Maurice de Londres, Lord of Kidwelly

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Maurice de Londres, Lord of Kidwelly

Also Known As: "Lord of Cydweli"
Birthplace: Ewenny, Glamorgan, Wales
Death: 1166 (63-73)
Castle Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Wales
Place of Burial: Ewenny Church, Glamorgan, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of William de Londres and Matilda de Molle
Husband of Adelase
Father of Simon de Londres; William "1st Lord of Kidwelly" de Londres and Richard De Londres

Managed by: Per Vetlesen
Last Updated:

About Maurice de Londres, Lord of Kidwelly

Maurice de Londres (died 1166)[1] was an Anglo-Norman noble. He was a son of William de Londres (died 1131), who was one of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, and his wife Matilda.

During his father's lifetime he took control of Ogmore, where he built the stone keep of Ogmore Castle in around 1126, and after the death of his father he inherited control of Oystermouth in Gower. During the Welsh uprising, after the death of King Henry I, he made a counter-attack after the defeat of the Anglo-Normans at the Battle of Loughor.

Prior to 1139 he acquired Kidwelly Castle from Roger of Salisbury and took control of Kidwelly, making him an independent lord of the Welsh Marches.[2]

He founded All Saints' Church, Oystermouth.[3] He also founded Ewenny Priory in 1141 when he granted the nearby Norman church of St. Michael to the abbey of St. Peter at Gloucester (now Gloucester Cathedral), together with the churches of St Brides Major, St. Michael at Colwinston and the manor at Lampha. The church had been built in the 12th century by his father, William de Londres. The village of Ewenny grew around the priory and church. The priory of Ewenny also contains his tomb.

In around 1159 he lost control of Kidwelly to Rhys ap Gruffydd, the Welsh prince of Deheubarth.

With his wife Adeliza, he had two sons, William de Londres (died 1211) and Thomas.

Battle and betrayal at Cydweli Castle

With her husband and the majority of his men away, Gwenllian and her sons were left vulnerable. In the early hours of the 28th of February 1136 Gwenllian received news that the Normans were amassing an army at Cydweli Castle, likely aware that Gruffydd and his men were away. Gwenllian had already decided to fight should the need arise, and after making sure her two younger sons Maredudd and Rhys were safe she rallied support from the local men. ... Gwenllian was betrayed by no less than her chieftan, Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, who instead of cutting-off the coastal landings as instructed, met with Maurice de Londres and gave away Gwenllian’s position.
A fierce battle ensued, with archers and dagger men, and eventually Gwenllian was felled from her horse. Her eldest son Morgan was killed trying to protect her, and Maelgwyn was made to watch as his injured but defiant mother was captured. The cruel Norman Lord, Maurice de Londres, who instead of acting in a chivalrous manner towards a woman captive (which was the etiquette of the time), decided she should be executed.
Poor Gwenllian was spared being burned at the stake but was beheaded there and then on the battlefield. A gruesome but quick death. It is said that a spring welled up in the place where she died, fighting to the end for Welsh freedom.
There is a touching monument to Princess Gwenllian at Cydweli Castle, and stories abound of her headless ghost roaming the field where she was so mercilessly slain. For centuries after her death Welshmen used the battle cry, “Revenge for Gwenllian!”


  1. 1.Title: Ancestry of Richard Plantagenet & Cecily de Neville Author: Ernst-Friedrich Kraentzler Publication: Accelerated Indexing Systems, Inc., 1978 Repository: Media: Book Page: 1132
  • During the rising which followed the death of Henry I, the Battle of Maes Gwenllian was fought a short distance away from the castle (1136). The account speaks of Maurice de Londres, Lord of Kidwelly, and Geoffrey, Constable of the Bishop, as leaders of the Norman army. Maurice, who is mentioned for the first time in connection with this district, already possessed Ogmore in Glamorgan, where his father William de Londres appears to have been one of the original conquerors. The coupling of the two names suggests that Roger of Salisbury, while retaining possession of the castle, had granted the lordship of the district to Maurice de Londres, who probably acquired the castle also when the bishop died in the following year.
  • Little is known about the early history of the castle, from either physical remains or documentary sources. The builder was presumably William de Londres (d 1231), as his son Maurice de Londres is recorded as lord of Oystermouth in 1151 when he granted the advowson of the church to Ewenny Priory.
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Maurice de Londres, Lord of Kidwelly's Timeline

Ewenny, Glamorgan, Wales
Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Castle Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Wales
Age 68
Castle Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Wales
Ewenny Church, Glamorgan, Wales