Henry II's Campaign Against the Welsh in 1165
By Paul Latimer
from: The Welsh Historical Review 14:4 (1989) p. 523-552.
On 1 July 1163 the leading Welsh princes joined Malcolm, king of Scotland in doing formal homage to Henry II and his son. It seemed that Henry’s problems with the Welsh were settled, at least for some considerable time to come. Yet within two years Henry found it necessary to launch a new campaign against the Welsh, a campaign notable for its elaborate and extensive preparations, for the methods used to finance it, and for the cohesion shown by the Welsh in the face of the might of the Angevin Empire. Henry's campaign was a total failure, damaging to his own prestige and to the position of the Normans in Wales. The disaster had important consequences for Henry's policy towards Wales.
The late-twelfth and early-thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman chronicle accounts of the events surrounding the 1165 campaign are brief. Roger of Howden, William of Newburgh, Robert of Torigny, the Melrose Chronicle and Gervase of Canterbury provide accounts of the campaign that vary in length from a few lines to a modest paragraph. Gerald of Wales, despite his personal interest in Welsh affairs, contributes only relatively brief comments on the campaign itself, though his writings provide much interesting background information. The fullest chronicle record of the events of 1165 is contained in a group of chronicles emanating from Wales. The Latin Annales Cambriae and the Welsh Brut y Tywysogyon and Brenhinedd y Saesson are derived from a common, lost set of Latin annals completed in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. The late date of these accounts necessitates cautious treatment, but the story they tell is generally consistent, both internally and with the earlier Anglo-Norman chronicles. The Pipe Rolls supply contemporary evidence on the financing and the logistics of Henry II’s campaign. Letters written around the time of the campaign by John of Salisbury, Gilbert Foliot and correspondents of Thomas Becket provide an interesting sidelight.
It seems likely that all the major Welsh princes did homage to Henry II and his eldest son at Woodstock on 1 July 1163. Ralph of Diss mentions Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth and Owain ap Gruffydd of Gwynedd by name, et quicque majores de Cambria. Robert of Torigny, writing of the homage of King Malcolm of Scotland on the same occasion, states that Malcolm did homage to Henry II’s son and was forced to hand over his young brother David and certain sons of Scottish barons as hostages, de pace tenenda et pro castellis quae rex volebat habere. It seems that the Welsh were made to give hostages too, presumably for similar reasons. The Brut y Tywysogyon states that Rhys gave hostages after his surrender to Henry II in 1163. William of Newburgh refers to hostages from the Welsh given in connection with the 1163 peace. Henry was certainly in possession of Welsh hostages during the campaign of 1165, including Cadwallon and Cynwrig, sons of Owain, and Maredudd son of Rhys.b
W.L. Warren suggested that the homages at Woodstock represent the imposition on the Welsh princes and on the Scottish king of “dependent vassalage” in place of “their previous client status” and that this was a “convincing explanation” for the “immediate and simultaneous uprising of all the native Welsh”. More recently, R.R. Davies has taken a similar line: “Henry II was intent on a definition of his overlordship over the native Welsh princes which was novel in its precision and demeaning in its character” and “It was almost certainly seen as an ominous threat by the Welsh, for in the next year, according to the native chronicle, ‘all the Welsh united to throw off the rule of the French’.” We can only guess at the resentment by the Welsh in the 1160s of subtle changes in the nature of English suzerainty. A Welsh chronicler writing perhaps one and a half centuries later cannot be a reliable source on such matters, even were he to have made explicit the connection between the homages at Woodstock and subsequent events, which is not the case. Moreover, it can be shown that the Welsh uprising was not “immediate and simultaneous” and that there were more precise reasons for it.
The settlement sealed by the ceremony at Woodstock, despite its superficial impressiveness, failed to solve any of Henry II’s fundamental problems in Wales. Owain ap Gruffydd, unchallenged in Gwynedd by the mid-1160s, had proved a formidable opponent in 1157, and although he had kept the peace since then, he was ready and able to take advantage of an opportunity to reverse the results of Henry II's 1157 campaign. In 1160 the death of Madog ap Maredudd of Powys had deprived Henry of an ally and a counterpoise to the power of Owain ap Gruffydd and Rhys ap Gruffydd. The division of Powys among Madog’s heirs led to disputes and disorder in the area. In 1163 this instability culminated in the capture of the royal castle of Carreghofa near Llanymynech. Henry II's campaign of 1163 had been prompted by trouble between Rhys and the Norman marcher lords. In 1162 Rhys had taken Walter de Clifford's castle at Llandovery and the castle of Dinweilir (Carmarthenshire). Henry’s campaign against Rhys had been bloodless and almost too successful, securing Rhys’s submission, but not curtailing Rhys's capacity to wage war. In north Wales, mid-Wales and south Wales, Anglo-Norman interests were insecure.
Conflict between Rhys and the Norman marchers did
not end with the settlement and homages of 1163.
Cadwgan ap Maredudd was killed by Walter de Clifford, and Einion ap
Anarawd, Rhys's nephew and leader of Rhys's host, was killed in his sleep by one
of his own men. Walter fitz Liwarch sought and received the protection of Roger
de Clare, earl of Hertford. Walter de Clifford too seems to have relied on this
protection. There is no evidence as to whether the
question of relations between the Welsh and the Norman marchers had been tackled
at the time of the 1163 homages. The main Welsh versions of events all write of
promises that were made by Henry II, but not kept, and that Rhys felt his
situation to be intolerable.
In response, Rhys took control of Cantref Mawr and
Dinefwr (near Llandeilo) on the River Towy, threatening Carmarthen's land
communications with England. In 1164 he went on to take the castle of Aber-rheidol (Aberystwyth)
and the castle of Mabwynion (possibly Lampeter). He attacked Ceredigion and
overran most of it, ravaging the lands of the Flemings who had been settled
Lloyd suggests that Rhys set about renewing the conflict with the Anglo-Normans
immediately after the homages at Woodstock in 1163 and that the behaviour of
Roger, earl of Hertford was only a pretext.
Pretext or not - and we
should not underestimate Rhys's obligation to avenge Cadwgan ap Maredudd and
Einion ap Anarawd - it is worth making the point that Rhys's volatile and
unsatisfactory relationship with his Norman neighbours seems to have been of far
more concern to him than the precise theoretical nature of Henry II’s
suzerainty. It was after Rhys's successes in Ceredigion that omnes Wallenses
Norwalliae, Suthwalliae, Powysorum, jugum Francorum unanimiter respuerunt.
Exactly how long after
Rhys's successes the revolt against the Norman presence in Wales became general
is difficult to say. The first definite indication of the spread of the conflict
outside south Wales was the attack on Tegeingl by David, son of Owain ap
Gruffydd, apparently at the beginning of 1165.
The Anglo-Norman chroniclers are not very helpful in
analysing the causes of the general conflict or the details of its early stages.
For William of Newburgh, the nature of the Welsh people was enough to explain
their breaking of the peace. He also states that the Welsh began to disturb the
border areas, but is not specific.
Only Robert of Torigny
provides some support for an early date for the generalizing of the conflict.
Under the year 1164 he writes: Gualenses, fidem Henrico regi non servantes,
terras proximas latrocinando infestant, agente quodam regulo eorum vocato Ris,
et alio eiusdem perversitatis homine, nomine Oeno, praedicto Ris avunculo.
The early stages of Henry II’s conflict with the
Welsh coincided with the worsening of his dispute with Thomas Becket,
culminating in the archbishop's flight abroad after the October 1164 conference
at Northampton. There is, however, no reason to believe that the Anglo-Norman
realm's capacity to resist the Welsh was reduced, or that, as J.E. Lloyd has
suggested, the Welsh perceived such a weakness.
