princes of gwynedd


The Successors

Son of Dafydd Goch

Son of Dafydd Goch

Llewelyn the Last's only child was a daughter, Gwenllian. Gwenllian posed a threat to Edward I as whilst she couldn't rule herself (women weren't recognised as leaders), if she had a son he could claim the ‘throne' of Wales. Gwenllian, who was only a few months old, was sent to a nunnery to ensure she could never have a child and she was imprisoned there until her death 54 years later.

After Llewelyn the Last's death, his brother Dafydd ap Gruffydd briefly took over as Prince of Wales but was captured by Edward I in 1283 and was hung, drawn and quartered for treason.

Dafydd ap Gruffydd left two sons, Llywelyn ap Dafydd and Owain ap Dafydd, and one daughter, Gwladys. Llywelyn and Owain were imprisoned in Bristol Castle and Llywelyn died in mysterious circumstances in about 1287; Owain survived until circa 1325 when he would have been in his sixties. Gwladys was sent to a nunnery at Sixhills Convent in Lincolnshire where she died in about 1336.

Dafydd ap Gruffydd also had a number of illegitimate children, Dafydd Goch survived but it is not known what happened to the seven illegitimate daughters.

Margaret ferch Gruffydd left two sons who died mysteriously whilst under the guardianship of two Englishmen.

Thomas ap Rhodri was the only known son of Rhodri ap Gruffydd, the younger brother of Llewelyn the Last and Dafydd ap Gruffydd. Thomas became de jure Prince of Gwynedd following the death of his cousin, Owain ap Dafydd in about 1325. However, he never seems to have made a claim to the title.

Owain Lawgoch was the son of Thomas ap Rhodri. He did make a claim to the throne of Gwynedd and the principality of Wales, and he planned invasions of Wales on a number of occasions to claim his throne, which all had to be abandoned for various reasons. In 1378 he was assassinated on the orders of the English Government.

The title ‘Prince of Gwynedd' wasn't claimed again until the 17th Century by Sir John Wynn (see Gwydir Castle) who wrote a book entitled The History of the Gwydir Family claiming to be descended from Thomas ap Rhodri. After a court case, he was recognised as the senior male heir to the House of Gwynedd and therefore de jure Prince of Gwynedd. However, the heirs of Dafydd Goch could make a similar claim.

List of all Characters

Llewelyn ap Iorwerth

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

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