Biography of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales -1064
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales was born to Llywelyn ap Seisyll King Gwynedd King Powys King Deheubarth and Angharad ferch Maredudd.
In or before 1013 [his father] Llywelyn ap Seisyll King Gwynedd King Powys King Deheubarth and [his mother] Angharad ferch Maredudd were married. She the daughter of Maredudd ab Owain King Deheubarth King Powys King Gwynedd.
In 1023 [his father] Llywelyn ap Seisyll King Gwynedd King Powys King Deheubarth died.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1046. This year went Earl Sweyne (age 25) into Wales; and Griffin, king of the northern men with him; and hostages were delivered to him. As he returned homeward, he ordered the Abbess of Leominster to be fetched him; and he had her as long as he list, after which he let her go home. In this same year was outlawed Osgod Clapa, the master of horse, before midwinter. And in the same year, after Candlemas, came the strong winter, with frost and with snow, and with all kinds of bad weather; so that there was no man then alive who could remember so severe a winter as this was, both through loss of men and through loss of cattle; yea, fowls and fishes through much cold and hunger perished.
John of Worcester. 1049. In the month of August of the same year, some Irish pirates, entering the mouth of the river Severn with thirty-six ships, landed at a place called Wylesc-Eaxan, and, with the aid of Griffyth, king of South-Wales, plundered in that neighbourhood, and did considerable damage. Then, joining their forces, the king and the pirates crossed the river Wye and burnt Dymedham, massacring all they found there. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, with a few of the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, flew to arms against them; but the Welshmen who were in their ranks, and had promised to be faithful to them, sent a messenger privately to king Griffyth, begging him to lose no time in attacking the English; in consequence of which he hastened to the spot with his own followers and the Irish pirates, and falling on the English before day-break, slew many of them and put the rest to flight.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1049. Then the king and all the army proclaimed Sweyne (age 28) an outlaw. A little before this the men of Hastings and thereabout fought his two ships with their ships, and slew all the men, and brought the ships to Sandwich, Kent [Map] to the king. Eight ships had he, ere he betrayed Beorn; afterwards they all forsook him except two; whereupon he went eastward to the land of Baldwin (age 36), and sat there all the winter at Bruges [Map], in full security. In the same year came up from Ireland thirty-six ships on the Welsh coast, and thereabout committed outrages, with the aid of Griffin, the Welsh king. The people were soon gathered against them, and there was also with them Bishop Eldred, but they had too little assistance, and the enemy came unawares on them very early in the morning, and slew on the spot many good men; but the others burst forth with the bishop. This was done on the fourth day before the calends of August. This year died the good Bishop Ednoth in Oxfordshire; and Oswy, Abbot of Thomey; and Wulfnoth, Abbot of Westminster; and King Edward (age 46) gave the bishopric which Ednoth had to Ulf his priest, but it ill betided him; and he was driven from it, because he did nought like a bishop therein, so that it shameth us now to say more. Bishop Siward also died who lies at Abingdon.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1052. At this time Griffin, the Welsh king, plundered in Herefordshire till he came very nigh to Leominster, Herefordshire; and they gathered against him both the landsmen and the Frenchmen from the castle; and there were slain very many good men of the English, and also of the French. This was on the same day thirteen years after that Edwin was slain with his companions.
John of Worcester. After 06 Mar 1052. In the same year, Griffyth, king of Wales, ravaged a great part of Herefordshire: the inhabitants of that province, with some Normans from a castle, flew to arms and attacked him; but, having slain a great number of them, he obtained the victory and carried off much plunder. This battle was fought on the same day on which, fourteen years before, the Welsh slew Edwin, earl Leofric's brother, in an ambuscade.
