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Encyclopedia > Gruffydd ap Cynan

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. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffydd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely house of Aberffraw. // Groups BL1137 is the (now defunct) Unix group at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ where Unix and C were invented. ... Gwynedd was one of the kingdoms or principalities of medieval Wales. ... The Norman dynasty is a series of four monarchs, who ruled England from the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, until 1154. ... Rhodri the Great a. ... Aberffraw is a small village on the south west coast of Anglesey (Welsh: ), by the west bank of the River Ffraw, at grid reference SH354693. ...

Through his mother Gruffydd had close family connections with the Danish settlement around Dublin and he frequently used Ireland as a refuge and as a source of troops. He three times gained the throne of Gwynedd and then lost it again before regaining it once more in 1099 and this time keeping power until his death. Gruffydd laid the foundations which were built upon by his son Owain Gwynedd and his great-grandson Llywelyn the Great. WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... 1099 also refers to a United States tax form used for, among other purposes, reporting payments made to independent Contractors. ... Owain Gwynedd (in English, Owen) (c. ... Llywelyn ap Iorwerth ( 1173–April 11, 1240) was a Prince of Gwynedd and eventually ruler of much of Wales. ...


The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd, "The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan", has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffydd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffydd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffydd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author is not known. (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ...

Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later emended to bring it into line with the Welsh text. Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ...


According to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland. He was the son of a Welsh Prince, Cynan ap Iago, who was a claimant to the Kingship of Gwynedd but was probably never king of Gwynedd, though his father, Gruffydd's grandfather, Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig had ruled Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as "grandson of Iago" rather than the more usual "son of Cynan", indicating that his father was little known in Wales. Cynan ap Iago seems to have died while Gruffydd was still young, since the History describes his mother telling him who his father was. WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... Statistics Province: Leinster County Town: Dublin Code: D Area: 921 km² Population (2002) 1,122,821 County Dublin (Irish: Contae Bhaile Átha Cliath), or more correctly the Dublin Region[1] (Réigiúin Átha Cliath), is the area that contains the city of Dublin, the capital and largest city of... Motto: (Welsh for Wales forever) Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau Capital Cardiff (Caerdydd) Largest city Cardiff (Caerdydd) Official language(s) Welsh, English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056  Area    - Total... Cynan ap Iago was a Welsh Prince and father of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Prince of Gwynedd. ... Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig (died 1039) was a Prince of Gwynedd. ...

Gruffydd's mother, Ragnaillt, was the daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Through his mother, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, Gruffydd claimed relationships with many of the leading septs in Ireland, including those of the Ua Briain. Sigtrygg Silkbeard Olafsson (known also as Sitric in Irish texts) was the son of King Olaf Cuaran and Gormflaith. ... The Hiberno-Norse were a mix of Irish and Norwegians who inhabited certain settlements in Ireland in the 900s. ... The Book of Leinster (Irish Lebor Laignech), formerly known as the Book of Noughaval (Lebor na Nuachongbála), is a medieval Irish manuscript compliled ca. ...

During his many struggles to gain the kingship of Gwynedd, Gruffydd received considerable aid from Ireland, both from the Hiberno-Norse at Dublin, but also those at Wexford, and also from Muircheartach Ua Briain. Muircheartach Ua Briain was a high king of Ireland (1101-1118 AD). ...

First bid for the throne

Gruffydd made his first attempt to take over the rule of Gwynedd in 1075, following the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Trahaearn ap Caradog had seized control of Gwynedd but had not yet firmly established himself. Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish force, and with the assistance of troops provided by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon, an ally of Trahaearn who held Llŷn, then defeated Trahaearn himself in the battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd. Events Revolt of the Earls. ... Bleddyn ap Cynfyn (died 1075) was a Prince of Gwynedd and of Powys. ... Trahaearn ap Caradog (morto nel 1081) regnò sul Gwynedd dal 1075 al 1081. ... Norman conquests in red. ... Robert of Rhuddlan (died 3 July 1088) was a Norman adventurer who became lord of much of north-east Wales and for a period lord of all North Wales. ... The Lleyn peninsula also known by its Welsh name of the LlÅ·n extends from north west Wales. ... Categories: UK geography stubs | Gwynedd ...

