Sir Dafydd Gam ap Llewelyn (1351 - 1415) MP

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Nicknames: "Dafydd Gam o Davy Gam"
Birthplace: Peutun, Llan Ddew, Brecvonshire, Wales
Death: Died in Agincourt, Lorraine, France
Cause of death: Battle of Agincourt
Occupation: Welsh Knight, died at Agincourt, a Welsh medieval nobleman, a prominent opponent of Owain Glyndŵr, and who died at the Battle of Agincourt fighting for King Henry V, King of England in that victory against the French
Managed by: David Grant Cash, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Sir Dafydd Gam ap Llewelyn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dafydd_Gam

Dafydd ap Llewelyn ap Hywel (c. 1380 - October 25, 1415), better known as Dafydd Gam or Davy Gam, was a Welsh medieval nobleman who died at the Battle of Agincourt fighting for Henry V. The name "Gam" is taken from a Welsh word for partial lameness and stories that concern him give him a ever present characteristic squint which may have led to his nickname 'gam'. He was also a prominent opponent of Owain Glyndŵr. His descendants still remain in America now.

Biography

Dafydd Gam was a member of one of the most prominent Welsh families in Breconshire. His recent pedigree was 'Dafydd Gam ap Llywelyn ap Hywel Fychan ap Hywel ap Einion Sais', but beyond that the family claimed an ancient Welsh lineage going back to the Kings of Brycheiniog. Dafydd Gam was the grandson of Hywel Fychan, who held the manor of Parc Llettis near Llanover in Monmouthshire near Abergavenny, and fourth in descent from Einion Sais who held a castle at Pen Pont on the River Usk near Brecon and who had served at both the Battle of Crecy and the Battle of Poitiers. Their power base had developed mainly as consistently loyal supporters of the de Bohun family who were both earls of Hereford and Lords of Brecon from the thirteenth century onwards. Dafydd Gam's father, Llywelyn ap Hywel, purchased the estate of Penywaun near Brecon and Dafydd is thought to have been born there. His family was described as "a striking example of a native family that flourished under the rule of an English aristocratic family."[1] Under Llywelyn ap Hywel, the family's traditional loyalty was transferred to the new Lord of Brecon, Henry Bolingbroke, who had married Mary de Bohun in the 1380s. Some say Dafydd was previously in service to Henry's father John of Gaunt and, having killed a rival in Brecon High Street, had to leave Wales temporarily.[2] Dafydd Gam was certainly being paid the substantial annuity of 40 marks by Henry's estate in 1399, even before Bolingbroke became King, and later he and his brothers were described as King's esquires.[1] It seems likely they were prominent partisans of Henry in South East Wales as he gathered support for his overthrow of Richard II around 1399.

When the Owain Glyndŵr rebellion broke out in 1400, the family's traditional loyalty to their liege lord remained unshaken and they played a leading role in opposition to the rebellion in the area. Their lands in and around Brecon became a target for Glyndŵr's attacks, and were extensively damaged as early as 1402-1403. The Scottish chronicler Walter Bower names Dafydd as a leader in the crushing defeat of Glyndŵr's men at the Battle of Pwll Melyn near Usk on 5 May 1405.[1] After the battle, 300 of Glyndŵr's men were executed and his son, Gruffudd ab Owain Glyndŵr, was captured. Gam's local knowledge might well have played a part in the Crown's victory here and in other battles like that at Grosmont around the same time, and may have won over local Welshmen to fight against Glyndwr. The family's loyalty was rewarded with the gift of some of the rebels' estates in Cardiganshire. In 1412 Dafydd Gam was captured by Glyndwr's men and estimates of the amount paid as his ransom recorded at the time, range from 200 to 700 marks, a large amount. That it was paid directly and speedily from the King's estates in Wales indicates the esteem in which Gam was held by Henry.[1] Glyndwr had made Gam swear an oath to never bear arms against him again or oppose him in any other way. On his release Gam told King Henry of Glyndwr's whereabouts and attacked Glyndwr's men. Glyndwr had Gam's Brecon estates attacked and burned in retaliation and his Brecon house was razed.

Agincourt

Given King Henry V's leadership in the campaign against Glyndwr, Dafydd,fought alongside him. Records show that Dafydd Gam served with three foot archers in the Battle of Agincourt campaign. He saved King Henry V's life, and was knighted. Soon after, he may or may not have died on the battlefield.

