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Welsh music history


Vol. 3, 1999

Robert ap Huw : a wanton minstrel of Anglesey /

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Robert ap Huw:
A Wanton Minstrel of Anglesey
Among the criminal records of the Court of Great Sessions in
Denbighshire which were held in the town of Denbigh before Sir
Richard Lewkenor in July 1600 are depositions concerning a
remarkable case.1 The case concerned events which occurred during
the autumn of 1599 and the spring of 1600 in the parishes of
Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Llanelidan, Derwen, Gwyddelwern and
Corwen, an area straddling the southern end of the Vale of Clwyd
and northern Edeimion and the border between the two counties of
Denbighshire and Merioneth.
On the face of it the case presented little that was special; a man
had been accused of committing several offences. The first complaint
made against him, and the start of the trouble, was that he had during
the previous autumn abducted from her father's house, and without
his consent, the daughter of Ieuan ab Ithel, a minor gentleman asso-
ciated with Plas Llelo in the parish of Gwyddelwern in Merioneth.2
The accused had been staying with Ieuan ab Ithel, probably at Plas
Llelo, when he had thus abused his hospitality, and for this moral
offence he had been brought before the bishop of Bangor's Court at
Llanelidan during the second week of November 1599.3 Ieuan also
accused him of further offences, claiming that he had feloniously
taken from the house some linen and, significantly, 'writtinges', or
manuscripts.4 The depositions state that the offender had been
indicted for taking these things at the court of quarter sessions held at
Ruthin during April 1600.5 During that April, further charges were
brought against him by a Corwen gentlewoman, Margaret vch David
of Trewyn, who claimed that he had taken from her home, during
the night of 9 April 1600, three brazen vessels, a coverlet, a blanket
and a petticoat.6 He was caught at Plas Einion, Llanfair Dyffryn
Clwyd and imprisoned to answer the burglary charge at the 'tower'
in Clwyd Street, Ruthin. On the night of Saturday 10/11 May,
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