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THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A.,F.S.A., Hon.M.R.S.L., 

Of TVnufy CoOegey Cambridge; Corretpondent of the InatituU of France 
(Aeod^mie des InscripUonM et Belles LettreeJ; Correeponding Member of 
the Society of AnHquariee of Scotland ; Foreign Member of the SocUU dee 
AniUquairee ds France; the Sociitd dee Antiquariee de Normandie; the 
Atadimie dee Seisneee, Arte, et BeUee-Lettree de Caen; the SocidU Ethnolo- 
fique of Parte ; the Hietoricaland Geographical Societiee of Heeee-Darmetadt ; 
di Seeneka FomMkrift-Sdllekapet, Stockholm ; the Rogal Society of Northern 
Antifuariee of Copenhagen ; ^c. ^c. ; and Correeponding Member of the 
Committeee appointed by the French Oovemment for the publication of 
Hietorieal Momunente. 





Univ. Library, Univ. Calif., Santa Cms 


THE bistorical 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 
leceiyed his earlier education. Many causes have since com- 
Inned 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 
&r as he could, to show that the old dull &shion 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 mo9t important events in 
English histoiy, 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 beautiftd 
■ceneiy and historical associations as is seldom to be met with. 
Under the Homans a military road ran through them from 
north to south, which was lined with flourishing towns and 
cities; they were afterwards the fiivourite 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 poetry and literature establishing themselves 
here in a very marked manner, and as the age of the refer- 


mation approached we trace here also in their earlier deyelopment 
the principles of religious fireedom. It has been attempted in 
the present yolume to describe these events more minntelj and 
continnouslj 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 
century, as far as they affected this district ; but finding that 
that subject has occupied for some time the attention of a 
distinguished border antiquary, the Bev. J. Wsbb, of Tretiie, 
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, has always been one of pleasure and love. 

Brompton, London, 
July, 1852. 



Am) ITS 



Border History previous to the Oonqaest 

AS we ascend the stream of history, the monuments of 
our forefathers are <»ntinually becoming more rare, until 
we 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. Ftom the beginning of the thirteenth century 
to the present time, historical events may be verified by 
the official records which are still preserved in our public 
offices; and they are detailed in numerous contemporary 
chronicles. During the Anglo-Norman period, from the 
conquest to the end of the twelfth century, a very 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 which they describe. Under 
the Anglo-Saxons, the written memorials of history, though 
much fewer, are still authentic and valuable: but at th» 
period, owing to the divisions of the country and the local 


character of the chronicles, we know much more of some 
parts of the country than of others. Of the Roman period 
we have a few scattered notices in foreign writers; but 
we may trace the history of that people by their roads 
and their camps. The only definite memorials of the 
earlier Britons are their graves. 

We know little of the border history before the times 
of the Anglo-Saxons. The numerous traces of entrench- 
ments and fortifications of a remote date, prove that this 
district was firequently the scene of warfare. It is probable 
that before the Roman invasion, the tribes who inhabited 
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, provided 
for the temporary safety of themselves and as much of 
their property as they could carry away, by forming strong- 
holds 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 remain^ of roads 
and stations show that at least the coasts and the more 
accessible parts were reduced under the dominion of that 
extraordinary people. 

A Roman road may still be distinctly traced running 
from Wroxeter near Shrewsbury (the Uriconium or Viri- 
conium of the Romans) to Kenchester near Hereford (the 
Roman Magna), accompanied, like all such roads, by nu- 
merous tumuli, and skirted by a continued line of strong 
camps. The formidable entrenchments which crown the 
hills that overlook this route, particxdaxly in the narrow 
moimtain 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, 
are convincing proofs of the unquiet state of this portion 
of the Roman province. The neighbourhood is supposed 
to have been the scene of the last actions of the war against 
Caractacus; but it would be difficult or imjwssible now 


to point out the positions which were occupied by the 
rival armies. 

There can be no doubt that the road just mentioned^ 
which, prolonged in its opposite directions, was the line 
of communication between Deya (Chester) and Blestium 
(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 
direction to Church-Stretton, whence it takes a more 
southerly direction and crosses the Oney at Stretford 
Bridge, passing on by Ro>vton to Leintwardine, and thence 
by Wigmore to Aymestry and to Street (about three miles 
south of Aymestry), 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 intermediate station, 
between Uriconiimi and Magna, twenty-seven Roman miles 
from the former and twenty-four from the latter place. This 
town, named by the Romans Bravinium, must have been 
situated in the immediate neighbourhood of Ludlow, perhaps 
nearer to the road, at or near Leintwardine ; though it may 
be doubted how far it is necessary to suppose that the 
smaller Roman towns were situated on the roads. The geo- 
grapher Mannert places Bravinium at Bromfield.* ' 

The little historical information that we possess relating 
to the invasion of our island by the Saxons, is obscured by 
much fable; through 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 Niihe yon Ludlow, eigentlich etwas nordwesilichcr, wo sich 
dor Ony in den Teme-Fluss ergiesst, an die Stelle des Dorfes Bromfield." 
Mannert, Britannia, p. 140. This conjecture of Mannert is rather singular 
vhen coupled with another circumstance. I am strongly inclined to be- 
lieve that the present race-course (adjacent to Bromfield), which bears the 
Qame of the Old- Field, and around which there are several tumuli, was the 
»le of a Roman settlement of some kind ; and if the tumuli were opened, 
^ir 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* n. 449) a party who came from Jutland entered the 
Thames and established themselves in Kent. Eight-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 Wessex. 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 portioned out into petty Saxon 

While tbese states were establishing and strengthening 
themselves, a number of apparently independent chieftains 
were gradually taking possession of the territory which lay 
on their borders towards the interior of the island. The 
lands which they thus occupied were called the mearce, i. e. 
borders or marches, and the people who held them wen^ 
Mffrce, or Msrce, borderers. As the 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 Mj/rcna-land or Myrcna-rice^ the land or king- 
dom of the borderers. Latinised into Mercia, 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 poptda- 
tion quitted the land, and left it open to the invaders, ta- 
king refuge themselves in the highlands and parts not yet 
subdued. In the fifth century 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 portion of the landholders were no doubt 


Romans by (axnily; ttiose of the higher caste and the 
inhabitants of towns who were of British origin, had be- 
come Romans in manners and by alliance of blood ; and 
the only pure British part of the population were the lower 
classes and the cultiyators of the land — ^in fact, the serfs.* 
It may fiurly be doubted whether any other but the Soman 
language was in use. The picture of the Anglo-Saxon in* 
vasion resembled that of the irruption of the Franks into 
Ghtul. Their fiiry was directed chiefly against the higher 
caste, a large portion of which fell -in Intttle ; the towns 
were plundered and burnt, and their inhabitants massa- 
cred; but the mass of the population became the serfs of 
the conquerors as they had previously been of the yan- 
quished — it was but a change of masters. Wealh in 
Anglo-Saxon (and its equiyalent in other Grermanic tongues) 
signified generally a foreigner ^ but was more particularly 
applied to the people who spoke the Latin tongue, or dialects 
derived fiom it. In German, Italy is still called Welschland. 
The Anglo-Saxons gave the name of WeaUiB or Wyliec- 
mem to the British population in their own 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 Com-wealas). This is the origin 
of our word Wdtih. The existence of a Wekh population 
in the Saxon kingdoms, more particularly in Merda and 
Wessex, 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 never to any great extent), was much in- 
ferior in value to an Englishman. The learned editor of 
the Anglo-Saxon Laws, Mr. Thorpe, compares the Wealh 
under the Saxons with the Bomanus tributarius of the 
Salic law. La the laws of Ine, king of the West-Saxons, 

* The British soldiers who fought against the Saxons, were formed by 
Roman discipUne. Henry of Huntingdon, speaking of the battle of Wod- 
nesburh, says "cum autem Brittones more Romanonim acics distinctc ad- 
moTcrent, Sazoncs rero audacter et confuse irrucrent." (p. 315.) 


composed in the latter years of the seventh century, the 
Wealh is distinguished into the two classes of gafol-gelda 
(rent-payer, or tenant) and theow, (serf). The two peoples 
graduaUy melted into one ; but even as late as the reign 
of Henry I, the distinction is admitted in the laws, and it 
appears not unfrequently in Doomsday in the districts near 
the borders. It was probably from this intermixture of 
people that originated the common English names of Jones, 
Davies, Price, &c. 

By the Saxons, as well as by the Franks, the Boman 
towns (and all towns they found were Roman) were redu- 
ced to heaps of ruins, and became the haunts of wild 
beasts and birds of prey. After the conversion of the Grer- 
manic tribes, these ruins offered inviting situations for mo- 
nastic establishments, not only on account of the melan- 
choly solitude which reigned there, but also becaiise they 
offered ready materials for building, and these monastic 
foundations were frequently the origin of new towns which 
at a later period 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 repaired the towns they had destroyed. It was pro- 
bably in the latter half of the sixth century that the Mer- 
cians passed the Severn and destroyed the towns along the 
Roman road which we have already described. The fate 
of Uriconium is perhaps indicated in its modem name of 
Wroxeter {Wrfwe-ceasteTy the town of vengeance?). The 
remains of this place are still a proof of its former strength 
and importance ; the site of Magna at Kenchester was co- 
vered with ruins so late as the time of Leland ; but the last 
definite traces of Bravinium have long disappeared.* Both 

* The Saxons gare to the Roman towns and foitresses the name of 
ciOBter, probably formed from the Latin eastrum : and wherever we find 
the name of a place composed of cester, or cheater, we may be snre it is 
the site of a Roman station. The Saxons gave to the forts or towns which 
they built themselves generally the name of burh, or burgh. 


Uriconium and Magna were important positions to check 
the inroads of the "mountain-dwellers'' (dun-s^etas) as the 
Saxons termed the people who only have since home the 
name of Welsh ; and very shortly after their destruction, 
the conquerors erected two new towns in their immediate 
vicinity: one they named Scrobbes-hurh, the town of 
shrubs, from the wooded appearance of the neighbour- 
hood, now softiened to Shrewsbury ;* the other Here-ford, 
the ford of the army, because it was the point at which the 
hostile armies were in the habit of passing the Wye in 
their excursions. 

We have no account of the earlier period of Mercian 
history. That people appears to have been composed of 
different tribes, each governed originally by its independent 
chieftain. The tribe of the Hwiccas was seated in the 
modem counties of Worcester and Gloucester; its chief 
town, named Wicwara-ceaster, or Wigra-ceaster, (Wor- 
cester) had been a Soman station, the name of which 
has not been ascertained with 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 viUage which derives 
its present name from having been a manor of the Anglo- 
Saxon kings. The first king of Mercia who holds an 
important place in history was Penda, who obtained the 
supreme power in 626, and during a reign of twenty-nine 
years was engaged in continual wars with his neighbours. 
The * mountain-dwellers' of Wales were his allies, and 
at this early period often fought under the same banners 
with the Saxons. In 642 they gained a great victory 
over the Northumbrians 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 655, in another 

* I am inclined to take the British origin of Shrewsbury for a mere fable : 
the Weigh Pengweme is probably a partial translation of the Saxon name. 


war with the Northumbrians. Merda was the last of the 
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which received Christianity. Penda 
was a pagan, and had been constantly at war with the 
Christian kings ; and the monkish chronicler exults in the 
belief that when he fell another sotd was added to the 
number of the damned.* Tet the wicked Penda was the 
father of a fSEtmily of saints. His daughters, Kineburga 
and Kineswitha, became nuns. Two of his sons, Wulfere 
and Ethelred, reigned in succession after him : the former 
introduced the Christian religion among the Mercians, and 
his daughter St. Werburga became a nun at Chester : the 
latter, after a short reign, quitted his throne to enter a 
monastery. Another brother, Peada, was ealderman of the 
Middle Angles, and was the means of their conversion. 

Merewald the fourth Son of Penda, was ealderman or 
chieftain of the Hecanas, and resided, as has been said, near 
Kingsland. It was here that he was visited by the Nor- 
thumbrian priest Eadfidd, 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 monastery of which he made Ead&id first 
abbot, and to which he gave the name of Leof -minster, or 
the beloved monastery. At a later period the name became 
Latinised into Leoms-monasterium ; and a legend was in- 
vented, according to which Eadfnd in his journey to the 
court of Merewald, 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 which he had 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 he 
offisred his bread to the savage animal, it became tame as a 
lamb, and, after eating, disappeared. The traveller accep- 
ted the omen, — ^he conceived the visionary Hon to be em- 
blematical of the unchristian ealderman of the Hecanas ; in 

* Infernalium uumerum animaram auxit. W. Malmsb. Hist. p. 27. 


the morning he presented himself at the palace^ and was 
received with kindness; Merewald also had had a vision 
daring 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 Ermenbei^, daughter ci 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 fether foimded at a place then 
called Wimnicas^ but since known by the name of Wenlock. 
She had lands at a village named '' Stokes" (Stoke St. 
Milbui^h), 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 
die 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 carry 
her off by force, and laid a plan to surprise her while she 
was on a visit to Stoke ; but St. Milburga was informed 
of her danger, and fled hastily towards Wenlock. When 
she reached the little river Corve, 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 barren page 
of history in these remote ages. 

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

* Brat ibi amnis quidam nomine Corf, Tado meabilia et alveo medio- 
CTU. Capgrave, NoTa Logenda Anglioe ; -where are given the legends of 
Merewald and Milburga. 


or Angle kings. But such alliances were not of long 
duration j and, among the scanty notices of the older chro- 
nicles, we meet with indications of sanguinary battles 
between the Mercians and the Welsh. Offii, the greatest 
of the Anglo-Saxon monarchs before Alfied, drove the latter 
from the border, and made the wonderful earth-work, which 
is still known as Offa's Dyke, to defend the land of the 
Hecanas from their incursions. An old tradition says that 
every Welshman, who passed this boundary, was to lose 
his life. The vales of Herefordshire seem to have been 
a fiivourite resort of the Mercian king ; he is supposed to 
have had a palace at Sutton, four miles north of Hereford, 
where remarkable earth-works, now known by the name of 
Sutton WaUs, 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 iavaders. In 894 the 
Danish army penetrated westward to the banks of the 
Severn, and followed its course, as it appears, till they 
reached the neighboiurhood 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 J^ser 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 &ther. While tliey cherished 
literature and the arts, and loved the elegance and splendour 
of peace, their vigour and courage preserved the kingdom 
from the honors of war. It was the policy of Edward, who 
succeeded his father on the throne, to strengthen the parts 
most expoeed to the inroads of the Danes by erecting 
fiirtresees and garrison towns. In this he was aided by the 
wisdom and enterprising spirit of his magnanimous sister 
Ethelfleda, the widow of the ealderman of Mercia, — ^for 
Merda was now no more than a province under the West- 
Saxon dynasty. In 912, the lady of the Mercians, (Myrcna 
hke^yige) as she was called by her admiring coimtrymen, 
built the fortress at Biidgenorth, then named simply Bricge. 
The Danes had been defeated on the banks of the Severn by 
her farother in the preceding year. Ethelfleda also built a 
fort at Cyric-byrig or Chirbury, in 916, 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 moimtaineers, and she took by storm the town of 
Breoenan-mere, or Brecknock. In 918, the Danes again 
invaded the borders of Wales. Leaving their ships in the 
Severn, they had advanced as far as Yrdnga-feld (the field 
of hedge-hogs), now Archenfield, in Herefordshire, where 
they were encoimtered by the men of that county and of 
Gbuoestershire, who defeated them, slew some of their 
chiefe, and drove them to their ships. In 920 Ethelfleda 
died, and was buried at Gloucester. In 921 king Edward 
built Widnga-mere (Wigmore); which was attacked the 
same year by the Danes, who had again entered the Mar- 
ches of Wides. 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 around, and carried off the cattle. 

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


factions and domestic quarrels, that the Danes became 
again formidable. While Swegn with his Northmen were 
ravaging the fairest districts of the south, the indolent 
Ethelred, as we learn from one of the old historians, was 
living in retirement at a manor he possessed in Shropshire.* 
The best procrf of the sufferings of the borderers during the 
many years of devastaticKi which followed, is the circum- 
stance that the nunnery at Wenlock, the resting-place of 
the relics of St. Milburga, presented for many years 
afterwards nothing but heaps of ruins. Tet 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 
slew the taxgatherers. Th^i 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 themselves in an 
island in the river Severn then named Bever-ege, 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 Worces- 
ter occurred in a. d. 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 Boman 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 pirates. Wicingas, (in Danish, vidngr) or 
sons of war, was the name adopted especially by the Danish 
rovers. Dinmore, in like manner, is perhaps Dena-mere, 

* Rex autem Adclred cum UKCstiiia ei confusiono crat ad firmam suam 
in Salopschire. HexL Huniingd. Hist. p. 360. Thi« was in a« d 985. 


the moor of the Danes. I am inclined to think that a 
party of Danes had also established themselves on the brow 
of die hill whioh is now occupied by the castle of Ludlow, 
and that from their fortifications it took the name of 
Dena-ham, the residence or home of the Danes, still 
preserved 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 appUcation, 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-hlsew, signifies the hill of 
the people.* But the Anglo-Saxon hkew was generally ap- 
plied 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 BaitJoto Hills in Cambridgeshire, which 
have been discovered to be Roman sepulchral monuments. 
These lows were intimately connected with the mythology 
and superstitions of our early forefathers, and in their minds 
were wrapped up with the notions of primeval giants and 
dragons which kept a jealous watch over their hidden 
treasures. Li old times we find them fi:equently the scenes 
of popular ceremonies and meetings. I was long doubtful 
as to the cause of this name being assigned to the town, 
till I accidentally discovered a document which clears up 
the difficulty in the most satisfactory maimer. It appears 
that up to the end of the twelfth century, the site of the 

* lliifl name affords a very curious instanco of the maimer in which 
derivations may become penrerted in passing from one writer to another. 
Some one of the older Antiquaries had interpreted Ludlow by the mote ^f 
Ike people, the word mote being the representatiYc of the French motte, a 
billodc. The fmote of a castle was the artificial mound of earth on which 
the dongeon tower waa generally built. Writers who came after, thinking 
this word mole was the representative of the Anglo-Saxon ge-moi (remaining 
in such words as moot-kaUf &c.) have interpreted the name of the town 
as signifying tiie cewrt o/jusHce of the people. 


present churchyard of Ludlow, the most elevated part of the 
hill, was occupied by a very large tumidus, or bsmrow. In 
the year 1199, the townsmen found it necessary to enlarge 
their church, which seems to have been of small dimensions, 
and for this purpose they were obliged to dear away the 
mound. In doing this, they discovered in the interior of 
the mound three sepulchral deposits^ which were probably 
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 determined 
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-hkew belonged. It was 

• The account of this event was preserved in the monastery of Cleo- 
bury Mortimer, in what Leland calls a " schedula," and was copied for 
that antiquary by a monk of the house. It is printed in Leland's Collec- 
tanea, rol, iii, p. 407, but Heame has printed it Ludla»ia instead of Lud- 
lania, which has caused it to be entirely overlooked. It is as follows :— 

" Anno D. 1199, contigit in quadam Anglis patria, scilicet provincia 
Salopesbiriensi, apud pagum quie Ludelavia nuncupatur, quod pagenses 
cjusdem oppidi decrevissent ecclesiam snam, quod brevis esset ad conti- 
nendam se plebem contingentem, longiorem construere. Quocirca opor- 
tuit quondam terrce tumulum magnum ad occidentem ecclesis solo co- 
icquare, qua mums ejusdem debuit extendi. Cumque pncmissum collem 
fodiendo complanassent, invenerunt tria mausolea lapidea et corpora 
sanctorum decentia, qun dum aperuissent, repererunt trium sanctorom 
relliquias hoc scripto in uno bustorum in schedulam composite, que prius 
intrinsecus cera, exterius vero plumbo fuerat involuta, his verbis Anglicc 
expressis *. Hie refuiescunt S, Fereher^ pater Brendani^ beaia ^gnorOf 
tancti $eiUett Ibernensii, pmlera lapide et eolo Utehutu Saneta ^Moqu0 co- 
rona, nuUer praHbati Brendam^ maiertera videlicet CobimkUH^ electi Dei. 
Sanettu .... Cochelf gemunue ^uadem sanctce. Hie nempe qwindeHis degu- 
erunt anniSf dum sanctorttm Britannia adirent patrocinium poet obitmm 
Luda increduli. Quorum deposita clerici ejusdem ecclesis ab humo le- 
vantes, in archa lignea posuerunt, eademque in ecclesiam gestantes de- 
cent! locello collocaverunt, 3 Id. Apr. operientes, quoad Dominus aliquas 
virtutes eorum meritis et interccssionibus patrare dignetur, cui laus, 
honor, et gloria in saccula. Amen. 


without doubt a Roman sepulchre, and, by its im][x>rtance9 
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 rererence 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 
diferent 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 low or txmiu- 
lus became known as '' the low of the people." And as a 
great portion of the people who assembled there, coming 
fiom Herefordshire, had to cross the river Teme, the shal- 
low place where they passed obtained the name of ''the 
people's ford," Leode-ford, or Ludford. It was a conmion 
custom with the early missionaries to turn objects of super- 
stition 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 dme when the low 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 unfiequently given 
popularly to the castle. 

Under the last monarch of the regal line of the Saxons, 
the movements and intrigues of the family of the powerful 
Earl Godwin, 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 Edward's 
foreign favourites, who were ever ready to profit by that 


weak monarch's dislike of his English subjects. In the 
earlier half of the tenth century, the Welsh, severely chas- 
tised and humiliated, had become little better than subjects 
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 
weakening the Saxons on the border, had restored their 
independence to the Welsh, and enabled them to become 
again the aggressors. They were, under Edward the 
Confessor, as in after times, more or less active in all tlie 
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 Gloucest^. Swegn, with 
another brother, Tostig, were remarkable chiefly for their 
turbulent conduct. Robert of Jumi^ges, the Norman 
Archbishop of Canterbury, was remembered with execra- 
tion so late as the twelfth century, as having been the 
cause of all tlie discord between King Edward and Earl 
Godwin's family. Yet the first public cause of displeasure 
was given by the 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 kingdfnn ; and his govern- 
ment 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 Pevensey to obtain 
forgiveness of King Edward, and he there added to his pre- 
vious crime the treacherous murder of Beom, and then 
escaped to Flanders. A year afterwards he obtained his 
pardon by the intermediation of his father, or, according to 
others, of Aldred bishop of Worcester. 


Godwin appears on every occasion to have identified 
himself with the cause of justice and patriotism. In 
1051, he provoked the royal displeasure by his refusal to 
saciifioe the people of Dover to the unjust vengeance of 
Eustace count of Boulogne. Sununoned to appear at the 
courty which was then held at Gloucester, he came with 
an army which Harold had raised in Wessex 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 
m this instance successful ; and at a parlement at London, 
Gfodwin and his sons were outlawed and banished, and 
bis beautiful and accomplished daughter Edith, the queen 
of the Confessor, partook in their disgrace. Godwin, with a 
part of his familv, 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 Leofiic of Mercia; and a 
Norman garrison appears to have been placed in Hereford, 
under Badulf, one of the king's foreign relatives. Kiog 
Edward, in his anger against the party of his &ther-in-law, 
invited over a foreign prince, William of Normandy, and 
promised him the succession to the English crown. 

In 1052, the Welsh under their prince Gryflfyth, taking 
advantage of their domestic feuds, made an irruption into 
the border, and crueUy ravaged Herefordshire. The 
Norman 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 Grodwin returned to England with an armed force, 
and the people universally joining with him, the king was 
compelled to receive them, and the foreigners were banished. 
But one of Godwin'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 made 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 by the Saracens. 
The earldom of Harold was restored, but that of Swegn 
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 lus place, 
Algar (son of Leo&ic and Grodiva) 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, Rees, 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 
Gloucester. Algar and Grjrflfyth threw themselves suddenly 
into Herefordshire with a powerful army, in 1055. The 
cowardice and unskilfulness of Radulf 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 
always 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 beginning 
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 Athelstan, and the monastery 
were reduced to ashes. The city itself, after being 
, plundered, was delivered to the flames, and most of the 
' citizens who escaped the sword were carried into captivity. 


On this oocasion, Leominster also was taken and plundered 
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 himself in the valley 
of "Straddle," probably in the immediate neighbourhood of 
Leominster. But the Welsh were too well acquainted with 
the military skill and bravery of their pursuer to oppose him ; 
flyiDg into their mountain fastnesses, they sent messengers 
to appease his wrath, 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 Wenlock ; and his son 
Algar, after ihe defeat of the Welsh, landed in Cheshire 
in conjunction with a body of Northmen, and, having taken 
possession of his heritage by force, succeeded in obtaining 
his pardon. 

The Welsh continued still to infest the border, till in 
1063 Harold and Tostig together traversed the principality, 
and inflicted upon them a severe vengeance. In their 
despair, ihey sought peace by slaying their own prince 
GrySyth, and delivering his head to Harold, who appointed 
a successor in his place, firom whom he exacted an oath 
of allegiance. Shortly after their return from this expe- 
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 sansed meat with him, as he had taken care 
to provide plenty at his brother's house.* For this 
outrage Tostig was again outlawed and banished from the 

Tlie family of Godwin possessed large estates in Here- 
fordshire. Their manors which are enumerated in the 
Domesday survey are very numerous. Leominster, with 
all its members, Luston, Larpole, Aymestry, &c. belonged 
to lus sister, queen Edith, whose name is still preserved 
in that of Stoke-Edith, as another Stoke has preserved 
similarly the name of the family which possessed it at a 
later period in the appellation of Stoke-Lacy. The fieite of 
Godwin's sons was singularly tragical. Sw^n, 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, vdth 
his northern allies, and was killed in the battle of Stamford- 
bridge, fighting against his brother. A week afterwards, 
Harold was slain at Hastings, and with him fell his 
yotmger brothers Grirth and Leofwine. The remaining 
brother Wulnoth was the captive of the Norman conqueror, 
and ended his days in a prison. 

The Marches of Wales were connected with the name of 
the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, long after the fatal 
conflict at Hastings. A report was widely prevalent during 
the twelfth century that Harold had escaped from the 

• Penexit ad Hereforde, ubi frater suus corrodium regale maximum 
pararerat : ubi miniatros fratris 8ui omnes detruncans, singulis yasia rini, 
medonia, cerrisiae, pigmenti, morati, sicene cms humanum vel caput Tel 
brachium imposuit, mandayitque rcgi quod ad firmam suam properans 
cibos salsatos sufficienter inveniret, alios secum deferre curaret. Henr. 
Hunt Hist. Ub. ri. p. 367. 


slaogliter. It was said that after seeking in yain for 
asastance firom the people of the continent who were 
nearest in the feznily of nations to his own, he returned 
to England to pass the remainder of his life in religious 
retirement — ^that, disguising lus name and face, he passed 
many years as a hermit on the Welsh borders, exposed 
to the insults of the people over whom he had so often 
triumphed, and who knew not the humble individual whose 
religions habit they derided — ^that he afterwards settled 
at Chester, where he ended his days, and on his death-bed 
revealed the secret to lus confessor. The monks of Waltham, 
Harold's rich monastic foundation, received the legend with 
joy, and consigned it to writing in a manuscript which 
is stiQ extant.* Such legends have in other countries 
followed the destruction of a native dynasty by a foreign 
and oppressive invader. 

State of tiie Border under the Conqueror. 

IT will not perhaps 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 cha- 
racter of its history as well as the outward appearance 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 flou- 

* The VUa Haroldi of the MS. alluded to, has been lately printed in 
Fnmce, in the second vol. of the Chroniques Anglo-NormandeSi edited by 
H.Michel, Boaen, 1836. 


rishing towns; churches^ monasteries, and even castles, 
had been destroyed; lands, fonneriy cultivated, lay waste, 
and were overrun with trees and brushwood. Ordericus 
Vitalis gives an affecting description of the misery and de- 
population which followed the entry of the Normans. The 
general depression of mind and the feeling of insecurity and 
consequent recklessness which attend such events are more 
effective in thinning the population of a country than the 
sword itself. The Domesday book describes several estates, 
then waste and covered with wood, as having been tilled 
land under previous possessors. It is probable that even 
the strong castle of Wigmore had been destroyed ; for the 
Domesday book states that the castle then standing had 
been recently built by the 'comes Willelmus,* on tDoste 
ground which had received the name of * Merestun,' or the 
town or inclosure of the moor.* Of the kind of law which 
then existed on the immediate border, the Domesday book 
has preserved a very 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 relatives, 
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 plimderers 
were allowed to appropriate the rest.f This curious notice 
shows that at the time of the Conquest, by the confessed 
custom of the Welsh on the border, the king of England 
laid claim to a feudal superiority over Wales, whenever he 
could exercise it. 

Under the Saxons this part of the island was much more 

* * Willelmus comes fecit illud in wasta terra quae Yocatur Merestun. 
Though the ground were covered with ruins, if it was unproductive, 
the term waste would be still applicable. 

t Quod si Walensis Walensem Occident, congregantur parentea occisi, 
et predantur eum qui occidit ejusque propinquos, et comburunt domos 
eorum, donee in crastinum circa meridiem corpus mortui sepeliatur. Do 
hac praeda habet rex tertiam partem; illi yero totum aliud habent quietum 
Domesday, vol. i. fol. 179. 


densely wooded than at present. The woodlands of our 
times are, as it were, the skeleton of the extensive forests 
of fonner days, which were thickest and most considerable 
in the tract of coimtry 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 
simikrly defended by the larger towns of Shrewsbury, 
Bridgnorth, &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 &om time to time ; and a few Anglo-Saxon 
casdes were standing at the period 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 Edward's foreign attendants named Bichard, to 
whom die Anglo-Saxons gave the derisory name of Screope, 
or the Scrub y 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 ui this part of 
the border ; and introducing there the fashion of his own 
oomitrymen, 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 moimd on which the keep stood, (one of the 
peculiar characteristics of the more ancient castles) stiU 
^^emain. The other name by which the builder was known 
became afterwards softened into that of Scroop. 


The woods were not the least profitable part of the 
ground, for they gave food to numerous herds of swine^ 
the flesh of which formed the most general article of animal 
food among our forefathers during the middle ages. The 
stores of the baron's castle equally with those of the 
peasant'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 Caynham 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 there was a mill, the only one mentioned in 
the neighbourhood of Ludlow; at Little Hereford there 
were four mills; Caynham had one miU; Burford, two. 
Another article which was then reckoned a part of the 
produce of landed estates, was fish, particularly eels. Among 
the ancient Grermanic 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 corn-lands were tolerably ex- 
tensive, and were generally uninclosed. The fields in 
which cattle were kept, were, on the contrary, inclosed. 
To these inclosures our Anglo-Saxon forefathers gave the 
name of turiy our modem word towHy though it then 
conveyed no idea of buildings, but meant simply a space 
inclosed by a hedge: toyrt-tun^ i. e. herb-town, was a 
garden ; gears-tun^ i. e. grass-town, was a meadow. The 
Normans called these inclosures haieSy in Low-latin hag€B 
or haus, the origin of our word hedges. The more modern 
English name for such inclosures is a close. In the earliest 


collection of Anglo-Saxon laws, those of Athelbriht king of 
Kent^ at the end of the sixth century, it is set down as a 
grieTOus offence to break through a 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 ge-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 com 
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 such 
justice on the cattle as may be right. But if there be a 
beast which breaks hedges and goes in everywhere, and 
he 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 tuns or 
kmes : there were five haite 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 inclosturc by the river), Acton (the oak inclosure), 
Stanton (the inclosure of stone), Comberton fcumbra-tun^ 
the inclosure amid the vallies). The Anglo-Norman term 
is also preserved in places the names of which contain the 
word Hay. Among the produce of the manor of Caynham 
in the reign of the Conqueror is reckoned four loads of salt 
(iiij summse salis de Wich) ; perhaps from SaUmore. We 
may illustrate the proportions of these articles of produce 
by the instance of the town of Leominster and its members 
(including Luston, Larpole, Aymestry, Brimfield, Eston, 
Stockton, Stoke, Mersetone, Upton, Hope, Bredege, Lumton, 
* Cerlestreu,' Leinthall, 'Gedeuen,' and Femlow), which 
were then held by the king ; there were in this space eight 
mills; a hundred and twenty-five acres were sown with com ; 
a large surface of ground was covered with woods, which 


were estimated to be six 'leagues' long and three broad; a 
hundred sticJue^ or score, of eels were taken yearly ; the 
annual value of the other fish caught was estimated at seven- 
teen shillings, and that of the honey at sixty-five shillings. 
A shilling was a very large sum of money at that period. 
In the time of the Conqueror, Osbom Fitz Richard, the son 
of Richard the Scrub before mentioned, and lord of Richard's 
Castle and Ludford, held a very large portion of the wood- 
lands beyond Brampton Bryan and Wigmore, including 
Titley and other manors which were so wild that they 
were not reckoned in Domesday book as affording any 
regular produce; Osbom Fitz Richard hunted in them, 
and " had what he could catch, and no more,^^^ 

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 woods of Herefordshire were 
infested by wolves; and the rivers were inhabited by 
beavers. In the time of Griraldus Cambrensis (the latter 
end of the twelfth century), beavers were found only in 
the Teivy, in the neighboiurhood 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 
Beofer-eagey the beaver isle. There is also a Bever- 
stone in Gloucestershire. We have traces of the ancient 
haunts of wolves probably in Widf-eoffe or Wdfes-eage 
(Wolphy) the wolf's isle, and in Wolferlow, the mound 
of the wolves. The wolves had been more entirely de- 
stroyed 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, conmiitted 

* tn his wastis terns excrererunt silvsD in quibus iste Osbemus 
renationem exercet, et inde habet quod capere potest Nil aliud. Domes- 
day book. 


on the border. History tells us that this tribute was 
punctually delivered for two years^ but the destruction was 
so great that on the third year 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 Wigmore, was named Hegetre^ or 
Hightree, probably from the noble trees which still form 
80 remarkable an ornament to it. 

The nam^es of places not only picture to us the state of 
die country at a remote period, but they frequently help to 
make us acquainted with the customs and, more especially, 
with the superstitions of our forefathers in former days. 
Ludlow, or the people's low, was probably, as we have 
before observed, the scene of superstitious ceremonies in 
die times of the Anglo-Saxons. Most of the other nume- 
rous lows had doubtlessly legends of different kinds con- 
nected with them. Wyrmes-hla^w, now Wormelow, (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 fore- 
&ther8 brought with them into this island : — 

'' hJUsw under hriisan, a low under the bank, 

holm-wylme n6h, nigh to the sea-wave, 

y^-ge-winne ; to the clashing of waters ; 

se waes innan full which was full within 

wnetta and wira ; of embossed ornaments 

and wires ; 

weard mi-hi6re, a savage guardian, 

gearo gutS-freca, ready and fierce in war, 

gold m&tSmas he6Id, held the treasures of gold, 

eald under eortSan : old under the earth : 

nss y2Si y6e cedp that was no easy purchase 

t6 ge-gangenne to obtain 

gumena eenigum. for any man. 

* WiL Malmsb. de Gestifl Reg. Angl. p 59. 


I$& Be wyrm ge-be^ then the dragtm bent 

snude t6 somne rapidly together, 

he on searwmn b£d : he awaited in ambush : 

ge-w6t ^ by mende then proceeded he, burning, 

ge-bogen scriiSan bent together, to go 

to ge-scipe Bcyndan." to distribute ^contest. 

(BeowuU; U. 4817. 5131.) 

The mound or barrow at Wormelow, is called Wormelow 
tump. There is also in Herefordshire a Wormesley 
(Wyrmes-leag, 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 latv. An old historian of the fourteenth century, 
Thomas of Walsingham, has preserved in his chronicle a 
cujious legend relating to the village of Bromfield, near 
Ludlow. In the year 1344, 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 EarPs 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 dropped led to the belief 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 Earl 
Warren, having discovered what was going on, fell sud- 
denly upon them, and threw them into prison. The trea- 
sure, which the Earl took possession of, is said by Wal- 
singham to have been great. It is very probable that this 
treasure was 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 dragon's home. 

• The study of medicine was brought into Christian Europe in the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries by the Arabs of Spain. 


Many local legends might still be gathered from the 
mouths of the peasantry on the Welsh 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 remained 
in die 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 visible from 
the other. 

As parts of the country became less wild, the fear of 
dragons gradually passed away, and the popular mytholc^ 
became modified. The lows were then supposed to be 
the abode of elves and fairies; and there were people 
who beheved that in the dead of night the entrance became 
visible, and that the imder-ground people might be seen 
issuing forth to firolic and gambol on the face of the earth. 
There can be no doubt that the Marches of Wales were once 
rich in feiry legends. In the reign of Henry VIII, when 
Leland visited the border, the ruins of Kenchester, then 
very extensive, were believed to have been taken possession 
of by the diminutive beings of the popular creed ; the 
Boman coins frequently found there were called fairy- 
numey ; 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 been inhabited by the 


devil, who guarded the vast treasures which were concealed 
there, and held his revels with hosts of other fiends in 
its desolated halls. 

The pagan Anglo-Saxons were in the habit of giving 
the names of their gods to things which were wonderful or 
extraordinary, or which moved their superstitious feelings. 
When they obtained possession of this island, nothing 
seems to have excited their admiration more than the 
great Roman military ways. One of their deities whose 
name appears to have had a very wide influence, was named 
Eormen or Ermin. It frequently entered into the condpo- 
sition of the names of persons of rank^ ITerminiua led 
our forefathers, then a tribe settled in Germany, against 
the Romans; Erman&dc was one of the greatest of the 
Gothic princes ; in early German such names as Irmandeo, 
/rmanperaht, Irmanfrity Irmangaxt, were common ; in An- 
glo-Saxon we have JEarmenric (the same name as Ermaneric) 
king of Kent in 568, whose great grand-son Earmenred 
gave to his three daughters the names Eormenherga., Ear- 
m^nburgha, and Eormengytlia.. Irmin-svl was one of the 
great objects of worship to the Germanic tribes on the 
continent. Eormen-leiS was the Anglo-Saxon name of the 
mallow (malva erratica) which was believed to possess 
many miraculous virtues. There can scarcely be a doubt 
that this is the origin of the name given by the Anglo- 
Saxons to one of the great roads — JEarmenstraBi, Ermin- 
street, or Inning-street. In a similar manner, to another 
of the great roads the Anglo-Saxons gave the name of 
Wcetlinga-strtet, which means literally the street of the sons 
of Watla, for Weetlinga is the genitive case plural of a pa- 
tronymic. K more of the ancient Anglo-Saxon mythic 
poetry were preserved, we should doubtlessly find that 
Wsetla was a mythological personage. Florence of Wor- 
cester, who wrote when this poetry was in being, calls 
the Watling-street, "Strata quam filii Watlae regis stra- 
verunt." It is very singular that our forefathers gave the 
name of Watling-street, or Wtetlinga-straet to the milky- 


way in the heayens as well as to the Roman road ; and 
we find also that among the old Germanic trihes the name 
Irisg^-wec (Iring's way) composed of a name Iring closely 
allied to that of Inning was given to an ancient road and 
at the same time to the milky-way. In the Vilkunga Saga 
this road is tolled Irihigs-Teggr. It may be observed also 
that among the ancient Germans the polar constellation 
was named Irmins-wtigeny or Irmin's waggon. One of 
the ancient roads in Grermany was called WuoteneS'WeCy 
Wuoienea^treiza, or Wddenes-toege, Woden's way or street. 
An ancient earth-work in the south of England was called 
by the Anglo-Saxons Wbdnes-dic, or the dyke of the god 
Woden, now softened down into Wans-dyke. In the modi- 
fication which the superstitions of the Anglo-Saxons under- 
went after their conversion to Christianity, their older 
gods became transformed into devils, and it was by this 
diange that originated all our Devil's-dykes, Devil's- 
bridges, &c. The name of Waetlinga-strset was given to 
the Soman 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 conmiu- 
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-street 
at Church 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 unpleasing subject of the beings of 
superstition who were supposed to hold the woods and 
wilds, to consider the more real one of the possessors and 
cultivators of the soQ, 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 
diiBcult 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 Elmodes-treow, or the tree of Elmod (now Aymestry) ; 
Widferdes-time, or the inclosure of Widferd (Woofferton) ; 
Willaves-lage, or the lee (saltusj 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; ^Imundes-tune, or 
the inclosure of Elmund; Elmunde-wic, 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 
termination. Thus a son of Alfred was an ^Ifreding, 
his descendants in general were ^Ifredingas, or Alfredings. 
These patronymics are generally compoimded with ham, 
tufiy &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 Beor- 
minga-ham, the home or residence of the sons or descen- 
dants of Beorm. There are not many names of this form 
in the neighbourhood of Ludlow ; Berrington (Beoringa- 
tim) 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 possessed by the great 
nobles allied to the houses of Godwin and of Leofric of 
Mercia, and were confiscated after the entrance of the 


Normans. With the exception of the estates of Richard 
Soeope, hardly a foot of ground remained in the hands 
of the old proprietors. At the time of the Domesday 
survey, the whole of Shropshire, with some trifling ex- 
ceptions, belonged to the Conqueror's kinsman, Roger de 
Montgomery, 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 bmlt 
in the latter demesne a castle, which from its possessor 
bore afterwards the name of castle Helgot or Holgate. 
Herefordshire was parcelled out in smaller estates, under 
nmnerous barons ; but there the most extensive possessions 
were those of Roger de Lacy, whose head castle was at 
Ewyas, and Ralph de Mortimer, whose castles were Wig- 
more, and Cleobury in Shroi)shire. The other estates lay 
scattered over the coimtry. To the south, among the chief 
proprietors were William Fitz Norman, and Ralph de 
Todenei, who held the castle of Clifford. Hereford and 
Leominster, with their members, were held by the king. 
In the intervening country, along the street, lay the estates 
of Roger de Micelgros, Robert Gemon, who held Larpole 
of the king, and William de Scotries, who appears to have 
resided at Croft, which had belonged to earl Edwin. 
The estates dependant upon Wigmore extended from 
Shohdon (Sceope-dun, the sheep's hill) to Downton. The 
knds from Ludford to Richard's Castle, with extensive 
waste lands on the extreme border, and Burford in Shrop- 
shire, belonged to Osborne Fitz Richard. There were a 
few other smaller land-holders, such as Hugo L'Asne, or 
Hugh the AsSy who held Bemoldune in Herefordshire, and 
King William's physician Nigellus, generally entitled Ni- 
gellns Medicus, who held Clee in Shropshire, and also 
some estates in Herefordshire. Caynham, which had been 
^ estate of earl Morcar, belonged now to Ralph de 
Mortimer. Roger de Lacy possessed also some lands in 
Shropshire in the neighbourhood of Hodnet. 
The silence of Domesday book is a satisfactory proof 


that there whjb neither town nor castle at Ludlow when it 
was made^ about a. d. 1085. Although the places around 
are all mentioned^ we find in that record no such names 
as Ludlow or Dinham. In fact the one belonged only 
to a mound of earthy the other perhaps to a deserted Danish 
camp. 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 being in this neighbourhood is that of 
Bromfield. We have a distinct testimony that the castle 
was b^^un by Roger de Montgomery, but not finished 
till after his death.* Other considerations aid us in 
fixing the period at which this castle was conmienced. The 
oldest part of it, the massive keep, was built in imitation of 
the style which bishop Gundidf 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 tiiepeopys fote?, or Ludlow. 


Border History from the Conquest to the end of the tkoAfO^ 


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 

* Si comen9a un chastiel & Brugge, e un autre chastel comen9a en 
Dinan ; xn^s yl ne les parfist poynt. Romance of Fitz Warine. 


border had been more effectually protected than it was now 
by the numerous range of Anglo-Norman castles. After the 
death of Harold at Hastings^ the 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 giyen to one of the Conqueror's most faithful and 
able counsellors^ William Fitz Osborne. Edric, irritated 
at an offence he had received firom the king, raised the 
standard of revolt; his lands were invaded and ravaged 
by the Normans of Herefordshire, under Richard Screope, 
who was entrusted with the command of the garrison of 
Hereford; but Edric called in the Welsh, compelled the 
Normans to retire to Hereford, and laid waste the country 
up to the gates of that city. The most skilful of the 
Nomian chiefs^ Roger de Montgomery, Ralph de Mortimer, 
and Walter de Lacy, were employed against the insurgents, 
who, although deserted by their Welsh allies who were 
satisfied with the plunder they had made and anxious to 
secuie it, made a protracted resistance. Edric himself 
had seized upon Wigmore, from which he was with diffi- 
culty expelled by Ralph de Mortimer. For his services 
on this occasion, Roger de Montgomery obtained the 
earldom of Shropshire, with all the possessions of Edric, 
which comprised nearly the whole county ; Ralph de Mor- 
timer obtained Wigmore and its dependencies; and other 
lands in Herefordshire were bestowed upon Walter de 
Lacy. The Welsh began now to be continually trouble- 
some ; they were instigated by the Saxon refugees to make 
feequent incursions; in 1068-9, they ravaged Shropshire 
and laid siege to Shrewsbury, and King William was 
obliged to go in person to drive them from the border. In 
bis way he laid the foundation of Nottingham castle, which 
be entrusted to the keeping of William Peverel. 

William Fitz Osborne was a man of great prudence and 
activity, remarkable for his liberality as well as for the 
^ur of his government. 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 Rees and Cadoc. Shortly 
afterwards Earl William was slain in Flanders, and in 
1071 he was succeeded in the earldom of Hereford by 
his son Boger. 

Boger de Montgomery also ruled Shropshire with vigour 
and justice (the justice, at least, which might be expected 
6om 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 Baldwin'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. 

Li 1075, according to the Saxon chronicle, occurred the 
celebrated marriage at Norwich, the fatal consequences of 
which were long proverbial. Boger Fitz 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 Balph, 
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 hunc diem in comitatu ejus apud Herefordixm legtim quas 
statuit inconcussa fiimitas; ut nnllns miles pro qualicimque commisso 
plus septem solidis soWat : cum in aliis provinciis ob parvam occasiun- 
culam in transgresaione pnecopti herilis, viginti vel viginti quinque pcn- 
danter. Wii. Malmsb. Hist. p. 105. Concerning William Fitz Osborne, 
see Guillaume de Jumiiges, pp. 661, 676, and Ordericus. 


58er wies paet bryd-eala 
manniim to beala. 

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

The parties concerned in this league were to rise simul- 
taneously. Earl Kalph opened communications with the 
Saxons who still bore arms in the marshes of Ely and the 
fens of Lincolnshire. Roger Fitz William collected the 
men of Herefordshire, and with a considerable body of 
Welsh auxiliaries, marched to the banks of the Seyem, 
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 
Uiso, 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 
wife Emma to defend the castle of Norwich, which she did 
with so 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 
fax as the city of Worcester, in 1086. But we find no 
detail of these transactions; and we know only from the 
assertions of older writers that William left Wales to his 
successor as an appendant of the English crown, and that 
he had compelled the Welsh to acknowledge his supremacy.* 

* This is most explicitly stated by the contemporary Saxon chronicler, 
"The land of the Britons was in his jurisdictioni and he built castles 
therein, and ruled all that people." 


The general statement of Domesday-book would lead ns 
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 turbulence 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 pos- 
session of the dukedom of Normandy. Bishop Odo, who 
had been in prison in the latter years of the preceding 
reign, raised and organized a party in England in favour 
of Duke Robert. The great barons on the border imme- 
diately espoused the same cause; and Roger de Mont- 
gomery, Ralph de Mortimer, Roger de Lacy, and their 
neighbours armed their dependants, and called in the aid of 
the Welsh in 1088, to make war against King William 
Rufus.* A laige body of the men of Herefordshire and 
Shropshire, with their Welsh auxiliaries, led by Osborne 
Fitz Richard (the lord of Richard's Castle and Ludford), 
and his kinsman Bernard de Newmarket,t entered Worces- 
tershire, and ravaged the country up to the walls of the 
city, which they threatened to bum. But as they were 
preparing to attack the town 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 
home with disgrace, instead of the rich plunder on which 
they calculated. The king soon after succeeded in de- 

* Proceres quoque de Herefordia et de Scrobesbirie cnm moltitadine 
Vallensium, Eog. Hoveden. p. 461. Principes vero Herefordshyre et 
Salopcscyre cum Walensibus. Henr. Hunt. Principe*, in tbe latter 
■writer, is perhaps a mere error of the scribe for proceres, 

t Ordericus Vitalis, p. 666. 


taching Roger de Montgomery from the confederacy, and 
the insurrection of the other barons was soon repressed. 

The plunder which the Welsh carried off on this occasion 
incited them to further depredations, and the early years of 
the reign of the second William, were marked by constant 
hostilities between them and the barons on the border. 
The Welsh were stiU more encouraged by the death of 
Roger de Montgomery in 1094; and the same year they 
invaded Shropshire and Herefordshire in numerous parties^ 
destroying seyeral castles, and carrying away much plunder. 
They were beaten in many encounters by Hugh de Mont- 
gomery, 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 Normandy, raised a powerful 
army and hastened to the border, to put a stop to their 
depredations. 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 horses and men, but he had effected 
nothing, and the Welsh were rather emboldened than 
daimted by his invasion. They appear again to have 
carried destruction into the English counties in the year 
following ; 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 
ttme system of retiring into the woods, and he was disap- 
pomted in his endeavours to bring them to a regular 


engagement. The EngKsh, however, over-run the C50iintry, 
involving all they met with, yoimg or old, in one common 
destruction, and the Welsh appear now to have been 
effectually himibled. An old chronicler, Peter Langtoft, 
who wrote more than two centuries after this event, calls 
it " the great vengeance."* The king, before he returned 
to England, ordered 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 Conqueror; and the "Kings of Wales" are 
enumerated in the chronicle of Geoffrey Gaimax, among 
the attendants at the court of RuAis 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 powerful 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 
fitther Roger, and who now obtained the English succession 
by paying three thousand pounds to the King. 

* Le secounde an apr^s le rays estut moyer ; 
Tut drait en quarreme, kant fu pass^ la mer, 
En Gales est alez les Walays chastier, 
Ke sa terre alaynt destrore et waster. 
Le rays William les prent et les fet tuer, 
Ad joYen ne ad yelz ne rolt espamyer. 
Unkes fu vengaunce en Gkiles fet si fer ! 
Apr^s la grande yengaunce ke en Gales fet estayt, etc. 
Peter Langtoft, MS. Cotton. Julius, A, V. (in the Brit. Mus.) fol. 84. 

t Chroniques Anglo-Normandes, torn, i., p. 40. 


fiobert de Belesme whjb a restless and ambitioua man, 
and merited the hatred of his contemporaries by his tyranny 
and cruelty. In the popular traditions of Maine^ where 
part of his Norman possessions lay^ he is still indentified 
with the half-fiend^ half-human Bobert-the-Devil of middle- 
age l^end/ and the acts of the fabulous tyrant are less 
horriUe than the monstrous crimes which historians lay to 
the charge of the Earl of Shrewsbury. 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 
pmed to death ; and he tore out the eyes of a Uttle boy, 
who was his own godchild, and who was his hostage for 
the fideUty 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, dted him before his court. The earl had 
already fortified and provisioned his numerous castles in 
England, particularly those of Arundel, Shrewsbury, Bridge- 
north, and Tickhill in Yorkshire, which with Blyth in 
Nottinghamshire he had inherited firom Roger de Busley; 
he obeyed the king's citation, and made his appearance in 
court slightly attended, but when he foimd that his designs 
were known, he fled precipitately to the Welsh border, 

* Plnquet's note on the Roman da Ron, iL, 334. Loppenbexg, Ge- 
fichicMe Ton England, iL 232, 233. 

t Wace giT68 the following account of him.— 

" Robert de Belesme, on baron 
Ke Ten teneit por mnlt fi&lon, 
Aveit li Reis en I'est od eel, 
Et il esteit mult bien del Rei« 
Robert de Belesme ta fala, 
£ felonies sout e mals; 
De fi&lons gieus ert con£nx, 
E de fere mals ert cremuz." 

Soman dm Rou^ 1 15042. 


where his greatest strength lay, and raised the standard 
of rebellion at Bridgenorth.* The king immediately col- 
lected an army, and having taken the castle of Arundel, 
marched towards the Severn. On his way he took the 
castle of Blyth, in Nottinghamshire; and Tickhill had 
already surrendered 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 
Staffordshire when the king's army approached. At the 
king's approach, Robert de Belesme left Bridgenorth under 
the command of Roger Fitz Corbet, and retired to Shrews- 
bury, where he prepared for a vigorous struggle. The 
siege of Bridgenorth lasted thirty days ; it was thus pro- 
tracted 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 wadGeire in which he was 
engaged, and ui^ed him to offer favourable terms to his 
enemy, and to seek reconcilement. Henry 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 Earl 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 Bridgenorth. He accepted their services with joy ; and 
the fortress was taken. This was one of the first instances 

* Encontre le rey Henri A Burg sa gwere crye 
En SalopschirOi qe (a en sa balllye. 

Peter Lanptoft, 


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

The ruin of Robert de Belesme 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 army direct to Shrewsbury. The 
retainers of the earl attempted to defend the extensive and 
then almost imipassable forests which covered the approach 
to that town ; but the king, with incredible labour and 
perseverance^ cut his way through with the axe; and 
having thus forced the difficult pass of Wenlock-edge, esta- 
blished 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 Belesme, deserted by the 
amiies in which he trusted, was compelled to surrender at 
discietion. Robert, with his brother Amulf de Mont- 
gomery (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 com- 
mitting 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 coimtry celebrated in the middle-ages for the 
superiority of its horses ; at the end of the twelfth century 
the breed was stiU preserved, chiefly in Powis-land, and 
was femous throughout England.* 

* In hac tertia WallisB portione quae Powisia dicltur, sunt equitia 
peroptima, et equi emissarii laadatissimi, de Hispaniensium equonim 
generoritate, qaos oUm comes SlopesburisD Robertas de Belesmo in fines 
istos adduci curarerat, oiiginaliter propagatL Unde et qui hinc exeunt 
equi, cum nobili fonnffi pictura ipsa protrahente natuia, tarn membrosa 
nuL majestate, quam incomparabili ▼elocitate, valde commemorabiles 
reperimitur. Gixald. Cambr. Itin. ii, 12. 


King Henry distributed the estates of the banished 
nobles amongst the knights who had served him with most 
zeal. Some of the strongest castles he kept in his own 
hands. He made Richard de Belmeis (or^ de Beaumes)^ 
an ecclesiastic who had enjoyed the confidence of Roger de 
Montgomery, steward or governor of Shropshire, and 
Herefordshire also appears to have been included in his 
jurisdiction. Richard de Beaumes, having 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 Marches 
to respect the law. On his marriage with Adela of Bou- 
logne in llSl, the king gave the earldom of Shrewsbury 
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 fiivourite knight named Joce or Gotso, who &om 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 from 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 

• Romance of the Fitz WarineSi p. 3. 


four yeais. During this period a 'destructiye guerilla 
waxfiire was constantly kept up on the southern border. 
At this time numbers of Flemings, a hardy and industrious 
race of men, came oyer to England. Some of their coun- 
trymen had already settled in this cotmtry in the days of 
the Conqueror^ and we find them established about Down- 
ton at the period of the Domesday survey. An eruption 
of the sea into Flanders compelled the inhabitants to emi- 
grate in great numbers ; a large portion went to Grermany, 
but many sought a refuge in England, and were allowed 
to inhabit the border of Scotland. Shortly afterwards, 
(1107-9,) the king moved this colony to the Welsh border, 
and gave the Flemish refugees the district about Ross in 
Herefordshire^ and Haverfordwest and Tenby in Pem- 
brokeshire. 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. G&aldus 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.t Checked 
in their depredations in the south, the latter now turned 
their fury against the northern boundary. The king was 
obliged on more than one occasion to lead an army against 

* Girald. Camb. Itin. i, 11. Compare the account there given with the 
Tery guniUr superstitioiiB of the Tartar invadeis of Europe in the foU 
lowiBgcentaxy, as related by WiUiam de Rubniquis. 

t Ginld. L c; W. Malmsb. p. 156; Roger Horeden.; Rad. Dicet (in 
the Decern Scriptures), 6bc. Lappenberg, Geschichte von England ii, 283. 
Giztidus describes these Flemings as being in his time— Gens fortis et 
robusta, continuoque belli conflictu gens Gambrensibus Inimicissima ; gens, 
inquam, lani^iis, gens mercimoniis usitatissima ; quocunque labore sire 
pericnlo terra marique lucrum quaerere gens perralida; Ticissim loco et 
tempore nunc ad aratrum nunc ad arma gens promptissima ; gens utique 
&liz et fortis, si vel regibus ut deceret Cambria cordi fuisset, vel prassti- 
totis saltern et prefecUs injuriarum dedecus animo yindice displicuisset. 


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 fortunately turned off by the mail with which he 
was covered. The king asserted that the blow had been 
treacherously aimed by one of his own men. The Welsh 
always escaped by carrying their goods to the tops of the 
least accessible mountains. Taking advantage of the death 
of Richard earl of Chester, who was drowned in the cele- 
brated wreck of the White-3hip> 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 encamped at the foot of Snowdon. 
There the Welsh came with rich gifts and, according to 
the English chroniclers, 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 belonging to Paine Pitz John, who 
was still sheriff of that county, and treated the inhabitants 
with extreme cruelty. King Henry, who was in Noiman- 
dy, hastened to England to punish their contumacy ; but 
death stopped him on the road, and left the crown of Eng- 
land to another usurper, and the kingdom to be torn by a 
new contest for the succession, 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 

* These hostilities were carried on chiefly in the south of Wales, on 
the coast of the Bristol channel. The continoator of Florence of Wor- 
cester speaking of the number slain in one battle in 1136, says. Corpora 
Tero eorum a lupis horribiliter per agros discerpta et derorata sunt. p. 512. 
This is the latest mention of wolves in Wales that I remember to hare 
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 &youT of the claims of the Empress Matilda, 
which soon afterwards involved the whole kingdom in the 
horrors of dvil war. In 1138, the third year of Stephen's 
leign, nearly all the castles and strong towns on the border 
were fortified against him. Robert earl of Gloucester (the 
illegitimate son of Henry I.) occupied Bristol, which formed 
the head quarters of the rebellion, and Gloucester ; Greoffirey 
Talbot garrisoned his own castle of Weobly and seized 
upon Hereford ; William Fitz Alan, the sheriff of Shrop- 
shire, established himself in the castle of Shrewsbury; 
Ralph Paganel, an active and influential paxtizan 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 Peverel, in 
like manner, raised the standard of rebellion in his castles 
of EQesmere, 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 
hoth these fortresses, the king quitted the border. In these 
cniel wars, the towns as well as the coimtry 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, G^offirey 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 attack Cmtas Herefordensis infra pontem flaminis 
Wegc comboritor igne. Contin. of Florence of Worcester, p. 520. In 
Tilbot'i attack the part « ultra pontem Wegae* was burnt. lb, p. 521. 


beaten off with loss by Stephen's garrison; and shortly 
afterwards Talbot, in an attempt upon the city of Bath, was 
taken prisoner by the bishop, who however was induced by 
the threats of the terrible garrison of Bristol to set him at 
liberty. The 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 Pitz Alan 
fled at his approach, leaving 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 escajied; 
many were slain ; and a few of the prisoners of rank were 
hanged by order of the king.* The si^e 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 English 
king returned to Shropshire, carrjring 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 Grervase Paganel, 
made an obstinate resistance. Two forts were erected by 
the assailants, and the si^e was prosecuted with great 
vigour, yet it was not successful; and it needed all the 
prudence of the monarch to hinder sanguinary feuds from 

* The continuator of Florence of Worcester, p. 523. 


breakiiig out among the besiegers.* In one of the attacks^ 
the Scottish prince approaching rashly too near to the 
waDS; was seized by an iron grapple thrown out from the 
castle, and would have been taken prisoner, but the king 
with his characteristic bravery rushed to the spot, and 
saved his hostage at the imminent peril of his own life. 
The king soon afterwards raised the siege, and repaired to 
Oxford, where his presence was necessary. 

After the arrival of Matilda in England, her army was 
strengthened by ten thousand Welsh auxiUaries, raised by 
Robert earl of Gloucester. Her cause was sustained in 
Herefordshire by Geoffirey Talbot and Gilbert de Lacy, 
with Milo^ constable of Gloucester, the son of Walter, 
constable of Shropshire in the preceding reign. At the 
end of the autumn 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 hastened to 
Worcester, and then pushing forwards encamped his army 
at little Hereford and Leominster. In the following year 
he again occupied Little Hereford,t not far distant from 
Ludlow, which we may suppose to have been still held 
by Grervase Paganel. Stephen's progress in this quarter 
was arrested by other events. In 1141, earl Robert's 
Welshmen took part in the battle of Lincoln, where the 
king was made captive.^ Milo de Gloucester, for his 

* The account of this siege is chiefly taken from the Continuator of 
Florence of Worcester, pp. 527, 528. He spells the name Ludelawe. The 
orthography in other accounts of the same event is, Ludktue in Henry of 
Huntingdon ; Ludelawe in Roger de Hoveden ; Ludehlaioe in Matthew 
Puis ; Lodelowe in Ralph de Dicet and in Robert of Gloucester. 

t These particulars are given by the Continuator of Florence of Wor- 
cester, pp. 531, 532, 533. 

t Tfro of our most valuable border historians end with this year, 
Ordericus Vitalis, a native of Shropshire, whose father was a trusty 
minister of Roger de Montgomery, and the anonymous monk of Wor- 
cester, who continued the Chronicle of Florence of Worcester from the 
year U18. 


conduct in this engagement^ was rewarded by Matilda 
with the earldom of Hereford ; and among the witnesses to 
the grant are the signatures of Ralph Paganel and Gilbert 
de Lacy.* During the various vicissitudes of the year 
which followed, the Welsh border seems to have been less 
frequently the scene of active warfare between the con- 
tending parties. In the summer of 1150, the city of 
Worcester was taken by the army of Stephen, and a con- 
siderable portion of it was again burnt to the ground.t 
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 de 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 destroying no less than 
eleven hundred of the petty castles, the inmates of which 
had oppressed the coimtry 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 
persuaded Roger earl of Hereford to join in his rebellion, 
and to fortify against his sovereign the castles of Hereford 
and Gloucester. The earl of Hereford was soon restored 
to obedience by Gilbert Foliot, the bishop of that see; 
but Hugh de Mortimer defended Bridgenorth castle with 
obstinacy. During the siege the king, who was directing 
the operations, narrowly escaped from an arrow which 
was aimed at him by one of the garrison; his faithful 
attendant, Hugh de St. Clair, threw himself before the 

* This grant is printed in Rymer's Fccdera, last edition, i. 14. 

t Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, p. 465 (ed. Heame). 


monarch and receiyed the weapon in his own breast. 
Hordmer was soon afterwards compelled to surrender. 
The humbled baron appears to have wreaked his wrath 
upon his neighbours^ and we soon afterwards find him 
engaged in open warfiue with Joce de Dinan. The latter 
could scarcely quit the walls of his castle of Ludlow 
without danger of being taken by Mortimer's men; but^ 
learning one day that the lord of Wigmore was to ride 
out alone, Joce sent some of his men to lay wait, who 
made him prisoner and broi^ht him to Ludlow, where 
he was confined for some length of time in a tower in 
the third "baylle" or ward, till he obtained his Uberty 
by die payment of a very heavy ransom.* The tower, 
which we are told in an old writer, was the loftiest in 
the third ward of the castle, was known in the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries by the name oi Mortimer's Tower,t 
a name which it took from this circumstance, and which 
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 army into Flintshire, to repress the hostilities 
of these moimtaineers under their prince Owen Gwynned. 
The enemy retired before him, and took refuge in the woods, 
and he had reached the forest of ColeshiU in the neigh- 
bourhood of Flint, when, with the ardour of youth, he 
threw himself with his army into a wooded and dangerous 
pass. The Welsh firom 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 foundation of Wigmore Abbey, printed in Ellis's 
Dngdale, toI. ti, p. 346. 

t Le plus halt tour q'est en la terce bayle del chastel, qe or est apel4 
de pluflours Mortemer« Romance of the Fitz Warines. 

X The Pictorial History of England calls him Henry earl of Essex, 
The earl of Essex at this time was Geoffrey de Maudeyille. 


that the king was killed^ threw down his standard and 
spread the alarm through the army. The conAision was 
great; and many of the English were slain^ but Boger earl 
of Clare, with his own retainers, raised up the king's 
standard and pressed forwards into the heat of the battle, 
and the spirited exertions of the young king restored the 
army to order. As soon as he had extricated himself 
from this difficulty, he recruited his army and led it to 
the south, and advancing along the coast by Glamorgan, 
reached Pencadair near Carmarthen, where Rhees princse 
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 Bhees 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 : Henry de Essex retorted 
the charge, and the cause was decided by 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 armour, he recovered, and soon afterwards became a 
monk of the abbey of Reading.f 

* Gixaldos Cambrensifl, Hibern. Ezpugn. c 30 ; Itin. Cam. lib. i, c 10^ 
and lib. ii, c. 10, compared with the other historians of the period. 

t Gronica Joscelini de Brakelonda (edited by John Gage Rokewode, 
Esq. for the Camden Society), pp. 50-^2. The account diflfers a little from 
that commonly given, but Josceline de Brakelonde received it from Henry 
de Essex's own mouth, after the latter had taken the cowl at Reading. 
The standard bearer assured him that he really believed the king had 
been slain — in rei veritate, prsdictus Henricus de Essexia inclitum regem 
Henricimi secundum, Walensium fraudibus interceptum, diem clausisse 
credidit extremum. 


