In the time of April and May, when once again the meadows and the pastures become green, and all living things renew their virtue and beauty and strength, and the hills and the valleys resound with the sweet warble of the birds, and, by reason of the beauty of the weather and of the season, all hearts are uplifted and made glad, then is it meet that we should call to remembrance the adventures and the brave deeds of our ancestors, who made endeavour to seek honour in loyalty, and to relate such things as should be profitable to many.
Good sirs, of old have you heard tell how that William the Bastard, the Duke of Normandy, came, with a great host, and folk without number, into England, and there conquered by force all the land, and slew the King Harold, and caused himself to be crowned at London, and established peace and laws as it pleased him, and bestowed lands on divers folk who came with him. At that time Owen Gwynned was Prince of Wales, and he was a valiant and dexterous warrior, and the King feared him more than all beside. This Owen had laid waste all the march, and all was void from Chester unto Mount Gilbert. And the King equipped himself very richly, and with a great host he came into the county of Shrewsbury, and found all the towns from Chester unto Shrewsbury burnt, for the Prince claimed all the march for his own, and as pertaining to Powis.
And the Prince withdrew, for he dared not await the King. And the King was very wise, and he bethought him that he would give the lands of the march to the most valiant knights of all his host, to the end that the march might be defended against the Prince, to their own profit, and to the honour of their lord, the King. And the King called unto him Roger de Belehealme, and gave unto him all the county of Shrewsbury free of all service, and it was called a County Palatine. And Roger founded without the town of Shrewsbury an abbey of St. Peter, and he endowed it right richly. And he held the county all his life. He began a castle at Brugge, and another he began at Dynan, but never did he finish them.