Scales, and advanced with Warwick, Fauoonberg, 
and RouTchier, to meet their enemies. In the battle of 

G/(Mj«iry.-l Stint*. 2 Tlicir. 


Northampton^ fought on the 10th of July, after an obstinate 
struggle, the Lancastrians were entirely defeated, and the 
king himself was left in the hands of the victors. The total 
number who fell in this battle appears not to have been 
great, although much exaggerated by several old writers; 
but on the side of the king were slain the duke of Buck- 
ingham, the earl of Shrewsbury, and the lords Beaumont 
and Egremont^ and about three hundred knights and gen- 
tlemen. The queen with her son fled to the north, and 
reached Scotland in safety. The earls carried the king to 
London, and immediately called a parliament. 

A curious poem written by one of the Yorkists imme- 
diately after the battle of Northampton, affords an interesting 
picture of the state of popular feeUng at that time. In this 
poem the leaders of the different parties are characterized 
by their badges, or by popular names, as the Rose for 
Edward earl of March, the Fetterlock for the duke of York, 
the Eagle for the earl of Salisbury, and the Bear for the 
earl of Warwick. Edward, as being especially associated 
with Warwick, is here most commonly distinguished as the 
Bear-ward. After speaking of the mutability of human 
affairs, the writer goes on to say. — 

** An ensanmple hereof I take witnesse 

Of oerteyne persones that late exiled were. 
Whoa sorow is turned into joyfalnesae, 

The Rose, the Fetyrlok, the Egle, and the Berc. 

Grete games in Inglond sum tyme ther were, 
In hauktng, huntyngv and fisshing, in every place, 

Among^ lordes with sheldo and spcre, 
Prosperete in reme* than rcignyng wase. 

** Whereof Godf of his specialle grace, 
Heryng the peple crying fur mercye, 
Cousidering the falsehode iu every place* 
Gave tttfleweni of myrthc into bodyei on liyo. 

<'/«^«jiiry.— 1 licalin. 


The whicbe in a Berward lighted prerelye, 
Edward, yong of age, disposed in solace ; 

In hanking and hnn^g to hegynne meiyly. 
To Northamptone, with the Bere, he toke his trace. 


The Bear- ward's object was to rescue the Hunter (king 
Henry) ttcm his Dogs and from the Buck (the earl of 
Buckingham) with whom they had allied themselves. — 

'' Now shal ye here a menrelons case. 

All only thoronghe Ood oone prorysione; 

The Berward and the Bere thai did the Dogges ehaoe. 
And put theyme to flight, to gret oonfiioione* 
Thus agayne alle natnralle disposidone, 

To se a Bere to seke his owne game^ 
Bnt if it were of Goddis modone, 

That he shnld do the Dogges shame. 

** Talbot* ontrewe was the oon Dogges name, 
Rayling Bewmond anodre,' I nnderstonde; 

The thrid also was made fol tame. 
He was called bolde Egremonde* 
When the Bereward come to the groande. 

Where he chased the forsdd leese,* 
Amonge alle other a Bok he founde, 

The whiche was bye and fat of greese. 

** The coriages Berward pat hym &rre in preese,* 

To tlie Hont,^ cure kynge, he hyed hym fal fast; 
Tbe Bere, for alle the Dogges, wold not s e ese, * 

Bat hyed hym sone affire^ swyflFUy in hast. 

Tbe Dogges barked at hem Ail fast ; 
The Bak set up his homes on bye, 

Tbe Berward, thei ciyed, thei wold downe oast. 
Tbe Bere also, if that he come nye. 

OlotMry.— 1 AootlMr. 2 A Icuh. 3 Crowd. 4 Himtsr. 5 Ccmc» 
diiooDtinae. 6 Soon after. 

* John Talbot tarl of Shrewtbur}*. 


** The Bereward asked no qnestione why, 

Bot on the Dogges he set fuUe rounde ; 
The Bere made the Dogges to cry. 

And with his pawme* cast theyme to groande. 

The game was done in a litel stonndei 
The Bok was slayne and borne away ; 

Agayne the Bere than was none honnde. 
But he might sporte and take his play**' 

The stanzas which follow describe the respectful bearing 
of the victors towards the Hunter (king Henry)^ after they 
had obtained possession of his person. All historians bear 
witness to the moderation of the earls on this occasion. 

** Bat the Hnnt he saved from harme that day. 

He thought never other in alle his mynde ; 
He lowted* downe, and at his fote lay, 

In token to hym that he was kynde. 

The Bereward also, the Huntes frende, 
Felle downe on kne saying with obedienoei 

* Sovereigne lord, thenk us not unkynde, 
Nor take ye this in none offence* 

** * We have desired to come to your presence. 
To cure excuse we myght not answere ; 

AUe thinges were hyd from your audience. 
Wherefore we fl^ away for fere.' 
The Hunt said tho/ * I wol you here. 

Ye be right welcom bothe to me ; 
Alleway I pray you to stond me nere, 

Ye be my frendis I may wele se« 


* Stond up, Berward, welcom be ye, 
Oramercy of your gentyl game; 

From you and your Bere I wol never fle ; 
Tellithe* me now what is your name.* 
** Edward of Marche, I am the same, 

Trewe to Ood and youre highncsse." 

O'lniMry.— 1 Talm *i ilowctl, ttoopcU. 3 Tkcii. 1 Icll. 


The gentyl Bere saidt * Withouten blamey 
We have be put in gret hevynesse/ " 

The king is then made to throw all the blame of past 
events on the evil councOlors with whom he had -been sur- 
rounded, the '' Dogges*' firom whom the earls had relieved 
him, whom, in the ballad, he degrades with the title of 

" The Hunt answerid with gret mekenesse, 

* The Dogges wrought' agajne alle kynde ;* 
Tbei labored to bryng me in distreflse, 

I was theire mayster and specialle frende. 

The Bok ran bdbre, the Dogges behynde, 
I followed a£fker, I wist never why ; 

In no place game kowde* I fynde. 
The Bok and the Dogges playde by and by. 

" < A gentylle Dogge wol naturally 

His mayster love, and drede also; 
His kyndly^ gsme if he may aspy , 

From hym bely ve* ha wol be goo. 

These corre Dogges before dyd not so : 
llie Bok and they played par aseni ;* 

They lapped away the fatta me fro« 
Me to myscheve' was theirs entent. 

** *And never to me tbei wold consent, 

The whiche called yon ever treytonrs untrewe ; 

Tyl now the trewe comynerys^ of Kent 
Be comyn with yon, falsehed to destrewe,* 
And tmthe long exiled now to renewe. 

8eynt Thomas I thanke, in alls yours right 
That girded yon thb day, and sbewid to be tr«we» 

80 fewe men slayne in so gret a fight. 

«< < It was the werk of God Almight, 
Of mannesse** power it might not be« 

C&MMry.— 1 Woiked, acted. *i Natarc. 3 Could. 4 Natural. 5 Im- 
mediately. G By agreement. 7 To ruin, cau«c to fail. 8 f*vmiuoner>. 
9 Dcatroy. 10 Man's. 


Gramercy, Fancon, of tbi fayre flight, 
The bird from the nest he made to fle/ " 

The *Faucoii* was William Neville lord Fauoonberg, 
who distinguished himself by his zeal in the Yorkist cause. 
The commons of Kent appear to have formed the bulk of 
the Yorkist army at the battle of Northampton ; and the 
small number slain in that engagement is confirmed by the 
testimony of a contemporary writer of great authority. Our 
poem proceeds to describe^ in conformity with the narratives 
of the old chroniclers^ the manner in which the king was 
led to London. 

** To London now, that fayre cyt^. 
The Hunt was brought ful reverently ; 

The Berwardi the Bere, the Pawcone fre. 
Rode about hym folle joyfully. 

<« Thorow that cyt^ right opynly 

The Hunt rode, with gret gladnesse ; 
The pepil rejoysed inwardly. 

And thanked God of his goodenesse ; 

Thai he liketh with lustynesse 
To endewe the Hunt, oure noble kyng. 

And to remeve* his hevynesse, 
Whiche to hb regalle is notbyng conservyng." 

The ballad then returns to the acts which had in the 
meanwhile been done in London. The earl of Salisbury 
(the Eagle) had laid close siege to the Tower, which was 
defended by lord Scales (the Fish) and other steady Lan- 
castrians. When the Tower was delivered, lord Scales 
attempted to escape with three others who were most 
obnoxious to the other party, but his flight was intercepted 
by some watermen of the earl of Warwick, who slew him 
and left his body naked at the gate of ** the Clynke." 

** The Egle from Londone was never remeving,* 
But hovid' and way ted^ upon his pray ; 

GlosMar^.—'l Remove. 2 Uemoving— he never left London. 3 Hovered. 
4 Watched. 


Alie his delite was ever in fiBshingi 

The FiBBhe were closed in pyttes alway. 
Yit at the last, npon a day. 

The Fisshe drewe nere unto the bayte ; 
Nede hathe no lawe» thus alle men sayi 

The Egle therto ever layde goode wayte. 

^' To skape away it was fol strajrte. 

The Bgyk birdes lay so theyme abowte ; 
Ever beholding the falce dissayte. 

How from theyme alle thei wold gon oute. 

The Egle lighted, and made hem to loute : 
The Fisshe was feynte and litelle of might ; 

Yit iiij. there were, bothe gret and stonte. 
The whiche he toke alle at a flight. 

<< Alle thei had scaped npon a nyg^l» 

Save theire Skales were plaoked away ; 
Than had the Fisshe lost alle here might. 
And litel joy in wa^r to play." 

The writer of this ballad concludes with a prayer for the 
safe and immediate return of the duke of York. 

** Now God, that madest bothe nyght and day, 
Bryng home the mayster of this game. 

The duke of Yorke, for hym we pray. 
That noble prynce, Richard be name. 

** Whom treson ne falsehod never dyd shame, 

Bat ever obedient to his sovereigns ; 
Falsehod eyermore pot hjrm in blame. 

And lay awayte' hym to have sleigne. 

If Ood be with ns, who is us agayne? 
He his so nowe, blessid mot he be t 

Of this fortune alle men may be fayne, 
That right hathe now his fre entree.*** 

OlMMiry —1 Lay in wait or in ambnth. 

* Tliis poem was rotnmtiiiioatod by Sir Frcileric Madden to the Society 
of Antiqnarica, and it printed in the Archcologia, toL xzia, {i. 394. 


The duke of York had, indeed, remained quiet in Ireland 
during these events, but, on receiving intelligence of the result 
of the battle of Northampton, he hastened back to England. 
He arrived at Chester in the latter part of August, and 
passing through Shrewsbury, Ludlow, and Hereford, at 
which latter place he had appointed to meet his duchess, he 
reached London on the 10th of October. Now at length 
he threw of all mask from his intentions, and deliberately 
stated his claim to the crown. The parliament hesitated, 
and ordered it to be taken into consideration; and it was 
finally agreed that Henry should enjoy the throne during 
his life, and that the duke of York should be acknowledged 
his heir, and appointed protector of the kingdom till 
Henry's death. For a time the new order of things went 
on smoothly, at least in appearance ; but there was little 
solidity under the surface. We have abundant evidence of 
fears and suspicions in the Paston Letters, those interesting 
memorials of the popular feelings of the fifteenth century. 
John Brackly, a priest and very popular preacher of this 
period, says in a letter written from Norwich to Sir John 
Paston soon after the events just described, " God save our 
good lord Warwick, all his brethren, Salisbury, &c. from 
all false covetise and favour of extortion, as they will flee 
utter shame and confusion. God save them and preserve 
from treason and poison ; let them beware thereof, for the 
pity of God ; for if ought come to my lord Warwick but 
good, fiirewell ye, farewell 1, and all our friends ; for, by 
the way of my soul, this land were utterly undone, as God 
forbid; their enemies boasting with good (i. e. with money, 
by briber)') to come to their favour. But God defend 
them, and give them grace to know their friends from their 
enemies, and to cherish and prefer their friends, and lc<seu 
the might of all their enemies throughout the shires of the 
land.'* A still more remarkable testimony of the fears and 
feelings of the Yorkists at this time is prescr>ed in the 
foUowin;:; short ])oi*in,* tin* writer nf nljich '-tronirly urtT«*!« 

* Printe<1 in the Archiroloiria, xM. xxix. p. 310. 
S H 


the men then in power to be on their guard against the 
Lancastrians^ and to be distrustful of pretended friendship, 
which agrees predsely with friar Brackly's apprehensions. 
The earl of March is here again designated as the RosCj 
and the other lords by the same terms as before; the 
<' Ragged Bottis" refer to the earl of Warwick, while the 
" Stafford Knottis" indicate the duke of Buckingham, the 
head of the house of Stafford. 

<< Awake, lordes, awake, and take goods bede. 
For som that speke fol fayre, thei wolde yoor eril spede ; 
Though thei pere in yoor presence with a fayre free. 
And her tonge channged, the hert is as it was. 
Thei seyne' in theire assemble, It is a wondre thyng 
To se the Rose in wyntre* so fresshe for to spryng ; 
And many barked atte Bere,* that now be fol stylle. 
Tit thei wol hym wyrye,' if thei might have her wylle. 
Bat of your fewe fomen* nothing that ye drede. 
For the comyns* ben yonres, ever at yonre nede ; 
Yit a seeg^ wold be set the falte to take and holde. 
For oon' scabbed shepe may enfecte al a folde. 
Trust not to mocheP in the favour of youre foos ; 
For thei be doable in wirking, as the worlds gos, 
Promysing foithfally obeisannoe to kepe. 
But perfite^ love in theire hertis is leyde for to slepe. 
And though thei were** the Rose, or the Ragged Staflfe, 
Thei rought never how sone, in feithe, that ye starffe* 
For fyre and water togider in kyndeling be" brought. 
It passeth mannes power, be Ood that me bought! 
For two faces in a bode'* is never to tryst, 
Beth wel war before, and thenk of had-I-wisU** 

phrus appeATi to proY« that tli« soDf wu written esriy in the 
wiatOT which followed the bfttUe of Northampton, L e. the end of the year 

Olp«Mfy.— 1 Say. 2 At the Bear (i. e. the earl of Warwick). 3 Worry. 
4 Foet. 5 Commons. G Siege. 7 One. 8 Too much. 9 Perfect. 10 Wear. 

11 In kindlinp (taking Arc), tn bi (the uirmitive of the verb). 12 Two 
Uct9 in one hood- 13 Had I known (a proverbial ezprcMion). 


For thei hopen and tristen* to here of a day. 

To see the Rose and the Lione* brought to a bay. 

With the Egel and the Bere, that worth! be in fight : 

From that infortane* preserve you God Almight ! 

And lat not yonre savegardes be to liberalle 

To your foos, that be tumyng ever as a balle ; 

And sithe* fortune hathe set you hye on hir whele. 

And in yonre comyns love, loveth ye hem as wele. 

For many that were the chaynef on hir sieve, 

Wole ful fayne youre ly ves bereve ; 

And som that were the Ragged Bottis, 

Had lever* were the Stafford Knottis ; 

But what thei mene no man it wottes, 

Therfore I connseiy eschewe theire lottis. 

To telle yon more it is no nedey 

By counsel goode, yit take goode hede. 

For a Christmas gestenyng/ as clerkis rede. 

At on-set stevyn* is quyt in dede. 

Wherfore I counsel you sempely as I can. 

Of youre disposicion tellith not trery man ; 

Mnche is in my mynde, no more is in my penne. 

For this shuld I be shent/ might som men it kenne. 

But pray we al to Ood that died on a spere. 

To save the Rose, the Lyon» the Egle, and the Bere, 

With al other lordes trewe to youre assent, 

Her sheld* be ever God Omnipotent.'* 

Events were now marching towards a final crisis with 
fearful rapidity. The queen, who had fled to the north, 
was actively employed in raising another army, and had 
been joined by the most powerful of the Lancastrian lords. 
Hitherto the contest had been chiefly maintained by the 
family feuds of the gprcat barons of the realm; but the 

* John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk— his cuguUauce was a lion rampant. 

t A badge of the earl of Warwick. 

GiMsery.— 1 They hope and tnist. 2 Misfortimc, mishap. 3 Since. 
1 Hithor. S I'.-itf. r. A tnni n<'i jT^xiU'^ly aip-ir.ti'l 7 |{ui:tc«l. 
H Shield. 


commons were every day made more and more parties in 
the cause. From a very early period there had existed 
a strong feeling of jealous hostility between the Northerns 
and the Southerns, or the population to the south of the 
Trent and those to the north of that river. The people of 
the south aud of the Welsh border, far more advanced than 
the others in their notions of popular liberty, had embraced 
warmly the cause of the house of York ; and the queen's 
party now enlisted all the prejudices of the Northerns on 
the opposite side. It is stated by the old writers that 
she now held forth a promise of free permission to plunder 
the whole country south of the Trent, as an inducement to 
march against the triumphant Torkists ; and any one 
acquainted with the history of these times will conceive the 
influence of such a promise on the predatory inhabitants of 
the Scottish border. 

The duke of York was aware of the queen's proceedings, 
and marched somewhat precipitately to anticipate the attack. 
The rival armies met on the SOth of December, 1460, at 
Wakefield in Yorkshire. Although the Yorkists had 
imprudently engaged an army far superior in numbers to 
their own, they fought bravely and supported the contest 
for some time with good hopes of success, until they were 
thrown into fatal disorder by an unexpected attack in the 
rear made by a body of borderers newly arrived. The 
result was in the highest degree disastrous to the Yorkists ; 
the duke, and most of the men of note who had acoom* 
panied him were slain, and the furious enmity bet^veen the 
Northerns and Southerns had been so great, that of five 
thousand Yorkists who took part in the battle, no less 
than two thousand were left on the field. The earl of 
Salisbury was taken in the pursuit, and was carried to 
Pontefract castle, where he was immediately beheaded. 
The earl of Rutland, the duke's second son, a child of 
twelve years of nge, also fell into the hands of the Lancas* 
trian^. .viil n:i- « mrlly nmnliTod !)y the lord Clifford. Most 
•if tlii* pri^uiior> of au) consKlorutiun were executed to 


satisfy the queen's thirst for the blood of her enemies ; and 
her merciless conduct on this occasion rendered the Lan- 
castrian cause still more unpopular in the south. The 
following extract from a letter written about this time from 
Clement Paston to his brother John, will give some notion 
of the consternation of the Southerns: after speaking of 
some private business, he says — *^ What word that ever ye 
have from my lords that be here (in London ?), it is well 
done and best for you to see that the country be always 
ready to come, both footmen and horsemen, when they be 
sent for ; for I have heard said the farther lords will be here 
sooner than men ween, I have heard said ere three weeks 
to an end ; and also that ye should come with more men 
and cleanlier arrayed than any other man of your country 
should ; for it lieUi more upon your worship and toucheth 
you more near than other men of that country (Norfolk), 
and also ye be more had in favour with my lords here. In 
this country every man is well willing to go with my lords 
here, and I hope Grod shall help them, for the people in the 
north rob and steal, and be appointed to piU (pillage) all this 
country, and give away men's goods and livelihoods in all 
the south country, and that will ask a mischief. My lords 
that be here have as much as they may do to keep down all 
this country, more than four or five shires, for they would 
be up on the men in the north, for U ufor the weal of ail 
the south.*' 

The queen marched directly upon London, and the conduct 
of her troops seemed to verify in every point the report that 
the Northern men had covenanted for the plunder of the 
South. Slic met witli no serious check until she arrived 
at St. Alban's, where she was opposed by the Yorkists 
under the earl of Wanrick. But having turned their posi- 
tion, she attacked the main body of the earl's army between 
that town and Bamct, and completely defeated it, the last 
stand being made by the men of Kent on Bamet Common. 
Tlic kiiv^ wns left on tlic field, and was thus nfi^xn liberated 
from tho p«irt) who had been acting in his name. The 


Lancastrians annulled all the acts of government passed 
since their defeat at Northampton, proclaimed the leaders 
of the Yorkists as traitors, and set a price on the head of 
Edward earl of March, who now, by the death of his 
father, had become the immediate pretender to the throne. 

Edward was on the Welsh border when he received 
the first intelligence of the disastrous battle of Wakefield. 
He had collected an army to join his father in the north ; 
and his numbers were quickly swelled by multitudes of the 
exasperated borderers. He was already marching against 
the queen, when he was called back to oppose a large force 
of Welsh and Irish which, under Jasper Tudor earl of 
Pembroke, was advancing in the hope, it is said, of making 
themselves master of his person, and thus putting an end 
at once to the hopes of the Yorkists, llie two hostile 
parties met at Mortimer's Cross, near Wigmore in Hereford- 
shire, on the morning of the 2nd of February. It is said 
that before the battle conmienoed, three suns appeared in 
the sky over the field, which approached each other until 
they joined in one; and that Edward, taking this as a 
favourable omen, subsequently adopted a bright sun as his 
badge in remembrance of this circumstance. After an 
obstinate struggle, the Yorkists obtained a decided victory, 
and nearly four thousand of their enemies were slain. All 
the prisoners of rank were beheaded at Hereford, in retaUa* 
tion for the queen's cruelties after the battle of Wakefield ; 
and then Edward continued his march towards the east, 
his forces increasing continually by the way, until at 
Chipping-Norton he joined the earl of Warwick who was 
retreating from Bamet. 

The Lancastrian anny remained at the latter place and 
at St Alban's, plundering the country about, and not 
sparing even the ancient abbey and church of St Alban's. 
The queen hesitated in moving towards London, because 
she was well aware that the citinns were unfavourable 
towards her. She sent to the lord mayor for some carts of 
victuals for her armv, and he did not venture to di^bev 


her order : but, as Hall informs us, ** the moyeable com- 
monSy which favoured not the queenes part^ stopped the 
cartes at Cripplegate^ and boldely sayd, that their enemies 
which came to spoyle and robbe the citizens, should nejther 
be relieved nor victayled by them. And notwithstandyng 
gende advertisement to them given of the mischiefes which 
might ensue of their doyngs: yet they remayned still in 
one obstinate minde and wilfull will, not permittyng the 
caryages to passe or go forwarde. Durjrng which contro- 
versies divers of the Northern horsemen came and robbed 
in the suburbes of the dtie, and would have entered at 
Cripplegate, but they by the commoners were repulsed and 
beaten backe» and three of them slaine." While the queen 
was concerting measures for punishing the stubbornness 
of the Londoners, news arrived of the approach of Edward 
and the earl of Warwick, and the Lancastrian army imme- 
diately commenced its retreat towards the north. The 
sequel may be told in the words of the chronicler just 
quoted. ''The erles of Marche and Warwike, having 
perfite knowl^;e that the king and queue, with their adhe- 
rentes, were departed from Saint Albones, determined first 
to ryde to London, as the chiefe key and common spectacle 
to die whole realme, thinking there to assure themselves 
of the east and west parte of the kingdome, as king Henry 
and his fSeu^don nesteled and strengthened him and his alies 
in the north partes : meaning to have a bucklar against a 
sworde, and a southrene byll to countervayle a northern 
bastard. And so these two great lordes, resolvyng them- 
selves upon thys purpose, accompanied with a great number 
of men of warre, entered the citic of London, in the first 
weeke of Lent. What should I declare how the Kentish- 
men resorted : how the people of Essex swarmed, and how 
the counties adjoyning to London daylie repayred to see, 
aydc, and comfort this lustie prince and flower of chivalrie, 
as he in whome the hope of their joy and the trust of their 
quietnesso onely then consisted." Edward, less scrupulous 
than his father, took advantage of the favourable dis|N>$itioQ 


of the people assembled at London^ and caused himself to be 
received and proclaimed as king, under the title of Edward 
ly. This last event took place on the 4th of March, 1461, 
when Edward had not yet reached his twenty-first year. 
''On Thursday the first week in Lent/' a manuscript at 
Lambeth informs us, " came Edward to London with thirty 
thousand men, and so in field and town every one called 
* Edward king of England and of France/ " In the eyes 
of the populace the loss of the French conquests was a sore 
blot in the character of the unfortunate Henry. 

Nothing gives us so striking a picture of the spirit of 
these great national struggles as the popular songs of the 
age. A contemporary manuscript in the archiepiscopal 
library at Lambeth* has preserved a song composed on the 
occasion of Edward's entrance into London, which gives us 
some notion of the joy with which he was received. 

** Sitbe' God bathe chose the to be bis knyght, 
And posMside the in this right, 
Thoue him honour with al thi nyght, 

EdwarduM Dei gratia, 

** Oata of the stoke* that longe lay dede, 

Ood bathe caosede the to sprynge and sprcdo. 
And of al Englond to be the hede,' 

EdwarduM Dei gratia. 

<* 8ithe God hath yeven the, thoroogh his myghtc, 
Owte of that stoke birede* in sight 
The flonre to springe and rose so white» 

Edwardue Dei ^aiia. 

** Thone yeve* hem lawdc and praitinge, 
Thoue vergyne knight of whom we synge, 
UndeiBled* sithe thy bygynyng, 

Edf9ardm» Dei gratia^ 

• CommimicaUd by If r. HalUw«U to tk« Soct^iy of Antiquarios, tad 
printed in the ArchsologiA, yoI. xziz, p. 130. 

<7foMary.— 1 Since. 2 Slock, i. c. tlie luusc of Vork. 3 Ilr.ul. 1 HmucJ. 
5 Give 6 Undefilodt i. e. who had nerer tntUincd a defeat. 


** God save thy contenewannce, 
And so to prospede* to his plesauncoy 
That ever thyne astate thou mowte* enhaaiice» 

Edfvardus Dei ^atia. 

** Rex Anglice et Francke^ y say, 

Hit is thine owne, why saist thou nay ? 
And so is Spayn, that faire contrey, 

Edwardtta Dei ^cUia, 

** Py on slowtfnlle contenewanance ! 
Where conquest is a nohlc plesaunce. 
And regtsterd in olde rememberancey 

EdwarduB Dei ^oHa, 

<< Wherefore, prince and kyng moste myghti, 
Remembere the subdene of thi regaly. 
Of EnglondCy Fraunoey and Spayn, trewely, 

EdwarduB Dei ^aiia,** 

Edward had need of the utmost activity to secure his 
new position. The queen, in her retreat, had kept her 
forces together, and she was busily employed in strengthen- 
ing herself in the north, where hy the middle of March she 
had collected an army of sixty thousand men. Edward, 
counting probably on the exasperation of the Southerns^ 
who were eager to revenge the violences committed hy the 
Northern army, determined at once to march against her. 
On the 5th of March, John duke of Norfolk was sent " into 
his countrey with all diligence to prepaire for the warre.*' 
A day or two after the earl of Wanvick moved northward 
with the main body of the Torkist army, which consisted 
chiefly of Welshmen (or borderers) and Kentishmcn, and 
the men of the south joined him in his advance in such 
numbers that on reaching Pontcfract his army had increased 
to forty-nine thousand men. Edward left London on the 
ISth of March, and soon joined the advancing army* At 

67(MJary.~l Troapcr, sitcod well. S Ma)*. 

2 t 


Ferrybridge there was a sharp and unexpected engagement, 
in which the Yorkists slew lord ClifRnd, the base murderer 
of the in£ELnt earl of Rutland after the battle of Wakefield. 
On Friday eyening, the 27th of March, the two armies 
came in sight of each other at Towton near York ; and the 
exasperated multitude were with difficulty restrained 6om 
fighting during a few hours. The battle began without 
much regularity about four o'clock on Saturday, amid a 
heavy storm of snow, rendered more gloomy by the ap- 
proaching darkness of the evening. Northerns and Southerns 
fought with unrelenting fury during the whole of the night, 
and at noon of the next day, which was Pafan Sunday, the 
result seemed still doubtful, when the duke of Norfolk 
appeared with a body of fresh troops, and by three o'clock 
the Yoridsts had gained a dedsive victory. In this savage 
contest, in which neither side gave quarter, from thirty- 
three to thirty-eight thousand men were slain, of which 
number twenty-eight thousand belonged to the Lancastrian 
party. The earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland^ 
with several other barons of the Lancastrian party, and 
Sir Andrew Trollop, who had deserted the Yoridsts at 
Ludlow, were among the dead, and the earls of Devonshire 
and Wiltshire were taken and beheaded. The dukes of 
Somerset and Exeter escaped to York, and fled thence with 
the queen, king Henry, and their son prince Edward, 
closely pursued by their enemies, to Scotland. Edward 
entered York immediately afler, where he found the heads 
of his father and younger brother still exposed on the 
walls, and a number of Lancastrian heads were put up in their 
place. After remaining in the north a sufficient time to 
ensure the effects of his victory, he returned to London, 
where he was cro>vned with great solemnities on the 29th 
of June. 

A curious Yorkist ballad on the battle of Towton, and 
the events which preceded it, written immediately after 
Edward's coronation, is preserved. It not only pictures 
the spirit of the times ami tlic exultation of the victors, but 


it enumerates by their banners the chief towns which sent 
men to aid the victorious party, and to avenge the invasion 
of the South by the Northerns, as well as the barons who 
took part in this sanguinary contest* Some of these 
banners, or badges, cannot now be easily appropriated. 

'' Now is the Rose of Rone' growen to a gret honoare, 
Therfore syng we everychone,* i-blessid be that floure I 


I wame you everychone, for [ye] shnld nnderstonde, 
There sprange a Rose in Rone, and sprad into Englonde ; 
He that moved oure mone/ thoronghe the grace of Gk)ddes 

That Rose stonte alone the chef flour of this londe. 

I-biessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floure I 

*' Blessid be that Rose ryalle that is so fresshe of hewe ! 
Almighty Jhesu blesse that soulef that the sede sewe ! 
And blessid be the gardeyne ther the Rose g^we ! 
Cristes blessyng have thei alle that to that Rose be trewe ! 
And bleaiid be the tyme that ever Qod sprad that flourel 

^' Betwiz Cristmas and Candelmas, a litel before the Lent, 
Alle the lordes of the norths thei wrought by oon assent; 
For to stroy* the sowthe cuntr^ thei did alle bur entente;* 
Had not the Rose of Rone be, al Englond had be shent.^ 
I-blessid be the tyme that ever Ood sprad that flours I 

<' Upon a Shrof Tuesday, on a grene leede,* 
Betwix Sandricche and Saynt Albons many man gan blede; 
On an Aswedynsday we levid in mykel drede, 

• This ballad if preferred in a manmcripi in the library of T^rinity 
CeUege, Dublin, from wliidi it waa copied by Sir Frederic Madden* and 
oommnnicated to the Arclueolosif, toL nil, p. 34.1. 

t The duke of York, who waa flain at Wakefield. 

Gloftory.— 1 Rouen, where Bdward was born in 1441. 2 BTory one 
3 Remored our grief. 4 Sendtnfr. ^ Destroy. 6 Intention, cidcavour. 
7 RuincJ- ^ A prreii pi. tin. 


Than cam the Rose of Rone downe to halp os at onre node, 
be the tjme that eyer Ood tprad that flonie I 

** The northen men made her host, whan thei had done that dede, 
< We wol d welle in the southe cuntrej, and take al that we nede ; 
These wifes and hur doaghten oure pnrpoee shal thei spede.' 
Than seid the Rose of Rone, * Nay, that werk shal I forbede.' 
Blessid be the tjme that ever Ood sprad that floare 1 

<< For to save al Englond the Rose did his entent* 
With Calajs and with Londone, with Essex and with Kent; 
And al the southe of Englond nnto the watyr of Trent; 
And whan he saw the tjme best, the Rose from London went. 
Blessid be the tyme that erer Ood sprad that flonrel 

" The way into the northe cnntr^ the Rose fol fast he sought. 

With hym went the Ragged Staf, that many man dere bought ; 
, 80 than did the White Lyon,* ful worthely he wrooght, 
Almighti Jhesa blesse his sonle that tho' armes oogfatl* 
And blessid be the ^me that erer Ood sprad that flonre I 

<< The Fiashe Hokef oam into the felde with fnl egra mode;' 
80 did the Comysshe Chowghet and brought forthe alie hir 

Ther was the Blak Ragged 8taf,§ that is bothe trewe and goode. 
The Brideld Horse, the Watyr Bouge|| by the Horse stode. 
Blessid be the tjmB that erer Ood ^red that flours! 

<< The Orehound and the Hertes Hede, thei quyt hem wele that 
80 did the Harow of Caunterbury, and Clynton with his Kay ; 
The White Ship of Brystow, he feryd' not that fray. 
The Blak Ram of Cotentr^ he said not one nay. 

Blessid be the tyme that oyer Ood spred that floure 1 

• Tliediikeof NorfoUi. whose baaaer boie a white lios. 

t Lord Palooabeis* 

} This wti the eognixaiiee of John lord Scropo of Bolton. 

I Bdmitad lord Grey of Rnthyn, alUrwarda earl of Keat 

I Suppotod to bo Henry viscount Booehier, afterwuds oeri of Essex. 

GlMMry.~.l Those. 2 Possessed. 3 Sharp mood. 4 Brood. & Feared. 


** The Fawcon aod the Fetherlok* was ther that tyde* 
The Blak BuUe also hymself he wold not hyde ; 
The Dolfyn cam fro Walys, iij. Carpis be his syde. 
The prowde Libert* of Salesbory, he gapid his gomes* wide. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God spred that floare ! 

" The Wolf cam fro Worcetre, fal sore he thought to byte. 
The Dragon cam fro Glowcestre, he bent his tayle to smyte ; 
The Griffon cam fro Leycestre , fleyng in as tyte,' 
The George cam fro Notyngham with spere for to fyte. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God spred that fioore ! 


The Boris Hede fro Wyndesover, with tosses^ sharp and kene, 
The Estriche Fader was in the felde, that many men myght 

The Wild Rat fro Norhamptone, with hor brode nose* 
Ther was many a fayre pynone* wayting upon the Rose. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God spred that floure I 

** Tlie northen party made hem strong with spere and with 
shelde ; 
On Palmesonday a£fVer the none thei met us in the felde ; 
Within an owre thei were right fayne to fle, and eke to yelde, 
xxyij. thousand the Rose kyld in the felde. 

Blessid be the tyme that ever God spred that floure I 

** The Rose wan the victorycy the feld» and also the chace ; 
Now may the housband in the southedwclle in his owne place ; 
His wif and eke his faire doughtre, and al the goode be has; 
Soche menys^ hath the Rose made, by vertu and by grace. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floare ! 

• This and one or two of (he othen tppear to hare been different badget 
borne by Tariooa parties of Edward'e own feudal retainen. Men of 
Ludlow were probably in the battle, who had to rerenge not only the 
general cause, but the plundering of the town by the Laneastxians on a 
former occasion. 

G/oit<7ry.— l Leopard. 2 Gums. 3 Quick I v. 4 Tusks. 5 Sec 6 Pen« 
non« flag. 7 Such means. 


** The Rom cam to London fnl ryally* rydyng, 
ij. erchebisshops of England thei crooned the Roee kyng; 
Almighti Jhesu save the Rose, and geve hjm his blcssjng, 
And al the reme* of England joy of bis crownjng, 

That we may blesse the tyme that eyer God sprad that fionre ! 

Ameny pur eharite. 

In the summer after his coronation king Edward made 
a tour through the southern parts of the kingdom^ b^inning 
at Canterbury, and passing through Winchester, and other 
phices until he reached Bristol, where he was received 
with unusual rejoicings. At the Temple Gate he beheld a 
figure representing William the Conqueror, who was made 
to address him in the following doggrell verse, — 

*^ Wellcome, Edwarde, onre son of high degr£ ! 

Many yeeris hast thou lakkyd owte of thb londe. 
I am thy forefader, Wylliam of Normandye, 

To see thy welefare here through Ooddys send." 

A giant over the gate appeared in the act of delivering up 
the keys. As the king marched into the town, other 
pageants were ready to receive him, and prove the attach- 
ment of the citizens to his person. While he remained 
here^ Sir Baldwin Fulford and other Lancastrians were 
brought before him, and beheaded on the 9lh of September. 
The king soon after left Bristol to prepare for his first 
parliament, which met at London in the beginning of 

A oontemporary writer observes that on this occasion, 
"forsomoche as he fande in tyme of nede grete comforth 
in his comyners, he ratyfied and confermyd alle the 
fiaunsches yeve to dteis and townes, &c. and graunted to 
many cyteis and townes new fraunschesses more than was 
graunted before, rygfate laxgly, and made cfaartouia thereof, 
to the entent to have the more good wille and love in his 
londe/** Among the towns which had supported the 

GfoMary.-^l Rnyally. 2 Realm. 

• WariiworUi*t Chronicle, ed. UtUiwell, p. 2. 


interests of the house of York^ none had been more staunch^ 
and few had suffered more severely^ than Edward's own 
town of Ludlow. On the 7th of December in the first 
year of his reign, (1461) he rewarded the townsmen witib a 
charter which greatly extended their franchisesy and the 
preamble states that it was given in consideration of ** the 
laudable and gratuitous services which our beloved and 
faithful subjects the burgesses of the town of Ludlow, have 
rendered unto us in the obtaining of our right to the crown 
of England, for a long time past withheld from us and our 
ancestors, in great peril of their lives ; and also the rapines, 
depredations, oppressions, losses of goods, and other griev- 
ances, for us and our sake in divers ways brought upon 
them by certain of our competitors;" the king ''being 
desirous for the amelioration and relief of our town aforesaid, 
and of the burgesses and inhabitants in the same, to 
bestow our grace and favour on the same burgesses." 

To understand the benefits conferred by this charter, it 
will be necessary to trace rapidly the gradual progress of 
the place firom a small assembly of fireemen and traders 
who sought protection under the walls of the formidable 
castle to a populous borough. We have seen that before 
the end of the twelfth century the inhabitants had become 
numerous, and that the town was defended by walls with 
the repair and defence of which we find them diaiged at an 
early period. At first they would be obliged to live 
in a state of galling dependence on their feudal lord, taxed 
at his caprice, and involved in constant troubles by their 
resistance to the extortions or oppressions of his officers. 
But the lord would in course of time see that it was his 
own interest to protect and encourage them, and they 
would obtain for a momentary sacrifice a part of the 
franchises enjoyed by the older and more independent 
municipal corporations. This is the simple history of the 
origin of many of our borough towns. The townsmen 
would buy of their lord the right of taxation for a fixed 
rent, or fee farm ; they would obtaiu exemption from his 


interference in their internal disputes^ with the right of 
judging their own causes; and they would have officers of 
their own appointment, or at least only subjected to the 
approval of their lord. 

Until the charter of Edward IV, the town of Ludlow 
held aU its rights and franchises by grant from the lord of 
the manor. At what period the inhabitants first received 
the title of burgesses is unknown, but they must have 
been incorporated, and have enjoyed a certain share of 
independent rights, early in the thurteenth century, for the 
grant of pasture on Whitcliffe by Jordan of Ludford, of a 
date anterior to the year 1241, is made '' to all the 
burgesses and men of Ludlow,*' and in return for it, it is 
stated that ** the burgesses of Ludlow have granted unto me 
and to my heirs, and to all the men of my housdiold, fredy 
to buy and sell in the town of Ludlow, in fairs and out <^ 
fiurs, without any custom given." Li the STth of Henry 
VI, a charter was granted by Bichard duke of York, as tl^ 
feudal lord, in which it is stated that there had been 
"before time out of memory an ancient government in the 
said town, consbting of twelve and twenty-five burgesses of 
the said town, and that the same twelve and twenty-five 
burgesses ruled and governed the said town, and were the 
body of the said town,'' which government the duke 
confirmed by the said charter. Their acts hovrever appear 
to have required the consent and approval of the lord, as in 
the following old order, printed in the book of charters, from 
the municipal archives. 

''Ye shall understand the ordinance made and granted 
by Richard late duke of York, whose soul God save, and 
by the twelve and twenty-five of this town, that no manner 
crafl make no foreign brother, but it be a man of this same 
town, dwelling and occupy the same craft that he is made 
brother of, under payne of x. li., so as it plainly appeareth 
under the said dukes seal and the common seal of the 
town, to be forfeit as ought times as it may be proved. 

''Also it is ordered by the $aid duke and twelve and 


twenty-five^ that no burgess^ chansel, or resident were no 
loides clothe^ nor gentlemen on pain of forfeiture of his 
buxgesship, and he be burgess, and all others to be at a fine 
after the discretion of the said twelve and twenty-five, and 
also their bodies to prison, and there to abide the deliverance 
of the council of the said town. 

** Also it is ordered by the said duke and council that no 
man within the town dwelling, disobey no ordinance made 
by the twelve and twenty -five, under the payne aforesaid. 

" Also the twelve and twenty-five have ordained that all 
manner men that be or hereafter shall be empanelled in 
any inquest of debte, or tresspass, detenue or covenant 
broke, that thei appear under pain of two-pence each of 
them the first day, the second day four-pence, the third day 
six-pence, and so every day to increase the amerciament 
two-pence, till they appear, and it to be recevyd without 
any favour for the debtors." 

The charter of Edward IV relieved the borough from all 
feudal dependence, and gave to the inhabitants the manor 
of the town, with the absolute right of managing their own 
affieurs, and electing their own officers, without any foreign 
interference, by fee-farm, that is, for ever, on condition of 
an annual payment of twenty-four pounds thirteen shillings 
and four pence, which was not a large sum in comparison 
with the fee-farm of other towns similarly situated. The 
king also grants to the town ''a gUda meroatoria (mer- 
chant gild), with a company of merchants and other 
customs and liberties appertaining to the gild aforesaid, 
that no person who shall not be of that gild shall transact 
any merchandise in the town aforesaid, or the suburbs of 
the same, except by the licence and consent of the same 
burgesses.'* The remainder of the charter gives to the 
burgesses more extensive liberties and privileges than were 
enjoyed by many boroughs of much greater antiquity and 
importance. In 147tS, a second charter was granted, to 
relieve the town from souio grievances >vhich seem to have 
occurred in the payment of the fee-farm into the king's 
2 T 


exchequer. The whole tenor of these charters shows that 
the town of Ludlow enjoyed the especial fayour of king 

Many other acts prore Edward's partiality for this town 
and its neighbourhood; but after his throne seemed to be 
firmly established, he began to show his real character, and 
became selfish and tyrannical, and his popularity rapidly 
dimtniBhed. Many of his supporters, sudi as Warwick, 
were as selfish as himself; and thinking themselves abridged 
of the emoluments and honours for which chiefly they had 
fought, ihey began to desert his cause. In 1409, the 
general discontent broke out in an insurrection in the 
north, and the king was obliged to call upon his family 
fiiends in Wales to support him. William lord Herbert, 
whom the king had created earl of Pembroke after the 
attainder of Jasper Tudor (now an exile), raised a consider- 
able army of Wekhmen, and marched against them, but 
the Welshmen were defeated with great slaughter near 
Banbury, and their leader was taken and beheaded* The 
insurrection was only repressed by the intermediation of 
the earl of Warwick. From this time one intrigue followed 
another until in 1470 king Edward was obliged to take 
refuge mth the duke of Burgundy. He returned, however, 
after only about five months absence, and regained the 
crown almost as quickly as he had lost it It was secured 
to him by the decisive battle of Bamet, on the 14th of April, 
1471, in which the earl of Warwick — ^the king-maker — 
was slain. 

