Tuesday 29 July 2014

August Campaign on the Mawr - Duke of Beaufort Get Out of Cymru



Later on the king's officers of the newly organized county of Carmarthen repeatedly claimed jurisdiction over Gower, thereby endeavouring to reduce its status from that of a lordship marcher with semi-regal jurisdiction, into that of an ordinary constituent of the new county. 

De Braose resisted the claim and organized the English part of his lordship on the lines of a county palatine, with its own comitatus and chancery held in Swansea Castle, the sheriff and chancellor being appointed by himself. 

The inhabitants, who had no right of appeal to the crown against their lord or the decisions of his court, petitioned the king, who in 1305 appointed a special commission to enquire into their alleged grievances, but in the following year the de Braose of the time, probably in alarm, conceded liberal privileges both to the burgesses of Swansea and to the English and Welsh inhabitants of his "county" of English Gower. 

He was the last lord seignior to live within the seigniory, which passed from him to his son-in-law John de Mowbray. 

Other troubles befell the de Braose barons and their successors in title, for their right to the lordship was contested by the Beauchamps, representatives of the earlier earls of Warwick, in prolonged litigation carried on intermittently from 1278 to 1396, the Beauchamps being actually in possession from 1354, when a decision was given in their favour, till its reversal in 1396. It then reverted to the Mowbrays and was held by them until the 4th duke of Norfolk exchanged it in 1489, for lands in England, with William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. 

The latter's granddaughter brought it to her husband Charles Somerset, who in 1506 was granted her father's subtitle of Baron Herbert of Chepstow, Raglan and Gower, and from him the lordship has descended to the present lord, the Duke of Beaufort.



After Richard II was deposed by Henry Bolingbroke in 1399, the new king rescinded the titles that had been given to the counter-appellants, and thus John Beaufort became merely Earl of Somerset again.

Nevertheless, he proved loyal to his half-brother's reign, serving in various military commands and on some important diplomatic missions.

It was John Beaufort who was given the confiscated estates of the Welsh rebel leader Owain Glynd┼Ár in 1400, although Beaufort could not effectively come into these estates until after 1415.

In 1404 he was Constable of England.

The Beaufort's ran into trouble during the English Civil War but had their estates reinstated and extended by Charles II and we find the Beaufort's on the Mawr  and in  Swansea and in Gwent.

This English aristocratic family have a long history of landownership in Wales and around Swansea and when Swansea was suffering a cholera epidemic for lack of fresh water some 200 years ago they asked the then Duke of Beaufort for Land for a reservoir for fresh water but he refused.

Ultimately it took an Act of the British Parliament to get the Land off him to give the people of Swansea fresh water.

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