Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe, his long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death. Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France, her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337; this started. Following some initial setbacks, this first phase of the war went exceptionally well for England; this phase would become known as the Edwardian War. Edward's years were marked by international failure and domestic strife as a result of his inactivity and poor health.
Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king. Admired in his own time and for centuries after, Edward was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by Whig historians such as William Stubbs; this view has been challenged and modern historians credit him with some significant achievements. Edward was born at Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312, was referred to as Edward of Windsor in his early years; the reign of his father, Edward II, was a problematic period of English history. One source of contention was the king's inactivity, repeated failure, in the ongoing war with Scotland. Another controversial issue was the king's exclusive patronage of a small group of royal favourites; the birth of a male heir in 1312 temporarily improved Edward II's position in relation to the baronial opposition. To bolster further the independent prestige of the young prince, the king had him created Earl of Chester at only twelve days of age. In 1325, Edward II was faced with a demand from his brother-in-law, Charles IV of France, to perform homage for the English Duchy of Aquitaine.
Edward was reluctant to leave the country, as discontent was once again brewing domestically over his relationship with the favourite Hugh Despenser the Younger. Instead, he had his son Edward created Duke of Aquitaine in his place and sent him to France to perform the homage; the young Edward was accompanied by his mother Isabella, the sister of King Charles, was meant to negotiate a peace treaty with the French. While in France, Isabella conspired with the exiled Roger Mortimer to have Edward deposed. To build up diplomatic and military support for the venture, Isabella had her son engaged to the twelve-year-old Philippa of Hainault. An invasion of England was launched and Edward II's forces deserted him completely. Isabella and Mortimer summoned a parliament, the king was forced to relinquish the throne to his son, proclaimed king in London on 25 January 1327; the new king was crowned as Edward III at Westminster Abbey on 1 February at the age of 14. It was not long before the new reign met with other problems caused by the central position at court of Roger Mortimer, now the de facto ruler of England.
Mortimer used his power to acquire noble estates and titles, his unpopularity grew with the humiliating defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Stanhope Park and the ensuing Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, signed with the Scots in 1328. The young king came into conflict with his guardian. Mortimer knew his position in relation to the king was precarious and subjected Edward to disrespect; the tension increased after Edward and Philippa, who had married at York Minster on 24 January 1328, had a son on 15 June 1330. Edward decided to take direct action against Mortimer. Aided by his close companion William Montagu and a small number of other trusted men, Edward took Mortimer by surprise at Nottingham Castle on 19 October 1330. Mortimer was executed and Edward III's personal reign began. Edward III was not content with the peace agreement made in his name, but the renewal of the war with Scotland originated in private, rather than royal initiative. A group of English magnates known as The Disinherited, who had lost land in Scotland by the peace accord, staged an invasion of Scotland and won a great victory at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332.
They attempted to install Edward Balliol as king of Scotland in David II's place, but Balliol was soon expelled and was forced to seek the help of Edward III. The English king responded by laying siege to the important border town of Berwick and defeated a large relieving army at the Battle of Halidon Hill. Edward reinstated Balliol on the throne and received a substantial amount of land in southern Scotland; these victories proved hard to sustain, as forces loyal to David II regained control of the country. In 1338, Edward was forced to agree to a truce with the Scots. One reason for the change of strategy towards Scotland was a growing concern for the relationship between England and France; as long as Scotland and France were in an alliance, the English were faced with the prospect of fighting a war on two fronts. The French carried out raids on English coastal towns, leading to rumour
Owain Glyndŵr, or Owain Glyn Dŵr, sometimes called Owen Glendower in English, was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. He instigated a fierce and long-running, yet unsuccessful war of independence with the aim of ending English rule in Wales. Glyndŵr was a descendant of the Princes of Powys through his father Gruffudd Fychan II, hereditary Tywysog of Powys Fadog and Lord of Glyndyfrdwy, of those of Deheubarth through his mother Elen ferch Tomas ap Llywelyn ab Owen. On 16 September 1400, Glyndŵr instigated the Welsh Revolt against the rule of Henry IV of England; the uprising was very successful and gained control of large areas of Wales, but it suffered from key weaknesses – a lack of artillery, which made capturing defended fortresses difficult, of ships, which made their coastlands vulnerable. The uprising was suppressed by the superior resources of the English. Glyndŵr was driven from his last strongholds in 1409, but he avoided capture and the last documented sighting of him was in 1412.
