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The Info List - Gruffydd Ap Llywelyn


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GRUFFYDD AP LLYWELYN (died 5 August 1063) was the King of Wales from 1055 to 1063. He was the son of King Llywelyn ap Seisyll . He was the great-great-grandson of Hywel Dda .

CONTENTS

* 1 Genealogy and early life * 2 King of Gwynedd and Powys (1039–1055) * 3 King of Wales 1055–1063 * 4 Death and aftermath * 5 Family * 6 References * 7 Sources * 8 External links

GENEALOGY AND EARLY LIFE

Gruffydd was the son of Llywelyn ap Seisyll , who had been able to rule both Gwynedd and Powys . On Llywelyn's death in 1023, a member of the Aberffraw dynasty , Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig , became ruler of Gwynedd and began his rise to power in Powys.

KING OF GWYNEDD AND POWYS (1039–1055)

In 1039, King Iago of Gwynedd was killed (supposedly by his own men) and his son Cynan , who may have been as young as four, was forced into exile in Dublin . Gruffydd, who had already recovered Powys , expanded into the vacuum. Soon after gaining power, he surprised a Mercian army at Rhyd y Groes near Welshpool and totally defeated it, killing Edwin, brother of the Leofric, Earl of Mercia . He then attacked Dyfed , which his father had ruled but was now under Hywel ab Edwin . Gruffydd defeated Hywel in the Battle of Pencader (1041) and carried off Hywel's wife. Gruffydd seems to have been able to drive Hywel out of the south, for in 1044 Hywel is recorded returning to the mouth of the River Tywi with a Danish fleet to try to reclaim his kingdom. Gruffydd, however, defeated and killed him in a closely fought engagement.

Gruffydd ap Rhydderch of Gwent was able to expel Gruffydd ap Llywelyn from Deheubarth in 1047 and became king of Deheubarth himself after the nobles of Ystrad Tywi had attacked and killed 140 of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn's household guard. He was able to resist several attacks by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in the following years. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was active on the Welsh border in 1052, when he attacked Herefordshire and defeated a mixed force of Normans and English in the Battle of Leominster.

KING OF WALES 1055–1063

In 1055 Gruffydd ap Llywelyn killed his rival Gruffydd ap Rhydderch in battle and recaptured Deheubarth. Gruffydd allied himself with Ælfgar , son of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, who had been deprived of his earldom of East Anglia by Harold Godwinson and his brothers. They marched on Hereford and were opposed by a force led by the Earl of Hereford, Ralph the Timid . This force was mounted and armed in the Norman fashion, but on 24 October Gruffydd defeated it. He then sacked the city and destroyed its motte-and-bailey castle . Earl Harold was given the task of counter-attacking, and seems to have built a fortification at Longtown in Herefordshire before refortifying Hereford. Shortly afterwards Ælfgar was restored to his earldom and a peace treaty concluded.

Around this time Gruffydd was also able to seize Morgannwg and Gwent , along with extensive territori