Gruffydd ap Cynan (1055 - 1137) MP

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Nicknames: "King of all Wales", "King of Gwnedd", "King of Gwynedd"
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Death: Died in Caernarvonshire,Wales
Occupation: King of Gwynedd
Managed by: Margaret, (C)
Last Updated:

About Gruffydd ap Cynan

  1. ID: I4341
  2. Name: Gruffudd ap Cyan
  3. Given Name: Gruffudd ap
  4. Surname: Cyan
  5. Suffix: King Of Gwynedd 1 2
  6. Sex: M
  7. Birth: 1055 in Dublin, Ireland 3
  8. Death: 1137 in Bangor, England 1 2
  9. Burial: Bangor Cathedral, Is Gwyrfai, Caernarvonshire, Wales
  10. Change Date: 21 Sep 2005 at 15:23

Painting: Gruffydd ap Cynan escapes from Chester, Illustration by T. Prytherch in 1900.

  1. Note:
   patron of bardic tradition, reigned 1081-1137
   !Sources: A. Roots 176, 239; Kraentzler 1406, 1409; AF; Dictionary of National Biography;Young; History of
   Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd, 1081. Weis says that his father's name was Conan. Morgan and Ancestral File say it was Cynan.
   !SOURCES:
   1. Weis, Frederick Lewis. _Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists_. 6th
   Edition. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1988; line 239.
   2.Family Group Record.
   3. _Dictionary of National Biography_. Has 2 1/2 pages of details, beginning on Page 301. Says he had five legitimate daughters and several illegitimate children.
   4. Morgan, Dennis. _A History of the Morgan Family_. "Griffith was born in Dublin and married Angharad, daughter of Owen. He returned to Wales in 1081, founded the first of five Royal Tribes, and was restored to the Crown of Gwynedd in 1081. Griffith was imprisoned by the Normans in Chester, England, from 1081 to 1093 and is buried in Bangor Cathedral.
   Children were Cadwallon, Owen, Cadwaladr and Gwenillian. From Owen's line came King Edward IV of England."
   5. Jones, Arthur. _The History of Griffith ap Cynan. Manchester, 1910,a
   translation and analysis of a twelfth century biography of Griffith (cited as thesource of the pedigree given in Weis, line 239).
   6. Bartrum, Peter C. _Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400_, page 41.

Father: Ragnhildir (Ranult) ingen Olaf Of Dublin b: Abt 1030

Marriage 1 Angharat verch Owain b: Abt 1065 in Tegeingl, Flintshire, Wales

   * Married: Abt 1095 in Wales 4
   * Change Date: 21 Sep 2005

Children

  1. Has Children Margred Verch Gruffudd b: Abt 1070 in Wales
  2. Has Children Gruffydd ap Rhys b: Abt 1081
  3. Has Children Gwenlian verch Gruffydd b: Abt 1090 in Caernarvonshire, Wales
  4. Has Children Susanna Verch Gruffydd b: Abt 1095 in Caernarvonshire, Wales c: in <Gwynedd, Wales>
  5. Has No Children Cadwaladr Ap Gruffudd b: Abt 1096 in Caernarvonshire, Wales
  6. Has Children Owain Gwynedd Ap Gruffudd b: Abt 1100 in The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland"

Sources:

  1. Abbrev: Encyclopedia Britannica, Treatise on
     Title: Encyclopedia Britannica, Treatise on
     Date: 13 Nov 2000
     Page: UK-Wales Macropaedia p 124
     Quality: 3
  2. Abbrev: Ancestral Roots Of Sixty Colonists Who Came To New Englan d Between 1623 And 1650
     Title: Ancestral Roots Of Sixty Colonists Who Came To New England Between 1623And 1650
     Author: Weis, Frederick Lewis
     Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 1992
     Date: 7 Jun 2004
     Repository:
     Page: 176-6
     Quality: 3
  3. Abbrev: Ancestral Roots Of Sixty Colonists Who Came To New Englan d Between 1623 And 1650
     Title: Ancestral Roots Of Sixty Colonists Who Came To New England Between 1623And 1650
     Author: Weis, Frederick Lewis
     Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 1992
     Date: 7 Jun 2004
     Repository:
     Page: 239-5
     Quality: 3
  4. Abbrev: Ancestral Roots Of Sixty Colonists Who Came To New Englan d Between 1623 And 1650
     Title: Ancestral Roots Of Sixty Colonists Who Came To New England Between 1623And 1650
     Author: Weis, Frederick Lewis
     Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 1992
     Date: 7 Jun 2004
     Repository:
     Page: 239-5 