Whether the Becket dispute
encouraged defiance of the king by others is also doubtful. Becket's resistance
had led to exile and the loss of his lands. The glory of martyrdom was still far
in the future.
Two twelfth-century writers recognised the difficulties of undertaking military action against the Welsh princes, and it is unlikely that Henry II lacked advice in planning his response to the troubles in Wales. Gerald of Wales and William of Newburgh described the problems of the Welsh terrain - its high mountains, deep and narrow valleys, forests, rivers and marshes. It was a difficult and dangerous undertaking to lead an army into the Welsh interior. Henry II could even draw on his own experience from the 1157 campaign to appreciate the dangers of ambush.
Gerald of Wales gave a detailed and convincing
account of the Welsh method of waging war. Agile and fierce, unencumbered by
heavy armour, fighting on foot with spears, javelins and bows, the Welsh were
quite prepared to attack fully-armoured opponents, even cavalry. Resistant to
hunger and cold, the Welsh would keep the invader under continual observation
and harass him with ambushes and night attacks, shooting off their arrows even
while in retreat. They avoided set battles and refused to allow themselves to be
trapped and besieged within fortifications. The Welsh might easily lose a single
battle, but they were not dejected by defeat and it would take a long and
difficult campaign to crush them completely.
The difficulty of dealing with these Welsh tactics
prompted the idea of economic warfare as an alternative, or a supplement, to
military measures. William of Newburgh observed that although Wales had
plentiful pastures, it lacked level ground for growing crops and needed to
import arable products from England. Wales could therefore (argued William) be
brought to submission by stopping these imports.
Gerald of Wales devoted an
entire chapter of his Descriptio Cambriae to the subject of conquering
the Welsh. He did not neglect the idea of an economic blockade, regarding it as
necessary to cut Wales off from supplies of the cloth, salt and corn usually
imported from England. He appreciated that a land blockade was insufficient and
that ships must patrol the coastline.
Gerald also advocated military and political measures. He reckoned that the conquest of Wales would require the king's sustained and undivided attention for a whole year, beginning in the autumn. Gerald advised the king to fortify the Marches and selected strongholds in the interior, to provide these with adequate supplies and garrison them with loyal families. At the same time, the king was to do his best to provoke dissension and division amongst the Welsh. During the winter, when as a result of the economic blockade the Welsh would be short of food and supplies, light-armed mercenaries, constantly reinforced and relieved, were to attack the Welsh in their heartlands in order to wear them down in a war of attrition. Gerald urged the king to take advantage of the local experience and advice of the Norman marchers and to grant them privileges in return for their help. On the whole, Gerald's advice seems excellent, though his advocacy of the marchers deserved some royal scepticism. The marchers’ own military record against the Welsh was far from one of unremitting success.
A decision to organize a campaign against the Welsh was one thing, but a campaign required the raising of troops and of money for pay and supplies. These were not new problems. Before 1165 three major expeditions against the Welsh had taken place since Henry's accession. For the campaign in 1157 against Owain ap Gruffydd, Henry seems to have relied largely on a call-up of one-third of the feudal host from England. Robert of Torigny states that: rex Henricus praeparavit maximam expeditionem, ita ut duo milites de tota Anglia tertium pararent, ad opprimendum Gualenses terra et mari. The attack by sea resulted in a disastrous raid on Anglesey, but the strategy was sound. As Gerald of Wales noted, Anglesey was Wales's most important internal source of grain. There is little evidence on the financing of the 1157 campaign and there is only one example of commuted military service on the Pipe Roll for 1156-57 - two marks from the abbot of Abbotsbury in respect of his servitium debitum of one knight's fee. It is however wrong to assume that all financial transactions relating to the campaign necessarily appeared on the Pipe Rolls.
The campaign against Rhys ap Gruffydd in 1159 was
peculiar in that it was not led by the king, but by Reginald, earl of Cornwall
and by the earls of Gloucester, Hertford, Pembroke and Salisbury.
The earls would have been
accompanied at least by their own retinues. The financing is largely obscured on
the Pipe Rolls by the financing of another campaign - Henry II's expedition to
Toulouse. For this Henry levied a donum (or scutagium) militum
from lay and ecclesiastical fiefs. Ecclesiastical tenants-in-chief were asked
for an additional, arbitrary donum. Besides these levies, dona were raised from
some religious houses whose land was not held by military tenure, from the
towns, from the sheriffs, from the moneyers and the Jews. It is possible that some of the money raised went towards the
campaign in Wales. The Pipe Roll for 1158-59 confirms this in the case of one
sheriff, whose donum was paid ad munitionem de Cairmerdin (Carmarthen).
Payments were also made from
sheriffs’ county farms: in one case in liberationem militum de
Herefordia in Walia (£18 19s. 4d.), and in another militibus de Waliis
(£ 17 10s.) per breve Comitis Legrecestrie. From the county farm of Shropshire,
payments were made for the arming and garrisoning of border castles.
For Henry II’s expedition against Rhys in 1163
some money was raised by scutage, in some cases collected by county in the form
of assisa militum. Under Gloucestershire, for example, the sheriff
accounted for £95 9s. 10d. de assisa militum of Staffordshire.
Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire - all close to the Welsh
border - and of the knights of Radulf de Toeni in those counties. £70 9s. 1d.
of this money was accounted for in liberatione militum et servientum in
exercitu de Walia.
The Pipe Roll for 1162-63
also shows expenditure on supplies sent into Wales and on the garrisoning of the
border castles, including the considerable force of 310 serjeants at Oswestry.
William Cade was paid £ 100
for bringing Flemish mercenaries to England, presumably for the campaign in
These early campaigns against the Welsh provide precedents in finance, personnel and strategy for the campaign of 1165. The exploitation of feudal military obligation, either as knight-service or commuted as scutage; the levying of dona, unconnected with knights’ fees or servitia debita; money spent on the campaign from normal revenues, that is, the county farms; the use of serjeants, in most cases probably foot soldiers, as well as knights; the use of mercenaries from the Continent; the importance attributed to the castles of the borderlands, and the idea of attack and blockade, by sea as well as by land - all these elements would recur in 1165.
The first sign that Henry 11 had decided to act in
response to the troubles in Wales during 1164 occurred in October at the council
held at Northampton to deal with the charges against Becket. On Tuesday, 13
October, after Becket's unauthorized departure, the council turned to the matter
Reliquum diei et concilii insumitur in tractando
de copiis pedestribus
in Gwalliam rebellem et regem Resum foederifragum ducendis;
scribiturque a singulis personis, tam ecclesiasticis quam saecularibus,
in regis rogantis auxilium promissa bellatorum peditum multitudo.
This account of the council's deliberations by William fitz Stephen contains three points of particular interest. First, it is Rhys alone among the Welsh who is named. This might indicate that at this early stage the projected campaign was directed against Rhys rather than against a general Welsh uprising. Secondly, the promises of help to the king were of foot soldiers, not knights. Thirdly, there is the emphasis on individual agreements between king and subject recorded in writing.
The promises made at Northampton in October 1164 formed the basis of an important part - but only one part - of the organisation and financing of Henry II’s 1165 campaign. As recorded by William fitz Stephen, the promises ostensibly concerned the raising of troops rather than of money. In practice this distinction is not so clear and to form a proper picture of the campaign's finance and organisation it is necessary to keep in mind the raising of troops and money as interrelated. The raising of finance and resources for the campaign of 1165 is a complex and interesting subject and is treated separately in the appendix at the end of this article.
