Llywelyn ap Gruffydd

(c. 1225—1282) prince of Wales

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(d. 1282),

prince of Wales (1246–82). Known as Llywelyn ‘the Last’, his ambition to create a permanent, independent Welsh principality came close to realization. The grandson of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, he may have been designated the heir of his uncle Dafydd ap Llywelyn. After Dafydd's death (1246) and the treaty of Woodstock with Henry III (1247), Llywelyn was restricted to Gwynedd west of the river Conwy. By 1255 Llywelyn had defeated his brothers and restored his uncle's dominion: he advanced east of the Conwy, exploiting divisions in England. Most Welsh lords regarded him as overlord (1258) and Llywelyn took the title of prince of Wales. At Pipton (1265) Simon de Montfort acknowledged his status and promised Llywelyn his daughter in marriage. At Montgomery (1267) Henry III conceded recognition. Llywelyn misjudged Edward I in refusing to fulfil his obligations as the king's vassal. The war of 1276–7 was a disaster for Llywelyn, who was confined once more to west Gwynedd by the treaty of Aberconwy (1277). The uneasy peace was shattered by his brother Dafydd's assault on Hawarden (1282) and, in the renewed struggle with Edward, Llywelyn was killed near Builth on 11 December.

Subjects: British History.

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