Treaty of Aberconwy
Treaty of Aberconwy was signed in 1277 by King Edward I of England
Llewelyn the Last
Llewelyn the Last of modern-day Wales, who had fought each other
on and off for years over control of the Welsh countryside. The treaty
granted peace between the two, but also essentially guaranteed that
Welsh self-rule would end upon Llewelyn's death and represented the
completion of the first stage of the Conquest of
Wales by Edward I.
4 See also
Llewelyn, wanting to cement his links to royalty more forcefully,
sought to marry Eleanor de Montfort, daughter of Simon de Montfort and
King Edward's cousin. They were married by proxy in 1275, but when
Eleanor sailed from
France to meet Llewelyn, Edward hired pirates to
seize her ship; she was imprisoned at Windsor Castle.
Edward, who was newly acceded to the throne of England, viewed
Llewelyn as a threat, and particularly disliked the idea of his
marrying the daughter of de Montfort, who had been the biggest threat
to his royal predecessor's reign. Edward also summoned Llewelyn to
appear before him on several occasions, which Llewelyn refused on the
grounds that he was not safe at Edward's court.
In 1276, Edward declared Llewelyn a rebel and gathered an enormous
army to march against him. By the summer of 1277, Edward's forces had
reached the heart of Gwynedd. Edward's men confiscated the harvest in
Anglesey, which deprived Llewelyn and his men of food, forcing
Llewelyn to surrender.
What resulted was the treaty of Aberconwy, which guaranteed peace in
Gwynedd in return for several difficult concessions from Llewelyn,
including confining his authority to lands west of the River Conwy,
while lands east were granted to his brother Dafydd ap Gruffydd, with
whom he had earlier fought for control of Wales. Llewelyn was not
stripped of his recently proclaimed title, Prince of
Wales — but
most of the lesser Welsh rulers who had paid him fealty were no longer
to recognize him as their lord. Once signed, Edward began building
several fortresses along the approach to Gwynedd, at Aberystwyth,
Builth, Flint and Rhuddlan.
In the years after the treaty, Llewelyn sought to consolidate what
power he had left. He paid homage and tribute to Edward, who agreed to
allow Llewelyn's marriage to go forward. In 1278, Llewelyn and Eleanor
de Montfort were married in Worcester Cathedral, with Edward present
at the nuptials.