The Welsh appear to have been still divided by their 
feudal animositiea. Only two years before they had marched 
with an earl of Pembroke of Edward's making — a Herbert 
— ^to fight the Lancastrian insuigents. Some of the Wekh 
chiefs had raised their men, joined Edward on his return, 
and fought with him in the battle of Bamet. But a rival 
earl of Pembroke, Jasper Tudor, the same who had been 
defeated by Edward at MortimcrV CVoss, and who had 
fought in the Lancastrian cause in Wales in 1468, was now 


raising an army in that country to join queen Margaret, 
who had landed at Weymouth, collected the remains of 
Warwick's army^ and was marching towards the border. 
King Edward overtook her at Tewkesbury on the 4th of 
May, and the Lancastrians were again entirely defeated, 
on which Jasper Tudor disbanded his army and fled. In 
the midst of these troubles we can have no doubt that the 
border must have been a scene of confusion and violence. 

Of this indeed there are abundant proofs in the records 
of the time. In all parts of the kingdom^ people took 
advantage of the political divisions of the state to rob and 
oppress one another under pretence of imaginary acts of 
treason or partisanship, and this was more especially the 
case on the borders of Wales, where the Welshmen were 
still on the watch for every opportunity of plundering their 
neighbours. In the parliament of 1472, the commons 
petitioned the king to '' considre the intollerable extorsions, 
oppressions, and wronges, that to youre subjettes daily been 
put, and in especiall in the parties of this youre land 
adjoynyng the contr£ of Wales, which by the outeragious 
demeanyng of Walsshmen, favoured under such persons as 
have the kepyng of castelles and other places of strengh 
there, as it is supposed, been wasted, and likely utterly to 
be distroyed.*** Immediately after the opening of this 
parliament, on the 6th of October, 147S, the king created 
his eldest son prince Edward, then a mere in&nt, prince 
of Wales and earl of the county palatine of Chester, and, 
probably to afford a remedy to the evils complained of, 
almost immediately sent him and his younger brother to 
the castle of Ludlow, in company with his half brothers, 
the marquis of Dorset and Sir Richard Grey, and under 
the guardianship of his uncle, Antony Widville earl Rivers. 
Hall, whose chronicles of these events wc have cited a few 
pages back, tells us the royal child was tent to Ludlow 
*' for justice to be doen in the marches of Wales, to the end 

* Rol r«rl. to), ti, p. S. 


that by the authoritie of hys presence the wilde Welahe* 
menne and evill disposed personnes shotdd refrain from 
their accustomed mmthers and outrages." The prince's 
ooundlj OTer which Alcock, bishop of Woroester, was 
appointed president^ were actiyely occupied in carrying 
into effect these objects. In the following official letter,* 
dated in 1476, when the prince was still hardly four years 
of age, we find his two half brothers occupied in putting 
down one of these not unfrequent acts of turbulence. 

** To onr trusty and welbeloved the baillies of Shrewsbury, 
and to either of them* 

** By the prmoe. 

** Trusty and welbeloTed, we grete you wele. And where 
as often^rmes hertofor ther have be made as well unto our 
moost drad lords and fadre, as unto us, greet and haynes 
complaynts of robberies, murdres, manslaughters, raTysshments 
of women, brennyng of houses, and othir horrible dedys and 
misbehayyngs, by thenhabitants of the Marches adjoinant unto 
you; and in especiall now late greet murdrs, brennyng, and 
manslaughter doon by errant theves and rebellions of Oswestre 
hundred and Chirkes lend in dupite of my said lords and 
fadres lawbs and us, as the said misdoers fere nor shame opynly 
to sey, as we be credibly enformcd. For the redresse of the 
same, my said lords and fadre hath commanded us by his 
speciall lettres to assemble and reise his liege people, and to se the 
punisshment of the said malefactours* For thezeoution wherof 
we have substitute our right entierly and welbeloved bretbem 
ulerynes Thomas Markes Dorset and Richard Grey, knight* 
with power sufficient unto thoes parties. Wherfor we desire 
and pray you, and natheless in my said lordes name charge 
you, that fortwith, uppon the sight of this our writyng, ye do 
make opyn prodamacion in our said lords and (adres name, 
that all manner men within your bailly weke betwix Ix. and xvj. 
arredie themselis, sufficiendy hameysed, and drawe toward our 
said bretbem, there to give their attendaunce in all hast possible. 

* rriuti'd ill 0\icu and Dlakc\\M*s lliitor}- of Shrcwftlury, >oL i, 
p. 252. 


And that ye ne faile herof as ye will answere to my said lorde. 
And that je put you in effectual devoir to se that vitelera 
purvey and bring brede, ale, flessh, and other vitail for the 
sostentacion of our seid brethem and their fclawship, and they 
shal be wole and truly content therfor. Yeven nndre our 
signet, at the castle of Lndlowe, the viij. day of June." 

The two princes remained at Ludlow during the life of 
their father. We find them paying visits to Shrewsbury in 
1478 and 1480. On king Edward's death in 1488, they 
were still at Ludlow Castle, under the guardianship of 
their maternal uncle, lord Rivers, and their half brother, 
lord Richard Grey, and were immediately recalled to 
London to perish there within a few weeks, amid the 
mysterious events which attended the accession of Richard 
XXL to the throne. After having celebrated at Ludlow the 
then high festival of St. George's day, they left that town 
on the 24th of April, 1483, on their way to the capitaL 

Immediately after his coronation, king Richard made a 
progress towards the west He passed through Oxford 
to Gloucester, a city which had always been devoted to his 
family, and in which he was now received with great 
rejoicings. He reached Tewkesbury on the 4th of August, 
and thenoe passed on to Worcester, Warwick, Coventry, 
Leioester, Nottingham, Doncaster, and to York, where he 
was extremely popular, and his arrival was welcomed with 
extraordinary splendour and festivities. Several of the 
towns through which he passed obtained new and favourable 
charters of their municipal liberties. He reached York 
about the end of August, and remained there nearly a 
fortnight On his way to his capital, he receiyed at 
Lincoln the news of the treacherous rebellion of the duke 
of B^<?kipghBm. 

The brndeis of Wales had become important at this 
period from the position taken by the powerful Welsh 
family of the Tudors ngainst the reigning dynasty* The 
duke of Buckingham had great power in Wales and in 


Shropshire, in which latter county he held the castle and 
estates of Caus, as the representative of the ancient family 
of Corbet. He raised his standard at his castle of Breck- 
nock, on the 18th of October, and immediately advanced 
towards Worcester, but at Weobley his p r ogress was arrested 
by unusual floods ; and he was kept so long at this place, 
that his Welsh followers, discouraged by the tidings of the 
king's preparations and approach, disbanded and returned 
to their native mountains. The duke left Weobly in 
disguise, a fugitive, and was concealed for a few days in 
the neighbourhood of Wem, by Ralph Banestre, Esq. of 
Laoon, but he was discovered, and arrested by sir Thomas 
Mytton, the sheriff of Shropshire, a staunch adherent of 
the family of York, who carried him to Shrewsbury, and 
he was thence sent to Salisbury, where he was beheaded 
on the 2nd of November. Richard shewed his gratitude 
to the town of Shrewsbury, for the fidelity it had shown to 
him on this occasion, by remitting a part of its fee-farm. 
To sir Thomas Mytton die king gave the duke's castle and 
manor of Cans. 

The border was deeply implicated in the last scene of 
Richard's brief reign, for many of the chief families stood 
firm to the cause of their monarch, and some sealed their 
fidelity with their blood on the fatal field of Bosworth. 
Shrewsbury, under sir Thomas BIytton, made an ineffiectual 
attempt to arrest the progres s of die successful pretender to 
the throne, in his march from Wales. 

The sanguinary struggle between the two rival femilies 
of York and Lancaster ended in the person of Henry VII. 
It left the country exhausted and demoralised. The borders 
of Wales continued still a scene of turbulence and riot, which 
the laws seem to have been insufficient to suppress; and 
amid the few records of local events at this time we find 
the names of some of the best families connected with deeds 
of violence and injustice. In 1487, an act of parliament 
was passed against the Kinnstons of Shroiishirr, ** for th<* 
greate abhomynation as well of murthers as of robborieSy 


and Other greate and inordynat offences, commytted and 
done by Thomas Keneston, Humfrey Keneston, Olyver 
Keneston, and Richard Keneston, late of the conutie .of 
Shropshire, gentilmen, as to oure sovereygn lorde the kyng 
credebly ys shewed, [wherefore] oure sovereygne lorde hath 
dyrecte his dyvers lettres of pryv^ seales, to the said Thomas, 
Humfray, Olyvere, and Richard Keneston, as well with 
prodamacion as otherwise ; the whiche privy seales, obsty- 
natly, oontrarie to their true allegeaunce and fealt^, they 
have disobeyed, to the greate contempt of his highness, and 
most periloos and grerous ensample of all other his sub- 
gettes.'** Only four years later, in 1491, a similar act was 
directed against one of the Crofts : — '' Forasmuche as 
Thomas Crofte commytted a detestable murdre within the 
Marches of Wales, at the tyme of the bejrng of the kyng 
our soTereign lordes late progresse, and therupon is fledde, 
and hath taken the sajrntuary of Beaudeley. Be it 
ordeyned, stablished, and enacted by the kyng oure said 
sovereign lorde, by the assent of the lordys spiritual and 
temporall, and the comens, in this present parliament 
assembled, and by auctoriti^ of the same, that all lettres 
patentee, giftes, and grauntes, made by the kyng our 
sovereign lorde unto the said Thomas Crofte, of the office 
of rangership of the foreat of Wichewode, in the oountie of 
Ozon, and of every other office and offices whiche he had, 
as well within the realme of England, as in Wales, and the 
Marches of the same, by whatsoever name or names the 
same Thomas Crofte be named or called in the said lettres 
patentee, giftes, or grauntes or the same offices, or any of 
theym be named or called in any suche lettres patentee, 
giftes, or grauntes, be, from the first day of this present 
parliament, utterly voide, and of no force, virtue, nc effccte.*'t 
In the progress alluded to the king, after visiting the 
north, had passed along the border, visiting Worcester, 

• Rolls of Parliamcnl. vui. vi, p. lO't. 
t lb. p. 441. 


Hereford, Gloucester and Bristol, in the coarse of which 
it is probable that he was received at Ludlow. The ineffi- 
ciency of justice in this part of the kingdom was caused 
not <mly by the feuds and turbulence of the inhabitants, 
but in many cases by the conflicting rights of jurisdiction 
still held on the lands of the old lords marchers ; and so 
late as the year 1535, four acts passed in one parliament 
show us that then Wales and its Marches must have been 
much in the same state that Ireland is at the present day. 
These were ** an act for punishment of perjury of jurors 
in the lordships merchers in Wales;" ''an act that 
murders and felonies done or committed within any lordship 
mercher in Wales shall be enquired of at the sessions holden 
within the shire grounds next adjoining, with many good 
Ofdzes for ministration of justice there to be had ;" " an 
act for punishment of Welshmen attempting any assaults or 
affirays upon any of the inhabitants of Here£ GIouc. and 
Shropshire;' and ''an act for purgation of convicts in 

Henry YII followed the example of Edward IV in 
sending his infant son, Arthur prince of Wales, bom in 
1486, to keep his court at Ludlow Castle, under the guar- 
dianship of a distant kinsman. Sir Rhys ap Thomas. The 
king appears to have paid frequent visits to Ludlow while 
his son remained there; but in April 1502, his sympathies 
with the border were cut of by the untimely death of the 
young prince, in whom all the best hopes of the kingdom 
had been centered. 


The Dissolution of Monasteries, 

DURING ages of political turbulence, like those of 
which we have had to speak, it is not to be wondered at if the 
condition of the border counties had been totally changed. 
Repeated attainders and confiscations had destroyed nearly 
all the great families who had been settled here in the 
earlier Norman times, and new names of land-holders had 
taken the place of those which are found in the records of 
the thirteenth century. The Tudor dynasty was now 
pursuing its favourite policy of suppressing the old feudal 
aristocracy of the IsxA—pareere subfeetis, ei debellare 
stgmios—and we find families which, a few generations 
before, had been little more than retainers or servants of the 
Norman barons, suddenly becoming the lords of the soil. 
But a still greater revolution in society was now ap- 
proaching, the natural consequence of an event which may 
be considered truly as the finishing blow given to the feudal 
system. From the twelfth century, the monastic Establish- 
ments which had arisen in every part of the island, had 
been gradually absorbing the landed property, and the 
richest portions of the great feudal estates had under one 
pretence or other been conferred upon them. So long as 
the Romish religion held absolute sway in the land, the 
monks looked upon the representatives of their benefactors 
as their patrons and feudal lords, took part with them in 
their friendships and enmities, and sent to the field under 
their banners, from duty or from inclination, the soldiers 
which their lands ought to furnish. But the case was 
widely changed, when the monasteries were suppressed 
by the stem hand of the eighth Henry. The monastic 
possessions were not restored to the descendants of those 
who had bestowed them, nor reunited to the baronial 
estates of which they had originally made a \mt, but they 
2 u 


were distributed rather lavishly among a host of private 
gentry^ devoted to the new order of things, whom the new 
.dynasty loved to raise upon the ruins of the old institutions, 
and whom in the same degree the aristocracy feared and 
hated as upstarts and natural enemies. The men thus 
brought forward upon the stage became the foundation of 
that class of society to which succeeding ages have given 
the title of the English gentry. In more ancient times, the 
feudal land-holders could raise armies with much greater 
facility than their sovereign, who was thus obliged in 
turbulent times to depend upon one part of his nobles to 
defend him against the other, and the balance of power was 
kept or broken, as it was on a larger scale among the 
sovereign states of Europe, according to the family alliances 
or political coalitions of the nobles among themselves. 
IVo or three offimded or dissatisfied baions, raising their 
dependant tenantry and joining their fbroes together, found 
little difficulty in overawing their sovereign. But afler the 
dissolution c^ the monasteries, sneh coalitions were no 
longer practicable; for where formerly the feudal superior 
could raise his men secretly and unopposed through the 
whole extent of his broad territory, now he found an 
independent gentleman, whose interests were the reverse of 
his own, watching and obstructing his motions at every 
turn. We have a very remarkable instance of this in the 
rebellion of the northern lords against Eliabetb's govern- 
ment in 1509. The great chieftains of Westmoreland and 
Northumberland, from their peculiar position on the frontier, 
had kept up something of the substance of feudalism long after 
the very shadow had disappeared from the southern districts 
of England, and they had the rashness to imagine that they 
might do as their ancestors had done, and that by raising 
their numerous tenantry and marching direct to the south, 
they could take their sovereign by surprise, and awe the 
crown as it had been awed of old. But Uiey had overiooked 
the importance of the opposition they were to encounter at 
their own gates by the Boweses, and the Gargraves, and a 


number of other bold and active houses which had been 
planted on the ruins of the inactive monasteries ; and this 
opposition kept them sufficiently engaged till the crown 
had assembled a force which it was useless to war against. 
The only result was the confiscation of the great estates of 
the north, and the extinction of the last spark of feudalism. 
The monastic establishments contained within themselves 
from the very nature of their construction, the germs of 
those corruptions and vices which ultimately led to their 
destruction. The exposure of these corruptions at the 
time of the Reformation was no new discovery. The 
traditions of centuries had condemned them, and by their 
own voice, as well as by that of society at large. They 
were social evils, which could only be tolerated under the 
peculiar circumstances of remote times. As early as the 
twelfUi century (previous to which we know little of their 
eflfoct on society beyond what is told us by their own his- 
torians, and that is far from favourable) the cry against the 
monkish orders was loud and general, and their charac- 
teristics are stated to have been unbounded pride, and luxury, 
and covetousness. Of course there are exceptions to every 
thing. But two or three of the serious and trust-worthy 
writers of the times have preserved facts relating to the 
monastic bodies which disclose such a picture of selfishness 
and crime as is not easy to be imagined ; and the constant 
repetition of laws for the repression of these abuses, in 
the fiiequent councils of the church, show that those laws 
were wanted and at the same time that they were inef- 
fectual It would not be easy to draw a more extraordinary 
picture of petty, litigious, selfish worldliness under the garb 
of religion, than that revealed by Josceline de Brakclonde 
in his history of the domestic affairs of his own monastery 
of St. Edmundsbury during a few years of the twelfth 
century, and it was no solitary example. In the thirteenth 
century, the period through which the monastic orders 
were increasing rapidly, the popular feeling against them 
was becoming more intense and more general. Volumes 


might be filled with the satirical writings of which, 
this age, the monkish vices were the butt. An 
poem of the earlier part of the fourteenth century, describing 
the abuses which had crept into society, assures us that — 

— ** These abbots and priors do against their rights ; 
Thej ride with hawk and hoand, and counterfeit knights. 
They should leave such pride and be religious ; 
But now is pride master in every ordered house ;* 

Religion is evil held» and fareth the more amis ." 

Of the charity by which it has been pretended that the 
numks were distinguished, this writer says— 

** For if there come to an abbey two poor men or three. 
And ask of them help for holy charity, 
Scarcely will any do his errand,t either young or old, 
But let him oower there all day in hunger and in cold, 

and starve* 
Look what love there is to God, whom they say that they 

But if there arrive at the same time a great man's servant, 
with a message of another kind, — 

** He shall be led into the hall and be made full warm 

about the maw ; 
And God's man stands there outside, sorry is that law. 

** Thus is God now served throughout religion ;| 
There is he all too seldom seen in any devotion ; 
Sis household is unwelcome, come they early or late; 
The porter hath commandment to keep them without the gate» 

in the fen.|| 
How may they love the Lordi that serve thus his men." 

* Thai i% hoa m of aU oiden of moakfl. I bavo modoniiod tho 
Ungoafo of thia poon, at it is fttlimr obseuro to geneial veadon. 

t Thai ii, litiea to the potitioa which the poor maa hia broosht. 

I RtligioH was the Icrm uic«1 to express the monasUc body at largo. 

I la the mud. 


Their strictness of life was mere outside show : — 

** This is the penance that monks do for their lord's love : 
They wear socks in their shoes and felted boots above; 
They have forsaken for Ood's love both hanger and cold ; 
But he have his hood and cap farred* he is not i-told 
(reckoned of any nforthj^ 

in the convent ; 
But certainly pride of wealth hath them all ablent (bonded), 

" Religion (monaehism) was first founded hardness for to 

drie (suffir); 
And now is the most part tamed to ease and gluttony. 
Where shall men now find fatter or redder of leres (eounie- 

Or better faring folk, than monks, canons, and friars ; 

In every town 
I know no easier life than is religion." 

The friars are here described as worse eyen than the 
monks, and as to their humility and charity, — 

** If a poor man come to a friar to ask shrift {ab9ohUwn\ 
And there come a richer and bring him a gift ; 
He {the loiter) shall into the refectory and be made full glad. 
And the other stands outside, as a man that were made * 

in sorrow \ 
Tet shall his errand be undone till the next morrow."* 

It was more than half a century after this, that the 
inimitable Chaucer painted his monk 

'* An ontFiydere, that loved venerye ; 
A manly man, to ben an abbot able« 
Ful many a deynt6 hors haddo he in stable : 
And whan he rood, men might his bridel heere 
Gyngle in a whistlyng wynd so deere. 
And eek as lowd as doth the chapel belle." 

* This curious porm i< printed in it^ original form in my Political 
Songs, pp. 323—345. 


And after speaking of his contempt for the letter of the 
^* rule" under which he lived, the poet goes on to describe 
him as, — 

** Therefore he was a pricasour aright : 
Greyhoondes he hadde as swifte as fowel in flight: 
Of prikjng and of hontjng for the hare 
Was al his lost, for no cost wolde he spars. 
I sangh his slerss, purfiled atte hond 
With grys, and that the fynest of a lend* 
A.nd for to festne his hood nndur his chjn 
He hadde of gold y-wroaght a carious pyn : 
A love-knotte in the gretter ende ther was* 
His heed was ballid, and schon as eny glas. 
And eek his face, as he hadde be anoynt. 
He was a lord fol fiit and in good poynt. 
His eyen steep, aod roUyng in his heed* 
That stemed as a fomeys of a leed. 
His bootes soaple, his hers in grst estat. 
Now oerteinly he was a Cur prslat. 
He was not pale as a for>pyned goost. 
A fat swan loved he best of any roost" 

Chaucer's friar was equally distinguished : — 

** His typet was ay fiusad fol of knyfes 
And pynnes, for to give hire wyfes. 
And oertayn he hadde a mery noote. 
Wei oonths he synge and pi^e on a rote. 
Of yeddynges he bar nttnriy the prys. 
His nekke whit as the flonr-da-lys. 
Therto he stnmg was as a championn. 
He knew wel the taveraes in eveiy tonn. 
And eveiy ostiUer or gay tapstere. 
Bet than a laier, or a beggere, 
For onto sneh a worthi man as he 
Accorded not* as by his facdtt. 
To have with sike lazars aqueyntannce. 
It u not honest, it may not avanncc, 
For to delen with such poraile, 


But al with riche and sellers of yitulle. 
And over al, tber profjt schulde arise, 
Cartejs he was, and lowe of servyse. 
Ther was no man nowher so yertuoos. 
He was the beste begger in al his hous : 
For though a widewe hadde but oo schoOi 
So pleasaunt was his Inptinc^no^ 
Yet wolde he have a ferthing or he wente. 
His pnrehace was bettur than his rente* 
And rage he couthe and pleje as a wbelpe. 
In love-dayes ther couthe he mocbil helpe. 
For ther was he not like a clojsterer, 
With a thredbare cope, as a pore scoler. 
But be was like a maister or a pope. 
Of double worstede was his semj-cope. 
That rounded was as a belle out of a presse/ 
Somwhat he lipsede, for wantounesse. 
To make his Englissch swete upon his tnnge; 
And in his harpjng, whan that he hadde range. 
His eyghen twynkeled in his heed aright, 
As don the sterres in the firostj night.^ 

No part of England could boast so many monastic 
establishments, in proportion to its extent, as the Welsh 
border, and it was here, as we have already seen, that the 
spirit of reform showed itself as early, and as actiyely, as in 
any part of the island. In the middle period, between the 
anonymous poet quoted above and Chaucer, a border satirist, 
the writer of the Visions of Piers Ploughman, painted the 
monastic vices in colours almost more Uack than they are 
described in any of the exti-acts given above. It was he 
who uttered the remarkable prophecy of the vengeance 
which was to fall upon them, and which we are now going 
to see fulfilled in the sweeping measures of the reign of 
Henry VIII. This border poet and satirist tell us that, — 

** Now is religion (t. e. numaehism) a rider, 
A roamer about, 
A leader of love*days. 


And a land-buyer, 

A pricker on a palfrey 

From manor to manor, 

A heap of hounds at hia tail 

As he a lord were, 

Ajid unless his knave kneel 

That shall his cup bring, 

He lours on him, and asks him 

Who taught him courtesy/' 

But says this deep seeing reformer^ — 

** There shall come a king. 
And confess yon rdigiouses {manks)^ 
And beat you as the bible telleth 
For breaking of your rule ; 
And amend moniab {nu$u)f 
Monks and canons. 
And put to their penance. 

** And then shall the abbot of Abingdon, 
And all his issue for ever. 
Have a knock of a king, 
And incurable the wound.'' 

The popular feeling against the monks is still more 
strongly expressed in a satirical poem of the beginning of 
the fifteenth century, entitled Piers Ploughman's Creed, 
which it is not improbable was also composed on the 
Border, where the spirit of Wycliffism had shown itself 
strongly, and a man named \y alter Brut, or Bright, had 
been exposed to severe persecution at Hereford for his 
doctrines. These are but prominent examples of the spirit 
which ran through a large portion of the literature of the 
day, in which the same faults and the same turpitudes are 
described as inmates of the monastic establishments as 
were confessed to by the monks themselves at the dissolu- 
tion of monasteric's, and then caused so much scandnl 
throughout Europe. 


There was nothing new in the mere fact of dissolving a 
monastery. Several instances occur at much earlier periods 
of the suppression of a religious house on account of the 
dissolute life of its inmates; and Wolsey had more recently 
dissolved a number of the smaller houses for the endowment 
of his colleges. But hitherto the ecclesiastical power had 
claimed the sole right of interfering in such cases; and 
Wolsey's proceedings, although directly authorized by the 
pope, had raised so much dissatisfieu^tion among the monks 
as to be attended in some instances with open insurrection 
and rebellion. Much greater opposition was therefore to be 
expected to the extensive dissolution now contemplated by 
die civil power. 

It must be acknowledged at the same time that many 
dicumstances combined to facilitate the suppression of 
monasteries at the moment when it was undertaken. The 
principles of the reformation had made rapid progress in 
our idand, and probably nowhere more than on the borders 
of Wales. The scene of Latimer's preaching was at BrtstoL 
The monks and friars had long ceased to be personally 
objects of respect ; their relics and their miracles began to 
be despised; and in the documents of the time they avow 
themselves that the pious offerings which had formerly 
enriched them were now so much diminished by the 
general abatement of religious seal, that they were often 
obliged to raise money by selling or pledging the crosses of 
silver and gold to which those oflforings had previously been 
made. This was more especially the case -with the fiiais, 
who, prohibited by their rule from possessing lands, were 
more dependent on pious offerings, and whose houses, at the 
eve of the reformation, were in general reduced to a state 
of penury. The doctrines of the l e for mei s had also found 
Usteneis among the monks and friars themselves, who, dis* 
gusted with tlie vices that surrounded them, lent willing 
hands towards their suppression. As early as 15S6, a 
bachelor of arts, named Garret (subsequently burnt in 
Sinithficld fur licics) ;, was bu;»ily employed in distributing 
2 X 


Lutheran books among the students at Oxford^ and the 
bishop of Lincohi, writing to Wolsey on the subject, says, 
" this Ganott also hath, I feare, corrupted the monastery of 
Redyng, for he hath dyterse tymes sent to the prior ther 
suche corrupte bookes by a poore scoUer whiche hath con- 
fessed the same, to the nombre of thre score or above, and 
receyved money of hym for them. Howe the said prior 
hath used those books, and with whome, I knowe noit.** 
The bishop adds that it was '' to be feared lesse that wycked 
man Garrott have doon lykewise in other monasteryes, to 
thinfection of them, and the prests aboute them/' The 
prior of Reading was soon afterwards committed to prison 
in the Tower of London for his advocacy of the opinions of 
Luther. When the king's visitors first went to the mo- 
nastic houses, they found many of the inmates anxiously 
looking for license to quit their order, on the plea of con- 
scientious scruples. At West Dereham in Norfolk, and 
elsewhere. Dr. Legh found many of the monks ^^ whiche 
instandy (that is, earnestly) knelyng on ther knees, howld- 
yng up ther handys, desyre to be delyvered of suche rdygyon 
as they ignorantly have taken." And to come nearer the 
border, we find a monk of Pershore, named Richard Beerly, 
supplicating in the most earnest manner to be allowed to 
leave a religion which " is all in vain gbry, and nothing 
vrorthy to be accepted neither before God nor man." For 
the monks of his house, he says, ** they drink and bowl 
after collation till ten or twelve o'clock, and come to matina 
a$ drunk a$ mice; and some at cards, some at dice and at 
tables, some come to matins beginning at the midst, and 
some when it is almost done." 

King Henry and his minister Cromwell foresaw the diffi- 
culties of the task on which they were entering, and pro- 
ceeded from the beginning with a prudence which may well 
bear the name of cunning. A searching visitation opened to 
the eyes of the public in revelling nakedness the vices of 
the rclipous houses; nnd tlic delinquencies of each monk« 
as he confessed to llieni, were entered with Iiis name in 


booksj the greater portiou of which are still preserved. 
They were voluntary confessions, their chief object being 
apparently to obtain pensions after the dissolution by this act 
of obaequiousness; and» as they are crimes which no virtuous 
man or woman would avow, whether strictly true or not, 
they are equaUy degrading to the individuals who made 
the confession, and who in most cases form a large majority' 
of their house. The smaller houses were first confiscated 
by an act of parliament. Some of the larger ones were 
•eixed upon on account of the resistance of their rulers 
to the royal will. The acknowledgment of the king's 
supremacy, and the consequent desertion of the pope, were 
•tumblingblocks which brought not a few of the heads of 
larger houses to the scafibld or to the gallows. The dissolution 
of the smaller houses had been in some places violendy 
opposed, and led to a series of rebellions in the north and 
Borth-eastem parts of the kingdom, which for a moment 
threatened the crown, and in which several of the greater 
abbots, and numerous active monks, were seriously impli* 
cated. Where no distinct charge of treason could be 
brought against an obstinate superior, the neighbourhood 
of his monastery was searched for charges against him, and 
this, unfortunately for the monastic character in the age 
of the dissolution, was seldom done in vain. 

Fewer papers have been preserved relating to the visi- 
tation and dissolution of the monasteries on the borders 
of Wales, than to tha^ of most other parts of the country ; 
and we are led to suppose that in general they were given 
up without much opposition. Among the mass of exa- 
minations and depositions relating to persons guilty of 
seditious speeches, now preserved among the Chapter House 
documents in the Rolls House, there are a few which show 
that our border was not firee from excitement and agitation, 
while they all afibrd interesting jnctures of the manners of 
the time, and of the low state of society. The eagerness 
with which individuals of the lowest rank were pcrseeuted 
for seditious s^icct'Uc^ would astuni^li u», did wc not know 


that parallelB might be found within the last fifty or sixty 
yean. On one occasion we find an actual beggar thrown 
into prison^ and formal depositions relating to him sent 
to the king's minister, because in drinking at a i^illage inn 
he had said ** he wished king Henry's head were boiled in a 
poty and he would be the fint to drink of the brotk." On 
the ISth of August, 15S5, a countryman of Crewle in 
Woroestershire, was accused of having charged the king 
with being the cause of the badness of the weather, he 
haying, on his way fit>m Worcester market, declared to one 
of his companions that, ** y t ys long of the kyng that this 
wedre is so troublous or unstable, and I wene we shall 
neyir hare better wedre whillis the kyng reigneth, and 
therfore it maketh no matter if he were knocked or patted 
on the heed." On the SSnd of September, in the same 
year, a priest named sir John Brome/ who held the 
yicarage of Stanton Lacy near Ludlow, and the curacy of 
Ludfind, was accused by certain priests of Ludlow of retain- 
ing* the pope's name in Ms service bodes, and of omitting the 
names of the king, queen, and princess, in his prayers, and 
it was deposed that when some one authorised fi>r that 
purpose erased the pope's name before his face, he told the 
man he was a fool, ** saying to hym, this worlds will not 
last ever." This belief that the extraordinary dianges now 
going on would be only of temporsry duration, was a 
pretence for many to bow their heads to the storm. In 
September, 15S6, the year of the great northern lebdlion, 
known by the title of the " Pilgrimage of Ghaoe," several 
witnesses (countrymen and women of Crewle, in Woicester- 
shire, already mentioned), deposed individually ''that the 
Sonday next before Seynt Bartilmewys day now last past, 
he was present in the house of oon Hugh Hogges, keping 
an ale house at Craule, in the seyd oonntie, smyth, in the 
company of sir Jamys Pratte, derke, vicar ther, emongee 

* Sir, the imiaUtion of the latin ^emkmu was alwmya add«d to ihm 
name of a |»crson yv]v* had taken the decree of bachelor of arts in a 


otkcTC wordos, and after other comynycacions of tlic putting 
dowiic and suppressing of the monastery or priory of Studlcy 
in Warwikcshirc, he harde the scyd sir Jamys say and 
uttore thcs wordes, That the churche went downe andwoldc 
be worse untyll thcr be a shrappe (a blow ?)y and saydo 
that he rekoned ther were xxti« m^- nygli of flote f afloat J , 
and wished ther were xxti* m^- mo, so that he were oon, and 
rather tomorrowe then the next day, ffor ther shall neverc 
be good worlde imtyll ther be a shrappe, and they that may 
ciscape that shall lyve mery inoughe." The picture of the 
vicar drinking with his parishioners in the public room 
of the tavern after his sermon on the Sunday is, it must be 
confessed, not very dignified ; one of the deponents said 
*^ tliat the seyd sir James was drynking and mery emongest 
many wyffcs and men in the hall" of the inn. On a 
Sunday in the January preceding the date last mentioned, 
according to the depositions made before the justices of the 
peace at Great Malvern (in the following June), James Asche, 
parson of Stanton in Worcestershire, said from the pulpit, 
that if the king '' dyd not go furth wyth his lawes, as he 
begon, he wold C4ill the king anticryste;" and he had 
further stated in the same pulpit, about Lent, that '' the 
king our soveraign lorde was nought, the bysshoppes and 
abbottes nought, and hymself nought to." It is not very 
clear in what sense these words were intended to be taken. 
\7e find in several of these documents the evidence that 
the rising in the north met with the sympathy of the 
monks and clergy on the border, and that they were 
mortified at its suppression. The abbot of Pershorc had 
used words to this effect in April, 15S7. One Robert ap 
Roger, examined at Wigmore on St. John's day, in the 
year last mentioned, was accused of having said, as he 
came from the church of Llaunlledawn, ** that the kyngos 
grace was out of the fayth of holye churche, bycausc he 
dyd put downe holy days, robbe saintcs, and robbe the 
churches of theyr duetcs (dues J, and sayd that if the men 
of the churche wolde ryse togedcrs, they shulde not sett a 


poynt for hym. And further saycd, it were better foi men 

of the churchc to dye in the faythe and in the rygbt of the 

churche, then to suffer the kynge to robbc thym." It also 

appears from the depositions on this occasion, that a report 

had been extensively spread abroad '' that the kynges grace 

was aboute to pull downe all the churches.'* A man in 

Cheshire was committed to prison about the same time 

for having asserted " that if the spirituall men had hoUen 

togeders^ the k}Tig cold not have byn hed of the churcbc." 

The great year of the dissolution of monastic houses was 

1538, and we are enabled to trace one party of the king*s 

commissioners in their somewhat rapid prepress through 

the border. Bichard, sufiragan bishop of Dover/ (there 

was a great number of these suffragans or titular bishops 

without dioceses, in the latter times of popish rule in this 

country), who had himself been a friar and had thrown aside 

his habit, received a commission from Cromwell at the 

beginning of the year to visit the houses of the different 

orders of friars for tlie purpose of taking their resignations. 

During the month of February, he had proceeded through 

Huntingdon, Boston in Lincolnshire, Lincoln, Grantham, 

Newark, and Grinsby, on his way to Hull, Beverley, 

Scarborough, Carlisle, and Lancaster. He describes the 

houses of friars he had then visited as '' very pore howseys 

and pore persons.*' He appears to have been occupied several 

weeks in the north, after which he returned to the midland 

counties, and passed from Northampton, by Coventry, Ather- 

stone, Warwick, Tlielesford, Droitwich, and Worcester, to 

Gloucester, at which place we find him on the S3rd of May. 

The visitor in his letter of that date, states generally that 

'' in every place ys povertey and moche schifile made with 

suche as theie had before, as jewellys selling, and other 

schiffl by leasys ;*' and he complains that at Droitwich the 

prior had 'Mn lesse than on yere that he hathc be prior 

* Tha compiler of tUe Cottoninn Catalogue^ mUrcadiag ihc signature 
Davirmi., or Z)Mwreii«., hat called thia man Richard DcTereux, and has 
been followed in the mistake by other persons. 

riiK iiisTouY 01* i.ri)i.ow. 339 

thcr, fellyil and solid vij. score good clrnys, :i cliulcs of gUlt 
of iij»x- line, and x. unc., a sensor of xxxvi. unc., ij. gret brasse 
pottys echo abull lo scthc an lioll oxc, as men sey, s^ietys, 
pannySy and other^ so that in the Iiowse ys not left on bede^ 
on schcte^ on phitcv or dische." The visitor next repaired to 
varions parts of the south of England^ and went as far as 
Winchester and Southampton^ whence he retume<l to Glou- 
cester^ and received the siurender of the friars' houses in 
that city on the 28th of July. 

Other commissioners had preceded the bishop of Dover 
in the counties of Worcester and Gloucester. Towards the 
middle of March, sir William Petre had received the resig- 
nation of the abbot of Evesham, and on the 17th of that 
month he took that of the important and powerful priory of 
Lanthony at Gloucester. Sir William says that he took 
the surrender of Lanthony as quietly as might be ; but it 
appears that the prior had been charged with vices of a 
revolting nature, of which a detailed account is given in a 
paper preserved in the Rolls House, apparently drawn up 
by one of the brotherhood. It is stated that the school- 
master, having accidently discovered the prior's behaviour, 
went immediately to expostulate with him, but met only 
with an angry reception. He then went to one of the 
brethren with whom he was intimate (it was a house of 
Austin canons), and laid his mind open to him. They 
returned together to the prior, and attempted again to talk 
mildly to him. But ''whan the priour had harde theyr 
wordes, he was sore displeased with them, insomoche that 
he commanded the scholemaister to be sette in the stockcs, 
where he sate iij. days and iij. nightis, besyde that he was 
in feare of his lyfe : and the fourth day he toke hym out of 
the stockes, and commanded hym to avoyde shortely out of 
the countrey, and never to retume thyther agayne: and 
where so ever he dwelled after, the prioiur founde the meane 
styll to dryve hym awey. And the priour made the chanon 
Austine to be put forth within prison." The writer of the 
statement concludes, '' For a due triall and profe of all the 


said matter^ yc may (if it please you) sonde for the sayd 
scholemaister, whiche nowe dwellcth in Shropshire, within 
ij. myles of Lidlowe, with one Willam Heying, servant to 
our soverayne lorde the kynge, whiche scholemaister wyll 
be alway rcdy to justific the trouthc of all this matter.** 

Tlie bishop of Dover found the two houses of friars in 
Gloucester deeply in debt, and, to use his own words, '' the 
clamor of pore men to whom the monye ys oweynge }*s to 
tedyus.** This was often the case, and in some instances 
the sale of the moveable property was not sufBcient to pay 
them. The friars, according to the report of the visitor, 
were in general eager to quit their convents and be released 
from their vows. According to the report subscribed by 
the mayor and aldermen, the surrender of the three houses 
of friars in Gloucester was entirely voluntary. In his letter 
to Cromwell of the 28th July, the visitor announces his 
intention of passing by way of Hereford to Ludlow, but he 
appears subsequently to have altered his plans, for he pro- 
ceeded immediately after the above date to Worcester, where 
he took into the king's hands tw*o houses of friars, to 
Bridgenorth where one was surrendered, to Atherstone 
where he took one, to Lichfield where he received one, to 
Stafford where he received two, to Newcastle-under-Line 
where there was a convent of Black Friars, and to Shrews- 
bury where there were three houses of friars. **If** says 
the visitor, ** tliey gave ther howseys into the kynges 
handdes for poverte, I receyvyd them, and elles non.** We 
obtain the above information from a letter of the bishop of 
Dover, dated at Shrewsbury, the ISth of Atigust, and the 
various documents among the Chapter House records in the 
Rolls House enable us to trace his doings almost at every 
step. A variety of papers in this depository prove to us 
that the different religious orders enjoyed the worst possible 
character in Worcester, and ap))arcntly with good reason. 
The two houses of priors in that city were the Black Friars 
and the Grey Friars, both, to judge by the inventories, 
tolerably well funiished, and unusually rich in churrh 


vestments and plates. The kitchens and brewhouses appear 
also better stored than in many of the inventories. In the 
Black Friars we find in — 

The kechyn. 
Item, iij. gret pottes and ij. fimalL 
Item, iij. gret pannys and iij. platters and one charger. 
Item, ij. potyngers and ij. saucers. 
Item, a flesche hoke and a trevet. 
Item, a broken gredyren and a fryenge pan. 
Item, a payer off pothokes and a lyty 11 skelet. 
Item, a longe bare of yeryn' alonge the chymny. 
Item, ij. skomers and ij. yeryn rakkes. 
Item, iij. broches. 

The kitchen of the Grey Friars was still better stored, 
for it possessed the luxury of ** a knife !** 

Item, xiij. plateres and dyschys and one sawser. 

Item, iiij. cownterfet dyschys. 

Item, a knyfe. 

Item, a brasse potte. 

Item, iij. kawdiemes.* 

Item, ij. postnettes and a skelet. 

Item, a fryeyng pan. 

Item, ij. brasse pannes. 

Item, iij. brochys and a byrd broche; 

Item, a payer off cobyrons. 

Item, a chafynge dysche. 

Item, a gpredyron. 

The visitor was at Bridgnorth on the 5th of August, and 
the following note, signed by the two bailiffs of the town, 
shows the condition in which he found the house of the 
Grrey Friars there. 

M^* Thys V. day of Auguste in the xxx. yere off kynge 
Henry the viij*** that Rycharde bysohope of Dovor, and vesytor 

GlMforsf.— 1, bar of iron. 2, caaldiont. 
2 T 


under the lorde prev y seale for the kyngcs grace, was in Bryge* 
northe, wher that the warden and heys bredem in the prenens of 
master Thomas Hall and master Randolphe Rodes* balys off 
the sayd townc, gave ther howse with all the pertenans into the 
vesytores handdes to the kynges use ; for sayd warden and 
brethem sayd that they war nott abull to Icve, for the charyt^ 
oft* the pepulle was so sroalle that in iij. yeres they had not 
rcccy vyd in almes in redy mony to the sum off x* by yere« bat 
only leve by a serves that they had in the towne in a chapell on 
the bryge. Thus the sayd vesytor receyveyd the sayd howse 
with the pertenans to the kynges use, and by indentures dely- 
▼eryd yt to us the sayd balys to kepe to the kynges use« tyll 
the kynges plesur war forther knowyn. Thys wyttenes we 
the sayd balys with other. 

per me, Thomam Halle, 
per me, RanduU Rowdes. 

At Shrewsbury there were three houses of friars, the 
Grey, Black, and Austins. The first of these had sold their 
property before the visitors came, '^ and made a grett rumor 
in the towne/* and to avoid further trouble they gave up 
their house at once. The Austin Friars was ** a howse all 
in ruyne, and the more parte falleyngc downe/' and the 
only two inmates were the prior (who is described in the 
visitor^s letter as '' a man like to be in a frenzy'*) and two 
Irishmen. The religious houses in Shrewsbury appear to 
have been generally in a decayed state. The abbot of 
Shrewsbury stood charged with grievous neglect and dilapi- 
dation of the property of the abbey. The Black Friars 
in Shrewsbury alone is described by the visitor as a 
well-ordered house, and it was not immediately suppressed. 
The following pajier, preserved in the Rolls House, relates 
to these houses. 

