ANST - FW: Musing on October 3rd -- Isabel, Dafydd & Ash

j'lynn yeates jyeates at
Tue Oct 3 22:09:43 PDT 2000

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- -----Original Message-----
From: Ellsworth Weaver [mailto:astroweaver at]
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 00:02
To: 2thpix at
Subject: Musing on October 3rd -- Isabel, Dafydd & Ash

Dear Folk,

On October 3rd, several notable things happened. The first and most
important happened in 1983. Branwyn NicBrock, mundanely known as Ash
Weaver, came into this world to enhance and enchant my existence.
Happiest of birthdays, Ash  May you always thirst for knowledge, may
you always hunger for the truth, may you refuse the sleep of popular
culture, may you walk the razor’s edge. I am immensely and
proud of you.

Also on this day in 1568, Isabel (or in English, Elizabeth) de Valois
died in childbirth. Isabel born 1546 was the eldest daughter of King
Henri II of France and Catherine de’ Medici. She was the third wife
Philip II of Spain. A small recap might be in order.

Catherine de’Medici was heir to her Florentine family, the best made
marriage arranged by her generation. Her portrait is here She had uncles who
were popes and cardinals. For nine years after she married Henri II
was barren. Henri made certain he went off and sired children by
country gals to prove it wasn’t his fault. Catherine tried everything
legal and holy, when that did not work she tried other things. Rumor
always had that those shall we say "mystical" methods cursed her
On that ninth year, Catherine conceived  Francois II who married Mary
Stuart (ruled 1559-1560) to die of a mastoid infection. Thereafter
Catherine had a child every year. Isabel was her eldest daughter.
came Charles IX (ruled 1560-1574) who died of tuberculosis; Henri III
who ran away from being king of Poland to pick up the scepter when
Charles died; Hercule (later renamed Francois) a dwarfish, weak
against his mother and brother Charles, and Margaret de Valois (Queen
Margot) who married Henry of Navarre (later Henri IV, first of the
Bourbon kings).

When Francois II died, Mary Stuart went back to Scotland. We have
already talked about her marriages and her unhappy ending with
Elizabeth I’s headsman in "Gals, Gunpowder and Golf." Check the
archives if you have forgotten.

Isabel was pretty in her own way, I have seen her portrait. You might
want to look at it here Her face somewhat
looked like her mother but with a little of the Valois grace added to
it. She grew to be taller than her rather close to the ground mom
Mary Stuart was unkind enough to call "that dumpy Florentine
shopkeeper" or words to that effect. She was only thirteen when she
married to Philip by proxy in June 1559 just a few months after his
second wife died.  Isabel finally met Philip in Guadalajara in
1560. Incidentally Isabel was originally engaged to Philip’s drooling
son, Don Carlos.

Philip had already had two wives: Mary of Portugal who had given
to a demented son Don Calros and Mary Tudor Queen of England  (Bloody
Mary). Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s daughter by Catherine of Aragon, did
not give Philip any children and then died off in England when Philip
came home to Spain.  So Isabel (or Elizabeth, however you wish to
and pronounce it) was Queen of Spain.

Isabel died tragically young in childbirth. She was barely 22 at the
time. Philip it appears actually loved her unlike his cold Mary
After her death, Philip married Anne of Austria who was the daughter
Emperor Maximillian II.

Philip II, who was a Habsburg, loved his Isabel but showed complete
disdain for her mother, Catherine. Philip saw his role in life as the
eradicator of Protestantism. Catherine was allowing the Huguenots
religious freedom. Not exactly Philip’s game plan. You may remember
that Philip was the one who launched the Spanish Armada (1588)
his ex-sister-in-law Elizabeth I of England. He also was the guy who
made the Spanish Inquisition the tool of righteousness that it
He involved Spain in so many campaigns that there was little left in
the treasury. So, he had some tolerance issues and did not play well
with anyone not of his brand of Christianity. Isabel loved him.