At the time when this combat took place (a. d. 1168), 
the Welsh, regardless of the safety of their hostages, were 
again in arms. Beaten by the borderers, they were not 
.discouraged, and early in 1165, the princes of North and 
South Wales, in conjunction with Owen Kerelioc prince of 
Powis, renounced their dependanoe on the English king. 
Henry raised a great army and entered Powis-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 
Berwin mountains, but here the inclemency of the weather 
was more &tal 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 
with mortification at this second disaster, took vengeance 
on his unfortunate hostages, who were by his order deprived 
of dieir eyes. Giraldus Cambrensis, an attentive observer 
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 
chieftains, 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. We have already seen Joce de Dinan 
at war with his powerful neighbour Hugh de Mortimer : 
soon afterwards we find him engaged in a still more 

* Girald. Camb. liin. lib. ii, c. 10. 


desperate feud with another of the old border chieftains^ 
Walter de Lacy. It appears by the deed of the last year 
of the reign of Stephen^ mentioned above^ that Hugh de 
Lacy then laid claim to lands which Joce de Dinan held, 
in Herefordshire^ and it is not improbable that these con- 
tending claims were the ground of the dissensions in 
which '* many a good knight lost his life ;" the 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 Fitz Warines. 

The first of this family who bore the name of Fulke Fitz 
Warine had mherited by his mother Melette^ daughter of 
William Peverel^ the castle and honour of Whittington^ 
when seven years of age, Fulke was, according to the 
custom of those times, placed in the &mily of Joce de 
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 tfaue 
morning, and mounted a tower in the middle of his castle 
to siurvey the country. Turning his eyes towards Whit- 
cliflfe, he was surprised to see the fields covered with 
knights and soldiers in all the apparel of war, and to behold 
among others the banner of his mortal enemy Sir Walter 
de Lacy. He ordered part of his knights to arm and 
mount in haste, and to take with them arbalasters 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 the Fitz Warines, see a note at 
the beginning of our next section. It may be obserred that the article 
on this &mily in Burke's Extinct Peerage is full of errors. Walter de 
Lacy did not become in his own right lord of Ewyas till after his father's 
death in 1185, but as the latter was constantly engaged in Ireland, he was 
probably considered as the head of the family on the border of Wales. * 


Mrere already occupying the pass. Soon after came Joce^ 
with fire hundred knights and men at arms, besides the 
burgesses of the town^ and crossing the water they engaged 
and entirely defeated the invaders. Walter de Lacy, after 
haTing lost his banner and seen his men dispersed, fled 
along the road which ran near the banks of the Teme 
towards Bromfield, called by the Anglo-Norman writer 
Champ-Geneste (campus genestse). Joce de Diaan seeing 
Walter de Lacy flying 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 
Lacy was already wounded and on the point of being made 
a prisoner, wben three of his knights suddenly made their 
appearance and 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 iheir screams. Fulke 
Fitz Warine, who on account of his youth had been left in 
die 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 
resemblest 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 foimd nothing 
but an old rusty helmet, which he put on as well as he 
could, for he had not yet attained to the age of bearing 
armour, and seizing a great Danish axe he ran to the 
stable which was close to the postern 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 opponents, was 


already dismounted and on the ground. Young Fulke 
was no sooner arrived^ than with one blow of his for- 
midable weapon he cut in two the back-bone of one of 
Lacy's men who was securing the fallen lord of Ludlow^ 
and with a second he clove the scull of another who was 
coming to encounter him. Joce was now soon remounted, 
and Walter de Lacy with his remaining companion, Arnold 
de lisle, who had both been severely wounded in the 
action, were easily made prisoners. They were brought 
to Ludlow castle and confined in a tower which was called 

The two prisoners were treated with kindness, and were 
firequently visited 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 allowed herself to 
be seduced by his fair words and promises of marriage. 
Having thus placed herself in his power by her impru- 
dence, she was Airther induced secretly to aid the escape 
of the prisoners through one of the windows of the tower 
by means of towels and napkins attached together. After 
Walter de Lacy had obtained his liberty, he sent to his 
fiither in Lreland 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 with 
great ceremony to Hawyse de Dinan ; and after the festi- 
vities were ended, Joce de Dinan with his household and 
son-in-law, and Warine the father of Fulke, went to 
' Hertland,' having 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 Fitz Warines, p. 17. The tower called Pendorcr 
was certainly not the keep or donjon. It appears from the context to 
have been a tower in the outer wall, looking towards Linney, and 
communicating with the wall that ran at the back of the chapel, perhaps 
the one marked 10 in our plan of the castle. 



No sooner had Joce de Dinan quitted his castle^ than 
Marion de la Bruere^ who had remained behind on pretence 
of illness^ sent a private message to her loyer Arnold de 
lisle, acquainting him with the state of the castle, and 
invitiiig him to pay her a yisit, promising to let him enter 
by the same window from which he and Walter de Lacy 
had made their escape from prison. Arnold communicated 
Iu8 intelligence to Walter de Lacy, and obtained his consent 
to making an attempt on the castle. Having 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 Whitcliffe, and the rest 
weie 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 down a cord by which 
the ladder was drawn up and fixed. The lady led him 
to her chamber, and the ladder was left suspended at 
die 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 Pendover, and whilst one 
party, descending from the tower to the wall which led be- 
hind the chapel,* threw the sleeping sentinel into the deep 
fo88 which 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 guard the castle. 
They then issued from the castle, opened Dinham gate 
(la porte de Dynan vers la ryvere), to admit the rest of 

*£ 8*en avalerent de la tour do Pcndovrc, c s'en alercnt par Ic mux de- 
lere la chapele. Romance of the Fitz-Warines, p. 21. 


Lacy's men, and placii^ parties of soldiers at the end of 
each street, they burnt the town and massacred the inhabi- 
tants, sparing neither woman nor child. At day-break, 
Marion, who was in bed with her lover Sir Arnold, was 
awakened by the shouts of the victors; she arose, and, 
looking through 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 (Lyneye), and 
" broke her neck." As soon as he received intelligence of 
the success of this attack, Walter de Lacy came with aU 
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 Lrish troops, 
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 once 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 have 
already 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 with 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 ward 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, and Fulke became Lord of Whit- 

Walter de Lacy finding himself hard pressed, sent for 
assistance to Jorwerth Drwyndwn (i. e. Jorwerth with the 
broken nose), prince of Wales, who invaded the Marches 
with twenty thousand Welshmen, ravaged the country, 
burning towns and slaying the inhabitants, and speedily 
approached Ludlow. Joce and Fulke fought against the 
iniraders with great bravery, but they were at length com- 
pelled to retire to Cainham, where they were besieged 
during three days. Cut off firom all hope of assistance, and 
unable even to procure provisions, on the fourth day they 
sallied out fix>m the ruined fortress, and attempted to force 
their way through their enemies. After killing many of 
the Welsh and Lish, they were overwhelmed by numbers, 
and Joce de Dinan, with most of his knights that were 
not killed, was taken prisoner and committed to the dun- 
geon of Ludlow castle. Fulke Fitz Warine, seeing his 
&ther-in-law carried away, made a desperate attempt to 
rescue him, and ran his lance through the body of the knight 
who had him in charge ; but he was himself sorely wounded 
by Owen KeveUoc, and with difficulty escaped from the 
field, and fled towards Gloucester, where king Henry was 
at that time making his stay. 

The king received Fulke with 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 Uberty his prisoners, on pain of incurring a 
severe chastisement. Lacy was too well acquainted with the 
rigour and skill of king Henry to disobey his commands, 
and Joce de Dinan joined his son-in-law at the royal court 
Immediately lifter his arrival at court, the lady Hawyse gave 
birth to a son, who was named after his father Fulke Fitz 
Warine. Joce died at Lamboume a short time afterwards ; 
and it was probably on his death that the king made a 
grant confirming the right of his son-in-law to the castle of 

Ludlow and the dependant honour of Corve-dale. This 


grant is said to have been made about the year 1176. 
Fulke lose rapidly in the &TOur of his sovereign, who made 
him lieutenant of the Marches, in which capacity he was 
very active in resisting the aggressions of the Welsh, who 
during the latter part of this king's reign again ravaged 
Shropshire and Herefordshire.* He defieated the Welsh 
prince in several combats, and particularly in a great 
battle at 'Wormeslowe' 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 Ellesmere, 
Whittington, Maylour, and other places on the border, and 
Henry's daughter Joane was betrothed to Lems, 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 Joce de Dinan, was rebuilt, and the 
new town was probably placed nearer to the church and 
about the present BroNeul-street and Old-street ; it was 
henceforth known only by the name of Ludlow. Perhaps 
amid the troubles and dissensions on the border, Walter de 
Lacy was allowed to retain possesfiion. 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 with him numbers 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 deeds of valour performed in Syria, and 
g^ve us but a very imperfect account of the state of England 
during Richard's absence. The partial notices which have 

• Romance of the Fitz Warincs, p. 32. 


come down to us shew that England was torn by discord. 
The feudal barons had not yet foi^tten the licence of 
the days of Stephen^ and they were glad to be liberated 
fiom the iron-armed justice of the reign of his successor.* 
The ambition of John^ Richard's eldest brother, encouraged 
their expectations, and laid the foundation of those hostile 
combinations which a few years afterwards troubled his 

In the first year of his reign, king Richard provoked the 
lesentment of the Welsh by his unoourteous treatment of 
thdr prince Rhees, who came to Oxford, under the safe 
conduct of prince John, to confer with him. King Henry 
had been accustomed to meet the Welsh prince at this 
place ; but Richard, despising the example of his father, 
lefused to quit his capital, and Rhees, ^'exceedingly angry," 
returned home.t 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 
anangement 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, the 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- 
lelled 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 
ttnkwfiilly usurped them the castles of Hereford, Bridge- 
iiorth, and Ludlow, which he delivered to new keepers.^ 

* See WilliAm of Newbury, p. 380. Edit 1610. 

t Roger de Hoyeden, p. 661. 

} Eodem anno, die natalis Domini, Hubertas — fiiit in Owallia apud 
Hereford, et recepit in manu ana casteUum de Hereford, et casteUum de 
Btiges, et casteUum de Ludelaw, expolsis inde ciutodibus qui ea diu 
c^tttodierant, et tradidit ea aliis custodibus custodienda ad opus regis. 
Hoger de HoTeden, p. 775. 


In the fifth year of this reign, 1194, the custody of Ludlow 
castle had been given to Gilbert Talbot, whose fieither 
appears to have been nephew of the G^ffiiey Talbot who 
was so active in Herefordshire during the reign of Stephen. 
A few months after his last visit to the border, Hubert was 
deposed firom his secular dignities, and was succeeded by 
Greoffiiey Fitz Peter, who was almost immediately called 
with an army to Wales to assist William de Braose, who 
was besieged by Gwenwynwyn 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 
fevour. She on one occasion presented to the queen three 
hundred cows and one bull, all of them white with 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 himdred 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 stiU 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 with her eldest son William went 
over to Ireland to seek protection from their kinsman 
Hugh de Lacy, who was likewise under the king's dis- 
pleasure. As John pursued them from castle to castle in 

• Roger do Hoveden, p. 781. 


Ireland, they fled to the Isle of Man and to Scotland, 
where Maude and her son William were taken and sent to 
the king. He ordered them to be inclosed in a room in 
Corfe castle, with a sheaf of wheat and a piece of raw 
bacon for their only proTisions. 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 with his face turned towards the ground. 
Maude de Braose, in her last pangs of hunger, had knawed 
the cheeks of her son, then probably dead, and after this 
effort she appeared to have fallen into the position in which 
she was found.* 


Adventures of the younger Ftdke Fitz Warine. 

THE first Fulke Fitz Warine had, by his wife 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 his younger brothers, and his cousin Baldwin de Hodnet 
was educated with the children of Henry H; and he 
enjoyed the favomr 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 

* These particulaTS relating to the Braoses, differing considerably 
firam the accounts commonly received, are taken from an anonymous 
wfiter who lived at the time, and was intimately acquainted with the 
domestic events of the reign of John : his work, in a strong Norman dialect, 
was first printed by the Soci^te de I'Histoire de France, in 8vo. 1840. 
The account of Maude de Braose will be found at pp. 111-115. 


preceding reign had been allowed to remain in the hands 
of Roger prince of Powis. He continued during this reign 
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 

* We dte the interestixig narratire of the adyentures of Fulke by the 
title of the Momanee of the Fitz Warines ; but it must not be supposed that 
by this title we mean to conyey a doubt of its beiog historical. The word 
romanee, in its original acceptation, meant a book of any king written in 
the middle-age dialects derired from the latin, each of which was called 
Lmffua^ Romano, or Langue Romance pure Latin being always characterized 
as the LinfftM Latino, or Lanffue LaHne, The name Bomam (i. e. hber 
HomamuJ became more peculiarly applied to the long poetical narratives 
snng by the minstrels in ^e baronial halls, which sometimes recorded the 
old traditions of the 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 became gradually restricted to stories of a more 
imaginative character, from whence has arisen our modem application of 
the word. The Romance of the Fitz Warines was very popular during a 
long period of time: it was first composed in Anglo-Norman verse; 
there appeared a version in English verse probably before the end of 
the thirteenth century ; and at the beginning of the fourteenth century 
the original Anglo-Norman poem was transformed into a prose version. 
The Anglo-Norman and English poems were extant in the time of 
Leland, who has given an imperfect abstract of them ; but the prose 
version alone, as far as can be ascertained, is now preserved; it is 
contained in a manuscript of the reign of Edward II, in the British 
Museum, MS. Reg. 12, C. XII. The writgr who made the prose version 
has followed his original so closely, that we have evidently the very words 
of the poem a little transposed, and with a little care wo might restore 
the original verses of a considerable portion of it. At the end of the 
account of Joce's wars with Walter dc Lacy, it is said " Now you have 
heard how Sir Joce de Dynan, Sibille, the elder, and Hawyse, the 
younger, his daughters, were disinherited of the castle and honour of 
Dynan, which Sir Walter de Lacy holda wrongfully" (ore avez oy com- 
ment sire Joce de Dynan, &c. furent disheritez de la chastel e I'onour de 
Dynan, que sire Walter de Lacy tient 4 tort). This must have been 
written before 1241, when Walter de Lacy died (the only Lacy who held 
the castle of Ludlow), and therefore during the life of the younger Fulke 
Fitz Warine, of whoso adventures chiefly it treats. This circumstance, 


The enmity which existed so long between Ifing John and 
the hsDilj 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 with the chess-board. Fulke returned the blow 
with so 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 Henry 
knew his son's character, and not only rebuked him for 
his quarrelsomeness, telling him that if Fulke had beaten 
him he had no doubt it was what he merited, but he sent 
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 
^larches, but also the &mily possessions of the Fitz Wa- 
lines at Whittington, to Morice, son of Roger of Powis* 

and Uie exact knowledge whieh the minstrel shows that he possessed of 
Ludlow casUe and the border, leads me to believe the poem was 
oiiginally composed by a minstrel attached to the family of Fulke at 
Wldttington, when the jealousies were still alive which arose out of the ' 
transfer of Ludlow from the Fitz Warines to the Lacies. I hare little 
doubt that the incidents of the story are in the main true, if we make 
^wance for the inaccuracies which must have arisen in their passage 
from one mouth to another, with the embellishments which party feeling 
would naturally give to them, and which in fact appear more or less in 
every historical narrative. The poet, however, seems to have thought 
lumself justified in giving full scope to his imagination when he described 
Fnlke's adventures in distant lands, which it has not been thought neces- 
8U7 to insert here. It ought to be observed, that since the present work 
was begun, the prose text of the Romance of the Fitz Warines has been 
printed at Paris (8vo. 1840). 

* The grant of * Witintone and Overton' to Morice Fitz Roger (Meurico 


before mentioned, who was known to the Normans by the 
name of Morice Fitz Roger. When Fulke learnt the injus- 
tice which had been done to him, he immediately repaired 
with his brothers and Baldwin de 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 
Jands to Morice 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 
WiUiam Fitz Warine, less scrupulous in this particular, 
stepped forward and struck him a blow with his mailed 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 with his injustice 
and, having publicly ifithdrawn his fealty, hastened with 
his kinsmen &om the court. They had 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 heads 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 
setting upon them, they slew or severely wounded fourteen, 
and left but one able to ride back to carry the news 
to king John. 
Fulke hiuiied to his castle of Alberbury, where his 

filio Rogeri de Peuwis), dated at Worcester, April 11, 1200, is found on 
the Charter Rolls at the Tower. King John was at Worcester from 
the 6th to the 12th April. 

• It Ib most probable that Winchester is a mistake for Westminster, 
where the king was on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of April, 1200. He was 
not at Winchester during that year. 


mother was living, and having taken his leave of her, 
he went by sea to Bretagne, accompanied by his brothers 
and his eousins Audulf de Bracy and Baldwin de Hodnet, 
and carrying with him large treasures which he had laid 
up in his castle. King John immediately seized upon 
aU 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), FuDce 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 m 
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 Whittington, 
where he took up his abode with 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 with 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 Warine, who approached 
so near the gateway, that he was shot in the 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 have been constantly in rebellion against king 
John. In September, 1207, he was a prisoner: Mandamus tibi quod 
Uberari facias Hngoni de Nuville yel certo nuncio suo litteras suas de- 
ferent! Walterum de Hugeforde prisonem pro foresta. (Patent Rolls, 
6 SepL 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 Henry III. (Close Rolls, p. 373.) 


messenger of Morice Fitz Roger that Fulke was in England, 
he became '' wonderfully wroth/' and appointed a hundred 
knights with all their retainers to scour the country in 
search of him, promising a great reward to him who should 
capture the outlaw either alive or dead. These 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 not only had a distaste for 
Fulke's blows, but they many of them also cherished an 
affection for his person, and had no real demie 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, with 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. When 
Fulke heard that they were the king's merchants, and that 
the loss would not fall upon their own 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 Fulke's good men. 

Afiter this adventure they removed to the forest of Kent. 


Intd%enoe was carried to king John's knights who were 
in search of him^ that Fulke Fitz Warine was in a certain 
wood; and they immediately raised the country ahout, 
and came with a great number of people of all sorts to 
nuToimd the place where he was lodged. They placed 
bands of men on every side to watch his egress; and 
distributed watchmen oyer the fields and plains with horns 
to raise the cry if they saw him pass from his hiding place. 
The first intelligence of these moTements which reached 
Foike, was conyeyed 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 seyeral rude encounters, in which many of their 
ptUBuers were slain, and in one of which John Fitz 
Warine 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 porter 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 
& large body of knights, Serjeants, and their company, 
arrived at full speed. " Old monk," said they, " have you 
seen no knights in armour pass here ?" '* Yes," said Fulke, 
"and Grod 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^ 
^ with difiiculty help myself. On a sudden there came 
Kven knights and fifteen men on foot, and because I could 
not get out of the way, they made no stoppage but run 
o^er me, and it was a chance that I had not been killed." 
" Never nund," said the knight, " before night I promise 
ttiou shalt be well avenged ;" and without more words tl^e 
whole party continued their route at full speed. Soon after- 


wards arrived eleven other knights^ magnificently mounted 
on choice steeds. As they approached the place where 
Fulke 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 uttering 
a word, raised his club, and struck the knight such a fear- 
ful blow imder the ear as laid him breathless on the ground. 
His brothers and their companions, who were looking 
on, rushed firom 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 
came to ' Huggeford,' where John Fitz Warine was cured 
of his wound. 

While they remained at ^ Huggeford,' a messenger 
arrived bam Hubert le Botiler, or Hubert Walter, €uxjh- 
bishop of Canterbury. Hubert's brother, Theobald Wal- 
ter, had married Maude de Cans, (daughter of Robert 
Vavasoiu:), 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, 
firom the pursuit 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 Caus. 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 appears to hare been remanied by the king's licence after 
Fulke's pardon. (See Patent Rolls, p. 74.) Hubert, archbishop of 
Canterbury, died in 1205. There arose a misunderstanding between the 
archbishop and the king in 1201 (Matthew Paris pp. 205, 206) which 
may haye had some connection with the circumstances mentioned in 
the text 


take his wife, to his castle or to his wood, and encouraged 
one another and were very joyfiil." 

At this time there dwelt on the borders of Scotland a 
worthy knight named Robert Fitz Sampson, who with Ids 
lady had often received Fulke Fitz Warine into his house 
widi 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 Fdke came to the Scottish border, and as he ap- 
proached the house of Robert Fitz Sampson, towards 
Bight, he saw a great light in the hall, and on coming 
nearer he heard frequent mention of his own name. 
Haying 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 thimder, 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?" "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 off 

their heads. Then addressing Piers de Bruville, he said 


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

Having 'thus released Kobert 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 musidan^ and very 
skilful 'jogelour/ 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 began to swell and become discoloured so that his 
companions scarcely knew him ; then taking a box with his 
implements of ' joglerie,' and a stout dub in his hand, he 
presented himself at the castle gate, and was immediately 
admitted: for performers of this kind seldom foimd the 
gates of the andent feudal barons closed against them. 
The porter led him into the presence of Morice Fitz Boger, 
who asked him where he was bom. " On the borders of 
Scotland,'' was the answer. "And what is the news 
there ?** " Sir, I know none, except of Fulke Fitz Waxine, 
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 coxmtry say so." 
" Minstrel," said he, " for your news I give you this cup of 
fine gold." And thus John de Rampaigne departed, after 
having learnt that the next day Morice was going to 
Shrewsbury, slenderly attended. Accordingly on the mor- 
row Ftdke was up betimes, and having armed aU his 
company, he laid wait for his enemy, who soon appeared 
with his household retainers, and the four sons of Guy Fitz 
Candelou of Porkington. Morice attacked 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- 


ntor of these events^ '' Fulke had just so many the fewer 

During his wanderings^ Fulke was frequently pursued 
very 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 Morice 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 some time between liim and Gwenwynwyn, the son 
of Owen Kevelioc, and by his {lersuasions effected a recon- 
ciliation 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 Roger 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 unruly baron. But, though I 
cannot catch Fulke, I will not fail to make a signal ex- 
ample of the Welsh prince who has harboured him !" He 
inunediately ordered writs to be issued, summoning his 



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

Before the day thus appointed, 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 Gymele (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 de 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 long as 
he was able with his inferior force, and then drew off to his 

* King Jolrn was not at Shrewsbnry during the first four years of his 
reign ; but he was on the border, at Hereford on the 4th and 5th, at 
Ledbury on the 6th, and at Bridgenorth on the Uth, 12th and 13th of 
November, 1200. He had been at Worcester in the preceding ApriL The 
minstrel who composed the poem of Fulke Fitz Warine's adventures, 
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 following (1201). 

t The name of John L'Estrange occurs frequently in the records of the 
reign of king John. We find a grant to Johannes Extraneus, April 16, 
1200 (Charter Rolls, p. 45). He was one of those who wore to conduct 
Llewelyn to the king in 1204 (Patent Rolls, p. 39). 


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

Fulke was exceedingly grieved when he learnt the fate 
of Sir Audulf; and John de Bampaigne was employed 
on another minstrel's adventure to free him from prison. 
J(din, as has been already observed, was skilful in all the 
arts belonging to the minstrel's craft. Having, by means of 
a certain nuxture 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 &ir 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, fialling on his knees, he saluted 'Wery cour- 
teously." The king, returning his salutation, asked him 
who he was. " Sire," said he, '^ I am an Ethiopian min- 
strel, bom 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 iaduced me to visit your court." 
"Fair sir," says 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 the barons against John, in the latter part of 
that king's reign. 

76 THE infirroRY of ludlow. 

strelsy both on the tabour and on other instruments, tQI 
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 great melody," and drunk deep, 
till at last Sir Henry turned to a valet and said, '^ Gro fetch 
Sir Audulf de Bracy, whom the king intends to kill to- 
morrow; he shall have one merry night before he dies." 
Audulf was soon led into the room; and they continued 
talking and playing till a late hour. To the minstrel was 
given the honourable office of serving round the cup, in the 
performance of which duty he was very skilful ; and, when 
the whole party were nearly overcome with the effects oi 
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 Bracjr 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 coiul; 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 birth 
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 Hug- 


geford; and from thence she was carried to Alberbmy^ 
where she remained for some time in great secrecy; but 
being discoyered by the king's emissaries she fled to Shrews- 
buy, where she took refuge in St. Mary's church, and 
was there deliyered 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 fix)m the '^ maidens' fountain." Both the mother 
and her ofl&pring were too weak to be removed &r, so they 
were carried from the mountain to a grange '^ which was 
that 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 Baldwin de 
Hodnet, and having committed her again to the care of 
the archbishop, he sailed with his companions to France. 
Haring remained there a short time, he fitted out a ship, 
and took to the sea. After performing many wonderful 
adventures on this element, which 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 hare no details in the old historians concerning this brief war. 
A peace was concluded between king John and Llewelyn, prince of Wales, 
oa the 11th of July, 1202 (Patent Rolls, pp. 8, 9). There must therefore 
lure occuxred some hostilities with the Welsh during the first years of 
the king's reign, which may have called for the king's presence on the 
bolder in 1200, and may haYo 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 wiA 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 disg^uised 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 way?" Fulke answered "Yes, my lord, just now." 
" What 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 set 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 them 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 Fulke's 
old armour. Fulke and his men invested themselves in the 
gay armour of Sir James and his followers, 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 he pretended, to pursue Fulke's 
companions, for which purpose the king gave hitn 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 William, who had 
been desperately hurt in the encounter. The king, be- 
lieTing that Fulke was now in his power, ordered him to be 
hanged immediately ; but when they proceeded to take off 
his hehnet 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 ca^o of valuable merchandise. As soon as he 
reached the English coast, his first care was to learn the 
fete 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. 


John de Rampaigne, 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 fix)m 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 spioery, 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 Mend the 
mayor were placed at table before the king. While they 
were eating, there came two seijeants-at-mace, who led into 
the hall a great knight, with a long black beard^ and a 
very ill-&voured 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 canying this intel- 
ligence to Fulk 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 j 
liberal gifts he soon purchased the favour of the courtiers. | 
One day he took his companions, and they armed them- i 
selves well, and then put on their * gowns' according to the ' 

* This "will be easily 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 
the other hardly more than the English dialects of different counties at 
the present day. All these languages were, In fact, * Latyn corupU' i 



manner of mariners^ and went to the court at Westminster^ 
where they were ' nobly' received, and William Fitz Warine 
w-as brought into the hall as before. The merchant 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 ssdl 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 coimtry, and while closely pursiung 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 pardon 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 to 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. The general pardon of the outlaws 
is entered on the Patent Koll 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 
(30th April, 1202), 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, 1203), John gave three different safe-conducts 
to Fulke, with Baldwin de Hodnet and their companions, 

* This must be considered as one of the embellishments of the story. 
The king was not in the New Forest during the year 1203. In the 
January of 1204, we find the king at different places in Wiltshire, so that 
he may then have 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 
Rouen, the 11th November following. On the roll we have 
a list of his companions, among which we recognise several 
of the names which occur in the story, and many of them 
appear' to be men of Shropshire and the Border. These 
names are tfesides Vivian de Prestecotes, who received a 
separate pardon), Baldwin de Hodnet, William Fitz Fnlkei 
John de Tracy, Roger de Prestone, Philip Fitz Warine, 
Ivo Fitz Warine, Ralf Gras, (or the Fat), Stephen de 
Hodnet, Henry de Pontesbury, Herbert Branche, Henry le 
Norreis, William Malveissin, Ralf Fitz William, Abraham 
Passavant, Matthew de Dulvnstry, Hugh Ruffus, (or the 
Red), William Gemun, Walter de Alwestane, John de 
Prestone, Richard de Prestone, Philip de Hanewude, 
Hamo de Wikefelde, Arfin M arnur, Adam de Creckefergus, 
Walter le Sumter, Gilbert de Dover, William de E^re- 
mimde, John de Lamborne, Henry ' Waleng,' (probably 
Walensis), John Descunfit, William Fet, WilUam Cook, 
Geoffirey his son, Philip de Wemme, Richard Scott, Thomas 
de lidetune, Henry Gloucester, Hugh Fresselle, Onme de 
Prestecotes, Roger de Waletone, Reiner Fitz Reiner, Wil- 
liaml Fitz William, William Fitz Richard of Berton, Richard 
de Wakefelde, Henry son of Robert King of Uffinton, 
John Fitz Toke, Henry le Franceis (or French), Walter 
Godric, Thomas his brother, Roger de Onderoude, (Under- 
wood), Roger de la Hande, William Fitz Jdm. 

In 1204, king John restored to Fulke Fitz Warine, Ids 
castle of Whittington,* and different entries on the rolls 
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, served in the wars in 
Ireland with Randolph earl of Chester. On his return to 
Whittington, he foimded, near Alberbury, in a wood on the 

* Rex, &c. Ticecomiti Salopcsbiriae. Solas quod rcddidimus Fulconi 
filio Gwarini castellum dc Wuitintona cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, sicut 
jus et hereditaiem. Patent Rolls, p. 46. 


bank of the SeTem, & 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 
hid near the altar of the Abbey Church : — 

'^ Joste le auter gist le cors. 
Deus eit merci de tons, vifs e mortz !" 

The date of Fulke's death appears to be unknown, but it 
probably occtirred 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 Lewes in 
126S, certainly confounded him with his son, and thus 
missed a whole generation in the pedigree. When Fulke 
was left warden of the Marches by Richard I (not later 
than the beginning of the year 1190) he must 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- 
three, it will appear that according to Dugdale's statement, 
Folke 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, bom about 1204, would 
have been alive in 1314, at the improbable age of one 
hundred and ten years.* 

Border ArUijuities of the Twelfth Century, 
IX the twelfth century, the Welsh border was covered 

* If the Romance of the Fitz Warines was written daring the life of 
Fulke, it is of course understood that the details relating to his^ death 
vere added at a later period. It is however Very uncertain whether he 
^d not die some years before Walter de Lacy. 


with castles and monastic houses. A manuscript of the 
earlier part of the reign of Henry III. preserved in the 
British Museum, furnishes us Mdth 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 thiB document (presenred in MS. 
Cotton. Vespas. A. XYIII. fol. 159, &c.) which relates to the counties of 
Hereford and Salop. 

V Episcopatus. Hereford. S. Mr. et S. Atheberti. Canonici secuUres. 
Abbatia. Wiggemore. 8. Jacobi.T Canonici nigri. 
Abbatia. Dore. 8. Mariae. Monachi albL 
Prioratns. Leomenstre, S. Jacobi. Monachi nigri de Redinge. 
PrioratuB. Hereford. S. Petri et Panli. Monachi nigri. 

Prioratns. Bartone. S Monachi nigri. 

Prioratns. Clifford. S. Mar. Monachi nigri de Clnniaco. 
Prioratns. Hereford. S. Petri et Panli, et S. Guthlaci. Moniales nigrae. 
Prioratns. Monemue. 8. Mar. et S. Florent. Monachi nigri de Saumer. 
Prioratns. Acomebery. S. Katerinae. Moniales albae. 

Prioratns. Lingebroke. 8 Moniales albie. 

Prioratns. de Kilpek. 
Prioratns. Ewyas Haraldi. 

f Castella. Hereford. Kilpek. Ewyas Haraldi. Ewyas Laci. Grosmund. 
8kenefreid. Caatrum Album. Monemue. Gotrige. Wiltone. Clifford. 
Witesneic. Huntindone. Herdeleye Wigmorre. Radenowere. Keueuen- 
leis. Ledebure north. 8eynt Brerel. 

t Abbatia. Salopesbery. 8. Petri et PauU et 8. MUburgw. Monachi nigri. 
Abbatia. Beldewas. 8. Mar. Monachi nigri. 
AbbatU, Cumbemere. 8. Mar. Monachi albL 

AbbatU. LiUesheUe. 8 Canonici nigrL 

Abbatia. Hageman. 8. Mar. Canonici albL 

Prioratns. Wenelok. 8. MUburgc. Monachi nigri de Cluniaco. 

Pnoratus. Stone. 8. Michaelis. Monachi nigri 

Prioratns. Dndelege. 8 Monachi nigrL 

Pnoratus. Bmmfeld, 8 Monachi nigri. 

Pnoratus. Wyggemor. Canonici albL 


includes the names of Hereford, Kilpeck, Ewyas Harold 
and Ewyas Lacy, Grosmont, Screnfrith, White Castle, 
Monmouth, Groodrich Castle, Wilton, Clifford, Whitney, 
Huntington, Eardesley, Wigmore, Radnor, ' Keueuenleis,' 
Ledbury North, and St. Brievels, and, in Shropshire, Bridge- 
north, Shrewsbury, Holgod, Corfham, Ludlow, EUesmere, 
Cause, and ' Blancmuster' or Oswestry. Of these castles, 
those of Hereford, Monmouth, Groodrich (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 hue of fortresses running along the Welsh boimdary 
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 
mterior 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 from its being the chief seat of the great and powerful 
bmily of the Mortimers, are scarcely mentioned in history. 
Wigmore, with Richard's Castle, and })erhaps 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 Une of castles which stretched from 


Richard's Castle along Corve-dale^ and included the castles 
pf 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. Goodrich castle is a 
fine and remarkable ruin ; but the site of the castle of 
Hereford is covered with streets, and of Wignfiore cattle 
and Richard's Castle the foundations and a few fragments 
of the walk are all that remains. Of the history of 
Caynham castle, which appears to have been deserted 
horn 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 Roger de Montgomery, and perhaps the only part 
which that great feudal baron completed, is the dbnjeon 
or keep, built probably soon after the year 1D90. 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 keep of Ludlow castle has from various ciycumstances 
sustained several alterations which are not visible in the 
others. The original entrance was on the first fioor,' at the 
east turret, and was probably approached by a flight of steps 
or an inclined plane, running down by the side of the tower. 
The old entrance still exists, biit 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 4he northern turret and formed the communication 
between the different floors and the top of the tower. The 
dungeon or vault imdemeath this tower appears to have 
been approached by a passage which descended in the mass 
of the wall from the above-mentioned entrance ; but in later 
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 centiuies went by the 
name of Pendover. 

When the castle was completed by Joce 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 
composed 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 recej^tion 
of cattle and of the peasantry in case of hostile incursions. 
The two moats, or fosses, mentioned in the Roinance of the 
Fitz Warines, were the one which still remains, and 
another which occupied the place of the present walks on 
the side of the to^vn. The opi)osite side of the cdstle, b^ing 
situated on the edge of the rock, did not require a moat, 
inasmuch as, from the character of the giroimd, it was hot 
exposed to a regular approach. When the castle was be- 
sieged, 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 attack, was to gain possession of the outer court or 
ward. We have seen that this 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 rebuilt 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 
towards this period that the walls of the town were built. 

The chapel of Ludlow castle was probably built by Joce 
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. Mary Mag- 
dalen, and that the day of its dedication was ^^ the day of 
St. Cyriac (Aug. 8) and seventy days of pardon."t 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 is pretended that the grappling engine was thrown out of the 
window of the tower marked 13 in our plan. 

t Joce de Dynan leva matin ; e s*en ala & ta chapele dedenz son 
chastel, que fust fct e dedi^ en Tonour de la Magdaleyne, dount le jour de 
la dedication est Ic jour seynt Cyryac e Ixx. jours de pardoun. Romance 
of the Fitz Warines, p. 19. 



is either the earliest^ 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 inland. 
It is entered from the west by a remarkably elegant Norman 
door-way, richly adorned with the ornaments peculiar to 
the style of the period at which it was built. 

Western Door of (he Chapel in Ladlow Cattle. 

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 inxmr 
plan of the castle, and joining the circular buildinpf to the 
eastern wall of the castle. There can be no doubt that this 
choir formed a part of the original building, from the 


character of the arch, which led to it ; and its position is 
intimated in the Romance of the Fits Warines by the 
mention of the ''wall running at the back of the cha- 
pel." The round building which now remains has three 
semicircular-headed windows. 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 waU of the chapel which afforded an entry into this 
gallery. This was standing in 1768, and the place where 
it joined the building containing the state apartments is 
stiU distinctly visible. This chapel, even in its present 
state, IB 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 was built was very imperfectly 
appreciated, it called forth the admiration of the poet 
Churchyarde, who describes it i 

*' So bravely wroi^ht, so fayre and finely fram'd. 
That to world's md the beantie 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 Lacy, who was in possession of the castle at the end 
of the twelfth centmy. 

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. Blake way 's hypothesis waa first published in the accotint of 
Ludlow castle in Britton's Architectural Antiquities, and has been recently 


deaTOUTs ^th some ingenuity to show that Ludlow was 
originally a possession of the Lacy fieunily, 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 written 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 Lacies or 
not. Although, without doubt, mixed up with exaggera- 
tions and legends, the minstrel's narrative is very straight- 
forward and consistent; and the accuracy with which 
the writer speaks of persons and places,* shews 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 

giTen in a more enlarged form in the valuable collection of document! 
relating to Lndlow pubUshed by (lie Hon. R. H. Clire, since the foregoing 
sheets were printed. 

* A minnte examination of the records would probably identify all the 
persons mentioned in the history in question. Audnlf de Bracy, the hero 
of the story related at pp. 75, 76, (of the present Tolume) is mentioned in 
the Abreriat. 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 Tolume) occurs in the chartulary 
of Haghmon, MS. HarU No. 446, foL 21 ; it is the same as the modem 
Middle. All these coincidences tend to show that the writer of the 
Romance of the Fitz Warines had either authentic documents before him, 
or that he liTcd near the time of the events which he relates, and was 
veil acquainted with the families of the persons who had token a part in 


of nuns. That of Leominster was founded about the year 
660. St. Ethebed, king of Mercia, is said to have been 
buried in this priory.* At a later period^ Leoftic, earl of 
Mercia, was a great benefactor to it, as well as to Wenlodt. 
During the Danish invasions the nuns were compelled to 
seek ^ety 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.t That monarch 
gave it in 1125 to his new foundation at Beading, 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, buHt probably soon after the priory was given 
to the abbey of Beading, 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 foimded about the year 680, by St. 
Milburga.|| This establishment was twice destroyed by 
the Danes. It was raised firom the nuns, and -entirely 

• Et AdelTttdus in loco qui dicitnr at-Leomenster, prope anmem Lncge. 
Lilt of Saints bnried in England, giren in Leland, Gollectan. iiL 81. The 
same statement is made in the Anglo>Saxon list of Saints printed by 
Uickes from a MS. at Cambridge. 

t Quam abbatiam manus laica diu possedit, are the words of king 
Henry's charter to the abbey of Beading. 

X MS. Cotton. Domit« A. III., a Tolume of great value to the historian 
of Herefordshire. 

II The Anglo-Saxon Ust of Saints, quoted above, calls her Winburga^ 
i$onne rested See. Winburh on Nim mynstre Wenlocan neah Hre ea N 
mon Safem hate's. 


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

The abbey of St Peter's at Gloucester also laid daim 
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- 
tinaed to increase; and before the end of the twelfUi 
century numerous other monastic establishments had been 

Three years after having rebuilt Wenlock, in 1088 Boger 
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 
Taluable example of the earlier Norman style. 

• WH Malmsb. De Gestis Fontificum, p. 287. 

t Donne is see. Oswoldes heafod cyninges mid see. Cu)>bertufl licha- 
nua, and hia 8wi)>e earm ia on Bebbanbyrig, and ae oi$er dnl ia on Glewe- 
ceattre on niwan mynatre. (Anglo-Saxon Liat of Saints)— Then the head 
of St Oawald the king ia with the body of St Cnthbert (at Durham), 
and his rig^t aim ia at Bamborough, and the other part ia at Glouceater, 
in the new minater. 


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 pior 
and canons, wishing to become monks, placed themselves 
under the government of the abbey of St. Peter's of 61ou« 
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 Eichard Fitz Ponce, lord of Clifford castie. This 
Simon was the uncle of ^^ fair Rosamond" the celebrated 
mistress of Henry U. 

In 11S4, was founded the small priory of Kilpeck, in 
Herefordshire, which was gi^en 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 ELilpeck, 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, 1185, Roger, bishop of Chester, 
laid the foundation of the great abbey of Buildwas, between 

• Anno Domini m. c. ly. canonici de Bromfeld dedenmt eocleeiam 
euam et seipsos ad monachatnm eccelesias Sancti Petri GlouceatriiB. Chron. 
of Gloucester, MS. CJotton. Domit. VIII. fol 130 v 


Shrewsbury and Wenlock. Its ruins axe extensive, and 
very picturesque. 

In 11S6 was founded the abbey of Lantony^ in tbe deep 
vale 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 
e3dLibit the transition style of that period, a mixture of 
immd and pointed arches. 

Dore abbey was founded by Robert de Ewyas, in the 
leign 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 ike abbey chiurch 
exhibit soHie jSne specimens of Norman workmanship. 

The most considerable monastic foundation in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of Ludlow was the abbey of Wigmore. 
A small coUege had been founded at this place in ibe 
year llOQ by Ralph de Mortimer, but of its subsequent 
history we know Uttle or nothing. 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 

* Hit xeasoBS for fixing this date are these. We learn from the 
History of Wigmore giTen at the end of the present Section, that the 
dnuch was dedicated by Robert Beton, bishop of Hereford; that the 
builder, when he turned his foundation into a priory, applied to Gilduin, 
abbot of St Victor, then yery old, for monks of his house to place in it; 
•bout which latter period arose a great quarrel between bishop Beton and 
Vil(^ earl of Hereford. Gilduin, the successor of the famous Gnillaume 
de Cbampeaux, died abbot of St- Victor at a Tery adranced age in 1155 ; 
Bobert de Beton presided oyer the see of Hereford from 1131 to 114B ; 
ud llilo enjoyed the earldom of Hereford from 1141 to 1154, and his 
V^^ml with the bishop preceded the close of the civil wars, as we learn 
from his li£e. The beginning of Mile's earldom consequently appears to 
be the most probable date of the construction of the church of Shobdon, 
ud suits 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 
£ur 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 fScunily 
also founded a small religious house at ' Feverl^e/ but it 
was afterwards suppressed, and its endowments given to 
ihe houses of Wigmore and Lymbroke. 

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

• According to (lie old chronicle of Worcoster, in MS. Cotton. Calig. 
A. X. which has been printed by Wharton in hiB Anglia Sacra, the 
foundation of Wigmore took place in 1172. The founder died in 1185, 
according to the same authority. 

t Dngdale has printed from a MS. then in the possession of Lord Brace, 
two accounts of the foundation and history of Wigmore abbey, one in 
Anglo-Norman, composed apparently early in the thirteenth centary^ the 
other in Latin, much more brie( 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-Norman tract is printed with great inaccuracy in 
Dugdale, I shall pre a mere correct text with a translation in an appendix 
to the present Section. The chartulary of Wigmore is preserred in the 
archires 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 pos- 
session of Sir Thomas PhiUipps, Bart, at Middle Hill, Worcestershire. I 
hare been desirous of ascertaining if there were any documents in France 
which might throw some light on the early connection between Shobdon 
and the abbey of St. Victor ; but the only chartulary of St, Victor which I 
could find in Paris is preserred in the ArchiTes du Royaume in the H6tel 
Soubise, and the charters which it contains are nearly all of a later date, 
and relate only to the abbey's possessions in France. 


garet the wife of Walter de Lacy. In die same reign was 
founded the priory of Chirbury in Shropshire. 

One or two other monastic houses are mentioned in the 
early list given in a note on a preceding page/ some of 
which axe 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; 
ibr the mode of building then in use seldom required con- 
siderable repairs within a century after it was completed, 
unless it were destroyed by some outward accident. The 
number of accidents, however, to which the larger religious 
buildings were subject, during the twelfth century, is quite 
extraordinary. We learn from the old chronicle of Wor- 
cester in the Cottonian manuscript, that the cathedral 
of that dty was destroyed or seriously damaged at least 
three, if not four, times between 1113 and 1202, inde- 
pendent of the injuries it must have sustained in the time 
of Stephen.t In the thirteenth century the religious orders 
multipUed 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 84. 

t Tlie fbllofring entries occur in this chronicle :— 

A. D. 1113. CiYitas Wygomia cum princip&U monasterio et caiteUo 
ifne cremata est, ziij. kal. Jun. One monk and twenty men were burnt 
on this occasion. 

4. 9. 1175. Turris nora Wigom. comiit. (this was, of course, the 
steeple of the cathedral). 

A. D. 1189. Tota fere Wigomia xgne combuata est. 

A.n. 1202. Ecclesia cathedralis Wyg. cum omnibus adjacentibus ei 
oificinis et magna parte ciritatis, .xt. kal. Mat igne conflagravit alieno 
qoaita nocte Pasch. 


reign of king John. It was probably at the close of that 
reign^ or certainly very early in that of Henry III, that 
Peter Undergod founded the hospital of St. John the 
Baptist near the bridge which led over the Teme to Ludford, 
and furnished it with friars of the order of St. Augustine. 
The site on which the house was built he bought of Walter 
Fitz Nicholas. Besides other revenues, he endowed it with 
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 emi, habui, 
et tenui in villa et campis de Ludford). The witnesses to 
Peter XJndergod's charter were Walter de Lacy, Sir John 
de Monmouth, Pain (Paganus) de Ludford, Pain 'Carbnell,' 
Philip Colevile, and Edmund de Ludlow. Walter de 
Lacy's confirmation of the foundation of Peter Undergod is 
witnessed by John de Monmouth, Walter Omiguen, Walter 
Coudcockc, Richard de Gravesende, 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 
eighteenth day of July, 6 Hen. III. (I22I).* 

We learn firom 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 de 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 

* Copies of the charters of St. John's hospital at Ludlow (made appa- 
rently about the time of James I) are preserved in the British Museum, 
MS. Harl. No. 6690, fol. 89, &c. The charters of Peter Undergod, Walter 
de Lacy, and Henry III, are printed very imperfectly in Dugdale. 



kind in England. In the eaxlier half of the twelfth century^ 
8hobdon had only a chapel, dependent on the church of 
Aymestry, and built of wood, a material employed in the 
construction of many churches mentioned in Domesday-book. 
The original church of Aymestry must have been of consi- 
derable antiquity.* Among the numerous churches which 
exhibit specimens of Norman architecture, with the distin- 
guishing semi-circular headed doors and windows, we may 
mention in the more immediate neighbourhood of Ludlow, 
those of Little Hereford, Burford, Puddlestone, the Heath 
chapel, the church of Eye, and the little church of Aston. 

The Heath Cliapel. 

The Heath chapel is a remarkably curious specimen of 
Anglo-Norman architecture in its simplest form. It stands 

* Courses of regular blocks of traTertlne occur in the coignet and other 
parts, especially in the chancel end, of the present fabric, and are evidently 
the worked np materials of a more ancient church, which was probably 
built of that material. Moccas church, containing a Norman arch, and 
cunous tympanum, is built on a similar ground-plan to that of Kilpeck, 
"""ith a circular end, and is altogether composed of that material, whirh 
n>ty be seen forming in the grounds adjoining. 



in a very retiied 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 travellers. 
It is a plain rectangular building, consisting of a nave 
and a small chancel. The south door has a semi-cizciilar 
arch, ornamented with a rather bold zig-zag moulding, 
with an unadorned tympanum. The windows, particularly 
at the west end, are mere loop-holes. Even the east 
window exhibits the same characteristics, being enlarged 
internally to a moderate sized roimd-headed arch. Our 
engraving represents a view of this chapel from the west. 

Intarior of the Heath Chap«L 

The interior is represented in our second view, and is 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 is without doubt a work of 
the twelfth century. It is placed in our wood-cut on a 
diflFerent 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 twelfth century 



stood beside the funerary mound on the summit of the 
hill at Ludlow, and which in 1199 was found to be too 
small for the increasing population of the town. 


Arcb mod Tyrapanoni of Alton Cbareh. 

The little church at Aston, three miles from Ludlow 
on the road to Wigmore, which also stands in the im- 
mediate vicinity of two tumuli or lows, exhibits the same 
simplicity of design ; but the arch and tympanimi, 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 griffin and a 
cow, both winged. Of the four figures on the border of 
the tympanimi, the two to the left were eyidently intended 
to represent a cow and a horse, but the others are at present 
not so easily defined. 

Early fonts are preserved in the churches of Lydbury, 
the Heath chapel, Leintwardine, Orleton, Hereford cathe- 
dral^ Tedstone Delamere, Eardisley, and Castle Frome. 
They are all interesting, and several of them are adorned 
with remarkable and beautiful sculpture. 



History of the Foundation of Wigm/ore Abbey. 

IN the time of king Stephen^ son of the count of Blcus^ 
who reigned in England by force after king Henry the aom 
of WiUiam the Bastard, there was a very noble bachelor in 
England, worthy, valiant, and bold. Monsieur Hugh de 
Mortimer by name, noble by nature and by blood, of &ir 
stature, courageous in arms, very reasonable in speech^ 
profound in coimsel, 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 he 
performed chivalrously in England, in Wales, and else- 
where, they would amoimt to a great volume. Moreover, 
be was the most open-hearted and liberal in giving of all 
who were known anywhere in his time. The noble earl 
of Hereford, 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, 

FundoHonia ^fttsdem Historia. 

EN le temps del roy Esteyene, fitz al counte de Bloys, qui regna en 
Angleterre par force apr^s le roy Henry fitz A William Bastard, estoit 
un tresnoble bachiler en Engleterrc, preuz, yailant, et hardy, mounsieur 
Hugh de Mortimer A nome, noble de nature [e] de sane, de beale estature, 
▼aillant en armes, renoble en parler, parfond de consail, et tresriche de 
teriens iacultez, et le plus glorious chevaler, renom6 et dot^ devant totez 
que adonque furent en Engleterre vivantz. De quy si nais neissuns (?) 
en escrit toutz les pruest^s lesquels il fist chevalerousement en Engleterre, 
en Gwales et par ailors, si amonterent-il d un graunt volume. Et outre 
900, fut-il le plu franc et liberal de divers dons de tutz ceux qui ont 
conusseyent en son temps nule part. Lc noble conte de Hereford, 
Roger, riche et vaillant, et de graunt retenance des gentz, et feers, et 
orgoilous, tant fort demena so vent que 4 force ly covient en refut demorcr 
en ses chastels demeyne pur doutc de ly. Ensemcnt le roy Henry, 


who came after king Stephen, laboured often with his 
whole army, as is ftdly written below. 

How 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 Shobdon 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 oiher things, 
chose a prudent man, wise 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 thoughtftd 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 

profchen aprds le roi Esteyene, soTent •••. od tout son host tranulla 
come est plemement deeooz escrit 

Comeni le trtmobh teygnout mouiuieur Hugh de Mortemer Jlst Oliver de 
Merlemond eon chief ienetehal, et ly dona la vile de SchMedon pur ly 
leaiement iervir, et eoment VegUae de SeJiohbedon Jut fete, 

Ce[ft]ti tiesnoble seygnur et honorable^ veillans entendre franchement i ses 
delites et i ses dedutz, santx soy carker ou eotremettre d'autres chosez, elust un 
la^e home, coynte et averty, qae out nom Olyver de Merlyroond, et ly fist chef 
seneschal de tote sa terre et mestre de tote sa possession. Cesti Olyver aveit 
la terre de Ledecote par descente de heritage, et son seignur Moiinsieur Hugh 
de Mortimer ly dona k feo tote la ville de Shobbedon, pur ly plus lealment 
serrir et plus peoibleoient. Et k Eode fltz i dit Olyver dona-il la per- 
sonage de I'eglise de Aylmondestreo. Adonke n'esteit en Scbobbedon nule 
eglise, m^ tant soulement une chapel de saincte Juliane, et cele fut de fust et 
sogette i I'eglise de Aylmondestreo ; dount Olyver esteit mout pensifs de fere 
lever une novele eglise en Schobbedon, et en honour de quel seinct voleyt 
que ele fut dedy^ quant ele fut parfete. Auderrein si elust- il sainct Johan 


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

After that, he sent for Eode 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 Grod, 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 

I'Evangeliat^ lequel Jesu Crist elust devant tutc les autres disciples, par estre 
patron de reglise. 

Apr^s 960 fist-il apeler Eode son fitz, persone de Aylmoodestreo, et entre- 
conselerent coment sa eglise de Schobbedon pust estre hors de subjection de 
I'eglise de Aylmondestreo, par une empensiun annuele rendaunt de .ii. s. Quant 
ce[8]te chose fut affirm^, se entremist le dit Olyver de I'overayne de Teglise de 
Schobbedon. De entre feo s'aveit nieymes cely Olyver devociun et talent de 
prendre le vyage al Seinct Jake en pelerinage, et baila A un chevaler Bernard tote 
la cure de I'overayne, od espenses necessaires ; et empris tlepele rinage el nom 
Deu, et vynt k Seinct Jakes seyn et heyte. Quant il out fet ileokes 900 qe fere 
dust, se retoma, tot dis pensif de Poverayne de Schobbedon ; et qaant il 
aproarhea A la cil6 de Paris un chanuine de I'abbeye de Seinct Victor ly 
atteint, et molt devoutement le pria de sun hostel prendre en Tabbeye, et il a 
grant peyne ly otrea, et od ly en Pabbey entra, et fut bel et corteisement 
re9eu A graunt honour. 

Tant come il futleinz, si regarda-il et enlenlivement avisa totes choses q'il 
vist en Tosterye, en Tencloystre, en le queor, et nom^ment le service qe 


was performed around the altar ; and his heart was much 
moved at the decency which he 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-norA, that 
he would condescend to dedicate his church 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 mmiber, to be present at the solemnity, and before 
them aU was read the composition made between Oliver 
and Eode 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 Oliver 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 Us request because nobody could deny 
what he desired, inasmuch as he was second after Sir Hugh 

ont fill entour Tauter ; et mnt ly vynt al queor de dcvocion la honest* q*il vist 
(tarentre eos ea ttitz lieua. Dont il prist cong* de Tabb* et des autres freres 
deleyns, si retama i sun propre pais. Et quant sa eglise fut tote parfete, si 
reqoist-il mut homblement Sire Robert de Belun, eveske de Hereford, de quy 
done nvs avouns le eglise de Lydebury-north, qu'il deignast sa eglise de 
Schobbedon dedyer ; et il ly graunta, et jour de la dedicaciun ly assign*. A 
eel joor assign* vynt I'eve^que, et totes les grants seigneurs du pais, chivalers, 
clers et autres, sans nombre, pur estre A la sollempnet* ; devant queux tontz fut 
leve la composicion fete parentie Olyver et Eode sun 6tz, et de Peveske fut 
c^firm*, et de tote la people tesmony*. Et quant Peglise fut dedy*, si fust la 
■uuigerie mut sollempnement apparil* pur reveske,*et pur autres apelez, et pur 
ceus que vindrent de ^r*. 

Tost apr*8 ai oyt Oliver que la persone de Teglise de Buyrley qu'out 

nom Wolward, par ses deserts fut depos*, si pria Teveske Robert que il ly 

vousit grant[er] la doneyson de eel eglise ; il ly granta pur ^eo que nul 

n'osa nyer d la chose qu'il desira, car il estoit le second apr^s Sire Hugh 



de Mortimer. And when Oliver had the church of Shobdon 
and that of Burley, and his land at Ledecote and Lantony, 
in his hand^ he determined 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 aged abbot of St. Victor, whose 
name was Gilduin, begging that he would send him two or 
three of his canons, for whom when they 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 
by an authentic seal; and thus for that time the mes- 
senger returned without having eflfected the purpose of his 
mission. And when Oliver learnt from his messenger ihe 
result, he went to the aforesaid bishop of Hereford, and 
showed him all his intention fully ; of which intention and 
devotion the bishop was very glad, and caused a letter to 
be made and sealed with his seal and that of Oliver con- 
jointly, and sent them by Roger Knoth, one of his secretaries, 
to the same abbot of St. Victor, urging the same request 
which had been made before. Whereupon the abbot 
by the advice of all his chapter selected two, namely 

de Mo[r]temer. Et quant Oliver avcil VegWse de Schobbedon et de Buyrley, 
et sa terre de Ledecote et de Lanton6, en sa mayn, si out en purpos de 
les doner k gents de religion, et se remembra de Thonestet^ qn*il vist autre 
fee« entre les chanoynes dc Seinct Victor de Parys, et manda par aez leCtres 
par iin de quy il affia, qu'out k nom Roger le Blauc, al honorable abb« 
•t vels, qui out nom Gilwyn, de Seinct Victor, empriaunt qu'ii vousit maunder 
A ly ,ii. ou .iil, de sez chanoines, as queles quant eus venissent il lor trovereit 
tot 9eo que mestre lor seroit, et foyson. 

Aquel message ne as lettres ne donna l'abb6 foy, pur ^eo que par sa 
auctorit6 demeyne furent enseel^s, et non pas par seel autentik; et issi 
retorna le message adonke desespleit^. Et quant Olyrer aroit entendu 

mo«t*°\°l*"'^® '''*" ^"^^ ^**' ^ *^* ^ I'avantdit eveske de Hereford, et 

ira & ly tut son purpos pleinement; de quele purpos et deyociun si 

^11 eTeske mut rejoy. et fist fere ses lettres enseel^s de son eel et del «el 

«eVmL\*^^I!!!r/''o .*"' ^^ "''''*** P*^ ***«*' ^°*^' ^ d« «" Pn^^«t ^ 
PrU d1!^ 1. kL '"'' ^^^'^^'^ ^"P"*"* '• «^'^*»^ Hajquel il avoy t ayaunt 
*"•• Oont I abb4 par conseil de tot lour chapetre elust .ii., c'et-l^-savoir 


Roger and Arnold, of whom Roger was afterwards made 
abbot of ' Owens^ ' 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, with 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 thorns, 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 afterwards the canons 
were very sorrowful for the departure of the bishop from 
their society, and also very sad because they were so far 
distant from their abbey, and they sent to the abbot 
Grilduin of St. Victor, begging that he would send others in 

Roger et Ernys, desqueus Roger fut fet apr^s abb6 de Owens^ et Emys 
ibb^ de Seinct Victor. Ceus .ii. si manda I'abb^ k Olyver, aquels il baila 
totes les choses qu'U 's ayeit promis endementres pur lor sustinaunce, c'et- 
i^-cayoir Teglifle des Buyrl^ [et] reglise de Schobbedon oik il les fist habiter 
en nn meson assez hoxieste pr^s de Teglise. II lor dona ensement sa terre 
deLedecote, oyeske les granges pleines de bl^es, et beafs, berbiz, et pores 
k grant plenty oyeske .ii caruez de terre. 

En ycel temps sonrdy nn contek parentre Robert eyeske de Hereford 
et Ifyles conte de Hereford, en tant que I'eyeske ezknmega Tayantdit 
conte adonc present, oyeske tote la cit^ de Hereford, et fist estoper les 
liayi de TegUse des espynes, et les croiz abatre tot k la terre, et yynt k 
Schobbedon par la request de Oliyer, et yesquit entre les chanoines k ces 
postages demeyne, jeske atant que le conte fut acord^ k ly et as sonz, et 
tote la cit6 ayantdite. Puys apris esteyent les chanoines mut dolentz 
pv [le] departure de Teyeske de lor companie, et ensement trop moumes 
pw ^eo que ens furent mut loyns de lor abbey, si manderent k I'abb^ 
Gildwyn de Seinct Victor, empriantz quHl yousist mandcr autres en lor 


their 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 Mile 
earl of Hereford, who was then entirely his friend. And 
when Sir Hugh was aware of this, he caused him to be 
summoned 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 OUver, with the goods of 

lyn, qui suBsent parler et entendre langage d'Engleterre, et qui suasent 
la maner des EnglU, et ke eus pussent retomer k lor abbey. Et ensemble- 
ment manderent qne le lyu q'ils ayoyent fut bon et ayenant, et asaez 
des benz pur troyer lor necessaries. Et I'abb^ granta lour request, et 
manda illeoques .ill. frerea nez et norriz en Engleterre; et quant eua 
yindrent k Schobbedon, si furent mut honestement receus, et ileoke 
plantez, et les autres s'en departirent d'ileokes k lour abbey. 

Et bien tost aprds sourdy un descord trop graunt et hidous parentre 
Mounsieur Hugh de Mortemer et Tayantdit Olyyer, issi qe Olyyer s'en 
depart! de ly, et ala k Sire Miles conte de Hereford, qe esteit adunkea 
sun amy enter. Et quant Sire Hugh ^eo aperceust, le fist apeler troiz 
fees en sa courte pur respondre as quereles lesqueles il ayeit yers ly. Et 
pur 9eo que Olyyer dota la maUce et la cruelty de sun seignur, n'osa 
apparance fere en sa courte, mds se tynt en pees endementres. Et quant 
Sire Hugh yist ben q'il ne yoleit yenir, ne autre en son lyu maunder, 
prist en sa main totes les choses qe furent k Olyyer oyeske les beens 


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 
diey 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 assbt, 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 

des chanoines. Nepurqnant il ne voleit fere as chanoines nule darest6 
aantx jugement, si lor dona respit ieak'k un an eneiwant de fere demeore ; 
et apris Tan alaasent d'ileokes Ik ok beal lor fut, si come ceus qe furent 
entrto en sa terre santz sun cong6, et amenees ileokes pax sun adversaiie. 
Et les chanoines ne Toloyent ne ne poyent estre en la contr6, se apparile- 
rent de sey mettre en fuyte priytoent, car socouis ne avoyent ne eyde de 

Cete chose vist Sire Gilbert de Lacy, et Toleit L^ere] plosire i Sire 
Hngh de Mortemer; Tint k Lantony, et totes les choses que furent as 
chanoines si prist-il par seineurie, et lor blez fist aporter, qe amonta k 
giant somme d'argent. Et pur 900 qe par U oik terien eide defaut Deus 
i met socoursy ayient qu'il y ayeit une grant congregacion assemble i 
Leonmestre par hautes busoynes; aquel assemble esteit Teyeske de 
Hereford od les seons, et Sire Hugh de Mortemer od les seons, et Robert 
le piiouT de Schobbedon, et.autres plusour, chiyalers, clercs, et laycs, 
ttsemblez de totes partz. Et quant les bosoynes furent termines pur 
qiiels eu8 Tindrent, fut menciun fete ileokes de les chanoines de Schob- 
bedoDi por quels Teyeske et les chevalers qe ileokes esteient 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, '^ K I had/' said he, " an 
abbot, I would grant them all the goods which Oliver g^Te 
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 4iim to the 
altar, chanting aloud Te Deum latuiamus, and there he 
granted to them in quit all the things which Oliver had 
given them, tc^ther 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 feur removed 
from Wales. And when the elect was returned to his 
house, he had good hope to live in peace and quiet; 

4 Sire Hugh de Mortemer qa'il ust mercy de eus. Et quant il out consii^ 
od lee seons, audarrain diet en haut yoiz, " Si jeo usse," diBt-il, " un abb4, 
tutz les biens qe Olyver lor dona lor granteray, et plus A (eo lor dorray." 
A ceates paroles, prist Teyeske le priour par la main, et dist, " Veez, 
Sire ! 19! tous bail un abb^ ! fetes 900 que vous avez promis." Lequel il 
recust meintenant, et oreske Teveske et autres grantes seygnenrs le 
menerent k I'auter, chantantz en haut voyz, Te Deum laudamm, et ileokes 
granta-il & eus totes les choses que Oliver lor aroit don^ quitement, 
ensemblement od une proTendre en I'eglise de Wygemore qe fiit adonke 
▼acante, et totes les autres provendres en meimes I'eglise lor granta quant 
eus fiissent vacantz. Al seignour de Huggeley, qe adonke fut ileokes 
present, pria-il qe il ly vousist doner sa eglise de Huggeley, et il ly granta ; 
laquele eglise meintenaunt si dona-il devant tote le people k I'elii de 
Schobbedon, et & les chanoines, laquel egUse ftit adonke vacante. Ileokes 
promist k eus la viUe de Cheilmers, od U aveit empens^ de fere k eus 
perpetuele habiteciun tot loynx remew^s de Galeys. Et quant le elit fut 
retome 4 sa mesun, si aveit bone esperaunce de vivre en fees et en quiete ; 


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 tus 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 Lantony, 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 without 
malice, and returned to his abbey. 

After that, there came a canon into England who was 
named brother Bichard 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 
stadLed it and left it in the keeping of Serjeants, and soon 
after went away. After him came a canon of St. Victor 
xiamed brother Henry, a man of good and sound counsel 

m^ en brief temps apr^s Sire Hugh de MoTtemer lor tolit la ville de 
Schobbedon; et la ville de CheilmerB, laquel il lor promist, unkes ne 
ior dona. 

Arieot tpr^ ^eo qe I'avantdil eveske de Hereford passa la mere et vint en 
Pnnce^ ji un concyl, et morut ileokes, et fot men6 en un quyer de beof jesk*A 
Hereford, et ileokes enterr^. Ceo vyt le elyt de Schobbedon, q*i1 fut priv^e 
<IeI eonsail Teveske et de sun eyde k totes jurs et despoil^, et de la presence 
Oijrer qui lor apela en Engleterre, et ostds de lor terre de Schobbedon et de 
UntoDi, de quels terres eut aveyent lour sustinaunce, et qe pluis ly greva, 
qn'il fut sovent Iedeng6 et avily par Sire Hugh de Mortemer et les seons ; lessa 
toteiles cboses qu'il aveit par desus ses mains santz gardein, come home simple 
ct santz malice, ai retoma k sa abbey. 

