The Revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn, 1294-5
By John Griffiths
Transactions of the Caernarfonshire Historical Society, Vol. 16 (1955)
Introduction: The state of political feeling in Wales after the death of Llywelyn the last Prince, and then the defeat of his brother David in 1283, is illustrated by the fact that towards the end of the first decade of the new administration Edward I was confronted with rebellion on a large scale. It was only to be expected that national pride should manifest itself in this way for during these early years of the new regime there must have been throughout the country a deep consciousness of the loss of long cherished independence which had been jealously guarded in the past.
In many quarters, no doubt, a smouldering resentment and a sense of shame helped to spread the leaven of unrest and dissatisfaction among the native population. The introduction of new legal forms and procedures after the promulgation of the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, the presence of new officials modelled on the English pattern, and more especially in the north, the recently founded burrows like Conway and Caernarvon with their massive castles in course of erection, symbolised subjection and only served to aggravate national feelings more than ever before.
Welshmen probably gathered together in remote and secluded places in the mountains to brood over their misfortunes and to consider the chances of repelling the English invader should a favourable opportunity present itself. There must have been many courageous, tough, and resolute patriots, experienced in battle, who felt that they would rather regain their old freedom or perish in a gallant attempt to restore their former independent status.