SCUDAMORE family, of Herefordshire.

Originally one of the lesser families of the March, having been settled in Ewias since the early 12th century, two branches in particular, those of Holm Lacy and Kentchurch, in time emerged as leading gentry in the modern history of the county of Hereford. At one period the Kentchurch branch also became intimately linked with events in Wales. In the 13th century they acquired property within the lordship of Abergavenny by the marriage of Sir ALAN SCUDAMORE with the daughter and sole heiress of the lord of Troy, not far from Monmouth. Four generations later Sir Alan's great-grandson married ALICE, one of the daughters of Owain Glyn Dwr.

Sir JOHN SCUDAMORE I, Owain's son-in-law, was at the outset of the rebellion in royal service, and in 1403 was actually the custodian on the king's behalf of Carreg Cennen castle where for a time he withstood Owain's onslaughts. Whatever Scudamore's subsequent attitude was to the Welsh leader, a member of his family, PHILIP SCUDAMORE, of Troy, laid down his life for Owain; and there is a strong tradition, the most credible perhaps among those which relate to Owain's later years, that Owain ended his days on one of Scudamore's estates, Monnington Straddel in the Golden Valley.

His son and heir, Sir JOHN SCUDAMORE II, has earned a reputation on his own account as one of the most stalwart and consistent supporters of the Lancastrian cause in Wales during the Wars of the Roses. He was with Jasper Tudor at Mortimer's Cross in 1461, and though he himself managed to escape to hold Pembroke castle for a while on Jasper's behalf, several close relatives, including his eldest son, HENRY, were among those beheaded after the battle. He was among those who with Jasper were excluded from the general pardon offered by Edward IV, and though he had been promised that he would not be deprived of his property when he ceded the castle of Pembroke, his estates were eventually forfeited. He married Joan, daughter of John Parry of Poston in Ewias, and their son James married Maud, daughter of Gruffudd ap Nicolas of Newton, Dynevor. The Kentchurch and other properties were subsequently restored to their issue.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.

Find out more on our sponsorship page.