21 June 2008

William and Morgan Go to London

Historical Series, part 1

William ap Ievan was an excellent Welsh archer. In those days, he was one of the best. So much so that he caught the eye of Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford who was the Lord of Glamorgan, sat in Cardiff Castle. William was from just outside present-day Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan, which to this day remains the more Anglicised part of Wales; partly due to its proximity to London and the heart of England, also due to its role in the Wars of the Roses, fought in part by Jasper.

You see, Jasper was a Tudor, before the name Tudor was made infamous by King Henry VIII. Tudor is an anglicisation of the Welsh Tewdwr, which was a common name in those days, which happened to be Jasper's great-grandfather's name. Jasper's father's name was anglicised from Owain ap Marededd ap Tewdwr to Owen Tudor, setting up what would be the Tudor Dynasty, and the lineage of the monarchs of England to go henceforth. Jasper and his father Owen laid claim to the kings of the old Welsh kingdoms of Powys, Gwynedd, and Deheubarth, having descended from Rhys ap Gruffudd (The Lord Rhys), among others.

Jasper's mother was the former Queen Catherine of Valois (valois meaning French for Fortune), who succeeded her husband King Henry V of England. Also Catherine was the daughter of the succession of French kings; her father being King Charles VI (le Bienaimé or le Fol) of France, being of the line of French kings that began with King Philip VI le Fortuné.

In the days during the Wars of the Roses, Welsh marriages were outlawed and were done in secret. Thus, Jasper's two daughters were considered bastards, although had it not been for the infighting in England between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians, and the Welsh struggle to show support for England after Richard III ascended, the marriage and the children would have been legitimate in the eyes of English law.

Anyway, this story isn't about Jasper, after all, it is about William and Morgan. William surely had impressed Jasper so much that he consented to the marriage between William and his daughter Joan Tudor. The Wars of the Roses were over at this point, their marriage legitimised, and they had a son, Morgan ap William.

Now with the ascension of Jasper's nephew Henry VII (whom much time was spent with Jasper in his younger years) to the throne of England, and William with his status of top archer, William made the obvious choice. He brought his family to London to join in King Henry VII's entourage.

As the years went on, Morgan grew up and married a woman named Catherine from Putney, just outside London, daughter of a brewer who ran his own alehouse in that town. Little did Morgan know in the years to come that her younger brother (13 years between them, as Catherine was 22 when she married Morgan) will come to work for the royal family and again alter the course of English history.


Ted D said...


Work + Weakwaters + Rakes = fuzzy brain.

Best I can figure?

Jasper had a hard time keeping it in his pants.

I'll try again tomorrow, man.

Redbeard76 said...

Maybe, maybe not. Like I said, because of the Wars of the Roses, the English outlawed the Welsh to marry, thus making their children illegitimate. It's not necessarily that he slept around, it's that the English law didn't recognise his marriage to Catherine Woodville until Henry VII was made king in 1485.

He could have, but that's not the point to the story. Morgan and his continued line had that link to a royal ancestry.

Ishat's Fire said...

I am unfamiliar with Welsh history.

This is interesting.

Does AP mean son of?

Redbeard76 said...

Precisely, Ishat. Thanks for bringing that up. With all the anglicisation going on, all the aps and naps were going the way of the dinosaurs and druids. The old Welsh way of naming was that the last name was actually your father's first name. For daughters, the corollary would be Verch.

Yes, there was quite a bit of research that's gone into this. A biography was the jumping off point, but surprisingly Wikipedia was quite helpful, along with Familysearch.com. (Ancestry.com you have to pay $$ for the results, which is rubbish.)

Ishat's Fire said...

I agree it is rubbish to have to pay for public records.

I wish every town hall just put the public records on line. That would researching family lines so much easier.

I had remember the Russians and others often named sons "son of".

The Anglicizing mixed with the fear that everyone will speak Spanish soon really gets some people weird about the whole thing. I think if more people traveled to Europe where they could see you can speak a different language without losing your own they might chill out a little.

