Llywelyn The Great

Llywelyn The Great

Male 1172 - 1240  (~ 68 years)

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  • Name Llywelyn The Great 
    Born ~ 1172  Dolwyddelan, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Also Known As Llywelyn ap Iorwerth  [2, 3
    Also Known As Llywelyn Fawr  [2, 4
    Also Known As Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon  [2
    Also Known As Prince of Gwynedd, and Powys Wenwynwyn  [5
    Died 11 Apr 1240  Aberconwy Abbey, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 6
    • Gwynedd, county of northwestern Wales, extending from the Irish Sea in the west to the mountains of Snowdonia in the east. It encompasses most of the historic counties of Caernarvonshire and Merioneth. Caernarfon is the administrative centre of the county.

    Buried Aberconwy Abbey, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Aberconwy Abbey was a Cistercian foundation at Conwy, later transferred to Maenan near Llanrwst, and in the 13th century was the most important abbey in the north of Wales.

      A Cistercian house was founded at Rhedynog Felen near Caernarfon in 1186 by a group of monks from Strata Florida Abbey. About four or five years later they moved to Conwy, and in 1199 were given large grants of land by Llywelyn the Great who had recently become ruler of Gwynedd. Llywelyn was regarded as the founder of the house, and thanks to his support it came to hold more land than any other Welsh abbey, over 40,000 acres (160 km²). On Llywelyn's death in 1240 he was buried at the abbey, and his son and successor Dafydd ap Llywelyn was also buried here in 1246. In 1248 Llywelyn's other son, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, who had died trying to escape from the Tower of London in 1244, was reburied at Aberconwy after the abbot of Aberconwy, together with the abbot of Strata Florida, had arranged for his body to be repatriated from London.

      The abbot of Aberconwy was an important figure in the negotiations between Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and the English crown later in the century, and in 1262 was entrusted with the task of being Llywelyn's sole representative in negotiations.

      In 1282, Edward I of England surrounded Snowdonia with a massive army. On 11 December Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Tywysog Cymru, was lured into a trap and murdered.

      In 1283 King Edward I of England obliged the monks to move from Conwy to Maenan, further up the Conwy valley (53.1733°N 3.8123°W), so he could construct a castle and walled town at Conwy. The move had been completed by 1284, with Edward financing the building of a new abbey. In the 15th century the abbot, John ap Rhys, became involved in a dispute with Strata Florida Abbey and led some of his monks and some soldiers on a raid on that abbey. The abbey was valued at ¹162 in 1535 and was suppressed in 1537.

      Little remains of the Maenan Abbey buildings, but the original abbey church in Conwy was adapted to become the parish church of St Mary & All Saints and although much rebuilt over the centuries some parts of the original church remain. The other buildings of the abbey are thought to have been located north and east of the church.

    Person ID I46812  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 20 Sep 2017 

    Family 1 Joan Plantagenet, Lady of Wales,   b. ~ 1191, (France) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Feb 1237  (Age ~ 46 years) 
    Married 1203-1204  [1, 2
    Residence (Family) Gwynedd, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
     1. Marared ferch Llywelyn,   b. 0___ 1202, Gwynedd, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1268  (Age ~ 67 years)
     2. Gwladus Ddu,   b. 0___ 1206, (Kingdom of Gwynedd, Wales) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1251, Windsor, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 45 years)
     3. Dafydd ap Llywelyn, Prince of Wales,   b. 0Mar 1212, Castell Hen Blas, Coleshill, Bagillt in Flintshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Feb 1246, Abergwyngregyn, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years)
     4. Elen ferch Llywelyn,   b. 1212-1218, (Wales) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1253  (Age 35 years)
     5. Angharad ferch Llywelyn,   b. ~ 1212, (Wales) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1251  (Age ~ 39 years)
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2018 
    Family ID F17163  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 unnamed partner 
    _MSTAT Partners 
     1. Helen of Wales,   b. 0___ 1246, (Wales) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1295  (Age ~ 49 years)
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2018 
    Family ID F17191  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - ~ 1172 - Dolwyddelan, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 11 Apr 1240 - Aberconwy Abbey, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Aberconwy Abbey, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - - Gwynedd, Wales Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Llywelyn the Great (1172-1240)
    Llywelyn the Great (1172-1240)

    Prince of Gwynedd, and Powys Wenwynwyn
    Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon

    The arms of the royal house of Gwynedd were traditionally first used by Llywelyn's father, Iorwerth Drwyndwn.

    Llywelyn the Great with his sons Gruffydd and Dafydd
    Llywelyn the Great with his sons Gruffydd and Dafydd

  • Notes 
    • Llywelyn the Great (Welsh: Llywelyn Fawr, [??'w?l?n va??r]), full name Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, (c. 1172 – 11 April 1240) was a Prince of Gwynedd in north Wales and eventually de facto ruler over most of Wales. By a combination of war and diplomacy he dominated Wales for 40 years.

      During Llywelyn's boyhood, Gwynedd was ruled by two of his uncles, who split the kingdom between them, following the death of Llywelyn's grandfather, Owain Gwynedd, in 1170. Llywelyn had a strong claim to be the legitimate ruler and began a campaign to win power at an early age. He was sole ruler of Gwynedd by 1200 and made a treaty with King John of England that year. Llywelyn's relations with John remained good for the next ten years. He married John's natural daughter Joan in 1205, and when John arrested Gwenwynwyn ab Owain of Powys in 1208, Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys. In 1210, relations deteriorated, and John invaded Gwynedd in 1211. Llywelyn was forced to seek terms and to give up all lands west of the River Conwy, but was able to recover them the following year in alliance with the other Welsh princes. He allied himself with the barons who forced John to sign Magna Carta in 1215. By 1216, he was the dominant power in Wales, holding a council at Aberdyfi that year to apportion lands to the other princes.