John of Worcester. 1055. On receiving intelligence of this calamity, the king immediately commanded an army to be levied from every part of England, and on its being assembled at Gloucester, gave the command of it to the brave earl Harold (age 33), who, zealously obeying the king's orders, was unwearied in his pursuit of Griffyth and [his future father-in-law] Algar, and boldly crossing the Welsh border, encamped beyond Straddell [Snowdon]; but they knowing him to be an intrepid and daring warrior, did not venture to wait his attack, but retreated into South Wales. On learning this, he left there the greatest part of his army, with orders to make a stout resistance to the enemy if circumstances should require it; and returning with the remainder of his host to Hereford, he surrounded it with a wide and deep trench, and fortified it with gates and bars. Meanwhile, after an interchange of messages, Griffyth, Algar, and Harold (age 33), with their attendants, met at a place called Biligesteagea, and peace being proposed and accepted, they contracted a firm alliance with each other. After these events, earl Algar's fleet [of pirates] sailed to Chester [Map], and waited there for the hire he had engaged to pay them; but he himself went to court and restored by the king to his earldom. At that time died Tremerin, a Welsh bishop,[Bishop of St Davids] who had been a monk. He was, for a long time, coadjutor to Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, after Athelstan became incapable of performing his episcopal functions, having been blind for thirteen years. Heriman, bishop of Wiltshire, being offended at the king's refusing to allow him to remove the seat of his bishopric from the vill called Ramsbury to the abbey of Malmesbury, resigned his bishopric and, going beyond sea, took the monastic habit at St. Bertin, [an abbey near St Omer] in which monastery he abode for three years.
Flowers of History 1055. 1055. In the same year, Siward, duke of Northumberland (age 45), died, and king Eadward (age 52) conferred that dukedom on Tosti (age 29), duke Harold's (age 33) brother. Not long after this, king Eadward (age 52) held a council at London, and banished from England earl [his future father-in-law] Algar, who thereupon went into Ireland, where he got eighteen piratical vessels, and joining himself to GGriffin king of Wales, made incursions into the kingdom of England. Having invaded Herefordshire, they were met by duke Ranulph, son of king Eadward's sister; but at the first onset Ranulph and his men fled; whereupon Algar and Griffin pursued the fugitives and slew five hundred of them. After this victory they entered the city of Hereford, and having slain seven ecclesiastics who defended the doors of the cathedral, they burned that church with its ornaments and relics. Then, after slaying some of the inhabitants, and taking others captives, and burning the town, they retired with a rich booty. On hearing of this deed, king Eadward assembled a large army at Gloucester, and giving it in command to Harold, son of Godwin, he ordered him to make a fierce attack on the enemy. Accordingly, he boldly entered Wales and advanced with his army as far as Snowdon; but Algar and Griffin, well acquainted with Harold's valour, avoided an encounter. After terribly ravaging Wales, Harold marched to Hereford, which he environed with a broad and high rampart, and strengthened the city with gates and bars. At length, by the intervention of messengers, a peace of short duration was made between Algar and the king. In the same year, Hermann bishop of Ramesbury, annoyed at the king's refusal to allow the episcopal seat to be transferred to Salisbury, resigned his bishopric, and crossing the sea, assumed the monastic habit at St. Bertin's, and remained three years in that monastery. The first bishop of Ramesbury was Ethelstan, the second Odo, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, the third Osulf, the fourth Algar, the fifth Elstan, the sixth Siric, the seventh Alfric, the eighth Brithwold, who continued from the time of king Ethelred to St. Eadward. We read of this Brithwold, that in the time of king Cnute, he would frequently turn his thoughts to the English royal race, then well nigh destroyed, and would wonder whether it would ever be restored, and that one night, as he lay on his bed musing on this subject, he was caught up on high, where he saw Peter, the prince of the apostles, holding in his arms Eadward the future king, then in Normandy, whom he consecrated to be king, and foretold that he would lead a life of celibacy and reign twenty-four years. It is said also that Brithwold inquired respecting the succession of the kincrs of England, and received this answer, " The kingdom of England belongs to God, and he will provide himself kings." The aforesaid Hermann returned to his bishopric, and, with king Eadward's leave, united the bishopric of Sherborne with that of Ramesbury, and transferred the cathedral see to Salisbury.