'< Memorandum. This xiij. day of August, in the xxx^ 
yere of ower most dred soveren lorie kyng Henry the riij**- 
Rycharde byschope of Dover, and rysytor under the lorde 
prevy seale for the kynges grace, was in Schrewysbery, where 


that ill prcsens of master Edmundc Cole and master Adam a 
Mytton, balys ther, the sayd vysytor was in all the iij. placets 
of fryers, and ther accordeynge to hys commyssyon vysyte 
the sayd howseys, and ther toke in eche place an inventory of 
all ther goodes, and commyttyd the same to the before nameyd 
balys custody, tyll the kynges plesur be forther knowyn ; and 
as towcheyng the Graye Fryeres in presens of the sayd balys 
gave ther bowse into the vysytores handdes by on assente, 
withowte any consell or coaccyon ; as towcheynge the Austen 
Fryeres ther war no more but a prior and ij. Erysche fryeres, 
and all utensylys gon, and no thynge ther to helpe the fryeres, 
not so muche as a chales to saye masse, and no man durst trost 
the prior to lende hym any, so that all that was in all the howse 
kowde not be priseyd at xzvj* viij^i* no beddeynge nor mete, brede 
nor drynke, wherfor the saydo vysytor dyschargeyd the sayd 
prior of that ofFys, and assyneyd the sayd ij. Eryschemen into 
Erlonde into ther natyve conventes, and toke that howse into 
the kynges honddes. To the Blacke Fryeres he gave certen injux* 
cyons, toke ther accounttes, and so lefte them to kepe goode 
order, and thus levynge bothe the Graye and Austen howseys 
with the pertenans and stnfie in the balys handdes by indentures, 
and so departeyd. Thys wyttenesseythe the sayd balys with 

per me, Edmund Cole, 
per me, Adam Mytton/' 

From Shrewsbury the visitors proceeded to Ludlow, but I 
have met with no papers relating to their intermediate 
progress. They were at the last-mentioned town on the 
23rd of August, when they received the surrenders of the 
only two monastic houses there. These were convents of 
Augustine and White Friars, the fonner situated near Old 
street, adjoining to what is still called Frinrs lane. It would 
appear to have been in a reduced state, for the act of resig- 
nation is signed by a prior and only three friars. 

*' Memorandum. We the prior and convent of the Austen 
Fryeres of Lodlowe, with one assente and consente, withowte 
any coaccyon or consell, do gyve ower howse into the handdes 


of the lorde vysytor to the kynges ase, desyeryng bys grace 
to be goode and gracyoos to us. In wyttenes we subsorybe 
ower namys with ower proper hande, thys xxiij^^ daye of August, 
the xxx^ yere of the rayne of ower dred soveren lorde kynge 
Henry the viij***- 

per me, Egidinm Pycurynge priorem Augustinencittin de 

per me, fratrem Johannem Pratt. 
per mei fratrem WiUelmun Higges. 
per me, fratrem Christoferum Hogeson. 

By bus the bayllyffes of Ludlow, Wylliam Yevans and 
Thomas Whelar. 

The inventory of the furniture of this house, which 
accompanies the document just given, is also a proof that it 
was not very rich : — 

The Austen Fryeres of Lndlowe dely?ered to Wyllyam 
Yevans and Thomas Wheler, balys ther. 

The 9extry. 
Item, a chesabnll and ij. tenacles of golde with ij« albes. 
Item, a syngyll vestement of blacke worstede. 
Item, a syngyll vestement of blewe damaske. 
Item, y« dde oopys. 
Item, a cope of sylke with starres. 
Item, a fayer cofer. 
Item, a chesabull and a tenaole of olde blacke velvet. 

Item, ij. olde auter* clothes. 
Item, a holy water stope, laten.* 
Item, a deske of tymber. 
Item, vj. anter clothes steyneyd, olde. 
Item, the qnere new stalleyd. 
Item, ij. fayer belles and a lytyll bell in the stepull. 

The haUe, buiiere^ and kechyn. 
Item, a lytyll tabuU and ij. trustelles* and a forme. 

Oloifoiy.— 1, Milfr, an altar. % latm, a kind of mixed metal reeembUna 
brut. S, the tnuiti wif the temporary frame on whieh the hcrtU or 
table WM laid, one tnittel aoppoiting it at each end, with intermediate 




Item, ij. oldc cupbordes». 
Item, a pan and a kctcll. 
Item, a lytyJl brasse pott. 
Item, iij. peivter platcres, oldo 
Item, a lytyll broclie. 
Item, a fayer gret cupborde. 
Item, a gret trowe.* 
Item, a tabnll and ij. formys. 
Item, fayer laveres of tynne. 

Item, a boze full of eyydens. 

And memorandum, ther rest in the vys) tores handdes a 
chales weyeynge xiij. unc. Also thcr lave to plege a crosse 
beynge coper within, all weyeyngc bothe the coper and sylver 
vj*** iz. unc, for the vrhyche the vysytor payde for the sayde 
fryeres vj*- xiiij^- j^- 

Wylljam Yevans ) 
Thomas Wheler J "^^y*- 

Ther be in renttes yerly liij"* above the owte rentes. 

The priory of St. Mary White Friars, which stood without 
the town wall, beneath the Churchyard, is described by 
Leland (who visited it just before the dissolution) as ''a 
fayre and costlie thinge,*' and appears by the following 
inventory of its furniture to have been a much richer house 
than the other, but even it had some of its goods pawned. 
The surrender, which is nearly in the same words as that of 
the Austin friars, is signed by five friars, Rycharde Wyllet, 
Humfre Wenlooke, Patricius Lester, Wyllelmus Surges, 
and Ricardus Femoll ; but there is no mention whatever of 
a prior, so that we are justified in sup]K>sing that this 
house also was reduced and dilapidated, and that it sur- 
rendered partly because it was not able to carry on. 

ones if the table were rery long. When the meal time tpproached, the 
board or table was placed en the tnistels, and thte was called loafing ik$ 
tabk; when not in use, they were put out of the way. 

O^OMory— ), irow€^ trough. 


The White Fryeres of Ludlowe delyvercd to Wyllyam Ycvans 
and Thomas Wheler, balys ther. 

The quere. 
Item, on the hey auter one auter clothe. 
Item, a steyneyd clothe before the auter. 
Item, an olde pylowe. 
Item, an olde paze with a rose. 
Item, a payer of gret candelstekes, laten. 
Item, a payer of small candelstekes, laten. 
Item, a frame for t. taperes with holies* of lede. 
Item, a frame of yeryn' for iij. taperes. 
Item, an offeryng cofer for iij. lockes. 
Item, a towel. 

Item, a fayer masse-boke, wrytyn. 
Item, a sacry bell. 

Item, ij. lectomsy tymber, with olde clothes on them. 
Item, an ymage of ower lady of pyte for the sacrament. 
Item, iij. belles in the stepnll, one more* than other. 
Item, a steyneyd clothe to hange above the aater. 
Item, a holy water stope,* laten. 
Item, the qaere well stalled rownde abowth 

The ehyrehe. 
Item, ij. tabulles of alybaster. 
Item, iij. pewes of tymber. 
Item, a longe peso of tymber for a crane. 
Item, a polpet and a forme* 
Item, a tambe* of alybaster gratyd with yeryn. 

The utter eextry. 
Item, ij. olde almery^ and an olde chest. 
Item, an olde clothe of aras to laye in the qoere. 

The inner eextry. 
Item, iij. copys of rede velvet. 

Item, a chesabuU of the same with decon and subdecon. 
Item, a cope of mottelay velvet. 
Item, iij. copys of cowers^ damaske. 
Item, a chesabuU and ij. decons of the same with albes. 

OlMforsf.—l, ftolbf, bowls. 2, y#ryii, iron. 3» Mor«, that it, greater. 
4, «*ipf, a stoup for holy water. 5, tmmh; tombe or aepnlchral moniuneiit. 
a, 9imm'f$, almoriet or ambriet, oupboards. 7, cowtn^ coarse. 


Item, for requiem masse iij. copys of blacke daroaske. 

Item, a chesabull^ blacke velvet, and ij. decons of blacke 
damaske with albes. 

Item, a chesabull of whytc fusty on with rede spottes, with 
]j. decouns of the same with albes. 

Item, 8 chesabull and ij. decons of whyte nedell worke for 
Lenty and albes to the same. 

Item, a vestement of yelowe damaske, with all thynge to yt 

Item, a vestment of cowers sylke, blewe and whyte, with 
StafTord knottes^ with all thynge to }t belongeynge. 

Item, a payer of vestementes of blew velvet, with gryffyths' 
knottesy and albes therto. 

Item, a payer of blewe vestementes of worstede and an albe. 

Item, a payer of whyte vestementes of cowers sylke. 

Item^ a vestemente of grene sylke with oystres* fetheres 
brodry worke albe and all thynge therto belongeynge. 

Item, xj. corporas casys with iij. corporas clothes. 

Item, ij. olde anter clothes, dyaper 

Item, iiij. olde frunttes for the auters. 

Item, an olde pawle of sylke. 

Item, a vayle of lynyn clothe, blew and whyte. 

Item, a clothe to hange before the rode. 

Item, iij* lytyll pylowes. 

Item, an olde blacke herseclothe, save. 


Item, ij. new parcloses* 

Item, a taball, ij. trostelles, and ij. formys. 

Item, a bedstede. 

The buiiere and kechyn. 

Item, a cnpborde and a horde. 

Item, a brasse pott. 

Item, a coper ketell. 

Item, a plater, ij. dysches, and a sawsei. 

Item, ij. cowbyerynes* and a lytyll broche. 

Item, a chafynge dysche and a skomer. 

Item, a gredyeryn. 



ThepriareB chamber. 
Item, hangcynges of red sayc and grene abowte the chamber. 
Item, a carpet. 
Item, a almery. 
Item, a tabull, a payer of trustellcs, and ij. formys. 

The upper ehamhcres. 
Item, a bedstede. 

Item, a tabnll^ ij. trustelles, and a forme. 
Item, an olde steyneyd clothe. 
Item, a fayer longe cofer. 

The other eltamberes. 
Item, a fcther bede and a bolster. 
Item, a covcrlcte and a payer of sclietcs. 
Item, a lytyll borde and ij. formys. 

Item, a lytyll caschet* full of evydrns. 

and memorandum, ther rest in the v}6y tores handdes a cbales 
and a crosse weyeynge iij'" xj. unc. Also ther laye in plege, 
8 broken senser, a chales, and a scliype, with an olde cope of 
▼elvet, for the whyche the vysytor payd for the sayd fryeres 
yijL Y». vj4. Item, the sayd vysytor payd above thya ij"» viy*« 

Wyllyam Yevans ) 
Thomas Wheler J*^^'*- 

Four days after the surrender of the religious houses in 
LudloWf on the 27th of August^ we find the bishop of 
Dover at Haverfordeast, from whence he forwarded to 
Cromwell the surrender and inventories of twenty-eight 
houses which he had dissolved in his progress. Unfortu- 
nately most of these appear to be lost, but the letter which 
accompanied them has escaped their fate. He there states 
that ** in many placeys ther ys moche clamor for dettes of 
oonventtesy so that withowte ye be goode lorde to pore men, 
many shall lese moche moneyc by the fryeres, the whyche 
woll make a grctt clamor amongc the pepull, for now I 
have moche besyncs to satysfye the {lepuU for dettes. They 
say that yt ys not the kynges plesur that pore men shulde 

GJbMory.-^l eu§ehH, t cttket 


lose ther monye, with many worddes ; but by feyer menys 
I satysfye them; sum I make schyftc and pay, sum I 
satysfyc with worddes, for in dyverse placeys all the stuffe 
in the howseys ys not abuU to pay the dettes." In a 
subsequent part of the letter, he gives a further account of 
the dilapidated state of the revenues of the friars, and an 
amusing notice of the superstitious relics he had met with, 
among which was the ear of the soldier struck off by Saint 
Peter. " In many placeys," he says, " I fynde but one 
lytyll chales, and also in many placeys the substans in 
plege. Suche small chales and suchc plcgeys as be better 
than they ley for, I pay the money, and rcceyve the pleges 

to the kynges use, and suche I brynge with mc. I 

wold sende to yow dyverse relykes, but they wer to comeras 
(cumbrous) to cary. I have Malkows ere that Peter 
stroke of, as yt ys wrytyn, and a thousand as trewo as that, 
but the holyest relykc in all Northc Walys I send to yow 
here ; ther may no man kysse that, but he muste knele so 
sone as he se yt, thowgh it war in the fowlcst place in all 
the contr^, and he must kys every stone, for in eche ys grct 
pardon. After that he hathe kyssyd yt, he must pay a met 
of come, or a chese of a grote, or iiijd. for yt. Yt was 
worthe to the fryeres in Bangor, \nth another image, the 
whyche I also have closeyd up, xx. markes by yere in come, 
chese, catell, and money." In conclusion, the visitor 
signifies his intention of proceeding by Brecknock and 
Caermarthen to Haverfordwest, and thence to Cornwall 
and Devonshire. 

The most important religious houses in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Ludlow were Wigmore abbey and the 
priory of Leominster, the latter, as has been seen in the 
earlier part of our history, a foundation of remote antiquity. 
The bishop of Dover's commission was merely to visit the 
houses of friars, and he probably did not interfere with 
either of the establishments just mentioned. The prior of 
Leominster was lord of the manor of the town ; and the fair 
estates of the priory seem to have been considered a desirable 
S z 


possession even for a prince. The following letter, without 
date or signature, is preserved among the records in the 
Rolls House; it was evidently written from Leominster, 
by some one who was desirous of conciliating the good-will 
of the powerful minister Cromwell, to whom it is addressed. 

Yf it so be that it shall please the kynges highnes to take 
his pleasure of the house of Leomstre, as it is sapposyd that his 
grace wyll of that and many other moo, I thyncke it good that 
your honourable lordship have respect unto the same house, ffor 
onles the kynges grace wyll apoynte it unto his derely belovyd 
son ower prince, it wylbe a right goodlie thyng ffor your 
lordship or ffor your sone. For I ensure you as I suppose 
theare is nat suche another turf within the kinges realme lying 
800 nygh togedre within itself, and within soo litle a compas, 
and of suche value and commoditie, as that is, ffor it is worths 
a m^ markes of rent of assise and casualties, and alle lying 
within the compas of v. or vj. miles at thuttermost, so that on 
baylie maye gather alle the bole rentes of the lordship. I beseke 
your lordship to take no displeasure with me, ffor that I write 
soo boldlie unto you, ffor I entend no other but your goodnes 
and the wealthe of the same. And this I praye Ood to send 
you a mery and a joifnlle Christmas, and soo manye* 

The report of the commissioner sent, probably in conse- 
quence of this letter, to survey the estate, is preserved in 
the same collection, and shows that the prior was not 
opposed to the dissolution. His name was John Glover. 
The iiecommendations contained in the preceding letter 
seem to have been so entirely justified by the following 
report, that we find that the estates of Leominster priory 
were retained in the crown until James I granted them 
to his favourite, the duke of Buckingham. 

The instrocions of the lordship belongyng to the pryour 

of Lemster, selle unto Redyng abbye* 

Ytt may plese yower lordship to consyder that the hoUe 

lordship ys by yer vij. c. lb.« as I was informyde by the 

pryour. Trewly it is very substansyall, ryche landis, with gretl 




demaynst &8 plessant and profTytaball as may be for so myche, 
and the comon pepall dothe say to me that the forsayd lordship 
ys xviij. ۥ merke stcrlyn by yer, of which may be parfet 
relashon made herafter of ytt. Also trewly nowe of latte 
bctwen the abbot* and pryour, they have sore fellyde ther 
woodis and dothe lette ther howsis fawlle dowen, and thay wyll 
not do no reprashon, to the gret decay of the towens, petty to 
see ytt, and daylly wyll decay yf thay kcpe them, which as fare 
as I can persayve ys the gret fawtt in the abbot of Redyng, for 
he injoys the most profet, and so doth excewse them by gret 
poverty to make mony to pay the kynges grace. This is ther 
comon Yoyse. 

A.180, yf pies yowcr lordship to be good to the pryonr and 
geve "ere to hym, he wyll showe yower lordship of large mony 
that the abbot of Redyng bathe, with dyvers other thynges, 
which is gret petty he shulde contynew in that casse. I do 
tmst yonr lordship shall fynde tliis pryour onest and redy to do 
that nedfally so yoar lordship to be good in his penshoo for 
his lyvyiig* 

Also, yf yower lordship pies to have eny other instrocsyons 
more perfet, her is with the pryonr won sir Robart Worralle, 
pryst, and Johan Yuke his baylly of Lemster, which be perfct 
to relatte all nedfall to your lordship, inspessyall the baylly, 
and he desires to do your lordship scrvis at your plessure. 

Also, ther is dyvers and meny bonde men belongyng to 
the lordship, and trewly it is a ryalle ryche contry, abull to 
make meny men to serve the kynges grace in that lordship. 

The hist abbot of Wigmore was named John Smart, who 
had succeeded to that office in 1517, and who was, as it ap- 
pears, deposed just before the dissolution for a long series of 
mal-administration. Among the records in the Rolls House 
in London, so rich in documents of this kind, we find 
aeveral draughts and copies of the charges brought against 
abbot Smart, which appear to have been drawn up and 
presented by some of the monks of his own house; these 
are worthy to be printed entire, not only as an important 

* L e. The tbbot of Reading. 


local document^ but as affording an interesting picture of 
an overbearing abbot of the age preceding the dissolution 
of monasteries. It will appear by the following paper that, 
in order to increase his authority and enable him to exercise 
episcopal functions, he had, like the bishop of Dover, pur- 
chased of the pope the title of a bishop, and under this 
cover it was that he ordained priests, as here stated. The 
number of these titular bishops, without diocese, was very 
great, and must have been a cause of many e\Us and 
irregularities. As their names are only accidentally pre- 
served in records^ we are unable to ascertain how many 
such dignitaries were found among the clergy of the border. 
A matrix of a seal has recently been found in Shropshire, 
which has doubtless belonged to one of these suffragan 
bishops, but from what place he took his title has not yet 
been discovered : the inscription on the seal is s. pstri. 
DBi. GRA. EF1.M0NTIS.MARAN. It appears that John Skipp, 
bishop of Hereford, as prior commendatory, surrendered the 
abbey of Wigmore to the king's commissioners on the 
18th of Novemb<3r, 15S8 : there were then apparently x>nly 
seven monks in the house. The following is the most 
perfect copy of the charges against the abbot; it is signed 
by one of his canons. 

Articles to be objected agajmst John Smart, abbot of 
the monasterye of Wigmonr, in the eowntye of Herford, 
to be exhibite to the right honorable lord Thomas 
Cromwell, the lord prevy scale and vicegerent of the 
kynges majestye. 

1. The said abbot is to be accused* of symonye, as well for 
takyng money for advocations and presentacions of benefyces, 
as for gyveng of ordres, or more tmlye sellyng them, and that 
to such persons which have byn rejected els where, and of lytle 
lernyng and light eonvenacionn* 

2. Item, the said abbot hath promoted to ordres manye 
sdiolersy when all other bushope did refrayoe to gyve enye for 

* The phrase is 1o b§ aeeuBed mcam the same aa th4n u grtnmd/or 


certcD good ordinans devised bj the kjnges niajeste and his 
cowncell for the commune weale of this royalme, then resorted 
to the said abbot scholers owt of all partyes, whom he wold 
promote to ordrcs by Ix. at a tyme, and sumtymes moo and 
othcrwbiles lesse, and sumtyme the said abbot wold gyve ordres 
by night within his chambre, and otherwhile in the church 
yarlye in morninges, and nowe and then at a chapell owt of the 
abbey, soo that there be manye unlerned and light prestes made 
by the said abbot, in the diocese of Landaf and in the place 
afor named, a thowsand as yt is estcmed by the space of this 
vij. yeres he bathe made prestes, and receyved not soo litle 
money of them as a thowsand powndes for theyr ordres. 

3. Item, that the said abbot nowe of late, when he colde 
not be snfTred to gyve general! ordres, wookcly for the mooste 
parte doth geve ordres by pretense of disponsacion, and by that 
colour he promotes them to ordres by ij, or iij., and takes 
mych money of them both for theyr ordres and for to purchase 
theyr dispensaciouns after the tyme he hath promoted them to 
theyr ordres. 

4. Item, the said abbot hath hurte and damaged his 
tenauntes by puttyng them from theyr leazes unjustelye, and by 
indowsyng theyr communes from them, and sellyng and utterly 
wastyng the woodes that were wont to releve and succor them.* 

6. Item, the said abbot hath sold corradyes,t to the damage 
of his said monasterye. 

6. Item, the said abbot hath alienat and sold the yoels| and 
plate of the said monasterye to the value of fy ve hundreth merkes, 

* In earlier times the right of feeding their itrine in the woods and 
other pririleges connected with them, were adrantages enjoyed by the 
tenants of the land, which were necessarily diminished as the woods 

t Corrady (in Medieval Latin corr$diufn, or more generally amrmUumJ 
was what we should now term a man's board; and by granting these 
to people for their lives out of the proTisions of the abbey, the abbot, 
while he put money in his own pocket, seriously diminished the future 
reTenues of the house. 

X To^, L e. jewels, under which title (in Medieval Latin joealia) 
were formerly included a great variety of small articles of Talue which 
were stored up in the cabinet or treasury. Our present restricted accep- 
tation of the word is comparatiTely modem. 


to parchase of the boshope of Rome Iiib balles to be a boshopp, 
and to annex the said abbeye to his bnshoprick to that intent 
that be shuld not for his misdedes be poneshed or deprjyed 
from his said abbacy. 

7* Item, that the said abbot (long after that other bnsbops 
hadd renounced the bnshop of Rome and profetssed them to the 
kjnges majestye) dyd nse, but more verelye uBur|)ed, thofFyce of 
a bushopp by vertue of his furst bulles purchased from Rome* 
tyll nowe of late, as yt will appere by the date of his coniir- 
matioun, yf he have enye. 

8. Item, that he the saitl abbot bathe lyved viciusly and 
kept to concubyne diverse and manye women, that is openly e 

9. Item, that the said abbot doth yet contynue his Ticins 
lyyjrng, as yt is knowen openlye. 

10. Item, that the said abbot hath spent and wasted much 
of the goodes of the said monastery upon the foresaid women. 

11« Item, that the said abbot is mah'cios and vere wrathfuil, 
not regardyng what he sayth or doth in his furye or angre. 

12. Item, that oon Rychart Oyles bought of thabbot and 
ooyent of Wigmonr a corradye and a chambre for hym and his 
wife for terme of theyr ly ves, and when the said Rychart Oyles 
was aged and was Terey sykc, he dispoosed his goodes and 
made executnrs to execute his will ; and when the said abbot 
nowe beyng perceaved that the said Rychart Oyles was ryehe 
and hadd not beqaested soo moch of bb goodes to hym as he 
wold hare hadd, the said abbot then came to the chambre of 
the said Rychart Oyles, and putt owt thens all his frendes and 
kynsfoike that kept hym in his syknesse; and then the said 
abbot sett hb bretber and others of his senrauntes to kepe the 
sykeman, and, the nigbt next ensueng after, the said Rychart 
Oyles coffer was broken and thens taken alle that was in the 
same to the yalue of xl. merkes, and long after the said abbot 
confessed before the execoters of the said Richart Oyles that yt 
was his dede. 

13. Item, that the said abbot (after that he had taken awaye 
the goodes of the said Rychart Oyles) nsed dayly to reproTS and 
chekka the said Rychart Oyles, and enqnere of hym were was 
more of hys koyne or money, and at the last the said abbot 


thoaght he lyved to long, and made the syke (after much soryo 
kepyng) to be taken from his fetherbed and layed apon a cold 
mattrasy and kept his frendes from hym to his death. 

14. Item, that after the said Rychart Gyles was dead, the 
said abbot soght his chambre and found his wifes moneye and 
tokc yt awaye thens, and after that the said abbot gyve to 
the wif of the said Rychart Gyles wyne to drynk, and then 
immediately after she fyll syke soo that hyr bodye was all broken 
owt, she beyng vere aged, and soo she contynued to hyr deathy 
that was not long after, and, as she declared, and showed upon 
hyr death bedd, the forsaid wyne was the cause of that hyr 
sykenesse and death 

15. Item, that the said abbot consented to the death and 
mnrdryng of oon John Tykehulle, that was slayne at hys 
procureng at the said monasterye by sir Rychart Arbleji 
chanou and chapleyn to the said abbot, which chanon is and erar 
hath byne synes that tyme chefe of the said abbotes cowncell» 
and is supported to karye crossebowes, and to goo whither he 
losteth at enye tyme to fyshyng and huntyng in the kynges 
forcstes, parkes, and chases, but lytle or no thyng senryng 
the quere as other brethren doo ther, nother corrected of thu 
said abbot for enye trespace he doth commytt« 

16. Item, that the said abbot hath byne perjured oft* as is to 
be proved and is proved, and as yt is supponed dyd not make a 
true inventorye of the goodes, catak, and joels of his monasterye 
to the kynges majesty and his cowncelL 

17. Item, that the said abbot bath openlye preohed against 
the doctrine of Christ, sayeng he owght not to love hys enmya 
but as he loves the devuUe, and that he shuld love his enmyea 
■owle but not his bodye* 

18. Item, that the said abbot hath infringed all the kynges 
injunctions whych were geven h^m by doctor Cave to obearvo 
and kepe, and when he was denounced m plena capU%Uo to 
have broken the same, he wolde have putt in prisonn the brodur 
as dyd denounce hym to have broken the same injunctions, 
save that he was lett by the oovent there.* 

* L •• Save that he mm hindered by tke co&vtnt, or body of the 


10. Iteniy the said abbot bath take bat small regarde to the 
good lyvynge of his bowsebold. 

20. Item, that the said abbot hath hadd yet a speciall favour 
to misdooersy as manquellera/ thefes, deceavers of theyr neigh- 
boars, and by them moost ruled and consulted. 

21. Item, that the said abboth hath graunted leaxes of fermes 
and advocations furst to oon man, and toke his fyne, and after 
hath graunted the same leas to another for moore money, 
and then wold make to the last taker a leax or wrytyng with a 
ante-date of the furst leax, which hath breade grett dissensions 
emong gentlemen, as Mr. Blount and Mr. Meysey, and other 
takers of such leaxes, and that ofte. 

22. Item, the said abbot havyng the contrepaynes of leaxes 
in his kepyng, hath for money raced owt the nombre of yeres 
mencioned in the said leaxes, and wrytc a gretter nombre in the 
former taker his leaxe, and in the contrepayne therof, to the 
intent to defraude the taker or byer of the reversion of such 
leaxes, of whom he had receyved theyr money. 

23. Item, the said abbot bath not accordyng to the fun* 
dacion of his monasterye admitted frelye tenauntes into oerten 
almeshowses belongyng to the said monasterye, but ofthen be 
bath taken large fynes, and sum of them he hath pat awaye 
thens that wold not gyve hym fynes, whither poore, Bged, and 
impotent people were wont to be frelye admytted and recejrve 
the founders almes ther of dde custom, lymyted to the same, 
which almes is allso diminished by the said abbot* 

24. Item, that the said abbot dyd not delyver the bulle of 
his bushopryck that he purchased fro Rome to ouer soTeraigne 
lord the kynges cowncell tyll long after the tyme be had dely- 
vered and exhibjted other bulles of his monasterye to them. 

26* Item, the said abbot hath delyned and yet doth detyne 
aervanntes wages, and ofte when the said serranntes have asked 
theyr wages, the said abbot hath putt them into the stookkes 
and beate them. 

26. Item, the said abbot in tymes past hath had a greate 
devotioan to ryde to Llanyevran in Wales, upon Lammas 
daje, to receyve pardonn theyr, and on the evyn he wold lye 

• Maa-kttlen. 


with con Marye Hawie, a old concabyne of his, at the Wahh- 
poole, and on the morowe ryde to the forsaid Llanyevran, to 
be confessed and absolved, and the same night retorne to 
companye with the said Marye Hawle at the Walsbe-poole ; 
and Kateryn the said Marye Hawle hyr sustur doghter* whom 
the said abbot long hath kept to concubyne, and had children 
by hyr that he lately maryed at Ludlowe ; and others that haye 
be taken owt of his chambre and put in the stookes within the 
said abbeyei and others that have complayned upon hym to the 
kynges cowncell of the Merches of Wales, and the woman that 
dasht owt his tethe tliat he wold have had by violens» I will not 
name nowe, nor other roennes wifes, lest yt wold offend youer 
good lordship to reade or heare the same. 

27. Item, the said abbot doth dayly enbecelli selU and 
conveye the goodes, catals^ and joels of the said monasterye, 
havyng no nedc soo to doo, for yt is thowght that he hath am* 
merkesy or ij. thowsand, lying by hym that he hath gooten by 
si^llyng of ordres and the joels and plate of the monasterye 
and corradycsy and yt is to be feared that he will alyenate 
all the reste, in lesse yoner good lordship spedely sya redretia 
and make provision to let the same. 

28. ltem« the said abbot was acustomed yerly to preach 
at Leyntwardyne m ftsio nativUatis Marie Wfftnis^ where and 
when the people were wont to offer to a ymage thcyr, and to 
the same the said abbot in his sermon wold exorte them and 
encorage them^ but now the oblacions be decayed, the said 
abbot espyeng the ymage there to have a coote of sylver 
plate and gylt, hath take awaye by his own auctoryte the same 
ymage and the plate turned to his use, and left his preching 
there, seyng there is no moore profyt to cum yn, and the plate 
that was abowte the said ymage was named to be worth xK 

29. Item, that the said abbot hath ever noreshed enmyte 
aad discord among his brothers, and hath not encoraged them 
to leme the lawes and misteryes of Christ, but he that leaste 
knewe was rooost cherished of hym, and he hath byn highly 
dbpleased and disdayned when his brother wold laye, * thia is 
Ooddea precept and doctrine, this ye ought to preferrc before 
yooer cetymonyes and vayne constitutions/ This sayeng was 

8 A 


high disobediens, and shuld be greruBly poneshed, wher that 
lyengy obloqnye, flaterje, ignorans, derision, contumely, diacordy 
great sweryng, drjnkjng, ypochrysye, fraade, rapereticioo, 
di8ceyte« conspiracye to wrang theyr neighbor, and other of 
that kynde, were had in apeciall favonr and regarde* Laude 
and prayse be to Ood that hath sent ns the time, knowlegey 
honor, and long prosperity to oner soveraigne lord and his 
noble oownoell that tendre to avaonce the same. Amen. 

By sir John Lee yoner faythfiill bedman, 

and chanon of the said mon. of Wigmonr. 

My good lorde, there is in the said abbey a crosse of fyne 
gold and precins stoones, wherof oon diamond was estemed 
by doctor Boothe, bnshop of Hereford, worth a c. markes. In 
this crosse is inclosed a pece of wood named to be of the cro«e 
that Criste dyed npon. And to the same hath byn offring, 
and when yt shuld be browght doon to the charch fro the 
tresorye, yt was brooght doone with light and lyke rcTerenoe as 
shnld haye be doon to Christe himself. I feare lest thabbol 
upon Sondaye next, when he maye cum to the tresorye, will 
take awaye the said crosse, and breke y t, and tame yt to his nse 
and many other precins yoels that be there. 

All thes articles afor written be true as to the substaunoe 
and true meaning of them, thogh perarenture for haste and laeke 
of oownoell sum woordes be sett amisse or owt of theyr plase, 
that I wUbe redye to prove for as much as lyes in me, when it 
shall lyke youer honorable lordshipp to direct youer comissioun to 
me or enye man that wilbe indifferent and not corrupt, to sytt 
upon the same at the said abbey, where the witnesse and proves 
be moost redye, and the truth is best knowen, or at enye other 
plase wher yt shalbe thought moost oonyenient by youer high 
discretion and auctoryte. 

With the dissolution of each monastic house, the whole 
property was at once surrendered to the crown. The first 
step taken to turn this property to account, was by selling 
the furniture and, in a great many cases, the materials of 
the building. There are very few documents now left to 
enable us to trace the successiTe demolition of buildings and 
sale of goods and materials of the religious houses on the 


borders of Wales, although much curious information may 
be gathered from the Scudamore papers which have lately 
been purchased for the British Museum. John Scudamore 
and Robert Burgoyn were the king's receivers of the mo- 
nasteries in the border counties. We may form some notion 
of the work of demolition from the following items of sales in 
1538 connected with the abbey of Bordesley in Worcester- 
shire, preserved among the papers of the Scudamores. 

Sales tber made the xxiij^ day of September, anno regni 
regis Henrici viij^ xxx"^ at the survey ther. 
Fyrst, sold to Raffe Sheldon esquyer, and 

Mr. Markeham, the iron and glasse in the 

wyndowes of the north syde of the cloyster - xvij** viij'* 
Item, sold to Mr* Markeham the old broken 

tyle house at the reddyche and a lytle bouse 

by the same . - - vij^- vj*« 

Item, recevyd of Mr, Orevylle for a lytle table 

and the pavyng stone tber - • iij'* iiij'- 

Item, sold to Mr. Markeham the pavyng tyle 

of the north syde of the eloyster - - v*« 

Item, a lytle bell sold to Raphe Sheldon esqnyer xxx"* 
Item, the pavement of the est syde of the cloys* 

ter, sold to a servannt of the bnsshoppes of 

Worceter - • • - v»- 

Item, the glasse of the est syde of the cloyster, 

sold to Mr. Morgon ... vij*» vj** 
Item, sold to Thomas Norton a butteras of 

stone at the est ende of the churche - xij'* 

With the exception of a few houses in Staffordshire, 
Scudamore's accounts are only preserved in a book where 
be enters merely the sums paid to him by purchasers, 
without any particulars of the articles bought; and this 
book only relates to arrears, the earliest payments of which 
belong to the year 154S. On the 7th of April inJM| year, 
fifty-three shillings and eight-pence were paid for^MS or 
materials of the Austin Friars at Ludlow; and w^have 
similar payments on account of the same house of thirty- 


seven shillings and four-pence on the S8th of July in the 
same year; of fifty-three shillings and eight-pence by 
another person on the same day; of four pounds eleven 
shillings on the 23rd of April, 1545 ; of the same sum on 
the 28th of October in that year ; of two shillings on the 
Slst of May, 1546 ; of twenty-five shillings and six-pence 
on the 4th of September, and of the same sum on the 
SOth of November, in the year last mentioned. The pay- 
ments on the same account for the White Friars of Ludlow 
are, twenty-five shillings and six-pence on the 22nd of May, 
154S ; the same sums on the 7th of June, 1543, and on the 
83rd of April, 1545 ; five poimds on the 28th of October, 
1545: fifty-one shillings and six-pence on the 25th of 
May, 1546; and fifty-one shillings on a subsequent date, 
in the same year. For the larger monasteries, such as 
Shrewsbury, Wenlock, Buildwas, Haughmond, Dore, and 
Wigmore, these payments, of large and small sums, are 
much more numerous. It is probable that the buildings of 
Wigmore abbey were destroyed almost immediately after 
its dissolution, and all that now remains is the old abbey 
grange, a fine specimen of timber building, and its bam, 
which is no less remarkable for its lofty timber roof. In 
1574, the records of the abbey were lying in a neglected 
state in Wigmore castle, as we learn from a letter dated 
on the Srd of October, in that year, and written by the 
celebrated doctor Dee, who says ** the third and last prin* 
cipall point of this my present suit to your lordship (lord 
Burghley), is for your lordshippes hand to a letter directed 
to Mr. Harley, keper of the records of Wigmor castell, or to 
whom in this case it doth appertayn. For that, at my late 
being there, I espied an heap of old papers and parchments, 
obli^pations, acquittances, accounts, &c. (in time past be- 
longing to the abbay of Wigmor) and there to lye rotting, 
spoyled, and tossed, in an old decayed chappell, not com- 
mitted to any mans spedall charge: but three quarters 
of them I understand to have byn taken away by diverse 
(eyther taylors, oir others, in tymes past). Now my fantasie 



is that, in soni of tliein will be some mcntioii aiude of 
noblemea of those ilayes, whereby (ejtlier for chronirle or 
pedigree) eom good matter iiiny be collccte<l out of tlicm by 
me (at my leysor) by the way of a recrfaliou." All these 
records have now eo entirely disappeared, that it is stated 
in the last edition of the Monasticon that oven an impree* 
sion of the abbey seal is no longer to be met with. This, 
however, ia not strictly correct, as I have now before me 
casts of three seals of W'igmore, the largest of which 
(apparently as old as the thirteenth century) represents 
St. Victor (?) with figures on each side of him, all three 
standing in niches of a canopy, and a monk on his knees 
below. The inscription around appears to be 8.mona81ER1I 


Monastic seals are frequently of great interest as works of 
art, and as illustrating costume and manners of different pe- 
riods. The counter>seal of the priory of Leominster coatained 
• Roman intaglio, probably found on some of the ancient 
sites in that neighbourhood — perhaps at Kenchester. Round 
it ia the inscription QVI8EHT1IILIATEZALTABITVR. Cameot 


and engraved stones were very fre- 
quently used in this way in the middle 
ages. They were prized and preserved, 
in the belief that they possessed rare 
and even miraculous properties. I be- 
lieve that in the shrine at Cologne there 
are several hundred, some of them ex- 
tremely beautiful; and it is by no 
means uncommon in this country to 
find them inserted in seals. 

Several causes combined to induce 
the commissioners, or the persons who subsequently ob- 
tained the monastic estates, to destroy the buildings. The 
latter, not unfrequently, used the materials for building 
their mansion houses. And they were in many cases 
already rendered ruinous by the violence with which they 
were stripped of the fixtures in wood and metaL The 
churches more especially suffered from this cause. Buigoyn, 
writing to Scudamore, observes, — ** As you write unto me, 
we maye sell no housyng unto suche tyme we have fiiiste 
certefied, save only the churches, cloysters, and dorters. 
Howbeyt Mr. GKffiud and I have sold in some ffirire houses 
all the buyldynges, the cause was for that they wene so 
spoyled and tome by suche as sold the goodes, that in 
manner they were downe, and yff they should nott have 
ben sold, the kyng should have hadd noth3^ng thereoC 
Lead at this time appears to have been an article of value, 
and it was invariably stripped from the buildings, and 
reserved for the king's use, which must naturally have 
caused the ruin of the buildings themselves. In the 
Scudamore papers in the British Museum, there are many 
items of payments for taking down the lead and conveying 
it to the Severn, whence it was carried in boats to BristoL 
It appears from a letter written to John Scndanune as late 
as 1555, in the reign of Philip and Mary, that there atiU 
remained a considerable quantity of lead and bdl-melal 
in the receiver's hands: the letter states ** there dollie 


remayn to be aunsweryd by you bothe leade and bell 
metalle as ffollowythe, that ys to saye, for leade att Bristoll, 
iij. ff.y iiij^ quarter, x. lb. ; Wigmore, liij. ff. j. quarter ff. de., 
CTxij. lb.; LudlowCy v. ff., iij. quarter ff. ccciij. quarter 
cn«- ; at Severn, in the custodye of Thomas Irelonde, j. ff. ; 
Bocestre, yj. ff.; Croxden, xiiij. ff. de. ; Delacres, iiij. ff. ; 
Tuttberye, yj. ff. j. quarter; nuper prioratus canonicarum 
de Stafford, xliiij. ff. ; LylleshuU, v. ff. ; Halesowen, x. ff. ; 
the late monestarye of Shrewsborye, Ixvij. ff. de. ccc. lb. ; 
the celle of Dudley, iiij. ff.; and ffor belle metalle att 
Westwoode, in the county of Worcestre, cccc. lb." 

If we carefully examine the accounts relating to the 
property of the dissolved monasteries, we should probably 
find the representations which have been made as to the 
lavish manner in which that property was wasted, after it 
came to the crown, totally unsupported by facts. It would 
appear from the books of Scudamore's accounts, that the 
debts of the religious houses were honourably paid, and 
that all annuities of priests, &c. and bonds made previous 
to the dissolution were allowed to continue in full force. 
Liberal pensions (according to the rate of money at that 
time) were given to the tnonks, who were at the same time 
allowed to embrace a secular life. Among the houses 
remaining in the receiver's hands at the time hb books 
(preserved in the British Museum) begin, the only one in 
the immediate vicinity of Ludlow was that of Wigmore. It 
is very renuurkable (and requires for explanation more docu- 
ments than appear now to exist) that John Smart, the abbot 
to whose charge we have seen that such serious crimes were 
laid, and who is supposed to have been deposed, is there 
found receiving the unusually lazge yearly pension of eighty 
pounds out of the property of the dissolved abbey, in two 
half-yearly payments of forty pounds each At the same 
time his predecessor Walter Hopton, also described as late 
abbot, who had resigned to make room for Smart and must 
now have been an old man, is represented as receiving 
a pension of twenty pounds a year. Each of the canons 


appears, by the same account, to have received five pounds 

We find also, by the Scudamore accounts, that considerable 
sums of money were expended out of the monastic property 
for the reparation of churches on the border, which had 
probably run into neglect and ruin in consequence of the 
unsettled state of this part of the country. From a letter 
of sir Richard Riche to John Scudamore, dated the £4th of 
March, 1541, it appears that this was done at the suggestion 
of the bishop of Worcester. " Wher," says sir Richard, " I 
am advertised by my lord bisshopp of Worcetour, that diverse 
suche chansells of churches within the counties of Glouce- 
toiur, Hereford, Salopp, Stafford, and Worcetour as dooth 
belong and apperteign to the kinges highnes ben in so 
greatt ruyne and dekaie, that withoute immediate repara- 
cions to be doon in and apon the said chansells, the kynges 
majestie shalbe (not long to come) at moche greatfcer charge 
to reedifie diverse of the same, theise shalbe therfor to 
require you, and in his graces behalff to commando you, 
and every of you, withoute delaie, to cause necessarie and 
convenient reparacions to be doon in and uppon suche of 
the said chanseUs as shall apperteign to the kinges majestie 
being within the saide counties, acoourding to the neoes- 
sitie of the same.'* In the few yearly accounts of John 
Scudamore preserved, the expenses of the reparations of 
several of these churches are stated. These payments Bxe, — 

26 Aog. 1541, out of the accounts of Wigmore abbbey, for the 

repair of the chancel of ** MomelW church. 
12 Nov. 1541, out of Haughmond abbey, for new roofs to the 

choirs of Ufiogton and Ruyton churches. 
SI Not. 1541, out of Haughmond abbey, for repairiog the 

choir of Shawbnry Church, 
21 Nov. 1541, out of Acorabuff priory^ for repairing the 

chanoel of Wolferlow ohurch. 
5 June, 1642, out of Wigmore abbey, for repairing the ehanosl 

of Wigmore parish chnrcL 


90 Aag. 1542, out of Hanghmond abbey, for repairing the 

chanoels of Uffiogton and Ray ton churches. 
31 Aug* 1542, out of the monastery of Stone, for repairing the 

chancel of Madely church, 
18 Nov. 1542, out of Tutbury priory, Ss. 6d. **for the repara- 

cyon of a glasse wyndow yn the chauncell" of Church- 

12 Nov. 1543, out of Shrewsbury abbey, for new roofing with 

lead and repairing the chancel of the church of High 

Oct. 1544, out of Rouoester abbey, for repairing the chancel 

of Roucester parish church. (Staff.) 
12 Oct. 1544, out of Hanghmond abbey, for repairing the 

chancel of Wrozeter church. 
522 Oct. 1645, out of Bordesley abbey, for repairing the chancel 

of ** Chydeswykeham" church. (Olouoes.) 