Eoapr^ vynt une cbanoine en Engleterre qu'ot nom frere Richard de 
Wirrewyk qi fut apr^s abb6 de Bristoll, pur visiter ses amisez en temps de 
Asl; et vynt k Schobbedon, et quyly les bl^es, et les mist en taaa et les 
lesa en la garde des sergantz, et tantost s*en departi. Apr^s ly vynt une cha- 
B«ine de Seinct Victor qu'out nora frere Henry, home de bon eonsail el de seyn 


and courageous in courts who was well acquainted with 
Gilbert Foliot then bishop of Hereford^ and IcingmftTi to Sir 
Hugh de Mortimer, who was received by them very honour- 
ably, and took charge of the things which were left at 
Shobdon. This man, wheii he had learnt from his 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, pra}dng that he, for the love of 
God and in aid of Us soul and of those of his very honour- 
able progenitors, would restore the things which he had 
taken away, and fulfil the promise he had made ; and he 
promised to do it, but always put it oflf with flattering 
words and fair promises. But Henry followed him in 
diflferent 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 £sur from water, of 
which they were much in want, and he determined to 
remove thence to Aymestry, in a place they call Eye, close 
to the river Lug, which appeared to him to be a very com- 
modious dwelling-place for them. And then they removed 
all the things they had from Shobdon thither, by the advice 
and help of Sir Hugh de Mortimer, and laid the foundation 

et vailant en coure, qirestoit ben acointe de Gilebert Folyoth arlunke eveske de 
Hereford, et parent A Sire Hugh de Mortemer, lequel fut recue de eus mut 
bonurablement, e( prist gard des choses qe furent k Schobbedon lesseez. 
Ce[8]ti, quant il out entendu de[s] seons queles cboses Sire Hugh de Morlenier 
aveit don6 a[8] cbanoines, et queles il out promis, et queles il out tolet, approcha 
k \y, empriant qe il, pur Tainour de Dieu et en remedye de sa alme et des 
treshonourable progenitours, vuusist restorer arere lez cboses qu'il aveit sostret^ 
et la promesse q*il fist k perimpler ; et il le promist fere, m^s tutz jurs le mist 
en delay par blandisantes paroles e beales promesses. Mis Henry ly siwy par 
plusurs lyus, et audarrein lor granta la ville de Schobbedon. 

Quant frere Henry out la ville de Schobbedon pesibtement, avisa qe le lyu 
fut mut loyns de Tewe, de quele eus aveyent tresgrant defaule, se purpo.'ia 
de remuer d'ileokes jeskes k Aylmondestreo, en un place qe ont apele Eye, tot 
pris de la ryyere de Lugge, lequel ly fust avys convenable k eus pur demorer. 
Et donke remuerent totes lor choses qu'ils aveyent k Schobdon jeskes 
lit, par conseil et eide de Sire Hugh de Mortemer, et mislrent le fimdement 


of the churchy as people who proposed to fix there a lasting 
habitation for themselves and their successors. In the 
mean time died Peter Bald (T), canon of Lantony^ to 
whom bishop Bobert 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, 
so 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 imtil 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 all sides; 

^ I'eaglise, come gentz qe aveyent empens^ de fere ileokes perpetuel habitacion 
pnr eus et pur lor soccessours. Endementres morut Pers le Kauf^ chanoine de 
Lantooejr, i quy I'eveske Robert Betun aveit don6 Teglise de Lydebury-north, 
oveike le ercedekue de Salopsire ; et quant le priour Henry oyt ^eo, manda 
ileokes .iii. des ses chanoines, et le deen de Penbnigge, lequel lor mist en 
possessiun meintenant de meimes Teglise de Lyddebary. 

Apr^ 9eo si receust le priour Henry k sa religinn pliiis de chanoines^ et 
qoidont ben de vivre en ^rant qniete apr^s sun travail. M^ autrement fut ; 
car U surdy en eel temps tresgraut gere parentre Sire Hugh de Mortemer et 
Joce de Dynant, adonke seygneur de Loddelawe, en tar»t qe meimez cely Joce 
ne poeyt francfaement ne baudement entrer ne isser sun chastel de Loddelawe 
por doute de Sire Hugh, tant fort le demena-il. Et pur 9eo qe Joce ren ne poet 
fere contre Sire Hugh par force, si mist espyes par les chemins par o& il 
enlendy que Sire Hugh passereit sengle, si le prist et le tint en sun chnstel en 
prisone jeskes il ust fet sa ran son de .iii. mil marcs d'argent, forspris tote sa 
vessele et ses chevaus et ses oysels. Et pur plus tost bastcr eel ranzon, a 



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 afiair, 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 place 
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, tliey 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 affairs as their prelate. 
Which Andrew came to them, and was received with great 
reverence, and consecrated abbot by the bishop. 

pria-il eide de tote parlz de ses amys ; et al priour Henrie si pria-il qu'il 
vousisi granter pur mettre un agistement d*argent snr sa gent de Schobbedon 
en eyde de eel ranzon. Et le priour en quant il poet le nya et contreesfnt^ et 
dist qe chose une feez don^ k Deu et k seincte eglise franc hement, ne deit pas 
autre feez estre taild ne mis en servage pur nul busoygne seculer, ne la cous- 
tume de sun pays ne le soffVy mie. Et quant le priour en nule manere ne ly 
voleit sa request graunter, si lessa totes les chosesqu*il avoit en la garde des cha- 
noines lesqueus il out receu, et retorna k sa abbey de Seinct Victor, dunt il vynt. 
Apr^s cely vynt un autre qu*out nom frere Robert de Cheresboth^ et demora 
oveske les chanoyties ; ne mye pryour, m^s pur 9eo qu'il vynt de outremer, fnt 
en lyu de prior, pur 900 qu'ils voleient aver un abb^ snr eus, et k cele chose 
fere si fui Sire Hugh nut desirus et durement ^ntalenti. Tant come eus furent 
en tel purpns, si oyrent parler de mestre Andrew qe fut adonke prior de Seinct 
Victor de Parj-s, mestre de divinity, et de nobles vertues et plusurs, el sobre ; 
si mandererit k luy, empriantz qu'il deignast k eus venir et prendre la cure de 
abb^ ct estre govemour sur eus, lor choses ordyner come prelat. Leqoel 
Andrew vynt k eus et fut re^eu k graunt reverence, el abbfe benet de I'eveske. 


Soon after the friends of Sir Hugh de Mortimer^ and 
particularly Sir Hugh de Lacy, observed the church which 
the canons had erected at Aymestry, and came to Sir Hugh 
de Mortuner, admonishing and advising him not to suffer 
that work to be finished there at the entrance to his land, 
lest his enemies might come by chance to the entrance of 
his land and there have a lodging place and strong-hold in 
despite of him, and to the damage of all the country ; for 
he had 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 

Tost aprds virent les amis Sire Hugh de Moriemer^ el nom^emenl Sire 
Hugh de Lacy, k I'eglise laquele les cfaanojrnes avoyent fet fere k Ayloiondes- 
treo^ si vindrent k Sire Hugh de Mortemer^ amonestantz ly et conseylantz 
qa*il ne aeoffresist pas eel overaine ileokes estre parfet en Tentr^ de sa terre, 
que tea enemies par cas ne venisaent en entr6 de sa terre et ileokes ussent ref ut 
et recet en despit de ly et al damage de tote la pais ; car il avoit adonke de tote 
parts mutz des enemyes et adverat^ graunt. £t il overy apr^s lor consail, si 
fiat les cbanoynes remuer jeskes k la vile de Wygemore^ et porter lour choaes 
oveske ens, et com[en]cer ileokes manaiuns, come dussent k tutz jurs demorer 

Done virent I'abb^ et ses chanoines que la place ok eus habiter deveyent 
fnt trop eatrdt et bidoos pur habitacion fere pur eus, et trop grant defaute, 
noodment de ewe^ et le monter bus vers PeglLse mut lor greva, 9eo furent 
vileines paroles et deshonestes de ceus qi habiterent pr^s de eus, et se 
entreplainderent sovent et se purpenserent k quel lyw ils pussent remewer 
d'ileokes, pur 900 que ne poyent ne ne voloyent ileokes demorrer en nule 
maner pur I'enchesuns susdits. Et quant Sire Hugh de Mortemer (en 


perceived that, it was quite agreeable to him^ and he 
commanded them that they should seek through all th^ 
country for a more conyenient 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 will, and returned to his house of St. 
Victor. And forasmuch as they would not be without an 
abbot, they elected &om among themselves a canon named 
Roger, who was a novice in the order, but wise to govern 
their temporal afEttirs ; 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 all parts against him to with- 
stand the king by force. At which the lung 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 besieged by 
his people. And when Gilbert Folioth, who was then 

aperceut, mat ly Tint A gr6, et les conumda q'ils feysent enqoerer par tut 
sun pais plus arenante place, et plus else, pur eus it demoiir it totz jois, 
et ly feseient it sarer. Endementres soordy un distance parentre rabb6 
Andrew et ses chanoines per unt (?) Tabb^ s'en depart! de eus, et lor lossa 
tot it lor Tolunt6, et retuma it sa meson de Seinct Victor. Et pur 9eo que 
eus ne yoleyent my estre santz abb6, elustrent de eus meimes un chanoyne 
qn'out it nom Roger, qui fust novice en I'ordre, m^s sage k gouremer lor 
temporalt6s; lequel eus presenterent it Teyeske et fut benet de ly, et fet 
prelat des autres chanoines. 

En ycel temps si manda le roy Henry, adonke noTel roy, A Sire Hugh 
de Mortemer de yenir A ly ; et il par grant orgoil et hautest^ de queor 
enenfl^e, 4 ly yenir dedeigna, et ses chastels de totz parts centre ly 
4;amissa pur contreester le roy it force. De quele chose le roy fut mout 
coronet et dorement yen ly enmew6, et ly assegy en sun chastel 
de Bruge-north long temps, et ses autres chastels flst-il assegir partut 
par ses gentz. Et quant Gilebert Folioth 900 yist, qe esteit adonke 


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 delirer 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 thither two canons, namely Simon son 
of Oliver de Merlimond and Richard de Bkkemere, to 
guard their church of Ledbury, together with the other 
things which they had there. And when the bishop was 
aware <if 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 people 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 

eTeake de Hereford, qe le roy fust durement enmew^ et corouc6 yen 
Sire Hugh de Mortemer, et qe Sire Hugh fiit de tote partz ETiron^ de sez 
enemyes, ala al roy emplaynaunt qe Sire Hugh tient k force sa vile de 
Lydebnry, et la dedeigna rendre. Le roy, ausi tost come il avoyt qeo oy, 
par grant ire et rancor comanda k TeTeske qu'ii alast et prist arere sa Tile 
od tntes les apnrtenancee. Et quant les chanoines f eo oyrent, euTeierent 
ileokes .iL chanoines, c'et-&-BaTer Symond le Fitz OlyTer Merlymond et 
Richard de Blakemere, pnr garder lour eglise de Lydebury, ensemblement 
od autres choses qe ileokes ayeyent. Et quant Tereske (eo aperceust, 
manda A eus ces ministres lesqueus a- de-primes les amosterent par blan- 
disantz paroles, et d'en-apr^s par manaces, audarrain mistrent mains sur 
eos et les sakerent, encomandantz qu'ils veiflBsent tost parler k Teyeske. 

Les chanoines )k pur lours beles paroles ne furent Tcnkuz, ne pur 
lors manacez abayz en nul poynt, m^s so tindrent fermement dedenz 
Teg^e, santz remewer hors de leyns pur nule violence qe lor fut fete, 
come bonez gentz de religiun, amantz le profit de lor mesuii. Et ausi 
tost come Tabb^ Roger 9eo oy de sez freres, appela h la courte de Ronme 


f^ainst the damages, insultS) and violence, which were 
done to him and to his brethren and to his church of Led- 
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 fiiends of 
either party heard this, they interfered to make an accord 
between them, and reestablished peace entirely, so that tlie 
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 for 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 

de damages, hontages, et violences, qe furent fetea & ly et a sex freres et k 
sa eglise de Lidebury, et signa totes sez chose z desuz la protectiun 
Tapostoil, et meintenant se apparala prendre le chemin Ters la courts de 
Ronme en propre persone. Et quant se oyrent les amis de nne part et 
d'autre, si entremistrent de fere acord parentre ens, et refourmerent la pes 
enterement, issi qe I'eveske granta A eus ladite eglise de aver & tut temps 
en pees, et la confirma par sa lettre ensel^e de sun seel. 

Unkore esteient les chanoines trop malemeut encombrez et ennyez de 
jur en jur pur lour demeor 4 Wygemore, come est avant dit, si s'en alerent 
par le pa'is en chescun part pur querir et avyser place la oili eus pussent 
mansiun honeste et large feie pur eus et pur autres & tutz jurs. Avient 
par un joiur en Ast, qe une des chanoines, frere Water Agaymeth A nom, 
sist sur le champ de Beodune entre les syours, et regarda tot le pays 
aviron, et avisa ententivement, et vist la place oik Tabbeye est ore assise, 
et nota le lyu, et retoma h [sb] meson, et cpnta k Tabb^ et as freres 
qeo qu'il out veu; lesquels alcycnt ovcske ly et aviserent 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 tbem 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 efiect, 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 
afans. 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. 

de toU partz, et Tirent ben qe le lyu fut assez bon et large et areiumt 
par fere ileokee lor abbeye. Si furent mut joyous et lei 2k demesure, et 
tleyent & Sire Hugh de Mortemer et firent & saTer it ly qeo qn'ils aveyent 
troves, et qe lor plust ben la place pur perpetuele manaiun fere par eide de 
ly. Et il lor granta ausi tost benemeut et k grant joye, et lor promist 
qe iiles eidereit ; et comanda ausi tost que ens remewasent totes choses 
qe ens ayeyent al Wygemore jeske l^ £t quant eus ayeyent comandement 
de qto fere, no targerent geres de 1' mettre en fet, et se feseyent ende- 
mentres petites habitaciuns de fust par eyde et conseil de Sire Hugh. 

Endementres morut la persone de Meoles-Bracy, laquel eglise dona 
Sire Hug^ as chanoines ausi tost en perpetuele almoygne. Et apr^s qeo 
toil morost Tabb^ Roger et fust religiousement enterr^e ; et tantost se 
entreparlerent de une abb^ ayer, et manderent par .iii. de lor freres qui 
fiirent lee plus sages, A Seinct Victor, pur prier A mestre Andrew, qui fut 
lor abb^ pardeyant, de yenir et estre lor soyereyn et lour abb6 come 
arant, lequele k grant peine lor granta, et yint oveske eus et fust receu A 
giant joye, et demorra abb^ en la maner que il estoit. 


At this same time Andrew de Stanton^ lord of Bucknell^ 
was charged in king Henry's court with grave misdemeanors^ 
so 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 gaye 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 wife Maude de 
Portz 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 foimdation to be dug and laid out; to which 

En meimes eel temps Andrew de Staunton, seygneur de Bokenhull, fat 
accuse vera le roy Henry greTousement, issi que il ne poet demorer en 
Engleterre apertement; si vynt en le chapitre des chanoines, et en la 
.presence de Water Folyoth ercedeakne de Salopsire lor dona Teglise de 
Bokenhull en pure et perpetuel aumoygne. A qy, tant come il demora issi 
en Engleterre en tapeisaunc, si troverent k ly totes ses necessaries hones- 
tement ; et quant il ne pout plus longes demorer, si passa-il en Escoce, 
et demora ileokes seurement jeskes atant qe sa pees fut fete al roy ; et 
donke retuma-il k sa terre demeine. Et tant come il fut absent, si 
troverent eus k sa feme Mahaud de Portz Qeo que mestre ly fust. 

Apr^s Qeo yynt Sire Hugh de Mortemer de outremere, et demorra k 
Cleyburi. Adonke morut Achelard persone de Kayham, laquele egUse les 
chanoines receustrent en propres^huyes del done Sire Hugh. Et ne mie 
long temps apr^s vynt Sire Hugh pur visiter les chanoines et lor lyu ; et 
ileokes par lequest de seons, et nom^ment de Brian de Brompton et de 
Johan sun fitz, manda pur un moyn de Wyrecestre, lequel, quant il out 
sign^^a place de Teglise, fist fower et mettre le foundement; k quel 


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 himdred sols; but he gave 
them nothing in money, though he granted them all ' ease- 
ments ' in his lands in wood and in field everjrwhere, which 
easements aided them greatly in their work. John, son of 
the said Brian, laid the third stone, and neither gave nor 
promised any thing ; but what he did not then do in promise, 
he performed fully afterwards in deed, for by him was the 
church of Kynleth given to the abbey. 

Thereupon the canons set themselves laboriously and 
vigorously to the work of their church. About the same 
time £ed master Andrew their abbot, and was buried with 
great honour. After that, they elected their prior Simon, 
the son of Oliver de MerUmond, 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 appertenances along with its 
body, in pure and perpetual alms : but a lady continued to 
hold the town of Snytton in the name of dower. After 

foQndenwnt Sire Hugh de Mortimer cocha le preiuier pere, et lor promist dys 
fnarcx en eyde, m^s enapres i1 I'achevy k ses costages demeine. Brian de 
Bromplon cocha la secunde pere, et promist cent souz ; m^s ren ne dona 
d*argent, m^s il lor granta totes eiaementz en sa terre en boys et en champs par 
tot, lezqneles eysementx eiderent grauntment k lour overaine. Johan )e fits 
a] dit Brian cocba la terce pere, et ren ne dona ne promist ; m^s geo qu*il ne fiat 
Bye adonkes en promesse, il le perfourmy ben apris en eo\'re, kar par ly fot 
Teglise de Kynleth don6 k I'abbey. 

Enapr6s les cbanoines s'entremistrentdurementet vigrousement de I'overayne 
de lur eglise. Endementres si morust mestre Andrew lor abb^, et fut enterr^ 
k grant honear. Apr^s qeo si Symond lor priour, fis A Olyver de 
Mcrlymonnd, pur estre lor abb6, lequel morust avant geo qu*il fut benet de 
rereske. Aprte la mon Symond, si elurent-eus frere Randulph lor segresteyn, 
home humble et Deu dotant ; en temps dequel abb6 Sire Hugh dona A Tabeye 
)e maner de Kayham, oveske totes les apportenances ensemblement od sun 
corps, en pure et perpetuel aumoyne : m^s une dame tynt unkore la vile de 
Sojilon en nonm dower. Apris qeo escheerent k eus les eglise* ct 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 LeinthaU, 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 affiiirs. Sir Hugh de Mortimer was 
yery 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- 
cated by the hand of Sir Robert 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 
Caynham, 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 ; 

desus-dites par doun Sire Hugh de Mortimer en bref temps, c'eC-it-wver, 
I'eglise de Lyntwardyn, Teglise de Aylmondestr^, Teglise de Cheilmen, lei 
chupelea de Doiinton, Borcton, Eleton, et Leynthale, et I'egliee de Kynlelh, et le 
molyn de Leyiitwardin, et vint soude de terre laquel Sire Hugh de Moilemer 
akata de Hereberte du Chastel, et U terre desus Wigemore, el la terre de U 
Newton, et la rente del molyn de Boriton, et la rente de £leton et de Brunshop. 
D'entre cestes cfaoses si fut Sire Hugh de Mortimer mut curious et penible 
eotour I'overaine de lor eglise, laquele il fist tote parfere A ces costages; et 
qoant ele fut tote parfete, si la fist dedyer par la mayn Sire Robert Polyoth, 
adonke eveske de Hereford, en le honur de Seint Jake Tapostle. Et quant 
Tcglise fut dedy^, si fist Sire Hugh de Mortimer renoveler et confirmer touti 
Its douns k»il avoii fet as chanoines parde^ant k I'eglise, et nom^ment le maner 
de Kaham, od les aportenances, lequel maner dona-il A les chanoines devant 
tote la people que Uleokcs fut assemble, et le confirma par sa chartre. Apr^s 
feo dona-il k Peglise un rhaliz d'or fin et un coupe d*or, pur mettre dedeins 
•ukariste, et deux chaundelers d'argent dorrez ; et fist I'eveske et Pabb* od tut 


and the bishop and the abbot with all the conyeut and with 
all the priests who were present pronounced sentence of 
ezoommunication against all those who should alienate any 
of these jewels firom the house^ except only for hunger (?) and 
fire : and he then gave to the bishop a goblet of silver full 
of piment, 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 orfirey. 
And when these things were all well ordered, each ac- 
cording 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 are distributed to the poor by the hands of the 

ie covent ct od tatz les prestres qe presentes furent excumeoger tutz ceus quy nul 
dee ceus jeweaa alloynassent de la mesun, for taunt seulement pur feyn et 
arBon : et il dona adonkes & Tereske une juste de argent pleine de pyement, 
laquele il receust pur graunt doun. Et I'ereske dona k meimes reglise 
one chape de queor pourpre, assez honeste et richement aoum^ dee 

Bt quant cetes choses furent ben ordin^s chescun k sun avenaunt. 
momst Sire Hugh de Mortimer k Clebury en bone celeste et pleine des 
bones ecTres, et chanoyne profes en la presence de I'abbd Randulph, 
lequel ly baila I'abit de chanoine od aukuns de ses freres derant sa mort. 
D'ileokes fat le corps port6 jeskes & sa abbeie de Wygemore, et honour- 
ablement enterr^ pardevant le haut auter ; I'alme de quey, sy come nus 
creams, repose od elitz de Dieu en joye perdurable. Amen. Pur I'alme 
de qnel Hugh si est chaunt^ chescun jour une messe par chanoine et 
chescon sjmaigne I'office de mortz» c'et-4-dire Placebo et Dirige, une feez 
de neof lessons en covent, oTeske la messe matinale Pendemain ; et chescun 
•ymaigne pain et cerroyse oto altres ryaundes parties as poveres par la 


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 hare a loaf and two her- 
rings and pottage, because his anniversary happens in Lent. 
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 
remained there in peace till they had leave to go to their 

main de raumoner, estre autres partisone^ qe out fet par my Tan as 
poyeres et h estranges. Et en le jour de sun anniversarie si sunt cent 
poTeres puys soffysonaunt, et chescun arera une miche et deux harankes 
et potage, pur fee que son annirersarie cheet en quareme. Les autres 
aumoynes que out fet pur luy chescun jour as estas et as estrange en le 
ostelerye, et par ailours, et les bienfez espirituels qe sunt fet par chanoynes 
pur ly, et serrunt fetz k remenaunt, nombrer ne poit nul home ; m^s ^ 
Jhesu Crist sunt pleinement conews. 

Et pur 960 que Roger sun fiz et heir fitt tenuz en la garde le roy pur la 
mort de un Cadwallan k noun, lequel le[s] seons tuerent, les minestres le 
roy tyndrent le chastel de Wyggemore od les appurtenances; en quel 
temps tresze homes Galeys furent pris en bataile, et furent tenux en prison 
en le chastel de Wygemore fermement fyrges ; lesquels par une nuy t tani 
come lor gardeins dormirent eschaperent jeskes k la dit abbeye, et furent 
devoutement receuz et reheitez de manger et beiyre, et lour firges des- 
cheierent dunt ens furent lyec par miracle, lesqueus firges fiirent penduz 
oyertement en TegUse, et les Galeys demorerent ileokes en pes jeskes k 


own country without hindrance. Several other similar 
caaes happened at this same abbey, which are not written 
in book, but hare been omitted by negligence. 

And when Sir Roger de Mortimer was set free from the 
king's custody, 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 b^an 
to diallenge fiercely their right to the manor of Caynham, 
and commanded that they should restore it to him, and said 
that they held it wrongfidly. And the abbot and convent 
placed their hope in God, and would not suffer a single 
foot of the manor to be taken fiK)m 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 

Uot qe nrent grace de aler k lor pais santz destourber. Plusurs autres 
cases semblables sunt avenuz & meime cele abbey, lesqueus ne sunt my 
esciitz en lirre, m^s sunt par negligence lessees. 

Et quant Sire Roger de Mortemer fut less^ hors de la garde du roy 
franchement, si vynt k Tabbey, et fut receu de Tabb^ et del covent & 
graunt joye, et men6 par Tabb^ et le priour en Teglise jeskes devant le 
haut auter ; et quant il sec avoit a ore (?) k Tauter, si belsa tote le coyent» 
en promettant seurt^ et bone pees. Mds ausi tost com la messe fut fynie, 
^ ran issir hors de Teglise, si comensca de lor cbalenger durement pur 
loor maner de Kayham, et comanda qe eus le rendissent & ly, et dist qe 
ens & tort le tindrent. Et I'abb^ et le covent mistrent lour esperance 
en Den, et ne soffrirent pas qe lor fut tolet un plein p^e del maner. De 
(eo fat Sire Roger mut corouc6 d demesure, et les porsiwy tant par ly et 
par les seons, qe contre le jour de Nowel corendreit k Tabb^ et le covent 
d'alei jeskes 4 Scbobbedon, forspris poys de chanoines qui demorerent 
P^T garder I'eglise ; et illeokes demorerent jeskes apr^s Nowel, qe par 
comaundement le roy Henry retornerent a lor abb6. Car le roy comanda 


do no hann or damage to the canons^ but leave them in 
peace under Grod'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 Mends, that he would agree to be 
their friend for the love of God, 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 God. 

It happened after that, that lady Isabel de Ferrers, the 
wife of Sir Roger de Mordmer, was with child, and passed 
through Snytton, and there lodged, and was taken iU, and 
in her illness was dehvered 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 

A Sire Roger, qu'il ne feiat mal ne damage as chanoines, mds les lessast en 
pees desiu la protection de Deu et la sowe, pur Deu serrir en qoiete. 

Dank desirerent les chanoines mat d'aver amoar et benToilaonce de 
Sire Roger, et acord le prierent devoutement par lors amises, qu'il Toosist 
estre lor ami pur Tamour de Deu, et si aveyent grant esperance de 8*amist6 
arer. M^s tost apr^s morut cele dame qe avoit la Tile de Snitton en 
dower, laquele Tile granta Sire Roger doTant A eus de la franchement aTer 
Ters eus. Mis en bref temps fut-il broch^ par mauTeys consUers pur la 
prendre de eus Ters ly, et ensi fut fet ; car eus diseyent qe eel lyu fut 
mut prlT^ et else pur son recet aver parentre Wygemore et Cleybury. Et 
quant les chanoines Tirent 900, si tindrent en pees come gentz qe hairent 
mut conteker od lur avowe, et mistrent lor droit A I'ordinaunce de Deu. 

ATient enapr^s qe dame Isabelle de Ferrers, la feme k Sire Roger de 
Mortemer, fut enceynte, et passa par Snytton, et illeokes berbiga, et 
devient malade, et en sa maladye fut deliTr^ de un enfant madle, lequel 
si tost come fut baptist morust, et fut enterr^ en I'eglise de Gleibury. 
Dont ladite Isabelle par procurement des sages gentz pria 1^ sun seigneur 


prudent people prayed her lord humbly and devoutly in 
teaiB that he would give back to the canons their town 
of Snytton, which he held wrongfully, and said that by 
reason of that she had suffered 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 

hnmblement et deTotement en lennant, qu'il voofliBt rendre arere aa 
dumobies lor Tile de Snitton, laqnel il tynt k tort, et diet qe par encheson 
de ^eo B areit grant torment en en f an t ant, et areit esperance de aver en 
giant Bolas de la rye de sun fii, si areit ele grannt tristure de sa mort A 
la request de qay, commanda tost rendre k ens la Tile frandienient, OTeake 
te miner de Kayham, de arer A remenant 

Cele dame babeile de Ferers fut de boo vye et de nette ; laquele apr^s la 
■ort de 900 seigneur ftst fere une bone mesun de gents de reiigiun k Lechelade 
pnr ralme sun seygneur et la sowe, et la feffa plentiTonsement de belts (erres et 
de rentes k remenaat, et ileokes est ele enterr6. 

L'arantdit Roger de Morlemer, fis al foundur, esteit solunc la demaunde de 
snn age, jolyf juvencel et molt volages de qoeor, et aukes voluntrif a-de- 
primes, et aveit pr^ de ly plusurs de leger consaU qe ly consilerent sovent k 
trni pleiser, et non pas & sun profit, come le manere est de plusurs losengers 
qui portent oyl siis pur plere & lor seygneurs, qe lor cbet sovent & damage. 
Meimes cely Roger de Morlemer, en icel temps par mauveys consilers, et par 
9a volunt^ demeine, fist trop grants durest^ et grevances diversements k Tabbe 


manners very great hardships and grievances on the abbot 
and convent and on their people^ against the firancshise 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 Grod 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 them^ 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 weU 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 

et covent et k lor gentz contre la franchise de lur eglise. Dunke les bones gentz 
ti sentirent de tutes partz dnre dement, et nul esteit qi eider lor pust ne osast, si 
mistrent tote lor esperaunce en Deu tot pussant, nuyt et jour humblemeat et 
devouteroent empriants qu*il pur sa pit6 deignast mettre hastif amendement h, 
I'erroiirde lor avow^^ issi qu*il ne demorast longes en peril d'alme par encbesun 
de eu8« et qe eus aver pussent en pees et en quiete les choses qe 4 ens furent 
donez et k totes jurs en aumoynez. 

Endementres tant come cete persecuciun dura, avi[n]t par i*ordinance de 
Dieu, ke Sire Roger de Mortimer fut cbeminant par un matin vers son deduji, 
oveske sa megn6, le jour de I'anniversarie de san piere, de quel ly ne sovynt 
pas adonkes ; et come il cbevaachout parentre la mesun de malades et la vile 
Stanweye, si regarda les cbamps d'ambepartz lesqueas sun pere out don6 k 
l*abbeye, et vist les bleez de une part ben creuz et veirz et asses espes solan la 
sesun. Si apela aukuns de[8] seons, en disant anguissonsement, " Veez, beal' 
seigneurs coroent mun per se tresnoblia et moy de tut mist en oblianee, qiiy fu 
son fitz eygn^ et heir et moylere (?) ii qui par totes resiins dust aver vouche- 


these fields which you see heie^ with other lands and 
tenements^ in disinheziting of me^ to give them to those 
clowns of the abhey !" And he uttered many expressions of 
regret, and as he rode along thus in bitterness of heart, all 
the belk 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 hb obit, for which 
ibsj make great solemnity especially for his soid, and will 
always do so, and justly." 

ThenSir Roger asked him what were the good works which 
they did for him in the course of the day; and he recounted 
to bhn 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, ''Let us go in 
the name of God to the abbey ! and let us see the service 
and solemnity which they will make there for the soul of 
my father." And they rode up to the abbey. And as 
soon as the abbot was aware of their arrival, he led out all 
the convent with him, and they went towards him in form 

nof tot sun heritage, santz demembrer ces champs qe yci vous vees, oveske 
autres terras et tenements, en desheritaunce de moy ; d ad-il doD6 A ceus 
viieyns de I'abbeye !" Et cele chose regretta sovent. Et tant com il si anguis- 
iOQi de queor chevaueba, si sonerent totes les cloches de I'abbey en manera de 
glaas ; et quant il ^eo oyt, si apela un chanoyne de meymes Tabbeye qu'esteyt 
^onke san chapeleyn, et ly demaunda pur que[i] les cloches sonerent tant fort, 
^ il ly respoundy et dist, *' Sire, hieu a tantz des anz monit vostre pere, 
Aiodoor de nostre meson, et buy est sun obit, pur qu[e]i out fet grant soUemp* 
nit^ pur s'aJme especialment, et A totz jurs fra, et it resun." 

Dune demaunda Sire Roger k \y queus furent les benfeec qe on i fist pur ly 
^ )a jomeye ; et il ly counta de chef en chef totz les benfeez qe furent fetez pur 
s'alme en la dite abbeye, come est pardevant escript. Et quant il avoit tot it 
VVA leiiir paroyce, fut visit6e par le Seincte Espirist, et dist it tote aa meygn^, 
"AIuBs niia en le nom de Dieu k I'abbey e! et aTisun-nus le serriz et la 
lolempnit^ qe om fra ileokes pnr Talme man pere." Et chevauchoyent 
jeskes k I'abbeye. Et quant Tabb^ fut aperceu de sa venue, si amena tot 
^ corent oveske ly, et aleyent contrc ly en la manere de processiun ; car 


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 lore and good-wiU. 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 R<^r 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 beg^d 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 n'entra mye la mesun grant pece pardeTant, en lor recustrent (?) honora- 
blement A grant joye en esperance de s'amure aver et sa benyeilance. 
Atant le abb6 chanta la messe, et le covent 4 haute voyze et k grant 
deTOcion cbanterent le office qe apent. De quele office Sire Roger prist 
tresbone gard[e] en totez pointz et coment lea centi povers fiirent servyezi 
sy fut k meryeyle ben pay^ et mut repentaimt de sun error. Et quant la 
messe fut tut perchant6, et tote le office parfet, si apela-il Tabb^ et le 
coTent en lor chapitre, et les pria pardon mut de humble coer de loi 
greTances queus il A eus aveyt fet, et promist par Teide de Dieu amende- 
mentp et fut acord^ k eus, et assouz de sun trespaz, et entrebeysez ly et le 
coyant k grant leest6 d'ambepartiez. 

Aprds (eo fist-il lire tutz les niunimentz qe sun pere aveit fet k eus de 
terres, tenementz, rentez, bois, preez, pastures, communes^ mores, et des 
autres franchises, et ensement des eglises lesquels il lor donna, et des autres 
lesquels il procura estre doni k ens de ses gentz demeyne. £t quant les 
chartres furent totes parlewes, si agrea quant ke son pere ad fet, et confirma psr 


giTen^ and confinned by his charter^ sealed with his seal, 
all that his feither 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 
nothing of yours remain to you or your heirs near to 

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 possession. And when Sir Roger had heard his 

sa chartre, ensel^ de son ael^ tot le fet de sun pere, oveske plusurs eysemeotz et 
fnuncbises, lesqoeus il lor dona adonke et apr^s par ses chartres assee^s. 
Apr^ 900 prist«il beneyson et cong6 de Tabb^ et da covent, si retoma 
joyowsement k son cbastel de Wygemore. 

Tost fot la novele espandewe par mi le pays, coment il oust est6 k I'abbeye, 
et quel chose il out ileokes fet, dunt les bonez gentz en aveyent grant joye, et les 
maaveys tresgrant envye ; entre queos envyous si esteit an son seneschal trop 
coronet i demesnre, si dist ^san seygnear, '* Sire! avez-voas e8t6 k I'abbeye, 
et cGofenn^ tote la fet vostre pere k les irhanoines, et plus de vostre terre k eus 
avoyt6, issy qe ne remeint ore endreit prds de eus, terre, pr6e, pasture^ ne 
mores, qe ens ne unt del dan de vostre pere et de vostre, forspris le Tresor de 
Mortemer ?'* et dist en moskeis, '* Ore est bon ke vous doignez cele terre k eus, 
ke ren ne remeyne k vous ne k vos heires du vostre pr^s de eus !'* 

Celes paroles dist-il en sa entente qa*il ne voleit mie qu'il donast cele terre 4 
eas, mis qu'il la retencsist vers ly meimes. Et quanl Sire Roger aveit escot* ses 


words, he inquired of the others what that place was 
whidti they called the Treasure of Mortimer. And it was 
told him that it was a croft adjoining to the abbey, very 
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 fojt by beasts, 
but it shall bear fruit to my soul." And immediately 
he took with him people 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. 

paroles, demanda des autres quele fut cele place qe ont apela le Tresor de 
Mortimer. Et \y fut dist, qe 900 fut une croafte joynant A rabbeye, assez 
bone terre el large, et & merveile ben fructifiante. Et quant il aveit ^eo eye des 
aotres, si dist & Tavantdit seneschal, •" Par man chef, beabi amys, ben m'aveit 
dit et consili, et apr^s vostre conseil voil-jeo overyr ; et par ^eo ke cele place 
ad A noum le Tresor de Mortimer, jeo le baadrai k tel tresorer por garder k 
man eops, qui le mettra en tele tresorie ok nul larun I'emblera ne artesau le 
mangera, ne des bestes defol^ serra, m^s k m'alme fructifiera." Et ausi tost 
prist-il oveske ly gentz qui conusseyent la place, et la demustrerent k ly. Et 
quant out fet la vewe, entra en I'abbeye, et la dona en pure et en perpetueic 
aumoyne k la mesun & tutz jours pur s'alme et ses auncestres et ses successeurs, 
et la conferma par sa chartre ensel^ de sun seel devant tote le people. 



Entrance lo Luuluw Ca»tle. 


The Baronial Wars. 

THE thirteenth century is one of the most important and 
interesting periods in our national annals. In the reign of 
the cunning and worthless John began the great struggle 
for the English liberties, to which the course of events had 
long tended. The period to which more particularly be- 
longs the title of Anglo-Norman was now ended; during 
the first century after the conquest, the king and his Nor- 
man barons had been closely tied together by their conunon 
opposition to the native English ; but in the latter end of 
the twelfth century the two races were already joining in a 
community of interests and blood, and the alliance was 
completed and rendered durable by the continual attempts 
of king John to strengthen his power by the introduction 
of strangers. After this time the descendants of the Nor- 
man barons who had come in ^vith duke William called 


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 
his 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 his transactions there is very 
imperfect. At the end of October, a. d. 1200, he went to 
Gloucester, and he was at Hereford in the first days of 
^Tovember ; 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 Worcestershire, and from the 11th to the 13th 
at Bridgenorth, from whence he returned to Nottingham, 
and he spent the three following years in Normandy. In 
the latter part of 1201, or early in 1202, fourteen pounds 
eighteen shillings and five pence were expended out of the 

* Doctores nostri prffidicaverunt solutum esse draconem ilium anti- 
quum, qui est diabolus et Sathanas, dicentes rs ! rse ! vo; habitantibus in 

terra ! quoniam solutus est antiquus draco, etc Asserebant itaquc 

doctores nostri lllos miUe annos jam esse consumptos, et diabolum solutum. 
VcD terrs et habitantibus in ea! quia si diabolus ligatus tot et tanta 
intulerit mala mundo, quot et quanta inferet solutus? Rog. de Hoveden, 
Annal. inan. 1201, p. 818. 


royal treasury in repairing the castles of Hereford, Gros- 
mont. White Castle, and Scren&ith,* and it was probably 
on this part of the border that the Welsh were most 
troublesome. John repaired to the border immediately 
after his letum from the continent, and was at Worcester 
on the 13th and 14th of March, 1^04. On the Uth 
of August, 1^4, he again arrived at Worcester, where 
he remained till the SOth.f 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 OTer into Normandy. There can be no doubt that 
on Ih^e 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, with whom 
he had a quarrel at this period. While at Worcester, on 
the 23rd of January, WilUam 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 Screnfrith, Grosmont, and ^Lantely' were to be restored 
to him.j: Some circumstance, as it appears, occurred to 
hinder the deKvery of the castles, as we learn from the Close 
Rolls that twenty marks were afterwards given out of the 

* In emendatione castellorom de Hereforde et Grosmunte et Blanch- 
castell, et Schenefrid, .xiiii. li et .xviii. s. et .y. d. Rotulus Cancellar. iii. 
Johan., p. 106. In the same roll (p. 122) under the head Shropshire, we 
hare the following entry. Et Simoni de Lens .iiii. m. ad sustenta- 
tionem snarn ad quaerendnm utlagatos homines. He was probably one 
of the men employed in looking after Fulke Fitz Warine and his 

t On the 15th he went to Pershorc. 

t Tres dextrarios et quinque chasuros et .xxiiij. sousos et .x. Icporarios. 
Close Rolls. 


royal txeaaury to Hubert de Burgh, (who had been ap- 
pointed in ^e 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 Heiefordshire, 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 27th 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 latt» year, William de Braose, 
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 William de Braose, 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 was still in the possession of William 
de Braose.lT On the 19th of July, 1207, king John gave 
the eastle of Knighton to Thomas de Erdington,** his 
favourite, and whom he chose shortly afterwards to be the 

• Patent BoUs, p. 57. 

t Close Rolls, p. 71. 

} Patent Rolls, p. 69. 

§ Close Rolls, p. 79. Eighteen days afterwards, Maxch 28, the con- 
stable of Bristol was ordered to send three hogsheads of wine to Ludlow 
to store the castle. Rex conatab. Bristol!, etc. Mandamus tibi quod mitti 
facias tria dolia yini usque ad castrum de Ludelawe in wamistiiram, ei 
Gomputabitur tibi ad scaccarium. Close Rolls, p. 80. 

Patent Rolls, p. 74. 

f Patent Rolls, p. 80. 

•• Patent RoUs, 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 ISOT, the king had 
again visited the border of Wales. On the S2nd and SSrd 
of Aiig:ii8t he was at Worcester^ and Tewkesbury; he 
immediately returned to Winchester, but on the 17th of 
September he had again approached as £eu* 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 NoTember he was at 
Tewkesbmy; on the last mentioned day he went to Glou- 
cester, where we find him signing documents on the ISth 
and 14th ; from the ISth 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 Malmsbury, 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 
22nd and 28rd of the same month, at Hereford from the 
24th to the 28th, from whence he returned by Tewkesbury 
(where he was on the 28th and 29th), to Woodstock. 
From the 26th of June 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 difficidty in 
ascertaining his moTcments during the following days, but 
on the 8th and 9th he was at Shrewsbury, 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 tiie 
year 1209 ; on the 20th of January he was at Gloucester, 
he was at Tewkesbury on the 21st and 22nd, at Worcester 
on the 28rd, at Shrewsbury from the 26th to the 29th, and 

* The details of this mission are giren by Matthew Paris, sub an. 1215. 


at Worcester from the let 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 1 7th 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 
Braose and Lacy, who fled to their possessions in Ireland. 
From the 14th to the 17th of May, 1210, the king was 
at Bristol with an army drawn together for the purpose of 
pursuing his fugitive barons; he was at Swansea on the 
28th and 29th, and at Haverfordwest on the 31st, from 
whence he passed over to Ireland at the beginning of June, 
and was engaged in hostilities there during that month 
and July. On the 27th of August he was at Haverfordwest 
on his return to Bristol. 

The courage of the Welsh 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 Rhuddlan in 
Flintshire, where he was besieged by a numerous army of 
Welshmen. Tradition has connected with this event the 
origin of a singular office or dignity which long existed in the 
principality of Chester, of which the title may be translated 


into English by master of the rogues and strumpets, and 
which seems to have had some affinity with the office of the 
Bex Eibaldarum in France. According to the story, when 
die earl of Chester fomid 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 supposed it to be) which was approaching, 
ndsed the siege. The earl, we are 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 strumpets 
of Cheshire,' an office which he or his successor transferred 
to their steward, Hugh de Button, and his heirs.* This 
singular ofiice was continued up to a late period. In the 
14th Henry VII (a. d. 1498), Lawrence Button, lord of 
Button, 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 firom every strumpet residing and exercising her calling 
within the county and city of Chester four-pence yearly 
at the feast aforesaid ; for all which he pleaded prescription. 

* The words of the charter are, Magisterium omnium leccatorum et 
merelricum totius Cestreshire, sicut liberius ilium magisterium teneo de 
comite, salro jure meo mihi et haeredibus meis. 


It is also certain that the Duttons used to keep a court every 
year upon the above feast, being the fair day, where all 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 Welsh continued during this year 
and the year following. In the month of March, 1211, 
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 
12th, again at Hereford on the 16th and 17th, and at Led- 
bury on flie 18th, from whence he returned to London. 
The official records for the remainder of the year and a i>art 
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 12th and 18th of November. This 
is the more to be regretted, as some of the most important 
events connected with 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 encamped under the castle of Diganwy, 
which had been built by the earl of Chester in the prece- 
ding year. There 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 
enraged at the failure of his first attempt, assembled a 

• See Dugdale'8 Baronage, and Blount's Ancient Tenures for further 
mfonnation concerning this singular custom. 


numerous anny at Oswestxy (Album Monasterium) the 
castle of John fltz Alan^ on the 8th of July, and marching 
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 con^>elled 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 S5th of August.f 

Towards the end of the year the Wekh were again in 
arms. At the beginning of ISIS, they issued from their 
strong holds, made themselves masters of several castles 
and pat to death the 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 ord^ed the twenty-eight children of Welsh chiefs whom 
he had taken as hostages to be hanged before dinner. He 
then sat down 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 
tabl^ 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 he proceeded with his enterprise he would 
either be killed by his own soldiers, or be delivered up 
to his deadly enemies the Welsh ; and struck with sudden 

• And not his sister, as has been stated in a fonnor part of the present 
work, p. 73 

t Matthew Paris, sub ann. 


consternation he disbanded his atmy and returned to 
London. It was at this moment that the pope was excofm- 
municating the contumacious monarchy and offering his 
kingdom to the king of France; and shortly afterwards 
John, distrustful of Ins own people, surrendered his crown 
to the pax>al 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 SOtih of July, 
1212, at Worcester on the two following days, at Bridge- 
north on the 2nd and 3rd of August, at Shrewsbury on die 
4th, and at Bridgenorth on his return on the 5di. 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. BriavePs from the 10th to the 13th, 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 121S, 
on the 20th and 2l8t 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 26th and the 27th, at St. BriavePs on the 28th and 
29th, at Monmouth on the 29th and 80th, 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 
de Lacy to all his lands and possessions except Ludlow,t 

• Matthew Paris, sub ann. 

t Plenariam saisinam de omnibus terris snis et tenementis 

prseter Ludelawe, qiuim in manum nostram retinuimus quamdiu nobis 
placuerit. Close Rolls, p. 147. 


on the S9th of July, 1S18, that great feudal baron having 
given four hostages for his fidelity. The castle of Ludlow 
was then in the custody ot Engelard de Gygony, 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 plaoe was too important to be trusted out (rf his 
own hands, for the king wrote to him again on the 2nd 
of November, approving of his c<mduct, and authorizing 
him to retain the castle, '' although it were better to give it 
up than pay forty marks a year to keep it," but ordering 
him to delirer 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 die loyalty of Walter de Lacy, for on the 12th 
oS April, 1215, he ordered Engelard de Cygony to deliver 
" his (Lacy's) castle" of Ludlow (castrum suum de Lude- 
lawe) into his custody.^ At the time when Walter de 
Lacy was restored to die 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 the Marches, 
who held them till the 11th of July, 1214, when by the 
king's direction he deUvered them to Thomas 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 Rex Engelardo de Cygon. salutem. De hiis quoc maudastis vos 
fecisse de porcis, bene fecistis. £t licet plus valeat reddere castrum de 
Ludelawe quam dare pro custodia castri .xl. m. per annum, retento 
tamen m manu nostra castro illo, yillam Waltero de Lascy habere facias 
secundum conventionem inter nos ct ipsum ftictam, quia a conventione 
iUa nolumus resilirc. Close Rolls, p. 175. 

I Patent Rolls, p. 132. i Patent Rolls, pp. 100, 118. 


during the latter years of John's reign^ the Welsh entered 
into a dose 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 18tb; 
at Kilpeck on the 18th and 19th ; at Hereford from the 
21st to the 28rd ; at Worcester from the 26th to the 27th ; 
and at Tewkesbury on his return on the 27th. Some of 
ihe most powerfrd of the border families, as the Mortimers 
and ihe Lacies, were staundi adherents to the royal cause, 
but many others^ and among the rest the Fitz Alans and the 
well-known Folk Fitz Warine, were as firm adherents to 
the baronial confederacy. John upon this occasion^ appears 
to have seizdd on many of the castles of his enemies^ and 
garrisoned them for his own use ; before he left the border 
he gave the castle of Grosmont^* and probably Screnfirith 
and the other fortresses in the neighbourhood to John de 
Monmouth. He had preyiously given a strong castle in 
the Marches to Falcasius de Breaut^, one of the most 
violent and cruel cf his foreign mercenaries.f 

In the spring of 1215 the barons were in arms^ and 
Llewellyn marched witfi 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, dun and other 
castles were seized and strongly garrisoned by their adhe- 
rents. The bishop of Hereford soon afterwards made his 
peace with the king. 

On the 15th of June the king signed Magna (Tharta. 
At the end oi the next month he made another brief visit to 
the border, and was at Shrewsbury on the SOth and 31st 
of July, at Bridgenorth on the Ist of August, and at Wor- 
cester the next day. Throughout 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 
the impending contest. On the 19th of July the castle of 

* Close Ralls, p. 239. t Matt« Paris, Hist Maj.'sub ann. 1212. 


Hereford was committed to the custody of the grand jus- 
ti€iary Hubert de Burgh; on the 14th of August, at his 
petition, it was transferred to the younger Walter de Clif- 
ford;* and in the October following we find payments 
made to Clifford for his expenses in fortifying it.f About 
this time the bishop of Hereford died, and on the 18th of 
NoTember the king ordered his castles to be delivered into 
the hands of the yoimger Walter de Clifford.^ The king 
appears also to haye obtained possession of the castles 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 
hamg ravaged with fire and sword a large portion of his 
kingdom, came with his foreign mercenaries to the border, 
which we may suppose to have suffered all the worst effects 
of their cruelty. On the 19th and 20th of July we find the 
king at Bristol and Berkeley, on the Slst he was at Glou- 
cester, on the 22nd and 23rd at Tewkesbury, and from the 
Mth to the 27th at Hereford. At this time he ordered 
Thomas de Erdington to deliv^ up the castle of Bridge- 

* Patent Bolls, pp. 149, 153. The family of the Cliffords possessed 
Urge estates on the border. The Walter de Clifford here mentioned was 
the brother of Rosamond de Clifford, the mistress of Henry II, better 
known by the more celebrated name of " Fair Rosamond." Among his 
•states 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," having changed the family name of Pitz 
Osboin for that of Say), and, sifter her husband's death, she married 
Barthelomew de Mortimer. Their grand-daughter, Margery de Ferrers, 
iiiherited Richard's Castle, and conveyed it by marriage to Robert de 

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

t Patent Rolls, p. 159. } Patent RoUs, p. 160. 


north and the county of Salop to the custody of the 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 8<m of the 
lEunous William de Braose), offering them faTourable terms 
if they would j(nn 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 27th and 28th cf 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 iatention to injure them.t From Hay Castle the king 
returned to Hereford, where he remained from the S9th to 
the Slst of July. On the latter day he went to Leominster, 
where he was on the 1st of August. On the 2nd day of 
August he was at Radnor, where also he destroyed the 
castle, and he went the same day to Kingsmead. On the 3rd 
he was at Kingsmead and Clun, 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 11th 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. Owen's day (March 4), and the five fol- 
lowing days, in his town of Richard's Castle.§ From the 
14th to the 16th of August the king was at Bridgenorth, 
and on the latter day he gave into the hands of the earl 

• Patent Rolls, p. 175. 

t Sciatis quod propter commodum yestruiii et non diminutionem 
restram vel dampnum yenimus in partes istas, quod per opera nostra 
manifeste perpendere poteritis. Patent Rolls, p. 191. 

X Patent Rolls, p. 192. { Close Rolls, p. 281. 


of Chester the custody of Shxewsbury^ Bridgenorth^ and 
the county of Salop.* From Bridgenorth John went to 
Worcester, where he was on the 16th and 17th 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 opportunity 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 fot the 
last time, on the 18th of August he took the castle of 
Hereford fi:om Walter de Clifford and gave it to the keeping 
of 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 Grosmont, Screnfirith, and Lantely.^ From 
Gloucester king John proceeded on that progress which 
ended at Newark upon Trent, where he died on the lOth 
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 with 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. The hostile parties continued still in 
the same position, and it was not dll the latter end of the 
year following that the kingdom was restored to peace. 
On the 3rd of November, 1216, Hugh de Kilpeck received 
orders from the king to pay immediately the usual panage 
of his pigs in the wood of Trivelle to Walter de Lacy to 

< Patent Rolls, p. 193. t Patent Rolls, pp. 193,, 194. 

X Patent Rolls, p. 194. i Patent Rolls, p. 199. 


store the castle of Hereford.* By the treaty with Louis 
and his adheients 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 Octaves of St. 
Martin (November 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-condiict 
to meet him at Worcester on the second Sunday after Ash- 
Wednesday (March 11), 1S18.:^ 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 maiket-day at Leominster to be changed from Sunday 
to Thursday; and the same day he ordered the Sheriff 
of Salop to assist John L'Estrange in strengthening his 
castle of Knockin.ll The king was again at Gloucester on 
the 20th of April, and at Worcester from the 20th to 
the 2Srd. 

* Close Rolls, p. 293. Panage (pasnagium porcorum) was the fee paid 
for the perxnission to turn pigs into the forests to feed ; in this instance, 
and in many others, it was probably paid in kind, for bacon, as we hare 
before obserred, p. 24, was the principal article in the larder of the 

t Rymer's Feedera, new edition, vol. 1, p. 149. J Fsdera, vol. 1, p. 150. 

i A copy of the oath is printed in the Faedera, ib. 

H Close Rolls, p. 355. It appears by other entries on the Rolls, that 
previous to this time in many towns in this part of the kingdom, Sunday 
was the usual market-day. 


The feuds between the Welsh and the lords of the border, 
which 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 1220, 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 Llewellyn inviting him to meet 
him at Shrewsbury on the Monday after the Ascension ;* on 
die 25th of April he had ordered sixty pounds to be paid out 
of his treasury to defray the expenses of his joumey,t and 
we find him at Shrewsbury on the 7th of May, where it is 
probable that the Wekh 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.j: 
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 Mares- 
chal, earl of Pembroke (the son of king Henry's guardian), 
and R^inald 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 
Screnfrith on the 19th, at White Castle on the 20th, and at 
Striguil on the 21st, 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 

• Poedera, p. 159. 

t Liberate etiam de thesauro nostre eidem Willelmo sexaginta libraa 
deferendas nobiscnm ad ezpensas nostras Tersus Salopesbir. Close Rolls, 
p. 416. 

X Close Rolls, pp. 417, 418. 


Braoee.* On the 28tA, the king was at Bristol on his 
return from the border, and the Welsh proceeded with 
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 reconciliation 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 English monarch at Screnfrith from the 4th to 
the 7th of March, but the truce was finally prolonged on 
the SOth 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 beginning of March, 122S, 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 Fulke 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 SSnd of June to Llewellyn to meet the 
king at Worcester on Ae Monday after the feast of St. 
John the Baptist,§ was disregarded; and when the king 
arrived at Worcester with an army at the beginning of 
July, he learnt that the Welsh had taken Whittington as 
well as the castle of Kinardsley, or Kinnersley, belonging 

• Close Rolls, p. 428. f Foedera, p. 164. 

t Close Rolls, p. 537. § Foedera, i, p. 168. 


to Baldwin de Hodnet He immediately sent orders to 

put Shrewsbury in a state of defence^ and after staying at 

Worcester HH the 16th, and at Gloucester till the SSnd, he 

returned to Windsor, where, on the 12th of September, he 

received intelligence firom Reginald de Braose that he was 

closely besieged in his own castle of Builth, and that the 

English forces were insufficient to withstand the progress 

of Llewellyn and his Welshmen.* The king immediately 

called together a powerful army, which was to meet at 

Gloucester, and on the 19th of September he reached 

Hereford in person. 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 ihe 29th he was at Shrewsbury; and the next day 

he marched indth his army to Montgomery. Here, having 

terrified the Welsh by the greatness of his preparations, 

and by the ravages which he b^an to commit upon them, 

he received hostages from Llewellyn for their future sub- 

miB8ion.t But the king determined to put a check upon 

their incursions on this part of the border, by building a 

new and strong castle at Montgomery. Immediately after 

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 passed through 

Bridgenorth (on the ISth), and Kidderminster (on the 

14th), to Worcester, where he remained from the 14th to 

* Fcedera, i, p. 170. Matt. Paris, Hist. Mig. sub ann. 1221. The 
historian is entirely wrong in the date ho gives to these occurrences. 

t Fcedeni, i, p. 170. 

X Ad operationes castri nostri quod ibidem construimus faciendas. 
Close Rolls» p. 565. 


the 16th, and from thence he went to Gloucester. From 
both these cities he sent to Montgomery money and mate- 
rials for the works, with abimdance of stores and arms. 
On the 18th of November he ordered six hogsheads of 
gasGon wine and fifty " bacons'' to be sent from Bristol to 
the castle of Hereford. On the 22nd, he sent to Mont- 
gomery six thousand quarells, or cross-bow arrows, which 
had been made at St. Briavel's, where there appears to 
have been an extensive manufactory of these weapons. On 
the 23rd, the king appointed a diaplain 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 bmldiog his castle, which appears to have 
been finished in September. On the 19th of that month 
he an$ved at Worcester, where he was met by his sister 
Joane, Llewellyn's wife ;* on the 21st he was at Kidder- 
minster, on the 22nd, at Bridgenorth, and from the 24th to 
the SOth at Shrewsbury, where he strengthened the fortifi- 
cations of the castle. On the 1st of October the king 
visited the castle of Montgomery, 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 Glou- 

At this period the family of the Mortimers was increasing 
fast 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 Wigmore 
intermarried with the house of the Braoses; Hugh de 
Mortimer, the grand-son of Roger who founded Wigmore, 
married Annora, the daughter of William de Braose ; Ralph 
de Mortimer married the widow of Reginald de Braose; 
and his son Roger de Mortimer married Maude the daughter 
and co-heir of Reginald's son, the second William de Braose. 
All these barons were distinguished by their loyalty, and 
by their hostiHty to the Welsh. Hugh de Mortimer died 

* Close Rolls, p. 622. 


in Noyember^ ISST, in consequence of wounds which he 
had received in a tournament. His brother Ralph, who suc- 
ceeded to his estates was remarkable 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 1221, according to a chronicle of the abbey of 
Wigmore,* while Ralph was a prisoner in France, the 
Wekh 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. 
The hostile parties engaged on the banks of the Tivy, and, 
according to the English chronicles, the English obtained a 
dedsive and sanguinary victory.f But the earl's 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 affiurs, 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 9th) ;:^ in June he sent to inform him that 
other matters of importance then occupied him, and he 
changed the day of meeting to the Assimiption of the 
Blessed Virgin (August 15th).§ In spite of the king's 

• In the Monasticon, last edition, toI. vi, p. 350. 

t Matthew Paris, who places these transactions in the year 1223. 

X Fcedera, i, p. 179. § Fosdera, i, p. 180. 


threats and expostulations, Uejrellyn proceeded with his 
hostile preparations, which had assumed so serious a cha- 
racter in the autiunn 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 haye been 
partly excited by Hugh de Lacy and some other barons^ 
vho had withdrai¥n 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 Llewellyn, 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 could there hold their councils 
and raise their forces for future operations ; while the first 
notice of an insurrectionary movement among the English 
barons was the signal for a rising among the Welsh, who 
were led by the love of plunder to join their banners. In 
1SS6 feelings of mistrust arose between the king and 
William Mareschal, who retired to his castles in Wales ; 
and on the S8th of July in that year we find Henry at 

• Fcedera. i, p. 180. The bull is dated in October. It is there said of 
the prince of Wales, -Kune vero idem, tanquam homo pncvaricationi 
assuetos et faciUs ad fallendum, se simul, et famam et promissa con- 
iundens, Regi obedire lecosat, et castra sibi ab eo commissa diruens, arma 
contra ipsum Regem erexit, et ei et egus Melibus, pnecipue nobili viio 
W. comiti Penebrocensi, baliyo regio, guerram movet 

t Matthew Paris. 

{ Garadoc of Llancarvan. As the Rolls of this period have not yet 
been printed, we are no longer able to trace the king in his progresses, 
except by a few isolated documents printed by Rymer. 


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, 
fiiUing 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 Burgh, whom the king had 
just before this event invested with the district and castle 
of Montgomery. Henry himself, with 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 &r 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 efforts were paralysed by 
the disaffection of his own army. After a great expen- 
diture of money and time, he was obliged to make a 
disgraceM treaty with the Welsh prince, by which he 
agreed to destroy the castle which he had begun.t 

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 popular legend. It is said 
that William de Braose, confined in the castle of Aber, 
captivated the affections of the princess Joane; and that 
her husband, becoming acquainted with their intimacy 
after his prisoner had been set at liberty, treacherously 
invited him to an Easter festival, and there caused him to 

* Foedera, i, p. 1S2. t Matthew Paris sub ann. 122S. 


be seized and hanged upon a gallows. The legends add 
that 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 ^th of 
May, on which day he sent to Llewellyn 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 walls, 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 rebels and 
their heads sent to the king. This act of severity was 
the signal for a general rising amongst the Welsh ; Llewellyn 
assembled a numerous army, invaded the lands of the lords 
marchers, and committed the most frightftil ravaged, burn- 
ing even the churches and monasteries, and in them several 
noble ladies and young maidens who had taken refuge 
there. The king of England was indignant at the tur- 
bulence of his feudal dependant. He immediately prepared 
to inflict a severe punishment ; on the ^5th of June he 
sent orders to the justiciary of Ireland to make war on the 
Welsh from the sea, and, on the 13th of July, he assembled 
a great army at Oxford, where the English bishops and 

* The latter part of the story does not appear to haye any historical 
foundation. The manner and cause of the execution of William de Braose 
are mentioned by Matthew Paris, sub ann. 1230. 

t Fcedera, p. 200. 


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 
ambush 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 Matildse), 
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 die king, which was renewed on the 20th of February 
following,* The Welsh were however only pacified for a 
moment; during the year 1232 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 This provision, 
like all those which had preceded, was of little effect or 

The troubles which marked the year 1233 are said to 
have been preceded by extraordinary natural 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 
which 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 points of 
intersection.^ The apprehensions excited by this prodigy 
were heightened by the knowledge of the distrust which 
already appeared between the ill-advised monarch and his 

• Foedera, pp. aoi, 202. Matthew Paris, sub ann. 1232. 

t t^flcdera, pp. 205, 206, 208. X Matthew Paris, sub ann. 1233. 



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 tc^ther, 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 court, 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, imder the king's displeasure, amongst 
whom were Gilbert Basset, Richard Suard, and Walter 
de Clifford, with many other knights distinguished for 
their influence and personal bravery. The king then 
summoned the refractory barons to appear before him at 
Gloucester on the Sunday before the Assumption of the 
Virgin 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 which Richard Mareschal and his Mends entered into 
an alliance with the prince of Wales. 

The king immediately marched to Hereford with a 
formidable army, consisting chiefly of foreigners, more 
especially of Flemings. He was at Hay castle on the 
2nd of September, when he sent messengers to Lewellyn to 
try to detach him from the confederacy.* From Hereford 

• Focdcra, p. 210. The king had before been at Tewkesbury this 
year, on the 28th of May. Fo&dcra, p. 209. 


he sent his defiance, or declaration of war, to the earl 
Mareschal, and laid siege to one of his castles, but with 
so little success that he saw himself on the point of being 
obliged to retire from before it. Humiliated by this check, 
he opened negociations with the earl, offering, on condition 
the castle should be immediately placed in his hands, to 
take him again into favour, and to reform the corruptions in 
the gOTemment 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 with 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 
de 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 when 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, intending to 
remain there some days, and, confident in his nimibers, 
encamped negligently in the fields without the castle. The 
barons, who had good intelligence, were informed of his 
position ; the earl Mareschal refused to join in an attack 
upon the person of the king, but the other confederates 
marched during the night with a numerous army of English 
and Welsh, and at daybreak on the feast of St. Martin 


(November 11), fell upon the royal camp, drove atway 
the knights and soldiers without striking a blow, and made 
themselves masters of above five hundred horses, and all 
the equipage and ba^age of the camp. The king was 
safely lodged in the castle of Grosmont, but he lost all 
his money and provisions, and many of his principal men 
were obliged to fly almost in a state of nudity. 

After this reverse the king felt himself no longer secnre 
at Groemont, and retired to Gloucester, having garrisoned 
all the castles in his possession on the border with bands 
of hungry Foitevins and Flemings under the command 
of John de Monmouth and Raoul de Thony, to the latter of 
whom he had given the castle of Matilda, These garrisons 
of strangers soon became the terror of the peasantry, for 
they did nothing but plunder and ravage the country 
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 partizans of 
the king. Richard Mareschal, at the head of the united 
army of the outlaws, marched towards Monmouth at the 
latter end of November, intending to lay ^ege to the castle, 
which was entrusted to the care of a Flemish knight named 
Baldwin de Guines. While the army was moving to its 
quarters, the earl, attended only by a hundred knights, 
approached to reconnoitre the castle. He was observed and 
recognised by Baldwin de Guines, who assembled a thou- 
sand of his bravest warriors, and sallied out to capture his 
enemy. The companions of Richard Mareschal advised 
him to make his escape with 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, 
he added, '^ I shall not change my custom to-day." For 
several hours, in spite of the inequality o[ numbers, the 
earl Mareschal and his men defended themselves valiantly 
with their spears and swords. At length, despairing of 
overcoming the whole party collectively, Baldwin de Guines 
chose twelve of his companions to single out the Mareschal, 


while 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 firom lus head with so much 
violence, that Bichard'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 fiom behind. At this critical 
moment one of Richard Mareschal's arbalestriers, seeing 
the danger of his master, aimed an arrow at Baldwin de 
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 Uberty. 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 the 
border history, '' the earl Mareschal, Gilbert Basset, Richard 
Soard, and die 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 coimtry, they laid hold 
jof him and would accept no other ransom than his head. 
It soon came to that point, that the roads and other places 
were strewed with the bodies of these foreigners, in such 
nui»\bers that the air was corrupted by them." 