. </ref> According to the legend the intervention occurred during the counter-charge of John I, Duke of Alençon, which certainly is historical, leading to the wounding of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Henry fighting hand-to-hand in the late stage of the battle. The King was hard pressed and the Duke of Alençon supposedly cut an ornament from Henry's crown with a sword blow. Then a group of Welsh knights in the King's bodyguard led by Dafydd Gam intervened to save Henry's life, only for some to be killed in doing so, including Dafydd himself, and his son in law Sir Roger Vaughan. One of those supposedly involved in this exploit was Sir William ap Thomas who survived the battle. Some accounts claim Dafydd slew the Duke of Alençon himself. This story was being frequently told by the Tudor period in histories of the campaign and by the descendants of those involved and was widely accepted as the truth at that time. Although both Gam and Vaughan did die in the battle. the exact circumstances of their death are unknown. Gam's reputation was still very much alive in nineteenth-century Wales. George Borrow said of him: "where he achieved that glory which will for ever bloom, dying, covered with wounds, on the field of Agincourt after saving the life of the king, to whom in the dreadest and most critical moment of the fight he stuck closer than a brother."[3] Juliet Baker, while not accepting the rest of the legend, states in her authoritative history of Agincourt that "Llewelyn was knighted on the field, only to fall in the battle." She says Dafydd's Welsh comrade, and posthumous son-in-law, Sir William ap Thomas may have been knighted at Agincourt.[4]

Descendants

Some of Dafydd's descendants, who adopted the surname 'Games' to mark their connection to him, remained one of the most powerful families in the Breconshire area till Stuart times.[5] They were noted for their support for Welsh bards. His beautiful daughter Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, the 'Star of Abergavenny', made two good marriages, the first to Sir Roger Vaughan, who also died at Agincourt. Her second was to Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan Castle who survived the battle. Her son became the extremely powerful William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423-1469) and took the surname Herbert, later to become one of the most well known names in the nobility.

Like his opponent Glyndŵr, Gam has gained a sheen of legend and many stories about him are late oral traditions, folklore and family legends which may be unreliable. Chief amongst them is the tale that he tried to assassinate Glyndŵr at his parliament at Machynlleth in 1404. The still standing Royal House in that town is where, according to local lore, he was imprisoned when the attempt failed. The legends differ on his fate after the attempt failed some state Owain in a generous gesture let Gam go soon after the Parliament, despite Gam's refusal to submit, a decision he was later to regret. Others claim he was imprisoned for years, but given Gam's seeming participation in the Battle of Pwll Melyn in 1405 they certainly cannot be true. The stories concering his rivalry with Glyndŵr include satirical englyn in Welsh supposedly composed by Glyndywr himself on his rival after burning his house to the ground. These stories also contain descriptions of Gam recorded by George Borrow: "He was small of stature and deformed in person, though possessed of great strength. He was very sensitive of injury, though quite as alive to kindness; a thorough-going enemy and a thorough-going friend."[2] Whatever the truth of these tales there seems no doubt that Glyndŵr and his men, and popular tradition, regarded Dafydd as one of the chief enemies of the rebellion. Gam is a key character in John Cowper Powys's novel Owen Glendower.

He is better known in England as "Davy Gam", by which name he is mentioned briefly in Shakespeare's Henry V (4.8.102) as the last name in the short list of the fallen read out to King Henry. He may have made an even larger contribution to the play for as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states Dafydd: "may indeed, as has been suggested, be the model for Shakespeare's Fluellen, the archetypal Welshman."[1] This theory making Dafydd Gam one of the sources for the play has long been discussed, as early as 1812 it was said "There can be little doubt but that Shakspeare, in his burlesque character of Fluellen, intended David Gam."[4][6][7]

Fluellen: "If your Majesty is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps, which your Majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service, and I do believe, your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day". King Henry: "I wear it for a memorable honour; for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman".

Shakespeare captures the local Monmouthshire dialect (still readily to be heard in the town of Monmouth and the hill villages of Trellech and Catbrook) with its glottal sounds.

Monmouthshire Traditions

According to local legend one of Gam's homes was a moated manor house [1] at Llantilio Crossenny, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire (where just the moat remains today [2], at Hen Gwrt near the modern-day village). There is a legend or story that persists in this part of Monmouthshire that Davy Gam, and all his children had a turn in their eye making them cross-eyed and that if they all linked hands they could reach from the church door to Hen Gwrt. Dafydd Gam is commemorated in a stained glass window, of unknown date, at Llantilio Crossenny church, in the north wall. The inscription is in Latin and the transcription reads 'David Gam, golden haired knight, Lord of the manor of Llantilio Crossenny, killed on the field of Agincourt 1415'.

Notes

1.^ a b c d e Dafydd Gam, Entry in the Dictionary of National Biography

2.^ a b George Borrow. "Wild Wales". Chapter LXXIX. http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/b/borrow/george/wild/chapter79.html.

3.^ http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/b/borrow/george/wild/chapter79.html George Borrow, Wild Wales

4.^ a b Juliet Barker, Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England (Little, Brown and Company, 2006) page 304.

5.^ Games Family monument in Brecon

6.^ Baker, David Erskine, Isaac Reed, and Stephen Jones. Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse. 2 vols. London: Longman, 1812, Page 294.