Redbeard76 said...

It's different for America though. It's not like a small country like Wales who's losing their national identity by getting invaded. (Currently there is a resurgence of the Welsh language in schools, especially in the north where it's at its strongest.) America's such a large country jumbled with so many ethnicities, although the Spanish-speaking one is a major one (10%, or roughly 30 million).

I can understand how some people can be frightened of losing a national identity, but like we ever really had one solid identity, but to white racists their idea of America is endangered. Sure racism plays a part of it, and we really shouldn't be frightened at all. We should be so lucky that so many groups have assimilated into one new culture.

It's not like we're getting invaded militarily like Wales was (and Britain as a whole, first with the Romans, then the Danes, then William the Conqueror and the Normans), but culturally which is more subtle but pervasive if the invading culture is unwilling to assimilate.

However, it was William and Morgan's choice to anglicise their names as they moved to London to a)fit in with the locals, and b) be more progressive and moving forward with the times to assimilate.

Ishat's Fire said...

I am glad to here that the Welsh are keeping their language alive. It is very important.

Redbeard76 said...

Yes, and if Scotland succeeds in its bid for independence from the UK which is coming up soon, possibly Wales may try to do the same.

Sparkle Plenty said...

WOW...COOL, Redbeard! I'm too sleepy to try to say anything smart (or do math), but I'm really going to enjoy reading this. Wow!

Love your new little icon!

Ishat's Fire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ishat's Fire said...

I am all for succeeding back to being your own country.

I have always been for Quebec succeeding too. I think Cake might enjoy that as well.

Hey if everyone did that would countries try to reconquer them all. Remember when ma bell broke up than everything slowly came back together?

I watched the Zohan at the drive in with the pack of wild, um I mean my lovely wee ones. At the drive in, of course. Kung Fu Panda was fun, don't tell anyone I said so. Oh yeah, Don't mess with the Zohan. That movie did give me a chance to explain Israel, Palestine and ( Mom, why are they bring in ) Lebanon. I also pointed out people from the middle east don't call themselves Arab, unless they are. I do remember that from my childhood friend's house

Redbeard76 said...

I can't say I'm for Quebec independence. It would tear Canada asunder into 2 pieces - the Maritimes, and the rest of Canada Ontario and west. I don't think Quebec or the maritimes would succeed without the rest of the country - Ontario is such an economic powerhouse, or the oil and resources in Alberta.

However, Vermont has spoken lightly about secession but most people don't take it much seriously. After all, Vermont may be the one state that has to be the conscience for the rest of the country. ;0)

Redbeard76 said...

I hope this chapter isn't reading like the bible (Jacob begot Ishmael, Ishmael begot Ham, Ham begot Japheth, etc...).

I promise part 2 will be vastly different, to focus on only one generation in a completely different point of view.

Sparkle Plenty said...

A brisk batch of begatting generally lays the groundwork for all else that follows...Looking forward to Part 2!

beep said...

I would be so interested to know more about your sources for this information as I may be a direct descendant of Joan Tudor. As you may know, Jasper's illegitimate daughter Helen was proven and is even listed at thepeerage.com, and there is some evidence Jasper had a son who received some royal funds. Naturally I want to know more about Joan but some historians scoff at the idea she could have been a child of Jasper's. I personally hope she is. It is a lot easier to research one's family if they are in history books.

Redbeard76 said...

Thank you for your interest, beep.

My research comes from two sources: Antona Fraser's Cromwell: The Lord Protector and Wikipedia internet sites for Jasper Tudor, Catherine de Valois, Owen Tudor, amongst others.

I would like to research this further if you have more knowledge on the subject as it is of high interest to me personally. I will visit the peerage site as you recommend. I also believe that I am a direct descendant as well, so that is something we have in common. If you care to, please contact me using the email link in my profile. Thank you so much.

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