Gwenwynwyn ap Owain

Attributed arms of Gwenwynwyn ab Owain[1]

Gwenwynwyn ab Owain Cyfeiliog (died c. 1216) was the last major ruler of mid Wales before the completion of the Norman English invasion.


He ruled southern Powys from 1195, having taken control following the death of his father Owain Cyfeiliog.

Conflict with Llywelyn the Great

His possession of Powys Wenwynwyn brought him into conflict with Llywelyn the Great, ruler of Gwynedd, who was keen to extend his own jurisdiction over the whole of Wales.

Conflict with King John

King John favoured Gwenwynwyn until a marriage alliance was made between Llywelyn and John's illegitimate daughter. The two native princes then kept their distance until 1208. As a result of Gwenwynwyn's activities, John confiscated his lands and allowed Llywelyn to appropriate Ceredigion and Powys.

Gwenwynwyn did not get his territory back for two years, but his resentment towards the English led him into an alliance with Llywelyn, which lasted from 1212 until 1216, when John restored some of Gwenwynwyn's property and the two Welsh princes fell out again.

Main events

Death and legacy

Llywelyn invaded Powys, and Gwenwynwyn is believed to have died or been killed that same year. He was survived by his son Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn whose actions in 1282 are blamed by many for the death of the last native prince of an independent Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.


  1. Williams, Richard (1887). The royal tribes of Wales; To which is added an account of The fifteen tribes of north Wales. With numerous additions and notes, preface and index. Liverpool I. Foulkes. Unknown ID AFV-0947.
  2. Yorke, Philip (1887). The Royal Tribes of Wales. London: Isaac Foulkes. pp. 61–64.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Owain Cyfeiliog
Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn
Succeeded by
Llywelyn the Great
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