7.^ J. Madison Davi, The Shakespeare Name and Place Dictionary (Routledge, 1995) page 170

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-------------------- We are from the line of David Gam who was killed at battle of Aggencourt fighting for Henry V. His units actions got him knighted although he died of his wounds. He was born approx. 1385 is from a line of Welch Royalty.

David died at Battle of Agincourt, France, Oct. 25, 1415. ("Gam" is a nickname which like other Welsh nicknames, is the equivalent of a surname. 'Gam' means squinting. David is said to have married, Gwenllian, daughter of Gwilyn, son of Hywel Grach. David's daughter, Gwladus, by her second husband, Sir William ab Thomas of Hagan, was the mother of William, the first Herbert, earl of Pembroke.

-------------------- SIR DAFYDD2 GAM (LLYWELYN AP HYWEL1 FYCHAN, HYWELA, HOWELL AP EINONB SAIS, EINONC, RHYS OFD ABERLLYFNI, HOWELLE, TRÆHÆRNF, GWRGANG, BLEDDYN APH MÆNARCH, MÆNARCH API GRIFFN, DRYFFINJ, HUGANUSK, GWENDT APL ANGHARAD, RODERICK THEM GREAT, MERFYN-FRYCHN, CAWRDAFFO, CRADOCP) (Source: Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #0612, Date of Import: Jul 7, 1998.) was born ç 1375 in Brecon, Wales, and died October 25, 1415 in the Battle of Agincourt, Pas de Calàis, France {now Azincourt}. He married GWENLLIAN HOWELL (Source: Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #0612, Date of Import: Jul 7, 1998.) Unknown, daughter of GWILYM. She was born Unknown in Wales, and died Unknown in Wales.

Notes for SIR DAFYDD GAM:

Although Shakespeare penned this work nearly two hundred years after the Battle of Agincourt (1415), it remains the finest dramatic interpretation of what leadership meant to the men in the Middle Ages.

Prior to the Battle, Henry V had led his English footmen across Northwestern France, seizing Calais and other cities in an attempt to win back holds in France that had once been in English possession and to claim the French crown through the obscure but powerful Salig Law.

The French, aware of Henry's troops weakening condition because of their distance from England and the attacks of Dysentery that had plagued the dwindling band, moved between King Henry and Calais, the port he needed to reach in order to return to England. The troops followed Henry's band along the rivers, preventing their crossing and daring them to a battle they thought they could not win.

The English knights fought on foot after the manner devised by Edward III. Archers were to be used in support, the English and Welsh longbows having established their credentials both at Crecy (1347) and at Poiters (1356). But here the French seemed to have sufficient numbers to deal with even this threat, and they refused to allow Henry pass, angered by the English seizure of the cities.

Morale in the English line as they looked upon the overwhelming force of heavily armoured, highly skilled French knights must have been extremely low. King Henry, rising to the occasion, spoke words of encouragement that rallied the English troops and carried them to a victory. As a result of the victory the French Princess Catherine was betrothed to Henry V, and France and England were at peace for the remainder of Henry's short life. He perished of dysentery in 1422, but was survived by his son (Henry VI) and was buried at Westminster Abbey, close to the shrine of Edward the Confessor.

Although the speech below is a work of fiction, it is evocative of the spirit with which Henry--and all strong medieval kings--ruled through the strength of their convictions and by force of their personality.

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St. Crispen's Day Speech

William Shakespeare, 1599

Enter the KING

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?

My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;

If we are mark'd to die, we are enow

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God's will! I pray Thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires.

But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.

No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.

God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour

As one man more methinks would share from me

For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,

And crowns for convoy put into his purse;

We would not die in that man's company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is call'd the feast of Crispin.

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,

And rouse him at the name of Crispin.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispin.'

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,

But he'll remember, with advantages,

What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,

Familiar in his mouth as household words-

Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-

Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispin shall ne'er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition;

And gentlemen in England now-a-bed

Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

More About SIR DAFYDD GAM:

Cause of Death: battle wounds

Military service: 1415, Died in the battle of Agincourt.

misc.: The name Gam was aquired due to a 'squint eye' Dafydd had.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dafydd_Gam