He twice ignored offers of a pardon from his military nemesis, the new king Henry V of England, despite the large rewards offered, Glyndŵr was never betrayed to the English. His death was recorded by a former follower in the year 1415. In William Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 1, the character of Owen Glendower is a wild and exotic king ruled by magic and emotion. With his death Owain acquired a mythical status along with Cadwaladr and Arthur as the hero awaiting the call to return and liberate his people. In the late 19th century, the Cymru Fydd movement recreated him as the father of Welsh nationalism. Glyndŵr was born around 1349 to a prosperous landed family, part of the Anglo-Welsh gentry of the Welsh Marches in northeast Wales; this group moved between Welsh and English societies and languages, occupying important offices for the Marcher Lords while maintaining their position as uchelwyr — nobles descended from the pre-conquest Welsh royal dynasties — in traditional Welsh society. His father, Gruffydd Fychan II, hereditary Tywysog of Powys Fadog and Lord of Glyndyfrdwy, died some time before 1370, leaving Glyndŵr's mother Elen ferch Tomas ap Llywelyn of Deheubarth a widow and Owain a young man of 16 years at most.
The young Owain ap Gruffydd was fostered at the home of David Hanmer, a rising lawyer shortly to be a justice of the Kings Bench, or at the home of Richard FitzAlan, 3rd Earl of Arundel. Owain is thought to have been sent to London to study law at the Inns of Court, he studied as a legal apprentice for seven years. He was in London during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. By 1383, he had returned to Wales, where he married David Hanmer's daughter, started his large family and established himself as the Squire of Sycharth and Glyndyfrdwy, with all the responsibilities that entailed. Glyndŵr entered the English king's military service in 1384 when he undertook garrison duty under the renowned Welshman Sir Gregory Sais, or Sir Degory Sais, on the English–Scottish border at Berwick-upon-Tweed. In August 1385, he served King Richard under the command of John of Gaunt again in Scotland. On 3 September 1386, he was called to give evidence in the Scrope v Grosvenor trial at Chester. In March 1387, Owain was in southeast England under Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel, in the English Channel at the defeat of a Franco-Spanish-Flemish fleet off the coast of Kent.
Upon the death in late 1387 of his father-in-law, Sir David Hanmer, knighted earlier that same year by Richard II, Glyndŵr returned to Wales as executor of his estate. He served as a squire to Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, at the short, sharp Battle of Radcot Bridge in December 1387, he had gained three years' concentrated military experience in different theatres and seen at first hand some key events and people. King Richard was distracted by a growing conflict with the Lords Appellant from this time on. Glyndŵr's opportunities were further limited by the death of Sir Gregory Sais in 1390 and the sidelining of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, he returned to his stable Welsh estates, living there for ten years during his forties; the bard Iolo Goch, himself a Welsh lord, visited him in the 1390s and wrote a number of odes to Owain, praising Owain's liberality, writing of Sycharth, "Rare was it there / to see a latch or a lock." The names and number of Owain Glyndŵr's siblings cannot be known.
The following are given by the Jacob Youde William Lloyd: Brother Tudur, Lord of Gwyddelwern, born about 1362, died 11 March 1405 at a battle in Brecknockshire in the wars of his brother. Brother Gruffudd who had a daughter and heiress, Eva. Sister Lowri spelled Lowry, married Robert Puleston of Emral. Sister Isabel married Adda ap Iorwerth Ddu of Llys Pengwern. Sister Morfudd married Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, in Herefordshire and, David ab Ednyfed Gam of Llys Pengwern. Sister Gwenllian. Tudur and Lowri are given as his siblings by the more cautious Prof. R R Davies; that Owain Glyndŵr had another brother. In the late 1390s, a series of events began to push Owain towards rebellion, in what was to be called the Welsh Revolt, the Glyndŵr Rising or the Last War of Independence, his neighbour, Baron Grey de Ruthyn, had seized control of some land, for which Glyndŵr appealed to the English Parliament. Owain's petition for redress was ignored. In 1400, Lord Grey informed Glyndŵr too lat
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The wars eliminated the male lines of both families; the conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on. With the Duke of York's death in 1460, the claim transferred to Edward. After a series of Yorkist victories from January–February 1461, Edward claimed the throne on March 4, 1461, the last serious Lancastrian resistance ended at decisive Battle of Towton.