John of Worcester. 1055. Siward (age 45), earl of Northumberland, died at York, and was buried in the monastery at Galmanho [Map]72, which he had himself founded: his earldom was given to Tosti (age 29), earl Harold's (age 33) brother. Shortly afterwards, king Edward (age 52), in a council held at London, banished earl [his future father-in-law] Algar, earl Leofric's son, without any just cause of offence. Algar presently went to Ireland, and having collected eighteen pirate ships, returned with them to Wales, where he implored Griffyth the king to lend him his aid against king Edward. Griffyth immediately assembled a numerous army from all parts of his dominions, and directed Algar to join him and his army at a place appointed with his own troops; and having united their forces they entered Herefordshire, intending to lay waste the English marshes.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 24 Oct 1055. This year died Earl Siward at York; and his body lies within the minster at Galmanho76, which he had himself ordered to be built and consecrated, in the name of God and St. Olave, to the honour of God and to all his saints. Archbishop Kinsey fetched his pall from Pope Victor. Then, within a little time after, a general council was summoned in London, seven nights before mid-Lent; at which [his future father-in-law] Earl Elgar, son of Earl Leofric, was outlawed almost without any guilt; because it was said against him that he was the betrayer of the king and of all the people of the land. And he was arraigned thereof before all that were there assembled, though the crime laid to his charge was unintentional. The king, however, gave the earldom, which Earl Siward formerly had, to Tosty (age 29), son of Earl Godwin. Whereupon Earl Elgar sought Griffin's territory in North-Wales; whence he went to Ireland, and there gave him a fleet of eighteen ships, besides his own; and then returned to Wales to King Griffin with the armament, who received him on terms of amity. And they gathered a great force with the Irishmen and the Welsh: and Earl Ralph collected a great army against them at the town of Hereford [Map]; where they met; but ere there was a spear thrown the English people fled, because they were on horses. The enemy then made a great slaughter there-about four hundred or five hundred men; they on the other side none. They went then to the town, and burned it utterly; and the large minster [Map]77 also which the worthy Bishop Athelstan had caused to be built, that they plundered and bereft of relic and of reef, and of all things whatever; and the people they slew, and led some away. Then an army from all parts of England was gathered very nigh;78 and they came to Gloucester: whence they sallied not far out against the Welsh, and there lay some time. And Earl Harold (age 33) caused the dike to be dug about the town the while. Meantime men began to speak of peace; and Earl Harold (age 33) and those who were with him came to Bilsley, where amity and friendship were established between them. The sentence of outlawry against Earl Elgar was reversed; and they gave him all that was taken from him before. The fleet returned to Chester, and there awaited their pay, which Elgar promised them. The slaughter was on the ninth before the calends of November. In the same year died Tremerig, the Welsh bishop, soon after the plundering; who was Bishop Athelstan's substitute, after he became infirm.
Note 76 The church, dedicated to St. Olave, was given by Alan Earl of Richmond, about thirty-three years afterwards, to the first abbot of St. Mary's in York, to assist him in the construction of the new abbey. It appears from a MS. quoted by Leland, that Bootham-bar was formerly called "Galman-hithe", not Galmanlith, as printed by Tanner and others.
Note 77 Called St. Ethelbert's minster; because the relics of the holy King Ethelbert were there deposited and preserved.
Note 78 The place where this army was assembled, though said to be very nigh to Hereford, was only so with reference to the great distance from which some part of the forces came; as they were gathered from all England. They met, I conjecture, on the memorable spot called "Harold's Cross", near Cheltenham, and thence proceeded, as here stated, to Gloucester.
John of Worcester. 24 Oct 1055. Earl Ralph, the cowardly son of king Edward's (age 52) sister, having assembled an army, fell in with the enemy two miles from the city of Hereford [Map], on the ninth of the calends of November [24th October]. He ordered the English, contrary to their custom, to fight on horseback; but just as the engagement was about to commence, the earl, with his French and Normans, were the first to flee. The English seeing this, followed their leader's example, and nearly the whole of the enemy's army going in pursuit, four or five hundred of the fugitives were killed, and many were wounded. Having gained the victory, king Griffyth and earl [his future father-in-law] Algar entered Hereford [Map], and having slain seven of the canons who defended the doors of the principal church, and burnt the monastery built by bishop Athelstan, that true servant of Christ, with all its ornaments, and the relics of St. Ethelbert, king and martyr, and other saints, and having slain some of the citizens, and made many other captives, they returned laden with spoil.
