Baffled by Welsh geography [closed]

+6 votes

Can anybody supply sources for information on this profile? He is stated to have been born at Chepstow in Monmouthshire, but on what evidence? His second marriage is stated to be at Gower in Glamorgan, which seems to be an area containing many villages. His death is stated to be at Glamorgan in Monmouthshire, which I'm unable to trace. Can any project members elucidate?

PS I've looked in the Complete Peerage at but it seems to offer no help.

WikiTree profile: Henry Somerset
closed with the note: No outcome
in Genealogy Help by Living Flower G2G6 Mach 1 (12.8k points)
closed by Living Flower
Glamorgan and Monmouthshire were two different counties (Wales has different counties now).  Chepstow was in Monmouthshire.  Gower was in Glamorgan.  The two counties shared a boundary but there is no "Glamorgan" in Monmouthshire, so something is wrong there.

It’s also worth pointing out that neither county existed until the Laws in Wales Act came into force in 1536, after Henry’s birth and marriages but before his death. Before then this area comprised a number of separate Marcher Lordships (one of which was the Lordship of Glamorgan, but this did not contain Gower, which was a separate lordship).

Thanks, Anon. This is one of the answers I was hoping to see, that it is anachronistic to apply post-1536 boundaries to Wales before that date.

1 Answer

+6 votes
Both Gower and Chepstow are viable locations for both events.

Oystermouth castle in Gower passed to the William Herbert in 1461 and then to the Somersets on Charles Somerset's marriage to Elizabeth Herbert in 1492, according to the Oystermouth castle histories. However, the title of Lordship of the Gower was removed from William Herbert in 1479 by Edward IV and passed to Edward's son Prince Edward.

When Richard III usurped Prince Edward, William Herbert regained some of his former lands and titles as Justiciar of South Wales but lost them again after Richard's defeat at Bosworth in 1485; effectively becoming only a landlord.

Chepstow castle was granted to William Herbert (Elizabeth's father) in 1468 and on to Elizabeth on his death in 1491. So again it would become a Somerset asset on marriage.
by Steve Jones G2G2 (3.0k points)
Many thanks, Steve, for your helpful observations. Credible places are not however the same as proven places, and so far nobody has come up with any evidence for where Henry was born, married, or died. Which suggests to me that the profile needs adjustment by its managers.
I quite agree. A lot of tourist attractions will potentially claim a connection with an historical figure to add interest to any guide book. I threw my hat in because I visit Chepstow and the other marcher baron castles frequently (before lockdown), I'm only about 30 minutes drive from Chepstow. I also spent several years working, travelling and living in Wales and have a good knowledge of Wales, the language and customs (though I don't speak welsh fluently).

Hywl fawr

Steve J
No profile manager has responded, and the unsourced locations have not been edited. What's the use of raising questions on this forum?
Well you tried ... I've pointed out absolutely clear-cut errors on profiles with 20-odd managers and they've never been corrected.

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