Llywelyn ap Iorwerth

Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1173 - 1240)

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Llywelyn "Llywelyn Fawr, Llywelyn the Great" ap Iorwerth
Born in Aberffraw Castle, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Walesmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Walesmap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Aberconwy Abbey, Conwy, Conwy County, North Walesmap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Feb 2016
This page has been accessed 11,582 times.

Categories: Cymru 742-1535 | House of Aberffraw 742-1499 | Kings of the Britons | 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
European Aristocracy
Llywelyn ap Iorwerth was a member of royalty, nobility or aristocracy in Wales in the Middle Ages.
Join: Cymru Welsh Royals and Aristocrats 742-1535 Project
Discuss: CYMRU



Llywelyn ap Iorwerth Drwyndwn ab Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffudd ap Cynan[1]

Llywelyn Fawr, sometimes shown as Llywelyn Mawr, which also means Great, but Fawr is more frequently used for Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (see this G2G discussion) Prince of Gwynedd (1195–1240[2]) in north Wales and eventually de facto ruler over most of Wales,[3] was also called

  • Llywelyn I of Wales (Welsh: Cymru)[4]
  • Llywelyn of Cymru, of Gwynedd, of Powys Wenwynwyn[citation needed]
  • Prince of Wales[5] (1218–1240)
  • Prince of North Wales[6]
  • Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn (1216–1240)[citation needed]
  • Prince of Aberffraw[6] (1230[2])
  • Lord of Snowdon[6] (1230[2])
Born 1173,[6] Aberffraw Castle[citation needed] or Dolwyddelan Castle, "traditionally the birthplace of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth"[7][8][9][10]
Parents — son and heir of Iorwerth Drwyndwn ab Owain[6] Gwynedd (of Gwynedd)[1] and his wife Marared ferch Madog[6][1][11] (married about 1163[12])
Wives & Mistresses — Llywelyn married three[13] or four times and had numerous mistresses.[6]
  • unknown 1st wife[13] (or 2 wives before Joan[6][14])
    • (Miss) ____ of Chester, daughter of Hugh de Meschines, 6th Earl of Chester, Viscount d'Avranches, Seigneur de St. Sever & Briquessart and Bertrade de Montfort, circa 1196. She died before 24 November 1199. [6] No issue.[15]
    • _____, "widow of his uncle, Rhodri ab Owain (died 1195), and daughter of Reynold (or Rognvaldr), King of Man. He proposed to marry her in 1199. [6] Pope Innocent III officially granted permission for him to marry this woman 19 April 1203, which permission was formally rescinded 17 Feb. 1204/5. It is unknown if this marriage took place."[6][16]
  • Joan FitzJohn (c.1188–1236/37), natural daughter of King John I of England; married in England about 1205 (settlement dated October 1204,[6] before 23 March 1204/5,[6] after 16 April 1205,[13] 18 June 1205, Ascensiontide (mid-May) 1206[17])
  • Eva FitzWarin, daughter of Fulk FitzWarin[6] (by his first wife[6] or his second[13]), married Llywelyn in 1239 (no issue)[6]
Mistresses: Llywelyn is said to have had seven mistresses, but the name of only one is known:[13]

Children of Llywelyn[18]
Llywelyn died 11 April 1240[6] at the Cisterician Abbey of Aberconwy, Arllechwedd Isaf, Caernarvonshire, Wales, where he had "taken on the habit of religion."[22] He is buried at Aberconwy Abbey.[6]
"Princess Joan died in 1237 at Garth Celyn and Llywelyn suffered a paralytic stroke later in the same year. He died at the Cistercian Abbey of Aberconwy, his own foundation, on 11th April, 1240 and was buried there. His stone coffin was later removed to the parish church of Llanwrst, where it can still be seen."[23]
statue of Llywelyn the Great
Photograph by Rhion Pritchard, Wikimedia

"Llywelyn spent most of his life restoring and enhancing the hegemony of his grandfather Owain Gwynedd. A striking youth and a successful warrior at an early age, he acquired (from 1194) lands at the expense of his kinsmen, enabling him to master Gwynedd by 1203. Good relations with King John brought recognition and his marriage to John's natural daughter Joan."[2]

Caption: Statue of Llywelyn the Great at Conwy stands atop a drinking fountain. The work of art was designed by Grayson and Ould during 1895–98, sculpted by E.O. Griffiths, and unveiled in 1898.[24]

See this page for another picture of his statue in Conwy's town square and this article about the carved stone head from Deganwy Castle which is thought to represent Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. See also Castles of Llywelyn Fawr.