Edward was thus unopposed as the first Yorkist king of England, as Edward IV. Resistance smoldered in the North until 1464, but the early part of his reign remained peaceful. A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after The Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories throughout 1469–1470; when Edward fled to Flanders in 1470, Henry VI was re-installed as king on 3 October 1470, but his resumption of rule was short lived, he was deposed again following the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Tewkesbury, on 21 May 1471, Edward entered London unopposed, resumed the throne, had Henry killed that same day. With all significant Lancastrian leaders now banished or killed, Edward ruled unopposed until his sudden death in 1483, his son reigned for 78 days as Edward V, but was deposed by his uncle, who became Richard III. The ascension of Richard III occurred under a cloud of controversy, shortly after assuming the throne, the wars sparked anew with Buckingham's rebellion, as many die-hard Yorkists abandoned Richard to join Lancastrians.
While the rebellions lacked much central coordination, in the chaos the exiled Henry Tudor, son of Henry VI's half-brother Edmund Earl of Richmond, the leader of the Lancastrian cause, returned to the country from exile in Brittany at the head of an army of combined Breton and English forces. Richard avoided direct conflict with Henry until the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. After Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims; the House of Tudor ruled the Kingdom of England until 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Shortly after Henry took the throne, the Earl of Lincoln, a Yorkist sympathizer, put forward Lambert Simnel as an imposter Richard of York, younger brother of Edward V. Lincoln's forces were defeated, he was killed at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, bringing a close to the Wars of the Roses.
The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 1, set in the gardens of the Temple Church, where a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively, it is suggested by literary critics that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has strong allegorical references to the conflict with York represented by the White Queen and Lancaster represented by the Red Queen. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when it was combined with the Yorkist white rose to form the Tudor rose, which symbolised the union of the two houses.
Owing to nobles holding multiple titles, more than one badge was used: Edward IV, for example, used both his sun in splendour as Earl of March, but his father's falcon and fetterlock as Duke of York. Badges were not always distinct. Most, but not all, of the participants in the wars wore livery badges associated with their immediate lords or patrons under the prevailing system of bastard feudalism. Another example: Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal device of a white boar. Although the names of the rival houses derive from the cities of York and Lancaster, the corresponding duchy and dukedom had little to do with these cities; the lands and offices attached to the Duchy of Lancaster were in Gloucestershire, North Wales, in Yorkshire, while the estates and castles of the Duke of York were spread throughout England and Wales, many in the We
Escheat is a common law doctrine that transfers the real property of a person who died without heirs to the Crown or state. It serves to ensure, it applied to a number of situations where a legal interest in land was destroyed by operation of law, so that the ownership of the land reverted to the superior feudal lord. The term "escheat" derives from the Latin ex-cadere, to "fall-out", via mediaeval French escheoir; the sense is of a feudal estate in land falling-out of the possession by a family into possession by the overlord. In feudal England, escheat referred to the situation where the tenant of a fee died without an heir or committed a felony. In the case of such demise of a tenant-in-chief, the fee reverted to the King's demesne permanently, when it became once again a mere tenantless plot of land, but could be re-created as a fee by enfeoffment to another of the king's followers. Where the deceased had been subinfeudated by a tenant-in-chief, the fee reverted temporarily to the crown for one year and one day by right of primer seisin after which it escheated to the over-lord who had granted it to the deceased by enfeoffment.
From the time of Henry III, the monarchy took particular interest in escheat as a source of revenue. At the Norman Conquest of England all the land of England was claimed as the personal possession of William the Conqueror under allodial title; the monarch thus became the sole "owner" of all the land in the kingdom, a position which persists to the present day. He granted it out to his favoured followers, who thereby became tenants-in-chief, under various contracts of feudal land tenure; such tenures the highest one of "feudal barony", never conferred ownership of land but ownership of rights over it, to say ownership of an estate in land. Such persons are therefore termed "land-holders" or "tenants", not owners. If held, to say by freehold, such holdings were heritable by the holder's legal heir. On the payment of a premium termed feudal relief to the treasury, such heir was entitled to demand re-enfeoffment by the king with the fee concerned. Where no legal heir existed, the logic of the situation was that the fief had ceased to exist as a legal entity, since being tenantless no one was living, enfeoffed with the land, the land was thus technically owned by either the crown or the immediate overlord as ultimus heres.