Part of the money produced by these sales was also 
expended on other public works. We find in the accounts 
alluded to, that during the years from 1511 to 1546, 
considerable sums were furnished at frequent intervals 
from the money arising out of the abbey of Great Malvern, 
for building the 8ea*wall at Longney on Severn; and on 
the 11th of November, 1542, forty shillings was paid out 
of the accounts of Acombury for the repair of the Mill- 
street mills at Ludlowj which then belonged to the crown, 
and which were the subject of a law-suit in the reign of 
James I^ by which the town was seriously impoverished. 
" Item, payd the xj*h. day of Novemb. a©- xxziiijo. E. H. 
viijvi- to Thomas Wheler and Bichard Handley, baylyefes 
of the towne of Ludlow, by thandes of Johan Alsopp now 
one of the baylyeffes ther, the some of fforty shelynges for 
so much money by them payd for dyrers reparacyons by 
them done upon the come mylles, voe. the Mylle strete 
myllesj etc. as it apperith by a debentur, xl«- '* 

The monastic establishments were thus, within the space 
of two or three years, entirely swept from the face of the 
land. There remained still, however, a rather numerous 
S B 


class of small foundations^ known as chantries, colleges, 
private cliapelsy and gilds, which were attached generally 
to parish churches, and which were either wholly or par- 
tially devoted to what were now considered superstitious 
usages, chiefly consisting in the support of priests to say 
masses for the dead or obits. These were totally incon- 
sistent with the religious doctrines of the reformation, 
which now prevailed in England. An act of parliament 
for the suppression of endowments of this kind was passed 
in the 37th of Henry YIII (a. d. 1545-6), but appears not 
to have been put in execution ; but an act, more complete 
in itself, and confirming the former, was passed in the first 
year of the reign of Edward VI, A. D. 1547. By this 
statute, all foundations of the above description were de- 
clared to be suppressed, and their estates were forfeited to 
the crown; but it was provided or recommended in the 
act itself that the property thus taken from the purposes to 
which it had been devoted by the original founders should 
be applied by the crown to the erection of grammar 
schools, increasing of colleges, and other purposes connected 
with education, and to the appointment and endowment of 
vicars, &c. By a proviso at the end, all foundations of this 
kind which had received direct confirmation in the preceding 
or present reign, were excepted from the effects of this act. 
Commissioners were immediately sent round to take the 
surrenders of the chantries and gilds, and to make inven- 
tories of their goods and estates, out of which a large 
portion of our grammar schools were founded. 

The Palmer's Gild at Ludlow was one of those which 
came within the excepting clause of the statute of Edward 
VI; and when the king's commissioners visited it, the 
old body corporate defended itself at law, and judgment 
appears to have been given in its fevour. Fearing, however, 
to provoke the court by obstinate resistance, and willing to 
get rid of the superstitious uses in the original foundation, 
it was agreed that the property should be surrendered to 
the erown, on condition that it should be placed in the 


hands of the corporation of Ludlow for the charitable 
purposes to which it had previously been appropriated. 
The original drafts of letters, &c. relating to this transac- 
tion have been discovered among the municipal records 
since the former part of the present volume was written. 
On the 11th of May, 1548, the protector Somerset wrote 
as follows to sir Edward North, then chancellor of the 

We commende us right hartely unto you« Whereas the 
inhabitanntes of Ludlowe have of late ben suters unto us that 
they might have certen chauntries preserved in that there towne 
of Ludlowe, by pretence of a certaine late graunte maide to 
them by the kinges majestic last disceased, and yett never- 
thelesse they shewe them selfes redy with all lowliness to take 
sttche order as shall by us be taken, we praye for their better 
dispatche which they cheiflye seeke to examyn the truthe of 
their charter, and lett them underatande the estate of the kinges 
majesties title, to their forther quiett. Thus hartely fare ye well« 
From Westm. the xj^* of Maye, a** 1548« Your lovinge 
frinde, E. Somersett* 
To our lovinge frende sir Edward Northe, 

knight, chauncelor of the augmentacions, etc. 

On the 7th of June following, sir Edward North returned 
the following answer to the duke of Somerset's letter. 

My dutie remembred unto your graice. It may pleise the 
same to be advertised that, accordinge to your graces pleisure 
declared by your lettres conceminge the men of Ludlowes 
sute for their guilde, I with the counsaill of the cort have harde 
their counsaill upon the debate, whereof the opinion of their 
learned counsaill was very presice in Ludlowes qaarrell against 
the kinges highnes, and vowched some of the judges to be of the 
same opinion againste the kinge. Forasmuche as the storringe 
of any doubtes in that case at their sute might encoarrage 
many other to stirre and stands in the like againste the kinges 
highnes, wich might tends to hb majesties no little prejudice, 
and withall perceivynge that moche of the rsvenewe is chari- 


tably emploid upon the sostencion of the poore and maintenaiuioe 
of a free grammer schole, by the advise of the coansaill of the 
corte thowf^ht better to retunie them to yoar graioe petitioners 
as before, and that they should stande to your graioes oonsidera- 
cion in the samey then by starringe of dowbtes in the statute 
to geve other courrage to persue the like tittle* and findinge 
them confirmable to the mocion in that behaulf, coulde doe no 
lesse then comende their good confirmitie and eftsones refarre 
the matter to the determinacion of your graioe. From Westm. 
the Tij^* of June, 1548. 

Your graces humblye at comaundment, 

Edward Northe. 

Meanwhile the people of Ludlow became impatient at 
the slow progress of the law proceedings, and were naturally 
fearful that some new act of parliament might come to rob 
them of their claims. The following draughts of letters, 
apparently firom the gild to sir Ralph Vane and the law 
counsel of the town, Bfr* Calfhill, are undated, but they 
were probably written shortly after the letter of sir Edward 
North just given. The neighbours here mentioned were 
perhaps the town corporation. 

Right worshipfuU, our humble salutaoions to your good 
mastership premised, pleaseth hit the same to be advertised 
that wheare upon relaeion made unto us, that your mastership, 
thrather at the request of our vearie frynde Mr. Calfhill, are so 
good unto us that ye have not onely ffurtherid a suyte by us 
begone and enterprised unto the lorde protectours grace, ooa* 
oemyng the ezchaunge, alteracion, and unyting of certeyne 
landes belonginge to the gylde or fratemytie in this towns 
eallyd the palmers gilde in Ludlow, unto the encorporaoion 
of the seid towne to have in fee ferme for ever, but also of your 
further goodnes hath promysed one our behalve so to set fbr- 
wardes our seyd suyte in thabsens of our neighbours whome we 
sent to solyeytate the same, as yf they or eUes mo in nomber 
for this towne for that purpos wer oontynually attendaunt upon 
your mastership for the settiag forwardes of the same, and 
for that we have nat (contrarie to our expeotaoion) herde from 


Mr. Calfhill, who is left a solicitour unto yonr mastership in 

9 neither of your mastershipes procedinges in our suvtes 

sethens our seid neighbours departed from you, therfore we are 
so bolde tatempte your seid mastership with oure lettre desiring 
you nat onelye to contynue our good master in the premisses, 
but also to be so good as to signifie unto us what your proce- 
dinges have ben sethens our neighbours departed from you, and 
what b for us for the more ezpedicion of the premisses to be 
done. Greatly fearing that by long delay, sethens that the 
ty tie of the gilde is alreadie judged bctwene tho kinges majestie 
and us, ther may atte next parliament be establysshed suche 
an acte that may brynge that our seid gilde within the compas 
of the same, whiche wolde be to the utter ruyne of this towne. 
And for that porcion towardes the recompens of your master- 
shipes peynes whiche our neighbours and our rerie frynde have 
togiders promysed to yonr mastership, we will assure you, God 
willing, shalbo resonryd to your mastershipes contentacion, with 
our dajly prayers, as knoweth our Lorde, who ever preserve 
jour mastership in worship. Written the day of 

Oure approvyd frynde Mr. Calfhill, after our right hartie 
salutacions, with lyke thankes for your greate dylygens and 
paynes, whiche we perceave by the succese of our suytes by 
jon hertofore taken one the behalf of this towne ys so put 
in suche a forwardnes that without your meanes and fryndes had 
ben to harde for us to have compasid. Theis shalbe to 
desire you, lyke as by our former lettres we have done, whiche 
for that we ar in doute whether they be come to your handcs or 
nat, therfore we eftsones writte (thrather because we thynke 
longe to here from you) that ye will signifie unto us of jour 
procedinges in our suytes sethen the departure of our neighbours 
from you, and what is ffor us in the same for the further 
expedicion therof to be done, so that you with us and we with 
you myght togyders so worko that therby the more expedicion 
myght be hade, greatly fearing that long contynewans may 
brynge us in further bondage, as je know ; thus wo are bolde 
to treble jou with contynuall burthens and requestes, at we 
do at this tyme our good master sir Rafe Vane, by our lettrea 
whiche we desire jou to help this berer to deljver^ astnring joa 


that je shall not onelj rcceave your hole charges that ye shall 
sasteyne, but also be so gratyfied that ye shall therwith be 
satisfied^ Ood willingi who ever kepe you. 

Three years passed, during which the town incurred 
considerable expense, before the matter was finally settled. 
Perhaps there was some difficulty in arranging the terms to 
the satisfaction of all parties concerned in it. It is not till 
the 27th of May, 1551, that we find the following order 
of privy council to the chancellor of the augmentations, 
then sir George Sackville, to draw up a new grant of the 
gild property, which had been conditionally surrendered. 

After our hartie commendacions, the kinges majesties pleasure 
is that ye upon the sight hereof doe cause the darke of your 
courte to make out in parchement a booke in forme of a gifte 
andgraunte in fee fearmo to thebayliffes, burgessis, and comnn* 
altte of the towno of Ludlowe, in the countie of Sallop, and to 
their successors, of all suche burgages, mesuages, lands, tene- 
mentes, wooddes, and all other hereditamentes what soe ever 
they be, which doe belonge unto the guylde or fratemitie of 
palmers of our Ladye in Ludlowe aforesaid, wtch burgages 
and other the premisses and their appnrtenaunoes the warden, 
brythem, and sisteme of the sayd guylde are contented to 
surrender unto the kinges majesties handes, the said baylifies, 
bnrgenses, and comunaltie yeldinge and paynge therefore to the 
kinges majestic viij*** xiij** iiij'- of rent, and his majesties further 
pleasure ys, that the said baylifFes and burgesis with the 
cominaltie shall alwayes finde in the same towne, at their owne 
charges, a free grammar schole with a schoolmaster and an hussher 
for the erudicion of youth in the Latine tonge, and also xzxi^. 
poore and impotent people, every of them to have a chamber 
and itij' a week, and alsoe on honeste learned man to preache 
Ooddes woord, wich shalbe named the preacher of the towne of 
Ludlowe, and on honeste and discrete minister to assiste the 
parson in the ministracion of the devine saeramentes and service 
ther« wich shalbe cauUid the assbtant to the parson of the parishe 
of Lndlowe» and tho said schoolmaster, hussher, preacher, assis^ 
tanti and every of them^ to be alwayes nomynatyd and apoynted by 


the discression of the said baylyffes, bnrgessifi, and comminaltie. 
And the same booke soc made to sonde unto us subscribyd with 
your hande, that we roa^e preferre yt to the kinges majesties 
signature accordinglie. Thus fare ye well* From Grenwich, 
the xxvij*^' of MayCy 1551. 

Your lovynge (Frendcs, 
W. Wiluh'* J. Bedforde, T. Ocrcyo, 

T. Cheyney, A. Wingfeld, W. Herbert. 

John Gate, 

There still seems to have been some disagreement as to 
the form of the grant, and another year passed before it 
was finally settled. The following documents belong to 
the intenrening period, and are interesting as furnishing 
information relating to the earlier history of the gild 
which was not previously known. The first is a mere 

Mem. to sue to opteyne a lyccnce for the guylde and fratcr- 
nyt^ of palmers of onr Lady of Ludlowe to gyve and graunte 
all their landes, tenementes, and hereditamentz belonging to the 
said guylde and fratemyt^, wher soever they l>e within the 
realme of Inglande, to the baylifies, burgessis, and eomynalt^ 
off Ludlowe aforesaid, and also to the same ba^liffes, burgessis, 
and cominalt^ to accept and reseve the same to them and their 
snccessours for ever, notwithstanding ony statute of mortmayne 
to the contrary. 

item, to sue to opteyne a confirmacion of the said grant to 
be made after the said lycence, and therby to confirmc their 
estate and possesion in all the said landes, teneroentes, and 
hereditamentz, to have and to hold to them and their successors 
for ever, according to the licence aforesaid. 

The petition of the town founded upon this memorandum, 
contains some curious information relating to the history 
and objects of the gild, and to the state of the town. 

To the hinges most royall majestic, 
Moost humbly shewen and bcsechen your highnes your true 


and faithfall snbjectes the bailiffes, bargenses, and commons of 
your majesties towiie of Ludlowe, in the com. of Salop, that 
where a* Domini, 1284, certayne burgenses of the said towne, 
being welthj and of good substaunce, devised and agreed to^ 
erect and establishe a guylde to have contjnnannce for ever for 
the purposes hereafter mencioned, and gave landes nnto it for 
mayntenannce of the same, viz. to releve the necessitie of snche 
as by fire, by shipwracke, by violence of theves, or other 
nnevitable misfortune, shuld fall in decay, to helpe also the 
necessitie of prisoners, poore maydens wanting substance to 
preferre theym to mariage, and suche as shnlde by Goddes 
vbitacjon fall into incurable diseases, and lastly to snstayna 
thre priestes, eche of theym at the wages of viy^ markes by 
yere, as by their fundacion therof redy to be shewed at large 
doth appere ; whiche said fundacion or guylde was aflerwardes 
augmented, confirmed, and incorporated by your majestief 
most renowned progenitoures Ed. ihe thirde, Ric. the seoondy 
and lastly by year highnes moost worthy father of famous 
memory kinge Henry theight, and was nowe of late, in the ferst 
session of the parliament holden in the begynnyng of yonr 
majesties reigne, forprised and excepted to be noon of Uioae 
that by vertue of the statute for suppression of colleges, chann* 
tries, and guyldes, or of any other statute hethemnto made and 
came or ought to eumme to the handes and poaession of yonr 
highnes ; yet for so mnche as some question bathe been made 
in whom the right title remayneth, and that after ezamynacion 
therof and deliberate consultacion therin by the chauocdoar 
and counsaile of your highnes court of augmentacions, the 
matter was lefte in suspence to be considered and ordered by 
yonr majesties moost honorable privey counsell, your said 
oratours knowing your highnes moost godly indinadon to the 
advauncement and fnrtheraunce of all charitable and good 
publique ordinaunces, and withall considering that the whole 
and entier profites of the said guylde, except only zzij"- ix** 
bestowed upon the fyndeng of priestes and obites for the dead, is 
yet and alwaies hithemnto hatha been employeil and spent 
vpon the sustentadon of xxx^ poore and impotent personea, 
the stipende of a soolemabter frdy to teache and instructe yonthe 
in the Latyne tnnge, and snche like neceasaiy naesy which yonr 


highnes by Bpeciall wordes in the etatute appoynted to hare 
contyniianco as before rather with more encrease and larger 
allowaance then any abatement or decrease therof; moost 
humbly prayen and besechen your highnes to take the whole 
revenoe of the said guylde into year majesties handes ; and for 
that the said towne is large and bathe but oon parishe chnrche 
for iiij"^ personesy and therin no vicar endowed, wheranto also 
from tyme to tyme is great accesse of stranngiers owt of all the 
principalitie of Wales and Marches of the same by occasion 
that the commissioners resident in those parties for the good 
goremement of the contrey moost commonly make their abode 
in the eastell there, and considering also that their fee ferroe is 
decaied iij^ by yere at your majesties handes for burgage 
rentes heretofore paied out of thre religioose bowses dissolved, 
and that they stand charged nevertheles with mayntenaonce of 
the towne walles, the paviment, condnytes, and thre stone 
bridges, that therfore yottr majestic will Toachesanf to convert 
the rentes heretofore employed upon the superstitious abuses 
of private masses, obites, and suche like, to the mayntenaunce 
of a prechour, an assistant to the person in the cure, and the 
stipende of an ussher in the grammer schole, and therupon 
to annexe the whole landes and revenue aforesaid to their fee 
ferme of the towne; and they shall pray, etc. 

The following statement accompanied the foregoing 
petition. It appears that it had now been resolved that, as 
stated in the foregoing document, the property should be 
added under such conditions to the fee farm of the town, 
and included in a general confirmation of the municipal 
charter granted by Edward IV. 

The state of the guylde of Ludlowe, in the oountye of 
Sallop, which the inhabytauntes of the sayde towne of 
Ludlowe no we bo suters unto the ky nges'majestie to annexe 
the same unto the corporaeion to suche purposes and 
intentes ensuynge. 
Pfyrste, certen landes and tenementes ly ioge in the towne of 
Ludlowe were geven unto the saide gylde, and after the same 
was incorporatte unto the inhabitauntes there by the name of a 


warden, bretberne^ aod sjsters of the guylde of palmers of our 
Ladye in Ludlowe, in the conntte of Sallop, by the lettres patentee 
of the kinge, then beinge Edwarde the thirde» like at by the 
same appeareth. And the landes thernnto geven were imployed 
onto the ffindinge of a scoolemaster, certen poore people in an 
almes howse there erected and buylded, and there prestet. 

Item, the landes and tenementes are by yere exx"- wherof 
c^ lyeth in Ludlowe, in kennelle rentes and decayed howaes 
yerelye char^^eable in reparacion above z"« and some yeres o^« 
and the residewe beinge xx"- lyeth in snndrye gnllettes in 
severall townes and shers, out of the which there is payde in qnyt 
rentes xij**- yerelye. 

Item, Richard the seoonde» kinge of Englande, in his tyme 
confirmed the lettres patentee of kinge Edwarde the thirde. 

Itemi kinge Henry the eight confirmed the said gnylde by 
hb lettres patentee dated xxj^** die Nanembris amno r. $ttL 
xxvij^ By reason of which eonfirmacion the said gnylde is 
not within the compasse of dyssolucion by reson of the late 
actes of parlymentes had and made m anno xxxrij** H. viiji^and 
anno primo Edmardi sexti regi& nune^ like as by the laste 
proTyso conteyned in the acte of parlimentes had and made in 
the said ffirste yere of our said soyeraigne lord that nowe is 
doth appeere. 

The inhabitaantes of the saide towne beinge called before 
the kinges honorable counsaill concemynge there saide g^ylde, 
and makinge answere for the defense of the said gnylde by 
reson of the proriso aforesaide, were referred unto Mr. Nortbe 
then cbaoneellour of the angmentacion and other the kinges 
eoonsaill learned of the said courte, wherupon debatinge the 
kinges tytle as well before them as afterwarde before Mr. 
channoellonr Mr. Sackvyle nowe beinge chaanoellour, they 
were at sererall tjrmes referred unto the kmges miyest^ and his 
honorable ooansaill« and by both the said Mr. channcellonrs and 
the oounsaill of the said conrte then beinge advysed to make ther 
humble ante to surrender into the kinges handes the said guylde, 
and therupon to desire his highnes that the same gnylde maye 
be annexed unto the oorporacion of the said towne of Ludlowei 
the bayliffes for the tyme beinge, rendering yerely therfore unto 
the kinges majesty an augmcniacion of ther ffee fferm, tb* 



viijii- xiij*^ iiij^ by yere ; and to fjnde of the resideve of the 
rerenewes vcrely an assystaunt unto the parson, a precher, a 
achole master, an usher, and xxxiij'^- poore people, and the 
charge of reparacion of the same. 

Item, upon the inhabitauntes humble sute and surrender of 
the said guyld unto the king^.... the kinges moste honorable 

counsaill upon dewe certificat had and made by both Mr 

afforesaid of the state of the said guide, have therupon signcfied 

unto Mr. clia noire ys the kinges pleasure ; and 

therupon by ther lettres and varraunt hav said 

Mr. chauncelour to make ftbrth a gifte in fFee fferme of the 

premisses unto the and hurgessez of Ludlowe aforesaide, 

unto the yntentes and purposes before rehersed, rcudringe the 
saide yerely rent of eighte poundes threcteene shillinges fower 
pence, together with xxiij'^* xiij*- iiij''* beinge the ffee fferme of 
the said towne and landes incorporated unto theym by kinge 
Edward the ffowreth, wliich in the hole ammounteth unto 
I. markes. 

The eontentea of the bill of Ltidlofve itrltten in parchment to 

be assigned. 

The firste and grettcste parte of the booke for Ludlowe 
conteyncth the confirmacion of ther charter graunted by Edward 
the ffowreth, as before saide* 

alteracion of two flfiiyres and the markett les 

counsaill in the marches of Wales to be countrey 

adjoyninge ; and nothinge wne adjoyninge like as by 

their lettres 

th the incorporacion of the guylde landes 

to snche intentes and purposes afore specyfyed. 

A complete charter made according to these last state* 
menta and directions, was granted to the town on the S6th 
of April, 1552, which is the one that, confirmed in 
subsequent reigns, still continues in force. The original 
record of the gild of palmers, including the earlier deeds of 
its various estates, and rolls of its revenue and expenditure 
from the reign of Edward III to the time of its dissolution, 
are still preserved, with less injury and loss than might 


be expected, in the municipal archiTes of the town. These 
latter are rich in historical materials, and ought to be 
carefully examined and arranged. 

The Lard Pretidency of WicJes and ths Marchei. 

THE reign of Henry VIII saw reformation in other 
departments of the state, as well as in the church. English- 
men now began to enjoy internal tranquillity under an 
efficient administration of the laws, which for a long period 
before had been effective only against the weak and de- 
fenceless. We have had various occasions of remarking the 
turbulent state of the counties on the Welsh border, which had 
led, under Edward IV and Henry YII, to the establishment 
of another court at Ludlow Castle, attached to the persons 
of the two infant princes of Wales, with a council, of which 
the chief duty was to repress the disorders so prevalent in 
Wales and its marches. After prince Arthur's death, the 
prince's council was formed into a regular court of juris- 
diction for the government of Wales, which was established 
under a chief officer entitled the lord president, in Ludlow 
Castle. The first of the lord presidents was William 
Smyth, bishop of Lincoln, the founder of Brazennose College, 
Oxford, who died in the fourth year of the reign of Henry 
VllI, and was succeeded by Jeffirey Blyth, btshop of 
Coventry and Lichfield. In 15£5, John Voysey, bishop of 
Exeter, succeeded bishop Blyth, and he gave place in 15S5 
to Roland Lee, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. 

During the earlier part of the reign of Henry VIH, the 
attention of the government appears not to have been 
called very directly to the improvement of Wales, and it is 
probable that the first lord presidents were by no means 
active in their office, but with the appointment of bishop 


Lee we enter upon a new era in the history of the border. 
His was a mission of reforming and civilizing, and during 
the period he held the office wc find him traversing in 
every direction the country entrusted to his charge, strength- 
ening the castles and prisons, assisting at local courts, and 
punishing with severity those %vho had long been in the 
habit of breaking the laws %vith impunity. In the year of 
his appointment, no less than five laws appear upon the 
statute book, i-elaling to Wales. By the first of these, 
which was " for the punishment of perjury of jurours yn 
the lordshippes merchers yn Wales," it appears to have 
been the common practice in those districts, that, when a 
murderer or felon was brought to trial, his relations or 
friends tampered individually with the jury, and by threats 
or promises made them acquit him. Another law enacts 
that keepers of ferry-boats on the Severn shall not, under 
penalty of fine and imprisonment, carry men or goods 
after evening or before sun-rise, its object being to hinder 
murderers and felons from escaping fVom Gloucestershire 
into South Wales. The next is a long act to reform the 
administration of justice in Wales, and abolishes a number 
of old popular customs which had interfered with it, forbid- 
ding collections called cammerthas, and other pretences 
for extortion. The fourth of these acts is for the punish- 
ment of Welshmen making assaults or afirays upon the 
inhabitants of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Shrop- 
shire ; and the fifth is an act for the purgation of convicts 
in Wales. Next year appeared two or three other acts of 
the same description, one of which enacted that law should 
be administered in Wales in the same manner as in England. 
In the same year was passed an act for " reedifying'* seven 
towns, which states that many houses in these towns were 
in ruins, '' and specyally in the pryncipalle and chief stretes 
there beyng, in the whiche chief stretes in tymes passid have 
bene beautyfuU dwellyng bowses there welle inhabited, 
whyche at thys daye moche parte therof is desolate and 
void groundys, with pittys, sellers, and vaultes lying open and 


uncoveryd, very peryllous for people to go by in the nyght 
without jeopardy of lyfe." These houses were to be repaired 
ivithin three years under pain of forfeiture to the superior 
lord. Four of the seven towns specified as in this condition 
were Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, and Gloucester. 
Other acts for the reformation of Wales, passed during the 
succeeding years, prove the activity of the government on 
tliis subject during Lee's presidency. 

Bishop Lee appears to have been an early protegee of 
Thomas Cromwell, through %vhom he was appointed one of 
the king's chaplains, and it was he who in 1533 performed 
the marriage ceremony between Henry VIII and Anne 
Boleyn, for %vhich he %vas rewarded in the folloi!i*ing year 
^vith the bishopric of Coventry and Lichfield. He had no 
doubt been appointed to the presidency of Wales as a 
zealous and unflinching agent of Henry's government, and 
he not only cleared the marches of the bands of robbers 
vrith which they had been infested, but was the means 
of effecting the final union of Wales with England. His 
activity made him obnoxious to the evil-doers, and in one 
of his letters in the State Paper Office he says, " Although 
the theves (as this berar can tell you) have hanged me by 
imaginacion, yet I trust to be even vnih them shortely in 
very dede.*' It was bishop Lee who first obliged the 
Welsh gentry to abridge their long names. 

A few of bishop Lee's letters will afford the best picture 
of his labours. Others will be found among the documents 
in the State Paper Office. Most of those which follow 
have been printed from that source and from the British 
Museum by sir Henry Ellis, in his new series of " Original 
Letters.'* One of the bishop's first cares was to repair and 
strengthen the castle of Ludlow, the seat of his court, and 
to these operations the follo%ving letter, written apparently 
on the 9th of November, 1535, refers. 

BUlicp Lee to CramttelL 
Moste harty recommendacions and like thanks ffor year 
manyfold geotlenesy and nowe of late ffor my sarreor, etc* 


Where, at my laste bein^ at the courte, it plcaAcd you of yoar 

goodenes, att my poor request, to move the kings hiprhncs fFor a 

warraant of an hundredth pounds ffor the reparacions of the 

castle of Lndlove, ^vhich ye sent me directed to sir Edward 

Crofte. knight, rcceyvour of the erledome of the marche, where- 

nppon, I entending none other then the accomplishment of my 

masters pleasure, incontynently boughte viij. foother of leede. 

and the same have bestowed uppon the saide castell, and 

ffarther repay red the same fFor this tyme as I truste it was not 

thies hundreth yeres, and so wold have contynued if I might 

have had my money which at this tyme is nygh Ix" But 

Mr, Crofte sayeth, and so dothe the auditor, Mr. Turner, that 

thcr ys assignements of the hole receyts as to the kings house- 

holde and the lady dowager. So that, before Ood, I am 

compelled to borowe and paye the sayde money of myne owne ; 

wherin if I have not your helpe, I am att no lytle after*dele. 

Wherfore I hartely praye you to directe your lettres as well to 

the sayde sir Edwarde Crofte as to the auditor aforsaide, to paye 

to me the saide c"* And I truste I shall not only beware at 

another season, etc, but also for the same ymployed, as your 

truste is in me. 

I truste my lorde of Northfolke will reporte our diligence 

here, with whoose grace I comnned at large, and tolde his grace 

all that I wrote to you off concernyng theves in thiese parties. 

And att that tyme Geffrey Harley putt upp his supplicacion to 

his grace, who called Mr, Englefild and me, and bade us if be 

were a thief that he shuld be hangid, which is non onlike, if 

grace come not fFrom you. I pray you commende master 

Englefild incontynently after christemas, fFor I persey ve that then 

Mr. Vernon muste be absent. And thus fFare ye as well as I 

wolde my self. In haste, ffrom Ludlowe, the ix^- daye of 

Novembre. It was tyme thyes reparacions were doyne, for I 

promisse you it whold a cost the kyngs grace fyve hundreth 

of hys pounds within short tyme, or ells all a goyne to nowgbt, 

wherein I trust I have doyne my part, as yee shall by other 

that have seyne and waveyd the same. 

Yowrs most bownden, 

Roland Co. et Licb. 
To my moste entierly beloved 

fFrende, master secretary. 


Between this date and Christmas the active lord president 
had been at Radnor and Presteign, ''among the very 
thickest of tlic thieves/' to adopt his own expression from 
the following letter ; and he was preparing to make a new 
excursion into the same parts in the ensuing spring. He 
gives but an unfavourable picture of the condition into 
which the stores and arms in Ludlow Castle had been 
allowed to fall by his predecessors in office. 

Bishop Lee to CromweiL 

Moste hartely I recommende me unto rou, and certifye the 
same that I have receved your gentle lettres by the messenger, 
and according to the contents thcrof I shall see every thing 
accomplished as shall apperteigne, by Godds graoe« And 
ffarther advertising you that I have bene in Wales, at Presteyne, 
where I was right hartely welcommed with all the honest of 
that parties* as sir James Baskervile and many other, without 
any speares or other ffashion as heretofore hath ben osed, as at 
large this barer shall onforme you. Which jomey was thought 
moche daungeroose to some ; but, God willing, I entende after 
Easter to lye oon moneth at Presteyne, even among the thickest 
of the theves, to doo my master suche service as the strongest of 
them all shalbe affrayed to doo as tofore, God willing. And 
ffrom thens to Herforde, Monmouth, and Chepstowe, for this 
fommer, which wilbe costely. Wherfore, if the kings highnes 
will have this coantrey reformed, which is nigh at a poynte* 
his grace may not stick to spende oon hondreth pounds more or 
lesse for the same* 

In my going and retome to Ludlowe, I was at Wigmore, 
mod vewed the castill, and truly the kings highnes must neds 
repayre and helpe the same, which b in maner utterly decayed 
in logyngi, and all for reparacyoo in tyme* Yet the walls be 
reasonably goode, and the leede therof will helpe, the tymber ia 
at hande greate plenty. So, the kings graces pleasure knowen 
ffor money, I shall see the same well dooa; if wee of thia 
ooonsaile might have a warrannt to bestowe suche money as wa 
ahuld gett to the kinges graces use nppon the same and other, 
then ye shall understonde our diligence, I truste, both ffor die 
kings advauntage and his graces honour. 


Radnor caBtell is not to be repayredy but onlj a prison 
bouse amended, which mast neds be doon : ffor ther have ben 
loste no lesse by evill keping then Ytij^- theves, and have no 
place to kepe them. All may not be brought to Ludlowe, fFor 
many consideracions which were to long to write. I suppose 
that xx^ or xl^* marks wolde make ther a goode prison, which 
is no*greate somme. 

Item, the kings grace hath here an armorer att his coste 
and charge, and hath delyvered to him certen harnesses, but 
no man here knoweth howe moche. Ther be also, in sir 
Richard Herberts custodye, two bundreth hamesse lyeng roting, 
and he being now sicke, I sent to him to knowe the truthe ; 
and me thinketh hit were more mete they shulde be here with 
the armorer to be kepte, who hath wages fFor the same, then 
ther with hym, who woU give a sclender accompte ffor the same* 
Ther be also, as I am credibly enformed, other harnesses at 
Thomebury, although I dowbte not they be well, yet yt is* 
after my symple mynde, convenyent they were together. Here 
be xl^* or 1^ bowes, not a bill nor goon, but oone great goone 
which my lord Ferrers brought downe, nor goone powder, nor 
stones.* Here be certen sheves of arrowes lefte, so that hit 
appereth a goone without powder or stones, shafts without 
boweSv Almayne revetts without gorgetts or apprones of mayle. 
If I shulde nede to doo my master sendee, I must goo seke hit 
of other; ffor here is not of his graces owne. But if it might 
stoade with his pleasure, I thinke hit right necessary that this 
castell shulde not thus be lefte. And that that his highnes 
pleasure shalbe, to my litle witt and power shalbe accomplished. 
Wherin, and in every of thies, I beseche you to enforme his 
grace, that in tyme to comme no faulte be layed to me in not 
relating the same to his majestye. 

And in other things this berer, my trusty servaunt, shall 
enforme you of my mynde, to whom I hartely praye you to 
gave credence. And thus I commytt you to God, who sends 
you a mery newe yere to your harts comforte* From Ludlowe, 
fhe xxvj*^ daye of Decembre. Yowrs most bownden, 

Roland Co, ct Lich. 
To my moste entierly beloved ffrende, master secretary. 

* Cauion bslto were at this time usoslly made of stone. 
8 D 


In the next letter^ dated the 19th January, 16S6, the 
bishop speaks of his activity in hunting down the "thieres," 
and boasts of having reduced Wales to such order that one 
thief took another, and that the cattle, a great object of 
plunder in previous times, were now sufficient to take caie 
of themselves. In fact, as soon as the strength of the 
government was felt, many of the evil-doers who were leas 
compromised by their out%vard actions, sought to secure 
their own peace by betraying, or showing their seal against 
those who were more obnoxious to justice. 

Biihop Lee and eir ThamoB Engl^fiM to OromweU. 

After my moste harty recommeodacions, thii sbalbe tad- 
vertise you that we have receaved from you the twoo oatlawes, 
named David Uoide or Place, and Johan ap Richard HockiltoOf 
with Richard ap Howell o/tof Somner, the murderer at Man- 
mouth, ffor the which we hartely thanke you* And the said 
twoo ontlawes we have sent to their triall, according to justice, 
which to morowe they shall receyve (Ood pardon their sowles). 
And fiarther, within twoo dayes after the receyving of tbe saide 
theves, were brought to us iiij* other outlawes as great or 
greater then the forsaide David and Johan were, and twoo of the 
first of them had byn outlawed tbies zvj. years ; wherof iij* 
were in liffe, and oone slayne brought in a sacks tmssed uppon a 
hone, whom we have cawied to be hanged uppon the galowes 
here for a signe« Wolde God ye had seen the flashion therof* 
Hit chaunced the same day to be markett daye here, by resson 
wherof iij«* people ffoHowed to see the said cariage of die saide 
thief in the sacke, the manor wherof had not been seen here- 
tofore. What shall wee say ffarther : all tbe theves In Wales 
qwake ffor ffeare, and, att this day, we doo assure you, ther is 
but oone thief of name of the sorte of outlawes, whose name is 
Hugh Duraunt, tmstyng to have him shortely. So that nowe 
ye may boldely affirme that Wales is reduot to that state that 
oone thief taketh another, and oone oowe kepith another ffor 
the moete parte, as Lewes my servaunt at hit rstome shall 
more at large enforme yon. The takers of thies outlawes were 
my brd of Riehmonds tenaunts off Keviliske and Amstleyt 


motte parte flPor ffeare and money, and parte ffor to have 
thanks, and partely to have somme of their kynredd diecharged. 
Beseching yoa that the kyngi highnes may be advertised 
hereoC And thos the Holy Trmitie preserve you. From 
Lndlowe, the xix^- daye of Janaary. 

Yoar most bownden, 
Roland Co. et Lich. 
At yonr commaandment, 

T. Englefild. 
Dicken ap Ho'* dio Bagh. 
^^ . Howell ap Ho" dio Bagh, alia$ Ho^ Bannor. 
^^•"^i HoweU ap David Vayne. 

Johan Dee Jmydw, aUoi Johan ap Meredith. 
To the right worshipfoll master Thomas Cmmwell, 
chief secretary unto the kings highnes, this 
be yoven. 

We find several papers among the Cromwell documents 
at the Bolls House, which relate to deeds of turbulence 
and violence perpetrated in Wales and the border counties 
about this period. One of them, dated in the first year of 
bishop Lee's presidency, contains some curious depositions 
relating to the making of forged money on a somewhat 
large scale in the neighbourhood of Abergavenny. Such 
deeds had formerly been screened by the feudal privileges 
of the lords of the soil, who claimed the sole right of juris- 
diction over their dependents. In the following paper, 
taken from the source just aUuded to, bishop Lee sends 
Cromwell a list of male&ctors thus protected by one person, 
sir Walter Herbert, and it is the best proof diat could be 
given of the evUs of the system. 

I pray hartely to God that yt may please the kinges good 
grace of his mercifnlle pety with the advise of bis most honour* 
able councell, to see a redres that hit subjectes be not thus dayly 
mnrthered and robbed. 

Thomas Herbert 1 For wilfull Mnrthur corny tted and done at a 
Philip Herbert > place called Tyntame within the lordeschipe 
Morgan Baygtes^ of Trillage, in the kyling of one • . ap 


kneling on his kneys, whick Thomas, Philip, 
and Morgan be supported in the kynges 
lordschip of Magonr, by Water Herbart, 
steward under the eorle of Woreettonr, and 
no ponischment for the seid marther; the 
more pete, Ood helpe ! 
Edward Cuttelar, beyng that tyme wiUi William Herbert, dyde 

kylle one in Flette Stret, and toke 

sentere at Westminster, and fro thens cam to 

Walys to Water Herbert, and was his serraunt 

there, and yt no ponisement. 

Water Herbert ) for wilfoll mnrther don within the lordeschepe 

Johan Madocke 3 of Chepstow. 

Lame Johan Herbert, for the mnrtheringe of ij. men, and no 

Johan Lewys Freschower ) owtelawyd for felony and jogement 
and one Cadnke a barber j geyvn and after comyttyd felony 

and toke the oharche, and therapon 
wher abjured, and after that resorted 
to London to Thomas Johan, and 
to Oder, and where take for the mur- 
thering of ij. men by Kynsmgton. 
Richard Phdip Johan, for mnrther, supported at Magour by 

Water Herbert. 
Johan Martche, Water Herbert ys serraunt, for the mnrther • • 
Johan SysiU, Water Herbert serraunt, for murther. 
WQliam Herbert, and Tliomas ap Powell, of Magour, for 

Morgan Thomas, Llewelyn Hyghne, Water Herbert ys sertmunt, 

for murther. 
Thomas ap Powell, of the Pill, Water Herbert ys serraunt, for 


jj^v J Water Herbert ys serrauntes, for the mur- 
oneTresnam v a« • ^ •• ^i. a ▲ i. ^ 

J hft TimmA /tiering of \|. men, that ys to whete one 

t^. 11 . % Johan Dier, and anoder Johan Whetsam, etc 

Jenkyn Taylour, Water Herbert ys serraunt, for murther. 
Johan Griffyth Pelle, for murther. 


Th^BB and OutelawB. 

John Thomas Welyn ^ Water Herbert js servauntes, for the 

Howell Thomas Welyn f robbing of William Davy, at Oryn- 

Sir David, a prest i^fild, and putting hym and his moder 

Lawsans Gaynard ^on a hotte treret for to make them 

schowy etc. 

Rosse Phepe, owtelawyd for felony, and supported and mayn- 

teynid by Water Herbert, his reteneir. 

Rawling Jamys \ 

Johan Lloyd / Water Herbert ys serrauntes, notorius theflPes 

Rees Awbere ^ openly knowen, with oder, for the robbing of 

Richard Draper i a Breton schepe and faveryd. 

Thomas Davy / 

One Meredith, Water Herbert ys serraunt, owtelowyd for felony, 

Resse Tynker, supported by Water Herbert within his awtorite, 

men snpposeth a money maker, etc. not. 

Myles Mathew, Water Herbert his frend, for the robbing of 

the cathedrall churohe of Landaffe, with other, etc. not : 

Jamys Butteler 

Howell Coke 

Johan Pull Meyricke .,„•,, 

lewys ap Ryce ) ^**®' Herbert ys servauntes, and no- 

Rorgg' Morgan ' ^""" *^^^- 

Lewys Higham 
Johan Kymys 

Memorandum. When that Water Herbert, and George ap 
Morgan, wher on and agreyd togedur, whatsoever manner of 
mesefayff where done yt was dokyd, the more pety. 

In the next letter of the lord president, we find him at 
Monmouth, on his proposed summer circuit in search of 
" theves." In the course of his proceedings, he had found 
a person who had actually, by some means or other, obtained 
a licence from the king to act contrary to the statute 
already mentioned, that forbade gathering of money under 
the tide of commorthas. 

BUhop Lee to OrcmwBlL 
After my most harty recommendaoions, hit may please the 


same to be advertbed that of late I receaved kttara ffrom mj 
sanreyor, conteynyng the olde asaured goodenes and Savor of 
jroar goode harte contynoed towards me ffrom tyme to tyme, 
and nowe lastely in that it pleaaeth you to tendr« my ante ffor the 
priory of saioete Thomaa, although I cannot have it to ttonde, 
yet ffor that ye mynde my preferment to the fferme of the 
demaynesy I hartely thanke yon. Aa Ood jadge me» I only 
desyre the same ffor quyetnes and ffor none advanntage, as my 
aaide snrveor shall enforme you, to whom I hartely beseche yon 
to geve fiarther credence bothe hereb and other thtnga* emongs 
which oone ya ffor the reparacions of the castill of Monmouthe, 
which is all decayed and in myn (the hall and the walls only 
ezcepte). And fforasmoche as it shalbe a shire towne, and 
that also this ooonsaile shall ffor sondry causes repayre thither, 
I thinke hit expedient the priory here, tIz. the mansion of the 
same, as stones, tymber, and other^things to be reserved ffor the 
re-edifieng of the saide castill, which, together with co^ in redy 
moneye, and suche as this counsaile wolde helps, wolde make a 
convenyent lodging ffor this counsaile and other at the kings 
graces pleasure : wherein his grace pleasure knowen, and money 
had as bifore, my diligence shall not Sayle to the best of my 
litle power. But there is no leade in the sayde priory. I truste 
I have sett Brecknock castell in as perfitt £hshion as he was 
syns his first foundacion. Truste ye me truly, I wilbe more 
oircumspeote in spending the kings graces moneye then myne 
owne. And what the kings graces pleasure shalbe herein, I 
praye yon I maye be asserteyned shortly. 