-------------------- DAFYDD GAM (d. 1415 ), Welsh warrior , was the son of Llywelyn ap Hywel Fychan , a Brecknock landowner of the stock of Einon Sais , whose castle stood at Pen-pont on the river Usk . His byname signified that he squinted or had lost an eye . Tradition averred that he fled from his homeland after killing his relative, Richard of Slwch , in the High Street of Brecon . He first appears, as a king's esquire , in April 1400 ; in this capacity he was to receive forty marks a year ( Cal. Close Rolls , 79). Since Henry had been for some years, through his marriage to Mary Bohun , in control of the lordship of Brecknock , the association was probably not new; Dafydd , at any rate, remained a loyal Lancastrian until his death. In Nov. 1401 he was rewarded out of rebel lands ( Cal. Pat. Rolls , 11), and, according to the Scottish historian , Walter Bower , he had a part in the royal victory over Owain Glyn Dŵr at Pwll Melyn , near Usk , on 5 May 1405 ( Scotichronicon , ed. W. Goodall , 1759 , ii, 452). This date throws doubt upon the familiar story of his treacherous attack upon Owen at the parliament of Machynlleth in 1404 ; it has other doubtful features, and, in any case, is not heard of until the time of Robert Vaughan , Hengwrt (d. 1667 ) . That Dafydd fell into the hands of Glyn Dŵr is certain, but that was at a much later date; it was in June 1412 , when the revolt was nearing its collapse, that the seneschal and the receiver of Brecon , with the assent of Llywelyn ap Hywel , the prisoner's father, were empowered to treat with Owen as to the ransom of ‘David Gamm,’ tenant in the lordship of Brecon ( Cal. Pat. Rolls , 406). The release was effected, and the final scene came in 1415 , when David went with his royal master to France , to meet his death on the field of Agincourt . Legends gathered round the end of this puissant fighter; in particular, it was believed that he was knighted on the fatal day. An influential posterity kept up his reputation; for two centuries and a half the Games clan were prominent in Brecknock affairs, at Aberbrân , Newton (near Brecon ), Tre-gaer , Buckland , and Penderyn , until the male line died out and the surname disappeared. The last sheriff to bear it was Hoo Games of Newton ( 1657 ). Through the marriage of his daughter Gwladus to Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan (see under Herbert , William , d. 1469 ), Dafydd Gam was forefather of all the Herberts . Bibliography:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ; J. E. Lloyd , Owen Glendower / Owen Glyn Dwr , 1931 , 43, 142, 148; Gwaith Lewis Glyn Cothi , 1-15; Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches , 1846 , i, 56-7. Author:

Sir John Edward Lloyd, D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. (1861-1947), Bangor

Dafydd Gam From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Sir Dafydd ap Llewelyn ap Hywel (c. 1380 – October 25, 1415), better known as Dafydd Gam or Davy Gam, was a Welsh medieval nobleman, a prominent opponent of Owain Glyndŵr. He died at the Battle of Agincourt fighting for King Henry V, King of England in that victory against the French. The name "Gam" is taken from a Welsh word for "lame/deformed" (from which 'gammy', as in 'gammy leg', may be derived), and stories about him give him a characteristic squint which may have led to his nickname 'gam' . It is possible that he may have lost an eye. Regarded as a traitor ("Crooked David") by some Welshmen, he is regarded as a hero by others; his reputation has waxed and waned with those of his enemy Owain Glyndŵr and his ally King Henry V. Contents [hide] 1 Biography 1.1 Agincourt 1.2 Descendants 2 Legacy 2.1 Monmouthshire Traditions 3 External links 4 Notes Biography[edit]