Logically therefore it was in the occupation of the crown alone, to say in the royal demesne. This was the basic operation of a failure of heirs. Escheat could take place if a tenant was outlawed or convicted of a felony, when the King could exercise the ancient right of wasting the criminal's land for a year and a day, after that the land would return to the lord. Since disavowal of a feudal bond was considered a felony, lords could escheat land from those who refused to be true to their feudal services. On the other hand, there were tenants who were sluggish in performing their duties, while not being outright rebellious against the lord. Remedies in the courts against this sort of thing in Bracton's day, were available, but were considered laborious and ineffectual in compelling the desired performance; the commonest mechanism would be distraint called distress: the lord would seize some chattel, hold it until performance was achieved. This practice had been dealt with in the 1267 Statute of Marlborough.
So, it remained the most common extrajudicial method applied by the lords at the time of Quia Emptores. Thus, under English common law, there were two main ways an escheat could happen: A person's property escheated if he was convicted of a felony. If the person was executed for the crime, his heirs were attainted, i.e. ineligible to inherit. In most common-law jurisdictions, this type of escheat has been abolished outright, for example in the United States under Article 3 § 3 of the United States Constitution, which states that attainders for treason do not give rise to posthumous forfeiture, or "corruption of blood". If a person had no heir to receive their property under a will or under the laws of intestacy any property he owned at death would escheat; this rule has been replaced in most common-law jurisdictions by a similar concept. From the 12th century onward, the Crown appointed escheators to manage escheats and report to the Exchequer, with one escheator per county established by the middle of the 14th century.
Upon the death of a tenant-in-chief, the escheator would be instructed by a writ of diem clausit extremum issued by the king's chancery, to empanel a jury to hold an "inquisition post mortem" to ascertain who the legal heir was, if any, what was the extent of the land held. Thus it would be revealed, it was important for the king to know who the heir was, to assess his personal qualities, since he would thenceforth form a constituent part of the royal army, if he held under military tenure. If there was any doubt, the escheator would sei
Mary I of England
Mary I known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII; the executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents. Mary was the only child of Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to survive to adulthood, her younger half-brother Edward VI succeeded their father in 1547 at the age of nine. When Edward became mortally ill in 1553, he attempted to remove Mary from the line of succession because he supposed that she would reverse the Protestant reforms that had begun during his reign. On his death, leading politicians proclaimed Lady Jane Grey as queen. Mary speedily assembled a force in East Anglia and deposed Jane, beheaded. Mary was—excluding the disputed reigns of Jane and the Empress Matilda—the first queen regnant of England.
In 1554, Mary married Philip of Spain, becoming queen consort of Habsburg Spain on his accession in 1556. During her five-year reign, Mary had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions. After Mary's death in 1558, her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her younger half-sister and successor Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn, at the beginning of the 45-year Elizabethan era. Mary was born on 18 February 1516 at the Palace of Placentia in England, she was the only child of his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive infancy. Her mother had suffered many miscarriages. Before Mary's birth, four previous pregnancies had resulted in a stillborn daughter and three short-lived or stillborn sons, including Henry, Duke of Cornwall. Mary was baptised into the Catholic faith at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich three days after her birth, her godparents included Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey. Henry VIII's cousin once removed, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, stood sponsor for Mary's confirmation, held after the baptism.
The following year, Mary became a godmother herself when she was named as one of the sponsors of her cousin Frances Brandon. In 1520, the Countess of Salisbury was appointed Mary's governess. Sir John Hussey Lord Hussey, was her chamberlain from 1530, his wife, Lady Anne, daughter of George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent, was one of Mary's attendants. Mary was a precocious child. In July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, she entertained a visiting French delegation with a performance on the virginals. A great part of her early education came from her mother, who consulted the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives for advice and commissioned him to write De Institutione Feminae Christianae, a treatise on the education of girls. By the age of nine, Mary could write Latin, she studied French, music and Greek. Henry VIII doted on his daughter and boasted to the Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustiniani, "This girl never cries"; as the miniature portrait of her shows, Mary had, like both her parents, a fair complexion, pale blue eyes and red or reddish-golden hair.
She was ruddy cheeked, a trait she inherited from her father. Despite his affection for Mary, Henry was disappointed that his marriage had produced no sons. By the time Mary was nine years old, it was apparent that Henry and Catherine would have no more children, leaving Henry without a legitimate male heir. In 1525, Henry sent Mary to the border of Wales to preside in name only, over the Council of Wales and the Marches, she was given her own court based at Ludlow Castle and many of the royal prerogatives reserved for the Prince of Wales. Vives and others called her the Princess of Wales, although she was never technically invested with the title, she appears to have spent three years in the Welsh Marches, making regular visits to her father's court, before returning permanently to the home counties around London in mid-1528. Throughout Mary's childhood, Henry negotiated potential future marriages for her; when she was only two years old, she was promised to Francis, the infant son of King Francis I of France, but the contract was repudiated after three years.