The king, humiliated by these reverses, endeavoured 


vainly to entrap the earl Mareschal by specious offers of 
pardon. His failure in this attempt, and the represen- 
tations of his foreign favourites, embittered stiU 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 with him at the memorable defeat at Grros- 
mont. Qn 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 intricacdes 
of a forest they had to pass, the confederates fell upon them 
suddenly with terrible shouts, drove them out 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 partizans 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 BrehuU, rooting up 
and destroying utterly even the woods and single trees. 
They treated in the same manner the domain of S^rave, 
belonging to the grand justiciary Stephen de 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 13th), Richard Mareschal and 
prince Llewellyn, with their united armies, marched to 
Shrewsbiuy, destroying the country in their way. After 
having collected an immense booty, and having burnt a large 
part of the town of Shrewsbury, they 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 own 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 biEuron 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 de Bui^h. 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 Llewellyn*. 
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 the 18 th of 
February, 12S6,t that the Welsh prince had 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 Llewellyn came to 
Shrewsbury and Wenlock to renew 'his oaths of allegiance 
and fidelity .§ The truce was prolonged at the beginning of 
June, 1237, and again in March, 1238, the king being 
then at Tewkesbury, and in the July of the same year.|| 
In the following year the king again quarrelled with the 
family of the Mareschals, who retired to their possessions 
on the border. Soon afterwards the king treated with equal 
indignity Simon de Montfort, who was destined shortly 

• FcBdera, pp. 212, 213. t Fcedera, p. 223. 

t Foedera, p. 229. § Foedera, p. 230. || Foedera, pp. 232, 235. 


to play so distinguished a jmrt in the history of the time ; 
and the same year Henry brought a new accusation gainst 
the aged Hubert de Burgh, which served as a pretext for 
extorting from him four of his castles. White Castle, G^tos- 
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, 1240, Llewellyn 
died, and left his principality to be contended for by his 
children, David and Grriffith. The former called his brother 
to a pacific conference and there treacherously seized upon 
him and committed him to close prison. Early in 1S41, 
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 Mareschal, and then by 
the remaining brother Anselme, who died at the end of the 
year 1S45. Thus two of the most powerful fiunilies on the 
border became extinct. 

At the latter end of October, 1240 (the Tuesday after 
St. Dunstan's day), the king renewed with David the truce, 
or peace, which had been made with Llewellyn, and in the 
following month we find the king and the prince deciding 
by arbitration a dispute which had arisen between them. 
The domestic quarrels of the Welsh, as might be expected, 
did not fail to affect the peace of the border. In the 
following spring David was at war with Ralph de Mortimer, 
and attempted to seize a ship belonging to the city of 
Chester.f At the same time Grrifiith and his friends were 
tu-ging 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- 
lessly by the affairs of Wales, for not long afterwards he 
summoned all his fiefs who held of the crown by military 

• Matthew Paris sub ann. 1239. f Fosdera, pp. 242, 243. 

X Issues of the Exchequer, ed. by DeTon, 1838, pp. 17, 18. 


service, to assemble with arms and baggage at Gloucester 
at the beginning of autumn. On the 2nd of August he 
held a council at Shrewsbury, and, David having refused to 
attend, he ordered the army which he had taken with him 
to Shrewsbury to advance against his refractory nephew.* 
We find the king with his numerous and well provisioned 
host, at Bhudlan on the 31st of Auguflt.t The prince, 
terrified by the formidable preparations of the invader, 
made no attempt to resist, but gave up his brother, with an 
earnest recommendation to the king to keep him close 
confined, if he wished to retain Wales in peace. Henry 
inllingly agreed to this condition, and Griffith with 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 withdravnng from his dependence 
on the crown of England. He appears to have been partly 
urged to this measure by the pope, who was dissatisfied 
with the English, and absolved the Welsh from their oath 
to the king. N^ociations had been opened for the purpose 
of obtaining Griffith's liberty, but these having failed, he 
and the other hostages made an attempt to escape from the 
Tower. His companions succeeded in their enterprise, but 
Griffith fell firom the wall to the ground, and being fat 
and heavy, 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 Welsh and the English lords of the Marches who 
were encouraged by the promises of the king to assist them. 
On the 16th of July, a truce appears to have been made,§ 
but it was of short duration, for immediately afterwards, to 
use the words of Matthew Paris, " the Welsh issuing from 

* Matthew Paris sub aon. 1241. t Focdora, p. 213. 

X FoBdcra, p. 256. § Foedera, ib. 



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 under 
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 withdrew himself from 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 Da\id 
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 Grerald, 
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. 
David revenged 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 EngUsh having engaged the Welsh in a 
wooded pass, the brave Herbert Fitz Matthew was slain.j: 

* De homicidiis, incendiis, depraedationibus, &c. Fcedera, p. 258. 
t Foedera, p. 259. X Matthew Paris, sub ann. 1245. 


Another party of Welsh were surprised near Montgomery, 
and put to the sword ; and from one outrage to another, the 
stru^le 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 conmiunication 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 countrymen. His 
nephew Griffith, son of that Griffith who had been killed 
in his attempt to escape from the Tower of London, was 
chosen by the Welsh to succeed him. His countrymen 
were too much exhausted to continue their hostilities against 

* Foedera. t Matthew Paris, sub ann, 1245. 

{ PcBdera, p. 263. § Foedera. p. 264. 


the English^ 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 unfortimate inhabitants 
of the principality, who had been placed at the mercy of the 
king and his favourites by their disastrous war under David. 
The country was distributed like Turkish pashaliks, to the 
highest bidders, who groimd the wretched inhabitants to 
dust, that they might extract fiom 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 Ghrey 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. Albans 
with a number of carriages heavily laden with the produce 
of his extortions, which he was 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 1266 they were forced into 
rebellion by the oppressions of Geofl&y de Langeley, then 
collector of the revenues for the king. At first the rising 
appears to have been partial, and it was disowned by their 

* Matthew Paris, sub ann. 1251—2. 


prince Llewellyn^ who demanded a personal interview with 
the king, who was at Gloucester on the 22nd of July,* 
probably on his way to the border for that purpose. But the 
meeting did not take place, and as winter (the season most 
&Yourable to the Welsh) approached, the insurrection 
became more general. They began by attacking the posses- 
sions of prince Edward, to whom the govemment 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 regular army, but they appear 
to have been secretly assisted and encouraged by the 
Engliah 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 21st), the Welsh advanced in considerable force 
against the castles held by this baron, who, assisted by 
John de Grey, Rc^r de Mortimer, Reginald Fitz Peter, 
Humphrey 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 accoimt of these 
successes, he writes another letter, begging for speedy 
assistance, and describing his own position as being ex- 
tremely critical. J The retreat of prince Edward increased 
the courage of the Welsh, who crossing the northern border, 
carried their devastations up to the walls of Chester. At 
the same time they drove from his lands their coimtryman 
Griffith de Bromfield, who had merited their hatred by his 
obsequiousness to their English oppressors. During the 
muter 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 Edward and the barons of 
the border, alledging that they ought to be able to take 

• Ffledcra, i. p. 344. f Fecdera, i. p. 339. X Foedera, i. p. 341. 


care of what was their own. 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> 
pointment threw him into a fever, by which 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 Webh.J 
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 1S58, the Marches 
of Wales were literally reduced to a desert.§ 

The 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 1268, 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 array to 
the parliament held at Oxford in July, with the excuse that 

• Fcedcro, i. p. 361. Matthew Paris. f Foedera, p. 363. 

X In 1258, William de Abetot was slain at the siege of Ewyas Castle. 
§ Matthew Pahs, sub ann. 12.')7. 


it was necessary they should be in readiness to inarch 
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 Montfort, 
and a truce for one year was concluded on the 17th of 
July.* Yet on the 18th of August, the Welsh had already 
infringed the truce, and Peter de Montfort and James de 
Alditheley were sent to require amends.f 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 cniel manner,^ and took 
Roger de Mortimer's castle of Builth, while that feudal 
baron was absent with the parUament.§ 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 Henry remained with his army during the whole of 
the autumn, but with Uttle success. || A truce was after- 
wards made, which was renewed at different times till the 
end of the year 1262. When 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 
Rnockin, burnt and plundered the border up to Weobley, 
Eardisley, and the valley of Wigmore. At the end of 

• Fcedera, i. p. 372. t FcDdera, i. p. 377. 

X Eodem anno Lewelinus filius Griffini junctis in auxilium Walensibus 
terras regis Anglix et Edwardi filii sui per iotam marchiam ccepit vastare 
et destmere, pueros jacentes in cunis et mulieres in puerperio decubantcs 
sine misericordia inhumane occidendo. Chronicon Abendon. ed. Halli- 
weli. p. 12. 

§ FcEdcra, i. p. 399. || Foedera, ib. parum profecit, Chron. Abendon, 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 Boger and Hugh do 
Mortimer, John Fitz Alan, the elder and younger John 
L*Estrange, Hamo L'Estrange, Thomas Corbet, Ghriffith 
ap Wennewin, Fulke Fitz Warine, Ralph le Botiler, and 
Walter de Dunstanville, 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 16th of April. f 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, Simon de 
Montfort being one of the negotiators. J 

The war between the king and his barons began on the 
border, where the partisans of each had numerous castles. 
Roger de Mortimer raised his tenantry, and invaded and 
ravaged the lands of Simon de Montfort. The latter, who 
had already made an alliance with Llewellyn (who after- 
wards married his daughter) sent also a portion of the 
baronial army to retaliate on the possessions of the Mor- 
timers, and they laid siege to Wigmore 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 the 
castle of Eardisley.§ Macy de Bezile was taken in the 
castle of Gloucester, after an obstinate defence ; Simon de 

• Foedera, i. p. 423. f Foedera, i. p. 425. J Foedera, i. p. 430. 

{ Rishanger's Goniinuat. of Matthew Paria. Robert of Gloucestefi pp. 
535, 537. Rishanger's Chron., cd. Halliwell. p. 11. { 


Montfort^ who had directed the siege^ then marched with 
his army to Worcester, which, ahready taken and rudely 
treated by Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby, willingly 
opened its gates to the barons. From thende 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 
anny consisting in a great measture of foreigners, hastened 
to the border, to relieve Boger 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 from Hereford to Gloucester, where he 
took refuge in the castle, which was delivered up to him 
by R(^r de Clifford. The barons immediately took pos- 
session of the town, and after some bickerings and nego- 
tiations, Edward agreed to make his peace with them, 
and swore to observe the statutes which had been made at 
Oxford. The baronial army 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 treacherously imprisoned 
many of the burgesses, severely amerced the town, and 
hanged the porters who had opened the gates, one of whom 
was named Hobkin of Ludlow ;t and then he marched 
towards Northampton, ravaging the lands of the barons as 

* Chron. Abendon. cd. Halliwell, p. 16. 

t Sir Roger of Clifford the porters vaste nom 
That porters were atte gate tho Jon Giffard in com, 
Aa Hobekin of Ludlowe, and is felawes also» 
And let horn npe the west gate an-hongc bothe to. 

Robert of Gloucester, p. 544. 



he went. On the other hand, Llewellyn and his WeUh- 
men^ who had been 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 litde 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 began 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. Li the autumn of 1S64, the most influential 
of the border barons, Roger de Mortimer, James de Aldithe- 
ley or Audeley, Roger de Leybume, Roger de Cli£Ebrd, Hamo 
L'Estrange, Hugh and Roger de Turbeville, and otheis, 
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 15fli of 
December.* From thence Simon de Montfort marched to 
Hereford, and joined himself with the Welsh imder 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 Fitz John, and afterwards the castle of Ludlow, and 
pursued Roger de Mortimer to Montgomery castle, where 
the latter was obliged to make his peace.f On the 2nd of 
April, 1S65, the castle of Montgomery was given to the 
custody of John L'Estrange.:}: 

* Foedera, i. p. 449. 

t Rishanger's Chroniclei ed. Halliwell, p. 35. Ejusd. contin. Mat. Paris. 

X Fcedera, i. p. 454. 


Simon de Montfort then moved with his royal prisoners 
towards the south, but he was soon called back by new 
movements on the border. The earl 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, 
earl 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 Jime.f A plot was formed by the Marchers 
to deliver 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, -with a private intimation 
that he should ask permission of his keepers to try it on 
a certain day on the Widemarsh (Wydmersh), and that the 
moment he saw a person on a white horse make a signal 
from the hill towards TuUington, he should leave his 
attendants and ride in that direction at his utmost speed. 

* Rishanger, ut supra. Robert of Gloucester, pp. 551, 552. 

t Fcedera, i. pp. 455, 456, 457. 


The lequired pennission 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 Tnllington, where Roger de 
Mortimer, with Roger de Clifford, John Giffiurd, and fire 
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 
fifom tiiience he went to Pembroke, where John de War- 
renne and William 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 
aftierwards 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. Immediately 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 

* History of the Mortimers in the Monasticon, torn. ri. p. 351. Con£. 
Rishanger and Robert of Gloucester. 

t It appears probable that the last and snceessfnl insurrection against 
Simon de Montfort was planned at Ludlow. Simon de Montfort was 
reyerenced as a saint after his death, and we are told, in the collection of 
his miracles, that he appeared in a dream to the vicar of Wardon, telling 
him to warn Geoffrey de Stalares that if he did not repent and make 
amends for his seditious plots at Ludlow against the earl Simon, he would 
full into some sudden misfortune (ut Galfridum de Stalares militem ex 
parte sua moneret, quod seditiones et machinamenta ques contra comitem 
Symonem et sues complices apud Luddelow fecerat, emendaret). Geoffrey 
neglected this admonition ; and soon after, being on his way to London, 
he was burnt with all his retinue in a house where he had taken up his 
lodgings. Halliwell's Rishanger, p. 80. 


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^ with 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 
1st), 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 was staying there. Among the 
prisoners were John Fitz John, the younger Humfrey 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 the 7th of August, the second day after 
the battle.* He removed thence to Gloucester, where, on 
the S4th of August, he levied a heavy fine on the citizens 
of Hereford for their attachment to the baronial cause.f 
On the 28th of November following, a truce 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 Montgomery, where, four days afterwards, a 
peace was agreed to.J This peace was confirmed at Mi- 
chaelmas, 1268, when Henry .again went to Shrewsbury 
with an army ; yet, on the 21st of May, in the year fol- 
lowing, we find Edward once more obliged to meet the 
Welsh prince at Montgomery. 
Although the party of Simon de Montfort was destroyed 

* Fcedera, i. p. 458. t Focdera, i&. % Foedera, i. p. 473. 


in the battle of Evesham^ the civil war was not ended. 
The remains 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 
cause 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 fianily of the Mortimers, who, after a few gene- 
rations, will be found contending for the crown itself. 
Roger de 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 
which 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 which 
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 
tyranny, the commonalty, stepped 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 fatal 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 4t possessed in the twelfth 
century, but the aristocracy itself survived 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 Tudors. 

* Hiftory of the Mortimers, printed in tho Monasticon, vi. p. 351. 


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 that battle its importance was lost. It 
made a fruitless struggle in the following reign, which 
ended in the extinction of its native princes. 



Omdaion of the 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 unimportant part of 
the historian's task to observe 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 part of the 
thirteenth century, after the long continued warfare which 
has been recited in the preceding chapter, must have 
contrasted strongly with 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 importance ; 


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 armed 
aristocracy, which elected their own governors in the form 
of what are now called corporations, and took caie 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 serfs and 
retainers, now lifted its head with scorn against its former 
masters. In the Welsh wars of the thirteenth century, the 
border towDR 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, either cleared away that they 
might no longer serve as a retreat or place of ambush for 
crafty enemies, or cut down to furnish wood for the continual 
repairs of the fortification of castles and towns, destroyed 
by designing or accidental incendiaries.* The woods which 
remained were long afterwards the haunt of thieves and out- 
laws, who not only robbed and murdered the passengers 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 

• We learn from the Hundred Rolls of 39 Henry III (vol. u. p. 66), 
that a wood at Forde (pulcrum nemus, magnum et integrum) had been 
entirely cut down by the burgesses of Shrewsburyi with the king's licence. 



AncUsiit 0<ik at Nonuptoa. 

trees in the neighbourhood of Ludlow, may be mentioned 
the ^ed oak on the brow of the hill at Nonupton, or Nun's- 
Upton, near the village of Little Hereford, which was 
probably standing there previous to the Nonnan Conquest, 
and then surrounded by a thick forest. It would appear 
by its name that the manor formerly belonged to one of the 
border convents. The tree is hollowed by decay, and its 
branches mutilated by the effects of time ; the circumference 
of the trunk, near the ground, is fifty feet; and at 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 his first 
cares was to put a stop to the numerous cases of oppression 
and injustice which had been suffered to arise and con- 
tinue amid the troubles of his father's reign. For this 
purpose inquisitions were made throughout the Hundreds 


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 rolls 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 privileges 
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 period from Michaelmas to Martinnias, 
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 wind to the number of five (those above 
that number going to the king), and also all branches blown 
down by the wind ; and he rented of the king four acres 
and a rood of purpresture 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 Christmas and five eggs at Easter, 
and if they were not readily given, they treated the inhabi- 
tants with great rigour.f The foresters appear to have 
been in the general habit of levying fees of this kind. 
Goats as well as pigs were kept in the forest lands by the 
foresters themselves, and also by the poor, who paid a 

« Hundred Rolls, vol. ii. p. 56. f lb. p. 83. 


Teiy small acknowledgement. This was the case in the 
mannor 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 b^n 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 town and another, gave rise to frequent scenes 
of yiolence. In the year preceding that on which the 
inquisition was made, on the Simday after the feast of St. 
Matthew the Apostle, (1273) Richard Russel constable of 
Salop, gave four pence to a certain lad named William de 
Somerset to pass through the village of ' Christesheth* 
shouting out all the time, wekare ! 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 ill !" 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 down as if 
he were dead, he quitted the high road and fled. Then the 
woman raised the cry upon him, and the whole village 
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 pursuers.f 

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

• Hundred Rolls, vol. ii. p. 84, t lb. p. 92. 


they refused to observe the customary rules in passing 
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 found the 
men of Cleobury dragging away prisoner the gate-keeper^ 
and proceeded to stop them. But they also were attacked 
by Hugh Donville, baiUff of the hundred of Stottesdon^ 
who happened to be there with a considerable body of his 
men, and who attempted to carry off the bailiffs and their 
servants, but being imable 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 Corf ham. The foresters of 
Wigmore on one occaision 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 Sete), and took from him his sword and bow, 
and having tied his hands behind him, they led him in that 
condition to Steventon, where they further extorted firam 
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 Corf ham they were attacked 
on the high road by the bailiffs of John Gifford of Corfham, 
who led the horses into the demesne of their lord, and 
there immediately sowed the oats and harrowed the ground 
with the horses which had carried them. At another time, 
when a love-day had been appointed to arrange a quarrel 
between John Burdon and Hugh de BuUedon, the constable 
of Corfham, who appears to have been a friend of the latter, 

• Hundred Rolls, vol. ii. p. 99. f 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 Gi£ford, 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 Wigmore seized forty head of cattle belonging 
to burgesses of Ludlow, as they were passing through the 
barony of Clim 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.t 

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 
ptmished efiectively. A remarkable instance occurred just 
before the inquisition in the hundred of Condover. Alice 
de Haumon ( ? Hagmon), dwelling at Biriton broke open 
the door of the church of Biriton (Berrington), and stole 
thence a cloth belonging to Richard de Bath, which had 
probably been deposited there as in a place of security. At 
his complaint she was imprisoned in Shrewsbury jail, but 

• Hundred Rolls, Yoi. ii. p. 101. t lb. p. M. 


eflcaped without judgement by the favour of WilUam de 
Munalow, 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 cheers 
of the judges are represented as thirsting greedily after the 
money of the poor — 

'<< Ad pedes sedent clerici. 
Qui velat famelici 

snnti donis inhiantes ; 

et pro lege dantes. 
Quod hii qui nichil dederint, 
Qaamvis cito venerinty 

erant expectantes." 

Equality of laws, and the liberty of the people, were thii^ 
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 century, we still find many of those of the ori- 
ginal Norman settlers. We have akeady observed that the 
change among them caused by the domestic wars of the 
reign of Henry III was not great. The chief families 
in the north of Shropshire were represented, in 1255 
(39 Henry IlT),t hy James de Alditheley, Robert and 
Roger Corbet, John and Hamo L'Estrange, William and 
John Fitz Alan, John de Verdun, Giles de Herdington 
(lord of Wellington), Robert de Lacy, Robert de Say, Fulke 
Fitz Warine of Whittington, Odo de Hodnet, William 
Mauduit, who was lord of Castle Holgod in the neighbour- 

• Hundred Rolls, toI. iL p. 92. 

t Printed in the Political Songs (Camden Society Publication), p. 224. 
. X '^^ following information is taken chiefly from the Hundred Rolls. 


hood of Ladlow^ Ralph de Botiler (lord of Wem), and the 
family of the Warrens. William Mauduit of Castle Holgod 
had also the manor of Steventon^ and large estates iA 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 htmdred ; 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 Grenyilles, 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 Budlers or Bowdlers, 
and William de Stuteville, the latter being lord also of Bur- 
ford ; 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 neighbourhood; Brian 
de Brompton held some lands imder him in this part of 
the county; Hopton belonged to Robert de Wafre. 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 Clifford; while the 
family of the Bumells held the middle 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 1274, that Henry II had given 
it to Walter de Clifford for the love of his daughter 
Rosamond.* The changes which had taken place at the 
date last mentioned were not great, most of the principal 
fiunilies still held their ground ; but Richard earl of Corn- 
wall (the brother of Edward III) had estates about Bridge- 

• Hundred Rolls, yoI. i. p. 93. See before p. 145 of the present Yolume. 


north and in Condover hundred^ and had also obtained of 
William Mauduit the manor of Castle Holgod, which he 
had subsequently given to the Templars. At this time 
Greoflfey de Grenville held Stanton Lacy. One half of 
the town of Ludlow belonged to John de Verdun, the 
other to £. de Eturville ( ? G. de Genville). Cainham 
had been given by Roger 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 Bolls for Here- 
fordshire of the third year of Edward I. The most powerful 
baron in that county was Roger de Mortimer, who possessed 
Wigmore and Radnor. The 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 Gifford had Clifford ; John 
and Roger de Clifford, Eardisley ; and Humfrey de Bohun, 
Himtingdon. 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 dehvered it to his 
son Robert de Mortimer. Some of the juries exhibit 
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 furnish 
soldiers to keep the castle of Montgomery. Part of Purslow 
hundred was under the same kind of obUgation to the 
castle of Wigmore. Similar service was also paid to the 
towns ; Robert Dovile held land in Wigley, by the tenure 
of guarding the Tower of Ludlow fifteen days in time 
of war. Many houses, &c. in Ludlow were boimd by 


sinular tenures to furnish dilflferent 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. Gbdfirey de Thorpe held the hamlet of 
Aston Major^ dependent on the manor of Edgemund^ 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 speakings 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 
Wafie ; Stoke-Say, from the family of the Says, to whom it 
belonged; Hope Baggot, which belonged to the family of 
Baggot or Baghard; Brampton Brian, the manor of Brian 
de Brampton ; Cleobury Mortimer, one <^ 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 &ther became a heir- 
loom of the family, and descended to his children, thus 
becoming a family name. The simplest mode in which 
these names were formed was that of adding the name of 


the fiither to that of the son. Thus^ if there weie 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, William Richardson, William Stevenson^ and 
WilUam 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 different 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 houses 
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. 732), a John de 
Lodelawe at Coventry (ib. SS9), a Nicholas de Lodelawe in 
Northamptonshire (ib. 18), a merchant of London named 
Nicholas de Ludelawe (i. 406), a William de Lodelawe in the 
himdred 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. Li 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. 

• We find a Lawrence de Lodelaw (named of coune after the patron 
Saint of the church) connected with the celebrated Italian mercantile 
house of the Ricardi of Lucca, in the nineteenth year of the reign of 
Edward L (DoTon's Issues of the Exchequer, p. 102). Walter de Lodelowe 
was precentor of the Abbey of Wigmore, in the thirteenth century. (See 
further on in the present yolume, p. 195.) 


stt the hiU, &c., from which come our common names of 
Wood, Hill, and the like. Thus we find in the Hundred 
EoUs 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 
Willelmus de la Hall (of the Hall, or Richard and Wil- 
liam Hall); Henricus de Bosoo (of the Wood, or Henry 
Wood) ; Johannes de Molendino and Martinus de Molen- 
dinis (of the Mill or MiUs, 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 Grrene (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*8-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 Bull); Alicia le Hane (the hen, 
Alice Hen) ; Walterus and IsabeUe le Gous (the goose) ; 
Willelmus le Enfant (the child, William Child) ; and such 
common names as Grrim, Godswayn (the good swain), 
Grodknave, Gk)dman, Godhosbonde, Godheved (good head), 
Godegrom (the good groom), Godeson, Bademan, &c. Li 
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 &ther to son: 
thus we have Ricardus le Massun (the mason, Richard 
Mason) ; Jacobus le Cok (the cook, James Cook) ; Johannes 
le Porter (the porter, John Porter) ; Robertus Clericus (the 


clerk^ Robert Clark) and Johannes filius Clerid (the son of 
the derk^ John Clarkson); Johannes le Franchome (the 
free-man, John Freeman) ; Robertus le Panmer (the palmer, 
Robert Palmer. To exemplify the f<»egoing observations, 
it may be stated that, in the time of the inquisition before 
alluded to, the following names occur as bui^sses of 
Ludlow: Reginaldus filius Stephani (Steven's son)^ Ri- 
cardus de Orleton (of Orleton), WiUehnus le Grardiner (the 
gardener), Robertus Clericus (the clerk), Gralfiridus Lieo- 
minstre (of Leominster), Rogerus Monetarius (the coiner or 
money-dealer), Ricardufl de Hulle (of the hill), Reginaldus 
le Fulur (the fowler), Elyas Molendinarius (the miller), 
Stephanus le Grindar (the grinder), Thomas Cyrothecaiius 
(the glover), Oal&idus Aurifaber (the goldsmith), Nicholaus 
filius Andrese (Andrew's son), WiUelmus Pistor (the baker), 
Thomas de Capella (of the chapel), Reginaldus Tinctor 
(the dyer), Hugo le Mercer (the mercer). There can be no 
doubt that these names belonged literally to the persons 
whom they designated, that two of them were really sons 
of Stephen and Andrew, that three came firom 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 Clark, Geoffrey Leo- 
minster, Roger Coiner, Richard Hill, Reginald Fowler, 
Elias Millar, Stephen Grinder, Thomas Glover, Geoffiey 
Goldsmith, 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 exercised in Ludlow ; there were without doubt many 
more than here indicated. It is probable that rope-making 
was carried on here, and the little island formed by the 
winding of the Corve (Lyneye, i. e. island of flax), appears 
to have produced the materials. The occurrence of the 
name in its present form in the Romance of the Fitz 


IVariiies, 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 eha* 
racter and political condition of the people^ their language 
and literature were also undergoing important modifications. 
During two centuries after the Norman conquest^ the lan- 
guage spoken by the better classes of society was what is 
flailed Anglo-Norman, a dialect of the French tongue ; and 
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 
baronial wars a great revolution was effected; and, after 
the middle of the thirteenth century, the Anglo-Saxon 
language, much altered in form, and mixed with numerous 
Anglo-Norman words, came again into general use, and 
from the shape under which it then appeared it has been 
gradually moulded down into the modem English. It is 
to the mixture of Anglo-Norman and Anglo-Saxon that we 
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 English language, the 
Brut of Layamon,* a native of the hamlet of Emley. It is 
a long poem, and is extremely interesting as a specimen 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 fabulous 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 lang^uage 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 edited by Sir Frederick Madden. 


'^ Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death." 

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

<< Guendoleine hefde fe ufere 

and i-ahnede hire al this lond : 

and heo ferde to |»an castle 

per ^strild wes inne ; 

heo nom iEstrild and Abren, 

and lette heom i-bindin, 

and lette heom wrpen, 

in ane dcope watere, 

)»er heo adronken^ 

and )>er heo dea9 ]K>leden. 

pa wes Ouendolelne 

leodene Isefdi, 

)>a hehte heo ane heste 

mid haigere witte 

yai men sculden )>at ilk water 

per Abren wes adrnnken 

clepien hit Avren, 

for )>ane mseidene Abren, 

and for Locrine*B lafe 

)>e wes hire kine-loverd/ 

pe streonede Abren 

uppen ^strild. 

pa hefde heo i-sclawen yene 

and pe neowe quene and heora 

child ; 
and Avren hatte get thas ae, 

at Cristes-chirche heo fallet$ i 
]>are sse. 

Gaendolena had the upper 

and possessed herself of all this 

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

where Abren was drowned 
call it Avem, 
for the maiden Abren, 
and for the love of Locrine 
who was her natural lord, 
who begat Abren 
upon ^strild. 
Then had she slain the king 

and the new queen and her 
child ; 

and that river is still called 

it falleth into the sea at Christ- 


Among the manuscripts in the library of Corpus Christi 
college, Cambridge, is a copy of the early English Rule of 
Nims (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 
Fercel, 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. 278), 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 13th of February,t but the year is not 
stated. The greater part of this volume is written in the 
Anglo-Norman language, 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 fashionable 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 ; 2, a copy of 
the early Anglo-Norman prose version of the Psalms ; 8, a 
metrical Anglo-Norman version of some parts of the 
Psalms ; 4, the Bestiaire d' Amours, a poetical description 
of animals, &c. with curious moralisations ; 5, the rules 
given by Robert Grosteste for regulating the household 
and lands of a nobleman ; 6, the French version of Turpin's 
History of Charlemagne ; 7, a French treatise on confes- 
sion ; 8, various fragments, among which are many charms 
and a treatise on chiromancy ; 9, the Manuel des Pech^s, a 
weU-known religious poem attributed to Robert Grosteste ; 

• MS. C. C. C. Camb. No. 402. The particulars stated above are giyen 
in an inscription on the first leaf. 

f IduB Febr. Dedicacion de la eglise Seint Laurence de Lodelawe. 

fol. 1 TO. 


10^ an account of St. Patrick's Purgatory^ in French verse ; 
lly a French poem entitled La Pleinte d' Amour; 12, 
various religious matters, in Latin. 

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

^* In the sevene yer of hys kynedom the kyng the castel nom, 
Ac the emperesse ne vond he nogt, tho he yn com. 
Muche robberye me dude aboute in everych toun. 
And bounde men and enprisonede, vorte hii fynede raunsonn. 
Hii ne sparede namore clerkes than lewed men y-wys ; 
So that the byssopes vorte amendy thysy 
In the eygtethe yere of the k3mge8 kynedom 
At Londone hii hulde a parlement, that many man to com, 
And the kyng hym snlf was therate ; hii amansede tho 
Alle ihulke that clerkes such despyt dude and wo, 
That no man, bote the pope one, hem aooyly ne mygte. 
So that me hnld clerkes therafter bet to rygte." 

One of the most interesting manuscript collections of 
early English poetry known, preserved in the Harleian 
library in the British Museum (No. 2258), appears to have 
been written in Herefordshire, and most probably by a 
' clerk' 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 1307, but contains 
pieces composed during the reigns of Henry III. and Edward 
I. There are some political songs in it ;* and that against 

* The songs here alluded to, are printed in the Political Songs, (edited 
by the writer of the present volume), pp. 69, 185, 137, 149, 153, 155, 
182, 187, 212, 231, 237, 241. Some of the miscellaneous poems from this 
manuscript are printed in the Reliquise Antique, edited by Thomas Wright 
and James Orchard Halliwell, 2 vols. 8to. 1841, and 1842. 


the king of Almaigne^ the Lament of Simon de Montfort, 
the Order of Fair Ease, thfe 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 Oreat 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 the language 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 burde in a bour ase beryl so bryht, 
Ase saphyr in selver semly on sybt, 
Ase jaspe the gentil that lemeth with lyht, 
Ase gemet in golde, ant ruby wel ryht, 
. Ase onycle .he ys on y-holden on hyht, 
Ase diamaunde the dere in day when he is dyht ; 
He is coral y-cud with cayser and knyht, 
Ase emeraude a-morewen this may haveth myht. 

The myht of the margarite haveth this mai mere, 
For charbocle ich hire ches bi chyn ant by chere. 

Hire rode is ase rose that red is on rys, 
With lilye-white leres lossum he is ; 
The primerole he passeth, the parvenke of pris, 
With alisaundre thareto, ache ant anys ; 
Coynte ase columbine, such hire cunde ys, 

* The lyrical pieces from this volume have been edited by the writer 
of the present work in a small collection entitled Specimens of the 
Lyric Poetry of England in the reign of Edward I (published by the 
Percy Society). In the preface to that book arc stated the reasons for 
believing the MS. to have been written at Leominster. 
2 I) 


Olad under gore in gro ant in grjs, 

He is blosme opon bleo brihtest under bis. 

With celydojne ant sauge, ase thou thi self sys. 

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

He is 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 wilde laveroc ant wolc ant the wodewale ; 
He is fancoun in friht demest in dale. 
Ant with everuch a gome gladest in gale. 
From Weye he is wisist 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, thonh miht of the mone ; 

Trewe triacle y-told with tonges in trone ; 

Such licoris mai leche from lyve to lone, 

Such Sucre mon secheth 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 qulbibe ant comyn cud is in crone. 
Cud comyn in court, canel in cofre, 
With gyngyvre ant sedewale ant the gylofre. 

He is Medieme of miht, mercie of mede, 

Rekeoe ase Regnas resoun to rede ; 

Trewe as Tegen in tour, ase Wyrwein in wede ; 

Baldore then Byrne that of the bor bede ; 

Ase Wylcadoun he is wys, dohty of dede ; 

Feyrore then Floyres, folkes to fede ; 

Cud ase Cradoc in court carf the brede ; 

Hendore then Hilde that haveth me to hede. 
He haveth me to hede, this bendy anon, 
Oentil ase Jonas he joyeth with Jon." 

The allusions to the popular romances of the time in the 


last lines 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 Beformation.* 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 shroudes 
As I a sheep weere, 
In habite as an heremite 
Unholy of workes, 
Wente wide in this worlde 
Wonders to here ; 
Ac on a May morwenynge 
On Malveme hillcs 
Me bifel a ferly. 
Of fairye me thoughte. 
I was wery for-wandred, 
And wente mc to reste 
Under a brood bank 
By a bournes syde ; 
And as I lay and lenede. 
And loked on the watres, 
I slombred into a slepyng, 
It sweyed so murye." 

* An edition of this remarkable poem has been recently edited by 
the writer of the present volume, 2 vols, foolscap 8vo. Pickering, 1842. 


About seventy years after the date of Piers PloughmaQ, 
in the beginning of the reign of the unfortunate Henry YI 
(a. d. 1426), another border poet named John Awdlay (a 
bUnd 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 library at Oxford),* which, though inferior in 
merit and importance to Piers Ploughman, is still curious 
as a monument of the language of Shropshire in the earlier 
part of the fifteenth century. The following lines, which 
were almost prophetic of the misfortunes which fell upon 
that ill-fated monarch, may serve as a specimen. 

" Pray we that Lord is lord of all. 
To save our king, his reme ryalle, 
And let never myschip uppon him falle, 

Ne false traytoure him to betray ; 
I praye youe, sens, of your gentr^, 
Syng this carol reverently ; 
Fore it is mad of king Herr^, 

Gret ned fore him we han to pray ! 
Qif he fare wele, wele schul we be, 
Or ellis we may be ful sor6 ; 
Fore him schul wepe mon6 an e, 

Thus prophecis the blynd Awdlay." 

The book concludes with the following lines, 

'^ No mon this book he take away, 
Ny kutt owte noo leef, y say for why, 

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

Gef ye wil have any copi, 
Askus leeve and ye shal have, 

To pray for hjm specialy 
That hyt made, your soules to save, 

• MS. Douce, No. 302. Sec Halliwell, Introd. to Warkworth's Chro- 
nicle, p. xiY. For a detailed description of this MS. see the recently 
publiahed Catalogue of the Douce Library. 


Jon the blynde Awdelay, 
The fnret prest to the lord Strange he was ; 
Of thys chaantr6 here in thys place. 
That made thys bok by Goddns grace, 

Deeff, sick, blynd, as he lay." 

Contemporary, or nearly so, with ''blynde Awdelay," 
lived John Myrk, or Myrkes, a r^^ar 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 EngUsh 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 hym 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 go. 
So faren prestes now by dawe. 
They beth blynde in Goddes lawe. 
That whenne they scholde the pepul rede, 
Into synne they do hem lede. 
Thus they have do now falle yore. 
And alle ys for defawte of lore. 
Wharefore thou preste cnratoure, 
Gef thou plese thy savyoure, 
Gef thow be not grete clerke, 
Loke thow moste on thys werk ; 
For here thow myhte fynde and rede, 
That the behoveth to conne nede. 
How thow shalt thy paresche preche, 
And what the nedeth hem to teche ; 

* MS. Cotton. Claudius, A. II. In the manuscript the author is 
described as, ' frater Joannes Myrcus, canonicus regularis monaaterii dc 


And whyche thou moste thy self be. 
Here also thow myght hy t se ; 
For laytel ys worthy thy prechynge, 
Qef thow be of evyl lyvynge." 

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 vigour ; but aflter 
Chaucer, as it progresses towards the middle of the fifteenth 
century, the darkest period of English history, it becomes 
continually heavier and duller until it d^enerates into the 
prosaic rhymes of Awdelay and John Myrk. 

It will be seen by these specimens that the Kngliah 
language had gone through a great change since the days 
of Layamon. It is imnecessary to trace it further, for the 
alteration since the days of " blind Awdelay'* is compara- 
tively small. Among the Harleian manuscripts (No. S088), 
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 from the «gents 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 hense wynde ; 
For if thou leve thi part 
In thi secaturs ward, 

thi part non part at last end. 
Too secatars and an overseere make thre theeves." 

Many other interesting manuscripts, which belonged 
originally to the border monasteries, are probably extant 
in our pubHc Hbraries. A fine monument of border science 
is preserved in the large map of the world, made apparently 
about the beginning 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 Greography in London (at whose 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 centiury to the fifteenth, there was a continual 
transfer of landed property from the laity ^^ the monastic 
houses, imtil their united riches exceeded those of any 
other class of the commimity. Although the monasteries 
were originally the schools of learning, the advance 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 
their own false and anomalous position in society was not 
calculated to bear the light. They had even drawn within 
their influence, and stifled, the imiversities, which had 
been the fertile hot-beds of science during the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries. 

In Shrop8hire,t the principal houses foimded during the 
thirteenth century, were, Brewood, a priory of white or 

* This cnxioiu map is confiimed by the Pope as being a true picture of 
the earth. It is stated in the following metrical description to have been 
made by Richard of Haldingham and Lafford.- - 

Tuz ki cest estorie ont, 

On oyront, ou luront, ou reront; 

Prient & Jhesu en deyt^, 

De Richard de Haldingham e de Lafiford eyt pit6, 

Ki Tat fet c compass^, 

Ki joye en eel 11 seit don6. 

t In our list of the earlier monasteries, in a former section, we have 
omitted that of Wombridge, founded in the twelfth century by William 
Fitz Alan. 


Cistercian nuns, founded about the beginning of the cen- 
tury, the site of which is now named White Ladies, and is 
celebrated as having been a place of refuge to Charles II, 
after the battle of Worcester ; the abbey of Praemonstni- 
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 III, 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 same reign ; a house of black monks of 
the order of Grandmont, at Alberbury, foimded by Pulke 
Fitz Warine. There was also a house of the order of 
Grrandmont at Diddlebury in Corve Dale. At Ludlow, 
there was a house of Augustine (or Austin) friars without 
Goalford Gate, founded a short time before the year 1S82, 
where it is first mentioned ; in the 9th Edward II (a. n. 
1326), Robert Dobyn gave them two acres of land to 
enlarge their dwelling .♦ At a later period, about the 
year 1349, a house of white friars was established without 
Corve Gate; 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, Wormesley (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 GtXMirich; 
a priory of the order of Grandmont, at Cresswell, or Cares- 
well, near Ewyas, supposed to have been foimded by Walter 
de Lacy; Home Lacy, an abbey of Prsemonstratensian 

• See the Monaslicon, vol. vi. p. 1599. 


canons^ founded by William Fitz Swain. To these we 
may add a hospital at Ledbury^ founded by the bishop of 
Hereford, in 1232. The house of the grey friars in Here- 
ford was founded by William de Pembrugge in the reign 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; Ratlingcope, 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 ; Acley, a cell 
of the abbey of Lyre (Lira) ; Titley, or Tutel^, a, cell to the 
abbey of Tyrone in France. To this long Ust of religious 
houses might be added several smaller cells, and numerous 

A considerable number of the churches 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. Lawrence at Ludlow, which, in its present 

ChnrrhoFSt. Lnwrtnce, Ludlow. 



shape, was built probably in the leign of Edward II, or early 
in that of Edward III. The college, which belonged to a 
gild of palmers (gilda palmarioruin), was founded by 
Edward III, probably in 1389, when their first charts 
appears to have been granted.* One of its main olgects, 
as stated in the early documents relating to it, was to 
provide 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- 
firmed by Henry YIII. 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 free-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, Bichard, earl of Cornwall, having 
obtained from William Mauduit the castle and manor of 
Holgod, gave it with other lands to the Templars, who 
from 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 

• In the printed Calendar of the Patent RolU (which is exceedingly 
imperfect), there are indications of three entries relating to the Palmer's 
Gild at Ludlow during the reign of Edward HI, namely in the 3rd, 18th, 
and 31st years of his reign, a. d. 1329, 1344, and 1357. 


at Dinmore Hill^ in Herefordshire^ and at Bridgenorthy 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 fScequently enlarged 
and strengthened. The few rolls of expenses in reparations 
and building, still preserved 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 accounts 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 carrying stones and gravel to fill up 
the foss (probably dug for laying the foimdations) at the 
rate of five-pence each day. A man who was employed to 
help him had three-halfpence a day. Three men occupied 
in making the foimdations 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 walls 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 himdred 
spike-nails cost sixteen-pence ; four hundred board-nails, 
twelve-pence; a thousand lath-nails, ten-pence; and five 

* Hundred Rolls, p. 69. 


hundred '' single nails/' ten-pence. Moreover^ sixteen- 
pence was expended in '^ gumphs" and hinges ; and a carter 
received five-pence a day during four days for carrying day 
to plaster the walls ; a man who dug the clay had three- 
halfpcDce 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 building 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- 

* Item, comput. in stipend, .j. carectar. cum carect. sua per .iij. dies ad 
cariand petras et argillum ad implend. fossam sub nova domo domini in 
medio ville, .xt. d. capient. per diem, v. d. Et in mercede .j. hominis 
juvant. diet, carectar. per dictos tres dies .iiij. d. ob. capient. per diem 
.j. d. ob. Et in mercede .iij. hominum ad faciend. sub sold, predicta, 
vidz. fundament per .iij. dies, .xiij. d ob. capient. per diem j. d. ob. Et 
in stipend. J. carectar. cum carecta sua carient. mercmium ad dictam 
soldam de novo faciend. per .ij. dies, .x. d. Et in mercede g. hominia 
juvant. eidem per dictos duos dies, .iij. d. Et in stipend, carpen. fac. 
dictam domum ad tasc. .xvg. s. Et in yirg. empt. pro parietibus, .vj. d. 
Et in stipend, ij. hominum facient. dictis parietes cum dictis yirg. per iij. 
dies, .ix. d. cap. per diem .j. d. ob. Et in .j . mille sindell. empt. de Johanne 
Loyt, iij. s. Et in cariag. dictarum sindellarum ad dictam domum, .ij. d. 
Et in stipen. sarratorum et carpen. facient. cccc. sindell. de meremio 
domini .iiij. s. dand. pro. c xij. d. Et in .cccc. spiking, empt ad idem 
xvj. s. Et in .cccc. bordnail empt. ad idem .xij. d. Et in mille lathenail 
empt. ad idem .x. d. Et in .y. c. singelnail empt. ad idem .x. den. Et in 
gumphis et yertinellis emp. ad idem, .xrj. d. Et in stipen. j. carectar. 
carient. argil' um pro dictis parietibus plastrand. per .iiij. dies, .xx. d. cap. 
per diem .v. d. Et in stipen. .j. hominis fodient. diet, argill. per .iiij. 
dies .vj. d. Et in stipen. .j. hominis ad plastrand. diet, pariet. ad tasc. 
.ij. 8. .ij. d. Summa .xUy. s. .sj. Fragment of a bill of Accounta of a 
Bailiff of *< OswaldeBtre," temp. Edw. IL, at the Rolls House. 


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, compnt. in diyera. expensis stipend, circa depo&icionem domo- 
rmn in caatro, quia ruinos., a festo Sancti Mich, usque ad festum Sancti 
Nicholai, et ad reparand. veteres cameras ultra portam castri capelle et 
pontis castriy et ad edificand. coquinam castri et partem soldarum de novo, 
et parcos reparand. .iiij. IL .xiiij. d. ob. ut patet per billam examinat per 
sen. et sigillo suo signat Et in stipend, fabr. facient gumphos et yertinellos 
corur. gaiole ad tasc. .viij. d. Et in factur. .j. plumbi de plumbo domini 
pro aqua calificand. .iij. den. Et in stipend .j. carpentar. cooperient. le 
ffoiles cum sindell. ad tasc. .▼. s. Item in sindell. empt. ad idem, .xij. d. 
Et in mille bordnail empt. ad idem, .ij. s. .Tj. d. prec. .c. .iij. d. * £t in 
mille et cccc. singcl nail empt. ad idem. .ij. s. .iiij. d. prec. .c. .ij. d. 
Et in reparacione del puntfield .ij. d. Et in serur. ad hostium ejusdem 
.ij. d. Et in serur. empt. ad cameram in turr. .ij. d; Et in reparac 
pariet. del brutag. .iij. d. Et in serur. empt. ad dictum brutag, .ij.d. Et 
in stipen, .j. carpent. facient, parram domum ultra puteum per J. 
septim. .ij. s. Et in .Ix. tabul. empt. pro. coopertor. dicte domus 
.iij. 8. .iiij. d. Et in .cc. spiking, empt. ad idem .viij. d. Et in stipend, 
dicti carpen. per .j. septim, ad pariend. diet, tabulas et ad cooperiend. 
dictam domum .ij. s. Et in stipend, .iiij. hominum ad removend. petras 
de area mercand. per .j. diem .yj. d. Et ad plastrand. pariet. de le>foiles. 
com calce .r. d. Snmma .c .ij. s. .ix. d. ob. Ibid. 



Wlfmore ViUaf* uid Church. 


The Mortimers of Wigmore. 

AFTER the battle of Evesham, the English counties on 
the Welsh border were delivered from the inroads of the 
Welsh. Their prince Llewelyn observed with good faith 
during the remainder of Henry's reign the treaty which he 
had made with the English monarch after the event alluded 
to; but on the accession of his son to the throne, he 
appears again to have entertained hopes of establishing i. bis 
own independence. For some time he avoided opr.Jv . *- 
lities. King Edward was crowned at Westminster on the 
19th of August, 1274, immediately after his arrival ia 
England. Llewelyn had been summoned to attend! 
king on that occasion, in order to take the same oa:;Jtf» 
allegiance by which he had been bound to king He 
but he treated the summons with contempt, as well*^! 
another in the year following to attend the king's first 
paiUament in London. The abbots of Dore and Hagmon 


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 smnmoned 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 evaded, and after a slight 
attempt at negociation, the prince of Wales placed himself 
in a hostile attitude, and on the 12th December, 1276, the 
king summoned his army to meet at Worcester on the 
octaves of St. John the Baptist (July 1, 1277). 

At this conjuncture a circiunstance occurred wliich em- 
barrassed Llewelyn in his plans. Before the battle of 
Evesham, he had been betrothed to Alianora daughter of his 
friend Simon de Montfort, on whose death the countess fled 
with her daughter to a nunnery at IVlontargis, which had 
been founded by the sister of her husband. At the begin- 
ning of 1277, not aware probably of the hostile feeUngs 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 
po»»^t of Cornwall the ship which carried her fell in with a 
r ueet, and they were seized and carried before the 

king, who^committed Aimery to sure custody, and retained 
rhe lady at his court as his ward. 

*lie king having assembled his army on the border, 

•^•^i^ at Chester early in the autumn of 1277. His 

; vrrcence on this occasion is said to have been rendered 

cessary 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 rayaged a consideiable 
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 was 
one of the chief articles stipulated in the treaty, in all other 
respects extremely galling to the Welsh. The king remained 
at Rhuddlan 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 Montfort took place soon after 
the ratification of the treaty. 

About three years after the marriage of Llewelyn and 
Alianora de Montfort, the struggle began in which the in- 
dependance 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 1282. On the night of Palm Sunday in that 
year (which was the 22nd of March) he surprised the castle 
of Hawardine, slew the knights who had the care of its 
defence, and carried away captive the justiciary of Wales, 
Roger de Clifford. He then jomed with his brother in 
laying siege to the castles of Flint and Rhuddlan. King 
Edward was celebrating Easter at Devizes, when intel- 
ligence 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 barons to march 
towards the border; on the 13th 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 
SOth he arrived in person at Gloucester. We can trace the 
king's movements slowly along the border, while he was 
arranging his extensive plan of operations. On the 20th 


of May^ being then at Worcester, he appointed his army to 
meet at Bhuddlan ; on the S4th he was at Hartlebury, in 
his pn^ress towards Chester^ where we find him on the 
8th and 10th of June. He was at Bhuddlan before the 
15th of July, on which day he wrote to the Sheriff of 
Gloucestershire for a hundred good caupiatores (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 
Giffiurd of Brimsfield. The accounts of the engagement 
arc obscure, and differ from each other ; but it appears that 
Llewelyn being separated from his army with 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, 1282, they 
cut off his head, and sent it to king Edward, who ordered 
it to be placed on the Tower of London. The arch-bishop 
of Canterbury, 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 appears 
that Maude de Longespee, the wife 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 the ground that he had shown no signs 

• The interesting letter of the archbishop of Canterbury to the king is 
printed in the Foedera, vol. ii. p. 619. 


of repentance in his last moments^ 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 impUcated 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 prisoner to Bhuddlan. The capture of David completed 
the subjugation of his country; and the king, finding no 
further opposition, 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 eonquest. 

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 was in the 
summer of 1287 ; under Bees ap Mereduc 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 lady here mentioned was daughter and heiress of Walter de 
Clifford, lord ef Corfton and Culmington, the nephew of Fair Rosamond. 
She was the widow of William Longespee, and had been forcibly carried 
away from her manor-honse by John Giffard, who afterwards obtained the 
king's allowance of his marriage, which had been contracted without 
licence. On the 6th of November, 1280, a licence was given to this John 
Giffard to hunt wolves with dogs and nets in all forests in England. 
Fcedera, ii. p. 587. 


Clare, who had been driven from his estates in the county 
of Glamorgan, and Edmund de Mortimer. The Welsh, 
however, were mistaken on one point: the king had not 
quitted the English shore when he received intelligence 
of their insurrection, and he hastened into Wales with 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 
coimtry had been ravaged with fire and sword, they were 
driven by famine to an unconditional surrender, and their 
chieflains were carried away into captivity. But the king 
was obliged to pass his winter in Wales, where he oele- 
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 indu]^ 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 werrs in WaUia quleyemnt, et WaUenses more 
Aiiglicomm peiie vivere incoeperunt, thesauios congregantes et rerum damna 
de cetero formidaDtes. Tho. Walsingham, p. 63. A similar account of 
the change in the manners of the Welsh is given in the rythmical Cambrico 
Epitome, printed among the poems of Walter Mapes, L 185 :— 

Mores brutales Britonnm Hinc si qusratur ratio, 

jam, ex convictu Saxonum, qnietius quam solito 

commntantur in melius, cur illi yivant hodie ; 

ut patet luce clarius. in causa sunt diyitis, 

Hortos et agros excolunt ; quas cito gens heec perderet 

ad oppida sa conferunt ; si passim nunc confligeret. 

et loricati equitant, Timor damni hos retrahit ; 

et caloeati peditant ; nam nil habens nil metuit, 

urbane se reficiunt; ct, ut dixit Satyricus, 

ct sub tapetis dormiunt ; cantat yiator yacuus 

ut judicentur Anglici, coram latrone tutior 

nunc potius quam Wallici. quam phaleratui ditior. 


put of the populatioD was drawn off to serve in the Scottish 

At this period the three most powerfid fiunilies im. the 
English side of the border were those of Clare, Bohun, and 
Mortimer. Grilbert de Clare, earl of Gloooester, 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 fieivour with Edward I, whose daughter, Joane of 
Acre, he married. He had the command of the army 
which invaded South Waks in 1287. He died in 1295; 
and was succeeded by his son Gilbert, who was slain in 
1S18 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 *&on, Humphrey 
de Bohun, earl of Hereford, and his grandson, Humphrey, 
who died before his fether, were staunch adherents of 
Simon de Montfort, and ;vere both among the prisoners 
taken at the battle of Evesham. Humphrey de Bohun, the 
son of the latter, who succeeded to his grand&ther'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 Plantagenet, fell a sacrifice 
to his attachment to the popular cause in the reign of 
Edward II. 

The power and wealth of the Mortimers had been con- 
stantly increasing since the reign of Henry HI, when 
Roger de Mortimer had contributed so gieatly to the final 
triumph of the crown. He was eminent among his con- 
temporaries for his splendour and magnificence. When 
his three sons, Edmund, William, and Geoffrey, were 


knighted by king Edward I^ he held a great tournament at 
Kenilworth; and a ' round table/ entertaining sumptuously 
for three days a hundred knights, with as many ladies, at 
his own expense ; and having himself gained the prize of a 
Hon of gold, on the fourth day he carried all his guests to 
Warwick. The fame of Roger's gallantry was spread 
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* 
bunde 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 1303, or 1304, in a battle 
with the Welsh near Builth, in the same neighbourhood 
where Llewelyn 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. 

Boger de Mortimer, the eldest son and successor of 
Edmund, was only sixteen years of age at the time of his 
fitdier's death, and was given in ward by the king to Piers 
Graveston, 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 Geneville, 
by which union he added to his vast possessions the 
castle of Ludlow. The castlb of Wigmore continued, 

* Ad dicta hastiludia in dictis regnis prseconizata, flasculas ligneas, 
deanratis barris et cera ligatos, yini sab specie, auro tamen pianos, in dicta 
Abbathia de Wyggemore adhuc habitos, eidem Rogero fertur transmisisse ; 
ipseque dominns Rogerus, ejusdem reginae ob amorem, carbunculum annis 
Boifl ad totam yitam suam addidisse noscitur. Monasticon. vi. p. 351. 



however^ to be the chief seat of the Mortimer family : and 
the few mouldering ruins which still remain are sufficient 
to show the strength and importance of this once princely 

Wig more Caitle. 

The three great border lords, Roger de Mortimer, Gilbert 
de Clare earl of Gloucester, and Humphrey de Bohun 
earl of Hereford, were all actively engaged in the Scottish 
war. Gilbert de Clare and Humphrey de Bohun led the 
attack at the battle of Bannockbum, where the former was 
slain, and the latter immediately afterwards was made a 
prisoner by the Scots in Bothwell castle, where he had 
taken shelter. He obtained his liberty by exchange, and 
returned with Roger de Mortimer to protect their own 
estates from the threatened invasion of the Welsh. In 
1816, a Welsh chief named Llewelyn Bren, collected to- 
gether a great number of his coimtrymen, and invaded 
Gloucestershire, cruelly devastating the country through 
which he passed. One of the b^ons most active in this 
war was John de Cherlton of Cherlton, or Charlton, in 

* The castle of Wigmore is seated on an eminence (its ruins now 
concealed by trees and underwood), commanding an extensive view. It 
is about eight miles from Ludlow. The hills on the right of our cut lay 
between Wigmore and Ludlow. 


ShropBhire^ who had married 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 Boger de Mortimer was ap- 
pointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. 

The barons of the Welsh bolder acted a prominent part 
in the civil dissension which ended in the deposition of 
the weak and unprincipled monarch who now sat on the 
EngUsh 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 
Gilbert'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-imcle, 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 outbreak 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 Despensers ; but the 
tide turned, and at the battle of Boroughbridge, in 13S2, 
Humphrey de Bohun was slain, and Henry of Lancaster 
taken and put to death. Among the prisoners on this 
occasion were the two Rogers de Mortimer, John de Cherl- 
ton, and many other borderers. John de Cherlton obtained 

• See Th. VTalsingham, p. 113. 


his pardon ; but the Mortimers were conmiitted to rigorous 
confinement in the tower, where the elder died soon after. 

It is said that the king had ahready condemned Roger de 
Mortimer of Wigmore to the scaffold, when he was lAiex- 
pectedly deprived of his prey. On the feast of St. Peter 
ad Yincula (the 1st day of August), 1S2S, 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 
Segrave'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 found 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*8 escape was known at court, 
several proclamations were issued, commanding the king's 
subjects to raise the hue-and-cry after 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 Ist of October 
another proclamation 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.t 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 known to be detailed 
here. On his return to England, as a memorial of his 
escape, he built a chapel in the outer ward of the castle of 

• FoBdera, vol. ii. part 1, p. 530. f Foedera, ib. p. 537. 


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 century. 

One of the most ardent partizans of Roger de Mortimer 
was Adam de Orleton, bishop of Hereford. He had been 
raised to that see in 1317 ; 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. 1821, 2), 
Roger de 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 Staneford, they took brazen pots and 
platters, and linen and woollen cloth, of the value of twenty 
shillings ; and of John le Shepherd of Bruncester, they 
took a cow of the price of eight shillings. From thence 
they went towards Ledbury, and stopped at Bosebury, 

* Undo et in honorem S. Petri capellam in ulteriori warda castri de 
Lodelawe, illam capellam S. Petri yocatam, cum unius capellaui ibi 
perpetuo celebraturi canluaria noscitur construxisse. Account of the 
Mortimers, in the Monasticon, vi. p. 351. 

t Rolls of Parliament, vol ii. p. 127. One of the persons who made 
this deposition bore the singular name of Adam Halfcnakod. 



Mrhere they had a long consultation with the bishop of 
Hereford. They then went to Ledbury, where they robbed 
different 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 amount of 
twenty shillings. Two days afterwards, Adam de Qrleton, 
who was still at Bosebury, 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 Dolet mihi caput, and representing that 
since the sickness of the head affected the whole body, when 
the head was found to be unfit for government, it was 
requisite that some effective remedy should be applied. It 
is said also that this prelate instigated the queen to the 
murder of her husband : and, according to a popular story, 
it was he who fabricated the famous message which, by the 
different placing of a comma, admits of entirely opposite 
interpretations : — 

" Edwardum occidere nolite timere bonum est." 

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

One of the first acts of the parliament called by Mortimer 
and the queen, was 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 Worcester, but a few 
years afterwards, in 183S, he was further advanced to the 


bishopric of Winchester, in the possession of which he died 
in 1345. This promotion was also the fruit of his poUtical 
intr^es, and contrary to the wishes of the king, in whose 
favour he appears never to have stood very high. Adam de 
Orleton 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 
recommendation 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 kuig 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 
sccordmglj, 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 
friends that he was obliged to conceal himself among the 
woods in the neighbourhood of Glamorgan. Roger de 
Mortimer with the queen hastened to the border; and 
passed the last days of the year 1327 at Hereford. Thither 
the unfortunate king was brought a prisoner; and before 
they left that city several of his partizans were beheaded or 
hanged. The favourite, Hugh Despenser, was condemned 
to the same cruel punishment to which the Welsh prince, 
David, had been subjected at Shrewsbury ; with this dif- 
ference only, that the English 'traitor,' was suspended on a 
gallows fifty feet high. 
Within a few months after the deposition of Edward II, 

• Tho. WaUingham, Hist. Angl. p. 133. 


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.* Roger de 
Mortimer was now blinded by his ambition^ and set no 
bounds to Ids 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 Geotbej 
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 govenmient 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 1331, 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.f Several of Mortimer's friends were con- 
demned along with him. 

* Exinde rex Edwardiia tertius ad Marchlam transUt, et in castm dicti 
domini Rogeri comitis, de Loddelowe et de Wyggemore, forestiBque et 
parcis, cum maximis expensis in communiis, hastiludiis, et aliis soladis, 
mimificisque donarlis sibi et sois largiter effusis, regaliter per nonnnllos 
dies tractatns, &c. Monasticon, yi. p. 352. 

t The charges against Roger de Mortimer specified in the Rolls of Par- 
liament, 4 Edward III, are, that he had been, by his intrigues, instrumental 
in the fall of Edward II ; that he had caused him to bo remeyed from 
Kenilworth to Berkeley castle, where ho had been at least priyy to his 


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 (29th November), 1831, from whence 
some years afterwards his body was removed to Wigmore. 
This statement, however, seems to be contradicted by a 
doctmient printed in the Fcedera, by which the king on the 
seventh day of November, in the same year, orders the 
Friars 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 forefathers. Most 
of them were left minors, and died at an early age. Edmund 

murder; tliat he oYorawed the parliament assembled at Salisbury by force 
of arms, and obtained by undue means large grants from the crown, and 
the title of earl of March ; that he had oppressed and persecuted the earl 
of Lancaster and other peers of the land, because they opposed themseWes 
to his tyranny and ambition ; that he had, by his intrigues, urged the earl 
of Kent into open rebellion, and then procured his condemnation and 
execution for high treason ; that, usurping the royal power, he had caused 
the king to bestow on his family and friends, castles, towns, manors, and 
franchises in England, Wales, and Ireland, to the prejudice 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 priyate uses ; 
that he had used in the same manner twenty thousand marks paid by 
the Scots ; that he had &youred 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 his own creatures. 

* Rex delectis sibi gardiano et fratribus Minorum de Coventr. sal. 
Qoia de gratia nostra special! concessimus Johannie, quic fuit uxor Rogeri 
de Mortuomari nuper comitis Marchise, et Edmundo fllio ejusdem comitis, 
quod corpus ipsius Rogeri usque Wyggemore ducero et illud ibidon traderc 
possint ecclesiastics sepulturte. FcEdera, ii. p. 828. 


de Mortimer^ Roger's eldest son, suryived 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, doling 
his minority, to the custody of his step-&ther, 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 1354 he obtained a reversal of the at- 
tainder of his grand-father, and it was declared in fbU 
parliament that the charges on which Roger de Mortimer 
had been condemned were false, and his sent^ce 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 
1360, 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' II he 
was made lord lieutenant of Ireland, in which office he died 
in 1381. He married the lady PhUippa Plantagenet, 
daughter and heir of Lionel duke of Ckrence, by which 
union he gave to his descendants their title to the English 
crown, the cause of so much bloodshed in the following 
century. Besides his heir and successor, Roger de Mor- 
timer, he left 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 
son, married the daughter of Owen Glyndwr. - John de 
Mortimer, the third son, was condemned and executed for 
treasonable speeches in the reign of Henry YI. Of the 
daughters, Elizabeth, the eldest, was married to Henry 
Percy, Shakespeare's Hotspur. 

Roger Mortimer, fourth earl of March, was only seven 
vears old at the time of his father's death, and he 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. 1885, this R(^er 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 HI. 

Edmund Mortimer, fifth earl of March, was left an orphan 
at the age of six years, and was committed in ward to 
Henry prince of Wales. After having distinguished him- 
self in the French wars, he died childless in 14S4, 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. 


The Welsh Border during the fourteenth and early part of 
(he fifteenth centuries. 

THE condition of society in England underwent no 
great variations during the fourteenth century, although it 
was in a continual state of fermentation. The lower orders 
were oppressed and miserable, and during the whole of the 
period just mentioned they were either passively or actively 
at war with their superiors. The coimtry was overrun by 


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 offered 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 oppressions of the 
purveyors and taxers on the one hand, and the turbulence of 
the peasantry on the other, form frequent subjects of com- 
plaint in the parliaments of Edward III and Richard II. 