Dafydd Gam was a member of one of the most prominent Welsh families in Breconshire. His recent pedigree was 'Dafydd Gam ap Llywelyn ap Hywel Fychan ap Hywel ap Einion Sais', but beyond that the family claimed an ancient Welsh lineage going back to the Kings of Brycheiniog. Dafydd Gam was the grandson of Hywel Fychan, who held the manor of Parc Llettis near Llanover in Monmouthshire near Abergavenny, and fourth in descent from Einion Sais who held a castle at Pen Pont on the River Usk near Brecon and who had served at both the Battle of Crecy and the Battle of Poitiers. Their power base had developed mainly as consistently loyal supporters of the de Bohun family who were both earls of Hereford and Lords of Brecon from the 13th century onwards. Dafydd Gam's father, Llywelyn ap Hywel, purchased the estate of Penywaun near Brecon and Dafydd is thought to have been born there. His family was described as "a striking example of a native family that flourished under the rule of an English aristocratic family."[1] Under Llywelyn ap Hywel, the family’s traditional loyalty was transferred to the new Lord of Brecon, Henry Bolingbroke, who had married Mary de Bohun in the 1380s. Some say Dafydd was previously in service to Henry's father John of Gaunt and, having killed a rival in Brecon High Street, had to leave Wales temporarily.[2] Dafydd Gam was certainly being paid the substantial annuity of 40 marks by Henry’s estate in 1399, even before Bolingbroke became King, and later he and his brothers were described as King’s esquires.[1] It seems likely they were prominent partisans of Henry in South East Wales as he gathered support for his overthrow of Richard II around 1399. When the Owain Glyndŵr rebellion broke out in 1400, the family’s traditional loyalty to their liege lord remained unshaken and they played a leading role in opposition to the rebellion in the area. Their lands in and around Brecon became a target for Glyndŵr's attacks, and were extensively damaged as early as 1402-1403. The Scottish chronicler Walter Bower names Dafydd as a leader in the crushing defeat of Glyndŵr's men at the Battle of Pwll Melyn near Usk on 5 May 1405.[1] After the battle, 300 of Glyndŵr's men were executed and his son, Gruffudd ab Owain Glyndŵr, was captured. Gam’s local knowledge might well have played a part in the Crown's victory here and in other battles like that at Grosmont around the same time, and may have won over local Welshmen to fight against Glyndŵr. The family's loyalty was rewarded with the gift of some of Glyndŵrs' supporters' confiscated estates in Cardiganshire. In 1412 Dafydd Gam was captured by Glyndŵr’s men and estimates of the amount paid as his ransom recorded at the time, range from 200 to 700 marks, a large amount. That it was paid directly and speedily from the King’s estates in Wales indicates the esteem in which Gam was held by Henry.[1] Glyndŵr had made Gam swear an oath to never bear arms against him again or oppose him in any other way. On his release Gam told King Henry of Glyndŵr's whereabouts and attacked Glyndwr's men. Glyndŵr had Gam's Brecon estates attacked and burned in retaliation and his Brecon house was razed. Agincourt[edit] Given King Henry V's leadership in the campaign against Glyndŵr, Dafydd would have known the new King crowned in 1413 personally, and perhaps even fought alongside him. Records show that Dafydd Gam served with three foot archers in the Battle of Agincourt campaign. His death in the battle was a fact noted in several contemporary chronicles.[1] There is much controversy about whether Gam was knighted at the battle. His example shows that Welshmen continued to fight in the English army after the Glyndŵr rebellion. Stories of Gam’s exploits at Battle of Agincourt in which he saved Henry V’s life, and that he was knighted either posthumously or as he was dying on the field of victory at Agincourt by King Henry V as a result, are not vouched for in contemporary sources and have thus been discounted by many historians.[1][3] According to the legend the intervention occurred during the counter-charge of John I, Duke of Alençon, which certainly is historical, leading to the wounding of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Henry fighting hand-to-hand in the late stage of the battle. The King was hard pressed and the Duke of Alençon supposedly cut an ornament from Henry’s crown with a sword blow. Then a group of Welsh knights in the King’s bodyguard led by Dafydd Gam intervened to save Henry's life, only for some to be killed in doing so, including Dafydd himself, and his son in law Sir Roger Vaughan. One of those supposedly involved in this exploit was Sir William ap Thomas who survived the battle. Some accounts claim Dafydd slew the Duke of Alençon himself. This story was being frequently told by the Tudor period in histories of the campaign and by the descendants of those involved and was widely accepted as the truth at that time. Although both Gam and Vaughan did die in the battle, the exact circumstances of their deaths are unknown. Gam’s reputation was still very much alive in 19th-century Wales. George Borrow said of him: “where he achieved that glory which will for ever bloom, dying, covered with wounds, on the field of Agincourt after saving the life of the king, to whom in the dreadest and most critical moment of the fight he stuck closer than a brother.”[4] Juliet Barker, while not accepting the rest of the legend, states in her authoritative history of Agincourt that "Llewelyn was knighted on the field, only to fall in the battle." She says Dafydd's Welsh comrade, and posthumous son-in-law, Sir William ap Thomas may have been knighted at Agincourt.[5] Descendants[edit] Some of Dafydd's descendants, who adopted the surname 'Games' to mark their connection to him, remained one of the most powerful families in the Breconshire area until Stuart times.[6] They were noted for their support for Welsh bards. His beautiful daughter Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, Seren y Fenni (the Star of Abergavenny), made two good marriages, the first to Sir Roger Vaughan, who also died at Agincourt. Her second was to Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan Castle who survived the battle. Her son became the extremely powerful William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423-1469) and took the surname Herbert, later to become one of the best known names in the nobility. All these noble connections ensured Dafydd Gam's name remained a celebrated one. Legacy[edit]

