Elen ferch Llywelyn (the Elder)

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Elen ferch Llywelyn
Countess of Huntingdon and Chester
Arms of Llywelyn.svg
The arms of the Aberffraw House of Gwynedd were traditionally first used by Elen's grandfather, Iorwerth Drwyndwn.
Born c. 1206
Died 1253 (aged 46–47)
Spouse John of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon
Sir Robert de Quincy
Issue Hawise de Quincy
House Aberffraw
Father Llywelyn the Great
Mother Joan, Lady of Wales

Elen ferch Llywelyn (c. 1218 – 1253) was the daughter of Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd in North Wales by Joan, Lady of Wales, the natural daughter of King John of England.

Elen married John of Scotland, 9th Earl of Huntingdon, in about 1222. He died aged thirty in 1237, and she was forced by King Henry III to marry Sir Robert de Quincy. Their daughter, Hawise, married Baldwin Wake, Lord Wake of Liddell. Hawise and Baldwin’s granddaughter, Margaret Wake, was the mother of Joan of Kent. Joan of Kent was the wife of Edward, the Black Prince and the mother of Richard II of England, who was deposed and died without heirs.

The blood of Llywelyn the Great eventually came into the English royal family through Joan of Kent's earlier marriage to Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent. By their eldest son, Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent, two of his six daughters were ancestresses;

By Thomas, 2nd Earl of Kent's other daughter, Eleanor Holland, Countess of Salisbury, Elen ferch Llywelyn was an ancestress of Queen consorts Anne Neville, consort of Richard III and daughter of Warwick, the Kingmaker, as well as Catherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII.[1][2]

Elen ferch Llywelyn in fiction[edit]

  • Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine
  • Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
  • Falls the Shadow by Sharon Kay penman: In Penman's version, Elen and Robert de Quincy were lovers, and she married him immediately on John's death despite her father's opposition.


  1. ^ Michael Hicks. Warwick, the Kingmaker, John Wiley & Sons, Sep 17, 2008. pg 8.
  2. ^ David Baldwin. The Kingmaker's Sisters: Six Powerful Women in the Wars of the Roses, History Press, Aug 1, 2009. *Queen Catherine Parr descends from Warwick's sister, Lady Alice FitzHugh [Neville].