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Elen ferch Llywelyn

Also Known As: "Princess Helen of Wales", "Helen", "Ellen", "Helen verch Llewellyn", "Helen Verch Llewelyn of North", "Ellen verca Llewellyn"
Birthplace: Aberconway, Carnarvonshire, Wales
Death: Died in Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd and mistresses 2-7 various
Wife of Malcolm Mac Duff, Mórmaer of Fife and Donald de Mar, 6th Earl of Mar
Mother of Duncan MacDuff; MacDuff of Reres; Gartnait MacDomhnaill, 7th Earl of Mar; Margaret of Mar, Lady Sutherland (4th); Alexander de Mar and 14 others
Sister of Gwladys "Ddu" verch Llewelyn; Gwenllian verch Llywelyn; Margaret (Margred) verch Llewelyn and Angharad verch Llywelyn
Half sister of Tegwared Bais Wen; Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr; Two siblings Fawr; Helen the elder verch Llewelyn; Dafydd, Prince of North Wales and Gwynedd and 2 others

Occupation: Lands were northeastern section of Inverness., Princess of North Wales, Countess of Mar, of North Wales
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elen ferch Llywelyn

Helen or Elen, illegitimate daughter of Llewellyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of Wales, widow of Malcolm, Earl of Fife.

from Wikipedia

Domhnall I Earl of Mar - Domhnall mac Uilleim (Donald, William's son) - was the seventh known Mormaer of Mar, ruling from 1276 until his death somewhere between 1297 and 1302.

Domhnall was a strong supporter of the Bruce cause during the crisis of the late 13th century. He was at Norham in 1292, probably in the camp of Robert de Brus, then Earl of Carrick.

He was married to Helen (sometimes called Ellen), possibly the natural daughter of Llywelyn the Great of Wales, who herself had previously been married to Mormaer Maol Choluim II, Earl of Fife.

By Helen, he had three sons, including his successor Gartnait, and two daughters.

His daughter Isabella of Mar was the first wife of Robert I of Scotland and mother of Marjorie Bruce who married Walter 6th High Steward, the parents of Robert II and the Royal Stewart Kings of Scotland.


  • Barrow, G. W. S. (1988). Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland (3rd ed. ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-85224-539-4.


Helen ferch Llywelyn1 From the Last Edited=28 Dec 2011

She married

  • firstly, Malcolm MacDuff, 5th Earl of Fife before 1266.1
  • secondly, Donald, 6th Earl of Mar, son of William, 5th Earl of Mar and Elizabeth Comyn, after 1266.1 As a result of her marriage, Helen ferch Llywelyn was styled as Countess of Mar on 25 July 1281.

Children of Helen ferch Llywelyn and Donald, 6th Earl of Mar

  • Duncan of Mar3
  • Alexander of Mar3
  • Isabella of Mar+4 d. b 1302
  • Margaret of Mar+5
  • Gartnait, 7th Earl of Mar+3 d. b Sep 1305


  • [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume VIII, page 403. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • [S130] Wikipedia, online http;// Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia.
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 2, page 2603. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 209. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Families.
  • [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 306.


The mother of Isabella of Mar is said to have been Helen, widow of Malcolm (or Maol Choluim) Macduff Earl of Fife (possibly Helen verch Llywelyn, but FMG casts doubts on the certainty of this assertion, d. after 16 February 1295)

From the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy page on Scotland, Mormaers, Earls, Lords:

DONALD, son of WILLIAM Earl of Mar & his first wife Elizabeth Comyn of Buchan (-after 25 Jul 1297).

  • "Willelmus comes de Mar" confirmed the donations of "ecclesiam de Taruelond…de Migueth" made by "dñs Morgrundus avus noster…dña Agnes avia nostra quondam comitissa de Mar" to St Andrew´s priory by charter dated 23 Jan 1267 witnessed by "…Douenaldo Duncano filiis eiusdem comitis…"[452]. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that "Dovenaldus filius Willelmi comitis de Mar" was knighted "die Sancti Michaelis apud Sconam" in 1270[453].
  • He succeeded his father as Earl of Mar. Donald Earl of Mar agreed the marriage of Margaret Pss of Scotland to Erik of Norway, dated 25 Jul 1281[454].
  • He swore fealty to Edward I King of England as his overlord 13 Jun 1291, but was active in the Scottish revolt against England. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Dunbar 27 Apr 1296, but did homage to the English king after the submission of John Balliol in Jul 1296[455].

m (after 1266) as her second husband, HELEN, widow of MALCOLM Macduff Earl of Fife, daughter of --- (-after 16 Feb 1295).

  • The second marriage of the widow of Malcolm Earl of Fife is confirmed by the documents under which "Elenæ comitissæ de Marre" accounted for payment of "xl s pro parte dotis suæ" in the accounts of lands formerly belonging to Duncan Earl of Fife 20 Nov 1293 and 16 Feb 1294[456].
  • However, it is not certain that this widow of Earl Malcolm was the same person as his wife who was the daughter of Prince Llywelyn.
  • The birth of Earl Malcolm´s son Colban is estimated to [1244/46]. However, Earl Malcolm´s widow had four known children by her second husband. This would mean that she gave birth to children over an approximately thirty year span, which although not impossible would be unusual. In addition, it seems unlikely that Earl Donald would have married, as his first marriage, a woman who would have been more than 35 years old.