Genealogist Stewart Baldwin has prepared a detailed and documented Ancestor Table for Llywelyn the Great.


  • Dolwyddelan castle: built by Llywelyn; 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.


1197: "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."[25]

1199: captured castle of Mold ... using 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.[3]

1201 "The ensuing year, Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, subdued the cantrev of Lleyn, having expelled Maredudd, son of Cynan, on account of his treachery."[1]

1202 "about the first feast of St. Mary in the autumn, Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, raised an army from Powys, to control Gwenwynwyn, and possess the country. Although Gwenwynwyn was close to him, ... he called ... the other princes ... related to him, to ... war ... against Gwenwynwyn. ... Elise, son of Madog, son of Maredudd ... refused ... and ... endeavoured to bring ... 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.[25]

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."[25]

1208 "Rhys and Owain, sons of Gruffudd, attacked the castle of Llangadog, which they burned, killing some of the garrison, and imprisoning others."[25]

Gwenwynwyn of Powys fell out with King John (John summoned him to Shrewsbury in October ... then arrested ... and stripped him of his lands. Llywelyn annexed southern Powys and northern Ceredigion and rebuild Aberystwyth castle.)[2]

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

1209. "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."

1210 "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."[25]

1211 "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."[25]

1215 "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."[25]

Llywelyn allied with Philip II Augustus of France, then with the barons rebelling 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 favorable provisions relating to Wales, including the release of his son Gruffydd, 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. Llywelyn the Great

1216 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."[3]

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.[4]

1220 "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."[25]

Early 1223: Llywelyn captured Kinnerley and Whittington castles in Shropshire. In April, Marshalls recaptured Cardigan and Carmarthen. Their campaign was supported by a royal army that took Montgomery. Llywelyn came to an agreement with the king at Montgomery in October. His allies in south Wales were given back lands taken by the Marshalls, and Llywelyn gave up Shropshire conquests.

1228: Llywelyn campaigned against Hubert de Burgh, Justiciar of England and Ireland, and one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. Hubert was given the lordship and castle of Montgomery by the king and encroached on Llywelyn's nearby lands. The king raised an army to help Hubert, who began to build another castle in the commote of Ceri. But in October, the royal army retreated and Henry agreed to destroy the half-built castle for £2,000 from Llywelyn. Llywelyn raised the money by demanding the same sum as the ransom of William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny, who he captured in the fighting.[26]

1205 Marriage to Joan and Issue

Llywelyn m. 18 Jun 1205 England; (Aft 16 Apr 1205) Joan (c.1188 - 1236/37), dau of King John I of England. Her mother is disputed; see her profile for further discussion.

Joan married Llywelyn the Great[27][28]at Ascensiontide 1206,[29] Joan and Llywelyn were married , probably around mid-May.[30][31]

1211-1232 Her role as ambassadress and intermediary between her husband and the Crown in the period 1211-32 was an important one. [32]

1228: In 1228 Llywelyn's daughter Susanna was made a ward of Nicholas of Verdun: "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[292]. [33]


  1. Helen ferch 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 ferch Llywelyn (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. Gwladus dhu (d.1251) m. Reginald de Braose of Brecon and Abergavenny[34], m. 2nd (1230) Ralph de Mortimer.

Mistresses and Issue

While some sources suggest that the mother of most of Llywelyn's illegitimate children was his mistress, Tangwystl Goch (c.1168-1198), Cawley [13] reports only Gruffudd as a child of Tangwystl, with the other illegitimate children the issue of Llywelyn's other mistreses.


  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[35]
  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

Marital problems

1230 William de Braose, 10th Baron Abergavenny, was executed for sleeping with Llywelyn's wife. They were caught in Llwelyn's bedroom.[25][36]

Previously ... Braose allied with Llywelyn during his capture, and arranged a marriage between his daughter Isabella and Llywelyn's heir, Dafydd ap Llywelyn. This was upheld after his execution. Shortly after Braose' death, a letter from Llywelyn to William's wife, Eva asks if she still wants their kid's wedding to take place ... which did happen. Meanwhile, Joan was put on house arrest, but restored to her the next year.[5]

Death of Spouse

1237: Joan died, "in February, at the court of Aber, and was buried in a new cemetery on the side of the strand ... 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."[25]

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."[25]


1240: "Llywelyn, son of Iorwerth, prince of Wales, died ... and was buried at Aberconway, after taking the habit of religion. And after him David, his son, by Joan, the daughter of king John ... 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."[25]