Like his opponent Glyndŵr, Gam has gained a sheen of legend and many stories about him are late oral traditions, folklore and family legends which may be unreliable. Chief amongst them is the tale that he tried to assassinate Glyndŵr at his parliament at Machynlleth in 1404. The still standing Royal House in that town is where, according to local lore, he was imprisoned when the attempt failed. The legends differ on his fate after the attempt failed some state Glyndŵr in a generous gesture let Gam go soon after the Parliament, despite Gam’s refusal to submit, a decision he was later to regret. Others claim he was imprisoned for years, but given Gam’s seeming participation in the Battle of Pwll Melyn in 1405 they certainly cannot be true. The stories concering his rivalry with Glyndŵr include satirical englyn in Welsh supposedly composed by Glyndŵr himself on his rival after burning his house to the ground. These stories also contain descriptions of Gam recorded by George Borrow: “He was small of stature and deformed in person, though possessed of great strength. He was very sensitive of injury, though quite as alive to kindness; a thorough-going enemy and a thorough-going friend.”[2] Whatever the truth of these tales there seems no doubt that Glyndŵr and his men, and popular tradition, regarded Dafydd as one of the chief enemies of the rebellion. Gam is a key character in John Cowper Powys's novel Owen Glendower. The stories certainly testify to Dafydd Gam’s position as typifying the loyal and valiant Welshman by the Tudor period. He is better known in England as "Davy Gam," by which name he is mentioned briefly in Shakespeare's Henry V (4.8.102) as the last name in the short list of the noble fallen read out to King Henry. He may have made an even larger contribution to the play for as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states Dafydd: “may indeed, as has been suggested, be the model for Shakespeare's Fluellen, the archetypal Welshman.”[1] This theory making Dafydd Gam one of the sources for the play has long been discussed, as early as 1812 it was said “There can be little doubt but that Shakspeare, in his burlesque character of Fluellen, intended David Gam.”[5][7][8] Fluellen: "If your Majesty is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps, which your Majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service, and I do believe, your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day". King Henry: "I wear it for a memorable honour; for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman". Monmouthshire Traditions[edit] According to local legend one of Gam's homes was a moated manor house [1] at Llantilio Crossenny, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire (where just the moat remains today [2], at Hen Gwrt near the modern-day village). There is a legend or story that persists in this part of Monmouthshire that Davy Gam, and all his children had a turn in their eye making them cross-eyed and that if they all linked hands they could reach from the church door to Hen Gwrt. Dafydd Gam is commemorated in a stained glass window, of unknown date, at Llantilio Crossenny church, in the north wall. The inscription is in Latin and the transcription reads 'David Gam, golden haired knight, Lord of the manor of Llantilio Crossenny, killed on the field of Agincourt 1415'. External links[edit]

Aerial photo of Hen Gwrt near Llantilio Crossenny Notes[edit]

^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Dafydd Gam, Entry in the Dictionary of National Biography ^ Jump up to: a b George Borrow. "Chapter LXXIX". Wild Wales. Jump up ^ The latter account is given by Jonathan Baldo in his "Wars of Memory in Henry V" (Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 2. (Summer, 1996), pp. 132-159), 150. Baldo does not mention why Dafydd ap Llewelyn was knighted. Jump up ^ http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/b/borrow/george/wild/chapter79.html George Borrow, Wild Wales ^ Jump up to: a b Juliet Barker, Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England (Little, Brown and Company, 2006) page 304. Jump up ^ Games Family monument in Brecon Jump up ^ Baker, David Erskine, Isaac Reed, and Stephen Jones. Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse. 2 vols. London: Longman, 1812, Page 294. Jump up ^ J. Madison Davi, The Shakespeare Name and Place Dictionary (Routledge, 1995) page 170 -------------------- Dafydd ap Llewelyn ap Hywel (c. 1380 - October 25, 1415), better known as Dafydd Gam or Davy Gam, was a Welsh medieval nobleman, a prominent opponent of Owain Glyndŵr, who died at the Battle of Agincourt fighting for King Henry V, King of England in that victory against the French. The name "Gam" is taken from a Welsh word for "lame/deformed" and stories that concern him give him a characteristic squint which may have led to his nickname 'gam' (from which derivation 'gammy' comes, as in 'gammy leg'). It is possible that he may have lost an eye. Regarded as a traitor, (Crooked David), by some Welshmen, he is regarded as a hero by others, his reputation has waxed and waned with his enemy Glyndŵr and his ally King Henry V.

Contents

[hide]

   * 1 Biography
         o 1.1 Agincourt
         o 1.2 Descendants
   * 2 Legacy
         o 2.1 Monmouthshire Traditions
   * 3 External links
   * 4 Notes

[edit] Biography

Dafydd Gam was a member of one of the most prominent Welsh families in Breconshire. His recent pedigree was 'Dafydd Gam ap Llywelyn ap Hywel Fychan ap Hywel ap Einion Sais', but beyond that the family claimed an ancient Welsh lineage going back to the Kings of Brycheiniog. Dafydd Gam was the grandson of Hywel Fychan who held the manor of Parc Llettis near Llanover in Monmouthshire near Abergavenny, and fourth in descent from Einion Sais who held a castle at Pen Pont on the River Usk near Brecon and who had served at both the Battle of Crecy and the Battle of Poitiers. Their power base had developed mainly as consistently loyal supporters of the de Bohun family who were both earls of Hereford and Lords of Brecon from the thirteenth century onwards. Dafydd Gam's father, Llywelyn ap Hywel, purchased the estate of Penywaun near Brecon and Dafydd is thought to have been born there. His family was described as “a striking example of a native family that flourished under the rule of an English aristocratic family.”[1] Under Llywelyn ap Hywel, the family’s traditional loyalty was transferred to the new Lord of Brecon, Henry Bolingbroke, who had married Mary de Bohun in the 1380s. Some say Dafydd was previously in service to Henry's father John of Gaunt and, having killed a rival in Brecon High Street, had to leave Wales temporarily.[2] Dafydd Gam was certainly being paid the substantial annuity of 40 marks by Henry’s estate in 1399, even before Bolingbroke became King, and later he and his brothers were described as King’s esquires.[1] It seems likely they were prominent partisans of Henry in South East Wales as he gathered support for his overthrow of Richard II around 1399.