Earl Donald & his wife had [five] children:

1. GRATNEY (-before Sep 1305).

  • He succeeded his father in 1297 as Earl of Mar.
  • m (1292 or after) as her first husband, CHRISTIAN Bruce, daughter of ROBERT Bruce Earl of Carrick & his first wife Margaret Ctss of Carrick (-[1356/27 Jan 1357], bur Dunfermline). John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that "Robertum comitem de Carric…filia…seniore" married "Garthenai comiti de Marria"[457]. She married secondly Sir Christopher Seton, and thirdly (dispensation 20 Sep 1326, Cambuskenneth 1326) Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records the marriage of "Andreas de Moravia" and "dominam Christianam sororem…regis" at Cambuskenneth in 1326[458]. The Papal dispensation for the marriage of "Andree de Moravia domino de Bothvile" and "Cristiane de Setono nate quondam Robert de Bruys", issued by Pope John XXII, is dated 20 Sep 1326[459]. The same source records the death in 1357 of "the Lady Christiana of Bruce, King Robert´s sister" and her burial "at Dunfermline with her parents"[460].
  • Earl Gratney & his wife had --- children: Donald (killed in the Battle of Duplin 12 August 1332), and Ellen of Mar (m. John de Menteith of Strathgartney and Arran who d. before 1344)

2. DUNCAN (-after Aug 1296).

  • The Ragman Roll names "…Duncan fiz le Comte de Mar…" among those who swore allegiance to Edward I King of England at Berwick-upon-Tweed 28 Aug 1296[467].


3. ISABEL of Mar (-before 1302).

  • John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that "Robertus…rex, quuando fuit comes de Carric" married "Isabellam sororem Garthenai comitis de Marr"[468].

m ([1295]) as his first wife, ROBERT Bruce Earl of Carrick, son of Sir ROBERT de Brus, Earl of Carrick, Lord of Annandale & his first wife Margaret Ctss of Carrick (Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex 11 Jul 1274-Cardross Castle, Dumbartonshire 7 Jun 1329, bur Dunfermline Abbey, Fife).

  • He succeeded in 1306 as ROBERT I King of Scotland.


4. MARGARET of Mar (-after 1306).

  • A charter dated 3 Sep 1296 records petitions to King Edward I by women whose estates had been seized in Scotland, including an order of restoration of property to "la contesse de Atheles"[469]. "Gilbertus de Haia constabularius Scotie" confirmed donations to Cupar abbey, including the donation made by "Mariore comitisse Atholie, relicte quondam Johannis comitis Atholie et confirmatione David filii sui primogeniti et heredis", by charter dated 5 Oct 1309[470].
  • m JOHN of Strathbogie Earl of Atholl, son of DAVID of Strathbogie Earl of Atholl & his second wife Isabel of Chilham (-executed London 7 Nov 1306).

5. [MARGARET of Mar .

  • She is named as wife of Malcolm Earl of Lennox by Fraser[471]. She may have been the daughter or the sister of Donald Earl of Mar.
  • m MALCOLM Earl of Lennox, son of MALCOLM Earl of Lennox & his wife --- (-killed in battle Halidon Hill 19 Jul 1333).]


  • [452] St Andrew´s Priory, p. 311.
  • [453] Johannis de Fordun (Goodall), Vol. II, Lib. X, Cap. XXVIII, p. 113.
  • [454] Balfour Paul The Scots Peerage, Vol. V, Mar, p. 577, citing Acta Parliamenta Scotorum, I, p. 423 [not yet consulted].
  • [455] CP VIII 402-3.
  • [456] Stevenson (1870), Vol. I, pp. 410 and 414.
  • [457] Johannis de Fordun (Goodall), Vol. II, Lib. XI, Cap. XIII, p. 150.
  • [458] Johannis de Fordun (Goodall), Vol. II, Lib. XIII, Cap. XII, p. 287.
  • [459] Stuart (1798), p. 429.
  • [460] John of Fordun (Skene), Annals, CLXXVIII, p. 366.
  • [467] Calendar of Documents Scotland (Bain), Vol. II, 823, p. 200.
  • [468] Johannis de Fordun (Goodall), Vol. II, Lib. XI, Cap. XIII, p. 150.
  • [469] Stephenson, J. (ed.) (1870) Documents illustrative of the History of Scotland from the death of King Alexander the Third to the accession of Robert Bruce 1286-1306 (Edinburgh), Vol. II, CCCLXXXV, p. 92.
  • [470] Cupar, Vol. II, Appendix, II, 5, p. 286.
  • [471] Fraser, Sir. W. (1874) The Lennox, Vol. I, p. 240 (not yet consulted), cited in CP VII 591.


  • Magna Charta Sureties,Line 41b-5
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Elen ferch Llywelyn's Timeline

Blisworth, Northamptonshire, England, (Present UK)
Aberconway, Carnarvonshire, Wales
Age 23
Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 26
Kildrummy Castle, (Present Aberdeenshire), Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 27
Probably Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Age 30
Kildrummy Castle, Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Age 31
Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
February 1295
Age 49
Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland