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Major Probert’s notes on how the parish and other lands came into the Probert estates, after the 16th-century Duke of Buckingham was beheaded, were printed in a recent Newsletter which we here reproduce:

“The Vicar’s interesting letter in the June number of the Newsletter about the Retreat at Llangasty reminded me about our old connection with the lake. The original name was “Mara” and it is shown thus on Professor William Rees’ map of South Wales in the 14th century. The following extract is from the State Papers Domestic of Henry Viii (Grants SPD-297[8] p.124 1524 June 464 [20] p.196):

“Thos ap Robert Gentlman Usher of the Chamber – Lease of the fishery of the Lake Mara, The Lordship of Brecon, S. Wales, late of Edw. Duke of Buckingham attained, for 21 years at Ann. Rent of 32sh. 28d. and 3sh. 24d. increase.”

The Duke of Buckingham had foolishly led an army of his retainers and any discontents who would rise against the King. He got no further than the Severn, where he was captured and executed. The Thomas ap Robert of Pant Glas was the King’s “Receiver” for a considerable part of Gwent, including Trellech, Edlogan, Caerleon, Trecrug and the Lordship of Usk. His father, Robert ap Jenkyn, was also on the Royal Household and held various offices locally as attested in the state papers. He and his eldest son, John, who was constable of Trecrug Castle, now called Llangibby, were murdered in Usk in 1509 by “outlaws” who, according to the warrant of their arrest, as their victims were the King’s servants, were forbidden pardon under any general amnesty. The King had signed the warrant in three places so that it could not be obliterated or torn off. The original is in the Public Record Office. Thomas ap Robert’s grandfather, Jenkyn ap Howell, whose tomb is in Tintern Abbey, was the Master Forester of Wysewood which extended from Devauden to Monmouth. The Parish of Trellech which included Penallt was a Royal manor from the time of Henry VIII.”

(Note: Whilst not being the “14th Earl, Major Probert is descended in the direct male kine, 13 generations back, from Jenkyn ap Howell.)

[from: Penallt - A Village Miscellany]