In 1522, at the age of six, she was instead contracted to marry her 22-year-old first cousin, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. However, the engagement was broken off within a few years by Charles with Henry's agreement. Cardinal Wolsey, Henry's chief adviser resumed marriage negotiations with the French, Henry suggested that Mary marry the Dauphin's father, King Francis I himself, eager for an alliance with England. A marriage treaty was signed which provided that Mary marry either Francis I or his second son Henry, Duke of Orleans, but Wolsey secured an alliance with France without the marriage. According to the Venetian Mario Savorgnano, by this time Mary was developing into a pretty, well-proportioned young lady with a fine complexion. Meanwhile, the marriage of Mary's parents was in jeopardy. Disappointed at the lack of a male heir, eager to remarry, Henry attempted to have his marriage to Catherine annulled, but Pope Clement VII refused his request. Henry claimed, citing biblical passages, that his marriage to Catherine was unclean because she was the widow of his brother Arthur.
Catherine claimed so was not a valid marriage. Her first marriage had been annulled by a previous pope, Julius II, on t
Llywelyn the Great
Llywelyn the Great, full name Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, was a King of Gwynedd in north Wales and 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 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, when John arrested Gwenwynwyn ap Owain of Powys in 1208, Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys. In 1210, relations deteriorated, 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 involved in fights with Marcher lords and sometimes with the king, but 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. Llywelyn was born about 1173, the son of Iorwerth ab Owain and the grandson of Owain Gwynedd, ruler of Gwynedd until his death in 1170. Llywelyn was a descendant of the senior line of Rhodri Mawr and therefore a member of the princely house of Gwynedd, he was born at Dolwyddelan, though not in the present Dolwyddelan castle, built by Llywelyn himself.
He may have been born in the old castle. Little is known about Iorwerth Drwyndwn, who died when Llywelyn was an infant. There is no record of Iorwerth having taken part in the power struggle between some of Owain Gwynedd's other sons following Owain's death, although he was the eldest surviving son. There is a tradition that he was disfigured in some way that excluded him from power. By 1175, Gwynedd had been divided between two of Llywelyn's uncles. Dafydd ab Owain held the area east of the River Rhodri ab Owain held the west. Dafydd and Rhodri were the sons of Owain by his second marriage to Cristin verch Goronwy; this marriage was not considered valid by the church as Cristin was Owain's first cousin, a degree of relationship which according to Canon law prohibited marriage. Giraldus Cambrensis refers to Iorwerth Drwyndwn as the only legitimate son of Owain Gwynedd. Following Iorwerth's death, Llywelyn was, at least in the eyes of the church, the legitimate claimant to the throne of Gwynedd.
Llywelyn's mother was Marared anglicised to Margaret, daughter of Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys. There is evidence that, after her first husband's death, Marared married in the summer of 1197, the nephew of Roger Powys of Whittington Castle with whom she had a son, David ap Gwion. Therefore, some maintain that Marared never married into the Corbet family of Caus Castle and Moreton Corbet Castle. However, there is in existence a grant of land from Llywelyn ab Iorworth to the monastery of Wigmore, in which Llywelyn indicates his mother was a member of the house of Corbet, leaving the issue unresolved. In his account of his journey around Wales in 1188, Giraldus Cambrensis mentions that the young Llywelyn was in arms against his uncles Dafydd and Rhodri; this young man, being only twelve years of age, during the period of our journey, to molest his uncles David and Roderic, the sons of Owen by Christiana, his cousin-german. In 1194, with the aid of his cousins Gruffudd ap Cynan and Maredudd ap Cynan, he defeated Dafydd at the Battle of Aberconwy at the mouth of the River Conwy.
Rhodri died in 1195, his lands west of the Conwy were taken over by Gruffudd and Maredudd while Llywelyn ruled the territories taken from Dafydd east of the Conwy. In 1197, Llywelyn imprisoned him. A year Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, persuaded Llywelyn to release him, Dafydd retired to England where he died in May 1203. Wales was divided into Pura Wallia, the areas ruled by the Welsh princes, Marchia Wallia, ruled by the Anglo-Norman barons. Since the death of Owain Gwynedd in 1170, Rhys ap Gruffydd had made the southern kingdom of Deheubarth the strongest of the Welsh kingdoms, had establ