This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Tudur Hen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tudur Hen
Born c. late 13th century
Died 11 October 1311
Resting place Bangor, Gwynedd
Other names Tudur ap Goronwy
Religion Roman Catholic

Tudur Hen (English: Tudur the Elder) or Tudur ap Goronwy (died 11 October 1311) was a Welsh aristocrat and a member of the Tudor family of Penmynydd, Anglesey, North Wales. He was one of three sons of Goronwy ab Ednyfed who received lands from King Edward I of England. Nonetheless, he backed the rebellion of Madog ap Llywelyn, but afterwards swore allegiance to both Edward I and his son, Edward of Caernarfon. Tudur Hen was responsible for the restoration of the Franciscan friary at Bangor, Gwynedd, where his body was later placed on 11 October 1311.

Ancestry and family[edit]

His father Goronwy ab Ednyfed (d.1268) was seneschal to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (also known as Llywelyn the Last), the King of Gwynedd by 1258, continuing in the role until his death on 12 October 1268.[1] In that role, Goronwy had followed in the footsteps of his father, Ednyfed Fychan, and by doing so had tied the fortunes of the early House of Tudor to that of Llywelyn.[2] Goronwy led Llywelyn's military forces, such as in February 1263 when he took them as far south as Gwent in action against the Marcher Lords.[1] Tudur ap Goronwy was one of three sons of Goronwy ab Ednyfed, alongside Goronwy ab Goronwy (also known as Goronwy the Younger or Goronwy Fychan) and Hywel ab Goronwy.[3] Tudur Hen was not the first member of the family to be named Tudur. He was preceded by his uncle, Tudur ab Ednyfed, who had been in service to the previous Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Llywelyn.[4]

Service to the English crown and rebellion[edit]

In September 1278, lands were granted by King Edward I of England to Tudur and his brothers.[5] The majority of the noble houses in Wales sided with the Welsh forces during the English invasion of Gwynedd, but Edward proclaimed that any who joined him would retain their lands and titles under the English crown.[6] Tudur Hen retained his prestige and lands following the death of Llywelyn in 1282 and the victory of the English.[5] Tudur and his brother Goronwy were two of those lords who backed the rebellion of Madog ap Llywelyn against the English in 1294–95. Tudur acted as steward to Madog, while Goronwy was in his service.[3]

Tudur and Goronwy were two of three men who witnessed the Madog's charter, known as the Penmachno Document, in 1294 which granted lands to Ardudwy and Llansannan to Bleddyn Fychan.[7] Following the failure of the revolt, Tudur was among those lords from North Wales who pledged their loyalty to Edward in person in 1296, and again to Edward of Caernarfon when he was named Prince of Wales in 1301.[8]

Although Tudur Hen has been historically credited since the 18th century with the construction of the Franciscan Llanfaes Friary near Bangor, Gwynedd, it has since been discovered that the building pre-dated him. However, since the friary sided with Edward in the two Welsh wars since the original construction, it has been proposed that Tudur had been responsible for re-building the site around 1293 following damage inflicted during that period. He made arrangements for his own interment in the south wall of the site.[8]

He acted as an official representative for the English Royal Family in the Perfeddwlad territories.[8] Tudur used the English property laws, which he found more advantageous in his position than those used by the Welsh as they allowed for inheritance of lands by a single party.[9] He continued to hold the lands in North Wales and Cardiganshire which he had inherited. Upon his death in 1311, his holdings passed into the hands of his son Goronwy ap Tudur Hen.[8] He had two further sons, Madog and Hywel. Tudur Hen was take for internment to Bangor priory on 11 October 1311; his son, Goronwy, was also placed there on 11 December 1331 following his death.[10]


One of the earliest works by bard Iolo Goch was based on Tudur Hen, as Iolo may have studied at the Bangor priory.[11] Tudur Hen's most significant legacy was his name itself.[2] The naming practice of the time in Wales was to attach the father's surname to the new first name, hence his son being named Goronwy ap Tudur Hen. Goronwy had children, one of which was named Tudur, becoming a second Tudur ap Goronwy.[12] The younger Tudur was noticed by King Edward III of England and was made a knight in his service,[13] and he was the grandfather (through Maredudd ap Tudur) to Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur.[13] Owain anglicised his name to become Owen Tudor, and was the grandfather of King Henry VII of England, the founder of the Royal House of Tudor.[14]



  1. ^ a b Griffiths & Thomas 1985, p. 11.
  2. ^ a b Griffiths & Thomas 1985, p. 5.
  3. ^ a b Griffiths & Thomas 1985, p. 16.
  4. ^ Griffiths & Thomas 1985, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b Griffiths & Thomas 1985, p. 6.
  6. ^ Carr 1970, p. 111.
  7. ^ Griffiths & Schofield 2011, p. 149.
  8. ^ a b c d Griffiths & Thomas 1985, p. 17.
  9. ^ Beverley Smith 1976, p. 144.
  10. ^ Jones 1839, p. 29.
  11. ^ Wright 1923, p. 100.
  12. ^ "Ednyfed Fychan ( Ednyfed ap Cynwrig )". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Nicholas 1872, p. 29.
  14. ^ "A royal dynasty". BBC Wales. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2016.