When the Owain Glyndŵr rebellion broke out in 1400, the family’s traditional loyalty to their liege lord remained unshaken and they played a leading role in opposition to the rebellion in the area. Their lands in and around Brecon became a target for Glyndŵr's attacks, and were extensively damaged as early as 1402-1403. The Scottish chronicler Walter Bower names Dafydd as a leader in the crushing defeat of Glyndŵr’s men at the Battle of Pwll Melyn near Usk on 5 May 1405.[1] After the battle, 300 of Glyndŵr's men were executed and his son, Gruffudd ab Owain Glyndŵr, was captured. Gam’s local knowledge might well have played a part in the Crown’s victory here and in other battles like that at Grosmont around the same time, and may have won over local Welshmen to fight against Glyndwr. The family’s loyalty was rewarded with the gift of some of the rebels' estates in Cardiganshire. In 1412 Dafydd Gam was captured by Glyndwr’s men and estimates of the amount paid as his ransom recorded at the time, range from 200 to 700 marks, a large amount. That it was paid directly and speedily from the King’s estates in Wales indicates the esteem in which Gam was held by Henry.[1] Glyndwr had made Gam swear an oath to never bear arms against him again or oppose him in any other way. On his release Gam told King Henry of Glyndwr's whereabouts and attacked Glyndwr's men. Glyndwr had Gam's Brecon estates attacked and burned in retaliation and his Brecon house was razed.

[edit] Agincourt

Given King Henry V’s leadership in the campaign against Glyndwr, Dafydd would have known the new King crowned in 1413 personally, and perhaps even fought alongside him. Records show that Dafydd Gam served with three foot archers in the Battle of Agincourt campaign. His death in the battle was a fact noted in several contemporary chronicles.[1] There is much controversy about whether Gam was knighted at the battle. His example shows that Welshmen continued to fight in the English army, even after the Glyndwr rebellion.

Stories of Gam’s exploits at Battle of Agincourt in which he saved Henry V’s life, and that he was knighted either posthumously or as he was dying on the field of victory at Agincourt by King Henry V as a result, are not vouched for in contemporary sources and have thus been discounted by many historians.[3][1] According to the legend the intervention occurred during the counter-charge of John I, Duke of Alençon, which certainly is historical, leading to the wounding of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Henry fighting hand-to-hand in the late stage of the battle. The King was hard pressed and the Duke of Alençon supposedly cut an ornament from Henry’s crown with a sword blow. Then a group of Welsh knights in the King’s bodyguard led by Dafydd Gam intervened to save Henry’s life, only for some to be killed in doing so, including Dafydd himself, and his son in law Sir Roger Vaughan. One of those supposedly involved in this exploit was Sir William ap Thomas who survived the battle. Some accounts claim Dafydd slew the Duke of Alencon himself. This story was being frequently told by the Tudor period in histories of the campaign and by the descendants of those involved and was widely accepted as the truth at that time. Although both Gam and Vaughan did die in the battle. the exact circumstances of their death are unknown. Gam’s reputation was still very much alive in nineteenth-century Wales. George Borrow said of him: “where he achieved that glory which will for ever bloom, dying, covered with wounds, on the field of Agincourt after saving the life of the king, to whom in the dreadest and most critical moment of the fight he stuck closer than a brother.”[4] Juliet Baker, while not accepting the rest of the legend, states in her authoritative history of Agincourt that "Llewelyn was knighted on the field, only to fall in the battle." She says Dafydd's Welsh comrade, and posthumous son-in-law, Sir William ap Thomas may have been knighted at Agincourt.[5]

[edit] Descendants

Dafydd’s descendants, who adopted the surname 'Games' to mark their connection to him, remained one of the most powerful families in the Breconshire area till Stuart times.[6] They were noted for their support for Welsh bards. His beautiful daughter Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, the 'Star of Abergavenny', made two good marriages, the first to Sir Roger Vaughan, who also died at Agincourt. Her second was to Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan Castle who survived the battle. Her son became the extremely powerful William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423-1469) and took the surname Herbert, later to become one of the most well known names in the nobility. All these noble connections ensured Dafydd Gam’s name remained a celebrated one.