The council at Northampton in October 1164
demonstrated the seriousness with which Henry II regarded the situation in
Wales. But with preparations for the campaign in train, Henry travelled to the
north of England. By the end of the year he had returned south and he spent
Christmas at Marlborough. At some time between October and Christmas, he seems
to have made an incursion into south Wales. The Pipe Roll for 1164-65 shows £72
8s. 4d. paid from the farm of Herefordshire to William de Beauchamp for payments
of the familia Regis at Abergavenny. An entry under Gloucester points to the
transfer of the king's larder from St. Briavels to Marlborough. Under Exitus
de thesauro Regis, there is a payment for 60 milites and 300
serjeants who were with Earl Reginald from 14 October to 25 November 1164.
In February 1165 Henry
crossed to Normandy and involved himself in diplomatic manoeuvres aimed at
isolating Becket and intimidating Pope Alexander III and King Louis VII.
Henry was perhaps a little too sanguine about his
preparedness. A sudden blow from the direction of Gwynedd shattered any
illusions. David, son of Owain ap Gruffydd, crossed the River Clwyd and ravaged
Tegeingl, the coastal area between the Clwyd and the Dee. He threatened the
Norman castles in the area - Basingwerk, Rhuddlan and Prestatyn - and took back
plunder and captives. J. E. Lloyd suggests that this attack took place while
Henry was still in Normandy. It is difficult to be sure. The Welsh chronicles
indicate only that the attack took place some time early in 1165. Henry returned
to England around the middle of May and seems to have set out for Flintshire
The Welsh attack on Tegeingl and Henry II’s
response are recorded only by the two versions of the Brut y Tywysogyon
and by the Brenhinedd y Saesson. In comparison with Henry's main expedition in the summer of
1165, his rush to Flintshire in May, probably with a hastily collected force,
was a minor affair. It could easily have been omitted from the brief Norman
accounts, as it was from the concise Annales Cambriae. There is nothing
implausible in the account in the Brut y Tywysogyon.
And when the king of England thought that there was
against his castles which were there (Tegeingl), he moved a host
with great haste and came to Rhuddlan, and he encamped there
three nights. And he returned again to England ... .
Henry II was well known for his speed and decisiveness in such fire-fighting operations.
The preparations for the planned campaign went on.
All the principal chroniclers agree on the large size of the army which Henry
gathered in Shropshire. The Annales Cambriae states that Henry came to
Oswestry cum exercitu Angliae, Normanniae, Flandriae, Andegaviae, Pictaviae
et Aquitaniae, et Scotiae. This
is a suspiciously complete list of the provinces of Henry’s empire, with
Flanders and Scotland added for good measure. The chronicler was evidently
trying to impress with the size and diversity of Henry's army, but it is not
necessary to accept the list in detail. The army certainly was not drawn from
England alone. William of Newburgh informs us: rex immenso tam ex regno quam
ex transmarinis provinciis exercitu adunato, ... . The
Pipe Rolls confirm that among the troops brought across the Channel were coterelli
– mercenaries - men who, as the rolls show, had to be provided with clothing
and arms. In
building up his army, Henry did not ‘miss a trick’.
He called his bishops to a colloquium at Shrewsbury, but when they
arrived he sent them away again, keeping their familias with him.
The Pipe Roll for 1164-65 demonstrates how the resources of England were mobilised in support of Henry's army in Shropshire. In London a hauberk for the king was purchased and a tent sent to Shrewsbury. A pelisse for the king was repaired in Hampshire and a warhorse acquired for him in Shropshire. Around the king himself was his familia - courtiers, officials, servants and household knights. Supplies and pay for the king's retinue were raised in Gloucestershire, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire and Surrey. Over £180 was spent from the farms of Shropshire and from William fitz Alan's fief on pay for serjeants. £100 from the farm of Warwickshire and Leicestershire was used for the pay of milites at Shrewsbury. The castles of Shropshire - Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Shrawardine, Oswestry, Knockin, Chirk, Caus (in Westbury) - were manned in readiness. Repairs were done to Shrewsbury castle. Carpenters, masons, smiths and miners were employed in the same county. These were all expenditures made from the king's normal revenues, not from the funds raised by the scutage, the assessments for serjeants or the borough aids. The Pipe Roll also refers to the transfer of Welsh hostages from London to Shrewsbury, and the expenses of keeping hostages in Worcestershire and at Bridgnorth. These were probably the hostages taken by the king in 1163.
War was a matter of materials as well as of men.
Spears, arrows, shields and hauberks, picks, axes, iron and rope had to be
purchased and transported. An army also needed food. Although the king's peripatetic
court needed supplies even in peaceful times, the volume of food purchases and
of entries dealing with the transportation of food in the 1164-65 Pipe Roll can
only be accounted for by the need to feed the large numbers of soldiers to be
used against the Welsh. If we just look at corn, the most basic of commodities,
we can get some idea of the scale of the problem of supply. Payments were made
in Gloucestershire for 849 horse-loads of corn, in Lincolnshire for 235½
sesters of corn, in Oxfordshire and Berkshire for 1,000 horse-loads at
Worcester, and in Worcestershire for 509 horse-loads carried to Shrewsbury. The
Pipe Roll is littered with references to other basic foods such as bacons, mash,
malt, oats, beans and cheeses, as well as luxury items such as wine and venison.
Henry's colloquium with his bishops at Shrewsbury took place probably early in July. Perhaps a week or so after this, Henry moved his forces to Oswestry, about eighteen miles to the north-west. While he was there, he issued a charter confirming Waleran, count of Meulan's grant to Preaux Abbey. The witnesses to this included Robert, earl of Leicester, Richard de Luci and Alan de Neville. The presence of Henry's two chief justiciars and his chief forest official emphasises that the king's government went with the king on campaign.
It is not immediately obvious why Henry should concentrate his forces at Shrewsbury or why he should advance from there to Oswestry. His most powerful Welsh opponents were not the petty princes of Powys, but Rhys of Deheubarth, whose successes in south Wales had precipitated the troubles of 1164-65, and Owain of Gwynedd, whose son David had ravaged Tegeingl early in 1165. Shrewsbury was not the most convenient base from which to attack either Rhys or Owain. The main point in Shrewsbury's favour was that it did not commit Henry to either north or south. This would have been an advantage if logistics required that Henry should decide in advance the focus of the concentration of his troops.
Henry's move to Oswestry seems to indicate that a
decision had been reached and that Owain had been chosen as the immediate
target. This decision may also have been influenced by intelligence received
about the disposition of the Welsh forces. The Brut y Tywysogyon states:
And against him came Owain and Cadwaladr, sons of
ap Cynan and all the host of Gwynedd with them, and Rhys ap
Gruffydd and with him the host of Deheubarth, and Owain Cyfeiliog
and Iowerth Goch ap Maredudd and the host of all Powys with them,
and the two sons of Madog ap Idnerth and their host. And they
gathered there at Corwen.
Whether the forces of the Welsh princes were really all gathered at Corwen on the upper Dee, or whether Owain received only contingents from other princes, cannot be certain. The list of princes and their hosts echoes the list, in the same source, of provinces from which Henry's army was supposed to have been drawn. In either case the concentration of what proved a formidable Welsh force at Corwen was a feat of organisation as impressive in its own way as Henry's concentration of forces in Shropshire. How far the Welsh were reacting to the movements of Henry's forces, or how far Henry was reacting to the movement of Welsh forces, cannot be determined; our knowledge of the chronology is too sketchy. If Henry had hoped that by advancing into Wales through northern Powys he could separate Owain from Rhys, it seems that he failed.