And fforasmoche as abowte Arusteleye, syns my moving unto 
Brecknock in Southwales, be gathered together a certen duster 
or company of theves and murderers, where I entended to 
Olooeslor, I must of neceasitie rstome to Herforde and 
Ludlowe ffor the redresse of the same, which, Ood willing* shall 
not be omytted. Hartely prayeng you to remembre the com* 
mission that Mr. Englefild left with you; ffor without that 
we can doo no goode here. 

Farthermore ye shall understonde that where, ffor the highe 
oommoditie and welth of Wales and the marohea of the same, 
oommortha and other exaocions were fordon by statute, oone 
George Mathewe, gentleman, of Southwales, hath obteigned a 


pUearde to the contrary (the kings grace as I take it not playnel/ 
instructed therin), ffor there is no cause whye expressed, as by the 
copy horeinolosed hit doth appere,* wherin I wolde ghully knowe 
the kings graces pleasure shortely. Truly it is right large, all 
things considered, ffor he is so ffrended that it shall ron through 
all Wales to his advauntage, as I take it, of a thowsand marks. 
Thus I trouble you. beseching you of pacyence and daily my 
prayer is for your preservaccion, which almighti Jhesu conty- 
newe. From Monmouthe, the xxj^*** daye of June. 

Yours most bowndeni 
Roland Co. et Licfa. 
To my moste entierly beloved ffrende, 
master secretary. 

Among other papers in the Rolls House, are copies of 
the examinations relating to the abduction of a widow, who 
was seized publicly in a church at service time, by a party 
of armed men, and carried away. The trial of the offenders 
took place at Gloucester, and it appears, from the following 
letter (in the State Paper Office), that, the jury having 
been tampered with, they were acquitted. This manner of 
escaping justice had, apparently, been a common practice 
in Wales and on the border. The date of this letter is 
February, 1537. 

Bishop Lee to CrcmweU^ 
To the right honorable and his very good lord, the lord 
Cromwell, lord privy sealK 

My dutye remembred to your good lordshype, advertesynge 
the same that I have receaved your letteres datid at the courts 
the xvij^ daye of February, willing me (that were dyveres 
oomplayntes have bene made againste sir John HudlestOB, 
knyghte of the one party, and sir John Bridges of the other 

• Inclosed in this letter ie tke oopy of the " placard*' or licenoe, which 
bean date at Oreenwidu Feb. 3, in the 37th Hen. VIII, k, D. 1530^ 
Hue flxee the date of the letter to Jane, 1536^ and not 1540. ae sir Henry 
BUit iuppoeed from the mention of the priory of Staiford. In fact, on 
the 9th of Jnly, 1536» Cromwell was raised to the peertfe, after which he 
would not have been addreeeed as ^ aastn tectttaiy." 


parte, by divers poore men), I should entend to the reformatvon 
of the same, and to give a vigelent eye, and circomspectely to 
harken to the ordere and factyones in the county of Gloucester. 
My good lord accordinge to my dutye thes shalbe to enforme 
the same that sir William Sullyard, knyghte, Mr. John Vernon, 
and Thomas Holte, were at the assyses at Gloucester, with the 
justyoese of assise, for dy veres causes. Amonge other one was 
for the tryall of a cause of mpe, comytted hy one Roger Morgane 
of Wales, with a greate nomber in his companye, in takyng 
awaye a widowe againste her will out of a churche, wherin, 
althoughe pregnante evidence was gyven to the enquest agaynste 
the sayd Morgane and his company (as was thought to us all), 
yet notwithstandynge the sayd mallefactores were acquitted, to 
the evell example of other. And my good lorde, this is a vice that 
is and hathe bene comonly used in Wales, and hathe moste need 
of reformatyon (which we entendynge) caused the sayd persones 
to be brought to tryall, and at soche tyme as the enqueste 
should have ben empanelled, suche as were of reputacion and 
appointed to have bene of the same enqueste absented themselves, 
so that we were driven to take meane men and of mean state ; 
and so throughe beringe and secrete labore the sayd parses 
were acquitted. And thernpon, the sayd jurye was and is 
bonnde to appeare at the nexte assyses ; and, in the meane tyme, 
before the kynges most honorable counsell in the stare chambere, 
within z. dayes wamynge to them gyven, yf it shalbe seen to 
your and their honores. My lord, yf this be not looked upon, 
farewell all good rule. I have herwith sente unto your lord- 
shipe the coppy of the whole bookes of evidence to the entente 
that the same scene and perused by your lordshipe, I may knowe 
your lordships pleasure, what tyme the said enqueste shall 
appere, that therupon I maye gyve knowledge therof to the sayd 
enqueste, wherof I bartely desyere your lordshipp. 

At these assyses were viij. condempned, wherof vj. for fellony, 
and ij. for treason whose heades and quarters shalbe sent to viy. 
of the beste townes of the sheir. Those twajme were the bereward 
and his ffellowe that were broughte by the sherife from your 
lordshipe; and g. other for sedytyous words agaynste the 
kynges highnes were sett of the pillorye, and had there yeares 
nayled to the same, besydes other puneshements accordinge to 


their dMertas. And thus the Holy Trjnetye longe oontjnewe 
jour good lordshipe in honor. In haste, from Gloacester, the 
Ifttte day of Febmarye. 

Tour lordehipes moste boanden« 

Roland Co* et Lioh. 

Among offenders with whom justice had now to deal for 
the first time, were the gipsies, then conunonly known by 
the name of Egjrptians or gypcians. From the following 
letter addressed to the lord president, it would appear that 
they infested the Marches of Wales, where they had perhaps 
found it easier to evade the laws than in other parts of the 
coimtry. Oipsies appear not to have been known in 
Europe before the sixteenth century. The date of this 
letter is December 5, 1537. 

Orommell to the lordprerident of the Marches. 

After my right hartie commendacions, whereas the kinges 
majestie aboate a twelfinoneth past gave a pardonne to a company 
of lewde personnes within thb realme calling themselves Gip- 
oyans» for a most shamfall and detestable murder commyttail 
amonges them, with a speciall proviso inserted by their owne 
oonsentes, that onles they shold all avoyde this his graces realme 
by a certeyn daye long sythens expired, yt ahnld be lawfall to 
all his graces offycers to hang them in all places of his realme 
where they myght be apprehended, without any farther ex- 
amynacion or tryal after fforme of the lawe, as in their lettres 
patentee of the said pardon is expressed. Hb grace, hering 
tell that they doo yet lynger here within his realme, not 
avoyding the same according to his commaondement and their 
owne promes, and that albeit his poors subjects be dayly 
spoyled, robbed, and deceyved by them, yet his highnes officers 
and miniitres lytle regarding their diendes towardes his majestye, 
do permyt them to lynger and loyter in all partys, and to 
exercise all their ftlshodes, felonyes, and treasons nnpunniibed, 
liathe commaunded me to sygnifye unto youe that his most 
draade oommaundement is that ye shall laye diligent espiall 
throughowte all the partes there aboutes youe and the shirss next 
8 x 


adjoynyng, whether any of the sayd peraonnes calliDg them* 
selfes Egipcyans, or that hathe heretofore called themselftB 
Egipcyans, shall fortune to enter or travayle in the same. And 
in cace youe shall here or knowe of any suche, be they men 
or women, that ye shall compell them to repair to the next 
porte of the see to the place where they shalbe taken, and 
eyther wythont delaye uppon the first wynde that may conveye 
them into any parte of beyond the aeesy to take shipping and to 
passe to owtward partyes. or if they shall in any wise breke that 
commanndement, without any tract to see them executed ac- 
cording to the kinges hieghnes sayd lettres patents remaynyng of 
recorde in his chauncery, which with these shalbe your dis> 
charge in that behaulf : not fay ling taccomplishe the tenonr 
hereof with all efiect and diligence, ^vithout sparing nppon any 
commyssion, licence, or placarde that they may shewe or 
aledge for themselfes to the contrary, as ye tender his graces 
pleasure, which also ys that youe shall gyve notyce to all the 
justices of peax in that countye where youe resyde, and the 
shires adjoynant« that they may accomplishe the tenonr hereof 
accordingly. Thus fFare ye hertely wel. From the Neate, the 
▼*^ day of December, the xxix'** yere of his majesties most noble 

Your lovyng ffreende, 

Thomas CmmwelL 
To my verye good iordc, my lorde of 

Chestre, president of the counsaile 

of the Marches of Wales* 

The gipsies had been banished from this country by an 
act of parliament passed in the 22nd year of the king's 
reign (a. d. 1531), which appears, however, to have been 

* The original of this letter is piMsnrod in the Cottonisn IfuniMripts 
in the British Masoiini, Titiu B. I, fol. 407. It it not clear why the lord 
prssideat is entitled *' my lord of Chester." Henry VIII, about thia tft ^f , 
estabUihed the new bishopric of Chester; and ss the united see of 
Coreatry aad Lichfield had been ibnaerly mored fron Chester, perhaps 
king Henry desi|nad to esny it backi aad to aMkt Lss the fiist bishop oC 


ineffectual^ as we find them aUuded to in after years. The 
act just mentioned describes this wandering people as " an 
outlandish people calling themselves Egyptians, using no 
crafte nor feate of merchandise, who have come into this 
realm, and gone from shire to shire and place to place in 
great company, and used great, subtle, and crafty means to 
deceive people, bearing them in hand that they by palmestry 
could tell men and womens fortunes." It is remarkable 
that the act which immediately precedes it, and was passed 
in the same year, is directed against poisoners. We find in 
other countries that the gipsies were concerned in several 
cases of poisoning, a crime which was widely prevalent 
during the middle ages. The following document relating 
to this singular class of people, which is preserved among 
the records of the Rolls House, and has not been hitherto 
printed, appears to be of the same date as the preceding 
letter, and is given as a pertinent illustration of it. 

To ThomoB earl ofEitex, lordpreeey Beal. 

Right honorable and my singaler good lorde, my dutie 
remembredy this is to advertise your honorable lordshipp that 
one maister Payiiell, baylyff of Bostone, is com bi yoar lord- 
shippes commaundement, as he seithe, for to convey up certeyne 
persones nanoynge them sellffes Egiptians that shalde be here 
in prison at Bostone. So it is, right honorable lorde, that the 
Mondaie in the Rogacion weeke laste paste, there cam to Bostone 
foare Egiptians whiche did com the daie before from the towne 
of Lenn, whiche forseide persones the undermarshall of the 
kynges marshallsee caried from hence to London to your 
lordshipp from other of thor company that wer here then in 
prisone before Cristynmas laste paste, and the reste of their 
company wer shipped by the kynges commanndement (as your 
lordshipp knoweth) from Bostone and landed in Norwey, And 
now at these persones commynge laste to Bostone, the consta- 
bles of the same towne immediatly not onely sett them in the 
•tockes as vagaboundev, bat also serched them to their shertei» 
bnt nothinge cowde be found uppon them, not so maohe as 


wolde paie for their mete and drynke. nor none other bagge or 
b<^SK<^K^ hut one horse not worthe iiij*- ; and then I did examea 
them whj thei cam hither* and did not get them owte of the 
kjnges realme, as other of their company was, and thei shewed 
me that of late thei wer demjtted owte of the raarshallsee where 
thei wer in prisone, and commannded hi joar lordshipp (as 
thei seide) to departe owte of the realme as shortelj as thei 
mjght gett shippinge. And thei thinkinge to have had ship* 
pinge here at Bostone as their company had, did com hither, 
and here beynge no shippinge for them, the forseide constables 
of Bostone did avoide them owte of the towne as yagaboondes 
towanles the nexte portes, which be Hall and Newcastell. And 
this I certefie your lordshipp of truethe, as knowes our Lorda, 
who ever preserre your honorable lordshipp. Written at 
Bostone the Thursdaie in Whitson weeke. 

By yower oratour with my pore senrys, 

Nicolas RobertsoiL 

The last of bishop Lee*8 letters which we ahall give ia 
taken from an Harleian manuscript, and relates to the 
turbulent behaviour of the people of Cheshire, a county 
included in the jurisdiction of the court of government of 
Wales and the Marches. 

Bishop Lee to CrcmweU. 

To Ae righte honorable the lord Cronmwellf lord privye 

My duty in my moste humble maner unto your loidshipa 
remembredf it may please the same to be adveKysed that I have 
receaved your honorable letteres dated the IS daye of Maya, 
wiUinge and oomaundynge me, that yf the acta or afRraya 
done betweene Cholmeley and Manwerynge (as at this tyma ia 
reported to your lordshipe) were done without our comyssyottii« 
that then this oounsell should not proceed to the determenatyoa 
therof, and yf the same were not so, then to staye untyll the 
kynges graces pleasure were therin knowne, and therof with 
diDigenoe to assertaine your lordshipe, Pleaaethe it the saaM U^ 


be adTertyssed that imedyatlj after the deed of affraye oomytted 
betweene the sayd partyes, fiir Johan Portet on of this coansell, 
did sygnefy unto yoar lordshipe the whole pffecte touchinge the 
the said affraye which was done in Staifordsheir without oar 
coniysfiyon, and theropon it pleased your lordshipe to coroaund 
this coansell emestelye to looke to the same and to the panyshe- 
ment therof, as should appcrtayne, which we have done accor- 
dinglye, and have taken bonds of either of the said partyea for 
keepinge of the kinges peace. And forasmnche as Cholmeleye 
could not convenycntly bring in his suretyes, and for that also he 
was slaundered to lye in a wayte for Manweringe (which as yet , 
is not proved ), this counsell kepte the said Cholmeleye in ward 
by the space of thre monthest as well in the porters lodge as in 
the kin;ires castle at Wigmore, to his no ly tie payne and chargesy 
unto snche tyme he had found sufTytyente soretyea. And in 
this tynse Manweringe by a kynsman of his exhibited a byll of 
oomplayni unto this counselU and afterwards at Bridgenorthe 
(my lord Ferrars and justyce Porte being presente) exhibited 
another bylle against Cholmeley, and had daye assynged to 
prove his bylle, at which daye he brought no proofes nor yet 
aynce would, but stayed, and so came doune your lordsbipes 
■econd lettere, wiliinge this counsell to proceed and all other 
processes of writts against Cholmeley or his servantes to suroesse, 
which to accomplyshe the said Manweringe did at al tymes 
refuse. And so obtayned your lordships thyrd and laste letter 
as before, which to foUowe this counsell is always redye as shall 
stand with the kynges (traces pleasure and your lordshipea. 
Yet« my good lord, althoughe this affraye were done without our 
lymytes, jet it foUoweth the persone as I take it, and bothe 
partyes be within our comyssyon, so that wee have oognysone 
in the case (the kynges majesties pleasure and your lordshipe not 
to the oontrarye). And, my good lord, there is nether man 
slayne nor maymed, but a lewde act eomitted, the semblable 
wherof, yea and a manyfold grealere, bathe byne by this oounsell 
ordered and determened. But the mallyoe and proude of 
Cheshiere gentlmen cannot so take up, disdeyninge this infe- 
ryour courte and the ordere of the same, myndynge all myscbeefe 
and ungratyonsness with infynete vezatyones of theirs neighe- 
bores (as would God ye knewe the tmthe), I am sure mors 


mardera and manslaaghteres in Chesbeir and the borderei of 
tbe same within this yeare then in all Wales this two yeares, 
which they shall not denye; and nothinge done untyll oar 
comynge for the punyshement of the same, the partyes lett 
goe and none taken to oar knouledgc. Yf ther be a forfeiture 
of a recognezonesy yet it hangeth upon the proofe of that who 
begone the offraye, >»-hich Cholmelay layethe to Manweringe, 
and Manweringe to him ; prooves and partyes be all in this 
quarrelle for the tryali of the same, whcrfore nowe so shall 
please the kynges majesty and your lordshippe, so it be. Also 
I beseeche your lordshipe that the kynges graces pleasure maye 
be knowne, for that betwixte this and Alhollantvde tbe lord 
marcheres maye use the tryali of ffellones, for I am dayly 
called upon and cane make them no answere. I have written 
to your lordshipe and to my lord chauncelere dyvercs tymes, 
but your lordshippes buseness is suche that it is not in your 
rememberance. Your poore bedesman this berer desjretbe me 
to move your lordshippe to be good lord unto him. And thus 
the holy Trynetye longe contynewe your ^ood lordshipe in 
honore. From Chester, the 21'^ daye of Maye. 

Your lordshipes moste bonndent 

Roland Co. et Lich. 

The date of the foregoing letter is uncertain. Bishop 
Lee's exertions continued unabated till his death, which 
took place on the 24th of January, 1543, at Shrewsbury, 
where he was buried. He left the districts over which he 
had presided in a state of tranquility and security, difiering 
yery much from that in which he had found them. 

Lee was followed by a succession of lord presidents who 
appear to have shown much less activity in their office, 
and who in fact would have found little encouragement in 
the vicissitudes of the English government between this 
period and the accession of queen Elizabeth. Another 
bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, Richard Sampson, was 
raised to the dignity inunediately after bishop Lee's death, 
and held it till the second year of king Edward VI (1548), 
when he was removed to make way for the powerful and 



grasping duke of Northuxnberlaud. Bishop Sampson ap- 
pears not to have been a vigilant president; for he was 
obliged to seek the king's pardon for having allowed a 
captured offender^ Griffin ap John, to escape from his cus* 
tody. The duke of Northumberland appears never to have 
visited Ludlow in virtue of his office. He was succeeded 
in 1550, by William Herbert, shortly afterwards created 
earl of Pembroke, who had, previous to his appointment, 
been sent into Wales by king Edward VI, where his great 
prudence is said to have preserved the tranquility of that 
part of the island, now again in danger of being disturbed. 
In 1553, on the accession of queen Mary, Nicholas Heath, 
bishop of Worcester, was appointed lord president of Wales 
and the Marches, a zealous catholic, who for his zeal for 
the old religion had been deprived of his bishopric in the 
reign of Edward VI. We know but little of the history of 
the border under Mary's rule; but the to\\7i records of 
Ludlow, and especially the chamberlains' books, show that 
attempts were made to restore in some degree the old 
church furniture along with the old ceremonies. The 
monastic lands were too effectually deposited in the hands 
of their new owners to be easily recovered ; and the destnic* 
tion of monastic buildings had rendered it next to impossible 
to place the monastic orders in their former position in 
the country. On the death of the queen at the end of 
1558, bishop Heath refused to crown Elizabeth, and was 
coDunitted to the Tower. He had already resigned the 
presidency of Wales in 1556, and had been succeeded by 
the earl of Pembroke, who held the office again till 1658, 
when he made way for another prelate, Gilbert Bourne, 
bishop of Bath and Wells, also a dc.oted catholic, who had 
been chaplain to bishop Bonner. This prelate, who was 
committed to safe custody on the accession of Elixabeth, 
was succeeded by sir John Williams, who held the office 
only a few months, dying at Ludlow on the 14th of October, 
1659. In his place the queen appointed the ever celebrated 
tir Henry Sidney, to whose presidency (whioh lasted twenty* 


seven years)^ Wales and the border owe perhaps more than 
even to that of Roland Lee. 

Sir Henry Sidney was the eldest son of sir William 
Sidney, of Penshurst, in the county of Kent, a gentleman 
who had filled many important employments during the 
reign of Henry VHI, and had held the offices of chamberlain 
and steward to Edward VI, while prince. His son Henry 
was from his infancy bred and educated with prince Edward, 
who treated him as a companion with the greatest &mi- 
liarity, often even sharing his bed with him. In 1550, 
when scarcely twenty-one years of age, he was knighted, 
along with William Cecil, so celebrated afterwards as the 
favourite and able minister of queen Elizabeth, and the 
same year he was sent as ambaflsador to France. On his 
return he was made chief cup-bearer to the king for life, 
and married the lady Mary Dudley, daughter of the earl 
of Northumberland, who was decapitated on the accession 
of queen Mary, and sister of Robert Dudley, the famous 
earl of Leicester of the reign of Elizabeth. Sir Henry 
Sidney remained in the highest favour during the short 
rrign of Edward VI, who died in his arms at (Greenwich, 
on the 6th of July, 1558. After that event, he seems to 
have retired for a while into private life; but in spite of 
his ftmily connection with the Dudleys, and the catastrophe 
in which they were involved at the commencement of the 
new reign, sir Henry Sidney retained the favour of queen 
Mary, and was by her made vice-treasurer and general 
governor of all the revenues in Ireland, and he was soon 
afterwards invested with the temporary government of that 
kingdom as lord justice. Queen Elizabeth continued him 
in his employments; as we have already stated, she ap» 
pointed him lord president of the Marches of Wales ; in 
156S, he was sent again on an embassy to France; in 
1564 he was made a knight of the garter; and he waa 
subsequently thrice appointed lord deputy of Ireland, the 
affairs of which country he regulated with consummate 
wisdom and prudence. 


From the end of 1559 to the close of 1565^ Sydney 
carried on the goYemment of Wales in his own person, and 
of the attention he paid to it we have many proofs among 
his papers still preserved, although most of the records 
appear to be lost from which we could have derived a par- 
ticular account of it and of its influence upon the civilization 
of the principality. From subsequent allusions, and a 
variety of circumstances, we are justified in concluding 
that, since the time of bishop Lee, the counties which lay 
under the jurisdiction of the court at Ludlow had fallen 
into many of those disorders which are natural to a country 
placed under a subordinate government, when the latter is 
not exerted with the necessary rigour. Among the family 
papers at Penshurst is one, which has been printed in the 
collection by Collins, written in sir Henry's own hand, 
and consisting of extracts relating to the history and duties 
of his office, which shows the anxiety of this lord president 
to make himself acquainted with every thing relating to it. 
He there tells us that ** the lorde president and counsail 
of the domynion and pryncipallitie of Wales and the 
Marches of the same were established in the tyme of kinge 
Edward the fourth and eversy thens ;" and that "thereby 
the hole countrey of Wales have ben, by the government of 
the same lorde president and counsaill, sythens the estab- 
lishment of the same, brought from their disobedient, 
barbarous, and (as may be termed) lawless inciviUtie, to the 
civill and obedient estate they now remayne, and all the 
English counties bordering thereon brought to be aflfrayed 
from such spoyles and felonyes as the Welsh before that 
tyme usually by invading their borders annoyed them 

We have seen how much bishop Lee did towards pro- 
ducing tins result ; but in a country which for so many 
age. had been su^ect only to the capricious jurisdictions of 
Uj^l^t landholder., or as in some part, from the cha- 
mter of the country itself, inaccessible to anv law L 
«-«ot^be surprised if it was still subject to ma^y'^ Jri^^ 


and if the lord president's court was a very busy one. 
His neglect would soon throw it into confusion, and would 
give room for collusion and bribery, and every other 
description of corruption, and it seems probable that it 
was in this state when sir Henry Sydney was appointed to 
the presidency. As it had to deal in many instances with 
men who were tenacious of old vested rights, whose insubor- 
dination had been the cause of many of the disorders of the 
country, and who were hostile to an authority which was 
intended especially to curb and restrain them, they often 
attempted to dispute its jurisdiction, and to carry their 
causes to Westminster, where they expected more easily to 
escape justice, and appeals of this kind seem to have 
tormented the earlier years of Sydney's presidency. One 
object of the lord president in the paper just mentioned was 
to draw together a few facts, placing in a clear light the 
extent and independence of the jurisdiction of his court. 
This paper was written at the time, apparently, when sir 
Henry, by his appointment to the government of Ireland, 
was preparing for his departure to a still more troublesome 
scene of labour, and when therefore, as he retained the lord 
presidency of Wales, he would have to direct the court from 
a distance; and he was consequently desirous of noting 
precedents for such a case. These he seems to have had 
no difficulty in finding during the two preceding reigns, 
when the lords presidents appear to have left the government 
in a great measure to the council. ''The lord president 
beinge within the realme, and firom the place where the 
councell make abode, is to geave direction to the rest of the 
councell, and to be made pertaker of matters of importance, 
as the heade of the body of the councell, and his assent to 
be hadd to the proceedings in matters of importance ; may 
appere by several orders taken in an. £, 8, and 4 of kinge 
Edward, before the said lord president and councell, some 
whereof baringe date at Shrewsbury, some at Worcester, 
some at Ludlow, and subscribed by John earl of Warwick, 
then lord president, in testimony of his assent to that 


which was done by the rest of the councell iu his absence. 
He that nowe supplyeth thofiice of clcrck of the councell, 
then servinge under Mr. Evans, deceassed, that was then 
clerck of the councell, brought these orders to Bushopc 
Hatfield, to the said lord president, and procured his hand 
to the same, as may appear. The severall lettres and 
mynuts of lettres betweene bushopp Heath, lord president, 
then beinge at London, and the councell then beinge in 
the comission, shewe that he, then beinge lord president, 
gave direccion to the rest of the councell, although he was 
absent from the place." 

By another note of sir Henry Sydney's, made about this 
time, probably with a view to a retrenchment of expenses, 
it appears that the annual expenditure of the court of the 
Marches of Wales in the third year of the reign of Edward 
yi (a. d. 1549) amounted to eight hundred and seventy-six 
pounds fifteen shillings and sixpence. The officers of the 
household in Ludlow Castle were then a steward of the 
household, with a salary of four pounds a year, two cooks, 
each receiving forty shilUngs a year, with two '' laborers of 
the kitchen,'' or assistant cooks, at twenty shillings a year 
each, and a butler, pantler, yeoman of the cellar, and cater, 
at forty shiUings a }'car each, and an "almner'* and an 
under brewer, each recei^dng twenty shillings a year. 

The consequence of Sydney's absence in Ireland was 
soon felt in the government of Wales, whence he re- 
ceived intelligence of disorders which appear to have 
required his own presence to repress them. From a 
warrant to the sheriff and justices of the peace of the 
county of Monmouth, dated on the 9th of March, 1573, 
it is stated that the people of that county, ''partely for 
want of the peace of God, and partely for lack of good 
order, or dutiful reverence and obedience to the lawes, 
have grown to such liberty and insolencie as they have not 
left any insolencie or offence unatempted; so many mur- 
ders, manslaughters, robberyes, theftes ; such fighting and 
quarelling ; and manifold offences ; that no country within 


the commission aforeseid is so much misliked/' The 
remedies recommended in this case, and the proceedings 
which it was announced would be taken, furnish a rather 
curious illustration of the condition of this country at that 
time. '' The contynuance and increase whereof semeth to 
growe by the default of the sheriff and justices of pees, 
in respect of favour, shown one towards the other's officers, 
servants, and retainers; wherebie, in maintenyng of matters, 
one gentleman or other shal become a partie, what offence 
soever the same shalbe." It was this crowd of retainers 
and dependents, supported in their evil-doing by the 
authority of their masters, that was the curse of the age of 
which we are now speaking. The president's order then 
declares the earnest wish of the local government to put an 
end to these disorders, and continues — ^"It is therefore 
ordered by the said lord president and counsail, that a 
letter rehersing the premises be directed to the sheriff and 
justices of the pees of the said countie of Monmouth, 
commanding them to have consideracion of theise thinges, 
in such diligent sort, as may be answerable to the trust in 
them reposed ; bending their sole study and industry to the 
performaunce of the pees, the common quiet of the countrey, 
and doing of justice, and for that purpose, to assemble 
themselfes together, and consulting by what meanes good 
order and quietnes may be best contynued; and to devide 
themselfs into eight, ten, or twelve parties, more or lesse, 
as to their discrescions, having regarde to the quarter of 
the sheir and number of themselfs as shall seeme most 
convenient; besides theire generall care, that every par- 
ticular member may give diligent hede, within the lymytts 
appointed to them, for preservation of quietness and good 
order ; showing good examples of reformacion in themsdfes, 
wherein it were not amisse that the order heretofore 
prescribed to them for appointing overseers of good rule 
in every parish were eftsoon put in execution with no less 
perseveraunce to thexecution of the lawes against vaga- 
bonds, idle persons, loyterers, and such as can not yeld 


accompt of their way of livinge within the compasse of the 
lawe lately provided in that behaulf. The statutes against 
alehouse-keei)ers^ whetbci* they be more in number than 
needeth^ or the places of their habitations convenient or 
inconvenient, is specially to be remembred; with the 
statutes of reteyners, hue and cry, and for keeping of good 
and substantial watches in places convenient, at the tymes 
appointed by the lawes ; and for the avoyding of the sundry 
and manyfold theftes there lately committed; the order 
heretofore sett down that the bucher, or such as killed any 
cattell, to cause the hide or hides therof to be openly 
shewed in the market, or before the overseers of the parish, 
before the sale thereof, showeth also to good purpose to be 

At this same time, a controversy had arisen with some 
lawyers of Worcester, who aimed at withdrawing that city 
and county from the jurisdiction of the court of the 
Marches, and their leader, a gentleman of the name of 
Robert Wilde, had been committed to prison. But he was 
subsequently set at liberty, on bail. 

These and other complaints seem to have attracted the 
attention of Elizabeth to the necessity of renewing solemnly 
and reinforcing the authority of her court for the govern* 
ment of Wales and the borders, and in the June of the 
following year, 1574, a new set of instructions were 
addressed to sir Henry Sydney and the council, who were 
thereby reappointed mth alterations in, and additions to, 
their numbers. In these instructions the extent of the juris- 
diction of the court, and the causes which it was to try, are 
more carefully defined, as well as the attendance expected 
from the officers and council, and the duties which they 
were to fulfil. It is therein earnestly required that they, 
'' by all their poUicies, ways, and means, they can, shall put 
their good and effectual endeavours to refrein all manner of 
murders, felonies, burglaries, rapes, riots, routes, unlawful 
assemblies, unlawful retainers, regraters, forestallers, extor* 
tioneiB, conspiracies, maintenances, peijuries, of what kind 


soeyer they be ; and also all other unlaw'ful misdemeanorsy 
offences, contempts, and evil doings, whatsoever they be, 
attempted, done, or committed, by any person or persons 
ivithin the limits of their commissions.'* It is added '^ and 
whereas divers persons in Wales have commonly used 
heretofore to go as well to the church, as in fairs, markets, 
and other places appointed for justice, in harness and privy 
coats, the queencs highnes pleasure is, that from henceforth 
no man shall wear neither harness nor privy coats, neither 
in churches, fairs, markets, or any other place of justice, 
except such as shall be licensed, commanded, or authorised 
by the queenes highnes, or her honorable council, or by 
the lord president and council, or officer where any fair, 
market, or justice place is kept'' An order like this is 
sufficient to impress upon us the turbulent condition of a 
country to which it applies; such armour could only be 
intended for defence or offence, and must have made the 
country a perpetual scene of riot. People offending in any 
of the foregoing particulars were to be rigorously proceeded 
against by the court; and it was directed that ''the said 
lord president and council, or three of them, at the least, 
whereof the lord president or vice-president to be one, upon 
sufficient ground, matter, and cause, shall and may put 
any person accused, and known or suspected, of any 
treason, mtirder, or felony, to tariurei, when they shall 
think convenient, and that the cause shall apparently 
require, by their discretions." 

" And whereas,*' the instructions continue, "divers lewd 
and malicious persons have heretofore, and of late days, 
more and more spread abroad many false and seditious 
tales, which amongst the people have wrought great incon* 
veniencies, breeding to the danger of uproars," the court is 
directed to make search after the authors of such reports, 
and " whensoever any such slanderous tales shall be re- 
ported, that the reporter shall be forthwith stayed, and all 
means used to attach them from one to another, until the 
first author may be apprehended, and duly and openly 


punished, and if the report extend to treason, then to 
cause the law to proceed^ and execution to be done accor- 
dingly. And if it be of less account, yet suck as may 
work some inconvenience to the dishonour of her majesty 
and of the state public, or othenvise of the government, 
then they shall punish the party so offending by the pillory, 
cutting off their ears, whipping, or otherwise by their 
discretions.'' Various other directions are given to proceed 
not only against a variety of offences which show that order 
and morality were not well observed in the principality 
and the borders, but against extortions and impositions 
which it appears were practised by the lawyers and others 
connected with the court. These directions are followed 
by regulations of the accounts of fees, and of the expenses 
of the household. ''The queen's majesty's pleasure is, 
that a household shall be kept and continued by the said 
lord president or vice-president, for the diet of him and the 
rest of the council there, and for such others as are by her 
majesty allowed to have their diet there. The same lord 
president or vice-president shall nominate and appoint all 
officers necessary for the said household, and every of 
the said counsellors shall Have in household there the 
number of servants hereafter mentioned; that is to say, 
sir John Throgmorton, knight, now justice of Chester, or 
the justice that hereafter shall be, being appointed always 
to be resident with the said lord president, to have in 
household eight servants, and a chaplain or preacher. And 
that all and every person of the said coimcil, before ap- 
pointed by these instructions to continual attendance, or 
any of the other when they shall be called to attend, shall 
have in household three servants ; so that if those persons 
who are not bound to continual attendance, shall, without 
sending for, come thither, or shall tarry longer than to 
them is appointed, they shall not have any diet in the said 

The porter's lodge of Ludlow Castle was the prison of 
the castle, and the porter acted the part of jailor ; and it 


appears that at this time Wigmore Castle served as a 
prison for more rigorous confinement. After providing 
against extortion and bribery on the part of the porter 
towards his prisoners, the instructions direct that " if so be 
any person committed to the porter's charge, for any 
matter between party and party, shall absolutely refuse to 
conform himself in time convenient, then such person to be 
sent to Wigmore, or such like place as hath been accus- 
tomed ; and in case of felony, after full examination taken, 
the prisoner so to be sent to the gaol of that country where 
they are to be tried; except consideration of the trial 
before themselves or other matter shall move them for 
further detainment there. In all which cases, respect is 
to be had that the porter's lodge be not pestered otherwise 
than necessity requireth." 

In a set of further instructions, given two years later, 
the particular duties of the porter towards his prisoners are 
set forth in a way which give us a curious picture of 
the manners of the court at this period. It is there 
directed, '' First, that every person committed to the charge 
of the porter shall be there deteyned as a prisoner according 
to the quallitye of the offence, and not to departe out of 
the porter's lodge without the speciale lycence of this 
councell, and to take and receive of them such fees as 
hereaflter ensueth : First, for treason, morther, or fellonies, 
to be deteyned in irons dureing the counoell's pleasure, 
and not to departe out of the circuite of the porter's lodge. 
Item, all persons committed for contempts or any misde- 
meanours or offences where the queene is to have a fyne 
for the same, they likewise to be detayned in prison without 
sufferance to goe abroad without the speciall lycence of this 
councell. Item, to take and receive as their ordinary fees, 
of every person committed for contempt, ijs. vid. and not 
above, except for his dyett. Item, to take and receive of 
every person being of the degree of an esquire, and above, 
and committed for any oflfence for which he is to wear 
irons, to take for his committment ijs. vid., and for every 


person being committed as is aforesayd and under the 
degree of an esquire ijs. yjd. for his fee. Item, it is further 
ordered that the porter shall continually have in readinosso 
for the enterteynment of prisoners two tables of dyett to be 
in this sort kept, viz. the best and first table at viijd. the 
meale, the second at vjd. the meale, and the same to be with 
meate and drinke so furnished as the parties may according 
to their payment have therein competent and convenient, 
and the partie committed to choose at his committment 
at which of the sayd tables he will remayne, and if he faylc 
to make payment of his fees of committment, and the 
ordinary charge of the dyett after every weekes end, then the 
porter to take bonds for the due payment thereof. Item, 
it is further ordered that if any person be committed to 
remayne in wanl untill he should pay the queenes majestie 
any sums for a fyne or to any person, or any sum of money 
to the same partie by this counccll ordered, or for not 
accomplishing of any order taken by this counccll, and 
shall not conformc himsclfe to perform the order, discharge 
the fyne, and make payment to the parties within one 
month after the tyme of his committment, then the porter, 
at the end of the eayd month, to give knowledge to the 
counccll thereof to the end order thereupon may be taken, 
that the party may be removed to Wigmore, or such other 
place as this counccll shall thinke meete. And when any 
person is or shall be committed to ward, there to remayne 
until he shall pay fine or other debt to the queene, or any 
sum of money for costs, or other cause to the partie to 
deteyne him as a prisoner in manner aforesayd, until the 
attorney of the partie and the clerk of the fynes, by a note 
in writing subscribed by their names upon the copie of the 
submission, shall acknowledge to have received the sayd 
sume wherein he is chargeable as well to the queene as 
the partie." 

It was just at this time that a very remarkable personage, 
the celebrated Dr. Dee, visited the bonlers of Wales, and 
we trace him into this neighbourhood by an autograph 
8 o 


letter still preserved. People were still influenced by the 
superstitious feelings of the middle ages, and the avarice of 
individuals was es})eciall7 excited by the belief in hidden 
treasures, which could only be found and discovered by 
means far beyond the reach of the ^-ulgar, a belief which 
was sustained by the not unfrequent discovery of Boman 
and other coins. Dr. Dee, though in most respects far 
beyond his age iu scientific knowledge, was still influenced 
by its superstitions, and a principal part of the letter alluded 
to, which is addressed to lord Burghley, and dated the 3id 
of October, 1571, consists of a petition that he might have 
a grant of the hidden treasures which he undertook to bring 
to light, and it evidently originated in the treasure legends 
of the Welsh border, to some of which the Avriter alludes. 
" For this twenty yeres space," says he, " I have had sundry 
such matters detected unto me in sundry landes," and " of 
late I have byn sued unto by diverse sorts of people, of 
which some by vehement iterated drcames, some by vision, 
as they have thowght, other by speche forced to their 
imagination by night, have byn informed of certayn placet 
where threasor doth lye hid ; which all for feare of kepers, 
as the phrase commonly nameth them,* or for mistrust of 
truth in the places assigned, and some for some other causes, 
have forbom to deale farder, unlcast I shold corrage them 
or cownsaile them how to precede. Wherein I have 
allways byn contented to heaie the histories, fantasies, 
or illusions to me reported, but never entermeddled ac- 
cording to the desire of such." After justifying his belief 
in such tales. Dr. Dee proceeds, '' Your honor knoweth that 
thresor trouv^ is a very casuall thing: and of which, 
althowgh the prerogative of the queues majestie do entitle 
to her a proprietie, yet how seldome her grace hath hitherto 
receyved any commodity thereby, it is to your honor better 
known than unto me. But as for mines of gold and silver, 
to be in England or Ireland, many have written and 

• That if, dragons or ipirtts, which were itipposed to watch over and 
guard hidden treasures. 


reported both of old tyme and latter^ as I think your honor 
hath ere this hard abundantly discoursed. Tlie ^-alue of a 
myne is a matter for a kingcs threasor ; but a pot of two or 
three hundred pounds, &c. hid in the ground, wall, or tree, 
is but the price of a good boke or instrument for i)cr$])ective, 
astronomy, or som feat of imjiortance. And truly vulgar 
obscure persons, as hosiers and tanners, can (by colour of 
scking assays of metalls, for the say master) enjoye liberty 
to content their fantasies to dig after dremish demonstra- 
tions of places, &c. May not I, then, (in re^pect of nil the 
former allegations of my pains, cost, and credit, in matters 
philosophicall and mathematicall) yf no better nor casyer 
way to serve my tume will fall to my lot from her majesties 
hands ; may not I, then (I say) be thowght to meane and 
intend good service toward the queues majestic and this 
realme, if I will do the best I can at my own costis and 
chargis, to discover and deliver true profe of a myne, vayn, 
or owre of gold or silver, in some one place of her graces 
kingdoms and dominions, to her graces only use ; in respect, 
I mean, of any my demaund or part to be had thereof. 
But uppon this comfortable consideration, that her majesty 
do frely give unto me, by good warranty and assurance 
of her letters patents, her right and propriety to all thresor 
trouYJ, and such things commodious, as (under that name 
and meaning comprised) by digging or search any where in 
her graces kingdoms and dominions I or my assignes shall 
come to or finde; and with all good warranty (for my 
indemnity) agayn all laws and persons, to make search by 
diggiiig or other^vise. And this to dure the term of my 

Having ended this petition. Dr. Dee proceeds to make a 
statement relating to the castle of Wigmore which explains 
to us the causes of the destruction of the greater part 
of the documents relating to the history of this part of 
the country. '*The third and last principall point of 
this my present sute to your lordship,** he says, " is for 
your lordships hand to a letter directed to Mr. Ilarly, kq>er 


of the records of Wiginor castell, or to whomo in this case 
it doth appertayu. For that, at my late being there, I 
espied an heap of old papers and parchments, obligations, 
acquittances, accounts, &c. (in tyme past belonging to the 
abbay of Wigmor), and there to lye rotting, spoyled and 
tossed, in an old decayed chappell, not committed to any 
mans speciall charge, but three quarters of them I under- 
stand to have byn taken away by divers (eyther taylors or 
others, in tymes past). Now my fantasie is that in som 
of them will be some mention made of noblemen and 
gentlemen of those dayes, whereby (eyther for chronicle or 
pedigree) some good matter may be collected out of them 
by me (at my leysor) by the way of a recreation." 

This letter is preserved in the Lansdown collection of 
manuscripts in the British Museum; and the same col- 
lection furnishes us with a remarkably curious document 
relating to the treasure legends of the Welsh border. It is 
a letter addressed by a Welshman, who, for some offence 
or other, appears to have found his way into the Tower of 
London, and who attempted to obtain his release by a 
promise of discovering treasure in the castle of Skenfrith. 
He writes to the lord treasurer Burghley as follows. 

** Leave your lordship to understand that there is a castell 
in the parish of Skemfryth, in the countie of Montgomerie. 
Your lordship graant full authoritie unto myne owne selfe, I 
am a poore subject of the quenes, if there be any treasure there, 
your lordship shall know it, for by the voice of the country 
there is treasure. No man in remembrance was ever scene to 
open it, and great warrs hath been at it, and there was a place 
not farr from it whose name b Gamdon, that u as much u to 
say tke game is doun» Pray you, good my lord, your letter to 
the castle, craving your lordships free authoritie to open, and if 
treasure be there, I will use it as it ought to be, and I will 
stand to your lordships consideration to give ma what yon 
please. For the countrey saieth there is great treasure. The 
voycc of the countrey goeth there is a dy veil and his dame, one 
sitts upon a ho«^shcd of gold, the other upon a hogshed of 


silver, yet never tliclessc, with your lordships full power and 
authoritic they shall be removed by the grace of God, without 
any charge to the qucne and your lordship. If that treasure be 
there, then I will looke for something at your handes. So 
praying your lordships answer for the present despatche, so I 
bid your lordship farewell. From the Tower of London, this 
•28th of Aprill, 1580, 

Your lordships to command, 

William Hobbye. 
'' Your lordships owne band write the Lord Treasurer 
underneath this petition, as for example. 

