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Dafydd ap Gruffydd

(d. 1283) prince of Gwynedd


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B. c.1230, 3rd s. of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn and Serena; m. Elizabeth, da. of Robert Ferrers, earl of Derby; issue: Llywelyn, Owain, 7 das.; d. 3 Oct. 1283.

The younger brother of Llywelyn, Dafydd followed a contorted course. One Welsh historian calls him ‘a man of exceptional courage and personal attractiveness’, another dismisses him as ‘ambitious, treacherous, and disloyal to his elder brother’. He began, in alliance with his eldest brother Owain, by disputing Llywelyn's inheritance. Beaten in 1255 at Bryn Derwin, he was forgiven by Llywelyn, but in 1263 fled to England to seek protection from Henry III. At that time Henry was scarcely in a position to protect himself, but in 1267, after his victory at Evesham, he insisted that Llywelyn should restore Dafydd. Once more Dafydd plotted against his brother, intending to surprise and murder him. When the plot was discovered he fled to Edward I, and was again restored in 1277. He then turned against his English allies, and his action in 1282 in attacking Hawarden castle precipitated a general rising. After his brother's death, Dafydd attempted to carry on resistance, declaring himself prince of Wales. He found little support, was betrayed, and, after a trial at Shrewsbury, was executed as a traitor.

Subjects: British History.


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