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History Illustrations: Peace between England & Wales?

King Henry III & the de Braose Heirs

We reach chapter 6 of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John and this lovely illustration of the lion of England, the dragon of Wales, and the dove of peace hovering over them. Will there be peace between England and Wales? Will the dove get to land?
peace between England and Wales illustration
King John’s behaviour after Magna Carta threw England into turmoil. The barons were so incensed with him that they offered the crown to Prince Louis of France. When John died, Louis was already in England with his army and had been welcomed into London with open arms.
William Marshal

William Marshal

The Welsh, led by Llywelyn the Great, took advantage of the chaos to recapture some of their lands. John’s son Henry came to the throne (as Henry III) with England’s greatest knight, William Marshal, as regent. William, though elderly, led the army against Louis and defeated him in September 1217, while the Welsh were offered peace between England and Wales.
The Treaty of Lambeth which ended the war was not acceptable to the Welsh, but Reginald de Braose saw his chance to re-enter the fold, and transferred his allegiance from Llywelyn to the new king. Reginald was restored to favour and given back the Bramber estate.
Angered by his son-in-law’s defiance, Llywelyn captured Brecon and Swansea, handing Swansea over to Rhys Gryg of Deheubarth. Reginald de Braose was forced to surrender to Llywelyn and yield his Welsh territories. Rhys Gryg swept through Gower and ousted all the English, giving their lands to the Welsh. Reginald’s nephews, Rhys and Owain, princes of Deheubarth, also rose up and captured Builth.
Llywelyn the Great

Llywelyn the Great

In March 1218 Llywelyn met with the king’s representatives and agreed a much better settlement, known as the Peace of Worcester. He had to make concessions, including the return of the de Braose lands, but much of his territory was accepted. But he was expected to ensure the other Welsh princes came and paid homage to the king instead of paying homage to him. Unfortunately, only one did, but the crown decided to keep Llywelyn’s friendship, and didn’t make a fuss.

In 1218 Peter de Maulay, constable of Corfe Castle, was ordered for the third time to release William III’s grandsons, John and Giles. This time he complied. John de Braose was twenty and as the eldest son, laid claim to the de Braose estates, some of which were held by his uncle Reginald. The lordships of Bramber and Barnstable came to him with no trouble, but his claim for the Welsh lordships was refused.
Since Reginald was out of favour with Llywelyn, John de Braose turned to him to aid him in his claim against his uncle. In 1219 Llywelyn ordered Rhys Grug to give John Gower, and in return John made an alliance with Llywelyn by marrying his daughter Margaret. For those who have read my book Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, John and Margaret were Alina’s great-grandparents.

Head shot Ann Marie ThomasAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Intruders, Alien Secrets, and Crisis of Conscience are out now. Follow her at