      Following King John's death, Llywelyn concluded the Treaty of Worcester with his successor, Henry III, in 1218. During the next fifteen years, Llywelyn was frequently involved in fights with Marcher lords and sometimes with the king, but also made alliances with several major powers in the Marches. The Peace of Middle in 1234 marked the end of Llywelyn's military career, as the agreed truce of two years was extended year by year for the remainder of his reign. He maintained his position in Wales until his death in 1240 and was succeeded by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn.


      Llywelyn married Joan, natural daughter of King John of England, in 1205. Llywelyn and Joan had three identified children in the records but in all probability had more as Llywelyn's children were fully recognised during his marriage to Joan whilst his father-in-law, King John, was alive. The identity of the mother of some of Llywelyn's children before this union is uncertain, but the following are recorded in contemporary or near-contemporary records.

      Dafydd ap Llywelyn (c. 1212–1246), son by Joan, wife of Llywelyn.

      Elen (Helen) ferch Llywelyn (c. 1206–1253), daughter by Joan. M. John Earl of Huntington m. 2nd Robert de Quincy 3rd Donald Malcolm Mar Earl of Mar.

      Susanna ferch Llywelyn, died after November 1228, daughter by Joan. Henry III King of England granted the upbringing of "L. princeps Norwallie et Johanna uxor sua et…soror nostra Susannam filiam suam" to "Nicholao de Verdun et Clementie uxori sue" by order dated 24 Nov 1228[273]. Her birth date is estimated on the assumption that Susanna was under marriageable age, but older than an infant, at the time.

      Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (c. 1196–1244), a son by Tangwystl Goch (d. c. 1198).

      Gwladus Ddu (c. 1206–1251), probable daughter by Joan.

      Angharad ferch Llywelyn (c. 1212–1256), probable daughter of Joan; married Maelgwn Fychan.

      Marared ferch Llywelyn (died after 1268), married John de Braose and secondly (about 1232) Walter III de Clifford. Marared had issue by both husbands.[64]

      Elen the Younger ferch Llywelyn (before 1230-after 16 Feb 1295) who married firstly Mâael Coluim II, Earl of Fife, son of Duncan Macduff of Fife & his wife Alice Corbet. She married secondly (after 1266) Domhnall I, Earl of Mar, son of William, Earl of Mar & his first wife Elizabeth Comyn of Buchan.

      Elen and Domhall's daughter, Isabella of Mar, married Robert, the Bruce, King of Scots. Isabella had one child by the King of Scots, Marjorie Bruce, who was the mother of the first Stewart monarch, Robert II of Scotland.

      Tegwared y Baiswen ap Llywelyn (c. 1215), a son by a woman named as Crysten in some sources, a possible twin of Angharad[65]

      Little is known of Llywelyn's mistress, Tangwystl Goch, except that she was the daughter of Llywarch "Goch" of Rhos.[66] Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (c. 1196–1244) was Llywelyn's eldest son and known to be the son of Tangwystl. He married Senena, daughter of Caradoc ap Thomas of Anglesey. Their sons included Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, who for a period occupied a position in Wales comparable to that of his grandfather, and Dafydd ap Gruffydd who ruled Gwynedd briefly after his brother's death.

      end of biography [2]
    • Llywelyn Ap Iorwerth, byname Llywelyn The Great (died April 11, 1240, Aberconway, Gwynedd, Wales), Welsh prince, the most outstanding native ruler to appear in Wales before the region came under English rule in 1283.

      Llywelyn was the grandson of Owain Gwynedd (d. 1170), a powerful ruler of Gwynedd in northern Wales. While still a child, Llywelyn was exiled by his uncle, David. He deposed David in 1194 and by 1202 had brought most of northern Wales under his control. In 1205 he married Joan, the illegitimate daughter of England’s King John (reigned 1199–1216). Nevertheless, when Llywelyn’s attempts to extend his authority into southern Wales threatened English possessions, John invaded Wales (1211) and overran most of Gwynedd. The prince soon won back his lands. He secured his position by allying with John’s powerful baronial opponents, and his actions helped the barons influence the king’s signing of Magna Carta (1215).

      Two years after the accession of King Henry III (reigned 1216–72), the English acknowledged that Llywelyn controlled almost all of Wales, but by 1223 they had forced him to withdraw to the north behind a boundary between Cardigan, Dyfed, and Builth, Powys. Many Welsh princes in the south, however, still accepted his overlordship. In his last years the aged Llywelyn turned his government over to his son David (prince of Gwynedd). When Llywelyn died, a chronicler described him as prince of Wales, which he was in fact, if not in law.

      end of biography [6]

  • Sources 
    1. [S10037] "Joan, Lady of Wales" biography, accessed & downloaded Monday, November 25th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wik.

    2. [S10060] "Llywelyn the Great" biography, accessed & downloaded Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wik.

    3. [S11449] "Walter de Clifford (died 1263)", biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_de_Clifford_(died_1263), retrieved, re.

    4. [S12407] "William de Braose, Lord of Bramber and Gower (d. 1291)", Biography, http://douglyn.co.uk/BraoseWeb/family/william6.html.

    5. [S9864] "William de Braose, 1st Baron Braose" biography, accessedd & downloaded from Wikipedia, October 23rd, 2016 by David A. H.

    6. [S11498] "Llywelyn Ap Iorwerth", biography, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Llywelyn-ap-Iorwerth, retrieved, recorded & uplo.

    7. [S10063] "Gwladus Ddu" biography, accessed & downloaded Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wikiped.

    8. [S10067] "Isabella of Mar" biography, accessed & downloaded Thursday, December 1st, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wikipe.