The borders of Wales not only bore their full share of 
these grievances, but they had also to suffer from the vicinity 
of a people of a different race, who, though nominally in 
peace and alUance, 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 there daily 
divers manslaughters, felonies and other 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 the offences were committed."* The 

• Rolls of Parliament, 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 
CTLcouragement 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 coimties of Salop, Hereford, 
Worcester, and Gloucester, but even those of Lancaster, 
Derby, Leicester, and York, were daily disturbed by the 
iiLhabitants of Cheshire, who " come sometimes by day and 
sometimes by night, with great routs of armed men in war- 
like array, and there commit various felonies, trespasses 
and extortions, namely, they slay people, burn houses, 
ravish ladies and damsels, and other people they maim, 
beat, and otherwise 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 friends would not 
consent to redeem them for exorbitant sums of money, 
or to give with them their dowers, in marriage to their 
ravishers, they not only ill treated them, but they made 
these and other causes of quarrels with 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 illustrative of 
the social condition of our forefathers. The accounts of 
the tax of a fifteenth of personal property raised in 1801, as 

♦ Holla of Parliament, voK iii. pp. 139, 201, 280. 


far as it concerned Colchester, give ns 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 clasp, of the value of 9d. and one 
ring, valued at 12d. ; iji his chamber, one robe, price 10s., 
one bed, price 3s., one napkin 9d., one towel, 6d. ; in his 
kitchen, one brass pot, 2s., one brazen platter, 12d., one 
brazen saucepan (pociuatum), 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, 
3s., two quarters of oats, at 2s. the quarter ; two pigs, Ss. 
each, two porkers 18d. each, one pound of wool, 8s., fagots 
for the fire, 2b. 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, 3s., one quarter of barley, 3s., one heifer (afirus), 
3s. 4d., one bullock, 6s., one weak cart, 3s., one ander and 
one gridiron, 8d., one tripod, 3d. — 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 tripod, 4d., 


two quarters of fine wheats Ss. the quarter^ one quarter of 
oats, 80d., one mare^ Ss., two oxen, each Gs., two bullocks, 
each Ss., two cows, each 5s. — ^Nicholas le Coupere (i. e. the 
wood cutter), had a super-tunic, or frock, £s., 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, Sid., 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 (lagense), 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, Ss. each, two table- 
cloths, 2a., two towels, 8d. each ; in the brewhouse, a brazen 
pot, 5iOd., a saucepan, lOd., a brazen platter, 12d.; in his 
grange, one quarter of fine wheat, Ss., two quarters of 
barley, Ss. each, two quarters of fine oats, at 20d. per 
quarter, one heifer (aftus), half a mark, hay, 2s., one cow, 
59., two pigs, 18d. each, one piece of russet cloth, 8s. ; bark 
in the tannery, half a mark, hides, two marks, tubs and 
* algecB* for tanning, half a mark ; a gridiron and a tripod, 
M. ; in all £5 : 68. : lOd. — ^William Gray, apparently a 
mercer, one clasp, 12d., two silver spoons, 8d. each ; in his 
chamber, two robes, 7s. 6d. each, two beds, Ss. 6d. each, 
one table-cloth, 12d., two towels, 6d. each ; in the kitchen, 
one brazen pot, 2s., one saucepan, 12d. ; one cow, 5s., two 
pigs, 28. each, one hackney, 4s., hay, 12d. ; one piece of 
russet cloth, a mark ; one quarter of barley, Ss., one quarter 
of fine oats, 20d., fire wood, 12d. ; in gloves, pxirses, girdles, 
wax and other small things in his mercery, 16s. ; two tubs, 
18d., two barrels, I2d., two small tubs, 6d., two ' algese,' 
W.; one fire-iron, Sid., one tripod, Sjd. — Cristina la 
Glovere had one bullock, valued at 2s. 8d., and " no other 
chattels." — Agnes the miller had in money, 2s.; in her 
treasury, or cupboard, one silver clasp, lOd., and one ring, 


6d. ; in her chamber, one robe> Ss., two beds, Ss., one table- 
cloth, 12d., one towel, 6d. ; in the brewhouse, two small 
brazen pots, 18d. each, one brazen platter, lOd. ; one 
quarter of wheat, 46., half a quarter of a different quality, 
18d., one quarter of barley, 3s., one quarter of oats, 2s.; 
stones for hand mills, 4s., divers cords, 5s., oil, lis., a 
tripod, 4d. — ^R<^er, 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, ISd., a brazen platter, 8d., half a 
quarter of wheat, ISd., a quarter of barley, 3s., a quarter of 
oats, 20d., a boat, 10s., a tripod, 3d. — Sir Robert Fitz 
Walter, had in his manor at Lexinden, ten quarters of 
wheat, 3s. the quarter, twenty quarters of oats, 8Ss. 4d., 
six mares, worth 3s. each, four oxen, 10s. each, sixty ewes,' 
12d. 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 1324, 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 underwood, 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 10s. a year, '^ and not more, because weak aod 
ruinous."* In 1363, when poultry was scarce and extra- 
vagantly dear, an act of parUament was passed, fixing the 
highest prices of a young capon at 3d; 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.J 

• Rolls of Parliament, vol. i. p. 420. f Ih, vol ii. p. 280. 

} Rolls of Parliament, 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 chieftains 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 Bromfield 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 
rebeUions. When John de Cherlton claimed through his 
wife the lordship of Powys, 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 RoUs of 
ParUament, "our lord the king understanding, that by 
reason of the feud which has long time been between 


Monsire John de Cherlton and Monsire Griffith 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 peradventnre war may easily 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 Clim, Oswestry, and Shrawardine, 
executed at Hereford in the beginning of Edward's reign 
(or rather at the end of that of his father), 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 families of Cherlton and Fitzalan inter- 

The protection afforded by the feudal privileges of the 
lords marchers was as destructive to the tranquillity of the 
border, as the peculiar jurisdiction claimed by thSs 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."t 

Edward III appears to have been ever suspicious of the 
fidelity of the Welsh. In 1334, 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. ii. p. 59. 
t Rolls of Parliament, vol. ii. p. 91. 


following, when the king was eng^ed in his wars in Scot- 
land, and was apprehensive that the Welsh, of whose levity 
and turbulence he complains with 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, Roger de Mortimer and Joane his 
wife obtained license to hold a fair in Ludlow on the eve of 
St. Katherine (the 26th of November) and the four days 
following, for ever.J 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, 1376, his son, Edmimd 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 Carreu, 
Peter de la Mare, knight, John de Bisshopestone, clerk, 

* £z quorum effnenata leritate visa sunt pluries mala plurima proyenire. 

t Foedera, ii. pp. 895, 913, &c. A singular occurrence is alluded to in 
a document of the year 1336 (ib. p. 937). It appears that Edward II, in his 
flight into Wales, had carried with him his treasure, which, in his last 
perils, he had buried. The document just mentioned is an order for an 
inquisition relating to the discovery of this treasure, " in florenis, denariis 
numeratis, vasis aureis et argenteis, jocalibus, armaturis, victualibus, et 
aliis rebus," to the amount of sixty thousand pounds, found " in partibus 
de Glamorgan et Morgannok in Wallia," and dispersed and carried away 
by " divers malefactors." 

} See the Calendar to the Charter Rolls, p. 159. and the Liber Niger of 
Wigmore, MS. Hari. No. 1240, fol. 24. vo. 

\ The charters relating to this transfer are enumerated in the valuable 
l^ber Niger, or Black Book, of Wigmore, mentioned in the foregoing note : 
^fortunately the leaves which contained the copies of them, have been 
cut out. 


Walter de Colmptone, clerk, and Hugh de Borastone^ for 
the term of their lives, with reversion to Simon bishop 
of London, William hishop of Winchester, William bishop 
of Hereford, Roger de Beauchamp, knight, and Jobn de 
Bridwode, clerk, for the term of their lives, after which it 
was to revert to the Mortimers. Edmund de Mortimer's 
charter of this grant is dated at Hereford, on the 5?5th 
of November.* 

During the rest of the reign, of Edward IH, the Welsh 
seem to have continued in quiet obedience to the English 
laws. They appear in history chiefly as furnishing con- 
tinual levies to increase the EngUsh 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 Wehh did not altogether insure the tranquillity of 
the English marches. It apx>ear8 that towards the middle 
of the fourteenth century the English counties beyond the 
Severn were overrun by bands of outlaws. In Gloucester- 
shire they had joined together and elected themselves a 
chieftain, to whom they gave sovereign power, and in 
whose 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 
subjects on the other. In 1347 the king sent a commission 
to Gloucester to concert means of seeking out the offenders, 
and bringing them to justice.f 

The king'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 1369 an order was issued forbidding the men of Shrews- 
bury to quit their houses on the pretence of attending the 

• See the Liber Niger of Wigmore, MS. Harl. No. 1240, fol. 46, to. 
t Foedera, vol. iii, p. 126. 


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 sherifEs 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 Wiclyffe, 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 be seen in 

the following specimen 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 persecution 
In pure liif suffren, 

• Foedera, vol. iii. pp. 869, 901, 1075. 


They ban the benison of God, 

Blissed in erthe. 

I pray, parceyve now 

The pursut of a frere, 

In what mesure of a mekenesse 

Tbise men deletb. 

Bybold upon Water Brut 

Hon bisiliche thei pursueden. 

For he seid hem the sothe.* 

Fly may no mo marren hem, 

But men telleth 

That he is an heretik, 

And yvele byleveth, 

And precheth it in pulpit 

To blenden the puple. 

They wolden awyrien that wight 

For his wel dedes, 

And so they chewen charity, 

As chewen shaf houndes/'t 

A few years later^ the celebrated Sir John Oldcastle (lord 
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 coimties. It is probable that the favourable 
eye with which Richard regarded them tended not a little 
to render him unpopular on the border. In 1387, when 

* i. e. because he told them the troth. 

t They would curse that creature (Walter Brut) for his good deeds, 
and so they eschew charity, as dogs eschew chaff. 


the great barons had begun to enter into hostile league, 

against the king's favourite, Robert de Vere, then newly 

created duke of Ireland, Richard and the fayourite repaired 

into Wales in order to consult with more security on means 

to crush the conspiracy. They returned from thence to 

Nottingham, where a parUament 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 with 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 year, 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, which he put in effect 
towards Easter, carrying with him an army raised chiefly 
in Cheshire. While the king was engaged ia 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. The sequel is 
well known. King Richard left Ireland and landed in 
Wales; after wandering about the coast deserted by his 
friends, and not finding the support he expected from the 
Welsh, he threw himself into Conway castle. From thence 


he Temoved to the castle of Flint, and there he suxrendered 
to his victorious rival. The interest which the people of 
the Welsh horder took in these events is proved by a 
political poem in alliterative verse (written in imitatioii 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 TV 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, effectually restrained. 
It is certain that the complainants had found little redress 
during Richard's reign ;t 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 
ui^ed 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 plimder. Among 
the persons most earnestly engaged in the struggle^ few speak 
of any other griefs than some old feud with a poweiful 

• This poem has been published by the Camden Society. 

t The commons, in their petition for redress of this grievance, 1 
Henry IV, say, " come sovent avant sez heures ad est^ porsuez et montrez 
en plusouTS parlementz en temps Richard le Secounde jadys roy d'Engle- 
terre, sanz aucune remedie." Rol. Pari. toI, iii, p. 440. 

X See Nicholas's Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol. i, p. 113. 


neighbour^ or some recent mark of personal disrespect ; and 
they Tmte 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 Gryffyth, 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 rope, a ladder, and a ryng ; 
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 knowledging."* 

The same person in another letter^ says, *^ Hit was told me 
that ye ben in piu^s for to make your men bran (hum) 
and sle in qwatesoever cimtr^ 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 woUe have both bredde 
and ale of the best that is in your lordschip."t 

The rebellion began in the summer of 1400, and was at 
first directed chiefly against lord Grey of Ruthyn, who was 
commissioned by the king to repress the ^^misgovemance and 
riot*' which " he heard was begun in the Marches." In 
liis answer to the king, lord Grey represented the difficulties 
which surrounded him, and the lukewarmness of many of 
the officers and families on the border.:]: About the same 

* Ellis's Original Letters, second series, vol. i, p. 5. f 75. p. 7. 

\ " Ther been many officers, sume of our liege lord the kynges lond, 
same of the erles of the Marchers lond, sume of the erlers lond of Aruudele, 
some of Powise lond, sume of my lond, sume of other lordes londes here 
aboute, that ben kynue unto this meignee that be risen ; and tyll ye putte 
tlios officers in better goyemance, this cuntre of North Wales shall nevere 
have peese." Ellis, 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 stelleth hors, and sume robbeth 
hors, and purveyen hem of saddles, bowes, 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 congregaciones and metynges piyvely, 
though her counsaile be holdcn yet secrete fro us, nvfaer- 
throgh yong peple are the more wilde in governance." 

The English court appears 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 vmts to the sheriffs of the midland 
counties of England to assemble their 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 person against the 
Welsh, met his parliament at Westminster; but prince 
Henry repaired to Chester, and thence, towards the end of 
November, he issued a proclamation, offering a general 
pardon to all the insurgents 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 

• Foedera, old edit. vol. iii, p. 190. f Focdera, vol. iii, p. 1^5. 


Welshman should in future be capable of buying or holding 

lands in or about the towns of Chester, Shrewsbury, 

BridgenoTth^ 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 insurgent 

Welsh, one article of which was that " the minstrels, bards, 

rhymers, wasters, and other vagabond Welsh 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, "f Previous to this, on 

the 10th of March, another general pardon had been offered 

to the rebels who would submit, excepting three, Owen 

Glyndwr, Bees ap Tudor, and WiUiam ap Tudor. J 

This is the first mention of Owen Glyndwr in the docu- 
ments relating to the insurrection of the Welsh at this 
period. The personal history of this remarkable man is 

• Rolls of Parliament, toI, iii. pp. 472, 476. 

t " Item, que les ministrelx, bardes, rymours, et westours, et autres 
▼agabimdes Galeys deinz Northgales, ne soient desorm^s soeffrez de sur- 
charger le pails, come ad est^ devant; mais soient-ils outrement deffenduz, 
w peine d'emprisonement d'un an." Foedera, p. 200. 

The following items occur among the petitions of the commons in this 
parliament, RoL Pari. vol. iii, p. 308.— 

Item, que nulle westonrs, et rymours, mynstrales, ou vacabundes, ne 
soient sustenuz en Gales, pur faire kymorthas ou quyllages sur le commune 
poeple, lesqneuz par lour diyinationes, messonges, et excitations, sount 
concause de la insurrection et rebellion q'or est en Gales. Reaporuio, 
Le roy le voet 

Item, que nulle commanvaes ou congregations soient faitz ou soeffrez 
estre faitz par les Oaloises, pur ascuns counseill ou pu^oses faire, s'il no 
Boit pnr eridente cause, et par licence de les chiefs ministres du seinurie, 
et en lour presence, sur peyne. Responsio, Le roy le voet, sur peyne 
d'emprisonement, et de faire fyn et ranceon k la yolent^e du roy. 

X Fcedera, toI. iii, p. 196. 


obscure. He is said to hare been bom about the middle of 
the fourteenth century, and, when in the height of bis 
power, he pretended to a direct descent from the ancient 
Cambrian princes. If we believe the contemporary chio- 
niclers, 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 with 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 parliament 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 Gl)md^T 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 

• Calendar to the Patent RolU, p. 242. 


name of Hotspur, who held the office of justice of North 
Wales and Chester.* On the 4th of May, Percy writes to 
the privy council from Caernarvon, that all North Wales 
was quiet and submissive, 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 Uttle 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 

GlyndwT 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 sheriffs of counties for the assembling of 
his army, he states that he had received intelligence on the 
26th of May that Owen Gljmd'vvT and his Welsh rebels had 
assembled in the Marches of Caermarthcn, and that they 
had proclaimed it as their intention to enter England with 

• Devon's Pell RoUa, p. 283. Proceedings of the Privy Council, 
^ol- i. p. 147. 

t The king gave about this time to Hugh BoVe all the lands in 
phcshiTe and Salop which had belonged to Robert de Pulesden, who had 
joined himself with Owen Glyndwr. See Calendar to the Patent Rolls, 
p. 242. A' 

t I^oceedings of the Privy Council, vol. z, pp. 150, 151, 152. 


an armed force for the purpose of destroying the English 
people and language.* The king was then at Wallingford, 
and with his characteristic activity he 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 was 
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 were 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 affairs of the insurgents were certainly 
not prosperous, for our next intelligence of Owen Glyndwr 
is, that, as winter approached, he was in "good intent" 
(bon entente) to return to his allegiance to the king.g 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 personally, and that he 
would willingly speak with him ; with respect to the insur- 
rection and mischief done by the Welsh, he said that he 
was not the cause of it, and that he would willingly have 

• Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol. ii, p. 54. 

t Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol. i, p. 133, and vol. ii, p. 56. 

X At this time the famous Lollard, Sir John Oldcastle, was made captain 
of Builth : in the year following (1402) he had the command of Kidwelly 

i Proceedings of Privy Council, Minutes of Council, vol. i, p. 173. 


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 
come 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 nothing, rendered them 
incfiectual. 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. 
M the approach of spring the operations of Glyndwr had 
become more extensive. A fortunate accident made his gi-eat 
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 the prince of Wales had been sent to Shrewsbury, 
where he was organizing an army to hold North Wales in 
check. A letter which he wrote* to the privy council on 
the 15th of May, and of which the following 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 de Glyndourdy assembled his forces 
of other rebels, his adherents, in great number, purposing to 

• The original is in French. 


make an incursioDy and to fight if the English would remst hhn 
in his parpoBe, and so he boasted to bis people. Wherefore ve 
took our forces and vent to a place of the said Owejn, weD 
built, which was his principal mansion, named Saghero, where 
we expected to have found him, if he had had will to £l^t 
in manner as he said; and at our coming thither, we foand 
nobody, and therefore we caused the whole place to be bamt, 
and several other houses thereabouts of his tenants. And then 
we went straight to his other place of Glendourdy, to seek him 
there, and there we burnt a fair lodge in his park, and all the 
country there about. And we lodgeil 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 offered five bandied 
pounds for his ransom to have had his life, and to have paid 
the said sum within two weeks; nevertheless it was not ac- 
cepted, but he was put to death, as well as divers others of his 
companions who were taken in the said expedition. And then 
we went into the Commote pf Edeyrnion, in the county 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 cansed 
our men to carry oats with them, and we remained « • • • days. 
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 faith 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 Shrouesbury, thb 15th day of May.^' 

Soon after the return of their prince from this *' foray,*' 
Owen Glyndwr, whose strength was evidently increasing, 
approached the English 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 Welsh on the hills in 
the neighbourhood of Radnor, at Maelienydd. In this 
battle, which was fought on the 12th of June, 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 coxmtry- 
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 coimty 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. 

** WofBchipful Sir, I recomand me to yow, and forasmoche 
as I may nought spare no man from this place away fro me, 
to certefie neyther the king ne' my lord the prynce, of the 
myschefs of these conn trees abonte, ne no man may pas by no 
wey hennes, I pray yow and require yow that ye certefie hem 
how al Kermerdyn schire, Kcdewely, Carnwaltham, and 
Yskenyn, ben sworen to Oweyn yesterday, and he lay to night 
yn the castel of Drosselan, with Rees ap Grufl^uth. And tber I 
was, and spake with hym upon truys, and prayed of a sauf- 
conduyt' nnder his seal to send home my wif and her moder 
and their mayn6,^ but he wolde none graunte me. And on this 

• See Thomas WalBingham, Hist. Angl. p. 365. 
Glouary.'^l Nor. 2 Safe-conduct. 3 Household. 


day he is about the towne of Kermerdyn, and ther thinketh to 
abide til he may have the towne and the castel. And his 
purpos ys from thennes into Pembroke schire ; for he halt hym 
siker' of all the castell and towns in Kedewelly, Qowerslonde, 
and Qlamorgan, for the same countrees have undertaken the 
sieges of hem til thei ben wonnen. Wherfore 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 rescefre the 
townes and casteles in these countrees; for I drede ful sore 
ther be too fewe trewe men in hem. I can* no more as nowe ; 
but pray Qod help yow and us that thinken to be trewe. 
Written at the castel of Carreckennen, the .v. day of Juil. 
yowres, John Skydmore." 

The attack upon Caermarthen was successful. On the 
7th of July* the constable of Dynevor castle, " Jankyn 
Hauard," writes thus to the receiver of Brecknock :f — 

" Deare frende, I do yow to wetyn^ that Oweyn Glendour, 
Henri Don, Res Duy, Res ap Griffith ap Llewelyn, and Res 
Gothin, han y-won the town of Kermerdyn, and Wygmor, 
constable of the castell, had yeld up the castell of Kermerdyn 
to Oweyn : and [they] han y-brend^ the town, y-slay* of men of 
[the] town more than fifty men ; and thei budd in purpos" 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 han y-made har avow" that thei will algate^ have 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 date of this letter (the feast of St. Thomas the Martyr) must be 
intended for the feast of the Translation of St. Thomas, July 7. 

t Ellis's Original Letters, second series, rol. i, p. 13. In these letters 
I have partly modernized the spelling. 

QUouary, — 1 Holds himself sure. 2 Know. 3 I give you to know. 
4 Burnt. 5 Slain. 6 Remain in purpose, i. e. continue in the intention to 
go. 7 AU that are within [the castle]. 8 Made their tow. 9 Ki all events. 


have any help or po: and but th«r be help coming,* that we 
have an answer, that we may come bi night and steal away to 
Brecknoc : cause that we faylyth vitals, and men, and namely 
men. A.lso Jenkyn ap Llewelyn hath yeld up the castell of 
Enclyn wyth free wyll ; and also William Qwyn, 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 written a few days later. 

'' Deare frynd, I do you to wetyn that Owyn was in purpos 
to Kedewelly, and the baron of Garewe was that day comyng 
wyth a grete retenu toward Seint Cler, and so Owyn changed 
his purpos and rode to-genes* the baron; and that nyght a 
lodged hym at Seint Cler, and destroyed al the contrie about. 
And a 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 acordeth 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 bar 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 vytelles plentie; for every hous is full aboute us of her^ 
ponltrie, and yet wyn and hony ynow in the contrie, and 
wheat and beanes, and al maner of vytells. And we of the 
castell of Dunevor had tretys of ham^ Monday, Tuesday, and 
Wedynsday, and now a wolF ordeyn for us 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 hemselven, seven thousand and twelve score 
speres, such as they were. Other tidyng I not^ now, but God 

GlosHHy."'! And if there be no help coming. 2 Against. 3 At 
treatise, i. e. a-treating. 4 Their. 5 Them. C He viU. 7 Know not. 


of bevene send yow and us from all enemies. Y-wrjten 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 Glyndwr's incursion in the 
preceding month. The original of the archdeacon's letter 
is written in French. 

'^ Our yerj 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 our parts with all the power you can, 
riding day and niglit 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 Scudamore this morning. Our most redoubted 
and sovereign lord the king, I pray to the Almighty that he 
grant you a good and holy life, with victory over your enemies. 
Written in haste, great haste, at Hereford, the 8th day of 

The archde^on's postscript, written in English, is still 
more pressing. 

" And for Godes love my lyge lord, thinketh on yourself 
and youre estate, or by my truth all is lost elles, but an ye 
oome youreself with haste, all other wolle folwen after. And 
now on Fryday last Kermerdyn town is taken and brent, and 


the castell yolden^ by Robert Wigmore, and the oastell Emelyn 
is y«yolden, and slayn of the town of Kermerdyn mo than 50 
persones. Writen in ryght gret haste on Sunday ; and 1 crye 
you mercyy and putte 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 Caerlcon 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 worscbipful burgeis 
of Monemouthe, we do yow to understonde of tydynges the 
whiche we have y-herd of Owein Glyndor, that is to wete, of 
lettres under seel the whiche were y-sente to us by ^e capteyne 
of the towne 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 schuld 
be do, Oweyn was in pnrpos to have avoided hym to the hull^ 
ageinward. And for* he wold y-wete* wher his wey were clere 
enowe to passe, yi he hede nede, to the hull, he sente .vii. .c. 
of his memi? 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 fortbermore we do you to understonde that Oweine the 
[•«••••] was in the towne of Kairmerthen, he sent after 
Hopkyn ap Thomas of Gower to come and speke with hym 
upon truce; and when Hopkyn came to Owein, he praiede 
hym, inasmoche as he held hym maister of Brut, that he schud 
do hym to understonde how and what manner hit schold befalle 

Olottary. — 1 Yielded. 2 written. 3 July. 4 hill. 5 because. 
6 know. 7 Host, company. 8 true. 9 falsehood. 



of hym ; sod he told hym wittliche' that he schold be take 
withinDe a href ^me; and the takjng schold be betwene 
Kajrmerthen and Oower ; and the takyng schold be under a 
blak baner : knoweliohyd that this blake baner scholde dessese 
hyniy and not that he schold be take nnder hym. No more 
con we say to yow at thys tyme ; bote beth glad and mery, and 
dreede yon nought, for we hopeth to God thai ye have no nede. 
And we do yow to onderstonde that al these tydynges beth 
sothe withonte doote. Bar le Moire ei les Btargeu 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 25th 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 S7th of August 
for the day of meeting of the army at Chester.t -A. letter 
from Edward Cherlton, earl of Powys, dated from the castle 
of Pool on the 5th of August (apparently of this year), 
represents the Welsh as becoming every day more active 
in their incursions on the border in his neighbourhood, 
and presses urgently for assistance.} The chroniclersg 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 pursite a course of plunder and devastation uninterrupted 

I Of A certainty. 

• Poedera, rol. It, part 1, p. 30. Proceedings of the Priry Council, 
tol. i, p. 185. t Fcedera, «5. p. 33. 

I Proceedings of the Piivy Council, toI. ii, p. 70. 

{ See Thomas of Walsingham, p. 365. 


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 people in a belief 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 
pajrment 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 18th 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 

* ShakMpeare puts these words into the mouth of Glyndwr :— 

** At my birth, 

The front of hearen 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 extrfiordinary ; 

And all the courses of my life do shew, 

I am not in the roll of common men. 

Where is he liTing,— 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 son, 

Can trace me in the tedious ways of art, 

And hold me pace in deep experiments." 

t Foedera, rol. iv, part 1, p. 36. 


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 alliance 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 weye to have in 
their sovereignty all the counties north of the Trent, with 
those of Leicester, Northampton, Warwick, and Norfolk ; 
and Edmund Mortimer was to take the remainder for 
himself and his siuccessors.f 

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, prqbably in 
1403, by which it appears that the Welsh where then 
threatening the border with devastation.} We leam that 
*he custody of Ludlow castle at this time was considered of 

* The original proclamation is printed in Ellis's Original Letters, 
second series, toI. i, p. 24. 

t See the particulars of this treaty stated in an extract from a MS. 
Chronicle prinJted in Ellis, ib. p 27. 

t Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol ii, p. 77. 


sufficient importance to be entrusted to the eare of Sii 
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 Talbotf On 
the 16th of June, the king wrote to the sheri£G» of the 
English counties on the border, that he had learnt that Owen 
Glyndwr " 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. J Henry was 
himself preparing to visit the north, when, in the middle 
of July, he received certain information of the great con- 
federacy formed against him, ^nd 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 T^rcester, amounted 
to nearly fourteen thousand men. The king was then at 
Burton upon Trent; with singular rapidity he piarched 
towards the border, and entered Shrewsbury when thfe 
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 cotifederates. Most of the leaders of the rebels 
were killed or taken : Henry Percy was slain in the battle ; 
and his uncle and one or two others were captured and 
inunediately 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 

• Pell. Rolls, p. 295. 7 th December. To Sir Thomas Beaufort, knight, 
keeper of ' Lodelowe' castle, in money paid to him by the hands of Mffthew- 
Penketh, &c. for the wages of hifaiBelf, 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. f lb. p. 293. 

} Fcedera, vol. iii. part 1, 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.t 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 
barons. 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 10th of the same month he 
was still at Worcester; from whence he proceeded to 
Hereford, where we find him on the 14th, giving power to 
William Beauchamp to take into his grace the rebels about 
Abergavenny and Ev^as Harold. From Hereford the king 
marched directly into Wales. 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.§ On the 27th of September the king pro- 
claimed a general pardon, -^vith a few exceptions, to the 
people of Cheshire, who had been active in the rebellion, 

• Foedera, vol. iv, part 1, p. 41. f ^' P- ^2.' 

t lb. p. 55. { lb. p. 56. 


and had fought against him at the battle of Shrewsbury. 
A considerable number of the persons excepted were pax- 
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.t 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 hand8.§ 

During the year following (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 he 
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, rol. iv, part 1, p. 57. 

t Proceedings of the Priry Council, rol. i, p. 217. 

X Thomas of WaUinghanii p. 561. 

t Proceedings of the Privy Council, 'vol. i, p. 219. 

II Walsingham, p. 562. 


of Hereford and Salop to protect the English side of the 
bordef . As summer approached this force was found insuf- 
ficient, and prince Henry repaired to the border in person. 
On the 10th of June, the sheriff, escheator, and gentry of 
Herefordshire write from Hereford that the Welsh rebels 
had invaded and plundered ^ Inchonefelde' (Irchingfield) in 
that county, and that they threatened a more general inva- 
sion the following week with a force which the few English 
tjoops 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 
tvrites to the king, who was then marching towards Scot- 
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 
treasures to avert the danger.f The prince appears to 
have made Worcester his head quarters : and we trace him 
there or in other parts of the border during the summer 
and autumn. 

In this year the English monarch was threatened by 
another confederacy. When the battle of Shrewbury had 
deprived him of the aUiance of the Percies, 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 

• Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol. i, p. 223. 

t ih. p. 229. "Je feu ceitiffiez que les Galoys feurent desccnduz en le 
cvunt§e de Hereford ardantz et destruantz mesme le connt^e en tresgrandz 
povoirs, et feurent vitaillez pur xv. jours, et voirs est q'ils ont arz et fait 
grand destruccioun en les bordurcs du dit count6e.*' 


be assisted with a force of several thousand Frenchmen. 
Glyndwr's first letter to the French king is dated at DolgeUy^ 
on the 10th of May, 1404, which he calls the fourth year 
of his principality (et prindpatus 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 
l£th of January, 1405, in '* his" castle of Llanbadam (in 
castro nostro del Lampadam).* During the latter part of 
die year 1404, the French had made some ine£Eectual 
attempts to carry oyer 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 
amoimted 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 fijrst took 
and burnt the town of Haverford 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 Epiphany, 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 Ukewise in great danger of 
falling into the hands of the Welsh.f In March their 
successes were interrupted for a moment by a severe defeat 

• Fcedera, toI. It, part 1, pp. 65, 69, 75. 

t These letters are printed in Ellis's Original Letters, sup. cit. pp. 
30^38. They certainly belong to 1405 and not as there supposed to 1404. 



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 oa 
the 8th of May ; but he was called off to the north by the 
rebellion of the earl of Northumberland and the archbishc^ 
of York, and was again compelled to leaye the prosecution 
of the war against Owen Glyndwr to the management of 
his 8on.t 

At Caermarthen the French were joined by Gljmdwr 
with about ten thousand Welshmen. The combined aimy, 
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 sheriffs to raise the forces of the border 
coimties, and meet him at Hereford. On the S7th c( 
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 letter of prince Henry to his father, describing this affiur, is 
printed in the Foedera, toI. it, part 1, p. 79; in Ellis, •&. p. 38, and in 
the Proceedings of the Privy Council, roL 1, p. 248. 

t Proceedings of the Priry Council, rol. i, p. 251. 

t Fcsdera, t&. pp. 85. 87, 


was some fighting, in which the French tuffered considerable 
I088; and it is said that on one occasion the hostile armies 
hy in riew of each other during eight days^ separated only 
by a deep yalley, but that the French and Wekh 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 firom the kind of warfiure 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 siege 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 fiill of which 
would ensure the pacification of the country, and he speaks 
of his 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 3rd 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 firom the enemy by incautiously involving his 
army among the mountain passes. It is certain, however, 
that after this year the Welsh insurrection never presented 
the same formidable character which it had previously 

• Foedera. ib, p. 90. 


But Owen Glyndwr still preserved his independence^ and 
{or 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 were 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 all captured by the English. Prince Henry 
drove the rebels gradually out of South Wales, and many 
of Glyndwr's most faithful partizans 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 
Olyndwr.* 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 

* Thomas of Walsinglutm, 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 pretended bishop of 
St. Asaph" had collected t(^ther 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 havoc^f The Welsh 
chieftain, about this time, sent a strong party headed by 
Rhys Ddu and Philipot Scudamore, his nephew, who overran 
and plimdered 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 BotiUer, 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. J Yet at this period the hardy chief- 
tain must have felt severely the desolation attendant upon 
civil strife; his bravest and most faithful Mends had been 
slain in battle, or they had perished more ignominiously 
on the scaffold ; even his nearest relations, the members of 
his own household, were lingering in English prisons. As 
early as 1408 we find his own secretary and his son Griffith 
prisoners at Nottingham, in the custody of Richard Grey of 
Codnor ; and we learn among the records of the first year of 
king Henry V, that on the 27th of June in that year (1413) 
thirty poimds were paid to John Weale *' for the expenses 

• MS. Addit. Mu8. Brit. No. 4599, art. 30. 

t Fcedera, toI. it, part 1, p. 154. t ^- 


of the wife of Oweu Glyndwr, 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 give 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 have occurred in 1416. 
Twice in that year Sir Gilbert Talbot was commissioned to 
negotiate directly or indirectly with him and the other 
insui^nts 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 su£Eered 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 live 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. They 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 

• DeTon'8 Pell. Rolls, p. 321. f Pell. Rolls, ib. 


English 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 jiersecuted 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 Bolls of Parhament of the fourth of Henry V 
(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 with 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 
PhiUp Lyngeyn, John Crew, Richard Loutley, Laurence 
Smith, William Kervere (Carver), Walter Bradford, John 
Bradford, and Walter Walker, who are described as the 
servants of Richard Oldecastle, Esq. These men led them 
forcibly to '' a mountain named Dynmorehille," where they 
robbed them of their horses and harness and retained them 
till night, when they carried them on foot to a chapel which 
their prisoners did not know, at a distance of about two 

« Rolls of Pailiunant, toI. ir, p. 52. 


leagues^ and in this chapel they imprisoned them idl 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 mill, where they passed the second 
night, and there they renewed their threats of carrying 
them into Wales, imless 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 himdred 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, Esqres. 
two general acquittances and releases of all manner of 
personal actions from the beginning of the world to the 
feast of All Saints following, upon which they were set at 
liberty.* The petition of the parties aggrieved gives us no 
information relating to the origin of this border feud. 

• RtUs of Pariiwntiit, toI. It, p. 99. 


The Wars of the Roses. 

AS we have before observed, the borders of Wales 
contmued in an unsettled 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 Y, in 1418, 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;* and this act was renewed in 14S7, 
twenty years after the suppression of the rebellion, it being 
then expressly alleged that the Welshmen concerned in the 
late rising, stiU continued to prosecute the feuds arising out 
of it against the king's £uthful subjects.f 

It may jierhaps be not altogether out of place to give 
here one or two other incidents, taken from the Bolls 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 were 
made by the Conmions of the counties of Hereford, Glou- 
cester, and Salop, of ** the great oppressions and extortions 
which the people of Wales and the Marches committed daily 
on the inhabitants of the said counties, by taking and car.> 
rying away thrir horses, cattle, and other goods and chattels 
bto the Marches,^ and there retaining them till the persons 
to whom they belonged ransomed them or compounded 
for them.; A law was made to pjinish these malefactors ; 
bat it appears to have been of Uttle effect, for they were 

* Bolk of PtrKamant, vol. It, p. 10. f Jbid. p. 3S9. 

X RoUi of PuUaiaexa, vol f, p. J&3. 


protected by the troubles of the time and by the peculiar 
jurisdiction of the lords marchers within whose lordships 
they dwelt. The priTilege of the benefit rf clergy, by 
which an cinder 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, wythinne 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 frendes, 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 tyme the seid felons been so purged, 
they murdrcn, slecn, and robben youre liege people, withoute 
any drede or mercy, and kepen of tliair robberies doon after 
their seid purgation another somme of money, to make 
thair purgation ageyn, yf it fortune theym to be attaynted 
or convicte eftsones of any suche felonye, yn fynall destruc- 
tion of your seide people in every part of this rewme, yn so 
moche that tho persones that been so robbed, nowther the 
frendes of thaym, nowther the frendes of thaym that ben so 
slayn, daren not take uppon hem to labour ayenst suche 
felons, for drede of deth, seyng howe bold manaces and 
thretnynges 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 
evil. The same records furnish many individual instances 
of the insecurity of person and property at this period. We 
learn from a petition of John Stuche of the county of 
Salop, in 1439, that ''oon Thomas Dunstervyle, of the 

* Rolls of Parliament, toI. y, p. 151. 


same counts, for his title and right in certeine londes and 
tenementis in the towne of Spondesley^ in the shire of Salop, 
seiTved assise of novel disseisine, agayns on Phelip E^erton 
late of Spondesley aforeseide ; which assise hangyng undis- 
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 hi the space of v. yere made 
werre unto the seide Johan, as in lyggyng often tymes 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 
contrey, 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 thaym brent ; so that the seide Johan, and his 
seide tenauntis, dar not menure thaire cattell, nor tille theire 
londe, but as compellid for drede hath leide downe viii. 
plowes, and the seide Thomas in like wise hath leide downe 
ii. plowes; whereappon the seide Johan many tymes hath 
made diverge meeves and tretice, for to have pees with the 
seide Phelip, unto the which there can no personne bi any 
raisounable wey 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 bifore the kinges counseill 
at a certejme dai, under grevous and grete peynes, which 
he hath obstinatly disobeyed at al tymes, so that the seide 
Johan can not see nor fynde no wey bi lawe nor othre wise, 
for to have this open and ryoteux wrong and oppressioun 
remedied, unto the verry and utterest undoyng of the same 
Johan, and his saide tenauntis : the which Phelip is lawe- 
fully endited and outlawed of diverse murdris, felonies, and 

tm tHK HlStO&t Ot LtTDLOW. 

trespasses in the countees of Stafford and Salop above saide^ 
and of othere grete injuriesy oppressions, extortions, riots, 
and wrongs manyfold, which the seide Phelip of long 
tynie hath contynuelly don in the seide counts of Salop, 
and yut daily doth."* In this same year, 1489, Margaret^ 
widow of Sir Thomas Malefant, knight, makes a complaint 
against one Lewis Lyson, ** oderwyse called Lewse Gethei, 
late of Olomorgan, yn the Marche of Wales, that wheras 
the seide Lewse was of consayll and toward the seide aire 
Thomas hur husbond yn his lyf, and foimden by hym to 
courte, and was wyth hym atto 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 
Inyng the seide Margaret safly unto her moder to London^ 
she send letters and tokens by the same Lewse unto here. 
And the seide Lewse by sotiU and unlawfull menes, pur-' 
posyng and ymagenyng to rayysshe the seide Margaret^ and 
to have hure to hes wyf, the 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 seknes ; and therapon the 
seide Margaret beyng in Groddes pese and our soveraigne lord 
atte Oucketon in Penbrokeshir, not knowyng thenne of hur 
seide husbondes deth, on Wytsonday, the xvi. yere of the 
regne of our seide soveraigne lorde, come the seide Lewse with 
the seide countrefiet letters, declaryng Grriffith ap Nicholas 
and dyverse other of hur enmyes to lye yn awayte for hur, 
and put hur yn grete fere, promyttyng nertheles and swear*^ 
yng that he wold safly bryng hur to hur husbond to London^ 
or els to die therfore. And she trustyng yn hes grete and feyr 
promyse, for the comfort of hur seide husbond, accordyng to 
the desire by the seide letters and other tokenes, came forth 

* Rolls of Parliament, yoI. t, p. 17. 


with hym with diverse of hur oune servantes^ suppoeyng 
safiy 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, withynne 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 manor of werre arayed, and came 
with swerdis drawen, and made a grete affiray and assaute 
apon the seide Margaret, and ther smoten hur apon hur 
arme, and ther beaten hur servantes ; and the seide Lewse 
ther thenne made non defence, bote seid she shold go with 
hym, and he wold imdertake for hur lyf ; and so she for fer 
of hur lyf graunted to go with hym, and so departed hur 
firo all hur servantes, and had hur forth yn to the monteyns, 
ther y-kepte withoute mete or drynke til she was nye dede, 
savyng that she hadd wheye to drynke atte dyvers places, til 
the Wondisday nexte after; atte whiche day he brought 
her to on Gilbert Turbervyle is place, withynne 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, 
ther to abide withoute confort of eny man of hur kyn or 
fryndis, to hur undoyng 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 wyf, with the governance of on sire 
Hough, vicar of the cherche of Twyggeston in Wales, with 
meny mo^ on Monday nexte therafter, the seide Margaret 
was brought and ladd to the seide cherche of Twyggeston 
ayennes hur wil, and ther wold have made hur ayenst 
hur wille to take the seide Lewse to husbond ; the which 
she ever refused, and pryvely and openly seide unto the 
seide vicar, that she wold never of hur gode will have hym 
to hur husbond ; the which noghtwithstondyug, thei com- 
pelled hur to suffire the solempnytee to be don, she then 
beyng with child by hur seide late husbondman, and gretly 
dbpeupered, and noght of gode mynd, ne never agreyng ne 


havyng yn mynde ne yn remembrauns of eny wordis of 
matrimonie by bur mouth ne hert uttered : and after that 
tyme badde bur yn to tbe seide Turbervyle is place atte 
Twyggeston aforesaide, and ther hadd bur yn to a cbaum- 
bre witbynne a strong towre," wbere she was subjected 
to very brutal treatment; *'and yn suche wyse ther 
was kepte, til Friday nexte after tbe fest of Seynt Joban 
Baptiste^ that sbe with wyse governance was hadde fino 
tbennes, and came to London to bur moder.*'* No redress 
could be obtained in cases like these without the immediate 
interference of parliament, and even then the privileges of 
tbe lords marchers required to be respected. We might 
easily collect many other instances of the unsettled state of 
tbe 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 Wigraore and 
Ludlow, which had now only one representative, was tbe 
nearest in blood to the English crown. Edmund Mortimer 
earl of March, as a descendant of Lionel duke of Clarence, 
bad a stronger hereditary right to the throne than the 
Lancastrian princes, and on that account he bad been 
detained in close custody during tbe reign of Henry IV, 
but be 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, possessed little 
of the energy which had distinguished the illustrious race 
from which he was descended, and his name was only put 
forward to colour tbe intrigues of others. We have already 
seen the use which was made of it in Gljmdwr's rebellion : 
early in tbe reign of Henry V, Richard Plantagenet earl of 

• RoUi of Parliament, vol. v, p. 15. 


Oambridge^ 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, 
tlie declared object of which was to carry the earl of March 
ixito Wales, and there to proclaim him king of England, 
stud to collect forces to make war on Henry as an usurper. 
Xhey were to be joined by Sir Henry Percy, who had pro- 
xnised 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 the political intrigues which 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 Originftl LetterSi second series, toL i, p. 46. 

t This letter was first printed in Ellis's Original Letters, toI. i, p. 9. 


" Ryght hi«gh and ryght myghty prince, oure fol redouted and 
rjght noble lorde and ffitdar, as lowely with alle onre hertes ts 
we yonre trewe and natarell Bonnes can or may, we recomaonde 
us unto your noble grace, humbly besecbyng your nobley* and 
worthy ffaderhodeP daily to geve* us your hertely bleflsjmg, 
thrugb whiohe we trust muohe the rather to encrees and growe 
to Tertu, and to spede the bettur in alle matiers and thingea that 
we schalle use, occupie, and exercise. Ryght high and rjght 
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 jour 
gracious prevaile' agenst thentent and malice of your eyilwillers, 
but also of the knowelage that hit pleased your nobley to lete 
us nowe late have of the same by relacion .of Syr Watier 
Derreuz, 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 gownes nowe 
late sonde unto us to our grete comfort i beseching your good 
lordeschip to rembre our porteuz,^ and that we myght have 
Bumme fyne bonettes sonde unto us by the next seure mesaige," 
for necessity so requireth. Overe this, ryght noble lord and 
fiadur, 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, concern vng 
and touching the odteux reule and demenyng* of Richard 
Crofte and of his brother. Wherefore we beseche your gracioase 
lordeschip and fuUe noble ffaderhode to here him in exposicion 
of the same, and to his relacion to yeve ful faith and credence. 
Ryght hiegh and ryght myghty prince, our ful redoubted and 
ryght noble lorde and ffadur, we beseche almyghty Jhesu yeve 
yowe as good lyfe and long, with as muche contenual perfite 
prosperity, as your princely hert con best desire. Writen at 
your castill of Lodelowe, on Setursday in the Astur Woke.'' 
Your humble Bonnes, 

E. Marche, and 

E. Rutlonde." 

O^Mry.—l Nobleness. 2 Fatherhood. 3 Give. 4 Conducting. 5 Success, 
preyailing. 6 Nobleness, nobility. 7 A breviary, or service book. 8 Saio 
messenger. 9 Demeanour. 10 Easter week. 


The duke's constant opposition to the unpopular measures 
of the eouxt, although it procured him the enmity of the 
government^ made him beloved 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 YI. It has been 
observed by a former writer that the rebels of this period 
alivays 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 thai 
** he beyng in Irland, by youre graunte youre Ceutenaunt 
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 
succession 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 ^o 
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 imavailing 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, 

* Rolls of Parliament, vol- t, p. 316. 



after which he retiied to his castle of Fotheriiigay. The 
parliameuty 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 diligently in collecting together an 
army among his tenantry and adherents. The following 
letter,* dated at Ludlow on the Srd of February, 1458, 
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 recommend me unto yon, and 
I suppose it is well known unto you, as well by experience as by 
common language said and reported throughout all Christendom, 
what laud, what worship, honour, and manhood was ascribed 
of all nations 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 caused and encoa- 
raged the king's enemies for to conquer and get Ghiscony and 
Oyanne, 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 is 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 o^ 

t Tbli lottor has been printed in EUU's Original Letters, vol. i, p. H* 
in modernited orthography. 


certain articles concerning the weal and safogaard as well of 

bis most roval person as the tranqaility and conservation of all 

tliis his realm ; the which advertisements, howheit that it was 

tbonght that they were fall necessary, were laid apart, and to 

l>e of none effect, through the envy, malice, and untruth of the 

said duke of Somerset, which for my truth, faith, and allegiance 

tliat I owe to the king, and the good-will and favour that I 

liave to all the realm, lahonreth continually ahout the king's 

bighness 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 easci peace, and tranquility, and 

aafeguard of all this land ; and more, keeping me within the 

bounds of my liegeance, as it pertaineth to my duty, praying 

and exhorting you to fortify, enforce, and assist me, and to 

come 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 abovesaid. Written under my signet, at my 

castle of Ludlow, the 3rd day of February. 

** Furthermore, I pray you, that such strait appointment 
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 lesion of 

justice. Written as above, etc. 

Youre good frend, 

R. YORK." 

" To my right worshipful friends the 
bailiffs, burgesses, and commons of 
the good town of Shroesbury." 


880 THB H18T0BT Ot LtTDtXJtT. 

With the army which he had collected on the border^ 
the duke of York advanced towards London, and by 8 
circuitous rout avoided the forces which the king w« 
leading in person to meet hina. Before he reached die 
capital, he received certain intelligence that the Londoneis 
were not willing to admit him, probably rendered cautioua 
by the violences connnitted by the rebels under Jack Cade 
two years before; and the duke passed the Thames at 
Kingston bridge, marched into Kent, where the popolar 
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 cm 
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 anxious 
to fight. The duke's forces were very considerable, for a 
contemporary, who was perhaps present, informs us that 
"ther was my lorde of Yorkes ordinaunce .iij. thowsand 
gowimeres, 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 stuffe.*** A brief 
n^otiation 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 
caU 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 king 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 
tent to London to stand his trial. The court, however, 

* This is taken from some contemporary notes of a Yorkist partisan 
in a MS. in the British Museum, communicated by Sir Frederic Maddes 
to the Archicologia, yol. zziz, p. 326. 


»t:iddeiily stopped further proceedings, alarmed as it is said 

b^ a report that the duke's eldest son, Edward earl of 

^fiiAarcli^ was marching towards London at the head of a 

powerful army of Welshman to rescue his father; and, 

wtftenc having on the 10th of March made his submission 

ajnd taken his oath in St. Paul's to be a true, faithful, and 

ol>edient subject in the presence of the king and most of 

tiie 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 

so by meanes of the absence of the duke of York, which 

-v^as 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 voyce 

ivas 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 
Yorke, chargynge 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) castelle, etc. Affter this my lorde of Shrous- 
bury, etc. rode into Kent, and set up vi. peyre of galowes, 
and dede execucione upone Johan Wylkyns, takene and 
broght to the towne as for capteyne, and with othere mony 
mo,^ of the whiche xxviij. were hangede and behedede, the 

1 Dismiss a certain number of his household retainers. 2 Held in 
adultery. 3 i. e. a baker of Ludlow rose up, and the commons or towns- 
people with him, he led an insurrection of the town. 4 Many more. 

ftSd THB HISTORY OF Ltn>t/>W. 

whiche hedes were sent to Londone, and liOndone said tha 
shulde no mo hedes be set upone there." 

The course of events soon opened a new path to the 
ambition of the duke of Torb In the October of 1455, 
the imfortunate king was attacked by a malady which ivas 
attended with mental as well as bodily weakness. We learn 
firom 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 like fourme as the duke hade done, desiryng that 
he shulde blisse it ; but alle their labour was in Teyne, for 
they departed thens without any answere or countenaimce, 
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 government in her own hands. We learn ftom 
the letter just mentioned, that Margaret was at that time 
taking steps to obtain an act of parliament, giving her the 
sole r^ency 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 22nA of Marcb^ 
led to an immediate change in the position of the different 
parties. A deputation of the lords forced their way into 

• ArchKologia, vol. xxix, p. 307. 


tbe Toyal presence to consult with the king on the election 
oF a. new primate^ and a scene similar to that of the presen* 
ta.t;ion of the prince, but more public, occurred ; upon which 
tlie parliament elected the duke of York protector. The 
duke of Somerset, the queen's favourite, had already been 
coxixmitted to the Tower. 

The duke of York's first protectorate lasted only nine 

Tdonths. At the end of the year the king recovered his 

reason, and was restored to the full exercise of royalty, 

B,Tid 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 unpoptdar. 

Tlie 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 other 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 he 

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. 

When 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 lanes, but ended 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 destrne- 
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 in 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 you, desiring hertly to here of your welfare. 
Furthermore lettyng you wete/ as for such tydinges as we 
have here, such thre 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 QuOtton 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 enquere. And as for any grete multytude of people 
that ther was, as we can tell, thor was at most slayn vj. score. 
And as for the lordes that were with the kyng, thej and hei' 
men wer pilled' and spoyled out of all Uieyr hameys 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 ai 
for our soverayn lorde, thanked be God, he hathe no grete 

" No more to you at this tyme, but I pray you sende this 
lettyr to my maistresse Paston when ye have sene hit, preyng 

Ohtsmy,-^! Know. 2 Their. 3 Plundered. 


yoa to remembre mj systir Margrete ageyne the tyme that she 
•lia} be made noane.* Written at Lamehitb,* on Witsonday. 

By your cosyn, 

John Crane." 

Although Heiiry was now a prisoner in the hands of 
the Torkists^ the duke as yet laid no distinct claim to the 
crown. The king being considered as still by the state 
pf his bodily healtl^ incapable of governing the kingdom^ 
the lords were compelled by the urgent remonstrances of 
the commons and the people in the parliament which met 
in NoTember^ to appoint the duke of York a second time 
protector, and he placed some of his tried friends in the most 
important offices of the state^ making the earl of Salisbury 
chuicellor, and giving the command of Calais to the earl 
of Warwick. The queen however was busy in her intiigues, 
and the battle of St. Alban's had given rise to personal 
feuds which were not likely to end without further blood? 
shed. The dube, who appears to have beto beset on every 
side with the plots and snares of his enemies, spent the 
leisure which he could snatch from the cares of government 
in strengthening himself on the borders of Wales, where we 
frequently trace his presence. Yet at the end of 1456, 
when the king came before the parliament and demanded 
the restoration of all his rights, the duke resigned the 
protectorate without a murmur. During the year 1457| 
the opposing parties looked on e^ch other in silent prepay 
ration; but towards the end of the year events were fast 
approaching to new hostilities, when the king, apparently 
urged by the Archbishop of panterhury, determined to 
effect a general recpnciUation. For this purpose a iBounci| 
was held at Cpventry at the end of February, 1458, and 
pm outwajrd paci^catipn having be^en niade there, a gseneral 
pieeting of the lords of both parties was called ^t |>)i^4pi]L 
^w^irds );h^ ffi^iddle pf Ma^h^ to complete th,e gop4 WRTk: 
Yl^e Yprkistj^ ivere lpdge4 ^n the cit^^ Jhe J^qn^gn^jff 

p^iofy.-r-l MadjB a pun. J Lj^mb^tli. 


being thoir friends ; and the Lancastrians remained without 
the walls^ and met at the White Friars. After some 
ui'gotiation^ both parties submitted to the award of the 
king^ and the Yorkists having agreed to perform certam 
acts of satisfaction to the fiEunilies of the nobles killed at 
St. Alban'Sy the court party joined the others in the dty, 
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 JSSth of March, and a pompous description 
of the ceremony is given in the old chroniclers. The 
following song, preserved in a contemporary 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 

Stedfas and skille without distaunce, 
Than wrathe may be exiled oat of thb londe, 

And God oure gide to have the govemaunce. 
Wisdom and wdlth, with alle plesaunce. 

May rightfal regne, and prosperity i 
For love hath underlaide wrathful venjaonce ^ 

Rejoise, Auglond, oure lordes acorded to be. 

** Rejose and thanke God fore evermore, 

For now shal encrese thi consolacion ; 
Care enemyes quaken and dreden fal sore, 

That peas' is made ther was division. 
Which to them is a gret confusion. 

And to US joy and felicity. 
Ood hold hem longe in every season, 

That Anglond may rejoise* concord and unit^. 

• MS. Cotton. Vetpai. B. ztL fol. 4, r«- 
GlMMfy— 1 Pmco. 3 Eigoy. 


** Now is lorowe with shame fled into Frannce, 

As a felon that hath forsworn this londe; 
Love hath put out malicious govemauncey 

In every place bothe fre and bonde. 
In Yorke^ in Somerset, as I understonde, 

In Warrewik is love and charity. 
In Sarisbury eke and in Northumbrelande, 

That every man may rejoise concord and unitft. 

^* Egremown and Clifford, with other forsaide, 

Ben set in the same opynyon. 
In every quarter love is thus laide ; 

Grace and wisdom hath thus the dominacion. 
Awake, welth, and walke in this region, 

Rounde abonte in toun and cit6 ; 
And thanke them that brought hit to this conduson : 

Rejoise, Anglond, to concord and unit^. 

** At Poules in Londoun with gret renoun, 

On cure ladi day in Lent this peas was wrought ; 
The kyng, the qnene, with lordes many oone, 

To worship that virgine as thei ought, 
Wenten a procession, and spariden* right nought, 

In sighte of alle the comynalt^, 
In token that love was in herte and thought : 

ftejose, Anglond, in Concorde and unit^. 

" Ther was bytwyn hem lovely conntynaunce, 

Whiche was gret joy to alle that ther were -, 
That long tyme hadden be in variaunce. 

As frendes for ever that had be in fere. 
Thei wenten togeder and made goud* chere. 

France and Britayn repente shul thei ;> 
For the bargain shul thei abye' ful dere ^ 

Rejose, Anglond, in concorde and unite. 

** Oure Boveraigne lord kyng God kepe alwey, 

The quene, and the archbisshop of Canterbury, 

^huary.'^] Spared. 2 Good. 3 Pay for. 


And the bisthop of Wynekestre, ohaneeUer of Angloiidy 

And other that han labored to this tove-daj. 
God preserre hem we praj hertly^ 

And Londoon, for thei fhl diligently 
Kepten the peas in trowbel and adversity, 

'to bryng in reste thei labnred fnl truly : 

Rejoise, Anglond^ in Concorde and unit6. 

^* Of tbre tbynges I praise the worshipful cit^ ; 

The first the tnie faitfae thitt thei have to the kyoge ; 
The seconde of love to the comynalt^ j 

The thrid goud rule for evermore kepynget. 
The which Gk>d maynteyn evermore dnrynge. 

And save the maier and aile the worthi eit6; 
And that b amys Qod brynge to amendynge. 

That Anglond may rejoise to Concorde and onit^. 

OUier 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 whick gave rise to the foregoing 6ong> 
represents the state as a ship exposed to the storm, and 
trusting for safety to its able mariners^ who are the leaders 
of the Lancastrians, while the Yorkists are described as 
the " foe-men" against whom it required defence ;♦ it ends 
with the following Unes. — 

'' Now help^ saynt Oeorge, cure lady knyght^ 
And be oure lode-sterre^ day and nyght» 
1*0 strengths oure kynge, and England ryght^ 

And felle oure fomenus* pryde. 
Now is oure shype dressed in bys kynde^ 
With his taklynge before and behynde ) 
Whoso love it not^ God make hym blynde* 

In paynes to abyde !'* 

* ArcHeologia, vol. xxix, p. 326. 

GAMM^y.— 1 Polar star, by which the vessbl was guided. 2 Foemen*'* 


It was evidenty indeed^ that the queen and her party had 
only smothered their enmity until the arrival of a fitvourable 
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 affiray 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 the matter was nothing els but the fraude and fury of 
a wonian, who, thinking she might do whatsoever she 
listed, sought nor minded anything so much as by womanish 
flight to torment, consume, and utterly destroy all the 
nobilitie of the lande." Accordingly the great Yorkist 
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 Salisbiuy, 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 
23rd 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 Salisbury continued his 
march to Ludlow. 

* Circa festum beaUs Marile rerertus est dux Eboraci de Hibernia* et 
arrivavit apud Redbanke prope Cestriam, et ibidem cum paucis mea?it ad 
castnim de Ludlowe. W. Wyrc. ap. Hearne, Lib. Nig, p. 483. 


The court had also 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 firom Calais, under an old 
and experienced conmiander. 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 i-etire, 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 
Trollop, who bad 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 councils 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, vnth Edward earl of March, succeeded in reach- 
ing Calais in safety.^ The Lancastrians entered Ludlow, 

* In the subsequent act of attainder, the following account is giren of 
the transactions at Ludlow :— 

" And the Friday, in the Tigill of the fest of the translation of seint 
Edward kyng and confessour, the xxzTiiiih yero of youre moost noble 
reigne, at Ludeford in the shire of Hereford, in the feldes of the same, 
the seid Richard due of York, Edward crle of Marche, Richard erle of 
Warrewyk, Richard erle of Salesbury, Edmond crle of Rutlond, Johan 
Clynton lord Clynton, Johan Wenlok, knyght, James Pykeryng, knyght, 
the seid Johan Conyers, and Thomas Parre, knyghtes, Johan Bourghchier, 
Edward Bourgohier, squiers, nemes to the seid due of York, Thomas Colt 


and wreaked their vengeance upon the town and castle, 
iw'liich^ as the old historians inform us^ were plundered 
'' to the bare walls." The duchess of York with her two 

late of London, gentilman, Johan Clay iate of Cheitlmnt in the shire of 

Hertford, squier, Roger Eyton lato of Shrouesbury in Shropshire, squire, 

and Robert Boulde, brother to Hcrry Boulde, knyght, with other knyghtas 

and people, snch as they had blynded and assembled by wages, promyses, 

and other exquisite meanes, brought in certeyn persones bifore the people, 

to swere that ye were decessed, doyng masse to be said, and oiferyng all 

to make the people the lesse to drede to take the fold. Neverthelesse, 

after exortation to all the lordes, knyghtes, and nobley in youre host, made 

by youre owne mouth, in so witty, 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 hast to fulfill youre corageous knyghtly desire, albe the ympedyment of 

the weyes and streitnesse, and by lette of waters, it was nygh evyn or 

ye myght come to take grounde covenable for youre felde, displaied 

youre baners, raunged youre batailles, pighted youre tentes; they 

beyng in the same feldes the same day and place, traitorously raunged 

in bataill, fortefied their chosen ground, their cartes with gonnes sette 

bifore their batailles, made their escarmysshes, laide their enbusshmentea 

there, sodenly to have taken the avauntage of youre host. And they 

entendyng the destruction of youre most noble persoon, the same Friday 

and tonne, in the feld there falsely and traiterously rered werre ayenst 

you, and than and there shotte their seid gonnes, and shotte as wele at 

youre most roiall persone, as at youre lordes and people with you than and 

there beyng. But God, in whos handes the hertes of kynges been, made 

to be knowen, that they whos hertes and desires were oonly sette to 

untrouth, falsenesse, and cruelty, subtily coloured, and feyned xelyng 

justice, ment the grettest falsenes and treason, most ymmoderate covetise 

that eter was wrought in any realms : insomoche that by Robert RadcUf, 

oon of the felauship of the seid due of York, and erles of Warrewyk and 

Salesburyi it was confessed at his dying, that both the coroune of 

Englond and duchie of Lancaster they wold have translated at their 

wiUe and pleasure. But Almjghty God, that seth the hertes of people, to 

whome is nothyng hidde, smote the hertes of the seid duo of York and 

erles sodenly from that most presumptuouse pryde, to the most shamefull 

fsUe of cowardise that coude be thought, so that aboute mydnyght than 

next Buyng they stale awey oute of the felde, under colour they wold have 

refreshed theym awhile in the toune of Lndlowe, levyng their standardes 

and baners in their bataill directly ayenst youre feld, fledde onto of the 

tonne unarmed with fewe persones into Wales ; understondyng that youre 

people hertes assembled, was blynded by theym afore, were the more 

partie couTerted by Goddes inspiration to repent theym, and humbly 

•ubmytte theym to you, and aske youre graoe, which so didde the grete 


youngest sons were taken, and placed in safe ward; and 
many of the richer partizans of the duke were executed and 
their estates confiscated. On the 20th of November a 
parliament met at Coyentry, in which a number of die 
Torkist leaders were attainted, who are thus enumerated 
in a contemporary letter among the Paston correspondence. 
— ^^' The due of York; therle of Marche ; therle of Rutland ; 
therle of Warrwyk; therle of Salusbury ; the lord Powys; 
tiie lord Clynton; the countesse of Sarr.; Sir Thomas 
Nevyle ; Sir Johan Nevyle ; Sir Thomas Haryngton ; Sir 
Thomas o'Parre ; 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, &c. As for the lord Powys, he come 
inne and hadde grace as for his lyf, but as for hise godes 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 Paston correspondence, dated in the month of 
January, 1460, says, "The duke of York is at Dublin, 
9trengtliened with his earls and homagers ;" and that the 
court was in ^^ead of further danger appears by another 
letter in the samp cpllec}:ipp, <lated on the ^th of January, 

ftai ; to whome, at ourfi lordss revereii£iB and aeist Edward, ye ymparte^ 
Uurgely your grajco. Bnt, soyer&yne lorde, it is not to be thought, but they 
find, it had been posaible to theym by eny meane, their wille was to have 
fccompUj»h9d their crueil, malidoua, and traiterous entent, to the fyeal 
deetruction pf yo^r ppo^t roinU peraone. And to ahewe forthermore the 
jcontynuance of their most dietestable fixed traiterous purpose &nd desiiy 
l^yenat you, soTeraine lorde, apd youre magett^ roitll, and thi» wele of 
youre realme and aubgettee, son^e of theym been arryyed in youre ifapnp of 
Caleii, wherby the toune atondeth in jupartie, wifplp af all the goodes of 
HU jpyif iRarplwiWitps beyng of ^p stapljB Aejrp/? 


fix>in which we learn that the king on his way to London 
-was ''raising the people/' and that great activity was 
displayed in preparing a powerful army for immediate 

The yindictiye measures of the court had indeed left no 
altematiye 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 
English 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 (by) grace of God and gret revelacion, 
Reynyng with rules resonable and rightfulle. 
The which for oure sakes hathe sufferd vexaeion/' 

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: — 

'< E for Edward, whos fame the erthe shal sprede. 
Because of his wisdom, named pmdeuce, 
Shal save alle Englond by his manlyhede, 
Whcrfore we owe to do hym reverence. 

M for Marche, trewe in every tryalle, 
Drawen by discrecion that worthy and wise is, 
Conseived in wedlok, and comyn of biode ryaUe, 
Joynyng unto vertu, excludyng alle vises.'' 

In the popular songs of this time it was common to 
speak of the leading barons by their badges and devices, 
which were then as familiar to the hearers as their names. 

* Printed in the Archsologia, toI xxiz, p 330. 



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 spredyng of his wynges that never dyd fle ; 
Ther was never byrde that bred andre sonne. 
More fortanat in felde than that byrde hathe be, 

<< R for the Ragged 8taff» that no man may akapen. 
From Scotland to Cales thereof men stond in awe ; 
In al cristen landes is none so felic 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 pure. 
That sytteth with his seyntis' in blys etemalle, 
Hur* entent and purpoe may last and endure. 
To the pleasaunce of Ck>d 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 
Lancastrian 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 earl of Sdisbury, lord Cobham, and Sir John 
Wenlock, to watch the Tower which was held for the king 
by lord Scales, and advanced with Warwick, Fauconberg, 
and Bourchier, to meet their enemies. In the battle of 

Glossary." I Saints. 2 Their. 


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, aflfords an interesting 
picture of the state of popular feeling 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 
afiairs, the writer goes on to say. — 

** An ensaumple hereof I take witnesse 

Of certeyne persones that late exiled were, 
Whos sorow is turned into joyfalaesse, 

The Rose, the Fetyrlok, the Egle, and the Bere. 

Orete games in Inglond sum tyme ther were, 
In hanking, huntyng, and fisshing, in every place, 

Amonge lordes with shelde and spere, 
Prosperete in reme^ than reignyng wase. 

<< Whereof God, of his specialle grace, 
Heryng the peple crying for mercye, 
Considering the fakehode in every place, 
Oave inflewenz of myrthe into bodyes on hye. 

GlMsary, — 1 Realm. 

The whiche in a Berward lighted prevelye, 
Edward, jong of age, disposed in solace ; 

In hanking and huntyng to begynne meiyly. 
To Northamptone, with the Bere, he toke his trace.'* 

The Bear- ward's object was to rescue the Hunter Qdng 
Henry) from his Dogs and from the Buck (the earl of 
Buckingham) with whom they had allied themselves. — 

** Now shal ye here a mervelons case, 

All only thoronghe God oone proTysione ; 
The Berward and the Bere thei did the Dogges chaoe, 

And put the3rme to flight, to gret confticione. 

Thus agayne alle natoralle disposicione^ 
To se a Bere to seke his owne game, 

Bat if it were of Gk>ddi8 mooione. 
That he shold do the Dogges shame. 

'' Talbot* ontrewe was the oon Dogges name, 

Ravling Bewmond anodre,' I nnderstonde ; 
The thrid also was made ful tame. 

He was called bolde Egremonde. 