Burial of Llywelyn the Great

According to Lee (1893), Llywelyn died 11 April 1240 at the Cisterician Abbey of Aberconwy, Arllechwedd Isaf, Caernarvonshire, Wales, where he had "taken on the habit of religion." He is buried at the abbey.[22]

Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of Aberffraw, Lord of Snowdon, died at Aberconway Abbey 11 April 1240, where he was buried.[6]

He was later reburied at Llanrwst Parish Church. Gwydir Chapel next to the Church of St. Grwst in Llanrwst, Conway, Wales, contains the empty coffin of Llywelyn the Great. He was originally buried at Aberconwy Abbey, but his coffin was moved to the new abbey at Maenan when the Cistercian monks were forced to move there by Edward I.

The whereabouts of Llywelyn's corpse remains a mystery. (http;//www.walesdirectory.co.uk/Towns_in_Wales/Llanrwst_Town_2.htm)

Aberconway Abbey was also known as Aberconway Abbey Parish Church and is now known as St. Mary and All Saints Church, in Conwy, Conwy County, North Wales.

Notes on a Name

Why "ap Iorwerth-26" as the WikiTree ID? Richardson[6] and FMG/MedLands[13] both show him as Llywelyn ap Iorwerth; the Cymru project's naming guide calls for including ab, ap, or ferch in the Last Name at Birth (LNAB) field; and "ap" because of the way Iorwerth is pronounced: Llywelyn ap Iorwerth
[ɬəˈwɛlɨ̞n][3] ap [ˈjɔrwɛrθ][37]

Children Himself Parents
ap Llywelyn & ferch Llywelyn
(see list above)
Llywelyn ap Iorwerth Iorwerth ab Owain ap Gruffudd
Margred ferch Madog ap Maredudd

ab, ap or ferch[38]

"Ferch" actually means "daughter of", so if a woman was named "Elen ferch Llywelyn ap Gwilym", this would mean that her name was Elen, her father's name was Llywelyn, and her father's father's name was Gwilym. Properly, none of these words, "ap", "ab", or "ferch", are capitalized.

The terms come from the fact that those are the words in the Welsh anguage which mean "son of" and "daughter of". Kind of like "filius" in Latin or "...sson" in Scandinavian languages.

The difference between "ap" and "ab" is the sound which follows it. We do the same in the English language with "a bicycle" and "an orange". The spelling and pronunciation of the indefinite article changes depending on whether it preceeds a vowel sound or a consonant sound.

In Welsh, "ap" comes before a consonant sound, thus "Einion ap Llywelyn", "Jenkin ap Gruffudd", "Llywarch ap Bran". "Ab", on the other hand, comes before a vowel sound, thus "Maredudd ab Einion", "Huw ab Owain". The reason I said "vowel sound" and not "vowel" is that in certain circumstances the initial letter "I" in Welsh can sound like a consonant. Thus "Rhys ap Iorwerth" and "Dafydd ap Ieuan". Kind of like in English where an initial "U" can sound like a consonant. We say "a university", not "an university".

As you would expect, not everybody knows enough Welsh to handle patronyms properly, so you'll find lots of variations in the forms, even among people who write on Welsh genealogies. But the above is the correct Welsh way of doing things.

What's in a name? The following "Meaning & History" information is from Behind the Name:

  • Iorwerth: Means "handsome lord" from Welsh ior "lord" and berth "handsome". This name is used in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, where it belongs to a son of Maredudd. This name is sometimes used as a Welsh form of Edward.
  • Llywelyn: Possibly a Welsh form of the old Celtic name Lugubelenus, a combination of the names of the gods LUGUS and BELENUS. Alternatively it may be derived from Welsh llyw "leader". This was the name of several Welsh rulers, notably the 13th-century Llywelyn the Great who fought against England.


"We find no further details of Thomas himself; one of his sisters became the wife of Jowerth, the father of the Great llewellyn ap Jowerth." [39]

William Corbet as Uncle

Although she was writing a novel not a genealogical work, Sharon Penman in her "author's note" to "Here be Dragons" in 1984 wrote (of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth):[40]
Little is known of Llewelyn's (sic) early years. It is believed he passed his childhood in Powys and England; by his fifteenth year, he was challenging his uncles for control of Gwynedd. Historians have long been cognizant of his kinship to the Corbet family; he often stayed his hand, spared Corbet lands, and a letter of his addresses William Corbet as "uncle". In the nineteenth century, historians speculated that Llewelyn's mother might be a hitherto unknown Corbet daughter, but Marared ferch Meredydd's (sic) identity has since been established beyond any doubt. Marared must therefore have made a second marriage after Iorwerth's death in 1174. In researching the Corbet family I was able to eliminate Robert Corbet without difficulty. His brother William was the "uncle" of Llewelyn's letter. Walter Corbet was a monk. By the process of elimination, Hugh Corbet had to be Marared's second husband, Llewelyn's stepfather."
Penman does not refer to any sources, except Bartrum. [40]

