Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/113

This page has been validated.
Howel
Howel
107

tion of Wales into Gwynedd, Deheubarth, and Powys (e.g. i. 341), with the overlord at Aberffraw exacting tribute from the dependent kings, though himself dependent on the 'king of London'(i,235). The terminology of the laws is plainly late, for example terms like 'tewysauc'(prince) and 'tehuysokaet' (principality) are certainly post-Norman, as earlier Welsh rulers are described as kings. Neither would the Anglo-Saxon monarch be described as 'king of London' before the Conquest. And the systematic representation of the cymmwds points to the Norman inquests or even to the later aggregations of the shire representatives in parliament. Otherwise Howel the Good has the credit of anticipating the English House of Commons by more than three hundred years. But the 'laws of Howel' both deserve and require more minute critical analysis than they have hitherto received. As indicating the national legal system, they were clung to with great enthusiasm by the Welsh up to the time of the conquest of Gwynedd by Edward I. They were looked upon with no unnatural dislike by champions of more advanced legal ideas like Edward I and Archbishop Peckham, who regarded them as contrary to the Ten Commandments (Registrum Epist. J. Peckham, i. 77, ii. 474-5, Rolls Ser.) The Welsh traditional judgment on Howel was that he was 'the wisest and justest of all the Welsh princes. He loved peace and justice, and feared God, and governed conscientiously. He was greatly loved by all the Welsh and by many of the wise among the Saxons, and on that account was called Howel the Good' (Gwentian Brut, p. 25).

[The contemporary or nearly contemporary sources are the tenth-century Harleian Annales Cambriæ and genealogies, the Anglo-Saxon Chron., and the early English charters. The Harleian Chronicle is confused in the Rolls Series edition of Annales Cambriæ with other manuscripts of much later date. The genealogy of Howel is given in pref. p.x. But both chronicle and genealogies have been carefully edited by Mr. Egerton Phillimore in Y Cymmrodor, ix. 141-83, 1888. The extracts relative to Howel are also to be found in Owen's Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales, i. xiv-xvi.The dates assigned in the text are the inferences of modern editors. Annales Cambriæ (Rolls edit.)gives the later Latin chronicles. See also Brut y Tywysogion (Rolls edit.), or better in J. Gwenogvryn Evans's carefully edited Red Book of Hergest, vol.ii.1890; the 'laws of Howel' were first printed from imperfect and late manuscripts by Dr. William Wotton in 1730 in folio, with the title 'Cyfreithjeu, seu Leges Wallicæ Ecclesiasticæ et Civiles Hoeli Boni et aliorum Principum, cum Interp. Lat.et notis et gloss.,'and in the third volume of the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, 1807. These editions have been superseded by Aneurin Owen's Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales, with an English translation of the Welsh text,London,1841, Record Commission,1 vol.fol.or 2 vols. 8vo (the 8vo edition is here cited); the ecclesiastical part of the law has been printed from Owen's edition in Haddan and Stubbs's Councils and Eccles.Docs. i. 209-83; see also F. Walter's Das alte Wales. Hubert Lewis's Ancient Laws of Wales (1889) is a disappointing book.]

T. F. T.

HOWEL ab Ieuav, or HOWEL Ddrwg, that is, Howel The Bad (d. 984), North Welsh prince, was the son of Ieuav, son of Idwal, who was imprisoned and deprived of his territory by his brother Iago about 969 (Annales Cambriæ, but not in the tenth-century MS.A). In 973 Howel was one of the Welsh kings who attended Edgar at Chester, promising to be his fellow-worker by sea and land (Flor. Wig. in Mon. Hist. Brit. p. 578). This submission procured him English aid against his uncle Iago, whom he drove out of his kingdom of Gwynedd. Henceforward he reigned in Iago's stead. Howel always showed that preference for the foreigner which caused patriotic historians of a much later generation to call him Howel the Bad, though there is nothing to show that he otherwise justified the title. Iago was taken prisoner about 978. In 979 Howel defeated and slew Cystennin, son of Iago, at the battle of Hir-barth. Having secured his kingdom, Howel joined his Saxon allies in 982, and invaded Brecheiniog (Annales Cambriæ, but cf. Brut y Tywysogion). In 984 he was himself slain by the treachery of the Saxons.

Annales Cambriæ (Rolls Ser.); Brut y Tywysogion (Rolls Ser. and ed. J. Gwenogvryn Evans); the Gwentian Brut (Cambrian Arch. Assoc.) adds many, probably doubtful, details.]

T. F. T.

HOWEL ab Edwin (d. 1044), a South Welsh prince,was son of Edwin, son of Eineon, who was the son of Owain, the eldest son and successor of Howel Dda [q. v.] In 1033, after the death of Rhydderch, son of Iestin, ruler of Deheubarth since 1023, Howel and his brother Maredudd succeeded to the government of South Wales as being of the right line of Howel Dda. The sons of Rhydderch seem to have contested Howel and his brother's claim, and next year a battle was fought at Hiraethwy between the rival houses, in which, if the 'Gwentian Brut' can be trusted, the sons of Edwin conquered. In 1035 Maredudd was slain, but before the year was out the death of Caradog [q.v.], son of Rhydderch, equalised the position of the combatants. After a few years of comparative peace Howel's son Meurug was captured by the Irish