Llywelyn (Iorweth) ab Iowerth

Llywelyn (Iorweth) ab Iowerth

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Prince Llewellyn Fawr (Llywelyn) "Mawr, Ruler of All, Llywelyn the Great, of Cymru, of Wales, Gwynedd, of Powys Wenwynwyn, of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon" ab Iowerth formerly Iorweth
Born in Aberffraw Castle, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Wales
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in England
Died about in Aberconwy, Arllechwedd Isaf, Caernarvonshire, Wale
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Categories: Cymru 742-1535 | House of Aberffraw 742-1499 | This Day In History April 11.

Preceded by
Gwenwynwyn ab Owain
Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn
Succeeded by
Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn
Preceded by
Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd
Prince of Gwynedd
Succeeded by
Dafydd ap Llywelyn



Llwelyn the Great

Llywelyn the Great (Welsh: Llywelyn Fawr), pronounced [ɬəˈwɛlɨ̞n]), full name Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, (c. 1173 – Apr 11, 1240) was a Prince of Gwynedd in north Wales and eventually de facto ruler over most of Wales.
Occasionally called Llywelyn I of Wales.


Llywelyn ap Iowerth
b. 1173 Aberffraw Castle, Llywelyn , son of Iorwerth ap Owain of Gwynedd.


1218-1240: Prince of Wales
1195–1240: Prince of Gwynedd.
1216–1240: Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn.
Prince of Aberffraw
Lord of Snowdon

Marriage and Issue

m. 18 Jun 1205 England; (Aft 16 Apr 1205) Joan (c.1188 - 1236/37), dau of John "Lackland" Plantagenet and Agatha De Ferrers (or Clemence, the wife of Henry Pinel). They had:
  1. Helen Verch Llywellyn of Caernarvon (c. 1214)
  2. Elen (Helen) verch Llywellyn of Caernarvon, (c.1206 -before 24 Oct. 1253) of Chester. m.1 abt 1222 John de Scotia, Earl of Chester, m.2 Robert de Quincy
  3. ANGHARAD Verch Llywellyn (c.1212)
  4. DAFYDD ap Llywellyn (c.1209 - Mar 1246)
  5. Margaret Llywellyn (c.1230 - aft 1263 Clifford Castle, Herefordshire). m.1 John de Braose; m.2 Walter de Clifford c.1232
  6. Gwenllian "LAS" Verch Llywellyn Of Caernarvon, b. circa 1207.
  7. Gladys dhu (d.1251) m. Reginald de Braose of Brecon and Abergavenny[1], m. 2nd (1230) Ralph de Mortimer.

Mistresses and Issue

The mother of most of Llywelyn's illegitimate children is assumed to be his mistress, Tangwystl Goch (c.1168-1198). Possible other mistresses: Gwennllian verch Llewellyn, Gwladus Dhu verch Llewellyn, Margaret verch Llewellyn, Angharad verch Llewelyn, Helen the younger verch llewellyn.

  1. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (c.1196-1244) eldest son. Mother: Tangwystl. m. Senena, Dau. Caradoc ap Thomas of Anglesey. Issue: 4 sons:
    1. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.
  2. Tegwared ap Llywelyn[2]
  3. Marared ferch Llywelyn (c.1198-after 1263) m.1John de Braose of Gower, nephew of Reginald de Braose; m.2 Walter Clifford of Bronllys and Clifford.
  4. Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn m. William de Lacey
  5. Angharad ferch Llywelyn, Angharad may have been Joan's dau. Her illegitimacy is uncertain. See Wikipedia: Angharad ferch Llywelyn m. Maelgwn Fychan


Dolwyddelan castle was built by Llywelyn; the old castle nearby may have been his birthplace.
Llywelyn's main home and court throughout his reign was at Garth Celyn on the north coast of Gwynedd.