-------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (standard Welsh: Gruffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw. Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan, has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known. Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text. [edit]Genealogy

According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was. Gruffydd's mother, Ragnaillt, was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain. During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain. [edit]First bid for the throne

Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llŷn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llŷn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year. [edit]Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans

Gryffydd ap Cynan's Coat of Arms Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time. He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog. [edit]Escape from captivity and third reign

Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe. Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance. In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides. [edit]King for the fourth time and consolidation

The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester. With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llŷn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being. Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey le Breton had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd. Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament". [edit]Death and succession

Gruffydd was buried in Bangor Cathedral Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule. [edit]Children

Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth [edit]References

-------------------- Middle name reported as Ap -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gruffydd ap Cynan (also spelled Gryffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw.

Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, "The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan", has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known.

Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text.

Genealogy

According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was.

Gruffydd's mother, Ragnaillt, was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain.

During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain.

First bid for the throne

Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llŷn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd.

Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llŷn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year.

Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans

Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time.

He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog.

Escape from captivity and third reign

Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe.

Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance.

In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides.

King for the fourth time and consolidation

The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester.

With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llŷn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being.

Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd.

Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament".

Death and succession


Gruffydd was buried in Bangor Cathedral

Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule.

Children Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd, married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth

References R.R. Davies (1991). The age of conquest: Wales 1063-1415. O.U.P. ISBN 0-19-820198-2. Simon Evans (1990). A Mediaeval Prince of Wales: the Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan. Llanerch Enterprises. ISBN 0-947992-58-8. Arthur Jones (1910). The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan: the Welsh text with translation, introduction and notes. Manchester University Press. . Translation online at The Celtic Literature Collective K.L. Maund (ed) (1996). Gruffudd ap Cynan : a collaborative biography. Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-389-5. Kari Maund (ed) (2006). The Welsh kings:warriors, warlords and princes. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2973-6. Paul Russell (ed) (2006). Vita Griffini Filii Conani: The Medieval Latin Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1893-2. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 176B-26, 239-5 -------------------- Historical Event: William took seven months to prepare his invasion force, using some 600 transport ships to carry around 7,000 men (including 2,000-3,000 cavalry) across the Channel. On 28 September 1066, with a favourable wind, William landed unopposed at Pevensey and, within a few days, raised fortifications at Hastings. Having defeated an earlier invasion by the King of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge near York in late September, Harold undertook a forced march south, covering 250 miles in some nine days to meet the new threat, gathering inexperienced reinforcements to replenish his exhausted veterans as he marched.

At the Battle of Senlac (near Hastings) on 14 October, Harold's weary and under-strength army faced William's cavalry (part of the forces brought across the Channel) supported by archers. Despite their exhaustion, Harold's troops were equal in number (they included the best infantry in Europe equipped with their terrible two-handled battle axes) and they had the battlefield advantage of being based on a ridge above the Norman positions.

The first uphill assaults by the Normans failed and a rumour spread that William had been killed; William rode among the ranks raising his helmet to show he was still alive. The battle was close-fought: a chronicler described the Norman counter-attacks and the Saxon defence as 'one side attacking with all mobility, the other withstanding as though rooted to the soil'. Three of William's horses were killed under him.

William skilfully co-ordinated his archers and cavalry, both of which the English forces lacked. During a Norman assault, Harold was killed - hit by an arrow and then mowed down by the sword of a mounted knight. Two of his brothers were also killed. The demoralised English forces fled.

More on this Website > • http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/bayeux.htm -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gruffydd ap Cynan (standard Welsh: Gruffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw. Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

Life

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan, has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known. Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text. [edit]Ancestry According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was. Gruffydd's mother Ragnhild was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse Uí Ímhair dynasty.[1] Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland. His great-great grandparents on his mother's side include the 10th century High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, the 9th century King of Dublin, Olaf Cuarán, and Gormflaith.[1] During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain. [edit]First bid for the throne Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llŷn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llŷn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year.

Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans

Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time. He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog. [edit]Escape from captivity and third reign Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe. Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to bring the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance. In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides. [edit]King for the fourth time and consolidation The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester. With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llŷn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being. Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey le Breton had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd. Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament". [edit]Death and succession

Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule. [edit]Children

Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth [edit]Footnotes

^ a b Hudson, p 83 [edit]References

R.R. Davies (1991). The age of conquest: Wales 1063-1415. O.U.P. ISBN 0-19-820198-2. Simon Evans (1990). A Mediaeval Prince of Wales: the Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan. Llanerch Enterprises. ISBN 0-947992-58-8. Hudson, Benjamin T (2005). Viking pirates and Christian princes: dynasty, religion, and empire in the North Atlantic (Illustrated ed.). United States: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195162374, ISBN 9780195162370. Arthur Jones (1910). The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan: the Welsh text with translation, introduction and notes. Manchester University Press.. Translation online at The Celtic Literature Collective K.L. Maund (ed) (1996). Gruffudd ap Cynan : a collaborative biography. Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-389-5. Kari Maund (ed) (2006). The Welsh kings:warriors, warlords and princes. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2973-6. Paul Russell (ed) (2006). Vita Griffini Filii Conani: The Medieval Latin Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1893-2. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 176B-26, 239-5

  • Gruffydd ap Cynan Prince of Gwynedd

born 1055 Dublin, Ireland died 1137 Caernarvonshire, Wales buried Bangor Cathedral, Is Gwyrfai, Caernarvonshire, Wales

father:

  • Cynan ap Iago Prince of Gwynedd

born about 1014 Aberffro, Malltraeth, Anglesey, Wales

mother:

  • Rhanullt (Ragnhildir) inger Olaf of Dublin

born about 1031 Dublin, Ireland

siblings: unknown

spouse:

  • Angharad verch Owain of Tegaingl

born about 1065 Tegaingl, Flintshire, Wales died 1162 married about 1082

children:

  • Rhanullt verch Gruffydd born about 1083 Caernarvonshire, Wales
  • Owain "Fawr" ap Gruffydd Prince of Gwynedd born about 1087 Caernarvonshire, Wales

died December 1169 Caernarvonshire, Wales buried Bangor Cathedral, Is Gwyrfai, Caernarvonshire, Wales

  • Susanna verch Gruffydd born about 1095 Caernarvonshire, Wales
  • Gwenllian verch Gruffydd born about 1085 Aberffraw Castle, Caernarvonshire, Wales

died 1136 Battle of Maes?

  • Yslani verch Gruffudd born about 1104 Caernarvonshire, Wales

Membyr "Ddu" ap Gruffydd born about 1114 Caernarvonshire, Wales Rhael verch Gruffydd born about 1116 Caernarvonshire, Wales Annes verch Gruffydd born about 1118 Caernarvonshire, Wales

  • Margred verch Gruffydd born about 1120 Caernarvonshire, Wales

Tudwal ap Gruffydd born about 1122 Caernarvonshire, Wales Elen verch Gruffydd born about 1089 Aberffraw Castle, Anglesey, Wales Merinedd verch Gruffydd born about 1091 Aberffraw Castle, Anglesey, Wales

  • Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd born about 1096 Caernarvonshire, Wales

died March 1172 buried Bangor, Caernarvonshire, Wales Cadwallon ap Gruffydd born about 1097 Caernarvonshire, Walesey, Wales died 1132

biographical and/or anecdotal:

notes or source: LDS -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (also spelled Gryffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw.

Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

Children Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (also spelled Gryffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw. Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan, has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known. Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text.

Genealogy According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was. Gruffydd's mother, Ragnaillt, was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain. During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain.

First bid for the throne Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llŷn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llŷn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year.

Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans Gruffydd ap Cynan escapes from Chester, Illustration by T. Prytherch in 1900Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time. He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog.

Escape from captivity and third reign Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe. Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance. In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides.

King for the fourth time and consolidation The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester. With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llŷn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being. Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey le Breton had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd. Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament".

Death and succession Gruffydd was buried in Bangor CathedralGruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule.

