Owain Gwynedd

Owain Gwynedd (in English, "Owen") (c. 1100November 28, 1170), alternatively known by the patronymic "Owain ap Gruffydd" and also as Owain I of Gwynedd and occasionally Owain I of Wales on account of his claim to be King of Wales. He is considered to be the most successful of all the north Welsh princes prior to his grandson, Llywelyn the Great. He was known as Owain Gwynedd to distinguish him from another contemporary Owain ap Gruffydd, ruler of part of Powys who was known as Owain Cyfeiliog. Owain Gwynedd was a member of the House of Aberffraw, a descendant of the senior branch from Rhodri Mawr.

Early life

Owain's father, Gruffydd ap Cynan, was a strong and long-lived ruler who had made the principality of Gwynedd the most influential in Wales during the sixty-two years of his reign, using the island of Anglesey as his power base. His mother, Angharad ferch Owain, was the daughter of Owain ab Edwin. Owain was the second of three sons of Gruffydd and Angharad.

Owain is thought to have been born on Anglesey about the year 1100. By about 1120 Gruffydd had grown too old to lead his forces in battle and Owain and his brothers Cadwallon and later Cadwaladr led the forces of Gwynedd against the Normans and against other Welsh princes with great success. His elder brother Cadwallon was killed in a battle against the forces of Powys in 1132, leaving Owain as his father's heir. Owain and Cadwaladr, in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, won a major victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and annexed Ceredigion to their father's realm.

Accession to the throne and early campaigns

On Gruffydd's death in 1137, therefore, Owain inherited a portion of a well-established kingdom, but had to share it with Cadwaladr. In 1143 Cadwaladr was implicated in the murder of Anarawd ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth, and Owain responded by sending his son Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd to strip him of his lands in the north of Ceredigion. Though Owain was later reconciled with Cadwaladr, from 1143, Owain ruled alone over most of north Wales. In 1155 Cadwaladr was driven into exile.

Owain took advantage of the civil war in England between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda to push Gwynedd's boundaries further east than ever before. In 1146 he captured the castle of Mold and about 1150 captured Rhuddlan and encroached on the borders of Powys. The prince of Powys, Madog ap Maredudd, with assistance from Earl Ranulf of Chester, gave battle at Coleshill, but Owain was victorious.

War with King Henry II

All went well until the accession of King Henry II of England in 1154. Henry invaded Gwynedd in 1157 with the support of Madog ap Maredudd of Powys and Owain's brother Cadwaladr. The invasion met with mixed fortunes. King Henry was nearly killed in a skirmish near Basingwerk and the fleet accompanying the invasion made a landing on Anglesey where it was defeated. Owain was however forced to come to terms with Henry, being obliged to surrender Rhuddlan and other conquests in the east.

Madog ap Maredudd died in 1160, enabling Owain to regain territory in the east. In 1163 he formed an alliance with Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth to challenge English rule. King Henry again invaded Gwynedd in 1165, but instead of taking the usual route along the northern coastal plain, the king's army invaded from Oswestry and took a route over the Berwyn hills. The invasion was met by an alliance of all the Welsh princes, with Owain as the undisputed leader. However there was little fighting, for the Welsh weather came to Owain's assistance as torrential rain forced Henry to retreat in disorder. The infuriated Henry mutilated a number of Welsh hostages, including two of Owain's sons.

Henry did not invade Gwynedd again and Owain was able to regain his eastern conquests, recapturing Rhuddlan castle in 1167 after a siege of three months.

Disputes with the church and succession

The last years of Owain's life were spent in disputes with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, over the appointment of a new Bishop of Bangor. When the see became vacant Owain had his nominee, Arthur of Bardsey, elected. The archbishop refused to accept this, so Owain had Arthur consecrated in Ireland. The dispute continued, and the see remained officially vacant until well after Owain's death. He was also put under pressure by the Archbishop and the Pope to put aside his second wife, Cristin, who was his first cousin, this relationship making the marriage invalid under church law. Despite being excommunicated for his defiance, Owain steadfastly refused to put Cristin aside. Owain died in 1170, and despite having been excommunicated was buried in Bangor Cathedral by the local clergy. The annalist writing Brut y Tywysogion recorded his death "after innumerable victories, and unconquered from his youth".