Gruffydd then led his forces eastwards to reclaim territories taken over by the Normans, and despite the assistance previously given by Robert of Rhuddlan attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle. However tension between Gruffydd's Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion in Llŷn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counter attack, defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw above Clynnog Fawr the same year. Rhuddlan is a town in the administrative county of Denbighshire, traditional county of Flintshire, north Wales, lying on the River Clwyd. ... Clynnog Fawr, often simply called Clynnog, is a village on the north coast of the Lleyn Peninsula in north-west Wales. ...

Second bid for the throne and capture by the Normans

Gruffydd fled to Ireland but in 1081 returned and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr prince of Deheubarth. Rhys had been attacked by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Gwent and Morgannwg, and had been forced to flee to the St David's Cathedral. Gruffydd this time embarked from Waterford with a force composed of Danes and Irish and landed near St David's, presumably by prior arrangement with Rhys. He was joined here by a force of his supporters from Gwynedd, and he and Rhys marched north to seek Trahaearn ap Caradog and Caradog ap Gruffydd who had themselves made an alliance and been joined by Meilyr ap Rhiwallon of Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met at the Battle of Mynydd Carn, with Gruffydd and Rhys victorious and Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr all being killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time. Events Corfu taken from Byzantine Empire by Robert Guiscard, Italy Byzantine emperor Nicephorus III is overthrown by Alexius I Comnenus, ending the Middle Byzantine period and beginning the Comnenan dynasty Alexius I helps defend Albania from the Normans (the first recorded mention of Albania), but is defeated at the Battle... Rhys ap Tewdwr (997-1093) was a prince of Deheubarth in southern Wales. ... Deheubarth was a south-western kingdom or principality of medieval Wales. ... Caradog ap Gruffydd (died 1081) was a prince of Gwent in south-east Wales who made repeated attempts to gain power over all of southern Wales by seizing Deheubarth. ... Mediaeval kingdoms of Wales. ... Glamorgan or Morgannwg is a maritime traditional county of Wales, UK, and was previously a medieval kingdom or principality. ... St Davids Cathedral from the gatehouse St Davids Cathedral is situated in the tiny city of St Davids in Pembrokeshire. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 52. ... St Davids (Welsh: Tyddewi) is the smallest city in the United Kingdom, with a population of under 2,000 people. ... Medeival kingdoms of Wales. ... Combatants Gruffydd ap Cynan, Rhys ap Tewdwr Trahaearn ap Caradog, Caradog ap Gruffydd Commanders Strength Casualties Unknown, said to be light Unknown, Trahaearn, Caradog and other notables killed {{{notes}}} The Battle of Mynydd Carn took place in 1081, as part of a dynastic struggle for control of the Welsh kingdoms...

He was soon faced with a new enemy, as the Normans were now encroaching on Gwynedd. Gruffydd had not been king very long when he was enticed to a meeting with Hugh Earl of Chester and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury at Rug, near Corwen. At the meeting Gruffydd was seized and taken prisoner. According to his biographer this was by the treachery of one of his own men, Meirion Goch. Gruffydd was imprisoned in Earl Hugh's castle at Chester for many years while Earl Hugh and Robert of Rhuddlan went on to take possession of Gwynedd, building castles at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleiniog. Hugh dAvranches, 1st Earl of Chester (died July 27, 1101) was one of the great magnates of early Norman England. ... Hugh of Montgomery, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury (d. ... Corwen is a town in the administrative county of Denbighshire, traditional county of Merionethshire, north Wales, lying on the River Dee. ... Bangor, in north Wales, is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. ... Caernarfon (the original Welsh spelling is now almost always used in preference to the anglicised forms, Caernarvon or Carnarvon) is a royal town in north-west Wales. ...