Henry halted for a while at Oswestry; the Welsh
remained at Corwen. It is possible that Henry hoped that the Welsh, faced with his
impressive army, would submit without a struggle. They did not and Henry
advanced from Oswestry across the hills to the valley of the River Ceiriog at
Dyffryn Ceiriog. In the woods there Welsh troops harassed Henry's army. There
was fierce fighting and casualties on both sides. Henry had trees felled to
reduce the threat from Welsh ambushes.
He then moved his army out of the Ceiriog valley on
to the Berwyn Mountains, possibly following a track still marked on Ordnance
Survey maps as ‘Ffordd y Saeson’ (the English Road), which would have led
him across the mountains to the Vale of Edeyrnion, the Dee Valley above Corwen.
It meant marching over ground nearly 2,000 feet above sea-level.
But, in spite of what subsequently occurred, it was not as reckless a move as it
seems. The more open high ground would have been welcome after the thickly
wooded valley and the perils of ambush, and in fine summer weather the route
would have been quite easily passable.
Atrocious August weather, high winds and torrential
rain, turned the uplands into a bitterly cold quagmire. Henry's army was stuck
and men were dying, probably of exposure exacerbated by a lack of food. The
weather had made the transport of supplies impossible. After a few days Henry
abandoned his camp and withdrew his army to England.
The army had suffered heavy
Understandably furious, Henry turned on his Welsh hostages. He mutilated
by blinding, and possibly castration, Cadwallon and Cynwrig, sons of Owain,
Maredudd, son of Rhys, and many of the sons of lesser Welsh princes. He cut the
noses and ears from female hostages. He may even have had some of his hostages
killed. It was an admission of failure, but Henry had not yet
completely abandoned the campaign. Having moved his army north to Chester, he
stayed there for a while and at some stage seems to have set up camp on the
If we look only at the Anglo-Norman chronicle
accounts, it is easy to see the whole campaign in terms of a single, abortive
thrust into Wales. But there is a wider perspective. Between October 1164 and
September 1165 Henry II was in Wales three times - at Abergavenny, Rhuddlan and
in the Berwyn Mountains - and at Chester once. In the Pipe Roll for 1164-65
there are payments for serjeants at Abergavenny, Grosmont, Llantilio and
Skenfrith and at Montgomery. In most cases payments for serjeants give no indication of
specific dates within the Pipe Roll year. However, where we do find indications
of a more precise date, the impression is one of longsustained readiness. We
have already come across the 60 milites and 300 serjeants with Reginald,
earl of Cornwall from 14 October to 25 November 1164. In Shropshire there is a payment for 300 serjeants post
Pasca (4 April). Paid for from the farm of the fief of William fitz Alan
were 200 serjeants employed at Oswestry and Knockin before Pentecost (23 May),
and 100 serjeants after Pentecost.
While the king was at or near Chester, ships from Dublin and other Irish towns arrived. Henry had apparently requested this naval help at an earlier date, but when the ships arrived he decided that they were too few in number. He rewarded them and sent them back. On the Wirral, Henry issued a writ in favour of Abingdon Abbey, ordering the sheriffs of London, Hampshire and Gloucestershire to allow the monks to buy and transport to Abingdon victuals for their own use. He added that non disturbentur propter prohibitionem quam inde feci pro hoc exercitu meo Waliae. It seems that Henry had issued a general prohibition on private purchases of foodstuffs from markets. This was presumably intended to assure supplies for the king's army but it could equally well serve to prevent the export of supplies to the Welsh. When such as Gerald of Wales and William of Newburgh advocated a sustained campaign and an economic blockade by land and sea, we should not assume that Henry and his advisers were far behind in their own thinking.
It is worth asking what result Henry sought from a campaign which cost so much in effort and money. Where the chronicles comment on Henry’s aims, they paint with a very broad brush. Gervase of Canterbury stated that Henry invaded ad debellandam Walliam. The Annales Cambriae and one version of the Brut y Tywysogyon claimed genocide as Henry's aim. The Red Book of Hergest version of the Brut y Tywysogyon moderated this by allowing that Henry might wish to enslave those he did not kill. There would clearly have been a positive element in Henry's campaign aims. From his point of view the Welsh had broken the settlement of 1163 and deserved punishment. However, the campaign was on such a scale and involved troops on such a wide front for so long that it was surely more than a mere punitive expedition. It would be unwise to go so far as to claim that Henry intended conquest. This would leave too many questions which we have no means of answering. We should probably be not too far from the truth if we were to say that Henry sought the submission of the Welsh princes and that, once this was achieved, he would demand guarantees of any new settlement - guarantees more effective than the unfortunate hostages he obtained in 1163.
Some time in September 1165, Henry left Chester and
the Welsh border. His personal
role in the struggle against the Welsh was at an end. He made provision for the defence of the Marches and the
castles there, but his aims were henceforth largely restricted to containment of
the Welsh. In
the Pipe Roll for the period from Michaelmas 1165 to Michaelmas 1166, under
Shropshire, there are entries concerning the defence of the castles of
Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Chirk and Shrawardine. This included
two milites and nineteen serjeants at Chirk from 30 September 1165 to 10
April 1166, and 100 serjeants at Shrawardine from 30 September 1165 to 23 April
1166. In the southern Marches, there was a watchman and a porter at
Worcester, and a porter at Hereford. From the farm of Herefordshire there was a
payment to Walter Coterellus. William de Neville was paid £20 pro custodia
castelli de Sancto Briavel et pro custodia foreste de Dena.
From Herefordshire and Worcestershire payments were made towards the pay
of 100 serjeants stationed at Abergavenny from Michaelmas to Easter. Payments
set against various debts in Devon, to a total of 110 marks, were allocated to
Earl Reginald of Cornwall for the wages of serjeants de Walia. To the north,
in Tegeingl, supplies were sent to Basingwerk, Rhuddlan and Prestatyn.
In London there continued to
be payments towards the arming of Continental mercenaries.
Some of the Welsh hostages remained in custody, apparently in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, and there are signs that Henry was beginning to resort to diplomacy. Payments were made to various Welshmen, including messengers from Owain Cyfeiliog. This particular payment was made precepto justiciorum, a reference to Geoffrey, earl of Essex and Richard de Luci, who were conducting a general judicial eyre and were to be involved in the struggle against the Welsh after Henry II’s departure from England. This departure took place early in Lent. By Easter 1166 Henry was far away at Angers. He would not return to England for four years.
It would have been difficult to disguise Henry's failure in 1165. Gerald of Wales and Gervase of Canterbury admitted that, for all the elaborate preparation for the campaign, little or nothing was achieved. The late thirteenth-century Annales Cambriae described Henry's ignominious withdrawal from the Berwyn Mountains as a retreat cum opprobrio. That such an interpretation could become current in Wales demonstrates the damage to Henry's prestige that such a defeat caused.
The damage was not limited to Wales. The progress of
the campaign was watched from England and the Continent as closely as
twelfth-century communications allowed. In July or August 1165 John, bishop of
Poitiers wrote to Becket. He reported rumours that had come back to Queen
Eleanor in Normandy. The rumours told of a royal victory over the Welsh, of high
Welsh casualties and few losses in Henry's army. Bishop John was justly
sceptical about the truth of these reports. Around the same time, John of Salisbury was writing to Becket,
asking him for information about Henry's campaign against the Welsh.
If Henry had hoped to conceal the truth about his
defeat, he failed completely. In June 1166 John of Salisbury wrote to
Bartholomew, bishop of Exeter:
Circumferat quis oculos mentis et intueatur quot
adversarios ei Dominus suscitaverit ex quo adversus Deum
in depressione ecclesiae erexit calcaneum suum, et plane
mirabitur, et, si prudens est, vernerabitur iudicium Dei qui
non imperatores, non reges, non principes nationum ut ipsum
domaret elegit, sed extremos hominium, Britones Nivicollinos,
primo; et postea illos ad contradictionem et solempne certamen
ammavit, qui vestigia pedum eius consueverunt adorare.