"In the novel Here Be Dragons, Sharon Penman has Llewelyn (she uses that spelling), aged 10, being brought up by his mother Marared and stepfather Sir Hugh Corbet, in Caus Castle, Shropshire following his mother's marriage to Sir Hugh in June/July 1187.[41]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Bartrum
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 John Cannon, "Llywelyn ab Iorwerth." The Oxford Companion to British History. 2002. Encyclopedia.com (accessed 12 Feb. 2016).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wikipedia: Llywelyn the Great
  4. Wikipedia: Selected Biography, May 18
  5. Llywelyn the Great, Heritage Holidays
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham, (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013), Vol V, pp 298-302
  7. Dolwyddelan Castle, Castles of Wales
  8. Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, BBC Wales
  9. "It is suggested that Llywelyn ab Iorwerth was born in Dolwyddelan Castle and that he was raised in Powys." (Llywelyn Fawr, Snowdonia National Park Authority)
  10. this blog says Llywelyn the Great built Dolwyddelan Castle, but it seems to be the only source of that tidbit (and, if so, he could not have been born there)
  11. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth ancestor table, compiled by Stewart Baldwin (accessed Feb. 12, 2016)
  12. from Marared's WikiTree profile
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 13.19 13.20 13.21 13.22 13.23 13.24 13.25 13.26 Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Cawley, The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (#FMG)
  14. See also this Gen-Medieval Rootsweb post by Douglas Richardson, Oct. 5, 1999
  15. Llywelyn 'the Great', Prince of Gwynedd, Aberffraw, Lord Snowdon, "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors and Cousins" (website, compiled by Mr. Marlyn Lewis, Portland, OR; accessed February 12, 2016), citing Richardson's Plantagenet Ancestry (Vol III, pp 422-424) and Royal Ancestry (Vol V, pp 297-298)
  16. See also this Gen-Medieval Rootsweb post by Stewart Baldwin, Oct. 7, 1999
  17. "According to the Worcester Annals" (see Plantagenesta)
  18. List of first nine children with dates from Sharon Kaye Penman's blog; footnotes indicate if child is also shown by #FMG, #Richardson, #Bartrum, and #Turner-Thomas. Cawley <ref></ref> lists nine children -- 3 by wife Joan, 1 by mistress Tangwystl, and the remaining 5 by other mistresses, as shown. Two additional children follow the nine listed by Penman. Other sections in this biography include additional information as to the mothers (see above). See also discussions on the profiles of the mothers and the children.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 #Turner-Thomas
  20. Penman suggests that Helen and Susanna may be the same person, but most other researchers list them as separate persons.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Listed by #Bartrum, #Richardson, and #Turner-Thomas
  22. 22.0 22.1 Lee, S. (1893). Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 34. NY: Macmillian and Co., p. 7ff, at 12 archive.org.
  23. Llywelyn the Great, English Monarchs
  24. Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project (link available through archive.org's Wayback Machine)
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 Brut y Tywysogion, Jesus MS 111 (Red Book of Hergest), retrieved 2014-06-08, amb
  26. Wikipedia Llywelyn the Great
  27. Richardson, p. 563-564, retrieved 2014-08-02, amb
  28. son of Iorwerth Drwyndwn ap Owain Gwynedd Prince of North Wales and Marared ferch Madog ap Maredudd.
  29. Worcester Annals
  30. According to www.princesofgwynedd.com May 1206 at Chester.
  31. married 1205, according to Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (FMG)
  32. Cawley, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Accessed February 15, 2016
  33. 1215-Brut y Tywysogion
  34. by Crysten
  35. In 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.
  36. Wikipedia: Iorwerth
  37. Gen-Medieval Rootsweb post by William A. Reitwiesner, September 1995
  38. Augusta Elizabeth Brickdale Corbet. The family of Corbet, its Life and Times. London: The St. Catherine Press, 1915. Volume II, page 218 Jowerth Accessed October 23, 2017. jhd
  39. 40.0 40.1 David Jamieson Email, GEN-MEDIEVAL, Re: Llewellyn ap Iorwerth's mother a Corbet? 13 Jul 1998. Accessed Jan 16, 2017.
  40. A. Jones. Gen-Medieval List (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GEN-MEDIEVAL/1999-10/0939744900 Llywelyn'd daughter Margaret and the de Braose Family] 12 October 1699. Accessed October 13, 2017.)

