Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr

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Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr

Also Known As: "Gruffudd ap Llewelyn Mawr", "Lord of the Castle of Shokelach /Gruffydd/"
Birthdate: (48)
Birthplace: Probably Gwynedd, Wales, (Present UK)
Death: March 1, 1244 (48)
London, Middlesex, England, (Present UK) (died falling from the Tower of London in an escape attempt)
Place of Burial: Conwy, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Llewelyn Fawr ab Iorwerth, Prince of Gwynedd and Tangwystl verch Llywarch Goch ap Iorwerth
Husband of Senena verch Caradog and Rhanullt ferch Rheinallt
Father of Margred verch Gruffydd; Owain Goch ap Gruffydd; Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf ap Gruffyd, Prince of North Wales; Rhodri ap Gruffudd; Dafydd ap Gruffydd, Last Independent Prince of Wales and 3 others
Half brother of Gwenllian verch Llewelyn; Gwladys "Ddu" verch Llewelyn; Angharad verch Llewelyn; N.N. verch Llewelyn; Elen ferch Llywelyn and 5 others

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About Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr; (Steven Ferry, July 7, 2017.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Thomas ap Rhodri, Father of Owain "Lawgoch"; (Steven Ferry, June 17, 2017.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers; (Steven Ferry, July 1, 2017.)

From the English Wikipedia page on Gruffudd ap Llywelyn:

Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (c. 1198 – 1 March 1244) was the first born son of Llywelyn the Great ("Llywelyn Fawr"). His mother Tangwystl probably died in childbirth.


As a boy, Gruffydd was one of the hostages taken by King John of England as a pledge for his father's continued good faith. On his father's death in 1240 he would under Welsh law have been entitled to consideration as his father's successor. Llywelyn however had excluded him from the succession and had declared his son by his wife Joan, Dafydd, to be heir to the kingdom. Llywelyn went to considerable lengths to strengthen Dafydd's position, probably aware that there would be considerable Welsh support for Gruffydd against the half-English Dafydd.


Gruffydd was held a prisoner by his brother Dafydd when the latter took over Gwynedd. Following a successful invasion of the Welsh borders by King Henry III of England in 1241, Dafydd was obliged to hand over Gruffydd into the king's custody whence he was taken to London and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Gruffydd's wife, Senena (possibly a daughter of Caradoc ap Thomas of Anglesey), agreed to pay Henry 600 marks for the release of her husband and their eldest son, Owain, and to hand over her two youngest sons, Dafydd and Rhodri, to the king as hostages to ensure that she kept her part of the bargain. Henry did not keep his part however, and kept Gruffydd and his son imprisoned as "guests" because this continued to give him the possibility of using Gruffydd as a weapon against his brother.


However, Gruffydd died while attempting to escape from the Tower in 1244. He is said to have used an improvised rope made from sheets and cloths to lower himself from his window, but as he was a heavy man the rope broke and he fell to his death. His body was discovered by the Yeoman of the Guard the next morning at the foot of the White Tower where he had fallen some 90 feet. The window from which he made his descent is on the south side of the Tower on the top floor. It was bricked up afterwards and can still be seen today.

In 1248 the abbots of Strata Florida and Aberconwy arranged for the return of his body to Wales where he was buried at Aberconwy with his father.


After his death Gruffydd's four sons—Owain, Llywelyn, Dafydd and Rhodri—would come into their own, and after much fraternal discord, Llywelyn ended up ruling most of Wales. He also had two daughters, Gwladus and Margred.

Gruffydd (Fawr) ap Llywelyn

Gruffydd, known as Fawr, was born in 1207 in Gwynedd, Caernarvonshire, Wales.1

Birth Notes

Fawr's father was Llewelyn (The Great) ap Iorweth and his mother was Tangwystl verch Llywarch. His paternal grandparents were Prince of Gwynedd Iowerth Drwyndwn ap Owain and Marared verch Madog. He had a sister named Ddu. He was the younger of the two children. He had three half-brothers and four half-sisters, named Dafydd, Tegwared-Y-Baiswen, Llywelyn, Angharad, Elen, Margred and Helen. He died due to Fell from the Tower of London at the age of 36 on March 1st, 1243 in London, Middlesex.1

Death Notes

D: 1 Mar 1243/44

Personal Details

Gruffydd (Fawr) ap Llywelyn

Gruffydd, known as Fawr, was born in 1207 in Gwynedd, Caernarvonshire, Wales.1

Birth Notes

He died due to Fell from the Tower of London at the age of 36 on March 1st, 1243 in London, Middlesex.1

Death Notes

  • 1. Senena verch Caradog

Senena was born in 1201 in Angelsey, Wales.2 She died at the age of 61 in 1262.2


  • 1. Prince of Wales Llewelyn ap Gruffydd

Llewelyn was born in 1228 in Nefyn, North Wales.2 He died as a war casualty, Battle of Builty, at the age of 54 on December 11th, 1282 in Builty, Wales.2

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Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr's Timeline

Probably Gwynedd, Wales, (Present UK)
Age 25
Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, , Wales
Age 29
Dynevor Castle,Llandilo,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Age 29
April 1228
Age 32
Age 39
July 11, 1238
Age 42
Gwynedd, Wales, (Present UK)
Age 44
Age 47
March 1, 1244
Age 48
London, Middlesex, England, (Present UK)