Children Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (standard Welsh: Gruffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw. Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan, has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known. Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text. [edit]Genealogy

According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was. Gruffydd's mother, Ragnaillt, was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain. During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain. [edit]First bid for the throne

Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llyn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llyn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year. [edit]Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans

Gryffydd ap Cynan's Coat of Arms Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time. He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog. [edit]Escape from captivity and third reign

Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe. Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance. In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides. [edit]King for the fourth time and consolidation

The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester. With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llyn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being. Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey le Breton had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd. Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament". [edit]Death and succession

Gruffydd was buried in Bangor Cathedral Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule. [edit]Children

Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth [edit]References -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (standard Welsh: Gruffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw. Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan, has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known. Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text. [edit]Genealogy

According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was. Gruffydd's mother, Ragnaillt, was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain. During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain. [edit]First bid for the throne

Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llyn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llyn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year. [edit]Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans

Gryffydd ap Cynan's Coat of Arms Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time. He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog. [edit]Escape from captivity and third reign

Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe. Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance. In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides. [edit]King for the fourth time and consolidation

The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester. With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llyn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being. Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey le Breton had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd. Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament". [edit]Death and succession

Gruffydd was buried in Bangor Cathedral Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule. [edit]Children

Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132) Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth [edit]References -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (also spelled Gryffydd ap Cynan) (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw.

Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great.

Children

Cadwallon ap Gruffydd (killed 1132)

Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffydd), married (1) Gwladus (Gladys) ferch Llywarch, daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaearn (2) Cristin ferch Goronwy, daughter of Goronwy ab Owain

Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, married Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare

Susanna, married Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys

Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, married Gruffydd ap Rhys, prince of Deheubarth -------------------- Gruffydd ap Cynan (also spelled Gryffydd ap Cynan) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales.

Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death.

Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain. During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain.

Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075. He landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llŷn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llŷn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year.

Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time.

He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog.

Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders.

Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success.

In 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llŷn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin: Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign.

The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament".

Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruffydd_ap_Cynan for more information. --------------------

  Arms: Gules, three lions passant in pale argent armed azure.9 Gryffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd was born circa 1055 at Dublin, Ireland.10 He was the son of Cynan ab Iago, Prince of Gwynedd and Radnaillt of Dublin.6,7,8,2 Gryffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd married Angharad ferch Owain of Tegeingl, daughter of Owain ab Edwyn of Tegeingl and Morwyl verch Ydnywain bendew, circa 1082; 6th cousins, 1x removed.10,11 Gryffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd was came to the throne in Gwynedd following English rule between 1088 and 1094. King of Gwynedd between 1094 and 1137. Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur 1098: "In this year the French moved a third time against the men of Gwynedd. For fear of treachery, Gruffudd ap Cynan fled to Ireland."12 Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur 1099: "In this year Cadwgan ap Bleddyn and Gruffudd ap Cynan returned from Ireland. And, after making peace with the French, they received a portion of the land and the kingdom."13 He died in 1137 at Caernarvonshire, Wales. "Grifinus filius Conani obiit."10,11,14,2,15 Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur 1137: "In this year died ... Gruffudd ap Cynan, prince of Gwynedd and head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales, ended his temporal life in Christ after receiving extreme unction and communion and confession and repentance for his sins, and becoming a monk and making a good end in his perfect old age."16

http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p364.htm#i7507 -------------------- King of Gwynedd 1081 - 1137

Gruffydd ap Cynan was born in Ireland of the royal line of Gwynedd and made several attempts to regain Gwynedd before finally succeeding.

Much of his kingdom was overrun by Normans, who imprisoned him but he escaped to join the anti-Norman rebellion of 1094.

Driven out again in 1098, he retired to Ireland, but returned as a ruler of Anglesey.

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Gruffydd ap Cynan's Timeline

1055
March 8, 1055
Dublin, Ireland
1082
1082
Age 26
Of, Wales
1083
1083
Age 27
Of, Caernarvonshire, Wales
1085
1085
Age 29
Wales
1085
Age 29
Caernarvonshire, Wales
1089
1089
Age 33
Of, Aberffraw Castle, Anglesey, Wales
1091
1091
Age 35
Aberffraw Castle, Anglesey, Wales
1096
1096
Age 40
Caernarvonshire, Wales
1097
1097
Age 41
Wales
1097
Age 41
Walesey, Caernarvonshire, Wales