The Lord Treasurer/' 

Sir Henry Sydney continued to be occupied in Ireland^ 
and the directions and orders for reformation in Wales 
seem to have produced little effect. In 1576 we meet with 
new complaints of the disorderly behaviour of the inha- 
bitants of the border, which produced a proclamation^ 
dated at Ludlow, on the 21st of October of that year, 
setting forth that 'Hhe queues majesties counsail in the 
Marches of Wales are given to understand, that there are 
sondrie lighte, Icwde, desperate, and disordered persons, 
dwelling and inhabiting within sondrye the countycs of 
Wales and the Marches of the same, that dailye weare, 
carrye, and beare dyvcrs and sondrye kyndcs of municion, 
armure, and weaponcs, as lyvery coates, shurtes of male, 
quilte dublettes, seniles, quilte hattes and cappes, mores 
pickes, gleyves, longe staves, billes of unlcfull sies, swordes, 
bucklers, and other weapones, defencive and invasive, unto 
divers fayres, markettes, churches, sessions, courtes, and 
other places of assembley, in affmje and terror of the 
queues highnes subjects, wherby divers assaultes, affirayes, 
hurtes, woundes, murders, and manslaughters, hathe bin 
don, perpetrated, and comitted; which this counsaill oon- 
ceave the rather to growe by the incowragement of the 
unlefull weapons and armor, and by the unlefuU reteyning 
of servaunts, and giving liveries, contrary to the queenes 
majesties lawes and statutes in that case made and provided. 


And albeit sondrye proclamacions have bin directed from 
this counsaill unto the officers of the severall counties^ that 
all and all manner of persons shold laye aside their armor, 
municion, and unlefull weapones, and to weare, beare, or 
carrye the same^ yet they having smalc care or rcgarde 
thereunto, in meare derogacion and contempte of the 
lawes and statutes, doe weare^ beare, and carrj-e the same 
weapones and armur, facing and bracing the queenes 
highnes quiet loving subjects, and to their grcate grevans 
comitting divers outraiges and disorders, to the imbolding 
and incurraigment of mallefactors. And alsoe this counsail 
are given to understand, that there are dyvers sheriffes that 
have sold their offices of under-sheriffes, shere-clcrkes, 
bailiffs, gailors, and under-officers, and ha%'e had and 
receaved for the same no smale somes of money ; by meane 
whereof manifold briberies, exaccions, comithers, extorcions, 
and other injuries and wrongcs have bin also perpetrated 
and comitted> and the checffest, meetiest, and honest free- 
holders keapte from apparaunces at sessiones, and the 
meanest sorte^ that are not hable to give rewarde, and have 
lest care of their othes, or are otherwise unablest to scr^-e, 
are compelled to serve, whereby fellonies and malefactors 
escape unponished." It is added that by the general 
negligence and ignorance of the officers, civil and ecclesi- 
astical, ''incontynent living dothe muche abounde, and 
abhominable inceest and adulteiyc creapt in, and muche 
frequented in thes days ; and uncharitable excesse of usarye 
and unlefull games ys much used ; artillarye, case archery^ 
and shoting, whiche was provided for the defence of the 
realme, lefte aside; many alehouses, and tippling houses, 
not lefully lycensed nor bounden, keapte, and muche 
haunted; forestalling, regrating,buing and selling of cattelles 
out of fayer and markctt, dailye used, and the statute of 
drovers not dulye put in execucion, wheiby the price of 
cattelles is greatly enhauncod, and pryvellye conveyed and 
stoUen from place to place, whiche will tende to the impover- 
ishmcnt and undoing of her majesties subjects, and encreaso 


of offenders^ if the same shold not in time be prevented 
and looked unto^ and the offenders ponished, according to 
the order of the lawe." In conclusion^ a certain number of 
commissioners are appointed by this document for each 
county within the jurisdiction of the courts who were to 
examine into offences of every description and bring the 
offenders to justice. 

Documents hke this give us the best notion of the 
imquiet state of this part of the kingdom, even in the 
reign of queen Ehzabeth, and under the rule of so vigorous 
a governor as sir Henry Sydney. 

The complaints expressed so strongly in the foregoing 
document called for the new orders for the direction and 
reformation of the courts which have been given in a former 
page, and which appear not to have done much towards 
remedying the evil, and to have done nothing towards 
relieving the queen of the heavy charges which attended 
the government of Wales and the Marches. It appears 
that this latter subject had given so much dissatisfaction to 
Elizabeth, that she had conceived the design of abolishing 
the court itself. A letter from sir Henry Sydney to the 
council is preserved, in which he speaks strongly of the 
want of economy with which the court at Ludlow was 
managed at this time. In this letter, which is dated from 
Ireland the 12th of November, 1576, Sydney throws the 
blame of these expensive charges on the officers who had 
been appointed in the court contrary to his advice, and on 
the growing negligence and incapacity of others who he 
recommends should be removed. He points out the great 
advantage of this local court in preserving Wales and its 
borders in tranquillity, and represents that by it alone this 
part of the island had been preserved from the rebellions 
which had from time to time broken out in almost every 
other district. He states that while he conducted this 
govemment in person, or by a deputy responsible to himself, 
the queen had heard none of these complaints, which had 
arisen only since the appointment of officers who, during his 


absence^ were not immediately under his control. ** Whyle 
I attended there/* he says *' the house was cleane out of 
debt, and money sufficient alwayes in the receivor of the 
fynes hands to pay all that was due ; and besides, I am well 
assured, I cawsed to be layd out for the makinge of the 
conduits of water for Bewdley and Ludlowe, the repair of 
those twoe houses, and other her majesties houses, above a 
thousand poundes. When I returned out of this realme 
(Ireland), I found the house twelve hundred poundes in 
debt, and no reparacion donne ; no, nor that finished which 
at my departinge I left half donne. While I attended there 
last, the howse recovered well, so as though not out of debt, 
yet moch lesse in debt I left it then I found it. And noire 
is it so farre behind handc, as not onelye olde bills of coun* 
sellors cannot be paied, which they have forebonie a longe 
tyme, but daylie growinge chardges for the howse, as for 
fuell, cariage, and soch other necessarie incydents to house- 
holde as the howse cannot be mainteined without, are left 
unpaied; so moche to my burden, as were it not for 
somme provision that by mync ownc poUecye I have made, 
I were not able to kepe the howse, considering the dearth 
of all things, with the allowance I have, though the same 
be very honorable." 

Another evil pointed out by Sydney at this time was 
the non-residence of some of the principal functionaries, 
whereby on one hand judgments in suits were often deferred 
and the suits themselves dragged on to an unreasonable 
length, and, on the other hand, the Siubordinate officers 
were not sufficiently, held in check. The state and forms of 
the court at Ludlow are curiously illustrated in these 
remarks. ''The second person there," says Sydney, 
" which alwayes hitherto hath bene the justice of the countye 
palatyne of Chester, must put on a minde to resyde for the 
most parte with the councell, for so did Englefield, Hare, 
Silyayarde, Townesend, Pollard, and Wooddes ; who besides 
their dexteritie to expedite sutes, were for their gravetic and 
judgement in the lawe, demed woorthy to occupie a place 


upon the benche in any courte in Englande ; and when any 
of these attended that counsel!, as continuallye for the most 
parte they did, light cawscs were presently heard and ordered, 
as well out of tearme tyine as in tearmes, and matters of 
more weight were determined in the tearmcs, when always 
the benche was furnished with men of soche gi-avctic and 
judgement in the lawe, as the janglinge baristers wold not 
nor durst not lye of the lawe, nor over long clamber in any 
bad cawse of their clyents, as since, and yet, as I hearc 
they doe, to the great losse of tyme, and to the drivinge of 
the sutors to needcless and intollerable chardge. And 
moreover the justice of one of the other three circuits 
alwayes in tearmcs attended there ; and so doe I wishe that 
nowe they might be willed to doe, namelye Mr. Bromley or 
Mr. Phetyplace. And then was the benche well able to 
overrule the barre. But I have sene it farrc otherwise, for 
I have maney tymes, as we thought, felt the barre so farrc 
too strongc for the benche (which hathe hapned for the most 
parte in the absence of the justice and the want of his 
assistawnce), as I have, consideringe myne owne ignorance 
in the lawes, deferred judgement, after too longe ple&dinge, 
untill I was better assisted ; and I feare the benche is not 
moche the stronger for theim that were last made of the 

Sir Henry Sydney passed much of the latter years of 
his life at Ludlow, and appears to have applied himself 
with zeal to the duties of his office there. He appears to 
have taken little part in the intrigues of the court, yet his 
relationship to the earl of Leicester raised him enemies 
and brought him sometimes under suspicion. This was 
increased by some reluctance he showed in enforcing the 
severe laws of Elizabeth's reign against Catholic recusants, 
who were at this time numerous in Wales, and had excited 
especially the alarm of Whitgift, who then held the bishopric 
of Worcester, by their secret meetings. A commission was 
sent in 1579 to Sydney, the bishop of Worcester, and others, 
to search out and try these delinquents, and they were even 
S H 


authorised in certain cases to use torture in order to force 
them to confession. Next year S}*dncy made a progress 
in Wales, for the purpose of examining into some causes 
which required his presence on the spot, and he instituted 
formal proceedings against the CathoHcs in Montgomery- 
shire ; but the negligence, or perhaps rather the indulgence, 
with which he proceeded in regard to the commission, excited 
the displeasure of bishop Whitgift, and drew a private letter 
from Sir Francis Walsingham which is still preserved. In 
this letter, which is dated on the 9th of August, loSO, 
Walsingham tells him that " My lords (of the privy council) 
of late callynge here to remembrance the commission that 
was more than a yeare agoe given out to your lordship and 
certayne others for the reformation of the recusants and 
obstinate persons in religion within Wales and the marches 
thereof, marvaylod veric inuche that in all this tymc they 
have heard of nothing done therein by you and the rest ; and 
truly, my lord, the necessitic of this tymc requiryiig so greatly 
to have those kynd of men diligently and sharply proccailetl 
agaynst, there will here or veric hard construction bee made, 
I feare mee, of you, to reteine with you the sayd commission 
so longe, doyng no good therein. Of late now I receaved 
your lordship's Icttre towelling suche persons as you think 
meet to have the custodie and oversight of Mongomerie 
castle, by which it appearethe you have begone in your 
present jomeys in Wales to doe somewhat in cawses of 
religion ; but having a speciall commission for this purpose, 
in which are named speciall and verie apt persons to joync 
with you in those matters, it will bee thought strange to my 
lords to heare of your proceading in those cawses without 
their assistance. And therfore, to the end their lordships 
should conceavc no otherwise than well of your dealyng 
without them, I have forborne to acquaynt them with our 
late lettre, wishyng your lordship, for tlic better handlyng 
and successe of those matters in religion, you called unto 
you the bushoppe of Worcester, Mr. Phillii>s, and certayne 
others specially named in the commission." 


This letter ends with the ominous postcript — " Your 
lordship had neadc to walk warely, for your doings are 
narvowely obsencd, and her majestic is apt to gcvc care to 
any that shall yll you. Great howlde is taken by your 
cnncmyes, for neglectyng the executyon of this commission." 

It was no doubt this disfavour shown to one whose long 
services merited a better reward, that chiefly raised a que- 
rulous spirit exhibited in the inscription placed in LjSI over 
the entrance to the inner court of Ludlow Castle, which still 
remains to bear testimony of the feelings with ^vhich this part 
of the building was completed in that year. 







The gateway just alluded to was only one of the numerous 
repairs executed by Sir Henry Sidney in this noble castle, 
most of which he api)ears to have efTected at his own exi^ensc. 
Many of them seem to have been made in the latter years 
of his life. The following curious list of them is found in 
an original paper preserved among the Lansdowne Manu- 
scripts in the British Museum.* 

" Buyldinges and reparacions don by S'- Henry Sidney, 
knight of the most noble order [of the garter] 1. president 
of the queenes highness counsaill in the ^larches of Wales, 
upon her magics bowses there. 

" Imprimis, for making and covering of certen chambf* 
w^liin the castle of Wigmor w^^ ledd, and for amending and 
repayring of the walles and stayres thereof. 

*' Item, for making and repajTing of twoc chamb" and 
divers other howses of ofliccs, as kitchen, larder, and buttry, 
at the gate over the porters lodge at the c«istle of Ludlowc, 
and for tyling and glasing thereof. 

• Lansdowne MSS. No. c\'\. ait 0. 


** Item^ for making of twoe walles of lyme and stone^ of 
ffortie yardes in length at th'entring into the said gate. 

'' Item y for making of a wall of lyme and stone at the porters 
lodge, to inclose in the prisoners, of about twoe hundred 
yardes compassc, w^in which place the prisoners in the day 
tyme use to walk. 

** Item, for making of a wall of lyme and stone three yardes 
in height, and about twoe hundred yardes compasse, for a 
wood yard w^in the same castle. 

** Item, for making of a co^ howse and twoe offices under 
the same for keping of the recordes, and for syling, tyling, 
and glasing thereof. 

" Item, for making of a fayre lardge stone bridge into the 
said castle, w^ one greate arche in the myddest and twoe 
at both endes ; conteyning in leinght about xxx^i^ or xl^'^ 
yardes, and in height upon both sides, wtb freestone, a yard 
and a half. 

"Item, for making, repayring, and amending of the 
chappell w^in the said castle ; syling, glasing, and tyling 
of the same, with fayre and lardg wyndowes ; waynscotting, 
benching, and making of seates and knelling places, and 
putting upp of her ma<^M armes w^l^ divers noblemens armcs, 
together with all the 1. presidentes and counsailles, rounde 
aboute the same. 

" Item, for making of a ffityre howse of lyme and stone, 
upon the backside of the kitchen w^l^in the said castle, with 
divers and sondry chamb", as well for lodginges as other 

** Item, for making of divers stayres of lyme and stone, and 
for making of sondry greate and lardg wyndowes, and glasing 

** Item, for waynescotting and flouring of a great parlor 
w^in the same castle, and making of a greate and huge 
wyndowe in the same, and glasing thereof. 

" Item, for casting of the ledd, and laying the same over 
the said castle. 

Item, for making of a fliEiyre and lardg seate upon the 



north side of the said castle, wth a howse over the same, to- 
gether with a lardg walkc inclosed with pall and tymber. 

'^ Item, for repairing, amending, and making of certen 
chamb's ^ythin the garden of the Sciid castle, glasing and 
tyling thereof. 

" Item, for making of a ffayre tennys co'*« w^J»in the same 
castle, panng thereof wtli free stone, and making the howses 
rounde about the same w^^ tymber. 

" Item, for making of a conduy t of ledd to convey the water 
into the same castle of Ludlowe, the space of a myle and more 
in leinght ; for making of a house of lyme and stone, being 
the hedd ; and for a goodly lardge founteyne of lyme stone 
and ledd^ w^l^ her mat® armes, and divers other armes there- 
upon ; and for conveying of the water in ledd from the same 
fountejme into the garden, and divers other offices wtl^in the 
howse ; and from thens into the castle streete, within the 
saide towne of Ludlowe^ and there making of a ffounteyne 
of lyme and stone." 

Sir Henry Sydney died in Ludlow Castle on the fifth of 
May, 1586. His body was carried thence in great state to 
Worcester, where it was placed in the cathedral church. It 
was finally conveyed to his house at Penshurst, and it was 
interred in Penshurst church on the 21st of June. 

He was succeeded by his son-in-law, Henry Herbert earl 
of Pembroke, who held the high office of lord president of 
Wales fourteen years, till his death on the nineteenth of 
January, 1601. A new set of instructions were issued to 
this nobleman, and considerable changes were made in the 
council at Ludlow, the reason for which, as given by the 
queen, was, *' that there is a great lack of men of estimation, 
wisdom, and credit, to be of our counsell, and to assist you 
there, partly by death of dyvers, partly by lack of good choice 
heretofore made of some of meaner estimation than was 
convenient for so many shyres and centres within that 
jurisdiction." The conclusion of the letter by which the 
queen ordered these changes alludes further to the extra- 
vagance and corruptions of the court. " And hereafter," she 


says, ** whan ther shall arise any causes of weight, mete to 
be deliberated uppon, or any other great matters of com- 
playnty worthy to be gravely hard and determined, yow shall 
send for the said persons, or for some such of them as for 
their places of habitation may most conveniently, without 
great charge, repayre to the place of residence for our 
counsell, and abyde ther duryng the time that shall be 
rcquisit for such great causes, havyng regard that no furder 
chardge herby do grow ether to us or to them, than shall 
be resonable, moderat, and necessary, which we do 
remember unto you because it hath appeared that hertofor 
larger allowance hath been made than was nedefuU, to 
sundry of that counsell being but of meanc state, coming 
thither, sometyme more for their own or their friends causes 
than for ours and the administration of justyce, and by such 
unnecessary allowances made hertoforc to many men of small 
reputation for their jornays oftener than was needful, and for 
ther continuance thete also longer than the causes of their 
access did require, the charges grew so large as the house 
became in debt, specially before the coiuiug thither to that 
place of yow our coosyn the lord president, the inconvenience 
whereof we require you our president, and in your absence 
the justyce, hereafter to forsee.** 

After the reign of Elizabeth, the history of Ludlow in its 
connection with the border ceases to offer much interest. A 
succession of lords presidents ruled the court during the reign 
of James and Charles ; the earl of Pembroke was succeeded 
by lord Zouch, who was followed by lord Eure, lord Gerald 
of Bromley, the carl of Northampton, aud othei-s. During 
their time, the court of the marches was gradually losing its 
usefulness and consequent importance, for the age had passed 
whose necessities called it into existence. The expensive 
and unwieldy establishment was a burthen on the country, 
while it seems frequently to have stood in the way of justice 
by its slow and antiquated forms, and among the clashing 
interests now rising up on every side, and the new principles 
of liberty and indciiendenco, its authority was not unfrc- 

THE HISTORY OK Li;ni/)W. 419 

qucntly set at defiance by those who lived within its juris- 
diction^ who, when prosecuted, apjicalcd to other courts, or 
evaded its judgments in other ways. An idea of the state of 
the border under king James may be formed from the fol- 
lowing letter of complaint addressed by the lord president 
lord Eure apparently to the earl of Salisbury, and now 
preserved in the British Museum. 

"5Iy hoxorable good Lord, 
" It doth not a litle greeve me to have occasion to 
relate unto yo^f [l^sliip] the gencrall disobedience, many 
meetingcs, and combination figainst the government of 
the courte in the principalitie of Wales since his ma^« 
and the 11^ of his councell hath commanded by way of 
instruccions, and hath given authoritic to the president 
and courte, thereby to deale in causes not exceeding £10 
w^I^in the fewer English shires. It seameth they have 
no cause to complayne of injustice, or of an hard and heavy 
hand carrycd over them by the president and councell here 
now present, for then no doubt those claymours would be 
rcadely brought up and presented to yo^f loP* view. [I mar- 
vel] that the grave bishop of Hereford should be the prime 
man to subscrilx; his hande, wth the rest of the gentlemen 
of that countie, to their principall agent, S^ Herbert Croft, 

and to challenge that free tion and the inheritable 

libertie by the lawes of the relme, definitively pronounced by 
the grave judges, wtJ» the privitie of the 11» and approbation 
of his mat»«. It is tyme (my good lord), to confirme that 
tlieir supposed definitive sentence, or other^visc to enla^ 
the authoritic of this courte, or (at the least) to warrant 
and defend us in our proceeding, according to his ma^i«> 
instruccions, that thereby his justice may be obeyed, or 
otherwise to dissolve the jurisdiction quite. The grounde of 
dislike was commenced against the lo. Zouch, whose seve- 

ritie they disliked, now they successively to be freed ; 

in the first they found good assistance of good 

desert, but in this latter I ho])e yo^ loP will think [it meet] 
that the principality and the marches shall extend itselfe 


largely now in his matie** tymej as formerly liath 

been in the of the predecessors of this crowne. 

The good that enseweth is only irregularity (w^ 

some few gentlemen desire to have ; [the] example is veric 
perillous^ and will spread its selfe at large; the common 
people are enthralled to their greatness^ terrified w^ their 
threats^ refuseth rath^ to loose their rights than wth ther 
great charge to contend wt^ them in the law. The poore 
tenants of the queene complayne, that the officers under 
her do exact such hiige fines for themselyeSj more than the 
queene doth^ that thereby they are undone, b . • • • the 
thraldome layed upon them by carriages, labours, threats, 
am ... • and other terrors, of w<^^ if they should complayne 

at London, their maintayne the chai^, and 

likewise according the border fashion, such a person shall 
hardly escape a cruel revenge (even unto death), whereof 
some attempts have been made since my comming. Let suche 
fowle crimes be complayned of to the sessions, if it doth 
conceme the follower of a principall gentleman, either shall 
the evidence be suppressed, or some extraordinary favour or 
other wilbe shewed. What remedy can this place afibord 
such complaynants ? by way of instruccions we have no 
authority to meddle w^ misdemeanors in the fewer English 
shires, by the commissioue of oyer and terminer wee cannot 
send for the malefactor out of the countie. When the 
justices of assise do come downe, remedy may be expected 
by them, and in the meane tyme ether parties are com- 
pounded, or evidence wilbe withdrawne; thus shall the 
mightyer prevayle, and the poorer go to the wall. Worces- 
tershire groweth as vehement almost as Herefordshire, by 
the means of S' John Packington, now high sherifie of the 
sayd countie; the deputie lieutenants there, as also in 
Herefordshire (Thomas Harleigh, Esq. and S' William 
Liggen, knight), do -refuse once to visite me, so y^ I do 
forbeare to grant them my deputacions till I see better 
conformitie. And am out of hope to prevayle wtH them for 
mustermaster's places untill they knitt a firmer league wt^ 


lue. I am bould to trouble y^ loP w^J^ a large discourse, 
relpng upon yo' loP favour for my assistance in this place, 
praying yo^ loP, that either spcedely I may be strenj;^thcned 
against these ambitious gentlemen, or otherwise, tliat his 
ina^ies will m?.y be made knowiie unto me, that I may know 
what to obey ; for by this doubtfulness both his ma^ic is 
dishonored and his people discomforted. Thus ho])ing to 
receive some comfort from yo^ loP, I rest 

Yo^ loP assured to command, Ra. £ure. 

Ludlow Castle y this xxxth of Jan. 1607." 

A few slight allusions in contemporary writers, and an 
examination of the records of the corporation (which are still 
numerous and valuable) convince us that at the period of 
which we have now been speaking, Ludlow was a populous 
town, and that it received from the presence of the court 
and the numerous class of persons who for different reasons 
followed it, a character of splendour and gaiety which was 
not seen in other towns of the same dimensions. It appears 
to have been notorious for the number of its inns and its 
lawyers. The celebrated Ridiard Bajitcr, when a mere 
youth, lived as a pupil with the chaplain of the council in 
Ludlow Castle, and in his memoirs, printed under the title 
of *^ Reliquiae Baxteriano)," he has hinted more than once at 
the licentiousness of the place. '' About seventeen years of 
age," he says, ** being at Ludlow castle, where many idle 
gentlemen had little else to do, I had a mind to learn to 
play at tables ; and the best gamester in the house under- 
took to teach me." And he tells us that ** the house was 
great (there being four judges, the king's attorney, the 
secretary, the clerk of the fines, with all their servants, and 
all the lord president's servants, and many more) ; and the 
town was full of temptations, through the multitude of per- 
sons (counsellors, attorneys, officers, and clerks), and much 
given to tippling and excess." 

This court must soon of itself have become obsolete, but 
the breaking out of the ci\il wars inflicted a blow on it from 
S I 


which it never recovered; and with its decline it is my 
intention to close this sketch of the history of the Wekh 
border. Ludlow Castle, occupied for a considerable time by 
the royal party, acted no great part in the civil conten- 
tions of the sixteenth century. Important as a medieval 
fortrc' . sju me borders of a warlike and only partially con- 
quered people, it was not so, either by its position or character, 
in the warfare which r.ow desolated the kingdom. On the 
9tli of June, 1646, it was surrendered to the parliamentary 
general. Sir William Brereton, and the court of which it 
had been so Ion;; the seat was not only virtually, if not ac- 
tually abolished, but even the furniture of the castle, like 
that of the other royal houses, was inventoried and offered 
for sale. The inventory of the goods in Ludlow Castle at 
this time is sufficiently curious to justify our inserting it 
here both as giving us some notion of the style in which it 
was furnished, and because we find in it the names by 
which most of the apartments were known at that time, 
and the purposes to which each was applied. 


In the Prinee*8 Chamber. £ s. d. 

One standing bedstead covered w*^ watched da- 
niaske, with nil the furniture suitable thereunto 
belonging, valued at . • , . 80 

Sold to Mr. Bass, y« 11^ March, 1650 • for 86/. lOt. 
Two fustaine quilts, one fustaine downe bedd and 
bolster, one fether boulster, a paire of fustaine blan- 
ketts, one watched rugg, and a woollen blankett, 
valued together • . 6 10 

Two small Turkey carpitts . 12 

One old stript curtaiue and rodd .004 

A table, and a court cuppboard .050 


* Thii of oooiM meani 1651* By tlia old mode of reckoning time Ika 
yctr began on the 25tk of Mtrch, so that the Jennary, Febmary, and 
March to the 24th, were conaidered as belonging to the preTions year* 


£. s. d. 
One pr* of andirons w**» brass knobb.^. a rii-e 
sliovcU, and a fire grate, and a wicker skreeu . 12 

All sold to Mr. Bass as apprai:«cd. 

Suit of old tapistry hangings, cont. in nil 120 •*'*, 
at 2«. per ell . . 15 

Sold to Mr. Cleain' y« 18'^ January, 1G50, for do. 
In the PaUet Chamber. 
One small fetber bedd and boulster, one pillow, 
two blanketts, two ruggs, one half head board, one 
skreen, one curtaine, one old table . . 2 10 

In the little wainscotc garrett next to it, one old 
table, a necessary stoole and pann . .050 

In the next Rooms to the Prinet^B Bedchamber, 
Three tables and a court cuppboard, one >vioker 
skreene, one fire shovcU, and one old press . . 18 

In a IFaimeoti Cloaeti. 
One barber's chaire, a table, and an old chest .070 
Sold to Mr. Bass y« 14«»» May, 1650, for 4/. 
In the ShoveU Board Room, 
Nine pieces of green carsey hangings paned with 
gilt leather, eight window curtains, five \\'indow piccod, 
a chimney peicc and curtaine rodds, and throe other 
small pe^* in a press in the wardrobe, at . 25 

With y« Protector. 

One large shoTcU board table, seven little jo^-ued 
formes, one side table, and a court cupboard . . 2 10 

One small Turkey carpitt, and two old jo}-ued 
stooles . . .070 

Sold Mr. Bass for 2/. 17#. as afforo-ai^l. 

One largo fire grate in y« chimney .10 

One broad green cloth carpitt . .250 

Sold l^lr. Bass for 8/. 5«. as afibre:!aid. 
In the Chirf Chamber. 
One old joyned beddstead with cloth curtaiud and 
vallancc, one press and an old chaire, and a stoole .200 


£. 8. d. 

One other table, three old peiccs of dammaske 
hangings, a settle bed, and a jo}'ned stoole . 10 

In the Gentleman Usher^s Chamber, 
Four peices of stript hangings, three old Tiirkey- 
worke stooles, two tables, one bedstead . 1 10 

One half-headed bedstead, one fether bedd and 
cover lidd, and three pieces of old damix 

All these sold Mr. Bass for 4/. y« 7th Sept'. 1650. 

In the StenfarcTi Chamber. 
One suit of old damix hangings, cent. severuU 
peices, three carpitts of y* same, two tables, one 
cuppboard, one traiice curtaine and rodd, one wains- 
cott chaire, threo joyned stooles, one leather chaire 
and stoole, one Turkey cushion, one frame for a 
bason, one other leather chaire, one fire grate in the 
chimney, one fire shovell, tongs and a paire of bellows, 
one fether bedd, two boulsters, two pillows, two 
blanketts, and one rugg, valued altogether at .400 

Sold Mr. Bass y« 7^ Sep' 1650, for 4/. 

In the Closett next to it. 
One necessaiy stoolo and pann, two covers, one 
table, and two frames to hang cloths upon . 10 

Sold Mr. Baas, as above, for tenn shillings. 
ill the Siewardr$ Man'g Chamber. 
One half-head beddstead, w*^ a damix cannopie, 
one feather bed, one boulster, t^'o blank^*, one red 
nigg, one settle, two old tables, and one joyned 
stoole, valued together . . 2 10 

In f* Seeretafjf$ MmC$ Chamher. 
One half-headed beddstead and table, and one 
close stoole . .080 

In the Clerk of the Kiiehm*i Chamber. 
Two old tables and a joyned chaire, two beddsteda, 
one fether bedd, one pillow, one rugg, and two blan- 
kets, four old stooles, one cushion, three curtains to 
the bedd, and a window curtaine, one fire grate, and 
a table in y* closett . .200 

Sold Mr. Bass, with No. 97, for N. as above. 


£. 8. d. 
In the Govemours* Quariers, formerly the Justices' Lodging. 

Six pieces of tapistry hangings . . . 13 8 

Sold jNIr. Cleanient >'• 18 Jamian- 1G50, for do. 
Three small Turkey carpitts . . .10 

Sold Mr. CleamS for do. 

Tenn Turkey worked back chaires .300 

Sold Mr. Brown y^ 2Sth January, 1G50, for 3/. 
In the Govcmour^s Quarters, 
Three tables and a court cuppboard . . 10 

One largo carpitt of green cloth . . . 1 10 

One fire grate for y« chimney . .050 

One old beddstead, one press, one trundle bedd- 
stead, and three green curtains . . . 15 

Sold Mr. Bass y* 7«»» Febr 1650, for do. 

One suite of damix hangings, one beddstead, threo 
old tables, one cuppboard, one Turkey carpitt, ono 
trundle beddstead, two window ciurtains, one rodd, 
one press, two peices of wainscott, one fire shovell 
and tongs .800 

A piece of old damix, one table, one chaire, and 
some small books • . 10 

One eight square feather bed and boidster 

. 2 10 

T>vo other small feather beddsteads 

. 3 5 

Two fether beds without boulstevs 

. 8 

Four old pillows .... 

. 10 

One flock boulster 

. 3 

One old quilt .... 

. 8 

Twelve old blankets 

. 1 4 

Eight old ruggs .... 

. 2 

Two old tables, and one Turkey carpitt . 

. 12 

Two old velvet stooles 

. 10 

Two old blew cloth stooles 

. 6 

One wicker skrcene 

. 2 

Ono fire grate for a chimney 

. 5 


£. B. d. 

A pair of green sea curtains and rallance for a 
bedd . . . 10 

One beddstead with green curtains and vallance, 
one table, one damis carpitt, one leather chnire, sis 
stooles and a back stoole, a fire grate and fire iron^ . 1 10 

One old jojTied bedstead, one wainscott press, 
and one old court cuppboard .10 

One Bedstead and curtains . 15 

In ike Govemour^M Kitchen. 

Two tables, one forme, seven cushions, two old 
chaires, one court cuppboard, one press for liunen, 
one window curtaine, and a rodd « . 1 10 

Divers parcella of pewter inventoiyed att the 

end: — 

One braaa pott . 10 

One possnet .020 

One kittle . .070 
One brass cullender, a scimmer, and a broaken 

befe forke . .080 

All sold to Mr. Bass as appraised. 

One table and a piece of damix . .050 

A brass mortar, pestle, and two spitts . 12 

Here ends the Governor's Quarters. 

In the Great Kitchen* 
One pr* of large racks, one barr of iron before the 
fire, two large griddirons or grates to sett dishes 
upon, and other wooden lumber there . . 1 10 

In the Brenhouee. 
Three fats and three coolers, one copper, two 
leaden cestemes, one pumpc, two leaden troughs 
and a leaden pipe, with other impljmcnta thereimto 
belonging . 15 


£. 8. d. 
In tJis IFett House. 
One leaden ccsterae, and two large bucketts with 
iron lioopes . . . . . .300 

In the Bakehouse. 
One trougli, one b}7in, and one kneading board .060 

In a roome adfaynin^ to it. 
One grinding mill with all necessary's belonging 
to it . . . . . . .500 

In the OoaUhouse^ 
One paire of scales and three great weight.s .050 

In the CaunetU Chamber. 
Tlu^3e tables, one forme, one wickar skrecnc and 
fire grate, and two stooles . . .10 

In the Dairy House. 
Severall chest wracks and a dresser . 10 

In y^ room called y^ Doctor^i Chamber, 
One beddstead, three stript cnrtains and a tester, 
one feather bedd, boulster, and three blankctts ; one 
green rugg and one yellow rugg, six peices of stript 
stuff, one table, one chaire, and one cuppboard, one 
old Turkey stoole, one chamber pott, and one fire 
shorell and tongs . . .800 

Sold all to Mr. Bass as above appraised. 
In the Laundry. 
l^^'o half-headed beddsteads, two tables, two"cupp- 
boards, and one forme .080 

In the Chamber next it. 
One old beddstead and one forme . .040 

In the Chappie Chamber. 
A beddstead, four Turkey worke stooles, and a 
table . . . .080 

In y* Hall. Two long tables, t\\'o square tables 
with formes, one fire grate, one side table, court 
cuppboard, two wooden figures of beasts, three can- 
dlesticks, and wracks for armour . .10 

In the Withdrawing Roome. 

One suit of watch* cloth hangings, pan* w*^ gilt 


£. 8. d. 

leather, 1 window peicc, a cuppboard cloth, and 1 
curtaine of Kiddamuster stuff; 1 curtainc rod, 2 
tables, 1 cuppboard, 1 fire grate, 1 p* of small andirons, 
2 blew cloth carp^, and tvro high stooles, suteablo . 16 

Two pictures, the one of the late king, and y* 
other of his queen. • . 10 

In the Chamber called the L* Berhk^t Chamber. 

One large press with lock and key, one table, one 
cuppboard, one old feild bedd of watch' dammaske, 
three curtaines and a head cloth, one fether bedd, 
twd blanketts, one rugg, six old peices of stript stuff, 
and one old stoole .400 

In a Chamber called the Lady Alice her Chamber, 

T\i'o old tables, one necessary stoole and pan, one 
suit of old damix hangings, one paire of dogg irons, 
two cupboards and an old stoole . 15 

Sold aU these to Mr. Bass as above apprais'. 

In the Roome adjoyning to it. 
One hal£-headed beddstead and a press .080 

In a Chamber called y Comtabl^s, 
One beddstead, two tables, one fether bedd and 
boulster, two pillows, three blanketts, one rugg, three 
cushions, one stoole, and a cuppboard . 2 13 

In Mr. Haughton'$ Roome. 
One fether bedd and boulster, one blankett, one 
rugg, one cuppboard, and an old bedstead . .10 

In a low Roome hear it. 
One dresser board and other lumber .050 

In the ManhalCi Quarters. 
One fether bed and boulster, two ruggs and one 
blankett, one bedstead, one trundle bedd, one table 
and frame, one little bench, one round iron for y* fire, 
J* fire shoveU and tongs, and three joyned formes .250 

One fether bedd and boulster, one side table, 4 
stuff carpitts, 2 wainscott chairs and a bedstead . 1 15 


£. 8. d. 
One tabic, one forme, one press, one cannopy bed, 
three hafe-hcuded bedsteads, and one high bed&tead .10 

One table, four stooles, four chairs, and one 
beddstead . . . .080 

In the Porter*8 Lodge, 

One little brass pott, a warming pann, and on 
old tray . . . .060 

On y other tide ofy* Gate. 

One fcthcr bedd, two boulsters, one pillow, two 
blankitts, one rugg, one beddstead, two jo}'nt stooles, 
and one table . .200 

One table, one iron rack, one p' of andirons, and 
two stooles . . . .080 

Over If* Riding House. 

Two holfe-headed beddsteads, one chest, and one 
table .060 

Sold ]Mr. Bass all these as above appraised. 

In y* Court House of Justice. 
One fether boulster and one brass pott . 14 

The seat of Justice tables and benches . 10 

In y Secretary's Chamber. 
One livery beddstead, one old table, two pieces of 
Kiddermuster hanging, two pieces of damix, one 
window curtain, three curtains more of y* like stuff 
about y« bedd, and 1 old carpitt . . . 1 10 

In the Secretary's Study, 
One velvett chair, two cushions, and other lumber ; 
one table, one joynt stoole, one necessary stoole and 
pann, and one old blew rugg . 18 

In the Scullery. 
One furnace and some small shelves, and in the 
chamber belonging to it one bedstead . 15 

Sold all these to Mr. Bass as above appraised. 

In the first JTardrobe. 
Two flock bedds, two boulsters, two roggs, old 
and rotten . • . 16 

Twelve ruggs and seventeen blanketts . .800 

8 K 


X>. 8. d. 

Throe titbor pillows . . .060 

Tn'cntv and four old cushions . .14 

Twelve fetlier bedda and six boulsters . . 14 

Three j*inall Turkov . 14 

One old rotten quilt . .006 

Two pieces of tapistrv liangings which were u»ed 

in V* Court of Justice . .486 

Five old gr^en cloth carpitts, and one long carpitt 

suitable . .10 

Eleven window curt"* of several sorts . . 12 

One wamiing pann . .020 

A brass perfmning pann . .010 

A brass pan, one pott, and a littlo kittle 16 

Sold all these, as above appraised, to Mr. Bass. 
Three broken lanthonis . . .030 

Sold 5rr. Brown y» 2vSth JanT 1650, for three shillings. 

One half-head bedstead .020 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

Thirteen old curtaine rodds, with some old iron 
and other lumber .10 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

One large old Bible .060 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

In the inward TPardrobe. 
Six cushions of cloth of Turkey worke . .060 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

A parcell of ragged sheets and table cloths, about 
fourty - - - - 6 

Sold M'. Humphrcv j* 28th JanT, 1650, for 6*. 

One half*headed beddstead, w*'* a damix cannopy, 
and two cushions - - - - 6 

Sold Mr. Bass. 


£. H, d. 

One old quilt - - - - - 2 

Sold to Mr. Ba^s. 

One Turkey eliair, one fcther b<»lslcr. three 
necessaiy stools \v**> panns, oue bathing tub, w*** 
other lumber - - - - 16 

Sold to Ditto. 
One traviss curtaine, one poice of an old damix 
curtaine, and an head board of the same - -040 

Sold to Ditto. 

One suit of old stript stufle hangings, two peices 
of green cotton, two window curtains and a rodd - 1 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

One French bedstead apparell** w'^' green sea 
curtains and vallance - • • - 1 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

Six feather bedds, five boulstcrs - • - 7 

Sold Ditto. 

One flock bedd, and two bouUtera - - 8 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

Twenty and four ruggs and blanketts • - 1 

Sold Mr. Ba:^s. 

One old surplice of Holland - • - 5 

Sold Mr. Ba^s ditto. 

One dammaske towell tenn y^* in length, and 
8 more of 9 yards a peice • •* • - 1 12 

Four more Damaske table cloths • - 8 

Three cuppboard cloaths of Damaske - • 12 

Six dozen of Damaske napkins • • - 1 10 


£. s. d. 

Three pr of old Holland sheets, and three p** of 

piUowbers, and nine little pillowbers, four elbowe 

pillows at- - - - - -4 15 

Six small arming: towells - - - 2 

One Dammaske table cloth in length 10 y^* - 2 

One other of y* same length - - - 1 10 

One other of y* like Damaske - - - 16 

One other of y« same, somew' longer - - 18 

One other - - - - - 10 
All these sold Mr. Humpherys as above aprais'. 

One other of y« like length . . . 10 

One Dammaske table cloth 7 y^* long . .17 

Another of the same length . . . 14 

Seven Dammaske towells at 9 y^* the peice . 2 16 

Five doz" of dyaper napkins . .16 

Three coarse cuppboard cloths and two towells .070 
The chest y* contained y' s^ lining . .030 

Twenty old dyaper and flaxen napkins full of holes 15 
Fifteen dyaper napkins, somewhat better . 15 

Four doz' of old napkins, with y* trunk wherein 
the lining was, and two jo}nied stooles . . 10 

Sold all these to Mr. Humpheiys as appraised. 

A p^ of andirons, fire shov", and tongs .050 

In the elosett n^^in y* Wardrobe. 
One piece of damix and two traviss curtains, one 
old chaire and an old stoole . . . .080 

In tJie Chapiain*8 Chamber. 
One old beddstead, five old sea curtains, two old 
foulding tables, a fire grate, two window curtains, two 
old wooden chaires, and a broken wainscott press .10 

In the Genllewoman^M Chamber. 

Two tables, one court cuppboard, one fire grate, 

one halfe-lioadi'd beddstead, two fether bedda, two 

blauketts, one yellow rugg, one fether boulater, one 

flock boulster, one black and white coveilidd, one 


£. 8. d. 

green caunopie, y« stuff hangings round ye room, 
two old 5*toolf.'*, one fii*e shov" and tongs, one p' of 
bellows, one eaudlestiek, and a chamber pott.* 

In y^ Counieue her Chamber. 

A tabic and an old bedstead . . .050 

One beddstcad w"» a cannopie and curt"* of 
Kiddermust^ stuife, one feath' bed andboulster, three 
pillows, y* btutte hanging about y* chamber, one carpitt 
of y* same, one court cuppb^, a chamb'' pott and fire 
grate, two p' of tongs and fire shov", 1 p' of bellows 
and two p' of old torn sheets, valued alltogether .310 

In ihe Dry Larder, 
Three brass pans . . . .10 

One possnet and a fish kettle . 12 

One brass kittle . . . . .050 

One small kittle, two frying pans, and two driping 
pans . . 16 

Sold all these, as appraised, to Mr. Bass. 

One great brass pott . 16 

One trevett .020 

One p' of iron racks . . .070 

Eighteen spitts and 3 gridirons, and 2 iron plats 
for y« fire .10 

One powdering table, and some old shelves and 
other lumber .060 

One old long brass ladle . .010 

In y* Wine Cellar. 
One little leaden cesteme, with some shelves and 
other lumber • . • 1 10 

In the Pauntry* 

One press, one beddstedd, one chaire, two chests, 
one bynn, and other lumber . .10 

* No Ttltts is aiRxed to thtte. 


£. 9. 

In the Chamber over y* Porter* s LoOfjc^ 
One fire grate, cue great brass pott, one wniiwcott 
chaire, three st coles, one fire sliov", two ni.e:u:'«. two 
stript curt"*, and two daniaske eiirt'''% lliive M:»ijk(t(s. 
two small fetlicr beds, two boulstors, one pillow, (nio 
necessar}' stoole and pann, one olil woihIimi sluivtil, 
one old small biickctt, two loatlitT drinking; jatk;', 
and one old lanthorne, valued at .500 

A Particular of Pewter brought and weighed all 
together as it was found in severall places of g* 
Castle y y* 4 .A'bC, 1650. 

