The second War of Independence lasted from 1759 to 1796 with the Treaty of Shrewsbury. With the death of Rhys in 1750 there followed a period of Regency, where the leading exiled nobles formed a Regency Council in Exile, based primarily in the Chateau de Marly, near Versailles Palace in Paris. For the five years between 1750 and 1755 little was achieved as the nobles juggled for supremacy amongst themselves. In 1754 however, Rhisiart of Glamorgan returned to Paris from a Grand Tour of Europe. Newly married his young wife put pressure on him to press his claim as the senior tripartite Prince remaining. In the March of 1755 the council finally agrees on Rhisiart as the new king of Wales.
Four years of planning, raising of mercenary troops and the final sales of Welsh capital without which there would be no money with which to pay the troops, this invasion would be one final roll of the dice. Rhisiart would get just the one chance. It was decided that the invasion would take place not in the south as was traditional, but in the north. The invasion was set for August 1759, the landing site chosen, Harlech.
August: The invasion of Harlech goes according to plan. The fleet and army capture both the town, palace and castle unawares. Rhisiart now has to form a bridgehead that is defensible
September - December: The mercenary army holds against continued English attacks during the autumn. As winter sets in the attacks diminish.
January to July: In lightening raids south Rhisiart reclaims the western seaboard and captures the castles of Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Fishguard. Now with a deep water port under his control supplies and material can arrive.
July to December: English responses are scattered and badly planned allowing Rhisiart to wage unrestricted warfare through Northern Pembrokeshire. On the 19th September Welsh troops re-enter St Davids, and on the 20th October Milford Haven falls. Runners are sent out throughout the country calling on the Welsh populace to rise up in support of their King. In November the remaining members of the Regency Council return to Wales bearing with them the Welsh Regalia.
Pembroke and Tenby remain in English hands and Rhisiart begins plans for their siege. In Gwent the English mass an army for a counterattack in the following year.
January - June: Rhisiart takes this time to strengthen his existing positions, whilst the English move two armies into Wales. One to Caernarfon and the other to Abertawe and Gower. Tenby rises in revolt in the May and by June the gates are opened to the waiting Welsh Army.
August - December: On the 1st August the first new Welsh Army regiment is given its Charter and Colours, The Kings Own Rifles. Other regiments are reformed including the Welsh Border Regiment and the 1st Regiment of the March. Pembroke surrenders after the garrison were starved into submission.
January - July: English raids into newly restored Welsh territory continue whilst the main army in the south based at Abertawe prepares for its first offensive, aiming at re-enforcing western Carmarthenshire and re-taking Southern Pembrokeshire..
Rhisiart moves first however and at the Battle of Abertawe manages to break the English Army. The English Garrison at both Carmarthen and Kidwelly hold out whilst the rest of Carmarthenshire and western Glamorgan fall to Rhisiart.
August - December: The Northern English Army strikes at Harlech in the august of '62 and succeeds in laying seige to the fortress. The kings cousin, Rhobert Morgannwg, leads a relief force northwards and succeeds in breaking the English siege.
Welsh territory still in English hands rises up in revolt and the English forces are engaged in trying to suppress them. Rhisiart's forces are too depleted to offer much more than ancillary support to many of the rebellions, but the resulting lull in action against his territory allows him to re-group and raise new men to the colours. The French Mercenary Force is sent home, with only special advisors retained.
For most of the year the English forces attempt weakening raids into Welsh territory, burning crops, destroying buildings, attempting to weaken both resolve and material means to continue the fight. Ships sailing from the continent are often intercepted, but enough get through to Milford Haven and Pembroke to allow Rhisiart to continue the fight.
March: Rhisiart breaks north and retakes Anglesey, whilst Beaumaris was betrayed from inside.
January: The siege of Caernarfon begins, whilst Rhisiart retakes the the Llyn Peninsula with the siege of Criccieth starting in January. The peninsula is recovered by the end of February.
July: Criccieth Castle falls and Rhisiart moves his forces to the River Conwy, placing the castle there under siege. Like Beaumaris however, the castle is betrayed from within and quickly falls.
February: Caernarfon Castle falls to the Welsh. Rhisiart now firmly in control of North Wales west of the Conwy.
January: Starved into submission Carmarthen and Kidwelly Castles fall. Rhisiart now in firm control of West Wales.
