Gruffudd ap Cynan

Gruffudd ap Cynan was the grandson of Iago ap Idwal ap Meurig who was king of Gwynedd until the year 1039, when he was killed and displaced by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. Cynan ap Iago, Iago's son fled to Ireland where he married Ragnaillt, the daughter of the Viking king of Dublin. Gruffudd ap Cynan was therefore brought up in exile but returned time and again to Wales to seek to recover his inheritance. Eventually (and only after spending a number of years imprisoned by Hugh the Fat, Gruffudd succeeded in re-establishing the line of Merfyn Frych on the throne of Gwynedd.

The last rulers of Gwynedd

The descendants of Gruffudd were to rule Gwynedd for the most of the next two centuries. Owain Gwynedd and the two Llywelyns, ap Iorwerth and ap Gruffudd, were all to establish a far wider hegemony for Gwynedd than had been seen before, and to see themselves as more than mere kings of northern Wales, but as leaders of the whole of Wales itself, and adopted the title of Prince of Wales to support and promote their claims.

But it was all over in five generations. In the final clash with Edward I, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd died in 1282 in an ambush in Buellt and his head was delivered to London to be displayed on Traitor's Gate. His brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd was captured a year later and taken to Shrewsbury where he was hanged drawn and quartered

The fate of the Children

The daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Gwenllian was taken to the convent at Sempringham in Lincolnshire at the age of two where she spent the rest of her life, effectively a prisoner of the English state.

Of the children of Dafydd ap Gruffudd;

His daughter Gwladys was likewise deposited in Sixhills Convent in Lincolnshire where she died in 1336.

The two boys Llywelyn and Owain were taken to Bristol Castle where they were imprisoned. Llywelyn died of an unspecifed illnes in around 1288. Owain remained imprisoned for the rest of his life. No one knows exactly when he died, but he was still alive in 1320.

The House of Gruffudd ap Cynan

                                      Gruffudd ap Cynan  
                                        ruled 1099-1137
                  |                           |
        Cadwallon ap Gruffudd    Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffudd
               died 1132                ruled 1137-1170
       |                  |                   |                      |                     |                  |  
Rhun ab Owain      Hywel ab Owain    Iorwerth ab Owain     Maelgwyn ab Owain    Dafydd ab Owain   Rhodri ab Owain
 died 1146           ruled 1170               |            ruled 1170-1174      ruled 1174-1194    ruled 1194-1195
                                      Llywelyn ap Iorwerth
                                         Llywelyn Fawr   
                                         ruled 1194-1240    
                          |                                              |  
            Gruffudd ap Llywelyn ap Iorwerth                   Dafydd ap Llywelyn  
                        died 1244                                ruled 1240-1246
       |                                 |                        |            
   Owain Goch              Llywelyn ein Lliw Olaf      Dafydd ap Gruffudd       
Owain ap Gruffudd             Llywelyn ap Gruffudd       ruled 1282-1283
                                ruled 1246-1282                   |
                                         |                        |----------------------|--------------------|
                                         |                        |                      |                    | 
                                         |                        |                      |                    |  
                             Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn    Llywelyn ap Dafydd   Owain ap Dafydd  Gwladys ferch Dafydd


Adapted from similar presentations and information contained in;

Ann Williams, Alfred P. Smyth and D. P. Kirby A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain (Seaby, 1991)
John Davies A History of Wales (Allen Lane, 1993)
Kari Mundi The Welsh Kings (Tempus, 2000)

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