John of Salisbury continued to exploit news of Henry’s defeat. Around the
beginning of October 1166, he wrote to Master Gerard Pucelle: ‘. . . . . ab
inermibus hominibus expugnatur, ut adiacentium nationum opem cognatur implorare,
Henry II’s enemies would obviously enjoy gloating
at his failure, but even Walter Map, a man dependent on the royal court, could
discreetly poke fun at this defeat at the hands of the unsophisticated,
uncivilised Welsh. Walter tells a story about a king who delicatissime
viveret in cibis preciosis, whose army drank nothing but wine, and who was
defeated by the patient, frugal King Apollonides when the wine ran out.
Sed tamen eorum (the Welsh) frenatis
excursibus ita coarctavit inclusos, ut pacem meditari cogerentur.
The close of William of Newburgh's account of the 1165 campaign was far too
optimistic. Henry had strengthened his border defences, but Welsh successes
continued. In the autumn of 1165 Rhys went on to the offensive in Ceredigion.
Around the beginning of November 1165, the treachery of a clerk, Rigewarc,
allowed Rhys to capture Cardigan itself. The inhabitants were allowed to
withdraw with half their possessions and Rhys then sacked the place. Next, he
turned to the castle of Cilgerran, three miles south-east of Cardigan, and took
it. Robert fitz Stephen, who had been castellan of Cardigan, was captured and
imprisoned. In 1166 Normans and Flemings from Pembrokeshire twice attempted to
retake Cilgerran, but were repulsed with heavy losses.
Owain ap Gruffydd, too, turned from defence to
attack in 1166, capturing and destroying the castle of Basingwerk.
With Rhuddlan and Prestatyn
threatened, Henry II's lieutenants in England made a determined attempt to
retrieve the critical situation in the northern Welsh Marches. In October or
November 1166 Geoffrey, earl of Essex, probably in conjunction with his partner
on judicial eyre, Richard de Luci, collected an exercitum grandem at
Chester and led it into Tegeingl.
The result was a repeat of
the near disastrous early stages of Henry II’s 1157 campaign. As Nicholas de
Monte Rothomagensi wrote to Becket in November 1166:
Audivimus autem et de militantibus regis,
munire volentibus Basinwerc, quod a Wallensibus subito
supervenientibus plurimi sint interempti, plerique vero
The earl of Essex suffered a mortal wound and was brought back to Chester to
remaining castles in Tegeingl could no longer hope for relief in force, though
Hugh, earl of Chester was involved in efforts to keep supplies moving to
Rhuddlan, Prestatyn and Mold. Despite this,
towards the end of 1167 Owain and Rhys together laid siege to Rhuddlan and after
three months took and sacked it. Prestatyn fell to the Welsh around the same
The Pipe Roll for 1166-67 shows that efforts to
strengthen the defences of the Marches continued. An extensive building
programme was begun at Bridgnorth castle. The garrison at Oswestry - one miles, two porters, two
watchmen and forty serjeants - was reinforced by a further sixty serjeants quos
Ricardus de Luci et barones accreverunt ibidem. A writ from the
earl of Leicester, in his capacity as justiciar, ordered the payment of £10 to
William de Neville for the purpose of hiring serjeants. Geoffrey de Vere, who had custody
of the honor of the constable, was involved in the strengthening of the defences
of Bishop's Castle in Shropshire and was given custody of it.
Although Owain of Gwynedd and Rhys of Deheubarth
were still cooperating, the almost complete unity among the Welsh that had
characterized the year 1165 did not survive very long. Just as the fragmentation
of Powys after the death of Madog ap Maredudd in 1160 had caused problems for
Henry II, the dissension between the successor princes of Powys led to a
breakdown in Welsh unity. In 1166 Iorwerth Goch, the younger brother of Madog,
was driven from his territory near Lake Vyrnwy by his nephews, Owain Cyfeiliog
and Owain Fychan. By 1167-68 lorwerth had made his peace with Henry II and had
been given the castle of Chirk, receiving £91 per annum from the English
Iorwerth Goch out of the way, Owain Fychan, son of Madog ap Maredudd, enlisted
the support of Owain of Gwynedd and Rhys of Deheubarth and turned on his cousin
and former ally, Owain Cyfeiliog, who was forced to flee to England. The latter, who had been in contact with the Normans as early
as 1165-66, returned to Powys with Norman help and sacked a castle which his
enemies had constructed at Castell Caereinion, near Welshpool.
Division amongst the Welsh may have reduced the
danger to the Shropshire Marches. The number of serjeants in the Oswestry
garrison was reduced to twenty in 1168. There were even considerable numbers of Welsh mercenaries,
presumably from Powys or from the areas of south Wales still under Norman
control, with Henry II's army in Normandy. They played a distinguished role in
Henry II's attack on the French at Chaumont in 1167. However, neither Owain of Gwynedd nor Rhys of Deheubarth had
made his peace with Henry. In 1168 the ‘kings of Wales’ sent messengers to
the king of France.
In the same year, Rhys attacked Brycheiniog, was repulsed, attacked again
and sacked the Breose castle at Builth Wells.
The Marches still needed to
be on alert. Geoffrey de Vere held Bishop's Castle and other fortresses until
his death in 1170.
As late as the Pipe Roll of
1169-70, 100 serjeants in the Marches were being paid by order of Richard de
There is much we do not know about the provisions made in England for defence against the Welsh in the years after 1165. In the Pipe Roll for 1168-69, under Windsor, Richard de Luci accounted for £122 17s. 3d. de remanenti de £700 de scutagio quas recepit a Willelmo de Belcamp (William de Beauchamp of Elrnley) ad Wirecestriam et quas idem Willelmus habuerat de thesauro. This entry provides an interesting insight into what may have happened to scutage once collected, but it also prompts the question as to whether or not this concerned money from the 1165 scutage. The question takes on added force in relation to the returns available from the 1170 ‘Inquest of Sheriffs’, which concerned the years 1166-70. William d'Aubigny, earl of Arundel, Perexit ad servandas les Marches de Wales pluribus vicibus. The men of Kenninghall, Wymondham and Buckenham gave the earl money propter Marchias Waliae servandas 2 vicibus. The earl, it seems, custodivit markiam Walis. Payments were made to the earl or his officials by other parts of the earl's honor for up to four exercitus concerned with Wales. There are many references to exercitus Waliae and to the defence of the Marches in the returns of other honours. In one case payment was made in 5 exercitibus de Wallia. If the king made so many calls on his barons’ knight-service, was there no commutation of the service on the part of the tenants-in-chief? The commutation of the service by subtenants would suggest otherwise. Yet if tenants-in-chief did commute service in the royal host in the period 1166-70, there is no record of this on the Pipe Rolls. The Pipe Rolls are not, and cannot be assumed to be, a complete record of royal finances.
The phase of the struggle between Henry II and the
Welsh that had begun in 1164 came to an end in the years 1170 and 1171. The
death of Owain of Gwynedd in 1170 led to succession disputes in Gwynedd,
removing Welsh pressure on the northern Marches. When Owain’s son, Dafydd,
emerged as the dominant Welsh prince in Gwynedd, he was prepared to make peace.