August: The English having been beaten in recent years storm the Conwy, racing towards Harlech where the Royal Court is residing. The Battle of Harlech lasts 4 days with massive losses on both sides. Eventually the Welsh manage to win, forcing the English to retreat back to the their side of the Conwy.
April: In a naval squadron looking to land troops further along the Glamorgan coast the small Welsh Fleet is caught by the English. In the ensuing battle Rhisiart is killed and his son, busy planning the conquest of Glamorgan is suddenly king at the age of 20.
The Independence War of Rhisiart the Second 1773 - 1795
Following Rhisiart's coronation in September 1773 the conquest of Glamorgan starts in earnest. Launching from Abertawe the Welsh army storms into Mid and Eastern Glamorgan. By April Rhisiart is in the Vale of Glamorgan. By June English resistance has firmed up leaving the southern border running from Llantwit Major in the south to Merthyr in the north of the county.
Fighting all over Wales bogs down as the English reinforcements mean that Rhisiart is unable to move the border in Glamorgan and England remains in firm control east of the Conwy, with the March and Powys still under firm English occupation, though civil unrest in those areas increases.
Rhisiart is largely a Cymro-French monarch, whose first language is his mother's language of French. As a result his rule is disputed, at least in secret by the ruling nobility; however, in the summer of '76 Rhisiart opens up a new offensive in Glamorgan resulting in his occupation of Glamorgan by September and his marching into Cardiff by the November.
The Welsh ports have spent the last few years building a new fleet with the express intention of laying siege to the Fortress of Caerodor, with the spring thaws the Army launches an attack on the fortress of Gwent, with a northern arm under the Earl of Pembrokeshire taking Caerphilly before moving north towards Abergavenny. By the August both Abergavenny and Monmouth are under siege with an English relief force from Caerffawydd (Hereford) defeated in the September. Both towns surrender with the prisoners released back to the English by Iago.
In the south Rhisiart moves against Casnewyyd (Newport) which falls in the July with Caerleon and Chepstow falling in the November. With Chepstow under Welsh control again the ferries are able to operate moving troops across to Caerodor with the siege beginning with the close of the year.
This year sees Rhisiart maintaining the siege of Caerodor, whilst Iago, Earl of Pembrokeshire opens up negotiations with the English about an end to the war.
In the July of this year Caerodor falls to Rhisiart who is able to reclaim the Gwlad yr Haf territories, but his forces cannot march into the North Coast territories.
Rhisiart starts the year by tightening Royal control over his territories, whilst Iago is successful in arranging a truce with the English which sees Rhisiart keeping the territory retaken so far. Iago is unable to get the English to move on the remaining conquered territories. The ruling Council, behind Rhisiart, starts plotting to remove Rhisiart from the throne. Known by the location of the plotters first meeting they are called the Strata Florida Conspiracy. Rhisiart is able to call on enough support to stop them.
After a four year truce the English invade Monmouthshire, quickly retaking Monmouth and Abergavenny. Rhisiart leads the relief column and after a long summer of action succeeds in repulsing them. The army however is to weak to advance into Herefordshire
After four years of scattered fighting the English again invade Monmouthshire, again Rhisiart is successful in repulsing them, whilst his aging uncle negotiates another ceasefire.
The collapse of Rhisiart's French allies is a massive blow to the Welsh struggle, so Rhisiart starts a re-organisation of the Welsh Army, opening an Officers College in Caerfilli Castle. Plans are made for the conquest of Powys, the March and the North.
Welsh armies smash their way north from Monmouth, aiming for Caerffawydd in the March and Brecon in Powys. English resistance is great, with an army launching an attack on Conwy.
After two long years of fighting Aberhonddu (Brecon) falls in the August with Caerffawydd falling in the May.
In March of this year Rhisiart manages to retake Trefaldwyn (Montgomery), whilst Iago is still hard at work in London on a new Treaty with the English. By August, Caerwrangon (Worcester) has fallen and Amwythig is under siege.
In August Rhisiart is killed in a cavalry charge during the battle of Shrewsbury, by forces unknown. The Crown Prince, Arthur, takes command of the Army with his fathers death. The Earl of Pembrokeshire continues to negotiate in London, with Wales East of the Conwy still in English hands.
In January Iago finally succeeds and George III travels to Shrewsbury in person to sign the Treaty of Shrewsbury, which, in return for Welsh assistance in the French Revolutionary Wars returns all Welsh territory pre-1718 to the Welsh Government.