The Last Adventure of Richard Siward David Crouch One of the more enigmatic figures of thirteenth-century England was Richard Siward (his name was rendered variously as Suard, Suhard, Seward, Suward or Syward). His origins are obscure, and probably were humble, yet before he died in 1248 he featured in many of the great events of the reign of Henry III. Passages of his life were spent in France, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, but, strange to say, one of its last and more dramatic acts was played out in Glamorgan. It could be said that his life was much like that told by Shakespeare's s idiot, and indeed in the end it signified little: his great estates were rapidly lost, and his male line ended early in the fourteenth century. But it did produce one indirect result for which we in Glamorgan should be grateful: the town of Cowbridge. According to the legends surrounding the Norman settlement of Glamorgan, Richard Siward was one of the twelve knights settled by Robert fitz Hamo in the lordship he had conquered from the Welsh. This was a frank impossibility, and is the result of a sixteenth-century attempt to fit legend to early records. In fact Richard's antecedents were English; so much is obvious from his name a patronymic. He features, indeed, in his earliest appearances as 'Richard son ofSiward' It does not follow that hisfatherwas actually called by the English name of Siward, but one of his immediate ancestors may have carried the name. Early references seem to link him to Yorkshire, and the retinue of the northern magnate, the count of Aumale, lord of Holderness. At some time around 1215 a young freeman by the name of Richard son of Siward, of Farnham in Lower Nithsdale, killed a certain Alexander of Farnham. He was arrested and imprisoned in nearby Knaresborough castle. The war between King John and his barons led to Richard's release into someone's retinue in order to fight. 3 There is no certainty that this Richard son of Siward was the Richard Siward who is the subject of this article, but it is possible. The brawling, homicidal streak is quite in character, and indeed, a man of the name of Richard son of Siward appears in a humble capacity in the retinue of the Yorkshire magnate William de Forz II, count of Aumale, at some time between 1214and 1217. To clinch the identification of this Aumale follower with Richard Siward, it is only necessary to note that our Richard was a prominent follower of the same