After the death of the lord Rhys, his son Gruffudd succeeded him in the government of the dominion, which was held by Maelgwn his brother, when the said Maelgwn, after being banished before from his territory, came, accompanied by his men, and also by the family of Gwenwynwyn, to Aberystwyth, and subjugated the town and castle, killing many of the people, and carrying others into bondage, and taking possession of the whole of Ceredigion with its castles. And after seizing his brother Gruffudd, he sent him to the prison of Gwenwynwyn, who agreeably to his desire sent him to an English prison. And then Gwenwynwyn subjugated Arwystli, and captured Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth and David son of Owain Gwynedd. That year, Owain Cyveiliog died at Ystrad Harebell, the monastery which he himself had founded after putting on the habit of religion.[3]

1199: he captured the important castle of Mold and was apparently using the title "prince of the whole of North Wales"; (Latin: tocius norwallie princeps). Llywelyn was probably not in fact master of all Gwynedd at this time since it was his cousin Gruffudd ap Cynan who promised homage to King John for Gwynedd in 1199.[4]

The ensuing year, Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, subdued the cantrev of Lleyn, having expelled Maredudd, son of Cynan, on account of his treachery.[5]

That year, about the first feast of St. Mary in the autumn, Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, raised an army from Powys, to bring Gwenwynwyn under his subjection, and to possess the country. For though Gwenwynwyn was near to him as to kindred, he was a foe to him as to deeds. And on his march he called to him all the other princes, who were related to him, to combine in making war together against Gwenwynwyn. And when Elise, son of Madog, son of Maredudd became acquainted therewith, he refused to combine in the presence of all; and with all his energy he endeavoured to bring about a peace with Gwenwynwyn. And therefore, after the clergy and the religious had concluded a peace between Gwenwynwyn and Llywelyn], the territory of Elise, son of Madog, his uncle was taken from him. And ultimately there was given him for maintenance, in charity, the castle of Crogen with seven small townships. And thus, after conquering the castle of Bala, Llywelyn returned back happily. That year, about the feast of St. Michael, the family of young Rhys, son of Gruffudd, son of the lord Rhys, obtained possession of the castle of Llanymddyvri.[6]

1203. The ensuing year, young Rhys, son of Gruffudd subdued the castle of Llanegwad. And then died David, son of Owain, in England, after having been banished out of Wales by Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth. That year Gwenwynwyn, and Maelgwn, son of Rhys, by devices got possession of the castle of Llanymddyvri, and the castle of Llangadog; and the castle of Dineirth was completed.[7]

Rhys and Owain, sons of Gruffudd, attacked the castle of Llangadog, which they burned, killing some of the garrison, and imprisoning others.[8]

Gwenwynwyn of Powys fell out with King John (John summoned him to Shrewsbury in October and then arrested him and stripped him of his lands. Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys and northern Ceredigion and rebuild Aberystwyth castle.)[9]

Summer 1209: accompanied John on a campaign against William I of Scotland.

King John went with an immense army into Ireland; and he took from the sons of Hugh de Lacy their land and their a castles. After receiving homage of all in Ireland, and capturing the wife of William Bruse, and young William, his son, with his wife and his son and daughter, he returned with honour to England. He then put young William and his mother unmercifully to death in the castle of Windsor. That year, the earl of Caerleon built the castle of Dyganwy, which Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, had previously demolished, for fear of the king. And then also, that earl built the castle of Holywell; and Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, ravaged the territory of that earl.

One thousand two hundred and ten was the year of Christ, when Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, made cruel attacks upon the English; and on that account king John became enraged, and formed a design of entirely divesting Llywelyn of his dominion. And he collected a vast army towards Gwynedd, with the view of utterly destroying it.[10]