In 1171 Henry II, at Milford Haven en route for Ireland, reached a
reconciliation with Rhys of Deheubarth. Henry's decision to make peace with Rhys was based on
practical considerations. Most immediately, Henry needed to secure his base for
the expedition to Ireland and to secure control of the Welsh lands of the
Normans who had gone to Ireland without royal permission, particularly Richard,
earl of Pembroke. The
events of the previous six years in Wales were also a very important factor in
the move towards peace. Expeditions, economic blockade and well-garrisoned
defences, expensive in men and money, had all failed to subdue the Welsh.
Finally, the Norman marcher barons of south Wales, who had proved themselves
incapable of defeating Rhys, even with royal help, had antagonized Henry II with
their unauthorized Irish adventures since 1168. By the end of the 1160s Henry
was no longer prepared to give the Norman marcher barons unconditional royal
support against the Welsh.
Henry II's campaign against the Welsh in 1165 and
its long aftermath demonstrated both the extent and the limits of the power of
the Angevin state. The preparations for the campaign were an impressive
mobilisation of the resources of Henry's dominions. Despite heavier than usual
demands made upon the Church and the lay baronage, both cooperated with the
king. Henry succeeded in raising substantial finance for knights and for the
unusually large numbers of foot soldiers required for a sustained campaign
fought over rough terrain. Yet, against the guerrilla tactics of the ably-led
Welsh, and in the face of unseasonable weather, Henry II's invasion of northern
Powys collapsed ignominiously. More important than the failure of this specific
expedition was the fact that Owain of Gwynedd and Rhys of Deheubarth were able
to maintain their resistance and able to continue taking territory and castles
from the Normans, in spite of attempts at blockade, relief expeditions and the
continuous supply of troops for the border areas organized by Henry's officials
in England. Henry's failure against the Welsh gave pleasure and encouragement to
his other opponents and was a blow to his prestige at least as great as his
failure at Toulouse in 1159. He was finally forced to recognize that a
settlement in Wales could not be obtained by military force and in 1171 he
sought to replace confrontation with cooperation.
The 1165 Levy for the Army of Wales
1.Chronica Rogeri de Hoveden, ed. W. Stubbs (4 vols., Rolls Series 51, London, 1868-71), I. 240; William of Newburgh, Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, ed. R. Howlett (4 vols., Rolls Series 82, London, 1884-90), 1, 145; Robert of Torigny, ibid., IV, 222, 225-26; Chronica de Mailros, ed. J. Stevenson (Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1835), p. 79; Gervase of Canterbury, Historical Works: the Chronicle of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard 1, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury, ed. W. Stubbs (2 vols., Rolls Series 73, London, 1879-80) 1, 197.
2. Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, ed. J. F. Dimock (8 vols., Rolls Series 21, London, 1861-91), VI, 138, 143; VIII, 217.
3. Annales Cambriae, ed. J. William ab Ithel (Rolls Series 20, London, 1860), pp. 49-50; Brut y Tywysogyon or the Chronicle of the Princes, Peniarth MS. 20 Version, ed. and transl. T. Jones (Board of Celtic Studies, History and Law Series, XI, Cardiff, 1952), pp. 63‑64; Brut y Tywysogyon or the Chronicle of the Princes, Red Book of Hergest Version, ed. and transl. T. Jones (Board of Celtic Studies, History and Law Series, XVI, Cardiff, 1955), pp. 145-47; Brenhinedd y Saesson, or the Kings of the Saxons, ed. and transl. T. Jones (Board of Celtic Studies, History and Law Series, XXV, Cardiff, 1971), pp. 165‑67. For the connection between these accounts and their dating, see R. 1. Jack, Medieval Wales (The Sources of History: Studies in the Uses of Historical Evidence, London, 1972), p. 25; J. E. Lloyd, `The Welsh Chronicles', Proceedings of the British Academy, XIV (1928), 381, 385; Annales Cambriae, pp. xxv, xxvii-xxviii; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, pp. xi, xxxvii xli, xliii; Brut, Red Book, pp. li-lv; Brenhinedd y Saesson, pp. xi-xii, xiv, xviii, xxxi.
4. Radulphi de Diceto Opera Historica. The Historical Works of Master Ralph de Diceto, Dean of London, ed. W. Stubbs (2 vols., Rolls Series, London, 1876), I, 311.
5. Robert of Torigny, Chronicles, IV, 218.
6. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, pp. 62-64 and n. p. 183; Brut, Red Book, p. 147; William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 145.
7. W. L. Warren, Henry II (London, 1973), p. 163; R. R. Davies, Conquest, Coexistence and Change: Wales 1063-1415 (Oxford, 1987), p. 52. Davies somewhat damages his own case for the significance of the precise meaning of the homages of 1163 when he comes to discuss the agreement reached between Rhys of Deheubarth and Henry II in 1171. Here he argues that Rhys accepted a position that might be considered ‘demeaning’ in return for `a measure of security, especially against the ambitions of the Anglo-Norman barons' and for the office of justiciar: ibid., p. 54.
8. In 1157 part of Henry's forces, led by Henry himself, was badly mauled in an ambush in the forest near Hawarden. Also, a landing on Anglesey from Henry's fleet had been defeated with heavy casualties. Nevertheless, Owain had felt the need to come to terms and had been forced to abandon his claim to Tegeingl, the coastal area between the Clwyd and Dee rivers: J. E. Lloyd, A History of Wales, from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest (2 vols., 3rd edn., London, 1939), II, 498-500; R. R. Davies, Wales 1063-1415, p. 51; William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 107-8; Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 130; The Chronicle of Jocelin of Brakelond, ed. and transl. H. E. Butler (Nelson Medieval Texts, London, 1949), p. 70. For the arguments over the site and significance of the ambush of Henry's troops in 1157, see D. 1. Cathcart King, `Henry II and the Fight at Coleshill', ante, Vol. 2, No. 4 (December 1965), pp. 367-73;1. Goronwy Edwards, `"Henry II and the Fight at Coleshill": Some Further Reflections', ante, Vol. 3, No. 3 (June 1967), pp. 251-63.
9. Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 508-9; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 62. The Pipe Roll for the year 1162-63 shows knights and serjeants stationed at Carreghofa ('Carrecouel'): The Great Rolls of the Pipe of the Reign of Henry II, etc, (Pipe Roll Soc., London, 1884), PR 9 Henry II, p. 3; Cf. PR 5 Henry II, p. 62; PR 6 Henry II, p. 26; PR 7 Henry II, p. 38; PR 8 Henry II, p. 15, for earlier evidence of Anglo-Norman occupation of Carregofa. The Owain ap Gruffydd and Owain ap Madog named as capturing Carreghofa in the Brut y Tywysogyon were Owain Cyfeiliog, nephew of Madog ap Maredudd, and Owain Fychan, son of Madog ap Maredudd.
10. Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 509, 511; Annales Cambriae, p. 49. For the possible exact location of Dinweilir, see R. A. Brown, `A List of Castles, 1154-1216', English Historical Review, LXXIV (1959), 266.
11. Annales Cambriae, p. 49; Brut, Penarth MS. 20, p. 62; `Annales de Margan' in Annales Monastici, ed. H. R. Luard (5 vols., Rolls Series 36, London, 1864-69), I, 15.
12. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 62; Annales Cambriae, p. 49. From the evidence of Walter fitz Liwarch's name, it would seem that it was not unheard of for Anglo-Normans, or at least men of mixed parentage, to serve at the courts of Welsh princes, though this was not a very propitious example.
13. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Annales Cambriae, p. 49. The Brenhinedd y Saesson adds the ‘poverty’ of Rhys to his reasons for revolt: Brenhinedd y Saesson, p. 165.
14. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 62.