You know, not bad for a Florentine shop keeper! Catherine was wife to
king and gave birth to three kings and two queens. Incidentally,
Nostradamus predicted every bit of it. He was Catherine’s astrologer.

On October 3, 1283, Dafydd (pronounced "Davith") the last actually
resident Prince of Wales was executed by Edward I "Longshanks."

Wales had been going through some independence and sovereignty
King John had taken much of Wales away. Under the Treaty of Woodstock
with King Henry III in 1247, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd ("son of Griffith")
had to cede all the lands east of the River Conwy to England. This
not suit Llywelyn’s brothers, Owain and Dafydd. They raised armies
against Llywelyn and even got the English occasionally to back their
plays. It was just what the English wanted: Welsh fighting each

In 1255, Llywelyn defeated his brothers at the battle of Byrn Derwin.
He was never to trust Owain again. Dafydd remained free. Llywelyn
set out to establish rule over all of Gwynedd (north Wales) and then
over the rest of Wales. In 1267, Henry III surprised almost everyone
accepting Llywelyn’s homage and position as Prince of Wales in the
Treaty of Montgomery.

Things went differently when Henry III’s son, Edward, took the throne
in 1276. He insulted the Welsh  and their leader. Llywelyn was a
man. He refused to pay the money Wales owed in tribute under the
of the Treaty of Montgomery. He further tempted fate by arranging to
marry Eleanor, daughter of rebel baron Simon de Montfort (see "Father
of Democracy"), this cheesed Edward no small amount. And just in case
England did not get the message, Llywelyn fortified some old castles,
and built a new one overlooking the Severn valley.

Enough was enough, and in 1276-77 Edward had decided that it was
clobbering time. Edward came out to lead the troops at Chester in
1277, and by August he had some 15,600 pug-ugly Brits in his pay.
Against these odds, Llywelyn had no choice but to sue for peace. The
ensuing Treaty of Aberconwy represented a comprehensive humiliation
the prince of Wales. He was no longer trusted as overlord of Wales.
Wales lost all its territorial gains. On the bright side of things,
boy you had to look hard, Edward did allow Llywelyn to finally marry
Eleanor de Montfort.

Things and the Welsh stewed for a bit. On March 21 (my birthday BTW),
1282, Llywelyn's brother, Dafydd, attacked Hawarden Castle and
off the war of 1282-83. Like Popeye said "I’ve stood all I can stands
and I can’t stands no more." This was directed east toward England.

Now what to do? Llywelyn was faced with an almost impossible dilemma.
He was torn between his fealty to the king and his loyalty to his
brother Dafydd and his people.  Llywelyn eventually was to side with
his brother and led the Welsh resistance to the inevitable invasion
Edward I. By the end of the year Llywelyn was dead, having been
on  December 11 in a brief engagement with English forces at Irfon
Bridge near Builth Wells. Dafydd despite his warlike spirit was not
leader his brother Llywelyn was. He was betrayed by other Welsh and
captured by the English. Edward took great pleasure, it is said, in
stamping out the last of this line. Dafydd on this day October 3,
was executed. Edward took the title Prince of Wales and gave it to
son, Edward II (see "Eddie and the Cruisers’) and we all know how
that turned out.

What have we learned? Edward I and Philip II had a habit of getting
their way? Even shopkeepers can succeed with luck, pluck, and some
"mystical" help? Philip II did his part to keep the world Catholic by
bankrupting Spain? Sometimes you just have to go in and try to bail
your brother even if you know it is a foolish thing to do? How about
daughter is a treasure beyond price? Works for me.

Friends and readers, if you are out there attacking the Huguenots,
marrying your son’s fiancee, or just plain whomping the Brits, and
wish to forward these missives, grammercy! Only do remember to keep
name and sig. attached.

Loving gray whales and Earl Grey tea,
J. Ellsworth Weaver

SCA – Sir Balthazar of  Endor
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