Escape from captivity and third reign

Gruffydd reappeared on the scene years later, having escaped from captivity. According to his biography he was in fetters in the market-place at Chester when Cynwrig the Tall on a visit to the city saw his opportunity when the burgesses were at dinner. He picked Gruffydd up, fetters and all, and carried him out of the city on his shoulders. There is debate among historians as to the year of Gruffydd's escape. Ordericus Vitalis mentions a "Grifridus" attacking the Normans in 1088. The History in one place states that Gruffydd was imprisoned for twelve years, in another that he was imprisoned for sixteen years. Since he was captured in 1081, that would date his release to 1093 or 1097. J.E. Lloyd favours 1093, considering that Gruffydd was involved at the beginning of the Welsh uprising in 1094. K.L. Maund on the other hand favours 1097, pointing out that there is no reference to Gruffydd in the contemporary annals until 1098. D. Simon Evans inclines to the view that Ordericus Vitalis' date of 1088 could be correct, suggesting that an argument based on the silence of the annals is unsafe. Orderic Vitalis (1075 – c. ... Events Succession of Pope Urban II (1088-1099) Work begins on the third and largest church at Cluny Rebellion of 1088 against William II of England lead by Odo of Bayeux. ... // Events Donald III of Scotland comes to the throne of Scotland. ... Events Edgar I deposes Donald III to become king of Scotland. ... Sir John Edward Lloyd (who wrote as J E Lloyd) (1861-1947) was Wales greatest historian, the author of the first serious history of the countrys formative years, A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest (1911). ... Events First Crusade: end of the siege of Antioch. ...

Gruffydd again took refuge in Ireland but returned to Gwynedd to lead the assaults on Norman castles such as Aber Lleiniog. The Welsh revolt had begun in 1094 and by late 1095 had spread to many parts of Wales. This induced William II of England (William Rufus) to intervene, invading northern Wales in 1095. However his army was unable to the Welsh to battle and returned to Chester without having achieved very much. King Willam mounted a second invasion in 1097, but again without much success. The History only mentions one invasion by Rufus, which could indicate that Gruffydd did not feature in the resistance to the first invasion. At this time Cadwgan ap Bleddyn of Powys led the Welsh resistance. Events The country of Portugal is established for the second time. ... William II (called Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance) (c. ... Cadwgan ap Bleddyn (died 1111) was a prince of Powys in eastern Wales. ... Medeival kingdoms of Wales. ...

In the summer of 1098 Earl Hugh of Chester joined with Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in another attempt to recover his losses in Gwynedd. Gruffydd and his ally Cadwgan ap Bleddyn retreated to Anglesey, but then were forced to flee to Ireland in a skiff when a fleet he had hired from the Danish settlement in Ireland accepted a better offer from the Normans and changed sides. Events First Crusade: end of the siege of Antioch. ... The term skiff is applied to various river craft, but a skiff is typically a small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and square stern. ...

King for the fourth time and consolidation

The situation was changed by the arrival of a Norwegian fleet under the command of King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, who attacked the Norman forces near the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed by an arrow said to have been shot by Magnus himself. The Normans were obliged to evacuate Anglesey, and the following year Gruffydd returned from Ireland to take possession again, having apparently come to an agreement with Earl Hugh of Chester. Magnus Barefoot (1073-1103), son of Olaf Kyrre, was king of Norway from 1093 until 1103 and King of the Isle of Man from 1095-1102. ... The Menai Strait (in Welsh Afon Menai, the River Menai) is a narrow stretch of shallow tidal water about 14 miles (23 km) long, which separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales. ...