He is believed to have commissioned the propaganda text, The Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, an account of his father's life. Following his death, civil war broke out between his sons. Owain was married twice, first to Gwladus ferch Llywarch ap Trahaearn, by whom he had two sons, Maelgwn ab Owain Gwynedd and Iorwerth Drwyndwn, the father of Llywelyn the Great, then to Cristin, by whom he had three sons including Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd and Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd. He also had a number of illegitimate sons, who by Welsh law had an equal claim on the inheritance if acknowledged by their father.

Heirs and Successors

Owain had originally designated Rhun ab Owain Gwynedd as his successor. Rhun was Owain's favourite son, and his premature death in 1147 plunged his father into a deep melancholy, from which he was only roused by the news that his forces had captured Mold castle. Owain then designated Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd as his successor, but after his death Hywel was first driven to seek refuge in Ireland by Cristin's sons, Dafydd and Rhodri, then killed at the battle of Pentraeth when he returned with an Irish army. Dafydd and Rhodri split Gwynedd between them, but a generation passed before Gwynedd was restored to its former glory under Owain's grandson Llywelyn the Great.

According to legend, one of Owain's sons was Prince Madoc, who is popularly supposed to have fled across the Atlantic and colonised America. Altogether the prodigous Owain Gwynedd is said to have had the following children from two wives and at least four mistresses:

Fiction

Owain is a major character in The summer of the Danes by Ellis Peters, and also appears in other novels in this writer's Brother Cadfael series.

References

  • John Edward Lloyd (1911) A history of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest (Longmans, Green & Co.)
  • K.L. Maund (ed) (1996). Gruffudd ap Cynan : a collaborative biography. Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-389-5. 
  • Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 176B-25, 239-6
Preceded by
Gruffudd II
Prince of Gwynedd
1137–1170
Succeeded by
Dafydd I
Maelgwn II
Rhodri III
11st century - 12nd century
1070s  1080s  1090s  - 1100s -  1110s  1120s  1130s
1097 1098 1099 - 1100 - 1101 1102 1103

Lists of leaders
State leaders - Sovereign states
Birth and death categories
-

..... Click the link for more information.
For the town in Argentina, see 28 de Noviembre.
November 28 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.
..... Click the link for more information.
11st century - 12nd century - 13rd century
1140s  1150s  1160s  - 1170s -  1180s  1190s  1200s
1167 1168 1169 - 1170 - 1171 1172 1173

Politics
State leaders - Sovereign states
Birth and death categories
..... Click the link for more information.
A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother is a matronymic, or matronym. Each is a means of conveying lineage.
..... Click the link for more information.
King of Wales was a rarely achieved title, much rarer than King of Scotland, as Wales was never as unified as Scotland. A more common title, but with different meaning, was King of the Britons.
..... Click the link for more information.
Llywelyn the Great (Welsh Llywelyn Fawr, IPA pronunciation [ɬə'wɛlɨ̞n]), full name Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, (c.
..... Click the link for more information.
Powys is a local government principal area and a preserved county in Wales.

Geography

See the list of places in Powys for all towns and villages in Powys.

..... Click the link for more information.
Aberffraw is a small village on the south west coast of Anglesey (Welsh: Ynys Môn), by the west bank of the River Ffraw, at grid reference SH354693 . The UK postcode begins LL63.
..... Click the link for more information.
Rhodri the Great (in Welsh, Rhodri Mawr; occasionally in English, Roderick the Great) (c. 820–878) was the first ruler of Wales to be called 'Great', and the first to rule most of present-day Wales. He was called King of the Britons by the Annals of Ulster.
..... Click the link for more information.
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.
..... Click the link for more information.
Gwynedd (pr. /'gwɪnɛð/) was one of the kingdoms or principalities of medieval Wales. Traditionally covering an area between the rivers Dyfi and Dee in the north-west of the country around Snowdonia (Welsh: Eryri) and
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
Cymru am byth   (Welsh)
"Wales forever"
Anthem
"Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau"
..... Click the link for more information.
Anglesey (historically Anglesea; Welsh: Ynys Môn, pronounced /ˌənɨ̞s'mo:n/
..... Click the link for more information.
Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd (c.1096 - 1172) was the third son of Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd and younger brother of Owain Gwynedd.