The ensuing year, as Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, prince of Gwynedd, could not brook the many insults done to him by the men of the king, who had been left in the new castle at Aberconway he confederated with the Welsh princes, namely, Gwenwynwyn, and Maelgwn, son of Rhys, and Madog, son of Gruffudd Maelor, and Maredudd, son of Robert; and rose against the king, subduing all the castles which he had made in Gwynedd, except Dyganwy and Rhuddlan; Mathraval, in Powys, made by Robert Vepont, they subdued, and whilst they were reducing that, the king, with a vast army, came to oppose them, and he himself burned it with fire. That year, Robert Vepont hanged, at Shrewsbury, Rhys, son of Maelgwn, who was a hostage to the king, not being yet seven years old. And in the same year, Robert, bishop of Bangor, died.[11]

Then Giles, bishop of Hereford, made peace with the king, from fear of the pope; ... and he died at Gloucester, about the feast of St. Martin; and his patrimony came to his brother Rheinallt de Bruse, who took for his wife the (Gladwys), daughter of Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, prince of Gwynedd. ...That year, Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, and the Welsh princes in general, collected a vast army to Caermarthen; and before the end of five days, he obtained the castle, and razed it to the ground. And then they demolished the castles of Llanstephan and Talacharn and St. Clare. And from thence, on the eve of the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, they proceeded to Ceredigion, and fought against the castle of Emlyn. Then the men of Cemaes did homage to Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, and the castle of Trevdraeth was delivered to him; which, by general consent, was shattered. And when the garrison of Aberystwyth saw that they could not maintain the castle, they delivered it up to Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, on the feast of St. Stephen; and the following day, the feast of St. John the Apostle, the castle of Cilgerran was delivered to bim. And then Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, and all the Welsh princew that were with him, returned to their countries, happy and joyful with victory. And here are the names of the princes who were on that expedition from Gwynedd:— Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, prince of Gwynedd, and Howel, son of Gruffudd, son of Cynan, his uncle, and Llywelyn, son of Maredudd, son of Cynan; out of Powys, Gwenwynwyn, son of Owain Cyveiliog, and Maredudd, son of Robert of Cydewain, and the family of Madog, son of Gruffudd Madog, and the two sons of Maelgwn, son of Cadwallon; and out of South Wales, Maelgwn, son of Rhys, and Rhys the Hoarse, his brother, and young Rhys, and Owain, the sons of Gruffudd, son of Rhys. And these are the names of the castles which were subjugated in that expedition; that is to say, the castle of Senghenydd, the castle of Cydweli, Caermarthen, Llanstephan, St. Clare, Talacharn, Trevdraeth, Aberteivi, and Cilgerran.[12]

Llywelyn made an alliance with Philip II Augustus of France, then allied himself with the barons who were in rebellion against John, marching on Shrewsbury and capturing it without resistance in 1215. When John was forced to sign Magna Carta, Llywelyn was rewarded with several favourable provisions relating to Wales, including the release of his son Gruffydd who had been a hostage since 1211. The same year Ednyfed Fychan was appointed sensechal of Gwynedd and was to work closely with Llywelyn for the remainder of his reign.[13]

A year after that and then there was a partition of land between Maelgwn, son of Rhys, and his brother, Rhys the Hoarse, and Rhys and Owain, the sons of Gruffudd, son of Rhys, at Aberdovey, in the presence of Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, when all the Welsh princes, for the most part and all the wise men of Gwynedd were summoned thither together. And to Maelgwn, son of Rhys, were allotted three cantrevs of Dyved, that is to say, the cantrev of Gwarthav, the cantrev of Cemaes, and the cantrev of Emlyn, with Penllwynog and the castle of Cilgerran; and of the Vale of Tywi, the castle of Llanymddyvri, with two comots, namely, Hirvryn and Mallaen, and the manor of Myddvai; and of Ceredigion, the two comots of Gwynionydd and Mabwynion. And to young Rhys, and his brother Owain, the sons of Gruffudd, son of Rhys, were allotted the castle of Aberteivi, and the castle of Nant yr Ariant, with throe cantrevs of Ceredigion. And to Rhys the Hoarse were allotted, as his share the whole of Cantrev Mawr, except Mallaen, and the Cantrev Bychan, except Hirvryn and Myddvai; and to him likewise came Cydweli and Carnwyllon. In that year, Gwenwynwyn, lord of Powys, made peace with John, king of England, treating with contempt the oath and the engagement which he had plighted to the chieftains of England and Wales, and violating the homage which he had done to Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, and surrendering the hostages that he had given thereon.[14]

