Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Madog (fl.1294-1295)

MADOG (fl. 1294–1295), leader of the North Welsh rebellion, is termed by Trivet ‘quemdam de genere Lewelini principis ultimi;’ Walter of Hemingburgh says he claimed to be descended ‘de sanguine principis Leulini;’ the ‘Annals of Worcester’ call him ‘Madocus ap Lewelin.’ Contemporary narratives of his rebellion only supply accounts of him, but it may safely be concluded that he was a natural son of Llywelyn, the last prince of Wales [see Llywelyn ab Gruffydd, d 1282.] The occasion of the rebellion was the heavy taxation levied in 1294 towards the king's projected expedition to Gascony. It broke out, as the result of a previous arrangement, in all parts of Wales on Michaelmas day, Madog being the leader in the north. At Carnarvon advantage was taken of the Michaelmas fair to fall upon the English suddenly; many were slain, including Roger Puleston, the sheriff of Anglesey, and the town and castle were burnt. Edward, after sending in November his brother Edmund, earl of Lancaster [q. v.], and Henry Lacy, third earl of Lincoln [q. v.], to quell the rising without much result, invaded North Wales himself. He reached the mouth of the Conway, and spent his Christmas in the town (Trivet). Owing to the division of his army, however, and the capture of his provision wagons, he was for a time reduced to great straits. On 5 March 1295 the Earl of Warwick greatly improved the position of the invaders by a night attack upon Madog's host, which had encamped on a plain between two groves. After a stubborn fight the Welsh were defeated and Madog forced to flee from the field, which henceforth was known as Maes Madog, i.e. Madog's field (Ann. Wig.) After Easter the king crossed over to Anglesey, began the building of Beaumaris Castle, and received the submission of large numbers of the men of the island. In May he travelled to South Wales. Madog still remained under arms, but his submission was not long delayed. According to some authorities (Trivet, Ann. Osen.) he was captured; the language of the ‘Annals of Worcester’ (‘Madocus ab Lewelin, ducente domino Johanne de Haveringe, venit cum sua familia ad pacem regis’) and of the ‘Annals of Dunstable’ (‘Maddoc … per dictum Johannem de Haverigge ad pacem regis venit’) rather implies that he came in voluntarily. Hemingburgh tells us that he made terms for himself by promising to deliver up his fellow-conspirator Morgan; but Morgan had already made his peace (Ann. Wig.) Madog's surrender took place on 31 July (ib.) Edward was able to meet the magnates of the realm in August with the news of the entire suppression of the rising. Of the insurgents only a certain Cynan was executed (ib.), though the rest were probably subjected to some confinement.

[Annals of Trivet (Engl. Hist. Soc.), ed. 1845; Chronicle of Walter of Hemingburgh (Engl. Hist. Soc.), ed. 1849; Annales Prioratus de Wigornia, Rolls edit. 1869; Annales Monasterii de Oseneia, Rolls edit. 1869; Annales Prioratus de Dunstaplia, Rolls edit. 1866; cf. art. Edward I.]

J. E. L.