Flowers of History 1056. 1056. Ethelstan bishop of Hereford died, and was succeeded by Levegar, duke Harold's chaplain. This prelate, who was a model of piety, was slain by Griffin king of Wales, who burnt the city of Hereford. Levegar was succeeded by Walter who continued to the time of King William. In the same year Egelric bishop of Durham voluntarily left his bishopric, and took the monastic habit at Peterborough, where he lived an exemplary life twelve years.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 16 Jun 1056. This year Bishop Egelric resigned his bishopric at Durham, and retired to Peterborough minster [Map]; and his brother Egelwine succeeded him. The worthy Bishop Athelstan died on the fourth before the ides of February; and his body lies at Hereford [Map]. To him succeeded Leofgar, who was Earl Harold's mass-priest. He wore his knapsack in his priesthood, until he was a bishop. He abandoned his chrism and his rood-his ghostly weapons-and took to his spear and to his sword, after his bishophood; and so marched to the field against Griffin the Welsh king.79 But he was there slain, and his priests with him, and Elnoth the sheriff, and many other good men with them; and the rest fled. This was eight nights before midsummer. Difficult is it to relate all the vexation and the journeying, the marching and the fatigue, the fall of men, and of horses also, which the whole army of the English suffered, until Earl Leofric, and Earl Harold (age 34), and Bishop Eldred, came together and made peace between them; so that Griffin swore oaths, that he would be a firm and faithful viceroy to King Edward. Then Bishop Eldred took to the bishopric which Leofgar had before eleven weeks and four days.
Note 79. This was no uncommon thing among the Saxon clergy, bishops and all. The tone of elevated diction in which the writer describes the military enterprise of Leofgar and his companions, testifies his admiration.
John of Worcester. 16 Jun 1056. Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, a man of great sanctity, died on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of February, at the episcopal vill called Bosanbyrig [Bosbury]; his body was carried to Hereford, and buried in the church [Map] which he himself had built from the foundations. He was succeeded by Leovegar, earl Harold's chaplain, who, on the sixteenth of the calends [the 16th] of June in the same year, together with his clerks and Ethelnoth the vice-reeve and many others, was massacred by Griffyth, king of Wales, at a place called Claftbyrig [Map]. He held the see only eleven weeks and four days. On his being thus cut off, the bishopric of Hereford was administered by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, until a successor could be appointed. This same bishop Aldred and the earls Leofric and Harold (age 34) afterwards reconciled Griffyth, king of Wales, with king Edward.
Around 1057 Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales and Ealdgyth Mercia (age 33) were married. She the daughter of Ælfgar Earl of Mercia and East Anglia. He the son of Llywelyn ap Seisyll King Gwynedd King Powys King Deheubarth and Angharad ferch Maredudd.
Around 1057 Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales was appointed King Wales.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1058. This year was [his father-in-law] Earl Elgar banished: but he soon came in again by force, through Griffin's assistance: and a naval armament came from Norway. It is tedious to tell how it all fell out. In this same year Bishop Aldred consecrated the minster church [Map] at Gloucester, which he himself had raised82 to the honour of God and St. Peter; and then went to Jerusalem83 with such dignity as no other man did before him, and betook himself there to God. A worthy gift he also offered to our Lord's sepulchre; which was a golden chalice of the value of five marks, of very wonderful workmanship. In the same year died Pope Stephen; and Benedict was appointed pope. He sent hither the pall to Bishop Stigand; who as archbishop consecrated Egelric a monk at Christ church, Bishop of Sussex; and Abbot Siward Bishop of Rochester.
Note 82 He built a new church from the foundation, on a larger plan. The monastery existed from the earliest times.
Note 83 Florence of Worcester says, that he went through Hungary to Jerusalem.
John of Worcester. 1058. [his father-in-law] Algar, earl of Mercia, was outlawed by king Edward (age 55) for the second time, but, supported by Griffyth, king of Wales, and aided by a Norwegian fleet, which unexpectedly came to his relief, he speedily recovered his earldom by force of arms. Pope Stephen died on the third of the calends of April [30th March]. He was succeeded by Benedict, who sent the pallium to Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury. Æthelric was ordained bishop of Sussex; and abbot Siward was consecrated bishop of Rochester. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, dedicated with great ceremony to Peter, prince of the apostles, the church [Map] which he had built from the foundations in the city of Worcester, and afterwards, with the king's license, appointed Wulfstan (age 50), a monk of Worcester, ordained by him, abbot of the new foundation. Then, having resigned the bishopric of Wilton, which he held in commendam, and restored it to Heriman, before mentioned, he crossed the sea, and went through Hungary to Jerusalem; a pilgrimage which no English archbishop or bishop is known to have performed before.