1217: Reginald de Braose of Brecon and Abergavenny, who had been allied to Llywelyn and married his daughter Gwladus Ddu changed sides. Llywelyn responded by invading his lands, first threatening Brecon, where the burgesses offered hostages for the payment of 100 marks, then heading for Swansea where Reginald de Braose met him to offer submission and to surrender the town. He then continued westwards to threaten Haverfordwest where the burgesses offered hostages for their submission to his rule or the payment of a fine of 1,000 marks.
Treaty of Worcester and border campaigns 1218–1229 Following King John's death Llywelyn concluded the Treaty of Worcester with his successor Henry III in 1218. This treaty confirmed him in possession of all his recent conquests. From then until his death Llywelyn was the dominant force in Wales, though there were further outbreaks of hostilities with marcher lords, particularly the Marshall family and Hubert de Burgh, and sometimes with the king. Llywelyn built up marriage alliances with several of the Marcher families.[15]

That year, on the feast of S. Jean de Collaces next after that Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, cited to him most of the princes of all Wales, and collected a vast army to go against the Flemings of Rhos and Pembroke (William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke), because of their breaking the peace and the treaty, which the men of England had made between the English and the Welsh, by their committing frequent depredations upon the Welsh, and harrassing them. On the first day he attacked the castle of Arberth, which the Flemings had built, after having been formerly destroyed by the Welsh; and he obtained the castle by force, and threw it to the ground, after killing some of the garrison, burning others, and capturing others. And the following day he destroyed the castle of Gwys, and burned the town. The third day he came to Haverford, and burned the whole of the town to the castle gate. And thus he went round Rhos and Deugleddyv in five days, making vast slaughter of the people of the country. And after making a truce with the Flemings until the calends of May, he returned back joyful and happy.[16]

In early 1223 Llywelyn crossed the border into Shropshire and captured Kinnerley and Whittington castles. The Marshalls took advantage of Llywelyn's involvement here to land near St David's in April with an army raised in Ireland and recaptured Cardigan and Carmarthen without opposition. The Marshalls' campaign was supported by a royal army which took possession of Montgomery. Llywelyn came to an agreement with the king at Montgomery in October that year. Llywelyn's allies in south Wales were given back lands taken from them by the Marshalls and Llywelyn himself gave up his conquests in Shropshire.
In 1228 Llywelyn was engaged in a campaign against Hubert de Burgh, who was Justiciar of England and Ireland and one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. Hubert had been given the lordship and castle of Montgomery by the king and was encroaching on Llywelyn's lands nearby. The king raised an army to help Hubert, who began to build another castle in the commote of Ceri. However in October the royal army was obliged to retreat and Henry agreed to destroy the half-built castle in exchange for the payment of £2,000 by Llywelyn. Llywelyn raised the money by demanding the same sum as the ransom of William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny, whom he had captured in the fighting.[17]

Marital problems

That year, William Bruse was hanged by Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, having been caught in the chamber of the prince, with the princess Jannet daughter of king John, and wife of the prince.[18]

From Wikipedia
Following his capture, William de Braose, 10th Baron Abergavenny decided to ally himself to Llywelyn, and a marriage was arranged between his daughter Isabella and Llywelyn's heir, Dafydd ap Llywelyn. At Easter 1230 William visited Llywelyn's court Garth Celyn, Aber Garth Celyn now known as Pen y Bryn, Abergwyngregyn. During this visit he was found in Llywelyn's chamber together with Llywelyn's wife Joan. On 2 May, De Braose was hanged in the marshland under Garth Celyn, the place now remembered as Gwern y Grog, Hanging Marsh, a deliberately humiliating execution for a nobleman, and Joan was placed under house arrest for a year.
A letter from Llywelyn to William's wife, Eva de Braose, written shortly after the execution enquires whether she still wishes the marriage between Dafydd and Isabella to take place. The marriage did go ahead, and the following year Joan was forgiven and restored to her position as princess.[19]

