Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/136

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Thomas refused at first, though at last he yielded to the alarm of his monks, and promised all that was demanded. But Tyler's rebellion had in the meantime been suppressed, and within a month the abbey tenants and burgesses were brought to terms, the privileges extorted given up once more, and Grindcobbe and his chief supporters executed.

Thomas's remaining years were troubled only by constant illness, the result of an attack of the plague. For the last ten years of his life he was unable to attend in parliament through old age and sickness, while the rule of the abbey was chiefly left to John Moote, the prior. Thomas died on 15 Sept. 1396, aged 87, and was buried in the presbytery under a marble tomb, on which there was a fine brass of Flemish workmanship with an effigy. This brass has now been removed for safety to the chantry of Abbot William Wallingford close by. The tomb bore the following inscription:

Est Abbas Thomas tumulo præsente reclusus,
Qui vitæ tempus sanctos expendit in usus.

Walsingham describes Thomas as a man of piety, humility, and patience, homely in dress, austere to himself but kindly to others, and especially to his monks; a learned divine, well acquainted with English, French, and Latin, a good speaker, a bad but rapid writer. In his youth he had delighted in sports, but afterwards, out of his love for animals, came to abhor hunting and hawking. He was withal of a strong and masterful spirit, which, if ill suited to meet the social troubles of his time, enabled him to raise St. Albans to a high pitch of wealth and prosperity. Despite the great sums which he spent on litigation, he increased the resources of the abbey, which he had found much impoverished. He adorned the church with many vestments, ornaments, and pictures, especially with one over the high altar, which he procured in Italy. Various parts of the abbey were rebuilt or repaired by him, and in particular the great gate, which is now the only important building left besides the church. He also spent much on charity, and especially on the maintenance of scholars at Oxford. His chief fault was a rash and credulous temperament, which made him too ready to trust unworthy subordinates. But against Thomas himself even the rebels of 1381 had no complaint (Gesta, iii. 307), and he may justly be regarded as the greatest of the abbots of St. Albans, and a not unworthy type of the mediæval monastic prelate.

[Walsingham's Gesta Abbatum, ii. 371-449, iii. 1-423, in the Rolls Series, but especially ii. 361-97, and iii. 375-423; Dugdale's Monasticon, ii. 197-8; Froude's Annals of an English Abbey, in Short Studies on Great Subjects, 3rd ser., is not always quite fair to Thomas.]

C. L. K.

MAREDUDD ab OWAIN (d. 999?), Welsh prince, was the son of Owain ap Hywel Dda. According to the sole authority, the contemporary 'Annales Cambriæ,' he lived in the second period of Danish invasion, a time of great disorder in Wales as elsewhere, and first appears as the slayer of Cadwallon ab Idwal, king of Gwynedd, and the conqueror of his realm, which, however, he lost in the ensuing year. In 988, on the death of his father Owain, he succeeded to his dominions, viz. Gower, Kidwelly, Ceredigion, and Dyfed, the latter probably including Ystrad Tywi. His reign, which lasted until 999, was mainly spent in expeditions against his neighbours (Maesyfed was attacked in 991, Morgannwg in 993, Gwynedd in 994) and in repelling the incursions of the Danes. On one occasion he is said to have redeemed his subjects from the Danes at a penny a head.

Maredudd's only son, so far as is known, died before him. But so great was the prestige he acquired in his brief reign that his daughter, Angharad, was regarded, contrary to ordinary Welsh custom, as capable of transmitting some royal right to her descendants. Her first husband, Llywelyn ap Seisyll [q. v.], ruled Gwynedd from about 1010 to 1023, their son, the well-known Gruffydd ap Llywelyn [q. v.], from 1039 to 1063. By her second marriage with Cynfyn ap Gwerstan she had two other sons, Rhiwallon and Bleddyn, of whom the latter, with no claim on the father's side, ruled Gwynedd and Powys from 1069 to 1075 and founded the mediæval line of princes of Powys.

[Annales Cambriæ, Rolls ed. The dates given above are nearly all approximate.]

J. E. L.

MAREDUDD ap BLEDDYN (d. 1132), prince of Powys, was the son of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn (d. 1075), founder of the last native dynasty of Powys. During his earlier years he played only a subordinate part in Welsh affairs, being overshadowed by his brothers lorwerth [q. v.] and Cadwgan (d. 1112) [q. v.] He joined them in the support which they gave to their over-lord, Earl Robert of Shrewsbury, in his rebellion against Henry I (1102), but lorwerth soon went over to the king and, while making his peace with Cadwgan, consigned Maredudd to a royal prison. In 1107 Maredudd escaped and returned to