List of rulers of Gwynedd

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This is a list of the rulers of Gwynedd.

Many of them were also acclaimed "King of the Britons" or "Prince of Wales".

Kings of Gwynedd[edit]

House of Cunedda[edit]

With Hywel's death, all male descendants of Maelgwn Gwynedd have expired. Merfyn the Freckled succeeds through his mother Esyllt, eldest daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy and niece of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog.

House of Manaw[edit]

House of Aberffraw[edit]

The warfare among the sons of Rhodri meant that the descendants of Anarawd became considered a separate house – called the House of Aberffraw from their principal seat – from the junior branches in Deheubarth and elsewhere.

House of Dinefwr[edit]

House of Aberffraw[edit]

  • Cynan ap Hywel (999–1005) Returns to the Aberffraw dynasty briefly


  • Aeddan ap Blegywryd (1005–1018) (minor commote lord usurps Gwynedd from the Aberffraw dynasty)

House of Rhuddlan[edit]

  • Llywelyn ap Seisyll (1018–1023) (Rhuddlan dynasty in lower Gwynedd usurps from Aeddan ap Blegywryd)

House of Aberffraw[edit]

Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig
r. 1023–1039
Cynan ab Iago
d. 1060
Gruffydd ap Cynan
Owain Gwynedd
Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd
r. 1170
Iorwerth Drwyndwn
Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd
Prince 1170–1195
Maelgwn ab Owain Gwynedd
Prince 1170–1173
Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd
Prince 1170–1195
Llywelyn the Great

House of Rhuddlan[edit]

House of Mathrafal[edit]

House of Aberffraw[edit]

  • Gruffydd ap Cynan (1081–1137) (Aberffraw dynasty returns)
  • Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffydd (1137–1170) (After Owain rulers of Gwynedd are styled Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon[citation needed])
  • Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd r. 1170; killed by his younger brother Dafydd ab Owain in a conspiracy hatched by his stepmother Cristen, dowager princess of Gwynedd, and her sons Dafydd and Rhodri ab Owain.
  • Dafydd I the Usurper (1170–1195), displaced elder brother Hywel ap Owain Gwynedd, but was himself displaced between 1195 ruling only lower Gwynedd. England recognized Dafydd as Prince of Gwynedd, though Welsh jurists did not.
    • Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd (1170–1190) Ruling upper Gwynedd until 1174
    • Maelgwn ab Owain Gwynedd (1170–1173), ruling Ynys Mon and supporter of his elder brother Hywel ap Owain's claim as Prince. After Hywel's death, Maelgwn was able to retain Ynys Mon from Dafydd the Usurper.

Princes of Wales[edit]

Llywelyn the Great
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr
Dafydd ap Llywelyn
Owain Goch ap Gruffydd
d. 1282
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Dafydd ap Gruffydd
Rhodri ap Gruffudd
Gwenllian of Wales
Llywelyn ap Dafydd
Owain ap Dafydd
Tomas ap Rhodri
Owain Lawgoch


After Owain Lawgoch the line of Aberffraw would continue post conquest, and later direct male descendants would include the Wynn family and the Anwyl family, both claiming direct male descent from Owain Gwynedd.

Wynn baronets of Gwydir (1611)[edit]

The Wynn baronets of Gwydir were created in the Baronetage of England in 1611—one of the initial creations—for John Wynn, of Gwydir. The members of this line were heirs to the Aberffraw claim to the Principality of Gwynedd and Wales as direct descendents of Owain Gwynedd in the senior line from the 15th century. The family continued to be prominent in politics, all the baronets save Owen sat as members of parliament, often for Carnarvon or Carnarvonshire. This creation became extinct in 1719, on the death of the fifth baronet. Wynnstay, near Ruabon, passed to Jane Thelwall and her husband Sir Watkin Williams, who took the name of Williams-Wynn in honor of his wife's princely heritage.

Anwyl family of Parc (later of Tywyn)[edit]

Like the Wynn family, the Anwyl family of Parc (and later of Tywyn) also claim Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd as their ancestor.[1][2] However, they part from the Wynn family in the early 15th century as they descend from Ieuan ap Maredudd whereas the Wynn family descends from Robert ap Maredudd (the elder brother).[3] The brothers took opposing sides during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr.[4] The Anwyl family has been maintained in the male line and survives in Wales to this day; the current head of the family is Evan Vaughan Anwyl of Tywyn (born 1943).[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dwnn, Lewys, Heraldic Visitations of the Three Counties of North Wales above Conway (published 1613)
  2. ^ Annals and antiquities of the counties and county families of Wales, p. 699
  3. ^ Nicholas, Thomas, Annals and antiquities of the counties and county families of Wales (1872)
  4. ^ The Royal Tribes of Wales, p15
  5. ^ Burkes Peerage (online), Landed Gentry, Wales, 19th Edition. (Ref. 100057)