John of Worcester. 1063. When Christmas was over, Harold (age 41), the brave earl of Wessex, by king Edward's (age 60) order, put himself at the head of a small troop of horse, and proceeded by rapid marches from Gloucester, where the king then was, to Rhuddlan, [Flintshire] with the determination to punish Griffyth, king of Wales, for his continual ravages on the English marshes, and his many insults to his lord, king Edward, by taking his life. But Griffyth, being forewarned of the earl's approach, fled with his attendants, and escaped by getting aboard a ship, but not without extreme difficulty. Harold (age 41), finding he was gone, ordered his palace to be burnt, and setting fire to his ships and all their rigging, began his march homeward the same day. But about Rogation days [20 May] he sailed from Bristol with a naval force, and circumnavigated a great part of Wales. His brother met him, by the king's command, with a body of cavalry, and uniting their forces, they began to lay waste that part of the country. In consequence, the Welsh were reduced to submission, and, giving hostages, engaged to pay him tribute, and they deposed and banished their king, Griffyth.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1063. This year went Earl Harold (age 41), after mid-winter, from Gloucester to Rhyddlan; which belonged to Griffin: and that habitation he burned, with his ships and all the rigging belonging thereto; and put him to flight. Then in the gang-days went Harold with his ships from Bristol about Wales; where he made a truce with the people, and they gave him hostages. Tosty (age 37) meanwhile advanced with a land-force against them, and plundered the land. But in the harvest of the same year was King Griffin slain, on the nones of August, by his own men, through the war that he waged with Earl Harold (age 41). He was king over all the Welsh nation. And his head was brought to Earl Harold (age 41); who sent it to the king (age 60), with his ship's head, and the rigging therewith. King Edward (age 60) committed the land to his two brothers, Blethgent (age 50) and Rigwatle; who swore oaths, and gave hostages to the king and to the earl, that they would be faithful to him in all things, ready to aid him everywhere by water and land, and would pay him such tribute from the land as was paid long before to other kings.
John of Worcester. 05 Aug 1064. Griffyth, king of Wales, was slain by his own people, on the nones [the 5th] of August, and his head and the beak of his ship, with its ornaments, were sent to earl Harold (age 42), who, shortly afterwards, presented them to king Edward (age 61). The king then gave the territories of the Welsh king to his brothers Blethgent (age 51) and Rithwalon77, and they swore to be faithful to him and Harold (age 42), and promised to be ready to obey their orders by sea and land, and that they would faithfully pay whatever was paid before from that country to former kings.
Note 77. Blethyn and Rhywallon, princes of North Wales and Powis, 1060—1066.
After Nov 1066 [his former wife] Ealdgyth Mercia (age 42) died.
[his daughter] Nest verch Gruffydd Cadelling Baroness Burford was born to Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales and Ealdgyth Mercia.
[his son] Idwal Cadelling was born to Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales and Ealdgyth Mercia.
[his son] Maredudd Cadelling was born to Gruffydd ap Llywelyn King Wales and Ealdgyth Mercia.
Kings Gwynedd: Grand Son of Maredudd ab Owain King Deheubarth King Powys King Gwynedd
Kings Seisyllwg: Great x 2 Grand Son of Hywel "Dda aka Good" King Seisyllwg King Deheubarth
Kings Powys: Grand Son of Maredudd ab Owain King Deheubarth King Powys King Gwynedd
Queen Jane Seymour x 24
Queen Consort Camilla Shand x 1188
Diana Spencer Princess Wales x 10822
GrandFather: Seisyll ap Ednowain Cadelling
GrandMother: Muzna Unknown
Great x 1 Grandfather: Owain King Deheubarth
Mother: Angharad ferch Maredudd