With the death of Hugh of Chester in 1101 Gruffydd was able to consolidate his position in Gwynedd, as much by diplomacy as by force. He met King Henry I of England who granted him the rule of Llŷn, Eifionydd, Ardudwy and Arllechwedd, considerably extending his kingdom. By 1114 he had gained enough power to induce King Henry to invade Gwynedd in a three-pronged attack, one detachment led by King Alexander I of Scotland. Faced by overwhelming force, Gruffydd was obliged to pay homage to Henry and to pay a heavy fine, but lost no territory. By about 1118 Gruffydd's advancing years meant that most of the fighting which pushed Gwynedd's borders eastward and southwards was done by his three sons by his wife Angharad, daughter of Owain ab Edwin, Cadwallon, Owain Gwynedd and later Cadwaladr. The cantrefs of Rhos and Rhufoniog were annexed in 1118, Meirionnydd captured from Powys in 1123 and Dyffryn Clwyd in 1124. Another invasion by the king of England in 1121 was a military failure. The king had to come to terms with Gruffydd and made no further attempt to invade Gwynedd during Gruffydd's reign. The death of Cadwallon in a battle against the forces of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 checked further expansion for the time being. Events A second wave of crusaders arrives in the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem, after being heavily defeated by Kilij Arslan I at Heraclia. ... King Henry I of England (c. ... Eifionydd is an area in north-west Wales covering the south-eastern part of the Lleyn peninsula from Porthmadog to just east of Pwllheli. ... Events January 7 - Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England, marries Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor Births Deaths Categories: 1114 ... Alexander I (Alasdair mac Maíl Coluim) (c. ... Events Knights Templar founded Baldwin of Le Bourg succeeds his cousin Baldwin I as king of Jerusalem John II Comnenus succeeds Alexius I as Byzantine emperor Gelasius II succeeds Paschal II as pope Births November 28 - Manuel I Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (died 1180) Andronicus I Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (died 1185... Owain Gwynedd (in English, Owen) (c. ... Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd (died 1172) was the third son of Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd and younger brother of Owain Gwynedd. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... Categories: UK geography stubs | Gwynedd ... Medeival kingdoms of Wales. ... Llangollen is a small town in Denbighshire, north Wales, famous for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, the Llangollen Canal (whose Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is nearby), and the Llangollen Railway. ...

Gruffydd was now powerful enough to ensure that his nominee, David the Scot was consecrated as Bishop of Bangor in 1120. The see had been effectively vacant since Bishop Hervey had been forced to flee by the Welsh almost twenty years before, since Gruffydd and King Henry could not agree on a candidate. David went on to rebuild Bangor Cathedral with a large financial contribution from Gruffydd. David the Scot (died c. ... The Bishop of Bangor heads the Church in Wales diocese of Bangor centred upon Bangor Cathedral. ... Hervey, also known as Hervé or Hervé le Breton (died August 30, 1131) was a Breton cleric who was Bishop of Bangor from 1092 to 1109 and later Bishop of Ely. ... Bangor Cathedral from Bangor Mountain Bangor Cathedral is a place of Christian worship situated in Bangor in North Wales in the United Kingdom. ...

Owain and Cadwaladr in alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan in 1136 and took possession of Ceredigion. The latter part of Guffydd's reign was considered to be a "Golden Age"; according to the Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan Gwynedd was "bespangled with lime-washed churches like the stars in the firmament". Gruffydd ap Rhys c. ... Deheubarth was a south-western kingdom or principality of medieval Wales. ... Combatants Welsh forces from Gwynedd and Deheubarth Norman forces from all the South Wales lordships Commanders Owain Gwynedd Robert Fitz Martin (???) Strength Several thousand Several thousand Casualties Said to be light Heavy {{{notes}}} The Battle of Crug Mawr took place in September or October 1136, as part of a struggle... Cardigan (Welsh: Aberteifi) is the traditional county town of Cardiganshire (Ceredigion) in west Wales. ... Events Completion of the Saint Denis Basilica in Paris Peter Abelard writes the Historia Calamitatum, detailing his relationship with Heloise People of Novgorod rebel against the hereditary prince Vsevolod and depose him Births Amalric I of Jerusalem William of Newburgh, English historian (died 1198) Deaths November 15 - Margrave Leopold III... For other uses please see Ceredigion (disambiguation) Ceredigion is a county in Wales. ... The Golden Age by Pietro da Cortona. ...