Appearance in history

Cadwaladr first appears in the historical record in 1136, when following the killing of the lord of Ceredigion, Richard
..... Click the link for more information.
The Kingdom of Powys was a Welsh successor state that emerged during the Dark Ages following the Roman withdrawal from Britain. Based on the Romano-British tribal lands of the Cornovii, its boundaries originally extended from the Cambrian Mountains in the west to include the
..... Click the link for more information.
Gruffydd ap Rhys (died 1137) ruled a portion of Deheubarth, Wales.

Norman Takeover & Exile

Following the death of Gruffydd's father Rhys ap Tewdwr in 1093, Deheubarth was taken over by the Normans, and Gruffydd spent much of his early years in exile in Ireland.
..... Click the link for more information.
Deheubarth was a south-western kingdom or principality of medieval Wales.

History

Deheubarth was created in about 950 by Hywel Dda ("Hywel the Good") out of the territories of Seisyllwg and Dyfed, both of which had come into his possession.
..... Click the link for more information.
Normans were a people from medieval northern France, deriving to a large extent their aristocratic origins from Scandinavia (the name is adapted from the name "Northmen" or "Norsemen").
..... Click the link for more information.
The Battle of Crug Mawr took place in September or October 1136, as part of a struggle for control of Ceredigion which had been captured by the Normans.

A Welsh revolt against Norman rule had begun in south Wales, where on 1 January 1136 the Welsh won a victory over the
..... Click the link for more information.
Cardigan
Welsh - Aberteifi

UK Parliament Ceredigion
European Parliament Wales
List of places: UK • Wales • Ceredigion Cardigan (Welsh: Aberteifi
..... Click the link for more information.
Ceredigion (IPA: [kɛrɛˈdɪgjɔn]) is a county and principal area in mid Wales. It is more or less identical in area to the historic county of Cardiganshire.
..... Click the link for more information.
Anarawd ap Gruffydd (died 1143) was a prince of Deheubarth in south-west Wales.

Lineage

Anarawd was the eldest son of Gruffydd ap Rhys. On the untimely death of his father in 1137 Anarawd took over the rule of Deheubarth.
..... Click the link for more information.
Deheubarth was a south-western kingdom or principality of medieval Wales.

History

Deheubarth was created in about 950 by Hywel Dda ("Hywel the Good") out of the territories of Seisyllwg and Dyfed, both of which had come into his possession.
..... Click the link for more information.
Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd (died 1170) was a Welsh poet and military leader. Hywel was the illegitimate son of Owain Gwynedd, prince of Gwynedd, and an Irishwoman named Pyfog. In recognition of this, he was also known as Hywel ap Gwyddeles (=Hywel son of the Irishwoman).
..... Click the link for more information.
Ceredigion (IPA: [kɛrɛˈdɪgjɔn]) is a county and principal area in mid Wales. It is more or less identical in area to the historic county of Cardiganshire.
..... Click the link for more information.
Stephen
King of the English, Duke of the Normans

Reign 22 December 1135 – 25 October 1154
Coronation 26 December 1135
Born c.
..... Click the link for more information.
Matilda
By the Grace of God Lady of the English, Countess of Anjou.

Reign April- November 1141
Titles Holy Roman Empress
Lady of the English
Countess of Anjou
Born February, 1102
Winchester
Died September 10, 1167
..... Click the link for more information.
Mold (Welsh: Yr Wyddgrug) is a town in Flintshire, Wales, on the River Alyn. It is the administrative seat of Flintshire County Council, and was also the county town of Clwyd from 1974 to 1996.
..... Click the link for more information.
Rhuddlan

UK Parliament Vale of Clwyd
European Parliament Wales
List of places: UK • Wales • Denbighshire

Rhuddlan (pronounced IPA: [ˈr̥ɨ̞ð.
..... Click the link for more information.
Powys is a local government principal area and a preserved county in Wales.

Geography

See the list of places in Powys for all towns and villages in Powys.

..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.