Death of Spouse

The ensuing year, Dame Joan, daughter of king John, and the wife of Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, died in the month of February, at the court of Aber, and was buried in a a new cemetery on the side of the strand, which Howel, bishop of Llanelwy, had consecrated. And in honour of her, Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, built there a monastery for barefooted monks, which is called Llanvaes in Mona. And then Ieuan, earl of Caerleon, and Cynvrig, son of the lord Rhys, died. That year, there came again a cardinal from Rome to England, sent, as his legate, by pope Gregory the ninth.[20]

Strata Florida Abbey — council of 1238 & son Dafydd

The ensuing year, on the morrow after the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist [Oct. 19], all the princes of Wales sware fidelity to David, son of Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, at Strata Florida. And then he took, from his brother Gruffudd, Arwystli and Ceri and Cyveiliog and Mawddwy and Mochnant and Caereinion; leaving to him nothing but the cantrev of Lleyn itself. And then Maredudd, son of Madog, son of Gruffudd Maelor, slew his brother Gruffudd; and immediately Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, divested him of his territory on that account.[21]


One thousand two hundred and forty was the year of Christ, when Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, prince of Wales, died—the man whose good works it would be difficult to enumerate—and was buried at Aberconway, after taking the habit of religion. And after him David, his son, by Joan, the daughter of king John, his mother, reigned. The month of May following, David, son of Llywelyn, having with him the barons of Wales, went to Gloucester, to do homage to the king his uncle, and to receive from him his territory lawfully. And then the English sent Walter Marshall, and an army with him, to fortify Aberteivi.[22]

According to Lee's Dictionary of National Biography, Llywelyn died on 11 April 1240 at the Cisterician Abbey of Aberconwy, Arllechwedd Isaf, Caernarvonshire, Wales, where he had "taken on the habit of religion." He as buried at the abbey.[23]


  1. 1215-Brut y Tywysogion
  2. by Crysten
  3. Brut y Tywysogion, Jesus MS 111 (Red Book of Hergest), retrieved 2014-06-08, amb
  4. Wikipedia Llywelyn the Great
  5. Brut y Tywysogion
  6. Brut y Tywysogion
  7. Brut y Tywysogion
  8. Brut y Tywysogion
  9. Wikipedia Llywelyn the Great
  10. Brut y Tywysogion
  11. Brut y Tywysogion
  12. Brut y Tywysogion
  13. Wikipedia Llywelyn the Great
  14. Brut y Tywysogion
  15. Wikipedia Llywelyn the Great
  16. Brut y Tywysogion
  17. Wikipedia Llywelyn the Great
  18. Brut y Tywysogion
  19. Wikipedia entry for Llewelyn the Great
  20. Brut y Tywysogion
  21. Brut y Tywysogion
  22. Brut y Tywysogion
  23. Dictionary of National Biography. Volume XXXIV. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1891. [1] Page 7ff, at 12
  • Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 71, page 194. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 22, page 403. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1063. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

This person was created through the import of 104-B.ged on 12 September 2010.

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On March 27, 2015 at 23:33GMT John Atkinson wrote:

I think there has been a mistake somewhere - the list of names after "Possible other mistresses:"are all the names of his daughters. Perhaps it should read - Possibly other mistresses were the mother of the following. This seems to be what the Medieval Lands database suggests. http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/WALES.htm

On March 27, 2015 at 22:49GMT Vic Watt wrote:


The LNAB needs to be changed to "ab Iowerth" to conform with the new Cymru stanrdards, (and also because the current LNAB is "Ioweth," which is misspelled.) Shall I adopt it and fix, or would one of you like to do it? The Bio is great! Vic

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