WHEN Henry Tudor landed on the beach in Milford Haven in August 1483 his rise to the throne was far from certain.

Before facing Richard III in the famous Battle of Bosworth he had to win allies in his native land of Wales.

The man who would be king had known winning the loyalties of a divided Powys was key.

While Henry had spent much of his life in exile in Normandy he had likely been told by his Lancastrian allies and disaffected Yorkists of the complex political landscape of Wales at this time.

County Times: Henry Tudor.Henry Tudor.

Henry Tudor.

As such his march through Powys was a risk, Henry had known winning the allegiance of the powerful and influential Sir William Stanley of Holt had been key.

The Holt’s had grown powerful thanks to King Richard III though not enough to win their loyalty - or so Henry had hoped.

Henry’s journey had criss crossed mid Wales and it is known he passed Aberystwyth before arriving in Machynlleth where he sent a letter to his ally Sir Roger Kynaston to ‘assemble Lord Powis’ folk and servants and come with them defensively arrayed for war and assistance in our enterprise for the recovery of the crown of our realm of England.’

County Times: The River Dyfi.The River Dyfi.

The River Dyfi

Henry had known the lordship of Powys had splintered in 1421 following the death of Edward Charlton whose vast lands and Powis Castle had been divided between his two married daughters, Joan and Joyce.

Joan had married Sir John Grey and their great grandson had been Lord Powis at the time of Henry’s conquest while Joyce had married Sir John Tiptoft whose son was earl of Worcester until his execution in 1470 and whose widow, Elizabeth, had wed Sir William Stanley the following year.

As such Sir William had ruled the lands of his step son, the young Edward Tiptoft, including half the lands of Powys.

However the letter to Sir Roger Kynaston suggests Henry had also sought the fealty of Sir John Grey.

Henry advanced through Powys, meeting the poet Dafydd Llwyd at Mathafarn and travelling east into the Banwy Valley and the lordship of Caereinion, part of the estates of Lord John Grey who Henry had known as an ally of Richard III.

County Times: Llanfair Caereinion.Llanfair Caereinion.

Llanfair Caereinion.

Despite being just 25, Lord John had brokered a peace treaty with Scotland on behalf of King Richard just a year earlier.

However it was such a favour which had meant Lord John had been absent from Powis Castle as Henry closed.

Sir John had been sent to Brittany weeks earlier with the intent of distracting the French from supporting Henry’s invasion.

With the lord not home it had been left to his steward, Lord Kynaston to hear Henry’s call.

Kynaston traced his own lineage to the 11th century Prince of Powys Bleddyn ap Cynfan and had also been a staunch Yorkist.

For whatever reason it appears Kynaston did not act on the proclaimed intentions of Henry.

Henry marched on through Powys and by the time he arrived in Shrewsbury his armies had swelled with the forces of Sir Rhys at Thomas and Sir William Stanley added his own considerable army in Stafford.

At the Battle of Bosworth, it had been Henry who triumphed to be crowned King of England and founder of the Tudor royal line which lasted more than a century.

However, not all of Richard’s allies had surrendered.

Indeed, Sir Roger Kynaston, the steward of Powys who Henry had summoned in the summer, had led the defence of Harlech Castle against Henry’s forces for several months after the Battle of Bosworth and among the last to bend the knee to the new king.