When the Bereward come to the grounde. 
Where he chased the forsaid leese,* 

Amonge alle other a Buk he foonde. 
The whiche was hye and fat of greese. 

« The ooriages Berward put hym ferre in preese,' 

To die Hnnt,^ onre kynge, he hyed hym ful fast^ 
The Bere, for alle the Dogges, wold not seese,* 

Bat hyed hym sone afiftre^ swyffUy in hast* 

The Dogges barked at hem ful fast ; 
The Bnk set up his homes on hye, 

The Berward, thei cryed, thei wold downe cast. 
The Bere also, if that he come nye. 

Ghsaarif.-^i Another. 2 A leash. 3 Crowd. 4 Hunter. 5 Cease, 
discontinue. 6 Soon after. 

• John Talbot earl of Shrewsbury. 


*^ The Bereward aBked no qnestione why. 
Bat on the Dogges he set foUe ronnde ; 

The Bere made the Dogges to cry, 
And with his pawme' cast theyme to grounde* 
The game was done in a litel stounde, 

The Bnk was slayne and borne away ; 
Agayne the Bere than was none hoonde, 

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 earb on this occasion. 

« But the Hunt 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 Hnntes frende, 
Felle downe on kne saying with obedience, 

' 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 ; 

Alle thinges were hyd from your audience, 
Wherefore we fled 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, 

Te be my frendis I may wele se. 

" * Stond up, Berward, welcom be ye, 
Oramercy of your gentyl game j 

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 highnesse.'' 

GltMioi^y.— i Palm. 2 Bowed, stooped. 3 Then. 4 Tell. 

The gentyl Bere said, ^ Wkhooten blame, 
We have be pat in gret heyynesse/ " 

The king is then made to throw all the blame of past 
events on the evil councillors with whom he had been sur- 
rounded, the ** Dogges" from whom the earls had relieved 
him, whom, in the ballad, he degrades with the title of 
" curs." 

** The HuDt answerid with gret mekenesse, 

* The Dogges wrought* agayne alle kyndt ;' 
Thei labored to bryng me in distresse, 

I was theire majster and specialle ftende. 

The Buk ran before, the Bogges behynde, 
I followed afiler, I wist never why ; 

In no place game kowde* I fynde, 
The Bok and the Dogges playde by and by. 

<^ * A geDtylle Dogge wol naturally 

His mayster love, and drede also ; 
His kyndly^ game if he may aspy, 

From hym belyve^ he wol be goo. 

These curre Dogges before dyd not so : 
The Buk and they played jMzr aseni :^ 

They lapped away the fatte me fro. 
Me to myscheve^ was theire entent 

*< < And never to me thei wold consent, 

The whiohe called you ever trey tours untrewe ; 

Tyl now the trewe comynerys^ of Kent 
Be comyn with you, falsehed to destrewe,* 
And truthe long exiled now to renewe. 

Seynt Thomas I thanke, in alle yonre right 
That girded you this day, and shewid to be trewe, 

So fewe men slayne in so gret a fight. 

<< < It was the werk of Qod Almight, 
Of mannesse'** power it might not be. 

G2tMMry.— 1 Worked, acted. 2 Nature. 3 Could. 4 Natural. 5 Im- 
mediately. 6 By agreement. 7 To ruin, cause to faiL 8 Commoners. 
9 Destroy. 10 Man's. 


Gramercy, Fauoon, of tbi fayre flight, 
The bird from the neet he made to fle/ " 

Tlxe 'Faucon' was William Neville lord Fauconberg, 

i^lio distinguished himself by his zeal in the Yorkist cause. 

ITlxe oommons of Kent appear to have formed the bulk of 

the "iTorkist army at the battle of Northampton ; and the 

«rrt^l1 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 

\ed. to London. 

^< To London now, that fayre cyte, 
The Hnnt was brought fol reverendy ; 

The Berward, the Bere, the Pawcone fre, 
Bode about hym folle joyfully. 

** Thorow that cyt6 right opynly 

The Hunt rode, with gret gladnesse ; 
The pepil rejoysed inwardly, 

And thanked Gh)d of his goodenesse ; 

That he iiketh with lustynesse 
To endewe the Hunt, cure noble kyng. 

And to remeve' his hevynesse, 
Whiche to his regalle is nothyng 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 wayted^ upon his pray ; 

^ (^bmtr^.^i Bemove. 2 Berao¥iiig-*-hL' n*JY<3c l«lt London. 3 Kijvereiip 


Afle hk ddite was ever in fiflshing. 

Hie Fkahe were doaed in pytteB alwaj. 
Tit St the last, upon a daj. 

The Fimhe drewe nere unto the hayte ; 
Nede hathe no lawe, thus alle men saj. 

Hie Egle therto erer lajde goode wayte. 

** To shape awaj it was foi atrajte. 

The Egyk biides laj so theyme abowte ; 
Ever beholding the fiilce dissay te. 

How from theyme alle thei wold gon onte. 

Hie Egle lighted, and made hem to lonte : 
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 upon a nyght. 

Save theire Skales were placked away ; 
Than had the Fisshe lost alle here might» 
And litel joy in watjrr 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. 

** WhoQi treson ne falsehod never dyd shame, 

Bat ever obedient to his sovereigne ; 
Falsehod evermore put hym in blame. 

And lay awayte* hym to have sleigne. 

If Gh>d be with us, who is us agayne ? 
He his so nowe, blessid mot he be ! 

Of this fortune alle men may be fayne, 
That right hathe now his fre entree."* 

62M«ary.— 1 Lay in wait or in ambush. 

* This poem was communicated by Sir Frederic Madden to the Society 
of Antiquaries, and is printed in the Archnologia, yoL xxix, p. 334. 


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 imder the surface. We have abundant evidence of 
fears and suspicions in the Fasten 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, farewell ye, farewell I, 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 bribery) 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 lessen 
ihe might of all their enemies throughout the shires of the 
land." A still more remarkable testimony of the fears and 
feelings of the Yorldsts at this time is preserved in the 
following short poem,* the writer of which strongly urges 

« Prmted in tbe Archcologia, toI. xxix, p. 340. 
2 R 

the men then m power to be on their g^uard against ibe 
Lancastrians, and to be distrustful of pretended Mendship, 
which agrees precisely with friar Brackly*s apprehensions. 
The earl of March is here again designated as the Rose, 
and the other lords by the same terms as before; the 
*' Ragged Bottis" refer to the earl of Warwick, while the 
" Staflford Knottis" indicate the duke of Buckingham, the 
head of the house of Sta£ford. 

'* Awake» lordes, awake, and take goode hede. 
For Bom that speke fal fayre, tbei wolde your eril spede; 
Though thei pere in yonr presence with a fajre &ce. 
And her tunge chaunged, the hert is as it was. 
Thei scyne' in theire assemble, It is a wondre thjng 
To se the Rose in wyntre* so fresshe for to spryng ; 
And many barked atte Bare,* that now be fol stylle, 
Yit thei wol hym wyrye,* if thei might have her wylle. 
But of your fewe fomen^ nothing that ye drede. 
For the comyns' ben youres, ever at youre nede ; 
Yit a seege^ wold be set the falte to take and holde. 
For oon^ scabbed shepe may enfecte al a folde. 
Trust not to moche* in the favour of youre foos ; 
For thei be double in wirking, as the worlde gos» 
Promysing foith fully obeisaunce to kepe. 
But perfite^ love in theire hertis is leyde for to slope. 
And though thei were*" the Rose, or the Ragged Btatkf 
Thei rought never how sone, in feithe, that ye starffe. 
For fyro and water togider in kyndeling be" brougbt. 
It passeth mannes power, be God that me bought ! 
For two faces in a bode'* is never to tryst, 
Beth wel war before, and thenk of had-I-wist." 

• This phrase appears to prove that the song was written early in the 
winter which followed the battle of Northampton, i. e. the end of the year 

Glostary.^l Say. 2 At the Bear (i. e. the earl of Warwick). 3 Worry. 

4 Foes. 5 Commons. 6 Siege. 7 One. 8 Too much. 9 Perfect. 10 Wear. 

11 In kindling (taking fire), to be (the infinitive of the verb). 12 Two 
faces in one hood. 13 Had I known (a proverbial expression). 


Per thei hopen and tristen* to here of a day, 

To see the Rose and the Lione* brought to a bay, 

With the £gel and the Bere, that worthi be in fight : 

from that infortune* preserve you God Almight ! 

And lat not youre savegardes be to liberalle 

To your foos, that be tumyng ever as a balle ; 

And sithe* fortune hathe set you bye on hir whele. 

And in youre comyns love, loveth ye hem as wele. 

Por 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 counsel, cschewe theire lottis. 

To telle you more it is no nede, 

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 every man ; 

Muche 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 God 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 Omnipoteut." 

Events were now marching towards a final crisis with 
fearfiil 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 great barons of the realm; but the 

* John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk — Iiis cognisance was a lion rampant. 

t A badge of the earl of Warwick. 

Glossary. — I They hope and trust. 2 Misfortune, mishap. 3 Since. 
4 Rather. 5 Feast. 6 A time not previously appointed. 7 Ruined. 
8 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 and 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 Yorkists ; 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 accom- 
panied him were slain, and the furious enmity between 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 age, also fell into the hands of the Lancas- 
trians, and was cruelly murdered by the lord Clifford. Most 
of the prisoners of any consideration were executed to 


ftatisfy 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 
Teady 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 lieth 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 God shall help them, for the people in the 
north rob and steal, and be appointed to pill (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 
he up on the men in the north, for it is for the weal of aU 
the south.'' 

The queen marched directly uponLondon, 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. She met with no serious check until she arrived 
at St. Alban's, where she was opposed by the Yorkists 
under the earl of Warwick. But having turned their posi- 
tion, she attacked the main body of the earl's army between 
that town and Bamet, and completely defeated it, the last 
stand being made by the men of Kent on Bamet Common. 
The king was left on the field, and was thus again liberated 
from the party who had been acting in his name. The 

ijancastnans annuiiea au tne acts oi govenuneni; passea 
since their defeat at Northampton, proclaimed the leaden 
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 uarih ; 
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. The 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 commenced, three sims 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 circiunstance. 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 retalia- 
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 army 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 citizens were unfavourable 
towards her. She sent to the lord mayor for some carts of 
victuals for her army, and he did not venture to disobey 


her order : but, as Hall informs us, '' the moveable com- 
mons^ which favoured not the queenes part, stopped the 
cartes at Cripplegate, and boldely sayd, that their enemies 
livliicli came to spoyle and robbe the citizens, should neyther 
"be relieved nor victayled by them. And notwithstandyng 
gentle advertisement to them given of the mischiefes which 
miglit ensue of their doyngs: yet they remayned still in 
one obstinate minde and wilfuU will, not permittyng the 
caryages to passe or go forwarde. Duryng which contro- 
versies divers of the Northern horsemen came and robbed 
in the suburbes of the citie, and would have entered at 
Cripplegate, but they by the commoners were repulsed and 
beaten backe, and three of them slaine." While the queen 
-wsLS 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 knowlege 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 the whole realme, thinking there to assure themselves 
of the east and west parte of the kingdome, as king Henry 
and his faction 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 citie 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 coimties adjoyning to London daylie repayred to see, 
ayde, and comfort this lustie prince and flower of chivalrie, 
as he in whome the hope of their joy and the trust of their 
quietnesse onely then consisted." Edward, less scrupulous 
than his father, took advantage of the favourable disposition 


of the people assembled at London, and caused himself to be 
received and proclaimed as king, under the title of Edward 
IV. 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 caUed 
' 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. 

** Sithe* Ood bathe chose the to be his knyght. 
And posseside the in this right, 
Thoue him honour with al thi royght, 

Edivardus Dei gratia, 

** Oute of the stoke* that longe lay dede, 
God hathe causede the to sprynge and sprede, 
And of al Englond to be the hede/ 

Edwardus Dei gratia, 

** Sithe God hath yeven the, thorough his myghte, 
Owte of that stoke birede^ in sight 
The floure to springe and rose so white, 

Ednfordus Dei ffrcaia. 

^* Thoae yeve* hem lawde and praisinge, 
Thoue vergyne knight of whom we synge, 
Undeffiled* sithe thy bygynyng, 

Edmardus Dei graiuij 

* Commimicated by Mr. Halliwell to the Society of Antiquaries, and 
printed in the Archsologia, vol. xxix, p. 130. 

GVonary^-^X Since. 2 Stock, i. e. the house of York. 3 Head. 4 Buried. 
5 Giye. 6 Undefiled, i. e. who had nerer sustained a defeat. 


** God save thy contenewaanoe, 
And so to prospede* to his plesaunce, 
That ever thjne astate thou mowte* enhannce, 
Edmardua Dei gratia, 

** Rex Angliae et Francice, y say, 

Hit is thine owne, why saist thou nay ? 
And so is Spayn, that faire contrey, 

Edwardus Dei s^atia. 

** Fy on slowtfulle contenewauance ! 
Where conquest is a noble plesaunce, 
And registerd in olde rcmemberance, 

Edwardus Dei gratia, 

** Wherefore, prince and kyng moste myghti, 
Remembere the subdene of thi regaly. 
Of Englonde, Fraunce, and Spayn, trewely. 

Edwardtis Dei groHa,** 

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 by 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 by 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 Warwick moved northward 
with the main body of the Yorkist army, which consisted 
chiefly of Welshmen (or borderers) and Kentishmen, 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 
l£th of March, and soon joined the advancing army. At 

(TlMMfy.-'l Proiper, apeed welL 1 May. 
£ s 


Ferrybridge there was a sharp and unexpected engagement^ 
in which the Yorkists slew lord Clifford, the base murderer 
of the infant earl of Rutland after the battle of Wakefield. 
On Friday evenings 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 ficom 
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 imrelenting fiiry during the whole of the night, 
and at noon of the next day, which was Palm Sunday, the 
result seemed still doubtful, when the duke of Norfolk 
appeared with a body of fresh troops, and by three o'clock 
the Yorkists had gained a decisive 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 Yorldsts 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 after, 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 crowned 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 and the exultation of the victors, but 

it enumerates by their banners the chief towhs which sent 
men to aid the victorious party, ahd to avenge the invasion 
of the South by the Northerns, as well as the barons who 
took part in this sanguinary contest.* Some oif these 
banners, or badges, cannot now be easily appropriated. 

'* Now is the Rose of Rone* gfowen to a gret honodre, 
Therfore syng we everycnone/ i-blessid be that fioure ! 

** 1 wame yon every chone, for [ye] sbuld understonde, 
There spraDge a Rose in Rone, and sprad into Englonde ; 
He that moved cure mone,* thoroughe the grace of Gbddes 

That Rose stonte alone the chef flour of this londe. 

I-blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floure ! 

** Blessid be that Rose ryalle that is so fresshe ol* hewe ! 
Almighty Jhesn blesse that soulef that the sede sewe ! 
And blessid be the gardeyne ther the Rose grewe ! 
Cristes blessyng have the! alle that to that Rose be trewe ! 
And blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floure! 

^* Betwix Cristmas and Candelmas, a litel before the Lent, 
Alle the lordes of the northe thei wrought by oon assent ; 
For to stroy' the sowthe cnntr^ thei did aHe hnr entente f 
Had not the Rose of Rone be, al Englond had be shent J 
I-blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floure ! 

« Upon a Shrof Tuesday, on a grene leede,* 

Betwix Sandricche and Saynt Albons many man gan blede ; 
On an AsWedynsday we lisvid in mykel drede, 

* This ballad is presenred in a manuscTipt in the library of Trinity 
College, Dublin, from which it was copied by Sir Frederic Madden, and 
communicated to the Archssologia, vol. xziz, p. 343. 

t llie duke of York, who was slain at Wakefield. 

Oloaaary.'-l Rouen, where Edward was bom in 1441. 2 Erery one 
3 RemoTed our grief. 4 Sending. 5 Destroy. 6 Intention, ondeayour. 
7 Ruined. 8 A green plain. 

Than cam the Rose of Rone downe to halp us at oure nede* 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floure ! 

** The northen men made her host, whan thei had done that dede, 
< We wol dwelle in the southe cuntrey, and take al that we nede ; 
These wifes and hur doaghters oure purpose shal thei spede.' 
Than seid the Rose of Rone, ^ Nay, that werk shal I fbrbede/ 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that flonre ! 

** For to save al Englond the Rose did his entent. 

With Calays and with Londone, with Essex and with K.ent ; 
And al the southe of Englond unto the watyr of Trent ; 
And whan he saw the tyme best, the Rose from London i^ent, 
Blessid be the tyme that ever Qod sprad that flonre ! 

** The way into the northe cuntr6 the Rose ful fast he songrbl; 

With hym went the Ragged Staf, that many man dere bought ; 
^ So than did the White Lyon,* ful worthely he wrought, 

Almighti Jhesu blesse his soule that tho* armes ought I* 

And blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that flonre/ 

" The Fisshe Hokef cam into the felde with ful egre mode;' 
So did the Comysshe Chowghet and brought forthe alle hir 

brode j* 
Ther was the Blak Ragged Staf,§ that is bothe trewe and goode. 
The Brideld Horse, the Watyr Bouge|| by the Horse stode. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God spred that floure ! 

<< The Grehound and the Hertes Hede, thei quyt hem wele that 
So did the Harow of Caunterbury, and Clynton with his Kay ; 
The White Ship of Brystow, he feryd* not that fray, 
The Blak Ram of Coventry, he said not one nay. 

Blessid be the tyme that ever God spred that floure ! 

• The duke of Norfolk, whose banner bore a white lion. 

t Lord Falconberg. 

X This was the cognizance of John lord Scrope of Bolton. 

} Edmund lord Grey of Ruthyn, afterwards earl of Kent. 

g Supposed to be Henry viscount Bouchier, afterwards earl of Essex. 

Glossafy.'-'l Those. 2 Possessed. 3 Sharp mood. 4 Brood. 5 VuM^ 


*^ The Fawcon and the Petherlok* was ther that tjde» 
The Blak Bolle also hymself he wold not hyde ; 
The Dolfyn cam fro Walys, iij. Carpis he his syde. 
The prowde Libert* of Saleshory, he gapid his gomesP wide. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever Qod spred that flonre ! 

*' The Wolf cam fro Worcetre, fnl sore he thought to byte» 
The Dragon cam fro Olowcestre^ he bent his tayle to smyte ; 
The Griffon cam fro Leycestre, fleyng in as tyte,* 
The Oeorge cam fro Notyngham with spere for to fyte. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever Ood spred that floure I 

*^ The Boris Hede fro Wyndesoyer, with tosses* sharp and kene. 
The Estriche Fader was in the felde^ that many men myght 

Bene ;' 
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 ! 

^* Tlie northen party made hem strong with spere and with 
shelde ; 
On Palmesonday affter the none thei met us in the felde ; 
Within an owre thei were right fayne to fle, and eke to yelde, 
xxvij. 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 southe d welle in his owne place ; 
His wif and eke his fairs doughtre, and al the goode he has ; 
Soche menys^ hath the Rose made, by vertu and by grace. 
Blessid be the tyme that ever God sprad that floure I 

• This and one or two of the otheis appear to hare been different badges 
borne by Tarious parties of Edward's own feudal retainers. 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 Liuicastrians on a 
former occasion. 

GfoMory.—l Leopard. 2 Gums. 3 Quickly. 4Tuaks. 5 See. 6 Psa* 
aon, flag. 7 Such means. 

]j. erchebisshops of England thei crouncd the Rose kjng; 
Almighti Jhesu Bare the Rose, and geve hym his blessjng, 
And al the reme* of England joy of his crownyng. 

That we may blesse the tyme that ever God sprad that floore! 
Amen, pur eharite. 

In the summer after his coronation king Edward made 
a tour through the southern parts of the kingdom, beginning 
at Canterbury, and passing through Winchester, and other 
places 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 degr6! 

Many yeeris hast thoa lakkyd owte of this londe. 
I am thy forefader, Wylliam of Normandye, 

To see thy welefare here through Goddys sond.*' 

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 9th of September. 
The king soon after left Bristol to prepare for his first 
parliament, which met at London in the beginning of 

A contemporary 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 
ffiraunsches yeve to citeis and townes, &c. and graunted to 
many cyteis and townes new fraunschesses more than was 
grraunted before, ryghte largly, and made chartours thereof^ 
to the entent to have the more good wiUe and love in his 
londe."* Among the towns which had supported the 

GAMMfy.*^! Royally. 2 Reahn. 

• Warkworth'8 Chronicle, ed. Malliwell, 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 with a 
charter which greatly extended their franchises, and the 
preamble states that it was given in consideration of " the 
laudable and gratuitous services which our beloved and 
fiEiithful 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 from a small assembly of freemen 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 charged 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 obtain exemption from his 

mi;eneTence in cneir iniieniai disputes^ witn tne ngni oi 
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 all its rights and firanchises 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 thirteenth 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 household, freely 
to buy and sell in the town of Ludlow, in fairs and out of 
fairs, without any custom given." In the 27th of Henry 
VI, a charter was granted by Richard duke of York, as the 
feudal lord, in which it is stated that there had been 
" before time out of memory an ancient government in the 
said town, consisting 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 however appear 
to have required the consent and approval of the lord, as in 
the follovring 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 
craft 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, tmder payne of x. li., so as it plainly appeareth 
under the said dukes seal and the conmion seal of the 
town, to be forfeit as ought times as it may be proved. • 

"Also it is ordered by the said duke and twelve and 

twenty-five^ that no burgess, chansel, or resident were no 
lordes clothe, nor gentlemen on pain of forfeiture of his 
burgesship, 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 
affidrs, 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 mercateria (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 1478, a second charter was granted, to 
relieve the tow^n from some grievances which seoni to have 
occurred in the payment of the fee-farm into the king^s 
2 T 



exchequer. The whole tenor of these chaxters shows tkat 
the town of Ludlow enjoyed the especial favour of king 

Many other acts prove 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 
diminished. Many of his supporters, such as Warwick, 
were as selfish as himself ; and thinking themselves abridged 
of the emoluments and honours for which chiefly they had 
fought^ they began to desert his cause. In 1469, the 
general discontent broke out in an insurrection in the 
north, and the king was obliged to call upon his family 
friends 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 Welshmen^ 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 with the duke of Burgundy. He returned, however, 
after only about five mouths 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 animosities. Only two years before they had marched 
with an earl of Pembroke of Edward's making — a Herbert 
— to fight the Lancastrian insurgents. Some of the Welsh 
chiefs had raised their men, joined Edward on his return, 
and fought with him in the battle of Barnet. But a rival 
earl of Pembroke, Jasper Tudor, the same who had been 
defeated by Edward at Mortimer's Cross, 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 partizanship, 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 147S, the commons 
petitioned the king to '^ considre the intoUerable exJk)rsions, 
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, 1472, the king created 
his eldest sou prince Edward, then a mere infant, 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 we have cited a few 
pages back, tells us the royal child was sent to Ludlow 
" for justice to be doen in the marches of Wales, to the end 

that by the authentic of hys presence the wilde Welshe- 
meniie and evill disposed personnes should xefiram from 
their accustomed murthers and outrages." The prince's 
council^ over which Alcock^ bishop of Worcester^ was 
appointed president^ were actively occupied in carrying 
into effect these objects. In the following official letter/ 
dated in 1475, when the prince was still hardly four yean 
of age, we find his two half brothers occupied in putting 
down one of these not unfirequent acts of turbulence. 

*< To our trusty and welbeloved the baillies of Shrewsbury, 
and to either of them. 

" By the prince. 

*^ Trusty and welbeloved, we grete yoa wele. And where 
as oftentymes hertofor ther have be made as well nnto oar 
moost drad lorde and fadre, as unto us, greet and haynes 
complaynts of robberies, murdres, manslaughters, ravysshments 
of women, brennyng of houses, and othir horrible dedys and 
misbeliavyngs, by thenhabitants of the Marches adjoinant unto 
you; and in especiall now late greet murdre, brennyng, and 
manslaughter doon by errant tbeves and rebellious of Oswestre 
hundred and Chirkes lond in dispite of my said lorde and 
fad res lawes and us, as the said misdoers fere nor shame opply 
to sey, as we be credibly enformed. For the redresse of the 
same, my said lorde 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 thexecution wherof 
we have substitute oar right entierly and welbeloved brethem 
uterynes 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 proclamacion in our said lorde and fadres name, 
that all manner men within your bailly weke betwix Ix. and zvj. 
arredie themselfs, sufficiently harneysed, and drawe toward our 
said brethem, there to give their attendaunce in all hast possible. 

• Printed in Owen and Blake way's tiistory of Shrewsbury, rol. i. 
p. 252. 


And that ye ne fiule herof as ye will answere to my said lorde. 
And that ye put yoa in effectual devoir to se that viteleiv 
parTey and bring brede, ale, fiessh, and other vitail for the 
anstentacion of our seid brethem and their folawsbip, and they 
ahal be wele and truly content therfor. Yeven undre our 
signet, at the castle of Ludlowe, the viij. day of June." 

The two princes remained at Ludlow during the life of 
their father. Wc find tliem paying visits to Shrewsbury in 
1478 and 1480. On king Edward's death in 1483, they 
were still at Ludlow Castle, under the guardianship of 
their maternal uncle, lord Bivers, and their half brother, 
lord Bichard Grey, and were immediately recalled to 
London to perish there within a few weeks, amid the 
mysterious events which attended the accession of Richard 
m. 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 Bichard made a 
progress towards the west. He passed through Oxford 
to Gloucester, a city which had always been devoted to his 
fiEimily, and in which he was now received with great 
rejoicings. He reached Tewkesbury on the 4th of August, 
and thence passed on to Worcester, Warwick, Coventry, 
Leicester, 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 received at 
Lincoln the news of the treacherous rebellion of the duke 
of Buckingham. 

The borders of Wales had become important at this 
period from the position taken by the powerful Welsh 
family of the Tudors against the reigning dynasty. The 
duke of Buckingham had great power in Wales and in 

ohropshire^ m 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 adranoed 
towards Worcester, but at Weobley his progress 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 
Lacon, 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 the 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 Mytton, made an ineffectual 
attempt to arrest the progress of the successful pretender to 
the throne, in his march from Wales. 

The sanguinary stru^le between the two rival families 
of York and Lancaster ended in the person of Henry VJI. 
It left the country exhausted and demoralized. 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 Kinastons of Shropshire, " for the 
greate abhomynation as well of raurthers as of robberies, 


and Other greate and iuordynat offences, commytted and 
done by Thomas Keneston, Humfrey Keneston, Olyver 
Keneston, and Richard Keneston, late of the countie of 
Shropshire, geutilmen, as to oure sovereygn lorde the kyng 
credebly ys shewed, [wherefore] oure soyereygne lorde hath 
dyrecte his dyvers lettres of pryv^ seales, to the said Thomas, 
Humfray, Olyvere, and Richard Keneston, as well with 
proclamacion as otherwise ; the whiche privy seales, obsty- 
natly, contrarie to their true allegeaimce and fealt^, they 
have disobeyed, to the greate contempt of his highness, and 
most perilous and*grevous 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 beyng of the kyng 
our sovereign lordes late progresse, and therupon is fledde, 
and hath taken the sayntuary 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 
patentes, giftes, and grauntes, made by the kyng our 
sovereign lorde unto the said Thomas Crofte, of the office 
of rangership of the forest of Wichewode, in the countie of 
Oxon, 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 
patentes, giftes, or gratmtes or the same offices, or any of 
theym be named or called in any suche lettres patentes, 
giftes, or grauntes, be, from the first day of this present 
parliament, utterly voide, and of no force, wtue, ne effecte."t 
In the progress alluded to the king, after visiting the 
north, had passed along the border, visiting Woroester, 

• Rolls of Parliament toI. yi, p. 403. 
t lb. p. 441. 


Hereford, Gloucester and Bristol, in the course 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 only by the feuds and turbulence of the inhalntants, 
but in many cases by the conflicting rights of jurisdictioD 
still held on the lands of the old lords marchers ; snd m 
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 juion 
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 
ordres for ministrati<m of justice there to be had;" "«^ 
act for punishment of Welshmen attempting any assaults or 
aflSrays upon any of the inhabitants of Hereff. Glouc snd 
Shropshire;' and "an act for purgation of convicts b 

Henry VII followed the example of Edward IV in 
sending his in&nt 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. Hi^ 
king appears to haye paid frequent visits to Ludlow while 
his son remained there; but in April 1508, 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. 



I%e Diasclutian of Monaateries. 

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 IdinAr—parcere sub/ectts, et debeUare 
9uperbo9 — ^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 part, 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 
fiunlity 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. 
Two or three offended or dissatisfied barons, raising their 
dependant tenantry and joining their forces together, found 
little difficulty in overawing their sovereign. But after the 
dissolution of the monasteries, such coalitions were no 
longer practicable; for where formerly the feudal superior 
could raise his men secretly and imopposed through the 
whole extent of his broad territory, now he foimd an 
independent gentleman, whose interests were the reverse o( 
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 Elizabeth's govern- 
ment in 1569. The great chieftains of Westmoreland and 
Northimiberland, from their peculiar position on the firontier, 
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 they had overlooked 
the importance of Ihe opposition they were to encounter at 
their own gates by the Boweses, and the Oargraves, 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 norths 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 imder the 
peculiar circumstances of remote times. As early as the 
twelfth century (previous to which we know little of their 
effect on society beyond what is told us by their own his- 
torians, and that is far from fovourable) the cry against the 
monkisli 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 frequent 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 Brakelonde 
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 tiued with the satincal writings ot which, during 
this age^ the monkish vices were the hutt. An English 
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 ; 
They ride with hawk and hound, 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 
monks 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 cower there all day in hunger and in cold, 

and starve. 
LodL what love there is to God, whom they say that tbej 

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 ',t 

There is he all too seldom seen in any devotion ; 

His 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 Lord, that serve thus bis men." 

* That is, houses of all orders of monks. I haye modernized the 
language of this poem, as it is rather obscure to general readers. 

t That is, listen to the petition ^hich the poor man has brought. 

X Religion was the term used to express the monastic body at large. 

H In 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 God's love both hunger and cold ; 
But he have his hood and cap furred, he is not i-told 
(reckoned of any worth), 

in the convent ; 
But certainly pride of wealth hath them all ablent (blmdedj. 

" Religion (monachUm) was first founded hardness for to 
di-ie (suffer), ' 

And now is the most part turned to ease and gluttony. 

Where shall men now find fatter or redder of teres (counte- 

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 even than the 
monks^ and as to their humility and charity, — 

** If a poor man come to a friar to ask shrift (absolution). 
And there come a richer and bring him a gift $ 
He (the latter) shall into the refectory and be made full glad. 
And the other stands outside, as a man that were made 

in sorrow ; 
Yet 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 i 

^* An out-rydere, that loved venerye ; 
A manly man, to ben an abbot able« 
Ful many a deynt6 hors haddc he in stable : 
And whan he rood, men might his bridel heere 
Oyngle in a whistlyng wynd so cleere. 
And eek as lowd as doth the chapel belle." 

• This curious poem is printed in its original form in my Political 
Songs, pp. 323—345. 


And after speaking of his contempt for the letter of the 
" rule" under which he livedo the poet goes on to describe 
him as^ — 

** Therefore he was a pricasour aright : 
Greyhoundes he hadde as swifte as fowel in Bight : 
Of prikyng and of hantjng for the hare 
Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare. 
I saugh his sieves, purfiled atte hond 
With grysy and that the fynest of a lond. 
Aiud for to festne his hood undor his cbyn 
He hadde of gold y-wrought a curious 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 fal fat and in good poynt. 
His eyen steep, and roily ng in his heed. 
That stemed as a forneys of a leed. 
His bootes souple, his hors in gret estat, 
Now certeinly he was a fair prelat. 
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 farsud ful of knyfes 
And pynnes, for to give faire wyfes. 
And certayn he hadde a mery noote. 
Wei conthe he synge and pleye on a rote. 
Of yeddynges he bar utturly the prys. 
His nekke whit as the flour-de-lys. 
Therto he strong was as a champioun. 
He knew wel the tavemes in every toun. 
And every ostiller or gay tapstere. 
Bet than a lazer, or a beggere, 
For unto such a worthi man as he 
Accorded not, as by his faculty. 
To have with sike lazars aqueyntaunce. 
It is not honest, it may not avannce. 
For to delen with such poraile, 


But al with riche and sellers of vitaille. 

And over al, ther profyt schulde arise, 

Curteys he was, and lowe of servyse. 

Ther was no man nowher so vertuons. 

He was the beste begger in al his hous : 

For though a widewe hadde but oo schoo. 

So pleasaunt was his Inprinciph^ 

Yet wolde he have a ferthing or he wente. 

His purchace was bettur than his rente. 

And rage he couthe and pleye as a whelpe. 

In love-dayes ther couthe he mochil helpe. 

For ther was he not like a cloysterer. 

With a thredbare cope, as a pore scoler. 

But he was like a maister or a pope. 

Of double worstede was his semy-cope. 

That rounded was as a belle out of a presse.* 

Somwhat he lipsede, for wantounesse, 

To make his Englissch swete upon his tunge; 

And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde snnge, 

His eyghen twynkeled in his heed aright. 

As don the sterres in the frosty 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 actively, 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 black than they are 
described in any of the extiucts 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. manachism) a rider, 
A roamer about, 
A leader of love-days, 

Aind a land-bayer, 

A pricker on a palfrey 

From manor to manor, 

A heap of hoands at his tail 

As he a lord were, 

Aind anlcss 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 you religiouses (monks). 
And beat you as the bible telleth 
For breaking of your rule ; 
And amend monials (nuns)^ 
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 banning 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 Walter 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 monasteries, and then caused so much scandal 
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 dissatisfaction 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 
the civil power. 

It must be acknowledged at the same time that many 
circumstances 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 island^ and probably nowhere more than on the borders 
of Wales. The scene of Latimer's preaching was at Bristol. 
The monks and lEriars 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 zeal, that they were often 
obliged to raise money by selling or pledging the crosses of 
silver and gold to which those offerings had previously been 
made. This was more especially the case with the friars, 
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 reformers had also found 
listeners among the monks and firiars themselves, who, dis- 
gusted with the vices that surrounded them, lent willing 
hands towards their suppression. As early as 1526, a 
bachelor of arts, named Garret (subsequently burnt in 
Smithfield for heresy), was busily employed in distributing 
« X 

bishop of L: 
" this Garro t 
Redyng, fo • 
suche corriT i 
fessed the s 
receyved n i 
hath used I 
The bisho] ; 
man Garp ; 
thinfectioi t 
prior of I < 
in the T( 
Luther. i 
nastic he 
looking 1 I 
yng up I 
as they i 
border, i 
leave f \ 
worthj I 

the m 
after i 
(M drr 

Ki I 

culti'' I 


bear [ 

the t 

as 1 


boeks^ the greater portion of which are still preserved. 
They were voluntary confessions, their chief object being 
apparently to obtain pensions after the dissolution by this act 
of obsequiousness; 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 lai^r ones were 
seized 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 
stamblingblocks which brought not a few of the heads of 
larger houses to the scaffold or to the gallows. The dissolution 
of the smaller houses had been in some places ^olently 
opposed, and led to a series of rebellions in the north and 
north-eastern 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 impK- 
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 that 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 OUT border was not free from excitement and agitation, 
while they all afford interesting pictures of the manners of 
the time, and of the low state of society. The eagerness 
with which individuals of the lowest rank were persecuted 
for seditious speeches would astonish us, did we not know 

that parallels might be found within the laat fifty or aiAj 
years. On one occasion we find an actual beggai thrown 
into prison^ and formal depositions relating to him sent 
ta the king's minister^ because in drinking at a Tillage inn 
he had said ** he wished king Henry's head were boiled ina 
potj and he would be the first to drink <^ the broth." On 
the 12th of August^ 1585, a countryman of Crewle in 
Worcestershire, was accused of having chai^^ed the king 
with being the cause of the badness ot the weather, he 
having, on hi» way from Wofcester market, declued to one 
of his companions that, ^* yt y» long of the kyng that tlii» 
wedre is so troubloua or unstable, and I wcne we shall 
nevir have better wedre whillis the kyng xvignetlfe, smd 
therfore it maketh no matter if he were knocked or patted 
on the heed." On the 22nd of September, in the same 
year, a priest named sir John Brome,* who held the 
vicarage of Stanton Lacy near Ludbw, and the curacy of 
Ludford, was accused by certain priests of Ludlow ol retain- 
ing the pope's name in his service books, and of (Knitting the 
names of the king, queen, and princess, in his prayers, and 
it was deposed that when some one authorised for that 
purpose erased the pope's name before his face, he told the 
man he was a fool, '^ saying to hym, this worlde will not 
last ever." This belief that the extraordinary changes now 
going on would be only of temporary duration, was a 
pretence for many to bow their heads to the storm. In 
September, 15S6, the year of the great northern rebellion, 
known by the title of the " Pilgrimage of Grace," several 
witnesses (countrymen and wcmien of Crewle, in Worcester- 
shire, already mentioned), deposed individually 'Hhat 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 countie, smyth, in the 
company of sir Jamys Pratte, clerke, vicar ther, emonges 

* Sir, the iranslaiion of the latin dominus was always added to the 
name of » person who had taken the degree of bachelor of arts in ft 


oChere wordes, and after other comynycacions of the putting 
doMme and suppressing of the monastery or priory ol Studley 
in Warwikeshire, he harde the seyd sir Jamys say and 
uttere thes wordes. That the churche went downe and wolde 
be worse untyll ther be a shrappe fa Now fj, and sayde 
that he rekoned ther were xx^ mI* nygh of flote (afioaJt)j 
and wished ther were xx^t m^- mo^ so that he were oon^ and 
rather tomorrowe then the next day^ ffor ther shall nevere 
be good worlde untyll ther be a shrappe^ and they that may 
escape that shall lyre mery inoughe.'* The picture of the 
ricar 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 
'' that the seyd sir James was drynking and mery emongest 
many wyffes 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 Ghreat Malvern (in the following Jime), James Asche, 
parson of Stanton in Worcestershire, said from the pulpit, 
that if the king *' dyd not go fiirth wyth his lawes, as he 
b^;on, he wold call 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. 
We find in several of these documents the evidence that 
the rising in the north met with the sympathy of the 
monks and clei^ on the border, and that they were 
mortified at its suppression. The abbot of Pershore had 
used words to this effect in April, 1537. One Bobert 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 Llaimlledawn, '^ that the kynges 
grace was out of the fayth of holye churche, bycause he 
dyd put downe holy days, robbe saintes, and robbe the 
churches of theyr duetes (dues J, and sayd that if the men 
of the churche wolde rysc togedcrs, they shulde not sett a 


poynt for hym. And further sayed, it were better for men 
of the churche to dye in the faythe and in the ryght of the 
churche, then to snffer the kynge to robbe 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 holden 
togeders, the kyng cold not have byn hed of the churclie." 

The great year of the dissolution of monastic houses was 
1538, and we are enabled to trace one party of the king's 
oonmiissioners in their somewhat rapid progress through 
the border. Bichard, suffiragan bishop of Dover/ (there 
was a great number of these suffiragans 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 the 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 seveial 
weeks in the north, after which he returned to the midland 
counties^ and passed from Northampton, by Coventry, Ather- 
stone, Warwick, Theleaford, 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 schiffte made with 
suche as theie had before, as jewellys selling, and other 
schifik by leasys ;" and he complains that at Droitwich the 
prior had ''in lesse than on yere that he hathe be prior 

* The compiler of the Cottonian Catalogue, misreadiag the signature 
2>0Mrwii., or Dewrem,, has called this man Richard Devereux, and has 
been followed in the mistake by other persons. 


ther, fellyd and solid vij. score good elmys^ a chales 
of iij^^ unc. and x. unc, a sensor of xxxvi. unc.^ ij. gie 
pottys eche abull to sethe an hoU oxe^ as men sey, 
pannySy and other^ so that in the howse ys not left oi 
on schete, on plater or dische." The visitor next reps 
various parts of the south of England^ and went as 
Winchester and Southampton^ whence he returned tc 
c^ester^ and received the surrender of the friars' hoi 
that city on the 28th of July. 

Other commissioners had preceded the bishop of 
in the counties of Worcester and Gloucester. Towai 
middle of March, sir William Petre had received the 
nation of the abbot of Evesham^ and on the 17th o 
month he took that of the important and powerful pri 
Lfanthony at Gloucester. Sir William says that he 
the surrender of Lanthony as quietly as might be \ 
appears that the prior had been charged with vices 
revolting nature, of tvhich a detailed account is giver 
paper preserved in the Bolls House, apparently dra^p 
hy one of the brotherhood. It is stated that the sc 
master, having accidently discovered the prior's beha^ 
went immediately to expostulate with him, but met 
with an angry reception. He then went to one o 
brethren with whom he was intimate (it was a hou 
Austin canons), and laid his mind open to him. 
returned together to the prior, and attempted again to 
mildly to him. But ''whan the priour had harde 1 
wordes, he was sore displeased with them, insomoche 
he commanded the scholemaister to be sette in the sto< 
where he sate iij. days and iij. nightis, besyde that he 
in feare of his lyfe : and the fourth day he toke hym oi 
the stockes, and commanded hym to avoyde shortely oi 
the coimtrey, and never to retume thyther agayne: 
where so ever he dwelled after, the priour founde the m< 
styll to dryve hym awey. And the priour made the cha 
Austine to be put forth within prison." The writer of 
statement concludes, '' For a due triall and profe of all 

said matter^ ye may (it it please you) sende for tne sayd 
scholemaister, whiche nowe dwelleth in Shropshire^ within 
ij. myles of Lidlowe, with one Willam Hejring^, servant to 
our soyerayne lorde the kynge, whiche scholemaister wyll 
be alway redy to justifie the trouthe of all this matter/* 

The bbhop <^ 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 ow^eynge ys to 
tedyus." This was often the case, and in some instances 
the sale of the moveable property was not sufficient to pay 
them. The friars, according to the report of the visitor, 
were in general eager to quit their ccmvents 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 two 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-Lin« 
where there was a convent of Black Friars, and to Shrews- 
bury where there were three houses of friars. *' If " says 
the visitor, " they 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 August, and the 
various documents among the Chapter House records in the 
Bolls 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 apparently 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 furnished, and unusually rich in church 


vestments and plates. The kitchens and brewhouses 
also better stored than in many of the inventories. i 
Slack Friars we find in — 

ITie keehyn. 
Item, iij. gret pottes and ij. Bmall. 
Item, iij. gret pannys and iij. platters and cue charg< 
Item, ij. potyngera 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 lytyll skelet. 
Item, a longe bare of yeryn' alonge the chymny. 
Item, i]. skomers and ij. yeryn rakkes. 
Item, iij. broches. 

The kitchen of the Grey Friars was still better i : 
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. kawthemes.' 

Item, ij. postnettes and a skelet 

Item, a fryeyng pan. 

Item, ij. brasse pannes. 

Item, iij. brooby s and a byrd broche; 

Item, a payer off cobyrons. 

Item, a chafynge dysche. 

Item, a gredyron. 

The visitor was at Bridgnorth on the 5th of August 
the following note, signed by the two bailiffs of the t : 
shows the condition in which he found the house ol 
Grey Friars there. 

M^- Thys V. day of Anguste in the xxx. yere off k; 
Henry the viij^ that Rycharde byschope of Dover, and ve! 

GFlMiofy.— 1, bar of iron. % cauldrons. 


under the lorde prevy seale for the kyngcs grace, was in Bryge- 
northe, wher that the warden and heys bredern in the presens of 
master Thomas Hall and master Randolphe Rodes, balys ofif 
the sayd towne, gave ther howse with all the pertenans into the 
vesytores handdes to the kynges nse ; for sayd warden and 
brethern sayd that they war nott abull to leve, for the charjte 
off the pepulle was so smalle that in iij. yeres they had not 
recey vyd in almes in redy mony to the sum off x* by yere, but 
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- 
veryd 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 witb other. 

per me, Thomam Halle, 
per me, Randull 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 falleynge 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 paper, preserved in the Rolls House, relates 
to these houses. 

" Memorandum. This xiij. day of August, in the xxx**- 
yere of ower most dred soveren lorde kyng Henry the viij<«- 
Rycharde byschope of Dover, and vysytor under the lorde 
prevy seale for the kynges grace, was in Schrewysbery, where 


Cliat in presens of master Edmunde Cole and maste i 
Bfytton^ balys ther, the sayd v^sytor was in all the i 
of fryers, and ther accordeynge to hys conimyesy 
the sayd howseys, and ther toke in eche place an in i 
all ther goodes, and commyttyd the same to the befoi 
balys custody, tyll the kynges plesar be forther kno i 
Wks towcheyng the Graye Fryeres in presens of the s 
gave ther bowse into the yysy tores handdes by oi i 
^withowte any consell or coaccyon; as towcheynge t) 
Fryeres ther war no more bat a prior and ij. Eryscl I 
and all ntensylys gon, and no thynge ther to helpe th I 
not so mnche as a chales to saye masse, and no man d * 
the prior to lende hym any, so that all that was in all i i 
kowde not be priseyd at zxvj* viij^^* no beddeynge nor m< 
nor drynke, wherfor the sayde vysytor dyschargeyd i 
')>rior of that offys, and assyneyd the sayd ij. Eryschc < 
Erionde into ther natyve conventes, and toke that h( ' 
the kynges honddes. To the Blacke Fryeres he gave cert i 
cyons, toke ther accounttes, and so lefte them to ke] 
order, and thus levynge bothe the Graye and Austen i 
with the pertenans and stnffe in the balys handdes by ini ! 
and so departeyd. Thys wyttenesseythe the sayd ba ' 

per me, Edmund < 
per me, Adam M3 1 

From Shrewsbury the visitors proceeded to Ludlow 
have met with no papers relating to their inter : 
progress. They were at the last-mentioned town i 
23rd of August, when they received the surrenders 
only two monastic houses there. These were con\ ; 
Augustine and White Friars, the former situated n( i 
street, adjoining to what is still called Friars lane. II 
appear to have been in a reduced state, for the act ol 
nation is signed by a prior and only three friars. 

*' Memorandum. We the prior and convent of the 
Fryeres of Lodlowe, with one assente and consente, w 
any cojiccyon or consell, do gyve ower bowse into the li 


of the lorde vjsytor to the kynges nee, desyeryng hjs g^raoe 
to be goode and gracjons to us. In wyttenes we sabeerybe 
ower namyB with ower proper hande, thys zziij^ daye of Aogosly 
the xzz*^ yere of the rayne of ower dred soveren lorde kynge 
Henry the viij**- 

per me, Egidinm Pyonrynge priorem Angiutinencium de 

per me, fratrem Johannem Pratt, 
per me, fratrem Willelmon Higges. 
per me, fratrem Chriatofenim Hogeson. 

By hns the bayllyffea of Ladlow, Wylliam Tevans and 
Thomas Whelar. 

The inventory of the fumitiure of this house, which 
accompanies the document just given, is also a proof that it 
was not very rich : — 

The Austen Fryeres of Lndlowe delyvered to Wyllyam 
Yerans and Thomas Wheler, balys ther. 
Itemi 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, ij. olde oopys. 
Item, a oope of sylke with starres. 
Item, a fayer cofer. 
Item, a chesabnll and a tenacle of olde blacke velvet. 

Item, ij. olde anter' clothes. 
Item, a holy water stope, laten.' 
Item, a deske of tymber. 
Item, yj. auter clothes stcyneyd, olde. 
Item, the quere new stalleyd. 
Item, ij. fayer belles and a lytyll bell in the stepuU. 

The haUe, butiere^ and keekyn. 
Item, a lytyll tabuU and ij. trastelles* and a forme. 

OfoiMfy.— 1, Otf^, an altar. % lattn, a kind of mixed metal resembling 
brass. S, the truttel was the temporary frame on which the bord€ or 
table was laid, one tmstel ropporting it at each end, with intarmedtate 


Xtem, ij. olde cupbordee. 
Xtem, a pan and a ketell. 
Xtem, a lytyll brasse pott. 
Xtem, iij. pewter plateres, olde 
Xtem, a lytyll broche. 
Xtem, a fayer gret cupborde. 
Xtem, a gret trowe/ 
Xtem, a tabuU and ij. formye. 
Xtem, fayer laveres of tynne. 

Item, a boxe fiill of evydens. 

And memorandum, ther rest in the vysytorcs hai 
chales weyeynge ziij. unc. Abo ther laye to plege i 
beynge coper within, all weyeynge bothe the coper an< 
▼j**- ix. nnc, for the whyche the vysytor payde for th 
firyeres vj*- xiiij*- j*- 

Wyllyam Yevans 3 

Thomas Wheler 3 

Ther be in renttes yerly iiij^'- above the owte rentes. 

The priory of St. Mary White Friars, which stood 1 
the town wall, beneath the Churchyard, is descri 
Leland (who visited it just before the dissolution) 
fayre and costlie thinge," and appears by the fol 
inventory of its furniture to have been a much richei 
than the other, but even it had some of its goods p; 
The surrender, which is nearly in the same words as 
the Austin friars, is signed by five friars, Rycharde ^ 
Humfre Wenlooke, Patricius Lester, Wyllelmus 1 
and Bicardus Femoll ; but there is no mention what 
a prior, so that we are justified in supposing th; 
house also was reduced and dilapidated, and that 
rendered partly because it was not able to carry on. 

ones if the table were very long. When the meal time approac 
board or table was placed on Uie trustelf, and this was called k 
iabU ; when not in use, they were put out of the way. 

Oloaary'^lt trow$, tiongh. 


The White Fryeren of Ludlowe dely vered to Wy llyam YetaiR 
and Thomas Wheler, balys ther, 

Item, on the hey auter one auter clothe. 
Item, a steyneyd clothe before the auter. 
Item, an olde pylowe. 
Item, an olde paxe with a rose. 
Item, a payer of gret candelstekes, laten. 
Item, a payer of small candelstekes, laten. 
Item, a frame for y. 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. lectoms, tymber, with olde clothes on them. 
Item, an ymage of ower lady of py te for the sacrament. 
Item, iij. belles in the stepnll, one more* than other. 
Item, a steyneyd clothe to hange above the auter. 
Item, a holy water stope,^ laten. 
Item, the quere well stalled rownde abowth 

The chyrche* 
Item, ij. tabulles of alybaster. 
Item, iij. pewes of tymber. 
Item, a longe pese of tymber for a crane. 
Item, a pulpet and a forme. 
Item, a tumbe' of alybaster gratyd with yeryn. 

The utter sextry. 
Item, ij. olde almerys^ and an olde chest. 
Item, an olde clothe of aras to laye in the quere. 

The inner sextry. 
Item, iij. copys of rede velvet. 

Item, a chesabull of the same with decon and subdecon. 
Item, a cope of mottelay velvet. 
Item, iij. copys of cowers' damaske. 
Item, a chesabull and ij. decons of the same with albee. 

Gloatary^—lt boUet, bowls. 2» yetyfif iron. 3, more, that is, greater. 
4, stope, a stoup for holy water. 5, tumbe tombe or sepulchral monumexit. 
6, (Um^i/9, almories or ambries, oupboards. 7, cotoert, coarse. 


Item, for reqntem masse iij. oopys of blacke damaske, 

Item^ a chesabull, blacke velvety and ij. decons of blacke 
damaske with albes. 

Item, a chesabuU of wh^te fustyon with rede spottes, with 
ij. decouns of the same with albcs. 

Item, a chesabuU and ij. decons of whjte 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 sylkc, blewe and whyte, with 
Stafford knottes, with all thynge to yt 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 why te vestementes of cowers sylke. 

Item, a vestemente of grene sylke with oystres* fetherea 
brodry worke albe and all thynge therto belongeynge. 

Item, zj. corporas casys with iij. corporas clothes. 

Item, ij. olde auter clothes, dyaper 

Item, iiij. olde franttes 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 herseclotbe, saye. 

Item, ij. new parcloses. 

Item, a tabull, ij, trnstelles, and ij. formys. 

Item, a bedstede. 

The buttere and kechyn. 

Item, a cupborde and a horde. 

Item, a brasse pott. 

Item, a coper ketell. 

Item, a plater, ij. dysches, and a sawser. 

Item, ij. cowbyerynes* and a lytyll broche. 

Item, a chafynge dysche and a skomer. 

Item, a gredyeryn. 

Afotaary.— ly grr/ffyiht, griffins. 2, oyttrea, ostriches. 3» eow^erynu, 


The prior es chamber. 
Item, faangeynges of red saye and grene abowte the chamber. 
Item, a carpet. 
Item, a almery. 
Item, a tabuU, a payer of trustelles, and ij. formys. 

The upper ehambereB. 
Item, a bedstede. 

Item, a tabnll, ij. tmstelles, and a forme. 
Item, an olde steyneyd clothe. 
Item, a fayer longe cofer. 

The other ehamberee. 
Item, a fether bede and a bolster. 
Item, a coTerlete and a payer of schetes. 
Item, a lytyll borde and ij. formys. 

Item, a lytyll caschet* full of evydens. 

and memorandum, ther rest in the vysytores handdes a chales 
and a crosse weyeynge iij*' xj. unc. Also ther laye in plege, 
a broken senser, a chales, and a schype, with an olde cope of 
▼eWet, for the whyche the vysytor payd for the sayd fryeres 
y^L yt. yjd. Jtem, thc sayd vysytor payd above thys ij*« viy*« 

Wyllyam Yevans ) 
Thomas Wheler l^^^^' 

Four days after the surrender of the religious houses in 
Ludlow, 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 
conventtes, so that withowte ye be goode lorde to pore men, 
many shall lese moche moneye by the fryeres, the whyche 
woU make a grett clamor amonge the pepull, for now I 
have moche besynes to satysfye the pepull for dettes. They 
say that yt ys not the kynges plesur that pore men shulde 

OftwMiy.— 1 CMchet, a casket. 


lose ther monye^ with many worddes.; but by feyer menys 
I satysfye them; sum I make schyfte and pay, sum I 
satysfye with worddes, for in dyverse placeys all the stuffe 
in the howseys ys not abull to pay the dettes." In a 
subsequent part of the letter, he gives a fiirther 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 suche plegeys as be better 
than they ley for, I pay the money, and receyve the pleges 

to the kynges use, and suche I brynge with me. 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 trewe as that, 
but the holyest relyke in all Northe 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 fowlest place in all 
the contr^, and he must kys every stone, for in eche ys gret 
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, with 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, for 
onles the kynges grace wyll apoynte it unto his derely belofyd 
son ower prince, it wylbe a right goodlie thyng ffor yoor 
lordship or ffor your sone. For I ensure you as I suppose 
theare is nat snche another turf within the kinges realme lying 
soo nygh togedre within itself, and within soo litle a compas, 
and of suche value and commoditie, as that is, ffor it is worthe 
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 
bay lie maye gather alle the bole rentes of the lordship. I beseke 
your lordship to take no displeasure with me, ffor that I write 
800 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 joifulle 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 i-ecommendations 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 Hedyng abbye. 

Ytt may plese yower lordship to consyder that the holle 

lordship ys by yer vij. c. lb., as I was informyde by the 

pryour. Trewly it is very substansyall, ryche landis, with grett 


demajnSy as plessant and profFytabull as may be for so myche, 
and the comon pepull dothe say to me that the forsayd lordship 
ys x\riij. c. merke stcrlyn by yer, of which may be parfet 
relashon made herafter of ytt. Also trewly nowe of latte 
betwen the abbot* and pryour, thoy 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 ytty and daylly wyll decay yf thay kepe them, which as fare 
as I can persay ve 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 lo pay the kynges grace. This is ther 
comon voyse. 

Also, yf pics yower lordship to be good to the pryour 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 shnlde contynew in that casse. I do 
trust your lordship shall fynde this pryour onest and redy to do 
that nedfull, so your lordship to be good in his penshon for 
his lyvyiig. 

Also, yf yower lordship pies to have eny other instrocsyons 
more perfet, her is with the pryour won sir Robart Worralle, 
pryst, and Johan Yuke his baylly of Lemster, which be perfet 
to relatte all nedfnll to your lordship, inspessyall the baylly, 
and he desires to do your lordship servis at your plessure. 

Also, ther is dyvers and meny bonde men belongyng to 
the lordship, and trewly it is a ryalle ryche contry, abuU to 
make meny men to serve the kynges grace in that lordship. 

The last abbot of Wigmore was named John Smarts 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 
several 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 

• i. e. The abbot of Reading. 


local document^ but as* affording an inteieeting pictuze 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 evils 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. pbtri. 
DBi. GRA. EPI.MONTIS.MABAN. It appears that John Skipp, 
bishop of Hereford, as prior commendatory, surrendered the 
abbey of Wigmore to the king's conmiissioners on the 
18th of November, 15S8 : there were then apparently only 
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 agaynst John Smart, abbot of 
the monasterye of Wigmour, in the cowntye of Herford, 
to be exhibite to the right honorable lord Thomas 
Cromwell, the lord prevy seale 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 henefyceSf 
as for gyveng of ordres, or more trulye sellyng them, and that 
to such persons which have byn rejected els where, and of lytle 
lernyng and light conversacionn. 

2. Item, the said abbot hath promoted to ordres maoye 
scholers, when all other bushops did refrayne to gyve enye for 

* The phrase is to bt accused means the same as ihsre is grovfidfif 
accusing him. 


certen good ordinans devised bj the' kynges majesty and his 
cowncell for the commune weale of this rojalme, then resorted 
to the said abbot scholers owt of all partyes, whom he wold 
promote to ordres by Ix. at a tyme, and sumtymes moo and 
otherwhiles lesse, and snmtyme the said abbot wold gyve ordres 
by night within his chambrey and otherwhile in the church 
yarlye in momingesy and nowe and then at a chapell owt of the 
abbey, soo that there be manye unlemed and light prestes made 
by the said abbot, in the diocese of Landaf and in the place 
afor named, a thowsand as yt is estemed by the space of this 
vij. yeres he hathe 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 suffired to gyve generall ordres, wookely for the mooste 
parte doth geve ordres by pretense of dispcnsacion, 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 afler 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 leaxes unjastelye, and by 
inclowsyng theyr communes from them, and sellyng and utterly 
wastyng the woodes that were wont to releve and succor them.* 

5. 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 yoelsj and 
plate of the said monasterye to the value of fyye hundreth merkes, 

* In earlier times the right of feeding their swine in the woods and 
other privileges connected vith them, were advantages enjoyed by the 
tenants of the land, which were necessarily diminished as the woods 

t Corrady (in Medieval Latin corrediun^ or more generally oonredium) 
was what we should now term a man's board; and by granting these 
to people for their lives out of the provisions of the abbey, the abbot, 
while he put money in his own pocket, seriously diminished the fature 
revenues of the house. 

} Toeb, i. e. jewels, under which title (in Medieval Latin JoeaUaJ 
were formerly included a great variety of small articles of value which 
were stored up in the cabinet or treasury. Our present restricted accep- 
tation of the word is comparatively modem. 


tt> parchase of the bnshope of Rome bis bnlles to be a bashopp, 
and to annex the said abbeje to his bnshoprick to that intent 
t}iat he shttld not for his misdedes be poneshed or depryved 
from his said abbacy. 

7« Item, that the said abbot (long after that other bushops 
hadd renounced the bnshop of Rome and professed them to the 
kynges majestye) dyd use, but more verclye usurped, thoffyce of 
a bnshopp by vertue of his furst buUes purchased from Rome, 
tyll nowe of late, as yt will appere by the date of his confir- 
matioun, yf he have enye. 

8. Item, that he the saiil abbot hathe ly\red viciusly and 
kept to concubyne diverse and manye women, that is openlye 

9.. Item, that the said abbot doth yet contynue his vicins 
lyvyng, 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 malicius and vere wrathfull, 
not regardyng what he sayth or doth in his furye or angre. 

12. Item, that oon Rychart Gyles bought of thabbot and 
covent of Wigmour a corradye and a chambre for hym and bis 
wife for terme of theyr ly ves, and when the said Rychart Gyles 
was aged and was verey syke, he dispoosed his goodes and 
made execntnrs to execute his will; and when the said abbot 
nowe beyng perceaved that the said Rychart Gyles was ryche 
and hadd not bequested soo much of his goodes to hym as be 
wold have hadd, the said abbot then came to the chambre of 
the said Rychart Gyles, and putt owt thens all his frendes and 
kynsfolke that kept hym in his syknesse; and then the said 
abbot sett his brether and others of his servauntes to kepe tbe 
sykeman, and, the night next ensueng after, the said Rycbart 
Gyles coffer was broken and thens taken alle that was in tbe 
same to the value of xl. merkes, and long after the said abbot 
confessed before the executers of the said Richart Gyles that yt 
was his dede. 

13. Item, that the said abbot (after that he had taken awaye 
the goodes of the said Rychart Gyles) used dayly to reprove and 
chekke the said Rychart Gyles, and enquerc of hym were was 
more of hys koyne or money, and at the last the said abbot 


thought he lyved to long, and made the syke (after much sorye 
kepyng) to be taken from his fetherbed and layed upon a oold 
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 
toke yt aw aye 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 death, 
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 
mardryng of oon John Tykehulle, that was slayne at hys 
procureng at the said monasterye by sir Rychart Arbley, 
chanou and chapleyn to the said abbot, which chanon b and ever 
bath byne synes that tyroe chefe of the said abbotes cowncell, 
and is supported to karye crossebowes, and to goo whither he 
lusteth at enye tyme to fyshyng and huntyng in the kynges 
forestes, parkes, and chases, but lytle or no thyng servyng 
the quere as other brethren doo ther, nother corrected of the 
said abbot for enye trespace he doth coromytt, 

16. Item, that the said abbot hath byne perjured oft, as is to 
be proved and is proved, and as yt is supposed dyd not make a 
true inventorye of the goodes, catals, and joels of his monasterye 
to the kynges majeste and his cowncell. 

17. Item, that the said abbot hath openlye preched against 
the doctrine of Christ, sayeng he owght not to love hys enmye 
but as he loves the dcvuUe, and that he shuld love his enmyes 
sowle but not his bodye, 

18. Item, that the said abbot hath infringed all the kynges 
injunctions whych were geven hym by doctor Cave to observe 
and kepe, and when he was denounced in pleno capiiulo to 
have broken the same, he wolde have putt in prisoun the brodat 
as dyd denounce hym to have broken the same injunctions, 
save that he was lett by the coven t there.* 

* L 6, Save that he was hindered by the coxiYeiit, or body of the 

IV. iiein» loe saia aoooc naco lase oat small regarde to t&e 
good lyvynge of his howsehold. 

20. Item, that the said abbot hath hadd yet a speciall favour 
to misdooersy as maDquellerSy* thefes, deceavere of theyr neigh- 
boors, and by them moost ruled and consnlted. 

21. Item, that the said abboth hath grannted leases of fermes 
and advocations fnrst to oon man, and toke his fyne, and after 
hath graonted the same leax to another for moore monejf, 
and then wold make to the last taker a leax or wrytyng with a 
ante-date of the fnrst leax, which hath breade grett difssensions 
emong gentlemen, as Mr. Blount and Mr. Meysey, and other 
takers of such leaxes, and that ofle. 

22. Item, the said abbot havyng the contrepaynes of leaxes 
in his kepyng, hath for money raced owt the noaibre of yeres 
mencioned in the said leaxes, and wryto 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 hath not accordyng to the fun- 
dacion of his monasterye admitted frelye tenauntes into certen 
almeshowses belongyng to the said monasterye, but ofthen he 
hath taken large fynes^ and sum of them he hath put awaje 
thens that wold not gyve hym fynes, whither poore, aged, and 
impotent people were wont to be frelye admytted and receyve 
the founders almes ther of olde 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 soveraigne 
lord the kynges cowncell tyll long after the tyme he had dely- 
vered and exhibyted other bulles of his monasterye to them. 

26. Item, the said abbot hath detyned and yet doth detyne 
servauntes wages, and ofte when the said servauntes 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 
devotioun to ryde to Llanyevran in Wales, upon Lammas 
daye, to receyve pardoun theyr, and on the evyn he wold lye 

* Man-killers. 


with oon Marjc Hawle, a old concnbyne of his, at the Walsh- 
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 VITalshe-poole ; 
and Kateryn the said Marye Hawle hyr sastur doghter, whom 
the said abbot long hath kept to concnbyne, and had children 
by hyr that he lately maryed at Ludlowe ; and others that have 
be taken owt of his chambre and pot in the stookes within the 
said abbeye, and others that have complayned upon hym to the 
kynges cowncell of the Merches of Wales, and the woman that 
dasht owt his tethe that he wold have had by violens, I will not 
name no we, nor other mennes wifes, lest yt wold offend youer 
good lordship to reade or heare the same. 

27« Item, the said abbot doth dayly enbecell, selli and 
conveye the goodes, catals, and joels of the said monasterye, 
havyng no nede soo to doo, for yt is thowght that he hath a m. 
merkes, or ij. thowsand, lying by hym that he hath gooten by 
sellyng of ordres and the joels and plate of the monasterye 
and corradyes, and yt is to be feared that he will alyenate 
all the reste, in lesse youer good lordship spedely sye redresse 
and make provision to let the same. 

