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Llywelyn Fawr
Llywelyn the Great.JPG
The body of Llywelyn the Great with his sons Gruffydd and Dafydd
Prince of Gwynedd
Reign 1195–1240
Predecessor Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd
Successor Dafydd ap Llywelyn
Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn
Reign 1216–1240
Predecessor Gwenwynwyn ab Owain
Successor Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn
Born c. 1173
Dolwyddelan, Kingdom of Gwynedd
Died 11 April 1240
(aged 66–67)
Cistercian Aberconwy Abbey, Principality of Wales
Burial Aberconwy Abbey, Wales
Spouse Joan, Lady of Wales
Issue Dafydd ap Llywelyn
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn
Elen ferch Llywelyn
Gwladus Ddu
Marared ferch Llywelyn
Angharad ferch Llywelyn
Susanna ferch Llywelyn
Full name
Llywelyn ab Iorwerth
Welsh Llywelyn Fawr
House Aberffraw
Father Iorwerth Drwyndwn
Mother Marared ferch Madog

Llywelyn the Great (Welsh: Llywelyn Fawr), full name Llywelyn mab Iorwerth), (c. 1173 – 11 April 1240) was a King of Gwynedd in north Wales and eventually ruler of all Wales. By a combination of war and diplomacy he dominated Wales for 45 years.

During Llywelyn's childhood, Gwynedd was ruled by two of his uncles, who split the kingdom between them, following the death of Llywelyn's grandfather, Owain Gwynedd, in 1170. Llywelyn had a strong claim to be the legitimate ruler and began a campaign to win power at an early age. He was sole ruler of Gwynedd by 1200 and made a treaty with King John of England that year. Llywelyn's relations with John remained good for the next ten years. He married John's natural daughter Joan in 1205, and when John arrested Gwenwynwyn ap Owain of Powys in 1208, Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys. In 1210, relations deteriorated, and John invaded Gwynedd in 1211. Llywelyn was forced to seek terms and to give up all lands east of the River Conwy, but was able to recover them the following year in alliance with the other Welsh princes. He allied himself with the barons who forced John to sign Magna Carta in 1215. By 1216, he was the dominant power in Wales, holding a council at Aberdyfi that year to apportion lands to the other princes.

Following King John's death, Llywelyn concluded the Treaty of Worcester with his successor, Henry III, in 1218. During the next fifteen years, Llywelyn was frequently involved in fights with Marcher lords and sometimes with the king, but also made alliances with several major powers in the Marches. The Peace of Middle in 1234 marked the end of Llywelyn's military career, as the agreed truce of two years was extended year by year for the remainder of his reign. He maintained his position in Wales until his death in 1240 and was succeeded by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn.

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