princes of gwynedd


Llewelyn ap Iorwerth

Window at Trefriw Church

Window at Trefriw Church

Image from Cofio, <br />a book by Ysgol Casmael

Image from Cofio,
a book by Ysgol Casmael

Also known as: Llewelyn Fawr/Llewelyn the Great, Llewelyn I, Prince of Gwynedd.

  • Born circa 1173 – Died 1240
  • Married Joan/Joanna/Siwan (daughter of King John of England)
  • Children:
    • Sons - Gruffydd (illegitimate c1196-1244), Dafydd (c1208-1246) plus Tegwared of whom little is known;
    •  Daughters - Gwenllian (illegitimate c1196-??), Gwladus Ddu (c1206-1251), Helen/Elen (c1207-1253), Margret/Marared (c1210-????) plus other daughters.

Llewelyn was the son of Iorwerth Drwyndwn (also known as Gervase) and his wife Margret/Marared ferch Madog. He had two brothers called Adda and Dafydd.

Llewelyn's grandfather Owain Gwynedd had been Prince of Gwynedd until his death when Gwynedd had been split between his two uncles; Llewelyn's father is assumed to have been deemed unfit for the title due to some deformity, he was known as ‘the broken nosed one' or ‘the flat nosed'. Llewelyn had a good claim to the title and after a campaign became the sole ruler of Gwynedd by 1200. In 1218 by the Treaty of Worcester, the English crown recognised Llewelyn's pre-eminence in Wales. After numerous battles, Llewelyn's realm increased greatly through Wales. However, for the majority of his reign, he was battling either the English or the other Welsh princes.

The primogeniture system in Wales meant that when he died, his estate should have been split equally between his two sons, Gruffydd and Dafydd. However, Llewelyn wished it to stay together and therefore be more powerful, so he declared Dafydd his sole heir and gained the support of both the Pope and Henry III to this. In 1238 Llewelyn arranged a gathering of all the princes of Wales and had them swear allegiance to Dafydd.

Llewelyn suffered what is believed to have been a stroke near the end of his life and he retired to Aberconwy Abbey to live. He died there in 1240 and was buried in the Abbey.

List of all Characters

Llewelyn ap Iorwerth

Fought to unite Wales and became known as Llewelyn the Great. (You are on this page).


Wife of Llewelyn ap Iorwerth and mediator between the Welsh and her father, the English King.
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Dafydd ap Llewelyn

The first person to claim the title ‘Prince of Wales’.
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Gruffydd ap Llewelyn

The overlooked eldest son whose resentment led to tragic results.
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Llewelyn ap Gruffydd

The first Prince of Wales recognised as such by the English and known to the Welsh as ‘Our Last Leader’.
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The Successors

What happened to the successors to the title of Prince of Gwynedd and Prince of Wales?
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Contact Information

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E-mail: info at princesofgwynedd dot com

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