Guto composed a poem of praise for Rhosier (Roger) ap Siôn Puleston (poem 74), and so did both Lewys Glyn Cothi and Gutun Owain (GLGC poem 213; GO poem LIII). Gutun Owain also composed a poem to request a sword from Rhosier’s son, Mathau (or Matthew) Puleston (ibid. poem XVII; Mathau is not mentioned in the genealogies, yet it is clear enough that he was Rhosier’s son). There are poems of praise by Hywel Cilan and Ieuan ap Tudur Penllyn for Rhosier’s cousin, Edward ap Madog Puleston (GHC poem XXIII; GTP poem 42), and a number of poems were addressed to another cousin, Siôn ap Madog Puleston, and for his descendants. Guto also composed a poem to request an Irish mantle (poem 53) from Rhosier’s aunt, Elen daughter of Robert Puleston. The identity of both a Gruffudd Hanmer and a Rhosier ap Siôn named in a poem by Hywel Cilan is uncertain (GHC poem XXV), but it is likely that the latter was Guto’s patron.
The earliest surviving poem to a member of the Puleston family is by Gruffudd Fychan ap Gruffudd, who composed a poem to request a harp from Rhosier’s great-grandfather, Richard ap Sir Roger Puleston of Emral (GSRh poem 11). Many poems were composed for the Pulestons during the sixteenth century by a host of poets, including Siôn Trefor, Siôn Cain, Wiliam Llŷn, Simwnt Fychan, Gruffudd Hiraethog, Tudur Aled, Lewys Môn, Mathau Brwmffild, Lewys Morgannwg and Lewys Daron.
The genealogical table below is based on WG1 ‘Bleddyn ap Cynfyn’ 5, ‘Hanmer’ 1, ‘Osbwrn’ 2, ‘Puleston’; WG2 ‘Puleston’ C and C1; GO poem XVII. Those named by Guto in his poem for Rhosier are shown in bold print, and the names of his patrons are underlined.
Rhosier was related to a good number of leading patrons in north Wales. On his father’s side he was a cousin of Siôn ap Madog Puleston of Hafod-y-wern and a nephew of Angharad, wife of Edward ap Dafydd of Bryncunallt. His aunt Elen was praised by Guto and another aunt, Annes, married Tudur Fychan, half-brother to Wiliam Fychan of Penrhyn. His mother was a cousin of Siôn Hanmer of Halghton and Llai. Furthermore, his sister, Marged, was married to Dafydd, son of Ieuan ab Einion of Cryniarth.
As is shown, Rhosier married twice, yet the genealogies mention another illegitimate relationship with a Marged daughter of Iorwerth, with whom he had six children.
His family and career
Along with the Salbris, the Conwys and the Hanmers, the Pulestons were notable patrons of poets in north-east Wales. They were descended from Sir Roger de Puleston, a native of Puleston in Shropshire who was given land in Emral in Maelor Saesneg by Edward I, where he settled before 1283 (Charles 1972–3: 3, 22). Rhosier’s grandfather, Robert Puleston, married Lowri daughter of Gruffudd Fychan of Glyndyfrdwy, Owain Glyndŵr’s sister. Robert fought in the national revolt on Owain’s side.
According to Bartrum’s genealogies, Rhosier was of the generation born around 1400. The will of his father, Siôn, was proved on 17 April 1444, therefore it is likely that Rhosier was alive then. During the Wars of the Roses he fought on the Lancastrian side, holding Denbigh castle as deputy constable for his relative Jasper Tudor during the campaign of 1460–1 (with Siôn Eutun), and in 1463 and 1464 he and his father led the Lancastrians in north Wales. Nonetheless, he received a pardon from Edward IV in March 1469 (Evans 1995: 70, 72, 84, 156, 89, 90, 102; GO 280). It is Rhosier, in all likelihood, who is named as one of the king’s attorneys in the lordship of Chirk in July 1461, when he received a commission together with six other men who were also Guto’s patrons, namely Abbot Siôn ap Rhisiart, Dafydd Cyffin, Siôn Hanmer, Siôn Trefor, Siôn ap Madog Puleston and Robert ap Hywel (45.49–51n). He died in 1469. On the Pulestons, see further DWB Online s.n. Puleston (Family).
Charles, R.A. (1972–3), ‘Noddwyr y Beirdd yn Sir y Fflint’, LlCy 12: 3–44
Evans, H.T. (1995), Wales and the Wars of the Roses (second ed., Stroud)