The Real Christmas Day Massacre at Abergavenny Castle

People who don’t understand

People who don’t understand, who only believe liars and haters, people who have failed to make up their own minds as to the truth - they call me the Ogre of Abergavenny. Wrong! They do the typical thing and BLAME. The fact is my whole strategy of containment, from the beginning, has been a great success, a huge success. These were extremely dangerous people we were dealing with, the Welsh, people who should not have been allowed back on the battlefield. But that is what the losers and my enemies wanted! They wanted me to invite these people to one of my castles, they wanted me to feed them, they wanted me to donate large amounts of money and food and ale to these ruthless killers, because it was Christmas, and when they were done, when they had taken everything they wanted, wave them goodbye, maybe give them some presents, give them their weapons, and just wait around for them to attack us again. Nice! It couldn’t happen! I was never going to let that happen.


Let’s just remind ourselves of who we were dealing with here. Seisyll ap Dyfnwal was a crooked murderer. In the 1160s he fought Henry Fitzmiles constantly, in all the disgusting ways insurgents fight. My uncle Henry was a good guy, a real good guy. Maybe not so smart as a commander in chief, definitely not, but he tried to fight a kind of holding action against Murderer Seisyll and all his murderers with one hand behind his back. My many enemies would have liked me to fight the same way.


Murderer Seisyll played Henry for such a fool. They made these horrible deals, and then when the deals got broken they fought again, and in the end Seisyll had Henry killed. Maybe Murderer thought that the next guy in the castle at Abergavenny would do the same thing, make a club where people could get together, talk and have a good time. Too bad! The castle was passed to me. Real nice piece of estate, up above the river, but in a terrible state, run down.


First thing I did was build the walls up properly

First thing I did was build the walls up properly. Got everyone working and made them do it right, got the Welsh to pay for it with their taxes, and King John in London could see there was some wonderful work going on right away - he was completely supportive of the strategy. HE IS A GREAT GUY! A greatly talented King. He fully supported us when I started a MOVEMENT: Make the Crown Great. I greatly strengthened and expanded our military capabilities. My people cleared forests, drained the swamps, pushed back all the scrub and cover the terrorists had been using to attack the castle. I made sure the soldiers and men at arms were properly equipped and trained. I got some good leaders in there - very impressive people! And you don’t hear anyone talking about how I did it all for FAR LESS MONEY than Uncle Henry had been spending getting nothing done!

Despite all the distorted and inaccurate gossip, all the scorning and being called terrible names, within a hundred days Abergavenny castle was a mighty stronghold in the Marches. The civilised world now extended to Abergavenny! We had changed the thinking! And Murderer Seisyll, if he looked at the numbers of soldiers we were getting trained and armed, he would have seen his own were way down. Big trouble.

Dead. Murderer Seisyll had managed to beat a decent guy who wanted peace, not hard, but coming up against a real war leader with a vision and a movement, he had no talent. He was going to be out. I devoted ZERO TIME to worrying about how to make peace with terrorists. Did the Welsh ever ask us how we could peacefully co-operate, how they could join the movement or stop opposing it, what they could do to make the roads safe for hard working and wonderful people and travellers? I don’t think so! Instead they sat around in the hills trying to figure out how to get rid of me and stop the movement. Sad.

The idea of marching out into the hills, where we didn’t control the territory, where we didn’t know the ground, where we could be betrayed or ambushed any time was a crazy idea, dangerous.


I gathered a team, truly great and talented men

I gathered a team, truly great and talented men, patriots indeed, to plan very smoothly, very effectively and very efficiently how we could defeat the terrorists once and for all and Make the Marches Safe for Civilisation and Make the Crown Great. My agenda was based on a simple core principle. Finishing the Terrorist Threat. As part of this plan I asked my Team for Permanent Change to develop a list of executive actions we could take on Day One of the new year to restore our laws and bring back our security. In fact, we did it even sooner, on Christmas Day 1175.

We realised that we had to fight them on our ground, in our territory. We realised that to do this effectively we needed to separate the terrorists from their weapons,  So important. We needed a strategy to protect our people, everyone, and I mean everyone, from surprise attacks and all other form of attack. And so we decided to invite Murderer Seisyll ap Dyfnwal and his son Geoffrey and all the leading terror chiefs from Powys and their most deadly fighters to a Christmas Day Feast, under a flag of truce, in the castle, where they could eat and drink and discuss cooperation in complete safety. We wanted a lasting peace. They said they did too, but they lied. It went so smoothly. These people were so arrogant and so dangerous they thought they could kill my uncle, then come to my castle and eat out the stores. Not nice. Bad instincts.


We welcomed them all to the castle

We welcomed them all to the castle. We stacked all their weapons and their armour in the guard room and locked it. We made sure their servants and their horses had all the food they needed, and then we started the feast. It was a great feast, a truly great feast. They ate goose, venison, pigeons, all kinds of fowls. If I had been sitting in the castle of the man I killed I would not have been so arrogant as to eat so much food I could barely stand, and drink all the mead and beer Murderer Seisyll and his terrorists drank, even if it was Christmas. Lousy leadership.

They drank so much. Then Murderer Siesyll said he wanted to make a speech of thanks and friendship. That was the moment we locked the main doors. And then my security teams burst in wearing full armour, swords drawn. The terrorists fought very hard, they were very dangerous deadly murderers who would have slaughtered us if they had the chance. They were extremely violent people who could not be allowed back on the battlefield. We grabbed every single one of them and gave them the justice they deserved. From the moment they walked in there without their weapons they had lost so badly they just didn’t know what to do. Funny to watch, they didn’t have a clue! They had treated us with total disdain and disrespect if they thought we could be murdered into submission. But we stayed strong, and we won a great victory, a truly great victory. When you catch a nest of deadly killers like that you cannot afford to be weak.

We hunted down Murderer Siesyll’s son

We hunted down Murderer Siesyll’s son, Cadwaladr, seven years-old and bound to be a killer like his father, and we gave him justice too. Because of biased gossip and false reports, and many exaggerations and people saying horrible things, the news of the Christmas Victory did not get the praise it deserved at Court. My many enemies, losers and jealous people, misrepresented the story until King John asked me to move from Abergavenny and take care of business in Hereford. You could tell how successful my strategy was, because my son William foolishly abandoned it, with the result that the Welsh stormed Abergavenny Castle in 1182 and captured William and his wife! That would never have happened if he had listened to me. Bad mistake.


I am William de Braose, and I approved the Christmas Victory 1175, at Abergavenny Castle.


Horatio Clare 2017