15. Ibid., p. 63; Annales Cambriae, pp. 49-50.
16. Lloyd, History of Wales, 11, 513-14.
17. Annales Cambriae, p. 50; see also Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63.
18. Ibid. The account is placed at the beginning of the chronicle's year 1164, but the years are generally one year in deficit. If this chronology is roughly correct, then Henry's original plan for the campaign would have been directed against Rhys. Henry may have visited the border counties in the summer of 1164: R. W. Eyton, The Court, Household, and Itinerary of Henry II (London, 1878), p. 72.
19. Cum enim eadem gens effrenis et effera, rupto petulanter foedere, obsidibusque, quos in fidem pactorum dederunt, periculo expositis, vicinos Anglorum fines turbarent: William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 145.
20. Robert of Torigny, Chronicles, IV, 222.
21. Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 514-15.
22. Warren dismisses Lloyd's argument as ‘implausible’, but writes, concerning the dispute with Becket, of ‘encouragement. . .given to defiance’: Warren, Henry II, pp. 163 and n. 3, 98.
23. William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 106-7; Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 165.
24. Ibid., pp. 180-82, 209-10, 218.
25. William of Newburgh, Chronicles, 1, 107.
26. Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 218-19.
27. Ibid., pp. 218-22.
28. Robert of Torigny, Chronicles, IV, 193.
29. Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 127, 130.
30. The Great Rolls of the Pipe for the Second, Third and Fourth Years of the Reign of King Henry II, 1156-1158, ed. J. Hunter (Record Commission, London, 1844), p. 99; T. K. Keefe, Feudal Assessments and the Political Community under Henry II and his Sons (Berkeley, 1983), p. 158.
31. Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 510-11. Three of these earls - Gloucester, Hertford and Pembroke - held substantial lands in Wales.
32. J.H. Round, Feudal England (London, 1909), p. 276; Keefe, Feudal Assessments, pp. 29-30; Warren, Henry II, p. 86.
33. PR 5 Henry II, p. 21.
34. Ibid., pp. 1, 18, 62.
35. PR 9 Henry II, p. 9.
36. Ibid., pp. 2-4, 7-8.
37. Ibid., p. 71. The use of overseas mercenaries against the Welsh in 1165 was not therefore unprecedented: see below, p. 532.
38. Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. J. C. Robertson (7 vols., Rolls Series 67, London, 1875‑85), III, 70).
39. Warren represents the transactions at Northampton as a response to the ‘immediate and simultaneous uprising of all the native Welsh’: Warren, Henry II, p. 163.
40. Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary, pp. 74-77; PR 11 Henry II, pp. 2, 12, 100.
41. Warren, Henry II, pp. 490-93.
42. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Eyton. Court, Household and Itinerany, p. 79; Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 515.
43. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Brut, Red Book, p. 145; Brenhinedd v Saesson, p. 167. It would be tempting, but unwise, to use the two exercitus in the Pipe Roll entries for the archbishopric of Canterbury and for the honor of Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham as evidence for this first expedition: PR 11 Henry II, pp. 25, 109. The problem of multiple exercitus is more complex than this. See below, p. 543.
44. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63. The Brenhinedd y Saesson (p. 167) adds the detail that Henry took hostages.
45. Annales Cambriae, p. 50; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Chronica de Mailros, p. 79; Chronica Rogeri de Hoveden, I, 240; William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 145; Robert of Torigny, ibid., IV, 225; Gervase of Canterbury, 1, 197; Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 143.
46. Annales Cambriae, p. 50; William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 145. See also Brit, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Becket, Materials, V, 174.
47. PR II Henry II, pp. 31, 102, 110.
48. Becket, Materials, V, 198. The bishops of London and Hereford seem to have stayed with the king for a while at least: Letters and Charters of Gilbert Foliot, ed. D. A. Morey and C. N. L. Brooke (Cambridge, 1967), p. 203.
49. PR 11 Henry 11, pp. 31, 40, 89.
50. Ibid., pp. 12, 14, 75, 95-96, 110-11.
51. Ibid., pp. 83-84, 89-91.
52. Ibid., pp. 89-91.
53. Ibid., pp. 31, 89-90, 98. For the scutage, serjeanty assessments and borough aids, see the Appendix below. pp. 545 ff.
54. Ibid., pp. 12, 31, 40, 68, 73, 90, 98.
55. Ibid., pp. 12, 34, 68, 73, 98 and passim.
56. Becket, Materials, V, 197-98.
57. Annales Cambriae, p. 50; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 138, 143. It was August by the time Henry's army was on the Berwyn Mountains: see below p. 535.
58. Recueil des Actes de Henri II, Roi d Angleterre et Duc de Normandie, ed. L. Delisle and E. Berger (4 vols., Paris, 1909-27), I, no. 243.
59. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; cf. Brut, Red Book, p. 145; Brenhinedd y Saesson, p. 167; Annales Cambriae, p. 50.
60. See above, p. 532.
61. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63.
62. Ibid., Gervase of Canterbury supports the idea of strong Welsh resistance: Gervase of Canterbury, I, 197.
63. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Annales Cambriae, p. 50. The `Ffordd y Saeson' leads from around Tregeiriog in the Ceiriog Valley towards Cynwyd on the River Dee, about five miles south-west of Corwen. J. E. Lloyd suggests that Henry intended to proceed eventually to the area of the old Roman camp at Tomen y Mur, between Trawsfynedd and Ffestiniog in north-western Merionethshire, from where he could threaten Snowdonia itself: Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 516.
64. William Rufus had taken an expedition to Tomen y Mur in 1095. Henry I had crossed the Berwyn Mountains and had marched to Tomen y Mur in 1114: Lloyd, History of Wales, II, 405-6, 463-64. It is possible to argue as does R. R. Davies that Henry would have been wiser to base his campaign on an advance along one of the coastal routes into Wales, but the southern route used in 1163 against Rhys would hardly have met the threat to Tegeingl and the northern route used against Owain in 1157 had proved to be not without danger: R. R. Davies, Conquest, Coexistence and Change: Wales 1063-1415 (Oxford and Cardiff, 1981), p. 53.
65. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Brut, Red Book, p. 147; Brenhinedd y Saesson, p. 167; William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 145; Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 143; VIII, 217.
66. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Brenhinedd y Saesson, p. 167; Annales Cambriae, p. 50; Chronica de Mailros, p. 79; Chronica Rogeri de Hoveden, I, 240. Gerald of Wales disagreed: . . . et hostium quamplurium interemptione, exuberante pluvialium aquarum inundatione, indemnis reversio: Giraldus Cambrensis, VIII, 217.
67. Brut, Red Book, p. 147; Annales Cambriae, p. 50; Chronica de Mailros, p. 79; Chronica Rogeri de Hoveden, 1, 240; Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 143; VIII, 217; `Annales Monasterii de Waverleia', in Annales Monastici, II, 239.
68. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64; Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, ed. J. Stevenson, (2 vols., Rolls Series 2, London, 1858), II, 223‑24.
69. PR 11 Henry II, pp. 98, 100-1.
70. Ibid., p. 2. See above p. 531.
71. Ibid., pp. 90-91.
72. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64. The Brenhinedd y Saesson (p. 167) states that `he sent them back to fetch a force which would be greater'. This sounds implausible and is probably a misreading of the source. The Welsh too had used Irish ships in the past. In 1144 Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd ap Cynan enlisted an Irish fleet against his brother Owain in 1144: Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 53.
73. Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, II, 223-24.
74. Gervase of Canterbury, I, 197; Annales Cambriae, p. 50; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 63; Brut, Red Book, p; 145.
75. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64; Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary, p. 83.
