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Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 by James Endell Tyler

Knowelichyd that thys blake baner scholde dessese hym


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Copy of the second letter from the Constable of Dynevor:

"Dear Friend,--I do you to wit that Owyn was in purpose to Kedwelly, and the Baron of Carew was coming with a great retinue towards St. Clare, and so Owyn changed his purpose, and rode to meet the Baron; and that night he lodged at St. Clare, and destroyed all the country about. And on Tuesday they were at treaties all day, and that night he lodged him at the town of Locharn, six miles out of the town of Carmarthen. The intention is, if the Baron and he accord in treaty, then he turneth again to Carmarthen for his part of the good, and Rees Duy[350] (p. 391) his part. And many of the great masters stand yet in the castle of Carmarthen; for they have not yet made their ordinance whether the castle and town shall be burnt or no; and therefore, if there is any help coming, haste them all haste towards us, for every house is full about us of their poultry, and yet wine and honey enough in the country, and wheat and beans, and all manner of victuals. And we of the castle of Dynevor had treaties with him on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; and now he will ordain for us to leave that castle, [for ther a castyth to ben y serkled thince,] for that was the chief place in old time. And Owyn's muster on Monday was eight thousand

and twelve score spears, such as they were. Other tidings I not now; but God of Heaven send you and us from all enemies! Written at Dynevor this Wednesday in haste."

[Footnote 350: This partisan of Owyn, who is here said to have gone to share with him in the spoil of Carmarthen, partook even in greater bitterness of his cup of affliction. He was taken prisoner and beheaded. The Chronicle of London asserts that his quarters were salted, and sent to different parts of the kingdom; but this assertion, in an affair of little importance, shows how small reliance can be placed on anonymous records. The King, by writ of privy seal, 29 May 1412, commands Rees Duy's body, then in the custody of his officers, to be buried in some consecrated cemetery. It had perhaps been exposed for some time. MS. Donat. 4599, p. 128.]

The despatch from the burgesses of Carleon, after stating that seven hundred men, whom Owyn had sent forwards as pioneers and to search the ways, were to a man slain by the Lord of Carew's men on the 12th day of July, records an anecdote so characteristic of Owyn's superstition, that, whilst examining his conduct, we may scarcely pass it by unnoticed. He sent after Hopkyn ap Thomas of Gower, inasmuch (p. 392) as he held him Master of Brut, (_i. e._ skilled in the prophecies of Merlin,) to learn from him what should befal him, and he told him that he should be taken within a brief time between Carmarthen and Gower under a black banner. [The Author finds the next sentence so obscure that he leaves it to the interpretation of the reader.] "Knowelichyd that thys blake baner scholde dessese hym, and nozt that he schold be take undir hym."

In weighing the evidence brought to light by these original despatches, it will be necessary to have a few dates immediately present to our mind.


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