28. Item 9 the said abbot was acustomed yerly to preach 
at Leyntwardyne infesto naixmtat^ Mane wrgtmsy where and 
when the people were wont to offer to a ymage theyr, 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 
therey seyng there is no moore profyt to cum yn, and the plate 
that was abowte the said ymage was named to be worth zU 

28« Item, that the said abbot hath ever noreshed enmyte 
and discord among his brothers, and hath not encoraged them 
to leme the lawes and misteryes of Christ, but he that leaste 
knewe was moost cherished of hym, and he hath byn highly 
displeased and disdayned when his brother wold saye, * this is 
Goddes precept and doctrine, this ye ought to preferre before 
youer cerymonyes and vayne constitutions.' This sayeng was 

3 A 


high disobedicnsv and ^huld be grevusly poneshed, wher that 
lyenfff obloqnyc, flatcrje, ignorant, derision, contumely, discord, 
great sweryng, drynkyng, ypochrysye, fraude, snpersticion, 
disccyte, conspiracye to wrang iheyr neighbor, and other of 
that kynde, were had in speciall favour and regarde. Lande 
and prayse be to God that hath Bent us the time, knowlege, 
honor, and long prosperite to ouer soveraigne lord and bis 
noble cownccll that tend re to avaunce the same. Amen. 
By sir John Lee yoner faythfuU bedman, 

and chanon of the said mon. of Wigmoar. 

My good lordc, there is in the said abbey a crosse of fyne 
gold and precius stoones, wherof oon diamond was estemed 
by doctor Boothe, bushop of Flereford, worth a c. markes. In 
this crosse is inclosed a peco of wood named to be of the crosse 
that Cristc dyed upon. And to the same hath byn offring, 
and when yt shnid be browght doon to the church fro the 
tresorye, yt.was brought doone with light and lyke reverence as 
shuld have be doon to Christe himself. I feare lest thabbot 
upon Sondaye next, when he maye cum to the tresorye, will 
take awaye the said crosse, and brekc yt, and tume yt to hn use 
and many other prcciiis yocls that be there. 

All thes articles afor written be true as to the substaunoe 
and true meaning of them, thogh peraventnre for haste and lacke 
of cowncell sum woordes be sett nmisse or owt of theyr plase, 
that T wilbe redye to prove for as much as lyes in me, when it 
shall lyke youer honorable lordshipp to direct youer comissionn to 
me or cnye man that wilbe indifferent and not corrupt, to sytt 
upon the same at the said abbey, where the witncsse and proves 
be moost redye, and the truth is best knowen, or at enye other 
plase wher yt shalbe thought moost convenient 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 successive 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 
1638 connected with the abbey of Bordesley in Worcester- 
shire^ preserved among the papers of the Scudamores. 

Sales ther made the xxiij^*^ day of September, anno regni 
regis Renrici 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 hroken 

tyle house at the reddyche and a lytle house 

by the same ... vij"- vj*« 

Item, recevyd of Mr, Grevylle for a lytle table 

and the pavyng stone ther - - iij"- iiij*** 

Item, sold to Mr. Markeham the pavyng tyle 

of the north syde of the cloyster - - v»« 

Item, a lytle bell sold to Raphe Sheldon esquyer xxx*- 
Item, the pavement of the est syde of the ch)ys- 

ter, sold to a servaunt of the busshoppes 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 
he 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 1643. On the 7th of April in that year, 
fifty-three shillings and eight-pence were paid for goods or 
materials of the Austin Friars at Ludlow; and we have 
similar payments on account of the same house of thirty- 

seven shillings and four-pence on the £8th 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 S3rd of Aprils 1545 ; of the same sum on 
the 28th of October in that year ; of two shillings on the 
gist 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 2Snd of May, 
1548 ; the same sums on the 7th of June, 1543, and on the 
2Srd of April, 1545 ; five pounds 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 barn, 
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 (}orA 
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 b^® 
being there, I espied an heap of old papers and parchmeii^» 
obligations, 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 speciall charge: but three quarters 
of them I understand to have byn taken away by diverse 
(eyther taylors, or others, in tymes past). Now my fantasia 



is that^ in som of them will be some mention made of 
noblemen of those dayes, whereby (eyther for chronicle or 
pedigree) som good matter may be collected out of them by 
me (at my leysor) by the way of a recreation." All these 
records have now so entirely disappeared^ that it is stated 
in the last edition of the Monasticon that even an impres- 
sion of the abbey seal is no longer to be met with. This, 
however, is not strictly correct, as I have now before me 
casts of three seals of Wigmore, 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 s.monasterii 


The Barn of Wigmore Grange. 

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 contained 
a Roman intaglio, probably found on some of the ancient 
sites in that neighbourhood — perhaps at Kenchester. Round 
it is the inscription qvi se hvmiliat exaltabitvb. Cameos 


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. ^^^ ^, Leominrt^. 

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. Burgoyn, 
writing to Scudamore, observes, — " As you write unto me, 
we maye sell no housyng unto suche tyme we have furste 
certefied, save only the churches, cloysters, and dorters. 
Howbeyt Mr. Giffard and I have sold in some ffrire houses 
all the buyldynges, the cause was for that they werre so 
spoyled and torne 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 nothyng thereoff." 
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 Scudamore as late 
as 1555, in the reign of Philip and Mary, that there still 
remained a considerable quantity of lead and bell-metal 
in the receiver's hands : the letter states — " there dothe 


remayn to be aunsweryd by you bothe leade and bell 
metalle as ffoUowythe, that ys to saye, for leade att Bristoll, 
iij. ff., iiijc. quarter, x. lb. ; Wigmore, liij. ff. j. quarter ff. de., 
cxxij. lb.; Ludlowe, v. ff., iij quarter ff. ecciij. quarter 
cne- ; at Severn, in the custodye of Thomas Irelonde, j. ff. ; 
Rocestre, vj. ff.; Croxden, xiiij. ff. de.; Delacres, iiij. ff. ; 
Tuttberye, vj. ff. j. quarter; nuper prioratus canonicorum 
de Stafford, xliiij. ff. ; Lylleshull, v. ff. ; Halesowen, x. ff. ; 
the late monestarye of Shrewsborye, Ixvij. ff. de. ecc. lb. ; 
the celle of Dudley, iiij. ff.; and ffor belle metalle att 
Westwoode, in the county of Worcestre, eccc. 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 monks, who were at the same time 
allowed to embrace a secular life. Among the houses 
remaining in the receiver's hands at the time his books 
(preserved in the British Museum) begin, the only one in 
the immediate vicinity of Ludlow was that of Wigmore. It 
is very remarkable (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 large 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 S4th 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 chanseUs of churches within the counties of Glouce- 
tour, Hereford, Salopp, Stafford, and Worcetour as dooth 
belong and apperteign to the kinges highnes ben in so 
greatt ruyne and dekaie, that withoute inmiediate repara- 
cions to be doon in and apon the said chansells^ the kynges 
majestic shalbe (not long to come) at moche greatter charge 
to reedifie diverse of the same, theise shalbe therfor to 
require you, and in his graces behalff to commande 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, accourding to the neces- 
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 are,— 

25 Aug. 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 Uffington and Ruyton churches. 
21 Nov. 1541, out of Haughmond abbey, for repairing the 

choir of Shawbnry Church, 
21 Nov. 1541, out of Acombury priory, for repairing the 

chancel of Wolferlow church. 
6 June, 1542, out of Wigmore abbey, for repairing the chancel 

of Wigmore parish church. 


80 Aug. 1542, out of Hanghmond abbey, for repairing the 

chancels of Uffington and Rujton churches. 
31 Aug. 1542, out of the monastery of Stone, for repairing the 

chancel of Madely church, 
18 Nov. 1542, out of Tutbury priory, 3d. 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 

9 Oct. 1544, out of Roucester abbey, for repairing the chancel 

of Roucester parish church. (Staff.) 
12 Oct. 1544, out of Hanghmond abbey, for repairing the 

chancel of Wroxeter church. 
22 Oct. 1545, out of Bordesley abbey, for repairing the chancel 

of " Chydeswykeham" church. (Glouces.) 

Part of the money produced by these sales was also 
expended on other public works. We find in the accounts 
alluded to, that duiing 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 sea-wall at Longney on Severn; and on 
the 11th of November, 1542, forty shillings was paid out 
of the accounts of Acornbury for the repair of the Mill- 
street mills at Ludlow, 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^^ day of Novemb. a^* xxxiiijo* R. H. 
viij^i- to Thomas Wheler and Richard Handley, baylyefes 
of the towne of Ludlow, by thandes of Johan Alsopp now 
one of the baylyefies ther, the some of fforty shelynges for 
so much money by them payd for dyvers reparacyons by 
them done upon the come mylles, voc, the Mylle strete 
mylles, 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 ot small toundations, known as chantnes^ colleges, 
private chapels^ and gilds^ which were attached genersdly 
to parish churches, and which were either wholly or par- 
tially devoted to what were now considered superstitions 
usages, chiefly consisting in the support of priests to say 
masses for the dead or obits. These were totally inccm- 
sistent with the religious doctrines of the reformationy 
which now prevailed in England. An act of parliament 
for the suppression of endowments of this kind was passed 
in the S7th of Henry VIII (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 firom the purposes to 
which it had been devoted by the original founders should 
be appUed 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 favour. 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 crown, 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 
inbabitanntes 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 
suche order as shall by us be taken, we praye for their better 
dispatche which they cheiflye seeke to examyn the trutho of 
their charter, and lett them underatande the estate of the kinges 
majesties title, to their forther quiett. Thus hartely fare ye welK 
From Westm. the xj*- of Maye, a<>- 1648, 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 oounscdll upon the debate, whereof the opinion of their 
learned counsaill was very presice in Ludlowes quarrell against 
the kinges highnes, and vowched some of the judges to be of the 
same opinion againste the kinge. Forasmuche as the sturringe 
of any doubtes in that case at their sute might enconrrage 
many other to stirre and stande in the like againste the kinges 
highnes, wich might tende to his majesties no little prejudice, 
and withall perceivynge that moche of the revenewe is chari- 

tably emploid upon the sustencion of the poore and maintenaunce 
of a free grammer schole, bj the advise of the counsaill of the 
corte thow^rht better to returne them to your graice petitioners 
as before, and that they should stande to your graices considera- 
cion in the same, then by sturringe 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 efWones refarre 
the matter to the determinacion of your graice. From Westm. 
thevljt»»-of June, 1648. 

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 from the gild to sir Ralph Vane and the law 
counsel of the town, Mr. 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 worshipful!, our humble salutacions to your good 
mastership premised, pleaseth hit the same to be advertized 
that wheare upon relacion 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 ffurtberid a suyte by us 
begone and enterprised unto the lorde protectours grace, con- 
cemyng the exchaunge, alteracion, and unyting of certeyne 
landes belonginge to the gylde or fratemytie in this towne 
callyd the palmers gilde in Ludlow, unto the encorporacion 
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 for- 
wardes our seyd suyte in thabsens of our neighbours whome we 
sent to solycytate the same, as yf they or elles mo in nomber 
for this towne for that purpos wer contynually attendaunt upon 
your mastership for the setting forwardes of the same, and 
for that we have nat (contrarie to our expectacion) herde from 


Mr* Calfhill, who is left a solicitoar unto your mastership in 

9 neither of your mastershipes procedinges in our suytes 

sethens our seid neighbours departed from you, therfore we are 
so bolde tatempte your seid mastership with oure lettre desiring 
yon 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 is for us for the more expedicion of the premisses to be 
done^ Greatly fearing that by long delay, sethens that the 
tytle of the gilde is alreadie judged betwene tho kinges majestic 
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 verie frynde have 
togiders promysed to your mastership, we will assure you, Ood 
willing, shalbe reservyd to your mastershipes contentacion, with 
our da^ly prayers, as knoweth our Lorde, who ever preserve 
your mastership in worship. Written the day of 

Oure approvyd frynde Mr. Calfhill, after our nght hartie 
salutacions, with lyke thankes for your greate dylygens and 
paynes, whiche we peroeave by the succese of our suytes by 
you 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 your 
procedinges in our suytes sethen the departure of our neighbours 
from you, and what is fibr 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 
royght be hade, greatly fearing that long contynewans may 
brynge us in further bondage, as ye know ; thus we arc bolde 
to treble you with contynuall burthens and requestes, as we 
do at this tyme our good master sir Rafe Vane, by our lettres 
whiche we desire you to help this berer to delyver, assuring you 

that je shall not onelj reoeave your hole charges that je shall 
sasteyne, bnt also be so gratyfied that ye shall therwith be 
satisfied, Qod willing, who ever kepe you. 

Three years passed^ during which the town incmrred 
considerable expense, before the matter was finally settled. 
Perhaps there was some difiiculty in arranging the terms to 
the satisfaction of all parties concerned in it. It is not till 
the 27th of May, 1651, 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 pleasare 
is that ye upon the sight hereof doe cause the clarke of your 
courte to make out in parchement a booke in forme of a gifte 
and graunte in fee fearmc to the baylifies, burgessis, and comnn- 
altie of the towne 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, wich burgages 
and other the premisses and their appurtenaunces the warden, 
brythem, and sisterne of the sayd guylde are contented to 
surrender unto the kinges majesties handes, the said baylifies, 
burgenses, and comunaltie yeldinge and paynge therefore to the 
kinges majestic viij"* xiij*- iiij*- of rent, and his majesties further 
pleasure ys, that the said baylifies and burgesis with the 
cominaltie shall alwayes finde in the same towne, at their owne 
charges, a free grammer schole with aschoolmaster and an hnssher 
for the erudicion of youth in the Latine tonge, and also xxxiij* 
poore and impotent people, every of them to have a chamber 
and iiij^ 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 sacramentes and service 
there wich shalbe cauUid the assistant to the parson of the parisbe 
of Ludlowe, and the said schoolmaster, hussher, preacher, assis- 
tant, and every of them, to be alwayes nomynatyd and apoy nted by 


the discression of the said baylyffes, bnrgessifiy and comminaltie. 
And the same booke see made to sende unto ns sabscribyd with 
joar hande^ that we ma^e preferre ^t to the kinges majesties 
signs ture accordinglie. Thus fare je well. From Grenwich, 
the xxvij*>»- of Maje, 1661. 

Your loyynge ffirendes, 
W. Wiltsh'J J. Bedforde, T. Dercye, 

T. Cheyney, A. Wingfdd, W. Herbert 

John Gate, 

There still seems to have been some disagreement as to 
the form of the grants and another year passed before it 
was finally settled. The following documents belong to 
the intervening period, and are interesting as fiimishing 
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 lycence for the guylde and frater- 
nyt^ of palmers of onr Lady of Lndlowe to gyve and grannte 
all their landes^ tenementea, and hereditamentz belonging to the 
said guylde and fratemyt^, wher soever they l^e within the 
realroe of Inglande, to the baylifies, burgessis, and comynalte 
off Ludlowe aforesaid, and also to the same bayliffes, burgessis, 
and cominalte to accept and reseve the same to them and their 
successours/or 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, tenementes, 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 kinges most royall majestie, 
Moost humbly shewen and bcsechen your highnes your true 

auu laiiuiuii Buujcvitw lue uctiiinesy uur^cuzR:», cuiu i;uiuuiuu» ua 

your majesties towne of Ludlowe, in the com. of Salop, that 
where a® Domini, 1284, certayne burgenses of the said tow^e, 
being welthy and of good substaunce, devised and agreed to 
erect and establishe a guylde to have contynaaunce for ever for 
the purposes hereafter mencioned, and gave landes unto it for 
mayntenaunce of tlie same, viz. to releve the necessitie of suche 
as by fire, by shipwracke, by violence of theves, or other 
nnevitable misfortune, shuld fall in decay, to heipe also the 
necessitie of prisoners, poore maydens wanting substance to 
preferre theym to mariage, and suche as shulde by Goddes 
visitacion fall into incurable diseases, and lastly to sustayne 
thre priestes, eche of theym at the wages of viij^ markes by 
yere, as by their fundacion therof redy to be shewed at large 
doth appere ; whiche said fundacion or guylde was afterwardes 
augmented, confirmed, and incorporated by your majesties 
most renowned progenitoures Ed. the thirde, Ric. the second, 
and lastly by your 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 your 
majesties reigne, forprised and excepted to be noon of those 
that by vertue of the statute for suppression of colleges, chaun- 
tries, and guyldes, or of any other statute hetherunto made and 
came or ought to cumme to the handes and posession of your 
highnes ; yet for so muche as some question bathe been made 
in whom the right title remayneth, and that after examynacion 
therof and deliberate consultacion therin by the chaunoeloar 
and connsaile of your highnes court of augmentacions, the 
matter was lefte in suspence to be considered and ordered hy 
your majesties moost honorable privey counsell, your said 
oratours knowing your highnes moost godly inclinacion to the 
advauncement and furtherannce of all charitable and good 
publique ordinaunces, and withall considering that the whole 
and entier profites of the said guylde, except only xxij°* ix'- 
bestowed upon the fyndeng of priestes and obites for the dead, is 
yet and alwaies hitherunto bathe been employed and spent 
upon the sustentacion of xxx^*- poore and impotent persones, 
the stipcnde of a Bcolemaister frely to tcache and instructe yontha 
in the Latyna tunge, and suche like neeeseary uses, which your 


highnes by Bpeciall wordes in the statute appoynted to have 
contyoQanee as before rather with more eocrease and larger 
allowauDce then any abatement or decrease therof; moost 
hambly prayen and besecben your highnes to take the whole 
revenue of the said guylde into your majesties handes ; and for 
that the said towne is large and bathe but oon parishe churche 
for iiijiB^ persones, and therin no viear endowed, wherunto also 
from tyme to tyme is great accesse of straungiers owt of all the 
principalitie of Wales and Marches of the same by occasion 
that the commissioners resident in those parties for the good 
govemement of the cnntrey moost commonly make their abode 
in the castell there, and considering also that their fee ferme is 
decaied iij^' by yere at your majesties handes for burgage 
rentes heretofore paied out of thre religioase bowses dissolved^ 
and that they stand charged nevertheles with mayntenaunce of 
the towne walles, the paviment, conduytes, and thre stone 
bridges, that therfore your majestic will vouchesauf to convert 
the rentes heretofore employed upon the superstitious abuses 
of private masses, obites, and suche like, to Uie mayntenaunce 
of a prechonr, 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 countye of 

Sallop, which the inhabytauntes of the sayde towne of 

Ludlowe nowe be suters unto the kynges'majestie to annexe 

the same unto the corporacion to suche purposes and 

intentes ensuynge. 

Ffyrste, certen landes and tenementes lyinge 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 

8 • 

warden, bretherne, and BjBters of the gnjlde of palmen m cmr 
Ladye in Lndlowe, in the conntie of Sallop, by the lettrea pateotes 
of the kinge, then beinge Edwarde the thirde, like as by the 
same appeareth. And the landes theranto geren were imployed 
anto the ffindinge of a scoolemaster, certen poore people in an 
almes howse there erected and baylded, and there prestea. 

Item, the landes and tenementes are by yere ctx^ wfaerof 
c^- lyeth in Ladlowe, in kennelle rentes and decayed faowaes 
yerelye chargeable in reparacion above z<^ and some yeres'c^^ 
and the residewe beinge xx"* lyeth in snndrye guHettea in 
several! townes and shers, out of the which there is payde in qnyt 
rentes xij*- yerelye. 

Item, Richard the seconde, kinge of Snglande, in his tyme 
confirmed the lettres patentes of kinge Edwarde the tfiirde. 

Item, kinge Henry the eight confirmed the said gnylda by 
his lettres patentes dated xxj<^* die NovemMg amu> r. wm^ 
xxvij<^ By reason of which oonfirmacion the said gnylde u 
not within the compasse of dyssolacion by reson of the late 
actes of parlymentes had and made m anno xxxvij<^ H. viij^ and 
anno primo Edwardi seati regis nunc^ like as by the laate 
provyso conteyned in the acte of parlimentes had and made in 
the said ffirste yere of our said soveraigne lord that nowe is 
doth appeere* 

The inhabitauntes of the saide towne beinge called before 
the kinges honorable counsaill concemynge there saide gnylde, 
and makinge ansWere for the defeiise of the said guylde by 
reson of the proviso aforeeaide, were referred unto Mr. Northe 
then chauncellour of the angmentacion and other the kinges 
oounsaUl learned of the said courte, wherupon debatinge the 
kinges tytle as well before them as afterwarde before Mr. 
chauncellour Mr. Sackvyle nowe beinge ch%imcellour, they 
were at severall tymes rrferred unto the kinges majesty and his 
honorable counsaill, and by both the said Mr. chauncellours and 
the counsaill of the said courte 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 guylde maye 
be annexed unto the corporacion of the said towne of Lndlowe^ 
the bayliffes for the tyme beinge, rendering jrerely therfore nnto 
the kinges majesty an augmentaoion of ther ffise fferm, vz« 


vvjl^' xiij*- iiij^ by yore ; and to fynde of the reeidewe of the 
levenewiB yerely an assystaunt unto the parson, a precher, a 
achole master, an nsher, and xzziij^- poore people, and the 
charge of reparacion of the same. 

Item, upon the inhabitaontes humble sute and surrender of 
the said guyld unto the king. ... the kinges moste honorable 

oonnsaiU upon dewe certificat had and made by both Mr 

afforesaid of the state of the said guide, have therupon signefied 

unto Mr. cha nowe ys the kinges pleasure; and 

therupon by ther lettres and warraunt hay said 

Mr. channcelour to make fforth a gifte in ffee fferme of the 

premiBses unto the. and burgesses of Ludlowe aforesaide, 

unto the yntentes and purposes before reh^rsed, reudringe the 
saide yeraly reut of eighto ponndes threeteene shillinges fower 
penoey togedier with xxiij''- xiy"* iiij'* beiage the ffee £Eenne of 
Urn said towae and landes ineorporated unto theym by kinge 
Edward the ffowreth, vhich in the hole ammounteth unto 
1« markes* 

The eonienies of the Ml of Ludlowe written m parchment to 
he Msigned. 

The firste and gretteste parte of the booke for Ludlowe 
conteyneth the confirmacion of ther charter graunted by Edward 
the ffowreth, as before saide. 

alteracion of two ffay res and the markett ies 

counsaill in the marches of Wales to be countrey 

adjoyninge ; and nothinge wne ailjoyninge like as by 

their lettres 

th the incorporacion of the guylde landes 

to suche intentes and purposes afore specyfyed. 

A complete charter made according to these last state- 
mente and directions, was granted to the town on the 26th 
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 
ito various estetes, and rolls of ite revenue and expenditure 
from the reign of Edward III to the time of ite dissolution, 
are still preserved, ^vith less injury and loss than might 

be expected, in the municipal archiyes of the town. These 
latter are rich in historical materials, and ought to be 
carefully examined and arranged. 

I%0 Lord Presidency of Wales and the Marches. 

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 yarious occasions of remarking the 
turbulent state of the counties on the Welsh border, which had 
led, under Edward IV and Henry VII, 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 estabUshed 
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 
VIII, and was succeeded by Jeffirey Blyth, bishop of 
Coventry and Lichfield. In 15S5, 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 VIII, 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 mew> 
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 ciyilizingy and during 
the period he held the office we find him traversing in 
every direction the coimtry entrusted to his chaif^^ strength- 
ening the castles and prisons^ assisting at local courts^ and 
punishing with severity those who had long been in the 
habit of breaking the laws with impimity. In the year of 
his appointment^ no less than five laws appear upon the 
statute book, relating to Wales. By the first of these, 
which was ** for the punishment of perjury of jiurours 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 from 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 commerihas, and other pretences 
for extortion. The fourth of these acts is for the pumsh* 
ment of Welshmen making assaults or afiBrays 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 beautyfall 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 

tmoareryd, yery peryllous unt people to go by m the nyg^t 
without jeopardy of lyfe." The^e houses were to be xepaiied 
within thiee years under pain of forfeiture to the superior 
lord. Four of the seven towns specified as in this conditicm 
were Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, and Gloucester. 
Other acts for the reformation of Waks, passed during the 
succeeding years, prove the activity <^ the go'vermnent on 
this subject during Lee's {nresidency. 

Bishop Lee appears to have been an early protegee of 
Thomas Cromwell, through whom he was appointed one of 
the king's chaplains, and it was he who in 15S3 performed 
the marriage ceremony between Henry YIII and Anne 
Boleyn, for which he was rewarded in tl^ following year 
with 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 
with 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 hMEiged me by 
imaginacion, yet I trust to be even with 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 afii[»rd 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 following letter, written apparently 
on the 9th of November, 1535, refers. 

Bishop Lee to OromtvelL 
Moste harty recommendacions and like thanks fibr jonr 
manyfold gentlenes, and nowe of late ffor my sarveor, etc. 



Where} at my laste being at the courte, it pkaMd 70a of your 
goodenesy att my poor request, to moTe the kings hip^hnes ffor a 
warraant of an hmsdredth pounds ffor the reparaeions of the 
eastle of Lndlowe, which ye sent me direeted to sir Edward 
Crofte; knight, reoeyvonr of the erledome of the marche, where- 
Qppon, I entending none other then the accomplishment of my 
masters pleasare, incontynently bonghte viij. foother of leede. 
and the same have bestowed nppon the saide castell, and 
ffarther repayred the tome ffor this tyme as I truste it was not 
thies hnncbreth yeres, apd so wold have oontynued if I might 
have had my money which at this tyme is nygh Ix^ Bat 
Mr« Crofte sayeth, and so dothe the auditor, Mr. Turner, that 
tber ys assignements of the hole receyts as to the kings house- 
holde and the lady dowager. 80 that, before Ood, I am 
compelled to borowe and paye the sayde money of myne owne; 
wherin if I have not your heipe, I am att no lytle after-dele. 
Wherfore I hartely praye you to directe your lettres as well to 
the sayde sir Ed warde 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 wthoose grace I comuned at large, and tolde his grace 
all that I wrote to you off concemyng 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 he 
were a thief that he shuld be hangid, which is non onlike, if 
grace come not ffirom you. I pray you commende master 
Englefild incontynently after christemas, ffor I persey ve that then 
Mr. Vernon muste be absent. And thus £BEtre ye as well as I 
wolde my self. In haste, ffrom Ludlowe, the ix^* daye of 
Novembre. It was tyme thyes reparaeions 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 uo^ht, 
wherein I trust I have doyne my part, as yee shall by other 
that have seyne and waveyd the same. 

Yowrs most bownden, 

Bokmd Co. el Lioh. 
To my moste entierly beloved 

ffrende, master secretary. 


Bet^'een this date and Christmas the active lord president 
had been at Radnor and Presteign, "among the very 
thickest of the 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 Cromwell^ 

Moste hartely I recommende me unto you, aiid c^tifye the 
same that I have receved your gentle lettres by the messenger, 
and according to the contents tborof I shall see every thing 
accomplished as shall apperteigne, by Godda grace. 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 JBaskervile and many other, without 
any speares or other ffashion as heretofore hath ben used, as at 
large this berer shall enforme you. Which jomey was thought 
moche daungerouse to some ; but, God willing, I entende after 
Easter to lye oon moneth at Presteyne, even among the thickest 
of the thevesy to doo my master suche service as the strongest of 
them all shalbe affrayed to doo as tofore, God willing. And 
ffirom tbens to Herforde, Monmouth, and Chepstowe, for this 
sommer, which wilbe costely. Wherfore, if the kings highnes 
will have this countrey reformed, which is nigh at a poynte, 
his grace may not stick to spende oon hundreth pounds more or 
lesse for the same. 

In my going and retorne to Ludlowe, I was at Wigmore. 
and vewed the castill, and truly the kings highoes must neds 
repayre and helpe the same, which is in maner utterly decayed 
in logyngs, and all for reparacyon in tyme. Yet the walls be 
reasonably goode, and the leede therof will helpe, the tymber is 
at hande greate plenty. So, the kings graces pleasure knowen 
ffor money, I shall see the same well doon ; if wee of this 
counsaile might have a warraunt to bestowe suche money as we 
shttld gett to the kinges graces use uppon the same and other, 
then ye shall understonde our diligence, I truste, both ffor the 
kings advauntage and his graces honour. 


Radnor casteli is not to be repayred, bat only a prison 
house amended* which must neds be doon : ffor ther have ben 
loste no lesse bj evill keping then yitj^ theves, and have no 
place to kepe them* All may not be brought to Ludlowe, ffor 
many consideraoions 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 hundreth hamesse lyeng roting, 
and he being now sioke, 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 woll 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 
bowesy Almayne revetts without gorgetts or apprones of mayle. 
If I shulde nede to doo my master service, I must goo seke hit 
of other; ffor here is not of his graces owne. But if it might 
Btonde with his pleasure, I thinke hit right necessary that this 
casteli 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 bo 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 
geve credence. And thus I commytt you to God, Who sende 
you a mery newe jere to your harts comforte. From Ludlowe, 
the xxvj^ daye of Decembre. Yowrs most bownden, 

Roland Co, et Lich. 
To my moste entierly beloved ffrende, master secretary. 

* Cannon balls were at this time usually made of stone. 
3 D 

In the next letter, dated the 19th January^ 1686, the 
bishop speaks of his activity in hunting down the ^^ thieves," 
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 care 
of themselves. In fiict, as soon as the strength of the 
government was felt, many of the evil-doers who -were less 
compromised by their outward actions, sought to secure 
their own peace by betraying, or showing their zeal against 
those who were more obnoxious to justice. 

Bishop Lee and sir Thomas Englqfield to OromwM* 

After my moste harty recommendacions, this sfaalbe tad- 
vertise yon that we have receaved from you the twoo outlawes, 
named David Lloide or Place, and Johan ap Richard Hockiitozi, 
with Richard ap Howell o^mw Somner, the murderer at Man- 
month, ffor the which we hartcly thanke you. And the saiJ 
twoo outlawes we have sent to their triall, according to justice, 
which to morowe they shall receyve (God pardon their sowles}. 
And ffarther, within twoo dayes after the recey ving of the saide 
theves, were brought to us iiij. other outlawes as great or 
greater then the forsaide David and Johan were, and twoo of the 
ffirst of them had byn outlawed thies xvj. years ; wherof u}- 
were in liffe, and oone slayne brought in a sacke trussed uppon a 
horse, whom we have cawsed to be hanged uppon the gaiowes 
here for a signe, Wolde Ood ye had seen the fiashion therof. 
Hit chaunced the same day to be markett daye here, by reason 
wherof iij^^* people ffollowed to see the said cariage of the saide 
thief in the sacke, the maner wherof had not been seen here- 
tofore. What shall wee say ffarther : all the theves in Wales 
qwake ffor ffeare, and, att this day, we doo assure you, ther i^ 
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 redact to that state that 
oone thief taketh another, and oone cowe kepith another Sot 
the moste parte, as Lewes my servaunt at his retome shall 
more at large enforme y6u. The takers of thies outlawes were 
my lord of Richmonds tenaunts off Keviliske and Amstley^ 


moste parte ffor ffeare and money, and parte ffor to have 
thanks, and partelj to have somme of their kjnredd discharged. 
Beseching you that the kyags highnes may be advertised 
hereof. And thus the Holy Trinitie preserve you. From 
Ludlowe, the zix^- daye of January. 

Your most bownden, 
Roland Co. et Lich. 
At your conmiaundment, 

^Dicken ap Ro^ dio Bagh. 
^ . J Howell ap Ho" dio Bagh, aUaa Ho" Banner. 
J Howell ap David Vayne. 
^ Johan Dee Jmydw, aUaa Johan ap Meredith. 
To the right worshipfull master Thomas Cmmwelly 
chief secretary unto the kings highnes, this 
be yoven. 

We find several papers among the Cromwell documents 
at the Rolls 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 alluded to, bishop Lee sends 
Cromwell a list of malefactors thus protected by one person, 
sir Walter Herbert, and it is the best proof that could be 
g^ven of the evils of the system. 

I pray hartely to Ood that yt may please the kinges good 
grace of his mercifujle pety with the advise of his most honour- 
able connoell, to seet redres that his subjectes be not thus dayly 
murthered and robbed. 

Thomas Herbert 1 For wilfull Murthur comytted and done at a 
Philip Herbert > place called Tyntarne within the lordeschipe 
Morgan BaygtesJ of Trillage, in the kyling of one . . ap Rice 

KneiiDg 00 018 KnejBf wnicii moroas, fbitipf 
and Morgan be supported in the kyoges 
lordsohip of Magonr, by Water Herbart, 
steward under the eorle of Worcettonr, and 
no poniscbment for the seid murther; the 
more pete, Ood helpe ! 
Edward Cuttelar, beyng that tyme with 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 wilfull murther don within the lordeschepe 

Johan Madocke) of Chepstow. 

Lame Johan Herbert, for the murtheringe of ij. men, and do 

Johan Lewys Freschower ) owtelawyd for felony and jugeoient 
and one Caduke a barber ) geyvn and after comyttyd felony 

and toke the churche, and therapon 
wher abjured, and after that resorted 
to London to Thomas Johan, and 
to Oder, and where take for the mor- 
thering of ij. men by Kynsington. 
Richard Phelip Johan, for murther, supported at Magour by 

Water Herbert. 
Johan M artche, Water Herbert ys servaunt, for the murther . . 
Johan Sysill, Water Herbert servaunt, for murther. 
William Herbert, and Thomas ap Powell, of Magour, for 

Morgan Thomas, Llewelyn Hyghne, Water Herbert ys servaant, 

for murther. 
Thomas ap Powell, of the Pill, Water Herbert ys servaunt, for 

m 1 /Water Herbert ys servauntes, for the mur- 

oneTresham f ^i . r •• ^i. ^ \ i. * 

T h B rl >thenng of ij. men, that ys to whete one 

mi. u 1. % Johan Dier, and anoder Johan Whetsam, etc. 

Thomas Hygham j ' 

Jenkyn Taylour, Water Herbert ys servaunt, for murther. 
Johan Griffyth Pelle, for murther. 


Thejff'eB and OuteUmB. 
John Thomas Welyn ^ Water Herbert jb servauntes, for the 
Howell Thomas Welynf robbing of William Davy, at Oryn- 
8ir David, a prest i^fild, and putting hym and his moder 

Lawsans Gaynard jon 9l hotte trevet for to make them 

schow, etc. 
Rosse Phepe, owtelawyd for felony, and supported and mayn- 

teynid by Water Herbert, his rcteneir. 
Bawling Jamys \ 

Johan Lloyd / Water Herbert ys servauntes, notorius theffes 
Rees A where ^ openly knowen, with oder, for the robbing of 
Richard Draper i a Breton schepe and faveryd. 
Thomas Davy / 

One Meredith, Water Herbert ys servaunt, owtelowyd for felony, 
Resse Tynker, supported by Water Herbert within his awtorite, 

men supposeth a money maker, etc. not. 
Myles Mathew, Water Herbert his frend, for the robbing of 
the cathedrall churche of Landaffe, with other, etc. not : 
Jamys Butteler \ 

Howell Coke 
Johan Pull Meyricke 
Lewys ap Ryce 
Rorgg' Morgan 
Lewys Higham 
Johan Kymys ^ 

Memorandum. When that Water Herbert, and George ap 
Morgan, wher on and agreyd togedur, whatsoever manner of 
meschyff where done yt was clokyd, 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 title of commorthas. 

^ Water Herbert ys servauntes, and no- 
torius thefiSes. 

Bishop Lee to Oromwell, 

Iftsnop Jbee to vromweu. 
After my most harty recommendacions, hit may please the 

same to be advertised that of late I receaved letters ffrom my 
sniyeyoTy conteyDyDg the olde amured goodenes and ffiiTor of 
yoor goode harte contynued towards me ffrom tjme to tjme, 
and nowe lastely in that it pleaseth you to tendre my sate ffor the 
priory of saincte Thomafiy although I cannot have it to atonde, 
yet ffor that ye mynde my preferment to the fferme of the 
demaynesy I hartely thanke you« As GKkL judge me, I only 
desyre the same ffor quyetnes and ffor none advauntage, as my 
saide surveor shall enforme you, to whom I hartely beaeche you 
to geve fiReurther credence bothe herein and other things, emongs 
which oone ys ffor the reparacions of the castill of Monmootbe, 
which is all decayed and in ruyn (the hall and the walls only 
excepte). And fforasmoche as it shalbe a shire towne, and 
that also this counsaile shall ffor sondry causes repayre thither, 
I thinke bit expedient the priory here, viz. 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 helpe, woide make a 
convenyent lodging ffor this counsaile and other at the kin^ 
graces pleasure : wherein his grace pleasure knowen, and money 
had as bifore, my diligence shall not fiayle 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 ffashion as he was 
syns his first foundacion. Truste ye me truly, I wilbe more 
circumspecte in spending the kings graces moneye then myne 
owne. And what the kings graces pleasure shalbe herein, I 
praye you I maye be asserteyned shortly. 

And fforasmoche as abowte Arusteleye, syns my moving unto 
Brecknock in Southwales, be gathered together a certen cluster 
or company of theves and murderers, where I entended to 
Olocestor, I must of necessitie retome to Herforde and 
Ludlowe ffor the redresae of the same, which, Grod 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 
commoditie and welth of Wales and the marches of the same, 
commortha and other ezaccions were fordon by statute, cone 
Oeorge Mathewe, gentleman, of Southwales, hath obteigned a 


plftcarde to the contrary (the kings grace as I take it not playnely 
instructed therin), ffor there is no caose whye expressed, as by the 
copy hereindosed hit doth appere,* wherin I wolde gladly knowe 
the kings graces pleasure shortely. Truly it is right large, all 
things considered, fiTor 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 bownden, 
Roland Co. et Licb. 
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 conmion practice 
in Wales and on the border. The date of this letter is 
February, 1587. 

Bishop Lee to Cromwell^ 
To the right honorable and his very good lord, the lord 
Cromwell, lord privy seall. 

My dutye remembred to your good lordshype, advertesynge 
the same that I have receaved your letteres datid at the courte 
the xvij***- daye of February, willing me (that were dyveres 
complayntes have bene made againste sir John Hudleston, 
knyghte of the one party, and sir John Bridges of the other 

* Inclosed in this letter is the copy of the " placard*' or licencei which 
bears date at Greenwich. Feb. 2, in the 27th Hen. VIII, A. D. Ib36k 
This fixes the date of the letter to June, 1536, and not 1540. as sir Henry 
Ellis supposed from the mention of the priory of Stafford. In fact, on 
the 9th of July, 1536, Cromwell was raised to the peerage, after which he 
would not have been addressed as '* master secretary." 

parte, by divers poore men), I should entend to the reformatYOD 
of the same, and to give a vigelent eye, and oircomspectely to 
harken to the ordere and factyones in the county of Gloucester. 
My good lord acoordinge 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 
justycese of assise, for dyveres causes. Amonge other one was 
for the tryall of a cause of rape« comy tted by one Roger Morgane 
of Wales, with a greate nomber in his companye, in takyng 
awaye a widowe again ste her will out of a churche, wherin, 
althoughe pre^^ante evidence was gy ven 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,* 
anil so throughe beringe and secrete labore the sayd partyes 
were acquitted. And therupon, the sayd jurye was and is 
bounde to appeare at the nexte assyses ; and, in the meane tyme, 
before the kynges most honorable counsell in the stare chambere, 
within X. dayes wamynge to them gy ven, 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 hartely desyere your lordshipp. 

At these assyses were viij. condempned, wherof vj. for fellony, 
and ij. for treason whose heades and quarters shalbe sent to viij. 
of the beste townes of the sheir. Those tway ne were the bereward 
and his ffellowe that were broughte by the sherife from your 
lordshipe; and ij. other for sedytyous words agaynste the 
kynges highnes were sett of the pillorye, and had there yeares 
nay led to the same, besydes other puneshements accord inge to 


their desertes. And thus the Holy Trynetye longe contynewe 
your good lordshipe in honor. In haste, from Gloucester, the 
laste day of Fehruarye. 

Your lordshipes moste bounden, 

Roland Co. et Lich. 

Among oflFenders with whom justice had now to deal for 
the first time, were the gipsies, then commonly known by 
the name of Egyptians 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 
country. Gipsies appear not to have been known in 
Europe before the sixteenth century. The date of this 
letter is December 5, 1537. 

Cromwell to the lord president of the Marches, 

After my right hartie commend acious, whereas the kinges 
majestie aboutc a twelfmoneth past gave a pardonne to a company 
of lewde personnes within this realme calling themselves Gip- 
cyans, for a most shamfiill and detestable murder commytted 
amonges them, with a speciall proviso inserted by their owne 
consentes, that onles they shuld all avoyde this his graces realme 
by a certeyn daye long sythens expired, yt shuld be lawfull to 
all his graces ofiycers to hang them in all places of his realme 
where they myght be apprehended, without any further ex- 
amynacion or tryal after fforme of the lawe, as in their lettres 
patentes of the said pardon is expressed. His grace, hering 
tell that they doo yet lynger here within his realme, not 
avoyding the same according to his commaundement and their 
owne promes, and that albeit his poore subjects be dayly 
spoyled, robbed, and deceyved by them, yet his highnes officers 
and ministres lytic regarding their dieuties towardes his majestye, 
do permyt them to lynger and loyter in all partys, and to 
exercise all their falshodes, felonyes, and treasons unpunnished, 
bathe commaunded me to sygnifye unto youc that his most 
dreade commaundement is that ye shall laye diligent espiall 
throughowtc all the partes there aboutes youe and the shires next 
3 E 

liUIVjrlJTIIKy TTXtc»u«^i (uijr \/& »u« ovkjxA p««i ovuAa«x9 i^ w iiiii ^ UBsajw 

selfes Egipcjans, or that hathe heretofore called thema^fes 
Egipcyans, shall fortune to enter or travayle in the same. And 
in cace yone 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 wythout delaye uppon the first wynde that may conTejre 
them into any parte of beyond the sees, to take shipping and to 
passe to owtward partyes, or if they shall in any wise breke that 
commaundement, without any tract to see them execmted ac- 
cording to the kinges hieghnes sayd lettres patents remaynyng of 
recorde in his chauncery, which with these shalbe your d^- 
charge in that behaulf : not fay ling taccomplishe the tenoor 
hereof with all effect and diligence, without sparing appon any 
commyssion, licence, or placarde that they may ahewe or 
aledge for themselfes to the contrary, as ye tender bis 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 tenoar hereof 
accordingly. Thus ffare ye hertely wel. From the Neate, the 
v«^ day of December, the xxix^ yere of his majesties most noble 

Your lovyng ffreende, 

Thomas Cmmwell. 
To my verye good lorde, 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 SSnd year of the king's 
reign (a. d. 1531)^ which appears, however, to have b^n 

* The original of this letter is preserved in the Cottonian Manuscripts 
in the British Museum, Titus B. I, fol. 407. It is not clear why the lord 
president is entitled ** my lord of Chester." Henry VIII, about this time, 
established the new bishopric of Chester; and as the united see of 
Coventry and Lichfield had been formerly moved from Chester, perhape 
king Henry designed to carry it back, and to make Lee the first bishop of 



ineffectual^ as we find them alluded 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 ITumuu earl of Essex, lord prefoey seal. 

Right honorable and my singuler good lorde, my dutie 
remembred, this is to advertise your honorable lordshipp that 
one maister Paynell, baylyff of Bostone, is com bi your lord- 
shippes commaondement, as he seithe, for to convey up certeyne 
persones namynge them sellfies Egiptians that shulde 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 
fovre 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 thcr company that wer here then in 
prisone before Cristynmas laste paste, and the reste of their 
company wer shipped by the kynges commaundement (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 
stockes as vagaboundes, but also serched them to their shertes, 
but nothinge cowde be found uppon them, not so muche as 

wolde paie for their mete and drynke, nor none other bagge or 
baggage, but one horse not worthe iiij** ; and then I did examen 
them why thei cam hither, and did not get them owte of the 
kynges reakne, as other of their company was, and thei shewed 
me that of late thei wer dem jtted owte of the marshailaee where 
thei wer in prisone, and commaunded hi your lordsfaipp (as 
thei seide) to departe owte of the realme as shortely as thei 
myght 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 vagaboundes 
towanles the nexte portes, which be Hull and Newcastell. And 
this I certefie your lordshipp of truetbe, as knowes our Lorde, 
who ever preserve your honorable lordshipp. Written at 
Bostone the Thursdaie in Whitson weeke. 

By yower oratour with my pore servys, 

Nicolas Robertson. 

The last of bishop Lee's letters which we shall give is 
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 Cromwell. 

To the righte honorable the lord Croumwell, lord privye 

My duty in my moste humble maner unto your lordshipe 
remembred, it may please the same to be advertysed that I have 
receaved your honorable letteres dated the 13 daye of Maye, 
willinge and comaundynge me, that yf the acte or afiraye 
done betweene Cholmeley and Manwerynge (as at this tyme is 
reported to your lordshipe) were done without our comyssyoun, 
that then this counsell should not proceed to the determenatyon 
therof, and yf the same were not so, then to staye untyll the 
kynges graces pleasure were therin knowne, and therof with 
dilligence to assertaine your lordshipe. Pleasethe it the same to 


be advertyssed that imedyatly after the deed of affraye comytted 
betweene the say d partyes, sir Johan Porte, on of this counselU 
did sygnefy unto your lordshipe the whole effecte touchinge the 
the said affraye which was done in Staffordsheir without our 
comyssyon, and therupon it pleased your lordshipe to comaund 
this counsell ernestelye to looke to the same and to the punyshe- 
ment therof, as should appertayne, which we have done accor- 
dinglye, and have taken bonds of either of the said partyes for 
keepinge of the kinges peace. And forasmuche 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 
18 not proved), this counsell kepte the said Cholmeleye in ward 
by the space of thre monthes, as well in the porters lodge as in 
the kinoes castle at Wigmore, to his no lytle payne and charges, 
unto snche tyme he had found snffytyente suretyes. And in 
this tyme Manweringe by a kynsman of his exhibited a byll of 
complaynt unto this counsell, 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 
synce would, but stayed, and so came doune your lordshipes 
second lettere, willinge this counsell to proceed and all other 
processes of writts against Cholmeley or his servantes to surcesse, 
which to accomplyshe the said Manwaringe did at al tymes 
refuse. And so obtayned your lordships thyrd and laste letter 
as before, which to folio we this counsell is always redye as shall 
stand with the kynges graces pleasure and your lordshipes. 
Yety my good lord, dthoughe this affraye were done without our 
lymytes, yet it foUoweth the persone as I take it, and bothe 
partyes be within our comyssyon, so that wee have cognysone 
in the case (the kynges majesties pleasure and your lordshipe not 
to the contrarye). And, my good lord, there is nether man 
slayne nor maymed, but a lewde act comitted, the semblable 
wherof, yea and a manyfold grealere, bathe byne by this counsell 
ordered and determened. But the mallyce and proude of 
Cheshiere gentlmen cannot so take up, disdeyninge this infe- 
ryour courte and the ordere of the same, myndynge all myscheefe 
and ungratyousness with infynete vexatyones of theire neighe- 
bores (as would God ye knewe the truthe), I am sure more 


nmrdera and manslaaghteres in Chesheir and the borderes of 
the same within this yeare then in all Wales this two yeares, 
which they shall not denje; and nothinge done untyll oar 
comynge for the punyshement of the same, the partyes lett 
goe and none taken to oar knouledge. Yf ther be a forfeitore 
of a recognezonesy jet it hangeth upon the proofe of that who 
begane the affraye, which Cholmeley layethe to Manweringe, 
and Manweringe to him; prooves and partyes be all in this 
quarrelle for the tryall of the same, wherfore 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 AlhoUantyde the lord 
marcheres maye use the tryall 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 dyveres tymes, 
but your lordshippes buseness is suche that it is not in your 
rememberance. Your poore bedesman this berer desyrethe me 
to move your lordshippe to be good lord unto him. And thus 
the holy Trynetye longe contynewe your good lordshipe in 
honore. From Chester, the 2V^ daye of Maye. 

Your lordshipes moste bounden, 

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 S4th 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, diflfering 
very 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 immediately after bishop Lee's death, 
and held it till the second year of king Edward YI (1548), 
when he was removed to make way for the powerful and 


grasping duke of Northumberland. 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 town 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 destruc- 
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 
committed 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 1558, 
when he made way for another prelate, Gilbert Bourne, 
bishop of Bath and Wells, also a devoted catholic, who had 
been chaplain to bishop Bonner. This prelate, who was 
committed to safe custody on the accession of Elizabeth, 
was succeeded by sir John Williams, who held the office 
only a few months, dying at Ludlow on the 14th of October, 

1559. In his place the queen appointed the ever celebrated 
sir Henry Sidney, to whose presidency (which 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 VIH, 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 fami- 
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 ambassador 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 
reign of Edward VI, who died in his arms at Greenwich, 
on the 6th of July, 1553. After that event, he seems to 
have retired for a while into private life; but in spite of 
his family 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 
1563, he was sent again on an embassy to France; in 
1564 he was made a knight of the garter; and he was 
subsequently thrice appointed lord deputy of Ireland, the 
affairs of which country he regulated with consummate 
wisdom and prudence. 

From the end of 1569 to the close of 1565, Sydney 
carried on the government 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 Fenshurst 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 oflSce, 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 eversythens ;" 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 incivilitie, to the 
civill and obedient estate they now remayne, and all the 
English counties bordering thereon brought to be affrayed 
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 this result; but in a country which for so many 
ages had been subject only to the capYicious jurisdictions of 
turbulent landholders, or, as in some parts from the cha- 
racter of the country itself, inaccessible to any law, we 
cannot be surprised if it was still subject to many disorders, 
S F 

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 from 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. 2, 3, 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 in his absence. 
He that nowe supplyeth thoffice of clerck of the councell, 
then seryinge under Mr. Evans, deceassed, that was then 
clerck of the councell, brought these orders to Bushope 
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 
VI (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 shillings a year each, and an '^almner" and an 
under brewer, each receiving 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 sheriflf 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 coimtie 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 
theraselfes 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 lease, 
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 preser^ntion of quietness and good 
order ; showing good examples of reformacion in themselfes, 
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-keepers, whether 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 
cat tell, 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 with 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 efiectual endeavours to refrein all manner of 
murders, felonies, burglaries, rapes, riots, routes, unlawful 
assemblies, unlawful retainers, regraters, forestallers, extor- 
tioners, conspiracies, maintenances, perjuries, of what kind 

soever they be ; and also all other unlawful misdemeanors, 
offences, contempts, and evil doings, whatsoever they be, 
attempted, done, or committed, by any person or persons 
within 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 queenes 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, murder, or felony, to tortures, 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 


^uTiished^ and if the report extend to treason^ then to 

rause the law to proceed^ and execution to be done accor- 

lingly. And if it be of less account, yet such as may 

^ork some inconvenience to the dishonour of her majesty 

stud of the state public, or otherwise of the government, 

tlien they shall pimish 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 council, 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 t^ 
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 
coimcell, and to take and receive of them such fees as 
hereafter ensueth : First, for treason, murther, or fellonies, 
to be deteyned in irons dureing the councell'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 w^here 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 offence 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. vjd. for his fee. Item, it is further 
ordered that the porter shall continually have in readinesse 
for the jenterteynment 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 fayle 
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 ward 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 councell ordered, or for not 
accomplishing of any order taken by this councell, and 
shall not conforme himselfe to perform the order, discharge 
th^ 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 
councell thereof to the end order thereupon may be taken, 
that the party may be removed to Wigmore, or such other 
place as this councell 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 borders of Wales, and 
we trace him into this neighbourhood by an autograph 
3 G 

letter still preserved. People were still influenced by the 
superstitious feelings of the middle ages, and the avarice of 
individuals was especially excited by the belief in hidden 
treasures, which could only be found and discovered by 
means far beyond the reach of the vulgar, a belief which 
was sustained by the not unfrequent discovery of Boman 
and other coins. Dr. Dee, though in most respects ftr 
beyond his age in 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 3rd 
of October, 1574, consists of a petition that he might hate 
a grant of the hidden treasures which he undertook to bring 
to light, and it evidently originated in the tieasure legends 
of the Welsh border, to some of which the writer alludes. 
*' For this twenty yeres space," says he, " 1 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 dreames, some by vision, 
as they have thowght, other by speche forced to their 
imagination by night, have byn informed of certayn places 
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, unleast I shold corrage them 
or cownsaile them how to precede. Wherein I have 
allways byn contented to heare 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 is, dragons or spirits, which were supposed 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. The value 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 perspective, 
astronomy, or som feat of importance. And truly vulgar 
obscure persons, as hosiers and tanners, can (by colour of 
seking 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 respect of all the 
former allegations of my pains, cost, and credit, in matters 
philosophical! and mathematical!) yf no better nor easyer 
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 
trouv^, and such things commodious, as (under that name 
and meaning comprised) by digging or search any where in 
her graces kingdoms and dominions T 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 
^igguig or otherwise. 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 principal! point of 
this my present sute to your lordship," he says, " is for 
your lordships hand to a letter directed to Mr. Harly, kepe r 

of the records of Wigmor castell^ or to whome in this case 
it doth appertayn. For that^ at my late heing 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 tajlors 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 Skenfirith. 
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 graunt full authoritie unto myne owne selfe, I 
am a poore subject of the queues, 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 seene to 
open it, and great warrs hath been at It, and there was a place 
not farr from it whose name is Gamdon, that is as much as to 
say the 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 me what you 
please. For the countrcy saieth there is great treasure. The 
voyce of the countrey goeth there is a dyvell and his dame, one 
sitts upon a hogshed of gold, the other upon a hogshed of 

silver, yet neverthelesse, with your lordships full power and 
authoritie they shall be removed by the grace of God, without 
any charge to the quene 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 despatcbe, so I 
bid your lordship farewell. From the Tower of London, this 
28th of Aprill,1589, 

Your lordships to command, 

William Hobbye. 
** Your lordships owne hand 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 
seenx to haye 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 gist of October of that year, 
setting forth that ^^the queues majesties counsail in the 
Marches of Wales are given to understand, that there are 
sondrie lighte, lewde, desperate, and disordered persons, 
dwelling and inhabiting within sondrye the countyes of 
Wales and the Marches of the same, that dailye weare, 
carry e, and beare dyvers and sondrye kyndes of municion, 
armure, and weapones, as lyvery coates, shurtes of male, 
quilte dublettes, seniles, quilte hattes and cappes, mores 
pickes, gley ves, longe staves, billes of unlefuU sies, swordes, 
bucklers, and other weapones, defencive and invasive, unto 
divers fayres, markettes, churches, sessions, courtes, and 
other places of assembley, in affraye and terror of the 
queues highnes subjects, wherby divers assaultes, affrayes, 
hurtes, woundes, murders, and manslaughters, hathe bin 
don, perpetrated, and comitted; which this counsaill con- 
ceave the rather to growe by the incowragement of the 
unlefull weapons and armor, and by the unlefull 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 smale care or regarde 
thereunto, in meare derogacion and contempte of the 
lawes and statutes, doe weare, beare, and carrye the same 
weapones and armur, facing and bracing the queenes 
highnes quiet loving subjects, and to their greate 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-clerkes, 
bailifb, gailors, and under-officers, and have had and 
receaved for the same no smale somes of money ; by meane 
whereof manifold briberies, exaccions, comithers, extorcions, 
and other injuries and wronges have bin also perpetrated 
and comitted, and the cheeffest, 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 serve, 
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, ^^ncontynent living dothe muche abounde, and 
abhominable inceest and adulterye creapt in, and muche 
frequented in thes days ; and uncharitable excesse of usarye 
and unlefull games ys much used ; artillaryc, case archery, 
and shoting, whiche was provided for the defence of the 
realme, lefte aside; many alehouses, and tippling houses, 
not lefuUy lycensed nor bounden, keapte, and muche 
haunted ; forestalling, regrating, buing and selling of cattelles 
out of fayer and markett, dailye used, and the statute of 
drovers not dulye put in execucion, wheiby the price of 
cattelles is greatly enhaunced, and pryvellye conveyed and 
stoUen from place to place, whiche will tende to the impover- 
ishment and undoing of her majesties subjects, and encrease 


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 court, who were to 
examine into offences of every description and bring the 
offenders to justice. 

Documents like this give us the best notion of the 
unquiet state of this part of the kingdom, even in the 
reign of queen Elizabeth, 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 court, 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 die 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 apiK)inted 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 
government 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 noTre 
is it so farre behind hande, as not onelye olde bills of coun- 
sellors cannot be paied, which they have foreborue a longe 
tyme, but daylie growinge chardges for the howse, as for 
fuell, cariage, and soch other necessarie incy dents 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 myne owne poUecye I have mad^, 
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 subordinate 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, Har^/ 
Silyayarde, Townesend, Pollard, and Wooddes ; who besides 
their dexteritie to expedite sutes, were for their gravetie and 
judgement in the lawe, demed woorthy to occupie a place 

Tim UiSTOKT UJT liVlilAlW. ^Jld 

upon the bencke in any couxte in Englande ; and when any 

of these attended that counsell, as continuallye for the most 

parte they did^ light cawses were presently heard and ordered^ 

as well out of tearme tyme as in tearmes^ and matters of 

more weight were determined in the tearmes^ when always 

the benche was furnished with men of soche gravetie 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 heare 

they doe, to the great losse of tyme, and to the drivinge of 

the sutors to needeless and intollerable chardge. And 

moreover the justice of one of the other three circuits 

alwayes in tearmes 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 die barre. But I have sene it farre otherwise, for 

I have maney tymes, as we thought, felt the barre so farre 

too stronge for the benche (which bathe 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 pleadinge, 

imtiU 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 imder 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 1679 to Sydney, the bishop of Worcester, and others, 
to search out and try these delinquents, and they were even 
3 H 

414 THJB liiBTOliT OF I/UDIiDlfr. 

authorised in certain cases to use torture in order to foice 
them to oonfession. Next year Sydney made a progiea 
in Wales, for the purpose of examining into some causes 
which required his presence on the spot, and he instituted 
formal proceedings against the Catholics in Montgomery- 
shire ; hut the n^ligence, or perhaps rather the inddgoice, 
with which he proceeded in regard to the commission, esuited 
the displeasure of bishop Whitgift, and drew a private letter 
from Sir Francis Walsingham which is still presenred. h 
this letter, which is dated on the 9th of August, 1580, 
Walsingham tells him that " My lords (of the privy coiincO) 
of late callynge here to remembrance the commission that 
was more than a yeare agoe given out to your lordship asd 
certayne others for the reformation of the recusants and 
obstinate persons in religion within Wales and the marches 
thereof, marvayled verie muche that in aU this tyme they 
have heard of nothing done therein by you and the rest; and 
truly, my lord, the necessitie of this tyme requiryng so greatly 
to have those kynd of men diligently and sharply proceaded 
agaynst, there will here or verie hard construction bee made, 
I feare mee, of you, to reteine with you the sayd comn^^ 
so longe, doyng no good therein. Of late now I reoeayed 
your lordship's lettre towching suche persons as you thin^ 
meet to have the custodie and oversight of Mongomene 
castle, by which it appearethe you have begone in yo^ 
present joraeys in Wales to doe somewhat in cawses ot 
religion ; but having a speciall commission for this purpose, 
in which are named speciall and yerie apt persons to jop<^ 
with you in those matters, it will bee thought strange to my 
lords to heare of your prooeading in those cawses yn&o^ 
their assistance. And therfore, to the end their lordships 
should conceave no otherwise than well of your dealyn? 
without them, I have forborne to acquaynt them ^^ ^^ 
late lettre, wishyng your lordship, for the better hanSipi 
and successe of those matters in religion, you called unto 
you the bushoppe of Worcester, Mr. Phillips, and cert^P^ 
others specially named in the commission.'' 

TIlis letter ends with the ominous postcript. — ^'Your 
lordship had neade to walk warely^ for your doings are 
narrowely observed^ and her majestie is apt to geye eare to 
any that shall yll you. Great howlde is taken by your 
ennemyes, 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 1581 over 
the entrance to the inner court of Ludlow Castle^ which still 
remains to bear testimony of the feelings with which this part 
of the building was completed in that year. 


THX 22 rxAB c6flbt or the rsisinxircT 

or BIE HBimi SmiTBTy 



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 appears to have effected at his own expense. 
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 reparadons don by S^^* Henry Sidney, 
knight of the most noble order [of the garter] 1. president 
' of the queenes highness counsaiU in the Marches of Wales, 
upon her ma^ies bowses there. 

'^ Imprimis, for making and covering of certen chamb» 
wtliin the castle of Wigmor w^ kdd, and for amending and 
repayring of the walles and stayres thereof. 

'' Item, for making and repayring of twoe chamb" and 
divers other bowses of offices, as kitchen, larder, and buttry, 
at the gate over the porters lodge at the castle of Ludlowe, 
and for tyling and glasing thereof. 

* Lansdowne MSS. No. czi. art. 9. 

'' Item^ for making of twoe walles of lyme and stone^ cvf 
ffortie yaides in length at th'entring into the said gate. 

'' Item, for making of a wall of lyme and stone at the porters 
lodge, to inclose in the prisoners, of about twoe handled 
yardes compasse, 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 compaase, for a 
wood yard w^in the same castle. 

'' Item, for making of a ocH^ 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 zzxtie or xl^ 
yardes, and in height upon both sides, wtli freestone, a yard 
and a half. 

''Item, for making, repayring, and amending <rf the 
chappell w^m the siud castle ; syling, glasing, and tyling 
of the same, with &yre and lardg wyndowes ; waynscotting, 
benching, and making of seates and Imftlling places, and 
putting upp of her ma^ ie« armes w^ divers noblemens armes, 
together with all the L presidentes and counsailles, rounde 
aboute the same. 

" Item, for making of a ffiiyre howse of lyme and stone, 
upon the backside of the kitchen w^in the said castle, with 
divers and sondry ohambn^ 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 waynesootting and flouring of a great parlor 
wtl^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 fiayre and lardg seate upon the 

north Bide of the said castle^ "w^ a howse over the same, to- 
gether with a lardg waike inclosed with pall and tymber. 

'' Item, for repairing, amending, and making of certen 
chambn w^in the garden of the said castle, glasing and 
tyling thereof. 

'' Item, for making of a ffityre tennys corto w^in the same 
castle, paying thereof wt2i 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 foimteyne of lyme stone 
and ledd, "W^ her mat^ armes, and divers other armes there- 
upon ; and for conveying of the water in ledd from the same 
fbunteyne 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 ffoimteyne 
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 oounsell, 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 extta- 
vagaiice and corruptions of the court. ^' And hereafter," she 

says^ '' whan ther ahall axise any caiiBes of weight, mefte to 
be deliberated uppon, or any other great matters of oom- 
playnt, worthy to be grayely 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 
coonsell, and abyde ther dnryng the time that shall be 
requisit for such great causes, hayyng regeai 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 hertofior 
larger allowance hath been made than was nedefull^ to 
sundry of that counsell being but of meane state, coming 
thither, sometyme more for their own or their fidends causes 
than for ours and the administration of justyce, and by such 
unnecessary allowances made hertofoce to many men of small 
reputation for their jomays oftener than was needful, and for 
ther continuance there also longer than the causes of their 
access did require, the charges grew so lai^ as the house 
became in debt, specially before the coming thither to that 
place of yow our coosyn the lord president, the inconyenience 
whereof we require you our president, and in your absence 
the justyce, hereafter to forsee." 

After the reign of Elizabeth, the hisUny 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 lotd Eure, lord Gerald 
of Bromley, the earl of Northampton, and others. 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 expenaive 
and unwieldy establishment was a burthen on the country, 
while it seems frequently to haye 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 independence, its authority was not unfire- 

qnently set at defiance by those who liyed within its juris- 
dictiQQ, who^ when prosecuted, appealed 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 Britidi Museum. 
''My honobablb good Lobd, 
'' It doth not a litle greeve me to have occasion to 
relate imto yC [l^ship] the generall disobedience, many 
meetinges, and combination against the government of 
the courte in the prindpalitie of Wales since his ma^ie 
and the 11* of his councell hath commanded by way of 
instruocions, and hath given authoritie to the president 
and courte, thereby to deale in causes not exceeding £10 
w^l^n the fewer Ehiglish shires. It seameth they have 
no cause to complayne of injustice, or of an hard and heavy 
hand carryed over them by the president and councell here 
now present, for then no doubt those daymours would be 
readely brought up and presented to yC lo?> view. [I mar- 
vel] that the grave bishop of Hereford should be the prime 
man to subscribe his hande, w^ the rest of the gentlemen 
of that countie, to their prindpall agent, S' Herbert Croft, 

and to challenge that free tion and the inheritable 

Ubertie by the lawes of the relme, definitively pronounced by 
the grave judges, wth the privitie of the 11" and approbation 
of his matie. It is tyme (my good lord), to confirme that 
their supposed definitive sentence, or otherwise to enlarge 
the authoritie of this courte, or (at the least) to warrant 
and defend us in our proceeding, according to his ma^o* 
instrucdons, 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 hope yo^ loP will think |it meet] 
that the prindpality and the marches shall extend itselfe 

largely now in his matie's tyme, as formerly hath 

been in the of the predecessors of this crowne. 

The good that enseweth is only irr^;iilarity (w<^ 

some few gentlemen desire to have ; [the] example is verie 
perillous^ and will spread its selfe at large; the common 
people are enthralled to iheir greatness, terrified w^ their 
threats, refuseth rath' to loose their rights than w^ ther 
great charge to contend "w^ them in the law. The pooie 
tenants of the queene complayne, that the officers tmder 
her do exact such huge fines for themselves, 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 charge, and 

likewise according the border fiishion, such a person shall 
hardly escape a cruel revenge (even unto death), whereof 
some attempts have been made since my comming. Letsuche 
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 fkvour or 
other wilbe shewed. What remedy can this place afibord 
such complaynants ? by way of instrucdons we have no 
authority to meddle w^h misdemeanors in the fewer English 
shires, by the commissione 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 growedi as vehement almost as Herefordshire, by 
the means of S' John Packington, now high sheriffie 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 deputadons till I see better 
conformitie. And am out of hope to prevayle yv^ them for 
mustermaster's places untill they knitt a fijrmer league w^ 

me, I am bould to trouble y loP w^b a large discourse^ 
relying upon yo' loP favour for my assistance in this place, 
praying yo' loP, that either speedely I may be strengthened 
against these ambitious gentlemen, or otherwise, that his 
matiM iinll may be made knowne unto me, that I may know 
what to obey ; 'for by this doubtfulness both his matie is 
dishonored and his people discomforted. Thus hoping to 
receive some comfort from yC* loP, I rest 

To^ loP assured to command, Ba. Exjrb. 

