Tudors of Penmynydd

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This is an article on the lineage of the Tudor Family of Penmynydd, Anglesey (or The House of Tudor). The coronation and lives of the Tudor family members in England is a separate article: the Tudor dynasty.
Family Arms, based on Ednyfed Fychan's coat of arms.
The stained glass window at Penmynydd.

The Tudors of Penmynydd were a noble and aristocratic family, connected with the village of Penmynydd in Anglesey, North Wales, who were very influential in Welsh (and later English) politics.

The family descended from Ednyfed Fychan (d. in 1246), the Welsh warrior who became seneschal to the Kingdom of Gwynedd in North Wales, serving Llywelyn the Great and later his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn. He was a descendant (9th in descent) of Marchudd ap Cynan, Lord of Rhos, Lord Protector of Rhodri Mawr, King of Gwynedd, and the ancestor of Owen Tudor and thereby of the Tudor dynasty.[1] The house of Tudor came to an end in the 17th century.[2]

The present house was built in 1576 on the site of a much older building which was the seat of the Tudor Family. Iolo Goch visited the property between 1367–82 and wrote a famous ode to the family and the old mansion house.

The Owain Glyndŵr Era[edit]

In the 15th century, three of the Tudor brothers gave their allegiance to Owain Glyndŵr, their first cousin as their mothers were sisters and also descended from many of the native Welsh Princes including Llewellyn the Great: Rhys ap Tudur, Gwilym ap Tudur and Maredudd ap Tudur (grandfather of Henry VII). Following Glyndŵr's demise, much of the Tudor's lands were taken by the English crown.

The Tudor dynasty[edit]

The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms from 1485 until 1603. Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, was the son of Welsh courtier Owain Tudur (anglicised to "Owen Tudor") and Katherine of Valois, widowed Queen Consort of the Lancastrian King Henry V. Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois had two sons, Edmund Tudor (d. 1456), 1st Earl of Richmond, and Jasper Tudor (d. 1495),1st Earl of Bedford and 1st Earl of Pembroke. In anticipation of a male heir to the House of Lancaster, Owen Tudor was betrothed and married to Margaret Beaufort (d. 1509) daughter of Margaret Beauchamp and John Beaufort. In the absence of a son, Margaret Beaufort was the only heir of the House of Lancaster after Henry VI, and so her marriage to Edmund Tudor, son of Catherine of Valois and therefore French Royalty in its fruition would ensure a sturdy male heir for the House of Lancaster. And that Margaret did achieve, for on 27 January 1457 Margaret gave birth to a son, Henry Tudor (later King Henry VII) at Pembroke Castle in Wales. Unfortunately for Margaret and the Tudor family, her husband Edmund Tudor had died 3 November 1456, leaving Margaret a widow at only thirteen years of age. Margaret's son Henry Tudor, born in Pembroke, grew up in south Wales and in exile in Brittany. Henry proclaimed himself Henry VII King of England after winning The Battle of Bosworth Field on 27 August 1485, where he defeated Richard Duke of York, previously known as Richard III, King of England. In her unwavering ambition, Henry's mother Margaret had forged an alliance with discontented Yorkists in support of her son, who landed in South Wales, gathered further troops through Wales and the Midlands and ultimately defeated Richard III, Henry proclaiming himself King of England on the battle field.

After the Battle, Henry Tudor, King of England, married the oldest surviving heir of the House of York, Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward IV, and sister of the unfortunate Princes in the Tower, Edward and Richard. Henry and Elizabeth would have a long and happy marriage, having two sons who survived infancy, Arthur Prince of Wales, who died in 1502 at the age of fifteen, and Henry (Henry VIII) perhaps the most famed of Tudor monarchs for having six wives. Henry VII and Elizabeth also had two daughters who grew to be women, Margaret, who would be Queen of Scotland, and Mary, who would briefly be Queen of France. Queen Elizabeth of York died in 1503 after giving birth to a daughter Katherine who did not survive. Henry Tudor, Henry VII King of England died in 1509, his son Henry took the throne and became Henry VIII King of England.

Henry VIII quickly married his brother Arthur's widow Katherine of Aragon, they had only one surviving child, Mary, who would be Queen Mary I. After nearly twenty five years of marriage, Henry, with much trouble and causing much unrest, had his marriage to Katherine annulled, claiming the marriage as unlawful due to her being the widow of his brother, and splitting with the Roman Catholic Church in the process. This action brought about the birth of the English Reformation, and eventually brought about the beginning of The Church of England. Henry then married his mistress Anne Boleyn on 28 May 1533. Anne gave birth to a daughter Elizabeth, who would be Elizabeth I, on 7 September later that year. On 19 May 1536, Henry had Anne executed for treason and adultery. Henry then married Jane Seymour on 30 May 1536. Jane gave birth to a son, Edward, who would later become King Edward VI, on 12 October 1537. Jane then died of Childbed fever on 24 October. Henry VIII married three more women; Anne of Cleves in January 1540, Katherine Howard in July 1540, then Katherine Parr in July 1543. Henry had no more children after the death of Jane Seymour. Having annulled his marriage to Anne of Cleves, Henry married Katherine Howard, who he had executed for adultery. Katherine Parr survived Henry, and went on to raise his daughter Elizabeth for sometime in her own household before her own death in 1547.

After Henry VII's death, his son Edward assumed the throne, with his Uncle Edward Seymour as Lord Protector. Edward VI died on 6 July 1553. The throne was then for nine days held by his cousin Lady Jane Grey. Edward's older sister Mary (daughter of Katherine of Aragon) took the throne herself by force, becoming Mary I, but better known as Bloody Mary for her ruthless execution of Protestants during her reign, having again pronounced the Kingdom as Catholic. Mary married her cousin Phillip of Spain, but died with no issue herself in November 1558. The throne then went to Elizabeth, Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, who would reign for some forty five years. Elizabeth I was known as the Virgin Queen, having never married, and having no issue, the Tudor line died with her. Her rule would be known forever as 'The Golden Age'.

In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century. Henry VIII of England was the only male-line male heir of Henry VII to live to the age of majority. Issues around the Royal succession (including marriage, divorce, and the succession rights of women) became major political themes during the Tudor era.

The Tudor line failed in 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I of England, who died without any children to succeed her.

Post Tudor dynasty[edit]

The descendants of Tudur ab Ednyfed Fychan later evolved into the Griffiths family of Penrhyn as well as Sir Gruffudd Llwyd and Sir Rhys ap Gruffudd (d.1356).


Ednyfed Fychan
d. 1246
Goronwy ab Ednyfed
d. 1268
Tudur Hen
(also known as Tudur ap Goronwy)
d. 1311
Goronwy ap Tudur Hen
d. 1331
Elen ferch Tomos
(mother of Owain Glyndŵr)
Marged ferch Tomos
Tudur ap Goronwy
d. 1367
Maredudd ap Tudur
Rhys ap Tudur
d. 1409
Gwilym ap Tudur
d. 1413
Owen Tudor
(Owain Tudur)
Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond
d. 1456
Jasper Tudor
Henry VII of England
d. 1509


  1. ^ Bezzant Lowe, Walter (1912). The Heart of Northern Wales. Llanfairfechan. p354.
  2. ^ [Y Gwyddoniadur Cymraeg University of Wales Press 2008]