[edit] Legacy

Like his opponent Glyndŵr, Gam has gained a sheen of legend and many stories about him are late oral traditions, folklore and family legends which may be unreliable. Chief amongst them is the tale that he tried to assassinate Glyndŵr at his parliament at Machynlleth in 1404. The still standing Royal House in that town is where, according to local lore, he was imprisoned when the attempt failed. The legends differ on his fate after the attempt failed some state Owain in a generous gesture let Gam go soon after the Parliament, despite Gam’s refusal to submit, a decision he was later to regret. Others claim he was imprisoned for years, but given Gam’s seeming participation in the Battle of Pwll Melyn in 1405 they certainly cannot be true. The stories concering his rivalry with Glyndŵr include satirical englyn in Welsh supposedly composed by Glyndywr himself on his rival after burning his house to the ground. These stories also contain descriptions of Gam recorded by George Borrow: “He was small of stature and deformed in person, though possessed of great strength. He was very sensitive of injury, though quite as alive to kindness; a thorough-going enemy and a thorough-going friend.”[2] Whatever the truth of these tales there seems no doubt that Glyndŵr and his men, and popular tradition, regarded Dafydd as one of the chief enemies of the rebellion. Gam is a key character in John Cowper Powys's novel Owen Glendower.

The stories certainly testify to Dafydd Gam’s position as typifying the loyal and valiant Welshman by the Tudor period. He is better known in England as "Davy Gam," by which name he is mentioned briefly in Shakespeare's Henry V (4.8.102) as the last name in the short list of the fallen read out to King Henry. He may have made an even larger contribution to the play for as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states Dafydd: “may indeed, as has been suggested, be the model for Shakespeare's Fluellen, the archetypal Welshman.”[1] This theory making Dafydd Gam one of the sources for the play has long been discussed, as early as 1812 it was said “There can be little doubt but that Shakspeare, in his burlesque character of Fluellen, intended David Gam.”[7][8][5]

   Fluellen: "If your Majesty is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps, which your Majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service, and I do believe, your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day".
   King Henry: "I wear it for a memorable honour; for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman".

Shakespeare captures the local Monmouthshire dialect (still readily to be heard in the town of Monmouth and the hill villages of Trellech and Catbrook) with its glottal sounds.

[edit] Monmouthshire Traditions

According to local legend one of Gam’s homes was a moated manor house [1] at Llantilio Crossenny, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire (where just the moat remains today [2], at Hen Gwrt near the modern-day village). There is a legend or story that persists in this part of Monmouthshire that Davy Gam, and all his children had a turn in their eye making them cross-eyed and that if they all linked hands they could reach from the church door to Hen Gwrt. Dafydd Gam is commemorated in a stained glass window, of unknown date, at Llantilio Crossenny church, in the north wall. The inscription is in Latin and the transcription reads 'David Gam, golden haired knight, Lord of the manor of Llantilio Crossenny, killed on the field of Agincourt 1415'.

[edit] External links

   * Aerial photo of Hen Gwrt near Llantilio Crossenny - its the square in the bottom right

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dafydd Gam, Entry in the Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ a b George Borrow. "Wild Wales", Chapter LXXIX. 
  3. ^ The latter account is given by Jonathan Baldo in his "Wars of Memory in Henry V" (Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 2. (Summer, 1996), pp. 132-159), 150. Baldo does not mention why Dafydd ap Llewelyn was knighted.
  4. ^ http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/b/borrow/george/wild/chapter79.html George Borrow, Wild Wales
  5. ^ a b Juliet Barker, Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England (Little, Brown and Company, 2006) page 304.
  6. ^ Games Family monument in Brecon
  7. ^ Baker, David Erskine, Isaac Reed, and Stephen Jones. Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse. 2 vols. London: Longman, 1812, Page 294.
  8. ^ J. Madison Davi, The Shakespeare Name and Place Dictionary (Routledge, 1995) page 170

wikipedia.com

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Sir Dafydd Gam ap Llewelyn's Timeline

1351
1351
Peutun, Llan Ddew, Brecvonshire, Wales
1374
1374
Age 23
Llan Ddew, Peutun, Breconshire, Wales
1379
1379
Age 28
Of Peutun, Llan-Ddew, Breconshire, Wales
1381
1381
Age 30
Of Peutun, Llan-Ddew, Breconshire, Wales
1383
1383
Age 32
Of Peutun, Llan-Ddew, Breconshire, Wales
1391
1391
Age 40
Of Peutun, Llan-Ddew, Breconshire, Wales
1395
1395
Age 44
United Kingdom
1415
October 25, 1415
- October 25, 1415
Age 64
October 25, 1415
Age 64
Agincourt, Lorraine, France
1932
January 27, 1932
Age 64