See also:

  • Llywelyn Fawr, from the Rootsweb database for Celtic Royal Genealogy by Sir Arthur E Turner-Thomas V.C., G.C., K.G.(Wales), K.C.B.
  • The Bartrum Project (digitization of "Welsh Genealogies AD 300- 1500" by Peter C. Bartrum)
  • Lee, S. (1893). Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 34. NY: Macmillian and Co. archive.org.
  • Cokayne, G.E., Gibbs, V., Doubleday, H.A. White, G.H., Warrand, D. & Walden, H, (2000). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, Vol. 1, pp.403. Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000
  • Mosley, C. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, (107th ed. Vol. 1, pp.1063).Wilmington, DE: Genealogical Books Ltd.
  • Weir, A. (1999). Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy, (pp. 71, 194). London: The Bodley Head.
  • Jacob Youde William Lloyd, The History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog: And the Ancient Lords of Arwystli, Cedewen, and Meirionydd, Volume 1 (p 161)
  • Peter Stewart's GEN-MEDIEVAL/soc.genealogy.medieval "Llywelyn ap Iorwerth ancestor table"
  • Douglas Richardson discussion of Llewelyn's parentage. February 2017.


  • "The family of Corbet, its life and times", by Mrs. Augusta Elizabeth Brickdale Corbet Corbet
  • Augusta Elizabeth Brickdale Corbet. The family of Corbet, its Life and Times. Volume II Thomas the Pilgrim Accessed October 23, 2017.

MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley 2000-2018.

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Images: 4
Llewelyn Fawr ap Iorwerth Image 1
Llewelyn Fawr ap Iorwerth Image 1

Prince of Wales Llewelyn Ap Iorwerth Image 1
Prince of Wales Llewelyn Ap Iorwerth Image 1

Prince of Wales Llewelyn Ap Iorwerth Image 2
Prince of Wales Llewelyn Ap Iorwerth Image 2

Statue of Llywelyn the Great
Statue of Llywelyn the Great


On 1 Jan 2018 at 22:51 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

Ap Iorwerth-31 and Ap Iorwerth-26 appear to represent the same person because: same person; please merge.

On 5 Jul 2017 at 23:44 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

I think that EditBot may have overstepped what it intended when it changed "Category:Prince of Wales" to "Category: House of Hanover".

On 27 Feb 2016 at 13:19 GMT Jack Day wrote:

Sharon Kay Penman's writeup of the children of Llywelyn suggests that Helen the younger and Susanna are the same person. Has anyone any thoughts (or even better, sources!) on this?

On 26 Feb 2016 at 23:54 GMT Jack Day wrote:

The profile currently has two lists of children -- one under vitals and another under the issue of wives and mistresses. Does anyone have a problem with consolidating them into one list under vitals?

On 26 Feb 2016 at 23:54 GMT Jack Day wrote:

The profile currently has two lists of children -- one under vitals and another under the issue of wives and mistresses. Does anyone have a problem with consolidating them into one list under vitals?

On 26 Feb 2016 at 23:54 GMT Jack Day wrote:

The profile currently has two lists of children -- one under vitals and another under the issue of wives and mistresses. Does anyone have a problem with consolidating them into one list under vitals?

On 26 Feb 2016 at 23:24 GMT Jack Day wrote:

I added a TEMPORARY section to analyze, sort out and reconcile the lists of children in the narrative and the children linked in the data field. Once children are resolved, the section can go away!

On 26 Feb 2016 at 14:35 GMT Jack Day wrote:

In the 1200's family relationships and political relationships were very mixed. Cawley/FMG has an item that 1228 daughter Susanna, who might have been around 10, was made a ward of Nicholas of Verdun. I don't know what that means, but I'm sure it's significant in some way. I put that under "reign" but perhaps it should be somewhere else.

On 16 Feb 2016 at 22:47 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Jack - I hid the copy/paste you added from FMG. Liz

On 15 Feb 2016 at 16:24 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

one source I saw did suggest that he had married Tangwystl in his youth, but I couldn't find anything other than that one speculative statement.

Jack - please post your comments about how WikiTree handles mistresses in G2G.

Cheers, Liz

more comments

Llywelyn is 20 degrees from Claude Monet, 24 degrees from Gigi Tanksley and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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