Tenn eandlostioks, 4 basons and ewers, two hand 
basons, one great pewter eestern, twenty pye and 
pasty plato.'^, two small dishes, thirty-nine dishes of 
eeverall sizes, two ehamb' pots, forty-five dishes w«*» 
where in }* Dry Larder, seventeen other chanib' pots, 
valued together . 15 

More in y* Great TPardrobe. 

Six small old fcther bedds, five boidsters, two 
flock boulsters. two old quilts and four old piUows, 
three small riiiri;s and seven bhnkets . . 15 18 

Sold M' Broun of Bridge Xorth, y^ 18th Januar}*, 

1650, for 15/. 185. 

A cnpp and cover of plate, weighing 35 oz. at 5$. 
p' ounce . 8 15 

Sold to do. for do. 

A pulpitt cloth and a carpitt of crimson relvett, 
and aeverall old cushions .800 

Sold Mr. Browne do. for eight pounds. 

In the Buttery and Cellar. 
Divers old casks, broaken and rotten ; allso divers 
other kind of lumber about the Castle, and one pow* 
deriDg tubb at y* govemour*s own house in ye towne, 
and part of a horse mill, aU valued at 1 10 

Sold Mr. Bass. 


The court of the Marches was restored after the resto- 
ration of royalty, but it had lo<t most of its importance. A 
sciio« of iiotniual vice-pioi'I-jnt:', the carl of Carbcrry, the 
marrpii'^ of N'/orci-tor, prince ilupert, and the earl of 
>Iao( It > field, pro-i«l<(l sue ce-^sivcly during the reigns of 
Charks II, and James II. On the foiuth of December, 
IC^S, the lord Ileibert of Chirbury, Sir Edward Harley, 
and most of the rrentlemen of Herefordshire and Worcester- 
shire, iiiet at Worcester and declared for the prince of 
Oranc^o. Ludlow Castle was secured fin* the prince by lord 
Herbert who im]iri5oned in it sir Walter l^lount and the 
poj)i«*h sherilf of Worcester. The jurisdiction of the lords 
presidents was now con^^idcred as a p:ri(^vance, and one of 
the first acts of the new reij;n was to al)oH«ih it. This was 
effected in the year liJ^O, by a very brief act of parliament 
(I Will. & Mar. c. '27;, entitled "An act for taking away 
the court holden before the pre>i(lent and council of the 
Marches of Wales." The preamble merely states as the 
cause of the abolition of the court, that its proceedings and 
decrees " have by experience been found to be an intolerable 
burthen to the subject witliin the said principality, contrary 
to the great charter, the known laws of the land, and the 
birthright of the subject, and the means to introduce an ar- 
bitary power and government." It is added that all matters 
which came within the cognizance of this court might be 
determined in the ordinary courts of law. In fact, the court 
of the ilarchcs had been instituted at a time when the state 
of this part of the kingdom required some extraordinary 
manifestation of power to keep it in due obedience to the 
laws, and was entirely useless now that that state of things 
had disappeared. 

Ludlow Castle remained in the possession of the crown, 
and was for a while occupied by a governor, a sinecure for 
some retired officer who resided in a few of the rooms, while 
the rest of the castle was neglected, and the whole was 
gradually allowed to go into decay and ruin. A catalogue 
of the furniture in the castle in the year 1708, which was 


printed from the original manuscript in a History of Ludlow 
published in 1794^ will give some notion of the condition of 
the castle at that time, and may be compared with the 
older inventory of the time of the commonwealth. It is 
labelled " A Catalogue of the goodes in Ludlow Castle, 
delivered by Captain Jones to the governor." 

In the Hall. 
Fifty-eight musquettes whereof one wants a lock ; 37 pikes, 
one olberd, four tables, 8 benches, 1 table plank, one large iron 
shovel, and 1 iron grate. 

In the Couneell Chamber. 
Four table boards and frames, 3 green carpets, 4 Turkey 
work*d chairs, whereof 2 are broke; 3 leather chairs, whereof 
one broke; one sconse, one cast morter and iron pestle, one 
iron fender and grate. 

In the Passage, 
Four old broken chairs, one wainscott cupboard. 

In the President** JFlth-draniTig Room. 
Eleven gilt leather chairs, one old elbow chair, 4 tables, 4 
aconses, whereof two broke, the room hung >rith gilt leather, 
one piece wanting, one large Turkey carpet, one green carpet, 
one iron grate. 

In the President^ s Bed Chamber hung with tapestry. 
Two Turkey carpets, 2 tables, 1 looking glass, 6 chairs of 
which 2 gilt, 3 leather, 1 old green one, bedsteads with damask 
curtaina and counterpane, 2 old beds, one bolster, 2 pillows, 1 
blanket, one grate, one quilt, one stand, all old. 

In the Serwmt's Roam adjoining to my Lord's rtithm, hw^ 

with tapestry. 
One old feather bed, 2 old bolsters, 1 pillow, one blanket, 
and an old rug, one old bedstead hung with old Kidderminster 
stoffe, one Uttel table, and old grey carpett. one coflTer, one close 

■tool case. 

In my hordes Closet, 

One broken looking glass, 3 tables, 2 old Turkey caipet8,one 
old large green carpet, one old leather chair, one iron grate, one 
iron window curtain rod. 


In the Pa$$age by the Wiih-dramng Room. 

One sconse. 

In the Closet next the Passage. 
Two old chairos, 1 pair of toii^s. 

In the Plate Room. 
Ono table, one broken chair, four brass kottlos, one powter 
chainbor pot, two old pewter ewers, 3:J lari^^o and Munli ju'wter 
dislies, 5 pic plates, 3 pasty plates, 2 pewter rin;;s lor iKsei-ts, 
67 pewtt^r plates, 5 pewter Btaiuls, \ powtrr b;w«nis. 2 rl(>M'.>too! 
pans, 1 chamber pot, 5 brass stew pans, 3 old ct)|)iH'r sauri'paiis, 
1 tin pasty pan, 5 candlesticks, whereof one broke. i>»t» cast jH)tt 
possnett, ono old iron dripping pan, 9 spitts, one &cttle, one pair 
of old bellows, one bench. 

In the great Dining Room. 

Six old grey chairs and stooles. 

In Prince jlrthur^s Room. 
One grey stuffe bed, two old feather beds, gutted, 2 bolsters, 
one pillow, one old rug, one silk quilt, 4 chairs, one table and 
grey carpet, part of an old grate, the room hanged w4th £reen. 

In the Ladies Withdrawing Room. 
One grey cloth bed and siUc counteqiane, 3 feather beds, 
one bolster, one old blankett, 10 red damask chairs, 2 tables, one 
Turkey carpett, 2 window curtains and rodds, old large looking 
glasse, one iron grate : the room hmig with tapestry. 

In the Ladies Lodging Room^ partly hung with yellow damask* 
Pour tables, 6 old stooles and chairs, one grate. 

In the Ladies Mind^s Room hung with old Kldderfninster stuff. 

Bed and curtains of the same, one old gutted flock bed, one 

bolster and pillow of the same ; one Turkey carpett upon the bed. 

In the Ladies Closet^ partly hung with Kidderminster Stuffe. 
One old bed and bedstead, 2 leather chairs, 1 grate. 

In the Pantry. 
Two tables, 4 old bread chests, part of a broken bedstead, 
one old trunk, one broken sash frame that stood in the presi* 
dent's chamber. 

In the Chief Justice's Room. 
One old bedstead, 2 tables, one old broken stoole. 


In the Servants Room adfoming. 
One old rotten bedstead, one old bed, 2 bolsters, old, one old 

In the Kitchen. 
One pair of iron racks, 2 brossc boilers, 1 lead cistern, 2 
gridirons, 1 iron barr, 1 dresser, 1 frame, 4 old tubbs, 2 old 
chairs, one broke. 

In Uie Yeoman of the Wood Yard^e Boom. 
One old table, one old low bedstead. 

In the Pastry Room. 
One old table. 

In the ChaplanCs Chamber. 
Two old broken bedsteads, two tables. 

In the 2nd Judge^s Room. 
One feather bed and bolster, one blanket, one green and 1 
stufte coverlet, one table, one Turkey carpet, 3 chairs, 1 grate 
in the closet, 2 old bedsteads, one old chaire, one old table. 

In the Puny Judge^s Room. 
One old tick of a bed and bolster, one bedstead, part of old 
stuffe curtains, G old broken chairs, 8 tables, 3 old rugs. 

In the Passage to the Judge^s Room. 
One press, one table. 

in the CeUars. 
Eighteen stinking hogsheads, and 6 butts, 6 hogsheads with 
their heads out, one leather chair, one large broken tundiah, one 
table, one broken bedstead. 

In the Puny Judge^s Roam up two pair of Stairs. 
Three broken bedsteads, one old chair, and 2 tables. 

In the Brewhouse. 
One very large copper furnace, 2 large coolers, one large 
mashing tub, old. 

In the JFardrobe. 
T\i'o gridirons, one large barr fire shovel and reeper, I fork, 
1 pair of tongs, 1 old bedstead, 4 old trunks, broken, one old 
broken coffer, one broken table, two little broken barrells, one 
elbow chaire. 

In Captain Haughioris Room. 

Ten chairs. *? • 7 ^' { 


In tlie Parlour. 
Eight old Turkey chairs, 4 elbow chairs, 2 table;), 2 Turkey 

In the KltcJien. 
Four tables, G old broken chairs and stools, one old napkin 

In the Room 09er the Parlour. 
T\vo Turkey carpets, 1 old rug, 2 old chairs, 1 cushin, 1 
grate, 1 low stand, 1 table. 

In the Room over the Kitchen^ partly hung with tapestry. 
One bed, 1 bolster, 1 bedstead, G old chairs, 2 cushins, one 
green car[)et, one piu:i)le carpet, 1 table, 1 close stool and pan, 
3 pair of old Holland torn sheets, 3 old torn table cloths, 1 pair 
of tongs and fire shovel, 1 old broken stand. 

In the Garrette. 
Three old bedds, 1 old curtain^ one old rugg, 2 broken 
chaires, 1 bedstead, 1 table, 2 rotten quilts to put on the beds. 

In the ChappelL 

One table at the altar. 

In the Passage next the Council Chamber. 

Two iron grates, 1 broken fire shovel, 3 little tables. 

Tben. karvee. 

Signed by < GEO. BRUNTT. 




Although the court of the Marches, and the still older 
princely court to which it succeeded, have long passed away, 
they have left us a memorial in the noble castle whose 
ruins fonn one of the chief attractions of the town of 
Ludlow, the centre of its former jurisdiction. Ludlow 
Castle is perhaps one of the most interesting buildings of 
the kind in the kingdom, for it offers examples of the 
military architecture of all periods, from the early ages of 
the Normans to the period when castles in this country 
ceased to be built. 

The study of the military architecture of the middle ages 
is an interesting one, and has till recently been little 
attended to in comparison with that of our ecclesiastical 
buildings. To explain even briefly the history of such a 
complicated edifice as Ludlow Castle, it will be necessary 
to give some general views, not only of the character of the 
buildings of different ages, but of the necessity which called 
for them. 

The warfare of uncivilized ages consisted merely in a 
series of incursions and plundering expeditions; an army 
was incapable of keeping the field for more than a brief 
period. The walled towns were long the only protection 
against invaders for those who dared not encounter the 
enemy in the field. This seems to have been the case 
under the Anglo-Saxons ; but when the Normans brought 
in the feudal system of the continent, new manners in this 
respect were introduced, and as each feudal chieftain had 
now his own independent interest and power, and was 
therefore liable to be exposed singly to war and invasion, it 
was necessary he should have his own place of refuge. The 
thane's house, in the previous period, had been walled as a 


protection against sudden attacks of robbers and banditti, 
with which the country was often infested, but it was 
necessary for the Norman baron to be able to resist attacks 
of a much more formidable character. Thus the house of 
the chieftain became a castle ; which consii^tcd still of all 
the parts of an ordinary mansion, but drawn up into the 
most solid and impenetrable form that could be contrived. 

The invasions to which the feudal baron was exposed 
were often sudden, and always of short duration. He was 
not always allowed the time to gather his vassals together 
to resist, and often the enemy was too numerous for him to 
think of contending with in the field. He threw himself 
into his solid mansion, and trusted to the resistance of 
stones and mortar, until he could obtain assistance, or till 
his enemy was tired and drew off from the attack. 

The mode of attacking a fortress at this time was rather 
a tedious one. If the walls could not be scaled, they were 
either thrown down, or a hole was made through them. 
The former method was practised chiefly against the walls 
of a town, and was often thus effected. A number of men 
were employed to dig the earth from under the foundations 
of a certain portion of the wall, which, as they went on, 
they propped up with timber; when they had under* 
mined a sufficient quantity of wall, they brought together 
inflammable materials, set fire to the timber, and when it 
was burnt the wall naturally fell, and thus a breach was 
effected. To penetrate the wall, the labourers went to 
work deliberately, with various tools for the purpose, exactly 
as they would make an excavation in a rock. In either 
case the operation was far from a rapid one, and it was 
necessary sometimes to protect the workmen for many days 
together. This was done by constructing immense sheds 
or chambers of timber, which were impenetrable to the 
weapons then in use. Large sheds of this kind were 
moved on wheels up against the wall to cover the workmen 
while smaller ones were kept moving backwards and for- 
wards to supply them with tools and provisions, and bring 


them reinforcements. These machines were called sotrs. 
The only way of warring against them was to send out a 
small body of men unawares to attack them by sur})risc 
and set fire to them^ before assistance could be brought to 
their rescue ; and for this purpose we generally find traces 
of small sally-ports, upon whicli, and upon their own 
machines, the enemy would generally keep a special watch. 

When we bear in mind this mode of attack, we under- 
stand at once the construction of the early Norman square 
edifice which constituted the castle in the time of the 
conqueror, and the model of which, in England, is said to 
have been that built by bishop Gundulf at Rochester. To 
overthrow any part of such a building by undermining was 
out of the question. The walls at the bottom, where only 
an engine could be brought against it, were so thick, that 
it was almost a solid mass; and if, after inmiense labour, 
the besiegers did succeed in penetrating into the interior, 
there was so little communication between the ground 
floor and the floor above that they might almost as well 
have remained outside. No windows that admitted of a 
man passing through them were placed so low as to be 
accessible by any ladders that could be brought to bear 
against them ; and the entrance doorway was also at a con* 
siderable elevation, and its approaches easy of defence from 
the interior. The state, or family apartments, were usually 
on the second story, at an elevation where there was little 
danger even from missiles, and where therefore they could 
have larger windows, with chambers and closets worked in 
the thickness of the walls. The entrance floor was appro- 
priated to the kitchen and various offices, and beneath, 
^Wthiu the ponderous masonry of the ground floor, were 
small dark rooms which served, perhaps, as prisons^ but 
sometimes contained (as at Newcastle) the chapel^ and 
sometimes store rooms. 

Such was a castle in the time of William the Conqueror. 
It is a matter of doubt whether originally there were 
any outer walls or defences, and it seems probable that 


in many cases at least there were none, except a mere 
inclosure, useful only in times of peace, but incapable of 
resisting an enemy. Where we find traces of original 
walls of enceinte, they arc accounted for by accidental cir- 
cumstances. At Newcastle-upon-Tyne the Norman builders 
seem to have taken advantage of the walls of the older 
Roman station within which their castle was raised, and 
to have adopted them as outworks. Such also was the 
case at Pevenscy and Porchestcr. 

It will be seen at once that such a building as that we 
have been describing was almost impregnable. The house- 
hold was enveloped in a shell of masonry, as the individual 
was in a shell of iron, and as the latter might not be killed 
with a blow, no more could you overcome the Norman 
keep by an assault. Still its inmates were in a state of 
constraint, and, as their defenders were not numerous, if an 
enemy presented himself at the head of a large army, 
prepared to carry on a blockade, they became little better 
than prisoners, and would soon be under the necessity of 
capitulating. They could make no effective sallies of an 
offensive character, with the troops who could be harboured 
in a single tower, however large. When, therefore, war 
took a more permanent character, and more numerous 
armies were brought into the field, it became necessary to 
alter the castle system, by enlarging the fortified circuit so 
that a whole army could take shelter within. These 
enlarged castles seem to have come into fashion in the 
wars of king Stephen, and from this time the chief tower 
diminished, and the outworks increased in importance, 
until the former was almost entirely thrown aside, and the 
walls and towers of the enceinte formed the castle. This 
system of castellation, which took its grand developement 
in the latter part of the thirteenth century, has received 
from archseologists the name of Edwardian. 

The Norman tower, like the more ancient Roman 
fortress, stood firm as the ground by its own mass, and, 
from the character of its walls, did not need the farther 


protection of a fosse or ditch. When the walls became 
more extensive and less ponderous, the fosse was drawn 
round them to hinder the sows or shelters for the breachers 
from being brought up to the wall. It was not necessary 
that the fosse should have water in it; in fact, it was 
better in many respects without water, because wood might 
be brought to swim upon the water, whereas the inter- 
vention of a dry fosse was a complete protection against the 
approach of machines for breaching. Where the walls 
could be placed on the edge of a steep rock or hill, there 
was of course no necessity for a fosse at all. Thus the 
steep on which the western walls of Ludlow Castle stand 
was a suflicient protection, and there was no need of a foese 
there; the fosse surrounded the castle on the side which 
lay towards the town, and it was on this side only that it 
could be attacked. 

We must bear these circiunstances in mind when we 
read of the different sieges and surprises to which this 
important fortress was exposed during its earlier history. 
The tower in the middle of the castle from which Joce de 
Dinan took his survey of the surrounding country,* was, no 
doubt, the Norman keep tower. It was from the towers at 
the back of the castle, above the rock, and where therefore 
there was no fosse, that Arnold de Lisle made his escape^f 
and that he gained admission by stealth into the casde 
subsequently during the absence of Joce de Dinan. The 
ease with which he effected both objects is explained by the 
circumstance, that, as no hostile attack could be made on 
this side, it was not considered necessary to place watchmen 
there; the watch was kept along the eastern walls. We 
have already shown how the subsequent siege of the castle 
by Joce de Dinan was carried on entirely from the latter 

The oldest part of Ludlow Castle is no doubt the massive 
tower which here, as elsewhere, has preserved its English 
name of a keep instead of the Norman name of daemon. 

* p. M of the present Tolome. f p. 56, t P* 58. 


Although much smaller than Rochester and Newcastle, 
and most of the other keep towers of the same period, it 
bears a sufficiently close rcsc^mblance to them to convince 
us that it was the castle said to have been built by Kogcr 
de Montgomery. It will be seen by the plan that this 
tower was placed exactly in the position to overlook the 
ford of the river, and the high road leading from Shrews- 
bury through Bromfield and Wigmore to Leominster and 

All the more ancient parts of Ludlow Castle have been 
so much altered to suit the purposes of a later period that 
it is now very difficult to ascertain their original arrange- 
ment. This is especially the case with the Norman keep, 
which has had all its windows enlarged, its entrances 
changed, even its floors have been raised or lowered at 
different times, its walls internally have been cut up into 
fire-places, and in later times it appears to have had a 
peaked roof, the ridge running from north to south, and 
occupying part of the space of what was originally the up^ier 
floor of the tower. The only one of the Norman windows 
which remains in its original state is one looking into the 
moat, which has been recently brought to light by clearing 
away the ivy. The present entrance stair to the floor of 
the keep appears to have been made in the reign of Henry 
VII through what was originally the solid mass of the 

The entrance to the Norman keep was usually on the 
first floor, and generally at one comer, which allowed the 
staircase of approach to be run down the same side of the 
tower, outside, to the ground. The approach was thus 
exposed in its whole ascent to attacks from the windows 
and summit of the tower, and as it could be mounted only 
by men singly and on foot, it was difficult of assault and 
easy of defence. In some instances the stair had a parapet ; 
in others it was arched over ; and the entrance was some- 
times, as at Newcastle and Dover, further protected by a 
small tower attached to the side of the other. At Ludlow 
3 M 


the original entrance was at the south east comer of the 
first floor, where the rather lofty arched passage still 
remains ; the stair descended apparently on the outside of 
the tower down to the north-east comer, where the present 
entrance has been made, but the original masonry has been 
here much broken into when the last-mentioned entrance 
was made, and when the buildings attached to the more 
modem entrance to the inner court were erected. Within 
the entrance at the south-east comer of the first floor 
an arched passage descends in the massive thickness of 
the eastern wall; this, which is now in great part filled 
up with rubbish, I suppose may have been the original 
communication between the first floor of the keep tower 
and the apartments on the ground floor. The thickening 
of the wall below by the stair of ascent outside, would 
compensate for the weakness which it might otherwise 
derive from this passage. The wall supporting the entrance 
staircase would be the last place where an enemy would 
attempt to breach. 

The lowest apartments in the keep— those on the ground 
floor — ^had no external doors and no windows ; those which 
at present exist are probably of a period not earlier than 
the latter end of the sixteenth century. In all Norman 
keeps the apartments on this floor are vaulted; this at 
Ludlow has a barrel ceiling, and the north and south walls 
are for the basement floor unusually thin. Indeed the 
basement story of Ludlow keep is altogether much less 
substantial in proportion to its size than most buildings of 
the same class. The interior apartment is generally eon- 
sidered as having served the purpose of a dungeon, but 1 
doubt much if this was its original use. At the north-east 
oomeTj exactly opposite the foot of the passage descending 
in the mass of Uie wall, are two Norman arches, slightly 
ornamented, and of primitive character. From their ap- 
pearances I am inclined to think that here was the original 
chapel of the Norman castle. They are represented in 
the annexed cut To the right of these arches is a passage 


1 ilMilii UKMplf LaillovCiKk 

ill the wall, which, in the present amngement of the 
interior appears to be so inexplicable in its object, that it 
has been populatlj' taken for a den for a litm that was kept 
to devour the prisoners, a notion too absurd for considera- 
tion. This passage has two entrances into what is now 
one apartment; from the first, represented in our cut, it 
proceeds about two feet at right angles to the internal 
surface of the wall, then makes a rectangular turn to the 
right, about eight feet, and then re-enters the room at an 
exactly similar door. The only explanation I can give of 
this singular passage is, that originally this lower room 
was divided by a strong transverse wall between the 
two door-ways, and that the passage was the communi- 
cation between tbem. From the magnitude of the passage 
descending from the first floor to these basement rooms, 
we may suppose that one at least was used as a store room. 
I consider it doubtful if even the two holes in the roof of 
this bwer room are not additions to the original edifice. 

The strength of the building required ^at these lower 
apartments should be vaulted in masonry. The floors 
above were of timber. The first fioor was allotted to the 
retainers and soldiers, and was lighted only by narrow 


loops, like that looking into the moat which has been 
recently uncovered. The second floor was usually devoted 
to the state apartments^ and here the windows were of 
larger dimensions. The communication between the dif- 
ferent floors was by a small newel staircase in the turret of 
the north-east comer, which originally commenced with 
the first floor. Ludlow keep has none of the galleries in 
the walls above which characterize most of these Norman 
towers; but on each floor the chief apartment had its 
closets and smaller rooms adjoining. Some parts of it 
require closer examination, for the mass of building on the 
east side evidently contains some small apartments to 
which there appears at present no entrance. The small 
rooms on the west side of the first floor also appear to be 
partly built up, and they seem to have communicated with 
another small room on the ground floor below. 

The keep of Ludlow Castle is more perfect in its turrets 
and battlements than we usually find these Norman towers, 
for the exterior masonry to the summit appears to be 
original. Another circumstance deserves to be pointed out 
in regard to this part of the building. It was the custom, 
when a castle was threatened with an attack, to erect im- 
mediately upon the tops of the walls and towers additional 
structures of timber, which served as defences to the war- 
riors who occupied the walls, and for fixing and working 
offensive machinery to annoy the besiegers. These timber 
defences were called by an Anglo-Norman term breteehe$ or 
breiescAeSf and they appear in medieval pictures repre- 
senting attacks upon castles. In the external walls of the 
keep of Ludlow Castle, a little below the summit, are seen 
a number of large iron staples, which I presume were the 
original fixtures for the iretesches in time of siege. I am 
not aware if they have been observed in any other castles. 

The great alterations in the interior of the keep of 
Ludlow Castle appear, by the architecture of the windows, 
doors, and fire places, to have been made subsequent to the 
period at which this fortress became the seat of the court of 


jurisdiction over Wales and its Marches, when these apart- 
ments were wanted for purposes that required light and 
other conveniences which the original arrangement of the 
keep did not aiford. The anns on the doorway of the 
stairs which now lead to the first floor of the keep show 
that the alterations which superseded the original entrance 
were made under the reign of Ilcnrj' VII, 

In the south-west corner of the fii-st floor of the keep, 
opposite the archway of the original entriince, is another 
more lofty archway, evidently belonging to the original 
building. This leads to what was i>erhaps originally a 
covered way, along the rather massive wall to the west, 
which conducts us to a tower on the outer wall looking 
over the ancient ford of the river. This is a very unusal 
arrangement in a Norman keep, and as the tower just 
alluded to appears to be also early Norman, perhaps the 
original building consisted of a square, of which the keep 
or main building formed the south-cast corner. This 
would explain another peculiarity of the arrangements of 
this more ancient part of Ludlow Castle. In the early 
Norman castles, the well was almost invariably in the 
interior of the keep, usually in the substance of the wall, 
through which its pipe, from two to three feet in diameter, 
ascended to the first and second stories, with an opening in 
each. It is evident that nothing could be more necessary 
for the security of the keep, in time of siege, than to have 
the perpetual command of a supply of water. I am not 
aware that any traces of a well have ever been discovered 
in the keep at Ludlow, but there is a very deep well within 
the inclosure which would be formed by the square which I 
have just supposed may have constituted the original castle, 
and which, as will be seen by our plan, was surrounded by 
very substantial walls, having the tower marked 20 for its 
north-western comer. 

The floor of the small south-western tower, marked 21 in 
our plan, which appear to have been of timber, is entirely 
gone, and it is impossible to say what was the original 


amngement or purpose of the ground floor. At « subae- 
quent period, when the castle had attained its present 
dimensions, and this earlier part of the castle was turned 
into brewhouaes and bakehousea, the lower part of this 
tower was turned into an enormous oven. The first floor 
appears to hare been originally the kitchen for the com- 
paratively small garrison necessary to man the castle and 
command the passage of the bridge or ford below. On the 
north side are still seen a fire-place and oven, evidently of 
an early date; they are represented in the accompanying 
cut. A doorway in the south-western comer of this room 

leads to some conveniences which are also Norman. Above 
rose a lofty watch tower, which overlooked the river below. 
The portion of the castle which we have been de«cribuag 
constituted, oo doubt, what the writer of the romance of the 
Fits Warines considered (he fint bayU, or ward of the 
castle, and which that curious and interesliQg doeomeot 
ascribes to Roger de Montgomery. On the same authority 
ire assume, and probably correcdy, that the castle was first 
enlarged hj Joce de Diiuui, probably towards the end of 
the reign of Henry I. The traditionary account of the 


progressive enlargement of the castle given in the romance 
of the Fit2 Warines seems to be substantially correct, and 
we can hardly doubt that, in the time of king Stephen's 
wars, the castle covered the same space of ground which it 
occupies at present, although its buildings were not quite 
so extensive. The oldest part which attracts our attention 
after the keep is the round chapel in the inner court, the 
architectural style of which is that usually termed late 
Norman. It is more likely to have been built late in the 
reign of Stephen, or early in that of his successor, than 
in the reign of Henry I, but still we see no reason for 
doubting the authority of the document just quoted, which 
ascribes it to Joce de Dinan. Its position shows that when 
it was built the circuit of the walls of the inner bayle or 
court occupied the same site as at present, and this agrees 
exactly with the account of the surprise of the castle by 
Arnold de Lisle. Sentinels are described as patrolling on 
the walls behind the chapel, of course to keep watch over 
the outer bayle or ward, then, as at present, a mere exten- 
sive space surrounded with walls, and from whence only an 
attack was apprehended. The household already occupied 
the buildings at the northern side of the inner court, or 
second bayle^ which were perhaps less extensive than at 
present. The soldiers who had charge of the castle were 
lodged in the keep and the buildings attached to it, which 
formed the first bayle. The inmates lay in perfect security, 
without any apprehension of an attack, and the only 
sentinels appear to have been those on the wall behind the 
chapel. These having been silenced, the invaders found 
nothing to debar them from entering the keep and putting 
its inmates to death, and all this was done without even 
disturbing the household. 

The same authority we are now quoting tells us the story 
of the capture of Hugh de Mortimer, and informs us that 
he was imprisoned in the highest tower of the third bayle 
of the castle, which was in the time of the writer (at least 
as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century) popu- 


larly termed Mortimer's Tower. There is still in the outer 
court a tower known by this name, and said to have been 
Mortimer's prison. Its position is exactly that which we 
should expect would be chosen for a place of confinement, 
if any place in the outer court was made to serve that 
purpose, and a closer examination of the masonry would 
probably enable us to identify it. It is desirable that the 
walls and buildings round the inner court should undergo a 
similar examination, to determine how much remains of the 
works of Joce de Dinan. 

The mass of buildings on the north side of the inner 
court, looking up the vale of the Teme and Corve, arc of the 
Edwardian period, though they also have undergone much 
alteration, especially the grand hall. Tliis apartment, 
which is marked 15 in our plan of the castle^ forms the 
connection between two large towers. There is little to 
enable us to judge of the particular puriK>ses of this exten- 
sive mass of buildings, and tradition is a very doubtful 
authority for the names which are popularly given to some 
of them. A careful comparison might perhaps enable us to 
identify them with some of the names given to them in the 
inventories printed at (he end of our last chapter. We can 
have little doubt that the base of the large tower at the 
west end of the hall contained the butteries, and perhaps 
the kitchen of the Edwardian castle. The later and larger 
kitchen is understood to have occupied the site marked 17 
on the plan. The room above the buttery (16) is called 
popularly " Prince Arthur's Room," but why it is appro- 
priated to that personage is not clear. The tower at the 
east end of the hall contained apparently the state apart- 
ments of the Edwardian period, and the architectural 
ornamentation is much more finished than that of the 
other parts of the castle. The apartment on the first floor 
ifl called the banquetting room. The chimney-piece is 
unusually ornamental, the corbels of the ceiling are wrought 
into figures of men and women crowned, which are not 
deficient in artistical beauty. One doorway, represented 


in the Bccompaaying cut, and characterised by Boni« archi- 
tectural peculiarities, is remarkable for its elegance. A 

room adjoioing to (his tower, and numbered 12 in our 
plan, is named, oo what authority I am not aware, th« 
Armoury, and it is pretended that the rooms beyond theae, 
marked 10 in the plan, were occupied by the two princes, 
sons of Edward IV. The buildings on the opposite side of 
the inner court, by the side of the entrance, are evidently 
not more ancient than the Elizabethan period. 

The ruin of this noble castle is the work of comparatively 
a very recent period. Soon after the accession of George I, 
an order is said to have come down for unroofing the 
buildings and stripping them of their lead, and this act of 
vandalism was soon followed by the decay of the floors and 
other parts constructed of wood, and by the plunder of the 
furniture. In the descriptions of different visitors subsequent 
to this period we may trace the progressive stages of the 
work of destruction. 

In the account prefixed to Buck's Antiquities, published 
in 1774, it is observed, " that many of the royal apartments 
were entire, and the sword of state with the velvet hanging* 
3 M 

454 THE HISTORY OF Ll'I)t4>W. 

was preserved.'* An extract from a tour through Great 
Britain, quoted by Grose as a just and accurate account of 
the castle, represents the chapel as '* having abundance of 
coats of arms ui)on the panels, and the hall as decorated 
with the same kind of ornaments, together with lances, 
spears, fire-locks, and old armour." Dr. Todd, in his 
edition of Comus, says, '' a gentleman who visited the castle 
in 1768 has acquainted me that the floor of the great 
council chamber was then pretty entire, as was the staircase. 
The covered steps leading to the chapel were remaining, 
but the covering of the chapel was fallen ; yet the arms of 
some of the lords president were visible." In 1811, the 
earl of Powis, who previously held the castle in virtue of a ' 
long lease, acquired the reversion in fee by purchase from 
the crown. 


The Church of Ludlow is undoubtedly the finest eccle- 
siastical building in the county of Salop, and perhaps the 
most stately parochial edifice in England. Its architecture 
is in the style of the latter part of the fifteenth century; 
though it is less florid than is usual in the buildings of 
that period. It is unusually capacious for a parish charch, 
is cruciform in plan, and consists of a nave, choir, chaneely 
transepts, side aisles, and two large chantry chapels, with a 
finely proportioned and lofty tower in the centre, having at 
each angle an octangular turret, surmounted by a pinnacle* 

* The following deteriplioii of the church of St Lawreaee, at Lndlov. 
I owe to the kindnete of Mr. Henry Pidgeon, author of Mtmenmh ^ 
S h n wth mr f, ftc Historical notices relating to this scclesiMtical •difles 
will be feoid in the eowie of the preceding pegee. 


The principal entrance from the town is by a large hexa- 
gonal porch, embattled at the top. The nave is divided 
from the aisles by six lofty pointed arches on each side, 
springing from light clustered pillars, each consisting of 
four tai)er shafts, with the intermediate spaces hollowed. 
Above them is a clerestory, with a range of heavy windows 
devoid of tracery. The great western window is entirely 
modernized, and its richly ornamented mullions destroyed. 
The four great arches under the tower are remarkably 
bold : beneath the eastern arch is the choral rood loft, the 
lower part of which is embellished with open carved work, 
but upon it is erected a modem gallery, above which stands 
a very fine toned organ, given by Henry Arthur earl of 
Powis, in the year 1764; it cost originally £1000, and has 
been subsequently enlarged by important additions. 

This church having been formerly collegiate, it was 
most elegantly fitted up as in cathedrals, with stalls on 
each side. These stalls remain entire and are of good 
workmanship, having been originally intended for the use 
of the ten priests of the rich chantry founded in the adjoin- 
ing chapel of St. John of Jerusalem. The miserere or 
shelving seats exhibit, as usual, fanciful and grotesque 
carvings. It is not known when the ten priests ceased to 
officiate in the choral service ; yet in the registers mention 
is made of master of the choristers (the precentor) a con- 
siderable time after the reformation. 

The choir is spacious and lighted by five lofty pointed 
windows on each side, and one of much larger dimensions 
at the east end, which occupies the whole breadth and 
nearly the whole height of this part of the building. This 
great window is entirely filled with stained glass, of rich 
colouring, representing chiefly the legend of St. Lawrence, 
the patron saint of the church. 

The whole of the windows in this interesting building 
bear evidence of having once been enriched with a profusion 
of stained glass, the splendour of which, judging from 
what lemains, must have been inferior to none in point of 


colouring, since it appears to have been executed by master* 
of the art, and at a peried when glass staining was at its 
highest perfection. 

The choir, chancel, and chantry chapels retain speci- 
mens of great beauty, where events and figures of no 
common interest are depicted, yet these iu places have 
been so barbarously mutilated by modem repairs as to 
present a strange mixture of patch-work. The large eastern 
window of the high chancel, containing the legendary his- 
tory of the life of St. Lawrence, the patron saint of the 
church, was particularly defaced and wantonly broken, so 
much so indeed that the various subjects displayed could 
with difficulty be traced ; though it appears^ from a date 
near the top of the window, to have been repaired in a 
bungling manner about a century ago, when the numerous 
fractures it then contained were filled with common painted 
glass, quite opaque. In this state it remained until 1828, 
when the corporation of Ludlow fortunately directed Mr. 
David Evans, of Shrewsbury, to restore the window accor- 
ding to its original design, which undertaking was completed 
in September, 18S3, in a manner that has excited the 
admiration of every one who has seen it, and even caused 
astonishment at the elaborate skill displayed by the artist 
in overcoming the difficulties he had to encounter in 
replacing many portions of the window which had been 
destroyed, and of so restoring the whole, as to form an 
harmonious display of the most brilliant colouring, whereby 
it is impossible to distinguish the old from the new glass ; 
in fact the window is justly considered as one of the most 
magnificent specimens of the art of glass staining, and for 
general efiSect surpasses any thing of the kind in tha 

The window occupies the whole breadth of the ckanoely 
eighteen feet, and is thirty feet in height The mulUons 
were in the above year renewed by the Messrs. Carline, of 
Shrewsbury, It contains five hundred and forty fieet of 
glass, in sixty-five compartments. The subject is tha 


history of the life, miracles, and martyrdom of St. Lawrence ; 
whose legend is briefly this : — ^he was by birth a Spaniard, 
and treasurer of the church of Rome, being deacon to pope 
Sixtus, about the year 259, and for not delivering up the 
church treasury, which the pagans thought was in his 
custody, he suffered martyrdom by being broiled over a fire 
upon a gridiron; he is said to have borne this with such 
courage as to tell his tormentors that '' he was rather 
comforted than tormented," bidding them " turn him on 
the other side, for that was broiled enough." 

In this window the history of the saint is represented in 
twenty-seven designs, as follows ; — 

1. Lawrence introduced to the pope. The saint accom- 
panied by his confessor, is kneeling under a tree before the 
pope, whose train is supported by a bearer. 

Laurencius adducitur Sirto. 

S. Lawrence ordained a deaccn. The saint, in a kneeling 
posture, is approached by the pope, who is in the act of 
ordaining him, in the presence of the various officers of the 


Hie Sixtus ordinat Laurencium diaconum. 

S. Lawrence appointed treasuret\ The son of the em- 
peror is represented as bringing his treasure in bags, and 
delivering them to the saint before the pope and the church. 


Filius imperatoris Laurencio tradit thesauros. 

4. Lawrence relieving the poor. The saint is here pre- 
senting a piece of money from his bag to the lame, the halt, 
and the blind. 


Latarencius the$auros erogai pauperibuM. 


5. Lawrence captured. The saint in his 
appears secured by the inquisitors. 

Hie Laurencius capiiur ab inquisttaribus. 

6. Lawrence brought before the emperor, attended by the 
captain and a posse of soldiers. 


Laurencius presentatur coram imperatore. 

7. Lawrence before idols. The saint is led by the 
emperor before idols, who appear as falling to pieces by the 
sanctity of his presence. 


Laurencius ducitur coram ydolis. 

8. Lawrence imprisoned. The captain is thrusting the 
saint into prison, by command of the emperor; on the roof 
of the prison, seen in the back ground, are spectators 
witnessing his incarceration. 


Laurencius hie incarceratur. 

9. Lau^rence restoring the blind. During his imprison- 
ment the saint miraculously restores Lucillus to sight in 
the presence of the jailor. 


Laurencius aperii oculos LucHU. 

10. Laurence converts YpoKtus thejaSor, who is kneel- 
ing, and with uplifted hands seems earnestly imploring 
mercy from above; his sincerity appears to make him 
munindful of his office, bis keys laying on the ground 

beside him. 


Lauroneius comoeriU Ypetiium. 


11. Lawrence commanded by the emperor to deliver up 
his treasures, brings before him the poor, the lame, and 
blind, and with his out-stretched and pointed hands seems 
to declare '^ these are my treasures." 

Dueii pauperes coram imperatore. 

12. The emperor, probably enraged at the answer of 
the saint, is beating the poor cripples with a heavy cudgel, 
who are in the act of falling in the greatest confusion 
beneath the weight of his wrath. 


Imperaior verberat paupere$. 

IS. Lawrence threatened with torments. The saint is led 
before the emperor, and the various instruments of torture 
are displayed before him. 


Laurencius temnit tormenta. 

14. This appears to be the first scene of his sufferings. 

The saint, nearly naked, is led forth by ruffians to be 



Laurencitu lapidaiur. 

15. Lawrence scourged with rods. A superior officer 
stands by to see the punishment effectually performed, and 
appears to witness with much stoicism the various acts of 
violence to which the saint is subjected. 

Laurencius verheratur virgis. 

16. Lawrence beaten wUh dubs* The saint lying on the 
ground, several men appear trampling upon him and 
beating him with clubs. 

Laurencius baeuiis 


17. Lawrence Jlogged with whips. The saint being tied 
to a pillar, several barbarians are flogging him with trhips^ 
to which are attached large knots of lead. 


Laurencius ceditur JlageUis plumbeis. 

18. Lawrence torn with hooks. The hands of the saint 
being fastened to a pillar, several men are in the act of 
tearing his flesh with hooks. 


Laurencius laccratur hamis /erreis. 

19. Lawrence burnt wit/i irons. The saint again tied 
to the pillar, is tormented by men applying with laige 
tongs red-hot irons to various parts of his body; some of 
their faces appear even tinged with the heat of the iron, 
and they seem to show more feeling than the tormented. 
One figure, in the act of catching the saint with the hot 
iron under the right ear, is particularly expressive. 


Laurencius cruciatur laminis urentibus. 

20. The sufferings of Lawrence are here terminated by 
roasting him on a ''gridiron." Hence his symboL He 
appears enveloped in flames, while his executioners are 
adding more fuel and increasing the blaze by means of a 
fork ; in the back ground is seen the Saviour, encircled in 
glory, as if in fulfilment of the promise, '' When thou 
passest through the fire I will be with thee, neither shall 
the flame kindle upon thee.'* 

Laurencius assatur cratiada. 

SI. Lawrence buried. The tragic scenes of hie life and 
sufferings being over, the saint, wrapped in a winding- 
sheet, is about to be laid in the tomb, amidst a eoncouite 


of spectators. A priest is performing the burial rites after 
the manner of the Romish Church. 

Laurcncius hie sejycUtur. 

2j3. Is the representation of a cruciform church, with a 
small octangular turret in the centre, and is a curious 
specimen of ancient architecture ; the windows of tht» 
chancel and transepts have the flat kind of arcli introduced 
about the close of the fifteoutli ccnturv, whilst t!io«<ic of the 
clerestory are circular. In the fore ground is a deacon 
apparently in much trouble in consequence of a golden 
chalice having fallen from his hands and broken; he has 
recourse, however, to the prayers of the saint, and it is 


Hie diaconus f regit caJiccm, 

23. The re-appearance of St. Lawrence by the prayers 
of a priest, who causes a dry piece of timber to sprout into 



Hie lignum efficit rccircaccrc. 

24. A table appears to be covered with a cloth, at which 
a figure, seemingly by command of the saint, is distributing 
bread and drink. — It is difficult to assign a meaning to this 

25. Lawrence pointing to a church and giving instruc- 
tions to some bystanders. Perhaps emblematical of the 
church erected to his memory by the empress Pulcheria. 

26. Three figures within a church in the attitude of 
devotion. The inscription of this, with the two foregoing 
subjects are unfortunately wanting. 