76. Robert of Torigny, Chronicles, IV, 226; William of Newburgh, ibid., 1, 145.
77. PR 12 Henry II, p. 59.
78. Ibid., pp. 78, 80-83, 94-95.
79. Ibid., p. 67.
80. Ibid., p. 131.
81. Ibid., pp. 59, 80, 83; Pleas Before the King or his Justices, 1198-1212, ed. D. M. Stenton (Selden Soc., lxxxiii, London, 1967 for 1966), pp. liii-iv. For Owain Cyfeiliog, see below p. 541.
82. Robert of Torigny, Chronicles, IV, 226; PR 12 Henry II, p. 109; Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary, pp. 91-93.
83. Giraldus Cambrensis, VI, 143; Gervase of Canterbury, I, 197.
84. Annales Cambriae, p. 50.
85. Becket, Materials, V , 198.
86. The Letters of John of Salisbury, vol. 11: The Later Letters (1163-1180), ed. W. J. Miller and C. N. L. Brooke (Oxford, 1979), no. 152.
87. Ibid., no. 168.
88. Ibid., no. 184.
89. Walter Map: De Nugis Curialium-Courtiers' Trifles, ed. and transl. M. R. James, revised C. N. L. Brooke and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1983), pp. 408-11.
90. William of Newburgh, Chronicles, 1, 145.
91. Annales Carnbriae, pp. 50-51; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64; Brenhinedd y Saesson, p. 167 and n.
92. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64.
93. The Walden Chronicle, BM, Arundel MS. 29, fo. 6; Pleas before the King or his Justices, 1198-1212, pp. liii-iv. There are signs of supplies for this expedition on the Pipe Roll: PR 13 Henry II, pp. 51, 142. See also PR 14 Henry II, p. 199: Et Gaufrido de Ver £4. . . s. ad perficiendam liberationum servientum in discessu exercitus de Ruelent (Rhuddlan).
94. Becket, Materials, V , 77.
95. The Walden Chronicle, BM, Arundel MS. 29, fo. 6.
96. PR 13 Henry 11, pp. 77, 140. The Pipe Roll gives Munhalt, presumably referring to the Montalt lords of Mold: Lloyd, History of Wales, 11, 570, 590. There are also references to corn and other supplies for unnamed castles in Wales and the Marches: PR 13 Henry II, pp. 64, 77, 157; PR 14 Henry II, p. 199.
97. Annales Cambriae, p. 51; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 65; Brut, Red Book, p. 149.
98. PR 13 Henry II, pp. 60-63; PR 14 Henry II, pp. 93-95; PR 15 Henry II, pp. 107-8, 110; PR 16 Henry II, pp. 132, 154.
99. PR 13 Henry II, p. 72.
100. Ibid., p. 142.
101. Et Gaufrido de Ver 20m ad firmandam castellum de Lindeb'inort per breve regis: PR 13 Henry, II, p. 77. Lindeb'inort was Lydbury North (Shropshire), just to the south-east of Bishop's Castle. The castle belonged to the bishopric of Hereford which was in royal custody. For the honor of the constable, see ibid., p. 63; PR 15 Henry II, p. 110; PR 16 Henry II, p. 154. Geoffrey de Vere continued to hold Bishop's Castle and other castles until his death in 1170; PR 14 Henry II, p. 117; PR 15 Henry II, p. 142; PR 16 Henry IL pp. 59, 155. Geoffrey performed a leading role in the defence of the Marches. The Pipe Roll for the year 1167-68 records a payment of £100 to Geoffrey ad custodiendam Marchias Walie: PR 14 Henry 11, p. 199. He received land to the annual value of £47 8s. 4d. from the honor of William fitz Alan in Shropshire: PR 11 Henry II, p. 91; PR 13 Henry II, p. 72; PR 14 Henry II, p. 124; PR 15 Henry II, p. 107. He was also sheriff of Shropshire from Christmas 1164 to his death in 1170; PR 11 Henry 11, p. 89; PR 12 Henry 11, p. 58; PR 13 Henry II, p. 59; PR 14 Henry 11, p. 92; PR 15 Henry II, p. 107; PR 16 Henry H, p. 132. A clerk, William, accounted for the shire on Geoffrey's behalf in the last of these years.
102. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64; PR 14 Henry 11, p. 110; PR 15 Henry II, pp. 108, 110; PR 16 Henry II, p. 132. The Normans were buying horses from Iorwerth as early as 1166; PR 12 Henry II, p. 59.
103. Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, p. 64.
104. Ibid.; PR 12 Henry II, p. 59. See also the payment of one mark to a man of Owain Cyfeiliog in 1168-69: PR 15 Henry II, p. 136. c. 1170, Rhys attacked Owain Cyfeiliog again and took hostages from him: Peniarth MS. 20, p. 66.
105. PR 14 Henry II, p. 124.
106. Stephen of Rouen, Chronicles, II, 681-86; Chronica Rogeri de Hoveden, 1, 282.
107. John of Salisbury Letters, II, no. 279.
108. Annales Cambriae, p. 52.
109. PR 16 Henry 11, pp. 59, 155. See above, note 101. A considerable number of milites were under arms in England in the year 1167-68, though it is likely that they were primarily intended for use against the French king: PR 14 Henry 11, p. 199. For Henry II's campaign against the French monarch, see Warren, Henry II, pp. 105-6.
110. PR 16 Henry II, p. 154.
111. PR 15 Henry II, p. 136. William de Beauchamp (d. 1170) was, like Geoffrey de Vere, a crucial person in the border counties. William was sheriff of Worcestershire for the whole period between 1164 and 1170, and of Herefordshire from 1164 to 1169 (a Walterus de Bellocampo is recorded as sheriff for 1169-70): PR 11 Henry II, pp. 98, 100; PR 12 Henry II, pp. 80, 82; PR 13 Henry II, pp. 64, 69; PR 14 Henry 11, pp. 110, 113; PR 15 Henry 11, pp. 136, 139; PR 16 Henry II, pp. 54, 56.
112. The Red Book of the Exchequer, ed. H. Hall (3 vols., Rolls Series 99, London, 1897), II, app. A, pp. cclxvii, cclxix, cclxx.
113. Ibid., p. cclxviii. See also p. cclxxi, where 3 exercitus de Wales are paid for. There is also reference to an exercitus Franciae: ibid., p. cclxix. This can probably be dated to Henry's campaign against the French king in 1167.
114. Ibid., pp. cclxxix-cclxxx. See also pp. cclxxiii-cclxxxi passim.
115. Robert of Torigny, Chronicles, IV, 251; Brut, Peniarth MS. 20, pp. 65‑67; Warren, Henry II, pp. 164, 167.
116. William of Newburgh, Chronicles, I, 168-69.
117. The expeditions led by Norman marcher barons between 1168 and 1170 may have resulted from disillusion with their position in south-west Wales. Rhys of Deheubarth encouraged these moves from the start by releasing Robert fitz Stephen, a prisoner since 1165: L.H. Nelson, The Normans in South Wales, 1070-1171 (Austin, Texas, 1966), pp. 133-36. W.L. Warren's suggestion that detente between Henry II and the Welsh had begun soon after 1165 is untenable. Warren also suggests that the Normans in Wales sought new opportunities in Ireland because they had 'abandoned hope that Henry II would help them any more to recover lands they had lost in Wales': Warren, Henry II, p. 165. This undervalues the effort in men and resources which Henry had committed to Wales and the Marches after 1165. Before 1170, it was not so much that Henry would not help his barons, but that he was unable to help them.
This article was originally published in The Welsh Historical Review, v.14 n.4 (1989). We thank Paul Latimer and the University of Wales Press for giving us permission to republish it.