Tudor Wales

Tudor Wales was published in 2014 by Amberley Publishing.

The motivation behind the book is a desire to raise awareness of the great heritage and culture Wales has pertaining to the Tudor Dynasty, an oft-overlooked era in Welsh History. Tudor buildings and personalities are often restricted to England which has a thriving Tudor industry worth millions of pounds a year. Hopefully this book can raise the profile of many sites throughout Wales that are laden with unknown Tudor connections and safeguard this heritage for future generations.

Tudor Wales covers

‘The Tudors are one of history’s most infamous families and the era over which they reigned still captures the public’s interest without rival. ‘Tudor England’ in itself has become a well known phrase that covers many aspects of the era, particularly architecture, arts and the lifestyle. What is often overlooked however is that the Tudors, whilst coming to encompass all that is considered great about England, were a Welsh dynasty with their roots firmly entrenched in the hills across Offa’s Dyke. This guide will take you on a journey throughout the beautiful country of Wales and expose the reader to the hidden gems of the Tudor era, from Harlech Castle in the north to Pembroke Castle in the west, and from the holy Bishop’s Palace at Lamphey to the sacred Cathedral at St David’s. From Dale, Carew and Penmynydd to Raglan, Conwy and Denbigh, every part of W ales has Tudor links, both to the royal Tudors and their more obscure Welsh ancestors. This guide will put you on the path to a true Tudor experience in the Land of their Fathers’.






If you would like to check out the book yourself, then you can find it at Amazon by clicking here


5 thoughts on “Tudor Wales

  1. I have read ‘Tudor Wales’ with interest as I have been researching this period. See: http://www.blancheparry.com Among my discoveries was that Blanche was very probably instrumental in the publication of the Bible in Welsh, see my two books about her, and her aunt Lady Troy who brought up the Tudor children.
    However, I am mystified by pages 10 and 72 in ‘Tudor Wales’ re the Battle of Bosworth. The article below shows who actually killed King Richard III.

    Who killed King Richard III?

    King Richard III, the last Plantaganet king, died during the decisive Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485. He was two months short of his 33rd birthday. He had fought bravely and had nearly managed close combat with his adversary Henry Tudor, who, as the victor, succeeded as King Henry VII. Henry Tudor’s standard bearer was killed in the encounter. Then Richard’s attempt to close with Tudor ended with his own death … but who actually killed King Richard?

    The French poet and composer Jean Molinet (1435-1507), was noted for his prose version of the Medieval poem: Roman de la Rose [1]. For many years, from 1463, he was also a chronicler of events for Charles, Duke of Burgundy. In about 1490 he stated that:

    The king [Richard] bore himself valiantly according to his destiny, and wore the crown on his head … His horse leapt into a march [marsh] from which it could not retrieve itself. One of the Welshmen then came after him, and struck him dead with a halberd, and another took his body and put it before him on his horse and carried it, hair hanging as one would bear a sheep.

    What can be accurately construed from this is that Richard was at a disadvantage due to the churning up of the land, a natural result of a hard-fought battle. What is also clear is that Molinet, writing five years after Bosworth, records that a Welshman killed him with a halberd. This exact injury was found on Richard’s recently excavated skull [2].
    More details of Richard’s death are found in a poem by the respected Welsh bard Guto’r Glyn who wrote at least 124 poems [3]. He was highly regarded, especially in the 1430s-1493, and regularly visited a circuit of the houses of the nobility, two Deans of Bangor and the Abbot of Shrewsbury. One of his most important patrons had been Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke (1st Herbert creation) whose rise to power he witnessed. Henry Tudor, when young, was a ward of this Sir William Herbert, a Yorkist, at Raglan Castle. Guto’r Glyn was an honoured guest at each house he visited and his listeners would have been well informed about the events his poems described. Therefore, Guto’r Glyn’s description can be confidently taken as primary evidence for the Battle of Bosworth:

    In praise of Sir Rhys ap Tomas of Abermarlais lines 35 to 42 [4]
    Cwncwerodd y Cing Harri
    King Henry won the day
    Y maes drwy nerth ein meistr ni:
    through the strength of our master:
    Lladd Eingl, llaw ddiangen,
    killing Englishmen, capable hand,
    Lladd y baedd, eilliodd ei ben,
    killing the boar, he shaved his head,
    A Syr Rys mal sŷr aesawr
    and Sir Rhys like the stars of a shield
    Â’r gwayw ’n eu mysg ar gnyw mawr.
    with the spear in their midst on a great steed.