Ludlow QuOe, 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 populoiw 
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 Richard Baxter, 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 " Beliquiee Baxterianae," 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 civil wars inflicted a blow on it from 
3 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 
fortress on the borders of a warlike and only partially con- 
quered people, it was not so, either by its position or character, 
in the warfare which now desolated the kingdom. On the 
9th of June, 1646, it was surrendered to the parliamentary 
general. Sir William Brereton, and the court of which it 
had been so long 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 PHfice' 8 Chamber. £ s. d. 

One standing bedstead covered w^ watched da- 
maske, with all the &miture suitable thereunto 
belonging, valued at . . , . . 30 

Sold to Mr. Bass, y« 11«» March, 1650,« fop 86/. 10». 
Two fustaine quilts, one fiistaine 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 curtaine and rodd . . 6 ^ 

A table, and a court cuppboard . . .050 

• This of course means 1651. By the old mode of reckoning time tbe 
year began on the 25th of March, so that the January, February, and 
March to the 24th, were considered as belonging to the prenoos year. 

One pr* of a&dirans w^ brass knobbs, a fire 
BhoTell, and a fire grate, and a wicker abeen . 12 

All sold to Mr. Bass as appraised. 

Suit of old tapistry hangings, cont. in all 120 ^^% 
at 2«. per ell . . * . . 16 

Sold to Mr. Cleam* y« 18*«» January, 1660, for do. 
In the FaOet Chamber. 
One small fether 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 wainscote garrett next to it, one old 
table, a necessary stoole and pann . . .060 

In the neat Boome to the Frme^s Sedehamber. 
Three tables and a court cuppboard, one wicker 
skreene, one fire shoyell, and one old press . . 18 

In a Wainseatt Oloaett. 
One barber's chabe, a table, and an old chest .070 
Sold to Mr. Bass y« W^ May, 1660, for 4/. 
In the Shovell Board Boom, 
Nine pieces of green carsey hangings paned with 
gilt leather, eight window curtains, five window pieces, 
a chimney peice and curtaine rodds, and three other 
small pe^' in a press in the wardrobe, at . 26 

With y« Protector. 

One large ahovell board table, seven little joyned 
formes, one side table, and a court cupboard . . 2 10 

One small Turkey carpitt, and two old joyned 
stooles . . . .070 

Sold Mr. Bass for 21. 178. as afforesaid. 

One large fire grate in y^ chimney . .10 

One brood green doth carpitt . . .260 

Sold Mr. Bass for 3/. Ss. as afibresaid. 
In the Chief Chamber. 
One old joyned beddstead with doth curtains and 
vaUonce, one press and an old chaire, and a stoole .200 


One other table, three old peices of dammaske 
haagingB, aBettlebed^aiodajoynedBtoole . 10 

In the Gentleman Ushef^s Chamber. 
Four peioes of stript hangings, three old Turkey- 
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 Steward^ 8 Chamber. 
One suit of old damix hangings, cent, severall 
peices, three carpitts of y« same, two tables, one 
cuppboard, one travice curtaine and rodd, one wains- 
cott chaire, three joyned stooles, one leather chaire 
and stoole, one Turkey cushion, one frame foir a 
bason, one other leather chaire, one fire grate in the 
chimney, one fire shoyell, tongs and a paire of bellows, 
one fether bedd, two boulsters, twp pillowB, two 
blanketts, and one rugg, valued altogether at .400 

Sold Mr. Bass y« 7^ Sep' 1660, for 4/. 
In the Closeti next to U. 
One necessary stoole and pann, two covers, one 
table, and two firames to hang cloths upon . . 10 

Sold Mr. Bass, as above, for tenn shillings. 
In the Stetoard'i Man'i Chamber. 
One half-head beddstead, w^ a damix cannopie, 
one feather bed, one boulster, two blank^', one red 
rugg, one settle, two old tables, and one joyned 
stoole, valued together . . . . 2 10 

In y* Secretary' 9 Man*$ Chamber. 
One half-headed beddstead and table, and one 
dose stoole . . . . .080 

In the Clerh of the Kitchin'i Chamber. 
Two old tables and a joyned chaire, two beddsteds, 
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 j* closett . . . . .200 

Sold Mr. Bass, with No. 97, for 5/. as above. 

£. s. d. 
Jn the GavemourM' Quarien, formerly tke Ju$Hce$' Lodging. 

Six pieces of tapistry hangings . . 18 8 

Sold Mr. Cleament y* 18 January 1650, for do. 
Three small Ihirkey caipitts .10 

Sold Mr. aeomS for do. 

Tenn Turkey worked hack chaires . . 8 

Sold Mr. Brown y« 28th January, 1660, for 3/. 
In the Govemour*M Quarier$m 
Three tables and a court cuppboQurd . . 

One large carpitt of green cloth . . .1 

One fire grate for y« chimney . . .0 

One old beddstead, one press, one trundle bedd- 
sjhpad, and three green curtains 

Sold Mr. Bass y« 7«» Febr 1660, for do 




One suite of damix hangijsgs, one beddstead, three 
old tables, one cuppboard, one Turkey carpitt, one 
trundle beddstead, two window curtains, one rodd, 
one press, two peices of wainscott, one fire shovell 
and tongs ...... 

A piece of old damix, one table, one chaire, and 
aome small books ..... 




One eight square feather bed and boulstei 

. 2 10 

Two other small feather beddsteads 

. 8 6 

Two fether beds without boulsten 

. 8 

Pout old pillows . 

. 10 

One flock boulster 

, 8 

One old quilt 

. 8 

Twelye dd blankets 

. 1 4 

Eight old ruggs . 

. 2 

Two old tables, and one Turkey carpitt 

. 12 

Two old Telret stooles 

. 10 

Two old blew doth stooles 

. 6 

One wicker skreene 

. 2 

One fire grate for a chimnej 

. 6 


£. 8. d. 
A pair of green sea curtainB and yallance for a 
bedd . . . . . 10 

One beddfltead with green curtains and vallanoe, 
one table, one damix carpitt, one leather chaire, six 
stooles and a back stoole, a fire grate and fire irons . 1 10 

One old joyned bedstead, one wainscott press, 
and one old court cuppboard .10 

One Bedstead and curtains . 15 

J^ the Govemauf^i Kitchen. 

Two tables, one forme, seven cushions, two old 
chaires, one court cuppboard, one press for linnen, 
one window curtaine, and a rodd . . . 1 10 

Divers parcells of pewter inventoiyed att the 

end: — 

One brass pott . 10 

One possnet . .020 

One kittle . .070 

One brass cuUender, a scinuner, and a broaken 

befeforke . . . .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 griddirouB or grates to sett dishes 
upon, and other wooden lumber there . . 1 10 

In the Sremhouae. 
Three fats and three coolers, one copper, two 
leaden cestemes, one pumpe, two leaden troughs 
and a leaden pipe, with other impljments thereunto 
belonging . . . 15 


£. 8. d. 

In the JFett House. 
One leaden cesteme, and two lairge bucketts with 
iron hoopes . . . . .300 

In the Bdkehauae* 
One trough, one bynn, and one kneading board .060 

In a roome acHoyning to it. 
One grinding mill with all neceBsaiyB belonging 
to it . . . . . . .500 

In the Ooalehouse. 
One paire of scales and three great weights . 5 t) 

In the CknmeiU Chamber. 
Three tables, one forme, one wickar skreene and 
fire grate, and two stooles . . . .10 

In the Dairy House, 
Severall chest wracks and a dresser . 10 

In y^ room called y^ Doctor^ $ Chamber. 
One beddstead, three stript curtaifts and a tester, 
one feather bedd, bcmlster, and three blanketts ; 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 
shoyell and tongs . . . . .300 

Sold all to Mr. Bass as above appraised. 
In the Laundry* 
Two 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 Ihirkey worke stooles, and a 
table . . .080 

In y* Hall. Two bng tables, two 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 Soome, 

One suit of watc^ cloth hangings, pan* w*^ gilt 

le&tbeff 1 Tjrmdow peice, a cuppboard clotb^ and 1 
curiaiiie of Xiddftmiister fituff; 1 eurtaine rod^ 2 
tables, 1 cuppboardi 1 fire grate, 1 p* of email andironB, 
2 blew cloth carp% 'and two high stooles, euteable . 16 

Two picturei, the one of the late king, Euid y* 
other of his queeri' * * * >■ .0 

In ihe Chamher culled the JA Berkiey^s Chamber . 
One large press with lock and kej^ one table, one 
cuppboard, one old feild bedd of watch^ dammaskej 
i^k^e curtainea and a head cloth, one fethcF bedd^ 
two blanketts, one rugg, six old peices of atript stuff, 
and one old stoole , . . * ,4 

In a (yhamhtr called the Lad^ Alice her Chamber, 
Two old tables, one necessary stoole and pan, one 
suit of old damix hangings, one paire of dogg irons, 
two cupboards and an old etoole . , 

Sold all these to Mr. Bass as above apprais^. 
In ike Roome adjo^nin^ to it. 
One half-headed beddatead and a preaa . . 

In a Chamber called y* €&nttabl^i. 
One beddstead, two table i, one f ether bedd and 
boulster, two piUows, three blankettB, one ruggj three 
CLiBhioDB, one etoole, and a cuppboard . , 2 

In Mr, Houghton** Roome, 
One fether bedd and boulster, one blankett, one 
rugg, one cuppboard, and an old bedatead . . 1 

In a low Rmme near it. 
One dresser board and other lumber . . 

In the Mmnhaltt Quarters, 
One f ether bed and boulster, two ruggs and one 
blaukett, one bedatead, one trundle bedd, one table 
and frojue, one little bench, one round iron for y* fire, 
y* fire shovell and tongs, and three joyned formes * 2 

One fetlier bedd and boulater, one side table, 4 
atufl" carpitt B^ 2 wainscott chairs and a bedstead 

£. 8. d. 

One table, one forme, one press, one cannopy bed, 
three bafe-headed bedsteads, and one high bedstead .10 

One table, four stoolcs, four chairs, and one 
beddfltead . . .080 

In the Porter^s Lodje, 
One little brass pott, a wamiing pann, and an 
old tray . . . .060 

On y^ oilier side ofy^ Gate. 
One fether bedd, two boulsters, one pillow, two ., 

blankitts, one rugg, one beddstead, two joynt stooles, 
and one table . .200 

One table, one iron rack, one p® of andirons, and 
two stooles . . . .080 

Over y* Riding House, 
Two hatfe-headed beddstcads, 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 liyery beddstead, one old table, two pieces of 
Kiddermuster hanging, two pieces of darnix, 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 Yelvett 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 IVIr. Bass as above appraised. 

In the first Wardrobe. 
Two flock bedds, two boulsters, two ruggs, old 
and rotten . . . 15 

Twelve ruggs and seventeen blanketts . .300 

S K 

Three fether pillows 
Twenty and four old cushions 
Twelve fether bedds and six boulsters 
Three small Turkey 
One old rotten quilt 

A. IS. u. 

. 14 
. 14 
Two pieces of tapistry hangings which were used 
in y« Court of Justice . . .486 

Five old green cloth carpitts, and one long carpitt 
suitable . . .10 

^ Eleven window curt"* of several sorts . . 12 

One warming pann .020 

A brass perfuming pann ,010 

A brass pan, one pott, and a little kittle . 16 

Sold all these, as above appraised, to Mr. Bass. 
Three broken lanthoms . . .030 

Sold Mr. Brown y« 28th JanT 1650, for three shillings. 

One half-head bedstead 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

Thirteen old ciirtaine rodds, with some old iron 
and other lumber .... 
Sold Mr. Bass. 

One large old Bible 

Sold Mr. Bass. 
In the inward Wardrobe, 
Six cushions of cloth of Turkey worke . 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

^ ^ 



^ (^ 

A parcell of ragged sheets and table cloths, about 
fourty - . - . - 6 

Sold M'. Humphrey y« 28th Jan^, 1660, for 6». 

One half-headed beddstead, w^^ a damix cannopy, 
and two cushions - - - - 6 ^ 

Sold Mr. Bass. 


£. 8. d. 

One old quilt - - - - - 2 
Sold to Mr. Bass. 

One Turkey choir, one fether bolster, three 
necessary stools w^^ poons, one bathing tub, w*^ 
other lumber - - - - 16 

Sold to Ditto. 
One travifis curtaine, one peice of an old damix 
curtaine, and an head board of the same - - 4 

Sold to Ditto. 

One suit of old stript stuffe 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, fiye boulsters - - -700 

Sold Ditto. 

One flock bedd, and two boulsters - -080 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

Twenty and four roggs and blanketts - -10 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

One old surplice of Holland 

Sold Mr. Bass 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 deaths of Damaske - • 12 

Six dozen of Damaske napkins - - - 1 10 


£. B. d. 

Three p^ of old Holland sbeeta, and three p' of 
pillowbers, and nine little pillowbers, four elbowe 
pillows at- - - - - -4 15 

Six smaU amiing towells - - - 2 

One Dammaskc table cloth in length 10 j^* - 2 

One other of y* same length - - - 1 10 

One other of y« like Damaske - - - 16 

One other of y" same, soniew' longer - - 18 

One other - - - - - 10 
All these sold IMr. 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 dyiiper napkins . . .15 

Three coarse ciippboard clotlis and two towells . 7^ 
The chest y* contained y" s'^ lining . .030 

Twenty old dyaper and flaxen napkins fidl of holes 15 

Fifteen dyaper napkins, somewhat better . 15 
Four doz' of old napkins, with y* trunk wherein 

the lining was, and two joyned stoolea . . 10 
Sold all these to IMr. Humpherys as appraised. 

A p^ of andirons, fire shov", and tongs . ,060 

In the closett w^Hn y* Wardrobe. 
One piece of damix and two traviss curtains, one 
old chaire and an old stoole . . . .080 

In the Chaplain! 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 Gentlewoman^ s Chamber. 
Two tables, one court cuppboard, one tire grate, 
one halfe-headed beddstead, two fether bcdds, two 
blanketts, one yellow rugg, one fether boulster, one 
flock boulster, one black and white coverlidd, one 


£. 8. d. 

green cannopie, y^ stuff hangings round ye room, 
two old stooles, one fire shov'^ and tongs, one p' of 
bellows, one candlestick, and a chamber pott.* 
In y^ Countease her Chamber. 
A table and an old bedatead . . .060 

One beddstead w'*» a cannopie and curf** of 
Kiddermust"^ stuffe, one feath' bed and boulster, three 
pillows, y« stuffe 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 .810 
In the 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 

Onetreyett . . .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 shelyes 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 value is affixed to these. 

£. B. i 

In the Chamber over y* Portet^s Lodge* 

One fire grate, one great brass pott, one wainscott 
chaire, three etooles, one fire shov", two niggs, two 
stript curt"", and two damaske curt^*», three blanket ts, 
two small fether beds, two boulsters, one pillow, one 
necessary stoole and pann, one old wooden shovell, 
one old small buckett, two leather drinking jacks, 
and one old lanthome, valued at . . .600 

^ Particular of Pewter hrought and weighed all 
together as it was found in severall plaices of y* 
Castle, y^ 4 J^otf, 1650. 

Tenn candlesticks, 4 basons and ewers, two hand 
basons, one great pewter cestem, twenty pye and 
pasty plates, two small dishes, thirty-nine dishes of 
Beyerall sizes, two chamb' pots, forty-five dishes w«*^ 
where in y* Dry Larder, seventeen other chamb'' pots, 
valued together . . . . . 15 

More in y^ Great Wardrobe. 

Six small old fether bedds, five boulsters, two 
flock boulsters, two old quilts and four old pillows, 
three small ruggs and seven bLmkets . . 16 18 

Sold M' Brown of Bridge North, y« 18th January, 

1660, for 16/. \%8. 

A cupp and cover of plate, weighing 86 oz. at 68, 
p^ ounce . . . . . 8 16 

Sold to do. for do. 

A pulpitt cloth and a carpitt of crimson velvett, 
and severall 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- 
dering tubb at y« govemour's own house in ye towne, 
and part of a horse mill, all valued at 1 10 

Sold Mr. Bass. 

The court of the Marches was restored after the resto- 
ration of royalty, but it had lost most of its importance. A 
series of nominal vice-presidents, the earl of Carberry, the 
marquis of Worcester, prince Rupert, and the earl of 
Macclesfield, presided successively during the reigns of 
Charles II, and James II. On the fourth of December, 
1688, the lord Herbert of Chirbury, Sir Edward Harley, 
and most of the gentlemen of Herefordshire and Worcester- 
shire, met at Worcester and declared for the prince of 
Orange. Ludlow Castle was secured for the prince by lord 
Herbert who imprisoned in it air Walter Blount and the 
popish sheriff of Worcester. The jurisdiction of the lords 
presidents was now considered as a grievance, and one of 
the first acts of the new reign was to abolish it. This was 
effected in the year 1689, by a very brief act of parliament 
(I Will. & Mar. c. 27), entitled " An act for taking away 
the court holden before the president 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 within 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 Marches 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, aqd 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 

pnncea trom tnn 
published in 17i 
the castle at f 
older inventor 
labelled "A( 
delivered by C | 

Fifty-eigh1 i 
one olberd, fc I 
shovel, and 1 i 

Four tal 
work'd chai: I 
one broke; 
iron fender i 

Four d 

Bconses, t 
one piece 
one iron 

which 2 

In the 


and or 



In the PiUBage hy the JFUh-dranmig Boom. 
One sconse. 
In the Closet next the Pcusage. 
Two old chaires, 1 pair of tonga. 
In the Plate Room. 
One table, one broken cbair, four brass kettles, one pewter 
diamber pot, two old pewter ewers, 33 large and small pewter 
dislies, 6 pie plates, 3 pasty plates, 2 pewter rings for deserts, 
67 pewter plates, 5 pewter stands, 4 pewter basons, 2 close-stool 
pans, 1 chamber pot, 5 brass stewpans, 3 old copper saucepans, 
1 tdn pasty pan, 5 candlesticks, whereof one broke, one cast pott 
poBsnett, one old iron dripping pan, 9 spitts, one settle, one pair 
of old bellows, one bench. 

In the great Dining Boom. 

Six old grey chairs and stooles. 

In Prince Arthur's Boom. 
One grey stuife bed, two old feather beds, gutted, 2 bolsters, 
one piUow, one old rug, one silk quilt, 4 chairs, one table and 
grey carpet, part of an old grate, the room hanged with green. 

In the Ladies TFithdrawing Boom. 
One grey cloth bed and silk counterpane, 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 hung with tapestry. 

In the Ladies Lodging Boom^ partly hung with yellow damask. 
Four tables, 6 old stooles and chairs, one grate. 

In the Ladies MaiXs Boom hung with old Kidderminster 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 Boom. 

One old bedstead, 2 tables, one old broken stoole. 

One old rotten bedstead, one old bed, 2 bolsters, old, one old 

In the Kitchen. 
One pair of iron racks, 2 brasse boilers, 1 lead cistern, 2 
gridirons, 1 iron barr, 1 dresser, 1 firame, 4 old tubbs, 2 old 
chairs, one broke. 

In the Yeoman of the Wood Yard^s Boom, 
One old table, one old low bedstead. 
In the Pastry Room. 
One old table. 
In the ChaplaifCs Chamber. 
Two old broken bedsteads, two tables. 
In the 2nd Judge's Room. 
One feather bed and bolster, one blanket, one green and 1 
stnffe coverlet, one table, one Turkey carpet, 3 chairs, 1 grate 
in the closet, 2 old bedsteacls, 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, 6 old broken chairs, 3 tables, 3 old rugs. 

In the Passage to the Judge's Room. 

One press, one table. 

In the Cellars. 

Eighteen stinking hogsheads, and 6 butts, 6 hogsheads with 

their heads out, one leather chair, one large broken tundish, one 

table, one broken bedstead. 

In the Puny Judge's Room up two pair of Stairs. 
Three broken bedsteads, one old chair, and 2 tables. 

In the Brewhouse. 
One Tery large copper fiimace, 2 large coolers, one large 
mashing tub, old. 

In the Wardrobe. 
Two gridirons, one large barr fire shovel and reeper, 1 fork, 
1 pair of tongs, 1 old bedstead, 4 old trunks, broken, one old 
broken cofier, one broken table, two little broken barrells, one 
elbow chaire. 

In Captain Haughton's Room. 
Ten chairs. 


In the Parlour, 
Eight old Turkey chairs, 4 elbow chairs, 2 tables, 2 Turkey 

In the Kitchen. 
Four tables, 6 old broken chairs and stools, one old napkin 

In the Room over the Parlour. 
Two Turkey carpets, 1 old rug, 2 old chairs, 1 cushin, 1 
grate, 1 low stand, 1 table. 

In the Boom over the Kitchen, partly hun^ with tapestry. 
One bed, 1 bolster, 1 bedstead, 6 old chairs, 2 cushins, one 
green carpet, one purple carpet, 1 table, 1 close stool and pan, 
8 pair of old Holland torn sheets, 3 old torn table cloths, 1 pair 
of tongs and fire shovel, 1 old broken stand. 
In the Garrett8. 
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. KAEVEE. 

Signed by < GEO. BETJNTT. 



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 form 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 necessaiy 
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 « 
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 
necessaiy 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 consisted 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 tc^ther 
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 smcs. 
The only way of warring against them was to send out a 
small body of men unawares to attack them by surprise 
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 which, 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 immense 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, 
within 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 









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»n a 

took r*^'^ ^^b/C"" ^be trn'" °° ^Sbcti""^ «eces»yr"*' 



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^•^ arch; 


« «eo:;'^«^u. 


^»of,47^^e.,i,,;J2^d i:;.:*5/o^e. 

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pan o/-i'oi 

'«Qed .." **'<^e, 





protection of a fosse 
more extensive and 1 

roimd thorn to hinder 
frotn being brought u] 
that the fosse should 
better in many respect 
be brought to swim 
vention of a dry fosse 
approach of machines 
could be placed on th 
was af course no nec< 
steep on which the w 
was a sufficient protect 
there 5 the fosse suntu 
lay towards the town^ 
could be attacked. 

We must bear thes 
read of tlie different 
important fortress was 
The tower in the niid< 
Dinan took his snivey 
doubt, the Norman kee 
the back of the castle, 
there was no fosse^ thn 
and that h^ gained a< 
subsequently during t\ 
ease with which he effe 
circumstancej that, as 
this side, it was not con 
there ; the watch was 1 
have already shown ho^ 
by Joce de Dinan was 

The oldest part of Lu 
tower which here, as e 
name of a keep insteac 

* p. 54 of the pteient Tolui 

xnn nAOAVik* \jb ajvlvj^v/tt. 

Although much smaller than Rochester and Newcastle^ 
and most of the other keep towers of the same period^ it 
bears a sufficiently close resemblance to them to convince 
us that it was the castle said to have been built by Roger 
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 
80 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 upper 
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 cDtrance 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 corner, 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 

S M 

IT- C "21: XlJlld 

trr^ 1'^ 

:r t _i :::- s 


: -» a li- C^i 

■^^A --'* ^ 

R.\fM.^M \fK MU\J t^AJV ^ 

Arthct in the Keep of Ludlow Cattle. 

in the wall^ which^ in the present arrangement of the 
interior appears to be so inexplicable in its object^ that it 
has been popularly taken for a den for a lion 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 firsts represented in our cut^ it 
proceeds about two feet at right angles to the internal 
surfiEU^ of the wall^ then makes a rectangular turn to the 
rights 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 them. From the m^nitude 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 lower room are not additions to the original edifice. 

The strength of the building required that these lower 
apartments should be vaulted in masonry. The floors 
above were of timber. The first floor was allotted to the 
retainers and soldiers^ and was lighted only by narrow 

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 corner^ 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 rubbishy 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 ceilings 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 con- 
sidered as having served the purpose of a dungeon^ but 1 
doubt much if this was its original use. At the north-east 
corner^ exactly opposite the foot of the passage descending 
in the mass of the 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 reprefiOQied in 
the annexed cut. To the right of these arches is a passage 


recently uncovered. The second floor was usually devoted 
to the state apartments^ and here the windows were of 
laii^r dimensions. The communication between the dif- 
ferent floors was by a small newel staircase in the turret of 
the north-east corner^ 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 breteches or 
bretescheSy and they appear in medieval pictures repre- 
senting attacks upon castles. In the external waUs 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 bretesches in time of siege. I wn 
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 a£ford. The arms 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 Henry VII. 

In the south-west comer of the first floor of the keep, 
opposite the archway of the original entrance^ is another 
more lofty archway, evidently belonging to the original 
building. This leads to what was perhaps 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-east comer. 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 corner. 

The floor of the small south-western tower, marked 21 in 
our plan, which appears to have been of timber, is entirely 
gone, and it is impossible to say what was the originid 

arrangement or purpose ot tne grouna noor. At a suose- 
quent period^ when the castle had attained its present 
dimensions^ and this earlier part of the castle was turned 
into brewhouses and bakehouses^ the lower part of this 
tower was turned into an enormous oven. The first floor 
appears to have 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 

Oven and Fire-plM«. 

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 describing 
constituted^ no doubt, what the writer of the romance of the 
Fitz Warines considered Ihe first bayle, or ward of the 
castle, and which that curious and interesting document 
ascribes to Roger de Montgomery. On the same authority 
we assume, and probably correctly, that the castle was first 
enlarged by Joce de Dinan, probably towards the end of 
the reign of Henry I. The traditionary account of the 


progressiye enlargement of the castle given in the romance 
of the Fitz 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 courts 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 waUs 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 waUs 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 courts 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 
courts looking up the vale of the Teme and Corve, are of the 
Edwardian period, though they also have undergone much 
alteration, especially the grand hall. This 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 purposes 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 the 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 
is 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 accompanying cut, and characterised by some archi- 
tectural peculiarities, is remarkable for its elegance. A 

Doorway and Fire. place in the Banquetting Room. 

room adjoining to this tower, and numbered 12 in our 
plan, is named, on what authority I. am not aware, the 
Armoury, and it is pretended that the rooms beyond these, 
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 tjie 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 di£ferent 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 hangings 
3 N 



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 upon the panels^ and the hall as decorated 
with the same kind of ornaments^ together with lancesj 
spearSy 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 church, 
is cruciform in plan, and consists of a nave, choir, chancel, 
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 follQwiDg description of the chnrch of St Lawreneey at Ludlow. 
I owe to the kindness of Mr. Henry Pidsoon, author of Jfiwerielt cf 
Sknwtbwy, fte. Historieal notices relating to this eeelesiastieal tdiSee 
will be foond in the course of the preceding pages. 


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 taper 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 vrindow 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 remains, must have been inferior to none in point of 

oolouringy since it appears to hav« been executed by masten 
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 do 
common interest are depicted, yet these in places hate 
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 defiftced 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 nimierous 
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, 1832, 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 coburing, 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 effect surpasses any thing of the kind in the 

The window occupies the whole breadth of the chancel, 
eighteen feet, and is thirty feet in height. The mullions 
were in the above year renewed by the Messrs. Carline,f of 
Shrewsbury, It contains five hundred and forty feet of 
glass, in sixty-five compartments. The subject is the 

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 859^ and for not delivering up the 
church treasury^ which the pagans thought was in his 
custody, he suffered martyrdom by being broiled oyer 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. Later ence 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. 
Laurendus ctddtidtur Sixto. 

2. Lawrence ordained a deacon. 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. 

8. Lawrence appointed treasurer. 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. 
FiUm imperatoris Laurencio tradii theeauros. 

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. 

Laurendus thesauros erogat pavperilme. 


5. Lawrence captured. The saint in his canonicals 
appears secured by the inquisitors. 
Hio Laurencius capitur ab injumtaribue. 

6. Lawrence brought before the emperor, attended by the 
captain and a posse of soldiers. 

Laurencius presentcUur coram imperatore. 

7. Lawrence be/ore idols. The saint is led by the 
emperor before idols^ who appear as falling to pieces by the 
sanctity of his presence. 


Laurenciua ducitur coram ydoUs. 

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. Lawrence restoring the blind. During his imprison- 
ment the saint miraculously restores Lucillus to sight in 
the presence of the jailor. 


Laurencius aperit oeulos LucilU. 

10. Lawrence converts Ypolitus the jailor, who is kneel- 
ing, and with uplifted hands seems earnestly imploring 
mercy from above; his sincerity appears to make him 
immindful of his office, his keys laying on the ground 
beside him. 

Laurencius cofwertif TpoUium. 


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." 


Duett pauperes coram imperatore. 

IS. 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. 


Imperator verier at pavperee. 

IS. Lawrence threatened tvith 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 rufiians to be 



Laurencius lapidatur. 

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 verberatur virgis. 

16. Lawrence beaten with dubs. The saint lying on the 
groimd, several men appear trampling upon him and 
beating him with clubs. 

LiMureneius baeulis eeditur. 

17. Lawrence fiogged with tohipa. The saint being tied 
to a pillar, leyeral barbarians are flogging him with whips, 
to which are attached large knots of lead. 


Laurenciua eeditwr flageUis plumbeiB. 

18. Lawrence torn tmth hooks. The hands of the saint 
being fastened to a pillar, several men are in the act of 
tearing his flesh with hooks. 

Laurencius lacertUur hamis ferrets. 

19. Lawrence burnt with irons. The saint again tied 
to the pillar, is tormented by men applying with large 
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 crudatur 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 craticula. 

SI. Lawrence buried. The tragic scenes of his life and 
sufferings being over, the saint, wrapped in a winding- 
sheet, is about to be laid in the tomb, amidst a concourse 

of spectators. A priest is performing the burial rites after 
the manner of the Bomish Church. 
Laurencius hie sepelitur. 

22. Is the representation of a cruciform churchy with a 
small octangular turret in the centre^ and is a curious 
specimen of ancient architecture; the windows of the 
chancel and transepts have the flat kind of arch introduced 
about the close of the fifteenth century, whilst those 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 diacontis /regit calicem. 

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 effidt retirescere. 

24. A table appears to be covered with a doth, 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 imfortunately wanting. 

27. 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 

3 o 


Justinian is said to have enlarged or rebuilt the edifice 
erected by Pulcheria. 

• • • • stntxit capeUam^ 

The above designs contain upwards of three hundred 

At the spring of the arch^ beginning at the left side, axe 
full length figures of the Virgin and CkUdy SairU John, 
an angd holding a shield, azure, two crosiers in saltire, a 
mitre in chief Or ; saint Anne teaching the Virgin Marff 
to read, a bishcfp 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 shidd. 
Gules, a saltire Argent. — A king seated on his throne, in 
the act of benediction, holding in his left hand a globe; 
saint Lavrrence in a devotional attitude, supporting his 
symbol, a gridiron. The upper portion of the window, 
being divided into smaller compartments, contains fourteen 
figures of angels and archangds ; the division at the apex 
is of large dimensions, and has a representation of the 

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 inscriptions of Nos. 24 to 27 are either destroyed, or fragments 
only remain. 


from the abbacy of St. Mary's, York, to the see of Here- 
ford, November, I4S1), 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 appears 
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. EUina, 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 Ofiering," and our Saviour rising from the 
tomb ; also, the portraits of several bishops. The top of each 
window has several smaller figures in tolerable preservation. 

Underneath the eastern window stood till recently a 
modem 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 

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 hee dyed, by a ring that was brought to him by 
certain pilgrims coming from Hierusalem, which ring hee 
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. Catherine, 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 
modem glass. 

On the north side, inclosed by palisading, is a handsome 
altar tomb, on which rests two recumbent effigies 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 festoons of foliage, &c. is placed on the 
tomb, and contains the following inscription. 

Sacmn Memorise Dni Johannis Brydgeman, Militis, Seruientis ad legem 
et capitalis Justiciarij Cestrs. Qui maximo omnium bonorum Mcerore, 
(cum 70 annos vixissit J 5th Febr, anno 1637, pie Placideq ; animam Deo 

Francisca Vxor mcetissima posuit 

It will grieve the lover of elaborate monumental sculpting, 
so prevalent in the last century but one, to see the mutila- 
tion which the highly finished effigies of sir John Bridgeman 


and his lady have undergone. These figures are in a style 
of execution superior to that of Nicholas Stone, who does 
not particularize this work in his catalogue preserved by 
Virtue, and given by Mr. Walpole. From the very minute 
resemblance 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 
perfectly 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 possibly 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 
Decalogue painted on a large panel, the old text characters 
of which have recently been restored. 

The windows of the south chapel appear 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 green colouring of which is particidarly brilliant. The 
prophets Manasses, Jehoiacan, and Jothan are in good 
preservation, the rest of the window is filled with plain 

The whole of this noble parish church is ceiled with fine 
oak and embellished with carving. The extreme length 
from east to west is two hundred and three feet, of which 

vae nave is uuieij inree leei, lae mymx unaer vac lower 
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. 

Leland 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 living 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 founded 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 afiirmed 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, we 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 cofferer 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 Palmers, 
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 richer colouring 
and superior execution, seems to favour this opinion. 

Leland says, ** I noted these graves of men of fame in 
Ludlow 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 connsell of Walles, &c«; And of ye ladye 
Marye his wyef, donghter of ye famous doko of Northumberland, who 
dyed in Lndlowe Castell ye 22nd of Februarie, 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 every thing in his power in support of Public 
Liberty, and in opposition to Arbitrary Power. The said Theophilus 
Salwey married Mary, the daughter and hairess of Robert Dennett, of 
Walthamstowy in the county of Essex, Esq. but left no issue by her.. 
Obiit the 28th of April, 1760, aetat. 61. 

Pro Rege Saepe : Pro Republica 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. 

ileere lye tne bodies of iSdmynd waiter, t^sqTier, cmefie iTsuce ot 
three shiers in Soyth Wales« and one of Hia Majestie's CoTncill in the 
Marches of Wales ; and of Mary his wife, daughter of Thomas Hackint, 
of Eyton, Esqyier, who had issve three sonnes named lames^ lohn, and 
Edward, and two davghters named Mary and Dorothy. He was bTried 
the 29th day of January. Anno Dni. 1592. 

A. table tomb^ on which reposes the recumbent figure of a 
female resting on a cushion^ habited in the dress of the 
times^ and the head covered with a hood, the right hand 
holding a small book. At the back is a tablet surmounted 
by the armorial bearings^ on which is recorded^ 

Here lyeth, expectinge a joyfvll Resyrrection, the body of Dame Mary 
Evre, late wife to Right Hon. Raiphe Lord Evre, Baron of Malton, Lord 
President of the PrincipaUitie and Marches of Wales, and LieTtenant of 
the same, and daughter of Sr. John Dawney, 6f Sessey, in the Covnty of 
Yorke, Knight. She departed this mortall lyfe the 19th day of March, 
Anno Domini, 1612, setatis svae 55. 

Inclosed within 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, knyght, chief justice 
of the counsell in the Marches of Walles and Chester; and dame Alice 
his wyfe, doughter and one of the heyres of Robert PoTye, Esquire, whoc 
had betwyne them twoe, XII chyldren« VI sonnes and VI doughters law- 
fully begot. 

On a black marble tablet, inscribed in gold characters^ 

O Quisqvis Ades! 

Reverere manes Inclytos 

Edoardi Vavghan, e Trawscoed Arm. 

Johannis Vavghan Equitis Herois, 

Hfcredis ex Traduce, 

Proin patris magn' ad instar. 

Per omnigenae literatunc, sire Academics, sive forensis, 


Hue acerrime vel a puero contendit; 

KifTejie in eery ire i ; 

Qaod felidter Mfecutos est, 

Vitriq ; gratus et amabilis, 

Et spectatisBimiui ciTis 

In ipsa temporom 


Vt scias hie condi quern antiqui dixere 

Vlrum cubiciun 

Et divinnm. 

Talis tanttisq; flentibos etiam inimicis, 

Commorientibus peene amiois. 

Ipso solo laeffee et lubente, 

Receptus est 

In Beatonim patriam. 


CoDJugiparentiq; desideratissime 

Vidua cum liberis, 

Perpetim lugens» 

Hoc mortale Monumentum 


Ipse sibi immortale Epitaphium. 

In this and other parts of the building will be found 
several other mural monuments and tablets. 

The tower contains a melodious peal of eight bells^ on 
which are the following inscriptions. — 

First.— Richard Perks, Town Clerk, a. e. 1732. 

Second. — Abraham Budhall, of Gloucester, cast us, 1782. 

Third. — ^Roger Phillips and William Bright, Church- 
wardens, 1732. 

Fourth. — Prosperity to the town and our benefactors. 

FiPTH. — Prosperity to the town and parish. 

Sixth. — Prosperity to the Church of England, a. r. 1732- 

Sevekth. — Somerset Jones, Esq. and Caesar Hawkins, 
Gent. Bailiffs. 

Eighth, Tenor. — The Rev. Richard Baugh, Rector, 
Mr. John Smith and Mr. John Smith, Churchwardens, 

" May all whom I shall summon to the grave, 
The blessings of a well spent life receive," 

3 p 

In the king's books the hying of Ludlow is Talaed at 
nineteen pounds^ twelve shillings and sixpence. And this 
estimate being under twenty pounds it is consequently at 
the disposal of the lord chancellor. It is a rectory^ and its 
present value is said to be two hundred pounds per annum. 

After this brief notice of the church it may be remarked, 
that the edifice being built of a soft red sandstone^ rendered 
friable by the action of time and the weather^ the exterior 
presents a somewhat ragged appearance, and the mullions 
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 restored within 
the last few years. In the interior likewise much is 
wanting to give due eSect to the fine perspective which 
imfolds itself to the enraptured eye. The building is 
in every respect a noble and interesting structure, and 
well deserving of the best and most carefrd attention that 
the assistance of wealth and influence might bestow in 
furtherance of its renovation and improvement. 



The successiye yisits of the Association to Winchester, 
Gloucester, and Worcester, — ^which places, as well as some 
of the churches in their vicinity, all present remarkable 
specimens of the carved stalls so generally found in the 
cathedral and collegiate churches of this and other coun- 
tries, — ^have drawn more than once the attention of its 
members to these interesting monuments of medieval art. 
These stalls were, in fact, those especially appropriated to 
the members of the 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 appear to have been considered as an 
indispensable part of the ornamentation of a collegiate 
church. Several conjectural explanations of these seats 
have been offered, the popular opinion, however, being that 
they were turned up during a part of the service when the 
clergy were not allowed to be seated ; but that out of pity 
to the aged or infirm, they were allowed to rest themselves 
against the bracket supported by the sculpture, which 
afforded a support without allowing them actuaUy to be 

* This Essay is reprinted from the Journal of the ArchsBological 
Association, and was originally read by the Author of the present Tolume 
at the Archeological Congress in Worcester, in 1848. It is given here, 
because several examples of stalls are taken from Ludlow church, the 
stalls of which are extremely interesting. We axe indebted to the Council 
of the Association for the loan of the woodcuts. 

seated. For this reason^ it is said^ they received in ifranoe 
the title of mtsericardes (still preserved among the French 
archaeologists) and putiencea ; while our English antiquaries 
generally call them misereres* Why, however, this par- 
ticular class of sculptures, seldom found (except at an early 
period) in any other 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,! 
will be devoted. These sculptures range in date from 
the thirteenth century to the age of the reformatioD, and 
are distinguished by various degrees of excellence. Some- 
times they are very 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 

* Ducange has, under the word Misbricordia., the explanatioxi, 
*' Sellulae, erectis formarum subselliia appositfe, quibus stantibus senibas 
vel infirmis per miserieordiam insidere conceditur, dum alii slant, Gallis 
mUerieordea Tel patiencet, S. Willehni Consuet Hirsaug. 1. ii. cap. 2. 
' Primum in ecclesia quamdiu scilla pulsatur ante nocturnos, super mtiseri^ 
cardiam sediUs sui, si opus habet^ quiescit' ** 

X Very little has been written on the subject of these sculptures, asd^ 
considered as mere gross representations, they have been much neglected, 
and a great number of them have been suffered to be destroyed. A few 
were engrayed by Carter, in his *• Ancient Sculpture." The very interes- 
ting series in the cathedral at Rouen were engrayed and described by 
M. Langlois, 


the latter. These side ornaments consist sometimes of 
mere foliage^ attached to the bracket by a stalk ; sometimes 
they are 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 evident they 
were men of a certain degree of education, and well ac- 
quainted with the popular literature of the day, the different 
classes of v«rhich 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 yugin^ came immediately and Udd 
its head gently and without fear in the maiden's lap. The 
hunter then approached and struck his prey with a mortal 
blow^ before it had time to awake from its security. A 
more popular character was g^ven to these stories by the 
adjunction of moralizations, somewhat resembling those 
which are found at the end of the fables of .£8op. The 
mysterious power of the maiden over the unicorn, the 
resurrection of the phcenix, the generous nobleness of the 
lion, the craftiness of the fox, the maternal tenderness of 
the pelican, are capable of a multitude of mystical inter- 

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 

Fif I. From Stntford-on-ATon. 

in the church of Stratford-on-Avon, we find the story of 
the maiden and the unicorn, the latter being made a more 
cruel sacrifice to the hunter, after having fallen a victim to 



the charms of beauty (fig. 1). The style of this work seems 
to carry us back to the earlier part of the fourteenth cen- 
tury: it is not clear to whom the arms belong, but the 
lobes are formed of the leaves and acorns of the oak, the 
favourite foliage of the early English style of ornamenta- 
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 like, 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 ^sopean fables, 
known under the titles of Tsopets and Avynets, from the 
names of the celebrated fabulists ^sop 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 and the ro- 
mance of Benard are frequently represented on the stalls. 
The &ble of the rats hanging the cat is represented very 
grotesquely in a carving on the stalls of Great Malvern 
probably also of the fourteenth century (fig. 2). The side 

Fig S. From Great MaWero. 

ornaments are here two owls. The man and the bss, the 
fox carrying away the goose, and one or two other aunikr 
subjects, are found at Gloucester. The fox preaching is 
found on one of the side ornaments of a stall canriDg in 
Worcester cathedral, and is not of unfrequent occurrence 

Another class of literature, frequently accompanied with 
pictorial illustrations in the manuscripts, comprises the 
calendars or ecclesiastical almanacs, in which the domestic 
or agricultural employments of each month are pictured at 
the top or in the margins of the page. Such subjects 
are also frequent in the carved staUs. Three stalls in 
the cathedral of Worcester represent men employed 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 unfrequently met 
with. The stall carver has g^ven a still wider range to his 
imagination in representing domestic 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. S). A man closely wrapped up is seated beside 

/ ^ ^^7 

— ^ 



^^ \ 

^3? WiT 



-— ^ 


ft 1 

^^ iS^^SfO! 




FIf 3, From Woroaitflr. 



a fire^ stirring his pot ; his gloves which are remarkable for 
being two-fingered^ as well as the expression of his features 
show that he is suffering severely from the temperature. 
He has taken off his boots^ and warms his feet by a rather 
close approximation to the fire. A.11 the 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 
gigantic cat is basking in the warmth 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, an old 
woman, a witch-like figure, is occupied at her distaff, 
accompanied by two cats of grotesque appearance. One of 
the stalls at Great Malvemj — which like those of Worcester, 
appear to 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 

Fig 4. From Great MaWern. 

playful, representing games and pastimes. One of these, 
here given (fig. 6), from Gloucester cathedral (the sculp- 
tures of which appear to be of the latter half of the four- 
teenth century), represents two boys playing with balls, and 
8 Q 

Fig. 6, Prom Gloucester. 

is a curious illustration of the costume of the period. The 
whole field is^ in these stalls^ covered with ornamentation, 
and there are no side cusps. Sometimes we have very 
curious representations of the processes and implements of 
trade^ commerce^ and labour. The very interesting example 
of this class of representations here g^ven from the church 
of Ludlow^ in (fig. 6), represents two men supporting, wc 

FIf. 6. Vrom Lndlow, 

might almost say from their poetnre worshipping, the beer 
barrel. Their eostume, with its " dagged'' borders, is 
of the reign of Bichard II. The side ornaments here 
represent severally the ale bench, with the barrel, jug, 
and drinking cnp ; the forms of which are yaloable data 
for the archeeologist. The stalls of Ludbw church have 
been much mutilated, and evidently with intention, for the 
heads, arms, and other prominent parts, have been cut off 
with a sharp instrument. 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 superior 
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 

Flff. 7* From 

uiic Blue VI uio luiuaiis ii|§iiiv are rvpn»eiii«a a uvar^i, a pair 
of clogs^ a bellows^ and a hammer^ which might throw some 
doubt on the profession of the individual. The mutilation 
of the arms of the right-hand side figure renders it difficult 
to say exactly how he was intended to be occupied. Prac- 
tical jokes^ not always restrained within the bounds of the 
delicacy of modem times^ are common ; and monks and 
nuns sometimes appear in scenes of this description^ of 
which some curious examples are furnished by the stalls of 
Hereford cathedral. These stalls axe of early workmanship, 
and the side ornaments exhibit the well-known early 
English oak foliage in profusion ; when 1 saw them last, 
they were scattered in lamentable confusion in the church, 
having been taken from their places duUng the repairs and 
restorations of the building. One of them (fig. 8) exhibits 
a scene from the kitchen, in which a man is evidently 

Fig a From Hereford. 

taking liberties with the cookmaid, who has thrown a 
platter at his head. A subject closely resembling this is 
found on one of the stalls of the church of Great Malvern. 
These subjects are sometimes carried to a degree of inde- 
licacy, which cannot be described. 



It is remarkable and especially characteristic of these 
carvings^ that scriptural or religious subjects are very rare. 
A stall at Gloucester appears to represent the scriptural 
story of Sampson overcome by the courtesan Dalilah. An 
example of a s«nt's legend occurs in the representation of 
the story of St. George and the dragon^ on a stall at 
Stratford-upon-Avon^ the side ornaments to which are not 
very congruous grotesques. This particular subject^ how- 
ever^ belongs almost as much to chivalrous romance as to 
sacred legend. The stories of the great medieval romances 
also find a place in these representations. A foreign 
example represents the fabulous Aristotle subdued by the 
charms of his patron's wife — the subject of a well-known 
poem — the Lai d* Aristote. A stall at Gloucester (fig. 9), 

Fig 9. Prom Gloaeeitcr. 

no doubt taken from one of the old ramans de geste, repre- 
sents a knight in combat with a giant. The same cathe- 
dral furnishes us with interesting representations of knights 
tilting, and of others engaged in the chase. Subjects that 
may be considered as strictly allegorical are also rare; 
perhaps the figure of a naked man enveloped in a net, with 
a bare under his arm, and riding on a goat, in the stalls of 


uo wuBAucACU ao VC\ 


this class. A figure of a fool riding on a goat occurs on tbe 
stalls at Gloucester, and may have a similar signification. 
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 margins 
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 small group, 
consisting in most cases of grotesque figures of animals or 
human beings, in various postures and occupations. The 
large side cusps, differing in this respect from all the later 
examples, are here the most important part of the subject 
In some they consist of extremely tasteful groups of foliage. 

Fif. 10. From Winchester CathedraL 

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 eusps 
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; 
others represent musicians playing on the pipe or the 
fiddle ; and in the one giren on the preceding page (fig. 10), 
the musicians are a pig and a sow — a 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. 




^ ^ 






Fig. 11. Prom the chapel of Wlnchciter ScbooL 

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 yery singular example of diabolical agency is 
here given from a stall at Ludlow, and we may again 



observe on it the private mark of the workman. It is 
curious, because it contains an evident allusion to a scene 
in the medieval mysteries or religious plays. The par- 
ticular play to which I allude is that representing the last 
judgment, or doomsday, in which the demons are intro- 
duced dragging into hell a variety of classes of dishonest 
people, thus conveying a moral and satirical admonition 
against some of the crying sins of the day, which were 
most practised among, and most offensive to, the lower and 
middle orders of society. One of these gpreat offenders was 
the ale-wife who used short measures. In the stall from 
Ludlow church (fig. 12), the demon is carrying the ale-wife 

FIf. 18. From Ludlow. 

with her false measure and gay head dress, to thrust her 
into hell-mouth — the usual popular representation of which 
forms the side ornament to the right ; another demon plays 
her a tune 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 a roll of parchment the catalogue of her 



These carvings are, it will be seen^ not only monuments 
of medieval art, but they may be 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. 

3 R 



The foUowing list of the BaOiffs of Ludlow from the year of 
the grant of the charter of Edward lY, in 1461, to the year 
1783, and its chronological notes, are printed from a parchment 
roll in the possession of Mrs. Davies, of Croft Castle. From 
the historical entry under the year 1566, it appears that it was 
originally compiled in the reign of James I. It seems to hare 
been continued hy more than one hand down to the year 1783. 

The names of the Bailiffs of the Town of Ludlow since the 
incorporation and charter, anno regni Regis Ednardi Quarti 
prima annoque Domini 1461. 

Edfoardtts quartus. Anno Dommi. 

2. Nicholas Cresset, Eichard Barber ... ... 1462. 

3. John Shermon, Philip Osborne ... ... 1463. 

4. John Dodmore, John Adams ... ... 1464. 

Thii year King Edward married Elizabeth, daughter to Jaquett 
Dutchess of Bedford, late wife to Sr John Greye, slain at Courton 
ffield on King Henrys party. The Duke of Somerset and diTers 
others beheaded. 

5. John Hosier, Thomas Stevens ... ... 1465. 

King Henry taken and comitted to the Tower. 

6. John Sparcheford, Harry Colwall ... ... 1466. 

I%u year were Sir Thomas Hungerford and Henry Courtney, right 
Heir to the Earl of Devonshire, beheaded. 

7. Philip Osborne, William Griffiths ... ... 1467. 

Lady Margaret, the King's sister, married the Duke of Burbon. 


8. Eichard Bowdler, Thomas Hooke ... ... 14:68. 

9. Eobert Barbor, Watkin Cother ... ... 1469. 

Edgecourt fBeld. Lord Rivera with his sonne and two of the 
Herberts beheaded by comandment of the Duke of Clarence and 
the Earl of Warwick. 

10. William Griffith, David Skewe ... ... 1470. 

T%s Lord Willoughby, Lord Wells, and many others, beheaded for 
the comotion in Lyncolnshire. I%e Duke of Clarence and the 
Earl of Warwick flie into France. 

King Edward flieth into France. King Henry is restored. 

King Ed : Queen is forced to take sanctuarie, and there is Prince 
Edward borne. 

11. Nicholas Cresset, William Boyer ... ... 1471. 

King Edward landed at Ravenspur. King Henry sent again to 
the Tower. Bamett Field. Great Warwick and many others 
slaine. Teuxbury Battle. Prince Edward slain. King Henry 

12. Thomas Hooke, Thomas Ludford ... ... 1472. 

13. Henrie Colwall, Philip Wrothe ... ... 1473. 

The Duke of Exeter found dead upon the sea betwixt Doyer and 

14. John Adams, John Wilkes ... ... ... 1474. 

Kwff 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 ... ... 1476. 

Many states created. 

16. Thomas Steephens, Thomas Pferror ... ... 1476. 

17. Watkin Cother, Walter Hubbold ... ... 1477. 

The Duke of Clarence drowned in a butt of malmeseye. 

18. William Bowyer, John Paris ... ... 1478. 

19. John Hosier, Boger Moorton ... ... 1479. 

20. Thomas Hatford, John Lane ... ... 1480. 

21. Thomas Ludford, John Cookes ... ... 1481. 

22. John Wilkes, John Sheffield ... ... 1482. 

The king feasted the mayor of London and his bretheren. 

23. John Lane, Walter Moorton ... ... 1483. 

In thia year, the 9th day of Aprill, died King Edward the Ffourth, 
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 


HaatingeB in the Tower of London. The Queen took laoctiiariiB. 
The protector is proclaimed king and crowned in Jiine» l483i. 

Biehardus terthts. Anno pnmo. Anno DnL 1483. 

1. The BajMa before named. 

And in that year were the young princes murdered. Banister be- 
traieth his master the Duke of Buckingham, who was beheaded. 

2. Boger Moorton, John Marshton ... ... 1484. 

King Henry's body removed to Winsor. T^ce wth. Scotland for 3 
8. John Sheffield, John Hopton ... ... 1485. 

Henrie mrl of Richmond landed at Milford HaTen, flghteth a 
battle at Bosworth with ELing Richard, killeth him hand to 
hand, and began his reign the 22nd of August, 1486. 

Senrieus SepHmtiS, anno supradicto. 
In the first year of his reign the Duke of Clarence, his sonne and heir, 
was comitted to the Tower. The yeomen of the guard first made. 
2. Walter Moorton, John MalmeshiU ... ... 1486. 

Note, that the year before the king did marry Elisabeth, daufr 
to Edward the fourth, which marriage united the families of 
York and Liancaster» which had been long diTided. 
8. William Bowier, John Tipper ... ... 1487. 

Prince Arthur bom, anno supradict 
4. Thomas Ludford, John Whoorest ... ... 1488. 

6. Thomas Cookes, Will". Paris ... ... 14S9. 

An imwreetion in the North. The Duke of Northumberland slaine. 

6. Walter Hubbold, John Heywood ... ... 1490. 

7. John Lane, Sichard Dodmore ... ... 1491. 

King Henry the Vllltb. bom. 

8. John Malmeshill, John Steephens ... ... 1492. 

9. Thomas Ludford, Will«- Bower ... ... 1493. 

10. Will"- Paris, Thomas Gbeene ... ... 1494. 

Sir William Stanley, the kings chamberline put to death. 

11. John Heywood, W«- Whotton ... ... 1495. 

12. John Steephens, Bichard Gibbins ... ... 1496. 

18. John Tipper, Bichard Lane ... ... 1497. 

Comocen of Gomish men, under Lord Dudley. 

14. John Lane, Will"- Cheney ... ... 1498. 

15. Thomas Cooke, John Pratt ,.. ... 1499. 

Edward Pkmtagenett, earl of Warwick beheaded. Parkin Warbech 
hanged who feighned himself to be King Edward's second son. 

16. John Sheffield, Bichard Downe ... ... 1500. 

The king and queen went to Callis. 


17. Bichard Hibbins, Thomas Teame ... ... 1501. 

jKoMartiM daughter to the King of Spaine came into England and 
was married to Prince Arthur the 14th Norember^ and in April 
following he died in Ludlow. 

18. John Hooke, William Cheney ... ... 1602. 

Queen Elizabeth died. 

Margaret the king's eldest dau^^ter married to the King of Seotts. 

19. John Pratt, Bichard Diep ... ... ... 1608. 

A new coine. 

20. John Hejwood, Will™* Jeyans ... ... 1504. 

A coyner hanged. 

21. John Pratt, Thomas Glenton ... ... 1505. 

The King of Castile came into England. 

22. Bichard Downe, Sichard Smale ... ... 1506. 

Thu ymr the king discharged all prisoners that laie for xl*- debt 
and under in London. 
28. Sichard Hibbins, Bichard Benye ... ... 1607. 

24. Bichard Dyer, Walter Phillips ... ... 1508. 

2%M y&tr King Henry the Serenth died the 32 April, haring 
rayned 23 years and eight months. 

Henricus Oetavus, Anno prixno. 

1. William Cheney, John Hare ... ... 1609. 

The kmg marrieth Prince Arthur's late wife and were both crowned. 

2. Bichard Lane, Bichard Braddock ... ... 1510. 

Henry the king's first son bom but lived not 
Empson and Dudley beheaded. 
8. John Hare, John Cother ... ... ... 1611. 

Scottish ships taken. 

4. Bichard Lane, Bichard Sherman ... ... 1612. 

Lord Admiral of England slain. 

5. Thomas Clenton, W"»- Clongonford ... ... 1618. 

A great euMdie, The king besiegeth T^rwyn. It is yielded, 
razed, and burnt. He besiegeth Tumey and it was yielded. 
The king created dukes and earls. In the king's absence 
Jamee King of Scotts being swome to keep peace invaded 
England, but was oTerthrown and slain by the queen's army 
under the noble Earl of Surrey, with 3 bushops, 2 abbots^ 12 
earls, 17 lords» besides knights and gentlemen, and seventeen 
thousand Scotts. 

6. William Braddock, Walter Bogers ... ... 1514. 

Peace proclaimed between England and France. 

7. Bichard Downes, John Yorke ... ... 1615. 

7%ie year, in October, Lewis, the French king, married Lady Mary, 



iLe king^s eiaierf whot if) M«y ftHer, being widow, wu uuLnjjpd ta 
Clmrles Brandon, duke of Sufblkc. 

8. John Hare, Tbo'- Broughton . . , ,,. 1516. 

Lady Mary, &{Igt queciie, this y&nre bonu Also the Qu^fii of ScoUs 
fl«d into England, 

9. W''- CloDgonford, WiR^ Bemiett ... . . , 1517 . 
May day the QuOf^n of Seotts retunied. 

10. Jolm Hto^, Richard BeiT)^ ,.. ... ... 1518. 

11. Walter Rogers, Harry Pickering ... .,, 1519, 
Lord Thomas Htmard, earl of Surrey and L* Admiml iCHt into Ireland. 

12. Ekhard Lime, Will"*" Langiord ... ,.. 1520. 

I^ Btf^fwor Chskiles Icmdod in En^l^ndt This Mn^ und qneen went 

to Franco. 
The Duke of Buckingham accused^ c omitted^ and &ftet Aimyned, ft^und 

guilty and iR'heiided. AU t}m was done in thii; year following. 

13. John CotLer, John Stone ... ... ... 1521. 

14. Wm»*»" Clongonui, Thomas Crofton .., ,.. 1622* 

Th& »mp9ror was received in London most hommrahJy. 
The Ttirke^ took Rhodes. 
The Lady Sunffmrford honied. 

15. Walter Eogera, John BayHa . . , ... 1523 

The Kirtff mid Qman of Detimurk arriired in Englnad. A gnnit subsidie. 

IG. Thomas Clen ton, Richard Daviea ... ... 1524. 

Warn begin twlxt Etigland atid Fiimcc. 

17, Rich^d Lane, WiUiam Ptbxe ... .,. 1525. 

I^ Frmeh king takea prboQC^r. 

Rom9 taken and sacked. Great ttates oPMtod at Bride wcU. 

IB* Walter Rogers, Walter Phillips ... ... 152G. 

Gold iiihaneed. Gjieat land walors. 

19. Will^ Langford, John Taylor „ ... 1527. 

20. John Hare, Robert Braddock .,. „. 1528. 

21. John Cro^ther, Uoger Faame .,. .„ 1529. 

Thi hmfs marriaga with Qu<^n Kathedne cullt'd in t]iifi4tioti. T%# 
cardinar^ downfall, TA* New Teatamenl print t-d in EiigU&h. 

22. WiU"^' Clongoniifl, Will*"- Je\TinB ... .„ 1530, 

The carditmi atn^i^ by the Eark of Nqrthumberlandj and iiekeaetli 
(ind died. 

23. Walter Rogers, John Bradfihew .., „. 1531* 
Note, Lhat in the y^ai before, ibc clergy were condemptied in thu 

primunirpy^ whereupon Ihey gave lOO^OOOt^* t»> ihc king lor thMtr 
ritrdoD, and did acknowledge him gupretnc head of the chuxchi^ of 
Englaud and Ireland. 
Aho, there wm a cooke boy led in Smithfield for poysoninge. 

24. William Woxe, Thomafi Lewis .., ' .,. 1532. 



Sir Rice Griffith beheaded. The kmg goeth for France in October, 
and in Noyember following retumeth. 

25. Jolm Hare, John Tomlins ... ... ... 1533. 

J%e Lady Anne Bullen proclaimed queen npon Easter day, upon 

Whitsunday after crowned with exceeding royaltie and charges. 
Queens Mary, dowager of Ffrance, the king's sister, died. 
The birth and royal christening of the Lady Eluabeth. 

26. WiU°>- Langford, John Lane ... ... 1534. 

The holy maid of Kent hanged. 

27. Jolin Bradsliawe, Bob^* Hoodes ... 1535. 
Sir Tho** Moore and Bushop of Rochester beheaded. 

The Lady Katherine, dowager, died. 

28. John Taylor, WiU«- Phipes, Plres. ... ... 1536. 

The Lord Bocheford and many others beheaded about the queen, and 
she herself put to death likewise. The king married to the Lady 
Jane. Henry, duke of Richmond and Somerset, the king's base son, 
died. The Lord Thomas Howard comitted to the Tower for 
making a privy contract with the Queen of Scotts daughter. 

29. Will"- Pfoxe, Thomafl Cother ... ... 1537. 

Prinee Edward bom. States created. 

L^* Tho** Howard deceased in the Tower. 

80. Will™- Jevans, Thomas Wheeler ... ... 1538. 

The Earl of Deron and others beheaded. 

81. Will"*- Langford, John Passey ... ... 1539. 

The ktng married the Lady Ann a Gleyes. 
The Earls of Oxford and Essex deceased. 
32. John Taylor, John Lokier ... ... ... 1540. 

Lord Cromwell beheaded. The king dirorced from Lady Ann a Cleyes. 

He marrieth Lady Katherine Howard. 
88. John Bradshew, Bichard Bradford ... 1541. 

The Countess of Salisburie and Lord Leonard Greye beheaded. Lord 

Dacre, of the Southe, hanged. King Henrie proclaimed King of 

Ireland. Queen Katherine beheaded. A maide boyled in Smithfield 

for poyssoning three householders. 

34. Thomas Wheeler, Eichard Hanley ... ... 1542. 

The Duke of Norfolk entereth Scotland, taketh the Lord Maxewell and 
two earles, and oTerthrew their army of 15000 Scotts. 

35. Will»- Langford, John Alsopp ... ... 1543. 

The kmg married to the Lady Katheryne Parr. 

86. Thomaa Cother, Will"- Coxe ... ... 1543. 

Leithe taken and spoyled. Edenbcrge burnt by the L^ Admyrall of 
England. The king went to Bullen. ^ 

37. Will™- Ffoxe, Eichard Langford ... ... 1544. 

38. John Taylor, John Hooke ... ... ... 1545. 

In this year the Admyrall of France came to London. The Duke of 

Earl of Smrey was beheaded, and King Heniy departed this life the 
XXVIIIth of January, when he had reigned 37 yean, 9 months, and 
six days, and that day began King Edward's reign. 

Edfvardui Sextua An^'primo. 

1. John Passey, Lewis Fhillips ... ... 1546. 

Th^ Earle of Hartford made Protector, who indowed the king with the 

order of knt.whood, which done, he was created Duke of Somersett, 
and many others adyanced to titles of dignitie. He was crowned the 
20th of February. 

2. Will". PhilKpB, Tho«- Bluffield ... ... 1547. 

In this ytcur of our Lord and Baylifis time, was the Muskleborowe ffield, 

where were slain 14 thousand Scotts, and 1500 prisoners taken, and 
not aboTe three score Englishmen taken or slain. Diyine Sendee 
read again in the English. 
8. Lewis Bradford, William Partridge ... ... 1548. 

Ldfrd Thomas Seymer beheaded. Great comotions this year, in which 
the L^- Sheffield was slain. The Lord Protector comitted to the 
Tower by the CounceL 

4. Bicliard Langford, Thomas Eyton ... ... 1549. 

The Protector delirered out of the Tower. 

5. Thomas Bluffield, John Cocks ... ... 1550. 

The first ffall of base money. Swotting sickness. Another ffidl of 
coyne. Dukes and earls created. The Duke of Somerset comitted 
agaiae, anaigned, and beheaded. 

6. John Hooke, Lewis Croother ... ... 1551. 

Sir Ralphe Vane and others executed. 

7. John Alsopp, Will«- Taylor ... ... 1552. 

A ParUammU, Bridewell giyen to the dty of London ; jewels and 

church plate called into the kings hands. Three famous marriages 
in *one day during the kings sickness. This yertuous king haying 
raigned six years, fiye months and odd days, left this life the sixth 
of July, 1553, and Queen Mary began her reign. 

Queen Mary Avfi* Prtmo. 

1. Will"- Efoxe, John Taylor ... ... ... 1658. 

The Duke of Somerset with otheis beheaded. Bushop Gardener made 

.Q: chauncelour. Seryice said In Latin. A new ooine. The 
coronation. Wiate riseth in arms, is taken, and with a number of 
his accomplices, is put to death. L^ Gmldforde Dudley, Lady Jane, 
the Duke of Suffolke, all beheaded. 

2. Thomas Wheeler, William Dedicot ... ... 1654. 

The Q : marrieth King Phillip. The Prince of Pyremont came to 
England. Rogers and Bradford brent. 


5. Will-' Partridge, Eobert Mason ... ... 1666. 

King PhilUp went for Flanden. Ridley and Latimer brent, with 

Dr. GFanmr- and many^more this year* 
4. Lewis PhilKps, W«- Poughnell ... ... 1666; 

A ffalae accoaer brunt in both the cheeks, and put upon the pillery. 
Would God all such were bo used. An army sent to St> Quentein. 
Lady Anne a Cleayes died. 

6. Jolin Fassey, John Cocks ... ... ... 1667. 

8t' Quintm'M taken. Three Dukes, the Prince of Mantua, with diyers 

other states of great command t