of Broniarth and Trelydan, parish of Guilsfield, Montgomeryshire; He was the son of Gruffudd ap Ieuan ap Madoc ap Gwenwys by Maud, daughter of Griffri ap Rhys Vongam. The Gwenwys clan traced its ancestry from Brochwel Ysgythrog. Their principal houses lay in the parish of Guilsfield, in the commote of Strata Marcella. The family, including Gruffudd ap Ieuan, took a prominent part on the side of Owain Glyn Dŵr. Later in life this Gruffudd held a position under the lords of Stafford at Caus castle, and at that period Lewis Glyn Cothi addressed an ode to him. It is difficult to accept a statement by Lewis Dwnn (Visitations, i, 312) that ‘Sr. Griffith Vaughan of Gwenwys Kt.’ was a burgess of Welshpool on 7 June 1406. There is a persistent tradition that Gruffudd Vaughan was in the band of Welshmen who are said to have saved the life of Henry V when he rushed to rescue his brother, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, at Agincourt, 1415. The belief grew that he, like Dafydd Gam, Roger Vaughan, and others, were knighted on the field. These knights are not recorded in Shaw's Knights of England. If Gruffudd Vaughan was of age he could well have been at Agincourt, for two of his territorial lords, Sir John Grey, son-in-law of Sir Edward de Cherleton (see family article), lord of Powys, and Sir Hugh Stafford, lord of Caus, were in that campaign, in the retinue of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. The view that he was the ‘Griffin Fordet’ of a French chronicle of Agincourt must be rejected. The first certain record of him is in connection with the capture, in November 1417, of Sir John Oldcastle, lord Cobham, the Lollard, in a glade on Pant-mawr farm in Broniarth, called ‘Cobham's Garden.’ A reward of 1,000 marks had been promised for the capture of the fugitive. News reached London on 1 December that he was in the custody of Sir Edward de Cherleton at Welshpool. The Council ordered his immediate despatch to London, where he was condemned to a traitor's death by Parliament on 14 December The reward for his capture was awarded to the lord of Powys, but he died before receiving it, though a portion was paid to his widow in 1422. The principal agents in the capture were four of the tenants of the lord of Powys, Ieuan and Griffith, sons of Gruffudd ap Ieuan, being two of them. By a charter dated at Mathrafal, 6 July 1419, Sir Edward de Cherleton pardoned the murders and felonies committed by them on the occasion, and granted them their lands in Strata Marcella free of certain rents and services. At Shrewsbury, 4 March 1420, in the presence of the king and of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, the four acknowledged satisfaction by the lord of Powys for their portion of the reward for the capture of Oldcastle. It is likely that most of Gruffudd Vaughan's service in France belongs to the ensuing period. Sir John Grey fell at Baugé, 3 April 1421, and it is said that his body was brought home for burial at Welshpool. It would have been natural for Gruffudd Vaughan to have taken a leading part in such an arrangement. A Welsh poet, Owain ap Moel perhaps (see under Llywelyn ap Moel), in a cywydd states that Gruffudd Vaughan was made an esquire in London and knighted in a town beyond Rouen in France. It may be gathered that his promotion was largely due to the patronage of duke Humphrey. He was styled knight and was back in Wales before 1443, when, on 10 August, he pierced with a lance the heart of his master, Sir Christopher Talbot (1419 - 1443), third son of the earl of Shrewsbury, and the champion tilter of England. He was outlawed and a reward of 500 marks offered for his capture, as the death of the young knight was not regarded as an accident. His son, Reynold, and David Lloyd (who could have been his nephew or a person of the same name who was his second cousin), shared his outlawry for treason. Sir Henry Grey, earl of Tancarville, managed to entice him into Powys castle by means of a safe conduct (according to his elegy by Dafydd Llwyd) on 9 July 1447, and he was there peremptorily beheaded. The earl took immediate steps to claim the reward and a privy seal was issued on 20 July, but it was not paid, and his son, Richard Grey, sought a new grant after his father's death. It is suggested that jealousy of Sir Gruffudd Vaughan's position and his descent from the princely families of Powys led Sir Henry Grey to take advantage of the outlawry. The Welsh poets were infuriated by his treachery, and the indignant elegies of Lewis Glyn Cothi and Dafydd Llwyd ap Llywelyn ap Gruffudd have survived. In the pedigree books Sir Gruffudd is given two wives: Margaret, daughter of Madoc of Hope in Worthen, and Margaret, daughter of Griffith ap Jenkin, lord of Broughton. He left three sons: Cadwaladr, ancestor of the Lloyds of Maes-mawr; Reynold, ancestor of the Wynns of Garth in Guilsfield; and David Lloyd, ancestor of the Lloyds of Leighton and Marrington. Reynold and David Lloyd received the royal pardon, 21 December 1448. Tudur Penllyn composed an elegy upon the deaths of three sons of David Lloyd and his brother Cadwaladr, who died at the same time. The theory put forward by the compilers of the History of Parliament, that this David Lloyd was Member of Parliament for Guildford, 1459, 1460-1, is untenable. He died in 1489, and elegies were composed to his memory by Dafydd Llwyd of Mathafarn (‘Trwm fu'r codded a'r tremig’) and Owain ap Llywelyn ap Moel (‘Gwayw im yn y gïau oedd’). He seems to have been drowned when his horse shied and plunged into the sea from a transport. His will, made 12 May 1489, was proved 10 January following.
Published date: 1959
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