    Brain o’i henw yw’r brenhinwaed,
    Those of royal blood are ravens of the same name as him,
    Ni bu’r drin heb euro’i draed.
    the battle did not pass without dubbing him a knight.

    Guto’r Glyn’s evidence certainly pre-dates that of Jean Molinet, internal evidence suggesting 1485 or 1486 making it nearly contemporary with Richard’s death. It identifies Jean Molinet’s Welshman as Sir Rhys ap Tomas (1449-1525) of Abermarlais, who was knighted for services rendered on the battlefield of Bosworth. His father, Tomas ap Gruffudd ap Nicolas (the Welsh ‘ap’ means the ‘son of’) had extended the family fortunes by judicious marriage. He had also taken Rhys with him to the Burgundian court when Jean Molinet was there. The family affiliation was Lancastrian so, despite an accommodation with Edward IV when the fortunes of the Yorkists were in the ascendant, Rhys was in contact with Henry Tudor and was his most prominent Welsh supporter. His continuing loyalty to Henry VII, which resulted in his appointment as a Knight of the Garter in 1505, was transferred to his son, Henry VIII.
    Therefore, Guto’r Glyn’s evidence, supported by that of Jean Molinet, shows without doubt that it was the men controlled by Rhys ap Tomas [5] who killed King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
    ©Ruth E. Richardson 2014
    [1] Chroniques de Jean Molinet (1474-1506), ed. G. Doutrepont and O. Jodogne, 3 vols. (Academie Royale de Belgique, Classe des Lettres et des Sciences Morales et Politiques. Collection des Anciens Auteurs Belges, Brussels, 1935-7), I, pp. 434-6. (French; Michael Bennett’s translation with assistance from Professor I.H. Smith, Department of Modern Languages, University of Tasmania).
    [2] See: Fern, Susan, The Man Who Killed Richard III: Who Dealt the Fatal Blow at Bosworth?, Amberley Publishing, 2014.
    [3] See: http://www.blancheparry.com for details about Welsh bards.
    [4] See: Poem 14: Guto’r Glyn.net, edited by Dafydd Johnston. He includes the following note: The phrase lladd y baedd refers to the white boar which was King Richard III’s emblem. The use of the verbal noun lladd is a means of avoiding specifying who was responsible for killing him on the battlefield at Bosworth, but this passage suggests that he was killed by a troop of soldiers led by Rhys ap Tomas. (Welsh ‘Tomas’ is often given as ‘Thomas’ in English).
    [5] See: Griffith, Ralph, Sir Rhys ap Thomas and his family: a study in the Wars of the Roses and early Tudor politics, University of Wales Press, 1993, p.43. Also Wales Biography Online.

    Please contact me directly if you wish. Please do use this information – all I ask is acknowledgement of me and my website. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for your comment. However, I am not quite following; what parts of page 10 (Bosworth Stone) and page 72 (Gresford Church) mystify you?

    • Thank you for your reply – appreciated.
      Re page 10: You write about Sir Rhys ap T(h)omas but you do not mention that it was his men who killed King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. No wonder the Bosworth Stone commemorates this.
      Re page 72: Bosworth again mentioned, though perhaps no room for Sir Rhys ap Tomas here…
      Re page 90: Here the wrong ‘Rhys’ is held ‘responsible for the notorious death of King Richard III….’ It was Sir Rhys ap Tomas.
      I hope the information I have sent will be useful for corrections when your otherwise very interesting book is reprinted….which I hope it is.

      • As somebody from the same area as Sir Rhys, Dinefwr, I’d love irrefutable evidence of his involvement in the death of Richard III but I’m afraid it doesn’t exist. It’s theorized in chronicles such as those you’ve posted that he, or more likely his men, were involved but that’s certainly not guaranteed hence it’s not something I’m willing to commit to.

      • Guto’r Glyn entertained Sir Rhys ap Tomas in the same way he entertained all his patrons. He was invited to sit by his host at table and then sing an appropriate poem that was understood by all the guests present. Therefore, his poem ‘In praise of Sir Rhys ap Tomas of Abermarlais’ was given in Sir Rhys’ presence, that is in the presence of people who knew the truth. This is the way the bards worked – they were greatly respected and were honoured guests. Moreover, this particular poem was composed not long after the Battle of Bosworth. It is not a theory. It is primary evidence. It is only recently that the value of these bardic poems has begun to be properly appreciated. I am sorry re you book but when it is reprinted – and I hope it is – you will be able to make the necessary changes. My very, very best wishes to you.

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