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Madoc ap Llywelyn

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Madog ap Llywelyn
Madog ap Llywelyn or Prince Madoc was from a junior branch of the House of Cunedda and a distant relation of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (King Llywelyn III of Gwynedd) the last recognised native Prince of Wales.

It is thought that he was the son of Llywelyn ap Maredudd, the last vassal Lord of Meirionydd.

In the autumn of 1294 the Welsh broke in a general revolt led by Prince Madog ap Llywelyn in a response to the actions of new royal administrators in north and west Wales. The uprising quickly spread to south Wales led by Cynan ap Maredudd of Deheubarth and Morgan ap Maredudd of Gwynllwg in Glamorgan. During this revolt Prince Madog proclaimed himself the Prince of Wales.

Caernarfon was overrun by Madog's forces and the castle occupied as was Morlais Castle in the south and half the town of Caerphilly was burnt - although the castle itself held out. Other castles across Wales were besieged and many towns put to the flame. Harlech Castle was defended by just 37 men and King Edward I of England himself was besieged at Conwy Castle until he was relieved by his navy in 1295.

A final battle between Madog's men and those of the English crown was at Maes Moydog in 1295. The Welsh army were defeated tactically when in an attempt to destroy the English cavalry by using the "porcupine" pike men formation they were showered with arrows and suffered very heavy losses. He barely escaped with his life and was a fugitive until his unconditional surrender to John de Havering late in July or early August 1295. He was taken to London, and though he did not suffer the supreme penalty, his fate is unknown.

The revolt of Prince Madog brought a harsh response from King Edward I in the form of humiliating and punitive ordinances further restricting the civil rights and economic and social opportunities of the Welsh.

However, it wasn't long before Llywelyn Bren, Lord of Senghenydd, led a second rebellion, aided by some of the more prominent Marcher Lords from 1316 - 1318.

Madog was not the last of the House of Cunedda because he had two sons that survived him. As well as this the children of Rhodri ap Gruffudd (a brother of Llywelyn the Last) survived in exile. A grandson of Rhodri, Owain ap Thomas - or Owain Lawgoch was later to proclaim himself Prince of Wales. An illegitimist claim by the sons of Dafydd Goch also existed.

Madog ap Llywelyn is known to have had the following children;

Maredudd ap Madoc ap Llywelyn (died c.1334)
Hywel ap Madoc ap Llywelyn (died c.1352)


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