Death and succession

Gruffydd was buried in Bangor Cathedral
Gruffydd was buried in Bangor Cathedral

Gruffydd died in his bed, old and blind, in 1137 and was mourned by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the head and king and defender and pacifier of all Wales. He was buried by the high altar in Bangor Cathedral which he had been involved in rebuilding. He also made bequests to many other churches, including one to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he had worshipped as a boy. He was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Owain Gwynedd. His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1087x774, 321 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Bangor, Wales ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1087x774, 321 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Bangor, Wales ... // Groups BL1137 is the (now defunct) Unix group at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ where Unix and C were invented. ... Brut y Tywysogion (Chronicle of the Princes) is a monastic record of mainly Welsh events, started in 682. ... The term King of the Britons refers to kings of Celtic Great Britain as recorded by much later authors, including Nennius, Gildas, and predominantly Geoffrey of Monmouth. ... Bangor Cathedral from Bangor Mountain Bangor Cathedral is a place of Christian worship situated in Bangor in North Wales in the United Kingdom. ... Christ Church Cathedral (exterior) Christ Church Cathedral (The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity) in Dublin is the elder of the citys two mediæval cathedrals, having been founded by St Laurence OToole. ... Owain Gwynedd (in English, Owen) (c. ... Gwenllian (died 1136) was the daughter of the Welsh ruler Gruffydd ap Cynan (hence the sister of Owain Gwynedd), and the wife of Gruffydd ap Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth. ... Gruffydd ap Rhys c. ...


Owain Gwynedd (in English, Owen) (c. ... Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd (died 1172) was the third son of Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd and younger brother of Owain Gwynedd. ... Richard Fitz Penis de Clare was the son of Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare and Alice (Adeliza) de Claremont. ... Madog ap Maredudd (died 1160) was the last prince of the entire Kingdom of Powys. ... Medeival kingdoms of Wales. ... Gruffydd ap Rhys c. ... Deheubarth was a south-western kingdom or principality of medieval Wales. ...


  • R.R. Davies (1991). The age of conquest: Wales 1063-1415. O.U.P. ISBN 0-19-820198-2. 
  • Simon Evans (1990). A Mediaeval Prince of Wales: the Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan. Llanerch Enterprises. ISBN 0-947992-58-8. 
  • Arthur Jones (1910). The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan: the Welsh text with translation, introduction and notes. Manchester University Press. . Translation online at The Celtic Literature Collective
  • K.L. Maund (ed) (1996). Gruffudd ap Cynan : a collaborative biography. Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-389-5. 
  • Kari Maund (ed) (2006). The Welsh kings:warriors, warlords and princes. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2973-6. 
  • Paul Russell (ed) (2006). Vita Griffini Filii Conani: The Medieval Latin Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1893-2. 
Preceded by
Trahaearn ap Caradog
King of Gwynedd
Succeeded by
Owain I

  Results from FactBites:
Gruffydd ap Cynan (339 words)
rylliwyd grym Gwynedd ym 1063 pan anfonwyd byddin yr iarll Sacsonaidd Harold (yn ddiweddarach y brenin Harold 1) i mewn i ogledd Cymru gan drechu Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, uchel frenin olaf Cymru; gorchfygaeth a arweiniodd at farwolaeth Gruffydd.
Yn yr anhrefn a ddilynodd farwolaeth Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, treiddiodd y Normaniaid ymhell i mewn i ogledd Cymru o'u gorsaf yng Nghaer, yn adeiladu castell tomen a beili newydd a thrawiadol ar (neu yn ymyl) y gaer Gymreig draddodiadol yn Rhuddlan.
Dywed Walker (1990) fod 'Gruffydd ap Cynan wedi cyflawni llawer drwy gynnydd graddol ac amyneddgar yn hytrach na thrwy fesurau arwrol a chamau mawr ymlaen, ond roedd yn ddyn a chanddo ddylanwad eang'.
Gruffydd ap Cynan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1053 words)
According to this text, Gruffydd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland.
Gruffydd landed on Anglesey in 1075 with an Irish force, and with the assistance of the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan first defeated and killed Cynwrig, who held Llyn for Trahaearn ap Caradog, then defeated Trahaearn himself in a battle in Meirionnydd and gained control of Gwynedd.
His daughter, Gwenllian, who married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, son of his old ally Rhys ap Tewdwr, is also notable for her resistance to English rule.
  More results at FactBites »



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