Archiver > CARMARTHENSHIRE > 2002-02 > 1013687630

From: "badavies" <>
Subject: Re: [Cmn-L] Mailings and Battle
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 05:53:50 -0600

I would appreciate a jpg file of the map. How interesting
was your summary of the battle! Many thanks.

Betty Ann Davies

-----Original Message-----
From: Mal Davies <>
To: <>
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2002 5:17 AM
Subject: [Cmn-L] Mailings and Battle

>Hi Pauline and Richard,
>There seems to have been a great deal of interest generated in your
CARMARTHENSHIRE List regarding the query from Tony about the Battle of
Cymerau. I realise that this is not strictly Genealogy but I have had so
many requests to my personal e-mail address from List members asking for
further details, that I hope you will allow me (this once) to provide the
information through your List. I also have a copy of the map indicating the
battle site near Aberglasney if any members would like me to send it to
their individual e-mail addresses in .JPG format.
>This is an account from A.G. PRYS-JONES', "The Story of Carmarthenshire Vol
>The Running Battle of Coed Llathen and Cymerau.
> In 1254, Henry III bestowed all the royal lands in Wales,
including the castles and demesnes of Carmarthen and Cardigan, upon his
eldest son, Edward. The following year Llywelyn of Gwynedd won a decisive
battle against two of his brothers, and assumed sole control of his father's
principality. Within a year he had established he had established himself
firmly in Gwynedd, and marched south to Builth and Deheubarth, aided by
Maredudd ab Owain. He next moved into Ystrad Tywi, where he deprived Rhys
Fychan (now an ally of the king) of Dinefwr and Carreg Cennen which he
granted to Maredudd ap Rhys Gryg.
> In 1256, Llywelyn again invaded south-west Wales, and secured
the allegiance of the Welsh in Kidwelly, Carnwyllion and Gower. The
following year Henry sent Stephen Bauzan, a former governor of Gascony, to
restore order in Ystrad Tywi, and to win back Rhys Fychan's lost possession
for him. On the last day of May, 1257, Stephen marched with a formidable
force from Carmarthen to Llandeilo, where the army encamped for the night. A
Welsh chronicler, probably one of the monks of Talyllychau, has left this
vivid account of the battle which followed :-------
> "Now the Welsh of Ceredigion and Ystrad Tywi, that that is to
say, the whole power of Maredudd ap Rhys Gryg and Maredudd ab Owain, were
assembled with a mighty clamour in the woods and groves and glens which were
round the English. Throughout the whole of Friday they did not cease
challenging and harassing the Saxon host with showers of lances and arrows.
On Saturday, the eve of Trinity Sunday, Rhys, son of Rhys Mechyll, who had
acted as their guide, left the English in great straits and much danger.
With a few of his men, he fled to the castle of Dinefwr, leaving the English
in ignorance of what he had done.
> Still fearing nothing, the armed knights took counsel, and
resolved boldly to make their way back to Carmarthen. The Welsh fought them
manfully from the woods and kept up the struggle in the forests from the
first hour of the day until mid-day. At Coed Llathen, the English lost all
their provisions and all their horses carrying arms and other requisites.
About mid-day, when the fighting had reached Cymerau, the Welsh fell upon
the armed English and thrust the noble Saxons from their war-horses, so that
they were trodden under the feet of their steeds ; their knights and their
footmen in the ditches and marshes and dingles. Few, if any of the armed
knights escaped from that encounter. But the Welsh, greatly victorious, with
the mail-clad horses and arms of their enemies as their spoil, returned in
safety to their homes."
>The battle is also referred to in a poem which is included in the 'Black
Book of Carmarthen'.
> This was the greatest disaster which an English army had
suffered in Wales for many years. Stephen Bauzan himself was among the
slain, whose number must have been at least a thousand.
> The sites of Coed Llathen and Cymerau are not exactly known,
but the running fight must have taken place near Broadoak, between Llandeilo
and Carmarthen. Cymerau was probably around the spot where the Cothi runs
into the Tywi.
> The victors rapidly took the castles of Laugharne, Lanstephan
and Narbeth ; and at the end of June, Llywelyn came south again to lead a
further campaign. Rhys Fychan, who had deserted the English force at
Llandeilo, joined his uncle Maredudd ap Rhys and took the castle of Newport
(Pembroke-shire) by storm. Maredudd ab Owain brought his men to ravage the
Haverfordwest area : and Llywelyn and his three allies made a heavy raid
upon the Glamorgan lands of the Earl of Gloucester.
> In 1258, Llywelyn took the title of Prince of Wales, and
summoned the other Welsh princes and chieftains to swear fealty to him. This
was the first occassion on which any Welsh prince had successfully assumed
this title. Among the many Welsh lords who supported him were the three
descendants of the Lord Rhys.
>best regards,
>Mal...... from a wonderfully bright, crisp, blue-skyed Ammanford
>(even the daffodil buds are smiling and begining to open)
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