10 March 2007

Coffad 1282 - 83: The War begins, Palm Sunday 1282

The 1282 War of Independence began on Palm Sunday 1282, with an attack on Castell Penarlag (Hawarden) by the Cymry led by Dafydd ap Gruffydd brother of Llywelyn III. Dafydd of course was traitor to his own brother, having sided with the English in the war of 1277. However, by 1282 Dafydd and other ''turncoat'' Welsh Lords and Chiefs who had previously sided with Edward I, were by 1282 well discontented with their treatment by the English King and the Anglo - Normans rulers of Wales. We do not know if Llywelyn III was involved in the plotting which would bring about a penulitmate War of Independence, but his brother seized the initiative and on eve of Palm Sunday 1282 was gathering his forces at his castle of Caergwle. Early the next morning, well before dawn in an awful storm, the Welsh set out to attack the English not so far away at Hawarden and did much killing of English, and damage to the castle there. Thus began a war, that would end in great tradgety for many of native participants and witness the collapse of the Royal House of Gwynedd, with the conquest of Wales during the years 1282 - 83. I remind here, that what ever we may think of Dafydd III, he began this war and it is as much the history of the war we are commemorating, to in particular remind that it did not end with the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd at Aberedw. We must keep in mind the fact that following the death of Llywelyn III, his brother became Dafydd III 'Tywysog Cymru', and led the Welsh in the final months of the war, well into 1283. Not to take such into account only serves to make us fail to remember, that the Welsh on a number of military fronts made gallant and heroic resistance to the overwealming might of the Anglo - Norman Army, particularly as they advanced into Gwynedd from Y Perfeddwlad. There is no point in my continuing this history as you will find much on the web that will serve to educate and inform you very well, plus there are a number of books on the subject that will serve the same end. It is more my purpose to encourage individuals, families and communities to organise commemoration events as; exhibitions in local Libraries, and field trips. Not least make every effort to support my I'r Gad: Welsh Battle Field Campaign, by seeking to ensure that Battle sites associated with the 1282 - 83 war are memorialised and otherwise marked. In some instance I would propose patriots hold 'REMEMBERENCE RALLIES', maybe at Aberystwyth and Llandeilo this year and Castell y Bere and Caernarfon in 2008. Ymlaen:

First up for your patriotic attention: Palm Sunday 1282 - 2007 Outings to Castle Caergwle (Mawrth 31st) and Castell Penarlag (Ebrill 1st). Three days later the Cymry of the West rose up and attacked Castell Aberystwyth, in due course I will suggest other 1282/3 War historic sites worth visiting, in main as field trips. (See Owain Glyndwr Communicates re Glyndwr Castell Aberystwyth Commemoration). Below photos are of Castell Cargwle, Castell Penarlag and Castell Aberystwyth.

If Patriots want a good excuse for a 'Rally of Rememberence' then what better that one to commemorate a great Welsh Victory at the 'Battle of Llandeilo' 17 June 1282, best hold on Sat 16 June 2007, stay over the night and on Sunday 17 June visit Castell Dinefwr and of course the park. No! I am not organising but suggest Ystrad Tywi Patriots do, and invite patriots from other parts of Cymru to join them to celebrate this great victory over the Anglo - Normans.
Surely not an anniversary to be ignored?

Pobl Llywelyn III Gwynedd, what about a 'Rememberence Rally' at Moel y Don, on the Menai Straits. Hold Tachwedd 1282. Then of course there will be events in central Cymru in Mis Rhagfyr at Aberedw and Abaty Cwm Hir, also in Caernarfon and Aberffraw/Llys Rhosyr. For 1283 - 2008, I would suggest Castle y Bere for a 'Rally of Rememberence', and for 1284 - 2009 Rhuddlun - Rally of Rememberence. That's called thinking ahead with some patriotic proposals for you all to think about.


I think Cadw should organise another ''Festival of Castles'' in 2008 but this time around telling the true story of Conquest and Colonisation from a Cymric Point of View. You ask them ok!

NB: Ideas please how best not to celebrate conquest and colonialism, how can we mark 1283 and 1284 best?
I suggest an outing to Castell Dolforwyn and Castle of Montgomery is well worth a vist, not forgetting to vist Rhyd Chwima - The Ford of Montgomery.
The young lad below ''Young Toni'', Mab Sian actually walked with I and Dafydd Jenkins accross country from Cilmeri to Abaty Cwm Hir in 1982, that was about 21 miles, if I remember correctly. That was really something, blistered and bleeding feet as well, am I mad? I wonder, if anyone would be up for it today? I will try and find the ''trail blazing'' map of the this 'Llywbr Llywelyn III' researched by Dafydd Jenkins and if I find will post up. If anyone then considers doing the walk in 2007 as we did in 1982, let me know OK! I will leave space in this archive for any future epic journey of patriotic mind over matter of pain and the cramp that follows. As ''Old Toni'' said Cofiwn meant suffering: ''Nul ioy sans payne''. Patriotic pain of course?
Pamphlets to Read on the war of 1282 and death of Llywelyn III, easy reading but it's the one titled: APPOINTMENT IN ABEREDW by Anthony Edwards which tells the true story as to the treacherous betrayal and murderous assination at Aberedw on 11 Rhagfyr 1282.

The Best and Beast of a detailed book is that, by Historian Beverly Smith, excellent but gets the death of Llywelyn III wrong, follows the tradional English falsified account. However, still a must read as it is so full of information, read this and you will be an expert on Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and the War of 1282 - 83.

If you cannot cope with that, try the one below? which is a neat little illustrated booklet for the kiddies. Pretty good illustrations particulary see the ''Cut Clean'' families visiting Cilmeri cenotaph.

Follow in the pioneering footsteps of Cofiwn.


G.ap Gruffydd.