William de Braose came from a long line of powerful Marcher Lords, whose families ruled the borderlands between Wales and England. He was born in Brecon, probably between 1197 and 1204. The Welsh, who detested him and his family name, called him Gwilym Ddu, Black William. He married Eva Marshal, the daughter of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and they had four daughters, including Isabella and Maud (who feature in Another Kind of Magic)
In Wales, Llywelyn ab lorwerth, or Llywelyn the Great, was a Prince of Gwynedd in north Wales and de facto ruler over most of Wales, a position he held for some 40 years. Following the death of his ally, King John of England, Llywelyn concluded the Treaty of Worcester and engaged in border campaigns, often clashing and allying with Marcher families, including William.
In 1228, the lives of these two men crossed during one such border clash. In the course of the fighting, Llywelyn’s forces captured de Braose. Negotiations for William’s release took place, but during his time as a prisoner, de Braose had determined to ally himself to Llywelyn and offered his daughter Isabella in marriage to Llywelyn’s heir, Dafydd.
William was freed but on Easter Sunday 1230, William returned to Llywelyn’s court to discuss the union. However, William had other business to attend to. During the diplomatic visit, Llywelyn’s staff found de Braose in the prince’s bedchamber with Llywelyn’s wife, Joan, Lady of Wales. On 2 May 1230, William was publicly hanged for his indiscretion. Joan was placed under house arrest for one year. The marriage between Dafydd and Isabella, it went ahead as planned.
William de Braose is one of the main characters in Another Kind of Magic. If you like swords and sorcery, witches, cats and magic, the third novel in the Caitlyn trilogy, Another Kind of Magic, is out now. Click here to select the bookstore of your choice.
The second novel in the Caitlyn trilogy is out now. You can obtain your copy here.
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