Gwyn ap Gweir

Where do I start to tell my story? I suppose the begining is best.

I am lord Gwyn ap Gwier, known to some as brother Gwyn. In the old Welsh naming practices the name means Gwyn son of Gweir. My father is Gweir ap Gareth. Gareth is also the name of my eldest brother and the name of my son.

I was born the day before Michealmas, the year of our Lord 1554, in the old kingdom of Gwynedd, now northern Wales. I am the fifth of seven children and the youngest of four sons. In order my sibblings are: Gareth, Geriant, Adwen(my eldest sister), Dafydd, then myself and my younger sisters: Collwen and Leri.

My father was a retired knight with a modest land holding, however with three older brothers my prospects weren't very good. I showed little aptitude towards the military arts when I was young and so it was decided that I should enter the clergy. This I did on my fourteenth birthday.

It was wonderful and terrible at the same time. Wonderful because I learned to cypher and to read and write, not only in Gaelic, but Latin and French as well. I found deep satisfaction and meaning in the spiritual life. I learned herb lore, cooking and sewing.

Terrible because I was lonely. The monistary life is hard. You rise before the sun to begin your day's devotions, then you work between masses till sundown. The winter days are shorter, but the severe climate of northern Wales makes them all the more unbearable.

In the spring of 1574 my world was turned upside down. I remember it was the year I was to "take the cowel", that is to take the vows of priesthood. It was my sixth year in the monestary and until then I had only become a lay brother.

I was tending to my herbs when word reached me that my father and all three of my brothers had been murdered by bandits while on their way to tourney in Caerleon.

At the funeral I asked my sister, Adwen, if she would take the manse and allow me to stay in the monestary, but she would not hear of it. She said that it would not be proper,(and she is a very proper lady indeed), for her to take what was rightfuly mine. Besides, she had married well and had enough for herself, and more.

So I left my beloved monestaic life behind to become a land holder. I found it very boring and tedious, but I had also found a wife.

I had known Meleri most of my life, we had played together as children. She was the daughter of the blacksmith that my father employed.

We married in the spring of 1576 after a year of courtship.

My son, Gareth, was born in the spring of 1577, and another son, Victor, was born in the winter of 1580. A daughter, Meghan, was born early in 1589.

With two sons to watch over my holdings, I spend my middle years traveling, seeing the world. Perhaps we shall meet someday, in this life or the next.

Until then, faire well....