S7. Several workmen in the act of forming materials for 
the erection of a church, under the direction of a super- 
intendant. In explanation of this it may be remarked that 


Justinian is said to have enlarged or rebuilt the cdifiee 
erected by Pulcheria. 


* • * * struxit capellam.^ 

The above designs contain upwards of three himdred 

At the spring of the arch, beginning at the left side, are 
full length figures of the Virgin and Child, Saini John, 
an angd holding a shield, azure, two crosiers in saltire, a 
mitre in chief Or ; saint Anne teaching the Virgin Mary 
to ready a bishop in the attitude of prayer^ and seemingly 
adoring saint Anne. The only part of the label remaining 
is media precor Anna. Before the bishop is a table with 
the inscription^ 

Thomas Spoford Dei Gratia Hereford Ep'us. 

On the corresponding side is another angel bearing a shield, 
Gulesy a sal tire Argent. — A king seated on his throne, in 
the act of benediction, holding in his left hand a globe; 
saint Lawrence in a devotional attitude, supporting his 
symbol, a gridiron. Tlie upper portion of the window, 
being divided into smaller compartments, contains fourteen 
figures of angels and archangels y the division at the apex 
is of large dimensions, and has a representation of ike 

The whole of the subjects depicted in the window are 
under elegant canopies of delicate tabernacle work, differing 
in design ; and the costumes of the figures throughout the 
various scenes are particularly curious, and well deserve 
attention, since the window is inferior to none of the 
ancient specimens of stained glass, either in richness of 
colouring or in general effect, and is supposed from the 
above inscription, Thomas Spoford, &c. to have been ori- 
ginally put up during his episcopacy, (he was promoted 

* The inscriptioni of Not. 24 to 27 are either destroyed, or frtgineBts 
only remain. 


from the abbacy of St. Mary's, York, to the sec of Here- 
ford, Novciuber, 1421), and this conjecture is strengthened 
by the above armorial bearings, two crosiers and a mitre. 
He governed the diocese twenty-six years, and withdrew 
from his charge previously to his death in 1448. 

The three large windows on each side of the chancel 
contain severally fifteen large compartments, the whole of 
which was formerly occupied by stained glass. Those on 
the south side still display several full-length figures of 
bishops, apostles, and Romish saints, the apex of each con- 
taining twelve small curious figures. The north side api>ears 
to have been more resplendent in colouring, though the 
work of mutilation has been carried to a greater extent than 
on the corresponding side. Elaborate tabernacle work sur- 
mounts the figures, among which may>^be distinguished 
St. Barbara, St. Leonard, St. Appolonia, St. George, St. 
Catherine, St. Ellina, the Virgin and Child, and an English 
queen supported by archangels. The lower portion of one 
window appears to have contained a representation of the 
" Wise men's Offering," and our Saviour rising from the 
tomb ; also, the pot traits of several bishops. The top of each 
window has several smaller figures in tolerable preservation. 

Underneath the eastern window stood till recently a 
modern altar screen of oak wainscot, in the Grecian style, 
and altogether incongruous with the character of the edifice. 
It is now removed, and the original altar screen, which it 
concealed, is to be restored. It is elaborately carved in stone, 
and consists of a series of pointed niches and sculpture 
extending the entire length of the wall, having a cornice 
ornamented with foliage, &c. The prominent parts of the 
whole have been richly gilded and coloured. On the south 
side of the altar is the piscina and canopied sedilia for the 
use of the priests, deacon, and sub-deacon. 

The ceiling of this portion of the edifice is of oak, resting 
on corbels which spring from highly decorated figures of 
angels bearing shields. 

The chapels north and south of the choir correspond in 


size, and are approached from the transepts by remarkably 
handsome carved screens. The chapel of St. John is north 
of the choir; in the eastern window of it are remnants 
of stained glass portraying the story of the ring presented 
by some pilgrims to Edward the Confessor, who, as the 
chroniclers relate, " was warned of hys death certain dayes 
before lice dyed, by a ring that was brought to him by 
certain pilgrims coming from Hierusalem, which ring bee 
hadde secretly given to a poore man that asked hys charitie 
in the name of God and sainte John the evangelist.** These 
pilgrims, as the legend recites, were men of Ludlow. The 
side windows contain the remains of some very fine glass, 
representing a king with his sceptre, St. Catheiine, St. 
Michael, St. Christopher, the Virgin Mary, and St. John. 
In the centre window, St. James, St. Thomas, St. Andrew, 

St. Matthew, St. Peter, and . The north-eastern, 

a bishop with a procession of clergy, a funeral procession, 
probably the burial of St. Stephen, the Saviour, St. Thad- 
deus, a bishop attended by harpers, and a figure of St. 
George. The apex of one contains angels and the other 
modern glass. 

On the north side, inclosed by palisading, is a handsome 
altar tomb, on which rests two recumbent eflUgies in white 
marble, representing sir John Bridgeman and his lady. 
The former is in his robes, and the latter is represented as 
holding a book in her right hand. A tablet of black marble, 
decorated with fotoons of foliage, &c. is placed on the 
tomb, and contains the following inscription. 

Sacrvm Mcmori.r Diii Johannis Brydgcman, Blilitis, Seniientis ad lefera 
et capii.ilis Justicimij Cc»tia.\ Qui maximo omnium bonorum Mcrrore^ 
(cum 70 aiino<« vixis.^'it^ 5th Fcbr, anno 1637, pie Flacideq; animam Deo 
rctldidit. • 

Fratv i<:(':i Vxor nKrtissima posuiU 

It \\ ill grieve the lover of elaborate monumental sculpture, 
so provalciit in the last century but one, to see the mutila- 
tion wliidi the highly finished efligies of sir John Kridgeman 


and his lady have undergone. These figures are in a style 
of execution superior to that of Nicliolas Stone, who does 
not particuhirize this work in his catalogue preserved by 
Virtue, and given by Mr. Walpole. From the very minute 
resomblancc to portraits by Vandyke, it may be presumed 
that they were finished as those mentioned in the cathedral 
at Gloucester, by the ingenious Francisco Fanelli, who was 
much employed in England during the reign of Charles I. 

The head of sir John Bridgeman's tomb was opened in 
1805 (on sinking a grave for the body of Mrs. Turner; 
when the hair of both sir John and his lady was found 
l^erfectly fresh ; the coffins mouldered on exposure to 
the air. 

The north transept is called the Fletcher's Chancel, and 
on its gable is an arrow, the ensign of the craft. It is a 
probable conjecture that this part was appropriated for the 
use of the archers who might po^sibly hold their meetings 

Of the south transept and chapel all that is known is 
that the cordwainers and other companies have, from a 
remote period to the present time, continued to meet in 
them. In this transept is a curious abbreviation of the 
Deralogue painted on a large panel, the old text characters 
of which have recently been restored. 

The windows of the south chapel api)ear to have been 
equally richly adorned with glass, a portion of which still 
exists in that at the eastern end, which seems to have 
represented a genealogical history of the prophets after the 
manner of that in the chancel of St* Mary's church, 
Shrewsbury. Each figure is encircled with vine branches, 
the gicen colouring of which is particularly brilliant. The 
pr(»phots Manasses, Jchoiacan, and Jothan are in good 
preservation, the rest of the window is filled with plain 

Tlje whole of this noble parish church is ceiled with fine 
u.ik and embellished with car^-ing. The extreme length 
from east to west is two hundred and three feet, of which 


the nave is ninety three feet, the space under the tower 
thirty, and the choir eighty. The breadth of the nave and 
aisles is eighty-two feet; length of transept, north to 
south, one hundred and thirty feet ; and the breadth of the 
choir twenty-two feet. The tower rises one hundred and 
thirty feet, and being a prominent object, gives considerable 
beauty to many prospects from the neighbouring country. 
It is quadrangular, and the upper part near the battlements 
was originally adorned with highly finished statues of 
saints, &c. These have been either much mutilated or 
entirely destroyed. Numerous similar works in various 
parts of the church suffered the same fate. 

Lcland and other authors notice this church as being 
superior to any in this part of the country; the general 
opinion agreeing that its style of architecture is that of the 
fifteenth century, as practised by the immortal Wykeham, 
in the nave at Winchester and at New College, Oxford ; 
and writers liring in that or the following age speak of it 
as newly brought to a state of perfection by the society who 
raised and supported it. " This church (says Leland) has 
been much advanced by a brotherhood therein /atmded in 
the name of St. John the Evangelist, the original whereof 
was (as the people say there) in the time of Edward the 
Confessor, and it is constantly affirmed there, that the 
pilgrims that brought the ring from St. John the Evangelist 
to king Edward were inhabitants of Ludlow.'* If we credit 
this account, wc must believe that from the time of the 
fourth Edward a sacred edifice stood here of sufficient im- 
portance to be the depository of the mouldering remains 
of the great: particularly that of Edward's cofierer of the 
household, an officer formerly of the first importance. 

The advowson of this church, it appears, was formerly 
appended to the manor, sir John de Crophull had the pre- 
sentation, 46th Edward III, as also John Merbury and 
Agnes Deverous his wife, 6th Henry V. The 19th Edward 
I, Henry Pygine founded a chantry here. 

We are sanctioned therefore in the presumption that the 


present fabric lias^ from an older foundation^ been gradually 
advanced to perfection by the ancient fraternity of Pithners, 
who have been always found attached to it as far as the 
history of either can be distinctly traced : the remnants of 
painted glass in the eastern window of the north chancel^ 
distinguished from the other paintings by riclier colouring 
and superior execution, seems to favour this opinion. 

Leland says, " I noted these graves of men of fame in 
Ludluw Church. Beauvie, or Beaufrie, sometime cofferer 
to king Edward the fourth. Cokkis, a gentleman servitor 
to prince Arthur. Dr. Denton, master of St. John's in 
Ludlow. Suliard, justice of the Marches of Wales. Hozyer, 
a merchant." 

Among the monumental inscriptions in the high chancel 
are the following : — 

On a square stone tablet, above a plain altar tomb and 

Heare lyethe the bodye of Ambrozia Sydney iiijth doughter of the Bight 
Honorable Syr Henrye Sydney, knight of the most noble order of the 
garter, lord president of the countell of Walles, &c.; And of ye ladye 
Marye hit wyef, doughter of ye famous duke of Northumberland, \rho 
dyed in Ludlowe Castell ye 22nd of Febniarie, 1574: 

A large Grecian monument, displaying an elegantly sculp- 
tured cherub and emblems of time and eternity, is erected 

In Memory of Theophilus Salwey, Esq. who was the eldest son of 
Edward Salwey, Esq. a younger son of major Richard Salwey, who in the 
last century sacrificed all and erery thing in his power in support of Public 
Liberty, and in opposition to Arbitrary Power. The said Theophilus 
Salwey married Mary, the daughter and heiress of Robert Dennett, of 
Walthamstow, in the county of Essex, Esq. bat left no issue by her. 
Obiit the 28th of April, 1760, mUU 61. 

Pro Rege Scpe : Pro Republics Semper. 

A handsome altar tomb of white marble displays recum- 
bent effigies of chief justice Walter and his wife ; on the 
front are figures representing their issue. 


Heere lye the bodies of EdmTiid Walter, Esqvier, chicfle Irstlcc of 
three shiers in Sovth Wales, and one of His Majcstic's Covncill in the 
Marches of Wales; and of Mary his Mifc, daughter of Thomas Hackhit, 
of Eyton, Esqvicr, Avho had issve three sonnes named Ianic<(, lohn. aii<1 
Edward, and two davghtcrs named Mary and Dorothy, lie m.k hvrif' 
the 29th day of lanuary. Anno Dni. 1592. 

A tabic tomb^ on which reposes the recumbent fi^niro i»f n 
female resting on a cushion^ habited in the dros^ nf tli^ 
times, and the head covered with a hood, tlio n;:';t h Ui] 
holding a small book. At the back is a tabU^t MuniouMtod 
by the armorial bearings, on which is recorded, 

Here lyeth, expectinge a joyfvU Resvrrection, the body of Damc M.iry 
Evre, late wife to Right Hon. Raiphe Lord Evre, Baron of M.ilto:!, KcrJ 
President of the Principallitie and Marches of Wales, and Licvlcinm of 
the same, and daughter of Sr. John Dawney, of Sessey, in the Covnty of 
Yorke, Knight. She departed this mortall lyfe the 19th day of March, 
Anno Domini, 1612, statis svsd 55. 

Inclosed %vithin the communion rails is a stone altar 
tomb, sustaining two full length recumbent figures; sur- 
rounding the base of the tomb stand their children. 

Heare lieth the bodyes of Syr Robart Towneshend, knyglit, cluefjnstirc 
of the counscll in the Marches of Walles and Chester; and dame A lire 
his wyfe, doughter and one of the heyres of Robert Porye, Esquire, whoe 
had betwyne them twoe, XII chyldren, VI sonnes and VI dough ters law- 
fully begot. 

On a black marble tablet, inscribed in gold characters, 

O Quisqris Ades ! 

Reverere manes Inclytos 

Edoardi Vavghan, e Trawscoed Arm. ^^^ 

Johannis Vavghan Eqoitis Herois, 

Hscredis ex Traduce, 

Proin patria magn' ad instar, 

Per omnigense literatursD, sire Ac«demic«, sivo fortnsis, 


Hue acenime vel a pnero contendit; 

Vt principi et patric 

Bgregie inserriret ; 


Quod fuliciter assecutus est, 

Vitriq; gratus et air.abilis. 

El spcctatissimns civis 

III ipsa tcinporum 


Vt scias hie ccndi quem antiqui Jixeri* 

Virum cubicum 

Et divinum. 

Talis tnntusq; Hentibus etinm inimici). 

Ccimmoricntibus ptrnc amicis. 

Ip^o solo lacto et lubente, 

Kcccptus est 

In Beatorum pp.triam. 

^""® ? ^Etatis sua 48o. 

Conjugi parentiq; dcsideratissimo 

Vidua cum Uberis, 

Pcq>etim lugens, 

Hoc mortale Monumentuxn 


Ipse sibi imraoitalc EpiMphium. 

In this and other parts of the building wdll be found 
several other mural monuments and tablets. 

Tlie tower contains a melodious i^eal of eight bells, on 
which are the following inscriptions. — 

First. — Richard Perks, Town Clerk, a. r. 1732. 

Second. — Abraham Rudhall, of Gloucester, cast us, 1732. 

Third. — Roger Phillips and William Bright, Church- 
wardens, 1732. 

Fourth. — Prosj^erity to the town and our benefactors. 

Fifth. — Prosperity to the to^vn and parish. 

Sixth. — Prosperity to the Church of England, a. r. 1732. 

Seventh. — Somerset Jones, Esq. and Cm$;;r Hawkins, 
Gent. Bailiffs. 

Eighth, Tejwr, — The Rev. Richard Baugh, Rector, 
Mr. John Smith and Mr. John Smith, Churchwardens, 

" Mar all whom I shall summon to the grave, 
The blessings of a well spent life receive.*' 

8 p 


In the king's books the living of Ludlow is valued at 
nineteen pounds, twelve shillings and sixpence. And this 
estimate being under twenty pounds it is consequently at 
tli? disposal of the lord chancellor. It is a rectory, and its 
present value is said to he two hundred pounds per annum. 

After this brief notice of the church it may be remarked, 
that the ciUfice being built of a soft red sandstone, rendered 
frinble by the action of time and the weather, the exterior 
presents a somewhat ragged appearance, and the niullions 
of several of the windows from the same cause had fallen 
into a wretched state of decay. But the mullions in six of 
the windows, on the south side, have been restoied within 
the last few years. In the interior likewise much is 
wanting to give due effect to the fine perspective which 
unfolds itself to the enraptured eye. The building is 
in every respect a noble and interesting structure, and 
well deserving of the best and most careful attention that 
the assistance of wealth and influence might bestow in 
furtherance of its renovation and improvement. 




The successive visits of tho Association to Winchester, 
Gloucester, and Worcester, — whicli places, as well as some 
of the churches in their vicinity, all present remarkahle 
specimens of the carved stalls so generally found in the 
cathedral and collegiate churches of this and oth<»r coun- 
tries, — have drawn more than once tlie attention of its 
members to these interestinij moinunenis of medieval art. 
These stalls were, in fact, those especially appropriated to 
the members of tho collegiate body ; and the seats, instead 
of being fixed and immovable, turn upon hinges, and when 
turned up, the under side exhibits a mass of sculpture, 
arranged according to a regular and unvarying plan, in 
which the workmen and artists have exhibited their skill 
and imagination in a very remarkable manner. It is diffi- 
cult to say how this arrangement of the seats originated, 
and what was the reason of their being thus adorned; 
but as they are invariably found under the circumstances 
just mentioned, they apiiear to have been considered as an 
indispeusable part of t!ie ornamentation of a collejjiate 
church. Several conjectural cxj'V^. nations of the,»e seats 
have been offered, the popular opini'»n, however, beini* ihat 
they were turned up during a part of the service when the 
clergy were not allowed to be seated; but tint out of pity 
to the aged or infirm, they were allowed to rest themst^lves 
against the bracket supported by the sculpture, wh»ch 
aflforded a support without allowin;^ them actually to be 

• Thi^ Essay is reprinted from the Jon' iif tho Art) t»«»1» riril 
Association, and was originally read by the Atit!ii*r cf tia- {t.i-si>.i \u umc 
at the A rchico logical Congress in Worcester^ i;i Id 1*1. It u givcu here, 
because several examples of stalls are taken from Ludlow chuich, the 
stalls of which are extremely interesting. We are indebted to the Council 
of the Atsociation for the loan of the woodcuts. 


seated. For this reason, it is said, they received in France 
the title of mtsericordes (still preserved among the French 
archccologists) and patiences / while our English antiquaries 
generally call them misereres,^ Why, however, this par- 
ticular class of sculptures, seldom found (except at an early 
period) iu any otlier part of the church, should have been 
appropriated especially to these seats, is a question to which 
I am not aware that any satisfactory solution has yet been 

It is to these sculptures alone that the present notice^ 
very brief in proportion to the real interest of the subject,t 
will be devoted. These sculptures range iu date from 
the thirtecntli century to the age of tho reformation, and 
are distinguished by various degrees of excellence. Some- 
times they are %xry rude, but more commonly, like the 
illuminations in some manuscripts, they possess a consider- 
able share of artistical skill. Found on the continent, as 
well as in England, the general character of the subjects is 
so uniform that we might almost suppose that the carvers 
throughout Europe possessed one regular and acknowledged 
series of working patterns. Yet there is a great variety 
in the details of the subjects and in the manner of treating 
them. It may be observed, that the ornamentation consists 
generally of a principal subject, immediately supporting 
the bracket, and of two side lobes or cusps springing from 

* Dttcange has, under the word MisEmicomoiA, tho explanatiovt 
" Sellulic, erectis formarum subaelliifl apposite, qutbua stantiboa aeniboa 
vel iufirmis per mUerkomiam ii.sidere concedttur, dum alU atant, Gallia 
miten'eordet Tel paticncet, S. WiUelmt ConsueU Hiraauf. 1. ii. cap. 2. 
' Priixium in ecclcsia quamdiu scilla pultalur ante noclurooa, aaper mi»mi 
ccrdiam sedilis aui, si opus habet^ quicscit.' *' 

X Very little has been written on the subject of theae aculptortt. and, 
considered as mcro gross representations, thej have been much negleclad, 
and a greot number of them have been suffered to ba deatroyed. A few 
were engrared bj Carter, in his '* Ancient Sculpture." The very inttraa- 
ting aeries in the cathedral at Rouen ware engraTad and daacribad by 
M. Langlois. 


the latter. These side ornaments consist sometimes of 
mere foliage, attached to the bracket by a stalk ; sometimes 
they arc grotesques, or separate subjects, having little or 
no connection with the central piece ; while they are often 
a dependant and important part of the story represented 
under the bracket. Writers of vivid imaginations have 
given them no less a variety of interpretations. Some 
have conceived them to be satirical attacks directed by the 
monks at one another, or at the secular clergy; while 
others have imagined that these strange and grotesque 
figures embodied in allegorical form the deepest mysteries 
of our holy faith. Each of these opinions was equally far 
from the truth. In all probability neither the designers 
nor the carvers were monks, although it is e^ddent they 
were men of a certain degree of education, and well ac- 
quainted with the popular literature of the day, the different 
classes of which are here represented in a pictorial form. 
In this point of view they are valuable as artistical monu- 
ments, while they illustrate in a most interesting degree 
the manners and habits of our forefathers. 

One of the most popular branches of the popular litera- 
ture alluded to was the science of natural history, in the 
shape it was then taught. The treatises on this subject were 
designated by the general title of Bestiaries fbestiariaj^ or 
books of beasts ; they contained a singular mixture of fable 
and truth, and the animals with which we are acquainted 
in our ordinary experience stood side by side with monsters 
of the most extraordinary kind. The accounts, even of the 
more common and well known animals, trespassed largely 
on the domain of the imagination, and therefore much more 
extraordinary were the fables relating to those of a doubtful 
or of an entirely fabulous character. I may mention, as 
an example, the unicorn — according to medieval fable the 
fiercest and most uncontrollable of beasts. A stratagem, 
we are told, was necessary to entrap the unicorn. A beau- 
tiful virgin, of spotless purity, was taken to the forest 
which this animal frequented. The unicorn, tame only in 


the presence of a pure viipn, came immediately and laid 
its head gently and without fear in the maiden's lap. The 
hunter then approached and atruck his prey with a mortal 
bloiv, before it had time to awake from its security. A 
more popular character was given to these stories by the 
adjunction of moralizations, somewhat rescnibliug those 
which are found at the eud of the fables of .£sop. The 
mysterious jKuver of the maiden over the unicorn, the 
resurrection of the phccnix, the generous nobleness of the 
lion, the craftiness of the fox, the niaiema] tenderness of 
tlie pelican, are capable of a multitude of mystical iiiler- 

The Bestiaries, of all ages, are more universally illus- 
trated with pictures than any other book — they seem to 
have contained the first science to be instilled into the 
youthful mind. Every one who has been in the habit of 
examining the sculptured stalls of which we are speaking, 
knows that the stories of the Bestiaries are among the most 
common representations. On the very interesting stalls 

p||l. Phb SlritbH^a-Atoa. 

in the church of Stratford-on-Avon, we find the story of 
the maiden and the unicorn, the latter being made a mora 
cruel sacrifice to the hunter, after having fallen a victim to 


the cliarms of beauty (fig. 1). The style of this work seems 
to carry us hack to the earlier pnrt of the fourtconth cen- 
tury : it is not clear to ^iliotn the arms belong, but the 
lubes arc formed of the leaves aud acorns of the oak, the 
favourite foliage of the early English style of ornnmcuta- 
tion. The pelican, the elephant, the lion, and the more 
ignoble monkey, have their place on the stalls at Gloucester. 
The fabulous objects of the natural history of the middle 
ages — dragons, chimeras, griffins, and the hke, are much 
more numerous. The syren is seen on the stalls of Great 

Next after the Bestiaries, the most popular books of the 
middle ages — books which were pictorially illustrated with 
equal profusion — were the collections of J£sopean fables, 
known under the titles of Ysopels and Atyneta, from the 
names of the celebrated fabulists ^^op and Avienus. With 
these was intimately connected the large romantic, or 
rather satiric, cycle of the history of Benard the Fox, which 
enjoyed an extraordinary degree of popularity from the 
twelfth century to the nineteenth. The fables aud the ro- 
mance of Benard are frequently represented on the stalls. 
The fable of the rats hangiug the eat is represented very 
grotesquely in a carving on the stalls of Great Malvern 
probably also of the fourteenth century (fig. 2> The side 

Plfl: FmOmtHitiHi 



ornaments are here two owls. The man and the ass, the 
fox carrying anay the goose, and one or two other Bunilar 
subjects, are found at Gloucester. The fox preaching is 
found on one of the side ornaments of a stall carving in 
^yorccster cathedral, and is not of unfrequent occuirence 

Another class of literature, frequently accompanied with 
pictorial illustrations in the manuscripts, comprises the 
calendars or ecclesiastical almanacs, in which the domestic 
or Rgncultura] employments of each month are pictured at 
the top or in the matins of the pngc. Such subjects 
arc also frequent in the can-ed stalls. Three stalls in 
the cathedral of Worcester represent men eropto)-ed in 
mowing, reaping, and sheaving the com. Another repre- 
sents the swineherd feeding his pigs, by beating down the 
acorns from the trees. This last is a very common subject. 
Scenes of hunting or hawking are also not unfreqnently met 
with. The stall carver has given a still ^vider range to bis 
imagination in representing domeslic scenes, — which are 
very frequent, and very interesting for the light thus thrown 
on the popular manners of our forefathers in far distant 
times. A very curious example may be cited from the 
cathedral of Worcester, which represents a domestic winter 
scene (fig. 3). A man closely wrapped up is seated beside 

Flf 1. Tnm VanMrr. 



a fire, stirring his pot ; his gloves wliich are remarkable for 
being two-fingered, as well aa the expression of his features 
show that he is sulTeriiig severely from the tcinjicrature. 
He has taken off" his bools, ami warms his feet by a rather 
close approximation to the fire. All tlic details of the 
picture are equally curious, even to the side ornaments ; one 
of which represents two flitches of bacon, the winter's pro- 
vision, suspended to a hook, while on the other a rather 
gigtinlic cat is basking in the wannth of the chimney. The 
chimney itself is not unworthy of notice 

The domestic cat is met with in other examples. On a 
stall from Minster church, in the isle of Thanet, au old 
woman, a iritch-like figure, is occupied at her distaff, 
accompanied by two cats of grotesque nppearance. One of 
the stalls at Great Malvern, — which like those of Worcester, 
appear lo be of the latter part of the fourteenth century — 
represents a man at his dinner. Another in the same 
church (fig. 4) exhibits a woman in bed, attended by a 
physician. Others of this class are more grotesque and 

playful, representing games and pastimes. One of theae, 
here given (fig. 5), from Gloucester cathedral (the sculp- 
ture* of which appear to be of the latter half of the fout- 
leenth century), repreaenu two boys playing with baUa, and 
S 4 


is a curious illustration of the costume of the period. The 
whole iiel<] is, in these stalls, covered with ornamentation, 
and there are no side cusps. Sometimes vre have veiy 
curious representatioiiB of the processes mid implements of 
trade, commerce, and labour. The very interesting example 
of this class of representations here given Irom the church 
of Ludlow, in (fig. 6), represents two men supporting, we 



might almost say from their postuic worshipping, the beer 
barrel. Their costume, with its " dajjgecl" borders, is 
of the reign of Bichard II. The side ornaments here 
represent severally the ale bench, with the barrel, jug, 
and drinking cup; the forms of which arc valuable data 
for the archtcologist. The stalls of Ludlow church have 
been much mutilated, and evidently with intention, for the 
heads, arms, and other prominent parts, have been cut off 
with a sharp instnnnent. It is a very remarkable fact, also, 
that there is an evident distinction of style in them, indica- 
ting two classes of workmanship, one of which is su|K'rior 
in design and execution to the other. The workman to 
whom we owe the latter has carefully marked every one of 
his stalls, with his sign or mark, a branch ; a singularity 
which I do not remember to have observed elsewhere. It is 
exhibited in the above cut, and will be observed similarly 
placed in two others from the same church, given in the 
present article. One of these (fig. 7) represents, we are led 
to suppose, the grave digger, as the implements of his 
calling, with the tomb, and a hand holding up the holy 
water pot, are seen in the right hand side ornament. On 

Fif . 7. From Lvdlow. 


one side of tho middle figure are represeoted a barrel, a pair 
of clog:, a bellows, and a hammer, whicb might throw Bome 
doubt on the profession of the individual. The mulilalioa 
of the arms of the right-hand side figure rendeis it difficult 
to nay exactly how he n-as intended to be occupied. Prac- 
tical jokes, not alwajs restrained within the bounds of (he 
delicacy of modern times, are common ; and monks and 
nuns someltmes appear in scenes of this description, of 
which some curious examples are furnished by the stalls of 
Hereford cathedral. These stalls ate of early workmanship, 
and the side oruamcnts exhibit the well-kuown early 
English oak Tolinge in profusion ; when 1 saw ihem last, 
they were scnttcruil in lamentable confusion in the church, 
having been taken from their places during the repairs and 
restorations of the building. One of them (fig. 8) exhibits 
a scene from the kitchen, iu which a man ia evidently 

PIf a Fna HtrtlHd. 

taking liberties viiih the cookmaid, who has ihrovrn a 
platter at his head. A subject closely resembling this ia 
found on one of the stalls of the church of Great Malrem. 
These subjects are sometimes carried to a degree of inde* 
licacy, which cannot be described. 



It is remarkable and especially chaiocleristic of these 
carvings, thai scriiitiiral or religious snlijccis arc very rare. 
A stall at Gloucester npiiears to rcjiroscnt ilic M;ripiural 
story uf Samiison overcume l>y the cunrlcsan Diihlali. An 
example of n saint's legend occuis iu the rcpioiii'ntatioii of 
the story of St. George and the dragon, on n stall nt 
Stralfurd-niion-Avoii, the side oruamcnts to which arc not 
Ycry cimgruous grotesques. This particular subject, how- 
ever, Wlougs almost as much to chivalrous romance as to 
sacred legend. The stories of the great mcilicval romances 
also find a place in these representations. A foreign 
example represents the fahulous Aristotle sn1>dued by the 
charms of his patron's wife — the subject of a tvell-known 
poem — the Lax rf* Arislolc. A stall at Gloucester (fig. S 

PItl. FnmQIn 

no doubt taken from one of the old romani de geste, repre- 
sents a knight in combat with a giant. The same cathe- 
dral furnishes us with interesting representations of knights 
tilling, and of others engaged in the chase. Subjects that 
may be considered as strictly allegorical are also rare ; 
perhaps the figure of a naked nuo enveloped iu i net, with 
a hare under his arm, and riding on a goat, in the stalls of 



■Worcester cathedral, may be considered as belonging to 
this class. A figure of a fool ridi'ig on a goat occurs on the 
stalls at Gloucester, and may have a Bimilar significatioo. 
The subjects most commonly supposed to be of this alle- 
gorical character are mere grotesques, copied or imitated 
from those fantastic sketches so often found in the margias 
of manuscripts of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth 

A number of very excellent examples of these burlesques 
are presented by the stalls of Winchester cathedral ; the 
elegant foliage on which would bespeak the thirteenth cen- 
tury. In these, the bracket is supported by a sital) group, 
consisting in most cases of grotesque figures of animak or 
human beings, in various postures and occupations. The 
large side cu^ps, differing in this respect from all the later 
examples, are hero the most important part of the subject. 
In some they consist of extremely tasteful groups of foliage. 

FK. I*. FtH vriattitut Cuki4nl. 

generally formed of vine leaves. Figures of children or 
monkeys are in some instances intermixed with the foliage. 
Sometimes the cusp consists of a large head or face, exhib- 
iting strange grimaces. In one instance the two cusps 
represent a mermaid and a merman. In another we have 



a man fighting with a monster ; in one we see a woman, 
seated apparently on a cat, and occupied with her woof; 
otlicrs represent musicians playing on the pipe or the 
fiddle ; and in the one given on the preceding page (fig, 10), 
the musicians are a pig and a sow — n young pig in one in- 
stance dances to the fiddle, while in the other the maternal 
melody appears to have charms but for one of the offspring. 

The stalls of the chapel of Winchester school also fur- 
nish a very remarkable series of sculptures, of a date not 
much later than those of the cathedral, and containing a 
number of droll burlesques, among other subjects of a more 
miscellaneous character. The accompanying example (fig. 
11), the costume of which is that of the reign of Edward 
III, represents a man haunted and tormented by hobgob- 
lins ; he is seeking his way by means of a lighted candle, 
with terror impressed on his countenance ; while the imps, 
seated in the side cusps, are making him the object of their 

Another very singular example of diabolical agency is 
here given from a stall at Ludlow, and we may again 

484 THB HiaroRi or lddlow. 

obseire on it the private mark of the workman. It U 
curious, because it contains an evident allusion to a scene 
in the medieval mysterips or reh^ous plays. The par- 
ticular play to which I allude is that representing the last 
judgment, or doomsday, in irhich the demons arc intro- 
duced dragging into hell a variety of classes of dishonest 
people, thus con^'eying a moral and satirical admonition 
against some of the crying sins of the day, ^vliich were 
most practised among, and most offensive to, the lower and 
middle orders of society. One of these great offenders was 
the ale-wife who used short measures. In the stall from 
Ludlow church (fig. IS), the demon i« carrying the ale-wife 

with her false measure and gay head dresa, to thrust hei 
into hell-mouth — the usual popular representation of which 
forms the side ornament to the right; another demon playa 
her a tunc on the bagpipes as she is carried along. It will 
be observed that the head of the demon who carries the 
lady is broken off. A third demon, seated in the cusp to 
the left, reads from « roll of parchment the catahigae of her 


These carvings are, it will be seen, not only monuments 
of medieval art, but they may l>e looked upon as important 
illustrations of medieval literature and of social and intel- 
lectual history, and they show us how necessary it is for the 
archaeologist to extend the field of his inquiries beyond the 
immediate limits within which the particular subject under 
consideration appears at first sight to lie, as a monument of 
architecture, or painting, or sculpture, if he would tho- 
roughly understand it. An extensive study of the literature 
of the middle ages is needful for the comprehension of their 
objects of art, and indeed of all medieval monuments, as it 
is for their history. The sculptured stalls, besides their 
value for the study of manners and costume, form a prac- 
tical illustration of the kind and degree of scientific and 
literary information it was thought necessary to place before 
society at large. It was restricted, as we have seen, to the 
bestiaries and the fables, with a smattering of the romance 
of chivalry and of scriptural and legendary lore. 

o u 



The follo'H-iiig Hat of the Builifis of Ludlow from the year of 
the grant of the charter of Edward IV, in 1461, to the year 
1763, nod its chronological notes, are printed from a parchment 
roll iu the pOBGesBiou of Mrs. Danes, of Croft Castle. From 
the historica] entry under the year 1666, it appears that it was 
onguinlly compiled in the reign of James I. It seems to hare 
been continued by more than one hand doirn to the year 1783. 

71i« names of the BaUiffi of the Toim of Ludlow riace the 
incorporation and charter, atmo regni R^u Edtvardi Quarti 
prima annoque Domini 1461. 

Edtvardm quartua. ^nmo Domhn. 

2. Nicholas Cresset, Bichard Barber ... ... 1462. 

8. John Shermon, Philip Osborne ... ... 1463. 

4. John Dodmore, John Adams ... ... 1464. 

nu ytar King Edward mtiTTied EUnbcIh, danchter to Jaqnclt 
Dulchdi of BedTord, Ule wife to Sr John Otwjt, tlain at Coutoa 
fflald on King Heni;> partj. n« DtA* of Somataai and di?cn 
Mhen beheaded. 

5. John Hoeier, Thomas Stevens ... ... 1465. 

King Henry taken and comilted to Iha Tower. 
C. John Sparcheford, Harry CoUall ... ... 1466. 

nil yiar ware Sir Thoimia Hungetford and Henry Conitnej, rJfht 
Heir lo the Earl or Deronihire, beheaded. 
7. Philip Oebome, William Griffiths ... ... 1467. 

Lady klargaiei, the King'a eiiier, manM the Duka of Baiboa. 


8. Bichard Bowdler, Thomas Hooko ... ... liGS. 

9. Bobert Barbor, Watkin Cother ... ... 11G9. 

Edgecourt fficld. Lord Rivers with hit sonne and two ol' (he 
Herberts beheaded by comandment of the Duke of Clarence and 
the Earl of Warwick. 

10. William Griffith, David Skewe ... ... 1 170. 

Ths Lord Willoughby, Lord Wells, and many others, bcheaJed for 
the comotion in Lyncolnshire. The Duke of Clarence aud (he 
Earl of Warwick flie into France. 

King Edward flieth into Prance. iCing Henry is restored. 

King Ed : Queen is forced to take sanctnarie, and there is Prince 
Edward borne. 

11. Nicholas Cresset, William Boyer ... ... 1171. 

Kinff Edward landed at Ravenspur. King Henry sent arain to 
the Tower. Bamett Field. Great Warwick and many others 
tiaine. Teux^ury Battle. Prince Edward slain. King Henry 

12. Thomas Hooke, Thomas Ludford ... ... 1472. 

18. Henrie Colwall, Philip Wrothe ... ... 1473. 

The Duke of Exeter found dead upon the sea betwixt Dover and 

14. John Adams, John Wilkes ... ... ... 1474. 

Km^ Edward with a most royal army by the Duke of Burgoins 
procurement went for France. But in the end a peace was con- 
cluded between the two kings, and the army returned without 

15. John Hosier, Walter Moorton ... ... 1475. 

Many states created. 

16. Thomas Steephens, Thomas Fferror ... ... 1476. 

17. Watkin Cother, Walter Hubbold ... ... 1477. 

The Duke of Olarence drowned in a butt of malmeseye. 

18. William Bowjer, John Paris ... ... 1478. 

19. John Hosier, Boger Moorton ... ... 1479. 

20. Thomas Hatford, John Lane ... ... 14$0. 

21. Thomas Ludford, John Cookea ... ... 14b 1. 

22. John Wilkes, John Sheffield ... ... 1182. 

The king feasted the mayor of London and his bretheren. 

23. John Lane, Walter Moorton ... ... 1483. 

In thie year, the 9th day of Aprill, died King Edward the Ffourtb, 
and by reason that his heirs were murdered by Richard duke of 
Glocester, this mans who after was made protector, the Lord 
Richard usurped the crowne and made himself king. But during 
the time of his protectorshipp the Lord Rivers, the queen's 
brother with others were put to death at Pomfrett, and the Lord 


Hastuigcs iu the Tower of London. The Queen took MnciaAric. 
The protector is proclaimed king and crowned in June, 1483. 

Richardus tcrlius. ^nno prima. Anno Dm. 14Sd. 

1. The Ba} lifts before named. 

And in that year were the young princes murdered. Banister be- 
traicth his master the Duke of Buckingham, who was beheaded. 

2. Eoger Moortoii, John Marshton ... ... 14Si. 

King Hcnr>''s body rom«»vod to Winsor. TVucc wtb. Scotland f«>r ^ 

3. John Sheffield, John Hopton ... ... 14So, 

Henrie earl of Richmond landed at Milford Haren, fighteth a 
battle at Bosworth with King Richard, killeth him hand to 
hand, and began his reign the 22nd of Augnst, 1486. 

Henrieus Septimus, tamo supradicto. 
In the first year of his reign the Duke of Clarence, his Sonne and heir, 
was comittcd to the Tower. The yeomen of the goard first made. 
2. Walter Moortou, John Malmeshill ... ... 1480. 

Note, that the year before the king did marry Elizabeth, dau«f 
to Edward the fourth, which marriage united the families of 
York and Lancaster, which had been long dirided. 
8. William Bonner, John Tipper ... ... 1487. 

Prince Arthur bom, anno supradict. 

4. Thomas Ludford, John Whoorest ... ... 148S. 

5. Thomas Cookes, Will". Paris ... ... 1489. 

An insurrection in the North. The Dnke of Northumberland tlaine. 

6. Walter Hubbold, John Heywood .,. ... 1490. 

7. John Lane, Kichard Dodmore ... ... 1491. 

King Henry the Vllltb. bom. 

8. John Malmeshill, John Stecphcns ... ... 1492. 

9. Tliomas Ludford, Will"- Bower ... ... 1493. 

10. Will"- Paris, Thomas Greene ... ... 1494. 

Sir William Stanley, the kings chamberLine put to death. 

11. John He\-wood, W'«- Wliotton ... ... 1495. 

12. John Steephens, Richard Gibbius ... ... 1496. 

13. John Tipper, Eichard Lano ... ... 1497. 

Comoccn of Cornish men, under Lord Dudley. 

14. John Lane, Will^- Cheney ... ... 1498. 

15. Thomas Cooke, John Pratt ... ... 1499. 

Edicartl Plantntfrnett, earl of Warwick beheaded. Parkin Warbech 
handed tihu fcichnrd himself to be King Edward's second son. 
10. John ShoHiokl, Kichard Downo ... ... 1500. 

Tlic kii z iiM i\\\Qvr\ \trnt to Callis. 


17. Siehanl Hibbins, Thomns Toanie ... ... 1601. 

Katherine daughter to tlic King of Spaine came into England and 
%vas married to Prince Arthur the l-lth November, and in April 
following he died in Ludlow. 

18. John llookc, William Cheucv ... ... 1502. 

Queen Elizabeth died. 

Margaret the king's eldest daughter married to the King of Scotts. 

19. John Pratt, Richard Dicp ... ... ... 1503. 

A new coine. 

20. John Hey wood, Will". Jevans ... ... 1504. 

A cnyner hanged. 

21. John Pratt, Thomas Cleuton ... ... 1505. 

The King of Castile came into England. 

22. Bichard Downc, Hichard Smalo ... ... 150G. 

Thit year the king discharged all prisoners that laic for xl** debt 
and under in London. 

23 . Eichard Hibbins, Ricliard BerP3'o ... ... 1507. 

24. Eichard Dyer, Walter PhiUips ... ... 1508. 

This year King Henry the Seventh died the 22 April, having 
rayned 23 years and eight months. 

Henricus Oeiavus. Anno primo. 

1. William Cheney, John Hare ... ... 1509. 

The king marrieth Prince Arthur's late wife and were both crowned. 

2. Eichard Lane, Eichard Braddock ... ... 1510. 

Henry the king's first son bom but lived not 
Empson and Dudley beheaded. 

8. John Hare, John Cother ... ... ... 1511. 

Scottish ships taken. 

4. Eichard Lane, Eichard Sherman ... ... 1512. 

Lord Admiral of England slain. 

5. Tliomas Clenton, W"- Clongonford ... ... 1618. 

A great tubeidie. The king besiegeth Tyrwyn, It is yielded, 
razed, and burnt. He besiegeth Tumey and it was yielded. 
The king created dukes and earls. In the king's absence 
JamM King of Scotts being twome to keep peace invaded 
England, but was overthrown and slain by the queen's anny 
under the noble Earl of Surrey, with 3 bushopt, 2 abbots, 12 
earlt, 17 lords, besides knighta and gentlemen, and seventeen 
thousand Scotti. 

6. William Braddock, Walter Eogers ... ... 1514. 

Pence proclaimed bctAveon England and France. 

7. Eichard Downes, Jolin Yorke ... ... 1515. 

77us year, in October, Lewis the French kinp. married Lady Mary, 


the king's sister, who, in May after, being widow, was mankd to 
Charles Brandon, duke of Sufiblke. 

8. John Hare, Tho«- Brougbton ... ... 1516. 

Lady Mary, after queene, this yeare bom. Also the Queen o