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Welsh History Review


Vol. 17, nos. 1-4 1994-95

The supporters of Richard Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, in the rebellion of 1233-1234

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RICHARD Marshal's rebellion of 1233 offers an excellent opportunity to
discover on what human resources an earl might be able to rely when
choosing the perilous path of defying his king. The evidence available makes
it possible in many cases, though by no means all, to identify the particular
link or links of kinship, friendship, feudal tenure, military or administrative
service which were sufficiently strong to induce men to follow the Marshal
into rebellion. It should be possible to discover whether there was a 'Marshal
affinity', handed down to Richard from his elder brother William, which
could be relied on to form the hard core of resistance. While Richard Marshal
was not as isolated a rebel as William de Forz had been in 1221-2, the
following he commanded was not, in fact, large. Between eighty and ninety
men can be shown to have been involved to some extent in the rebellion, but
some of these were no more than suspected adherents of the Marshal and
many fell out at an early stage. Probably no more than sixty men took an
active part at some stage or other. This figure hardly compares with the 450
tenants in the northern counties alone who made their peace in 1217.1 The
Marshal rebellion was indeed on a very small scale compared to that of
1215-17, when half of the most important barons of England rose against
King John.2 It must be admitted at the outset that the Marshal was not the
leader of a full-blooded baronial rebellion: as such, it simply failed to get off
the ground. Smallness of scale does have the advantage, however, of the
investigator not being overwhelmed by numbers. Even so, many of the
known rebels remain obscure figures, of whom little is known other than their
names. The rebellion was not confined to England and Wales. The possession
by the Marshal family of their inheritance from Strongbow, the great
lordship of Leinster, involved them in another theatre of war. However, no
attempt is made here to identify royalists and rebels in Ireland: that would
require a separate and difficult detailed study.
Contemporary English and Welsh chroniclers record the activities of the
leading rebels, Richard Marshal himself and his principal supporters, Gilbert
Basset and Richard Siward. The main source of evidence for his followers is
the Close Rolls for 1233-4, which record in considerable detail seizures of
rebels' lands, their submissions, temporary or permanent, and their final
pardons and restorations. The rebellion may be divided into three phases, the
J. C. Holt, The Northerners (Oxford, 1961), p. 37.
2 A. Beadles, 'The Opponents of King John', History Today, XIX (1979), 284.
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Cynhyrchwyd y testun hwn yn awtomatig o’r dudalen sydd wedi’i sganio ac nid yw wedi’i gwirio. Yn gyffredinol mae cywirdeb y llythrennau yn uwch na 99%, ond hyd yn oed wedyn gedy hyn un camgymeriad i bob can llythyren.

Crewyd a chyhoeddwyd y fersiwn digidol hwn o'r cylchgrawn yn unol â thrwydded a roddwyd gan y cyhoeddwr. Gellir defynddio'r deunydd ynddo ar gyfer unrhyw bwrpas gan barchu hawliau moesol y crewyr.