Llywelyn ap Seisyll

Llywelyn ap Seisyll (died 1023) was an 11th-century King of Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth.

Llywelyn was the son of Seisyll, a man of whom little is known. Llewelyn first appears on record in 1018, the year he defeated and killed Aeddan ap Blegywryd along with four of his sons and obtained Gwynedd and Powys.

In 1022, a man named Rhain the Irishman was made king of Deheubarth; he claimed to be a son of Maredudd ab Owain, whose daughter Angharad had married Llywelyn. Llywelyn made war against Rhain, they fought a battle at Abergwili, and, after a “slaughter on both sides”, Rhain was killed, allowing Llywelyn take control of Deheubarth.

Llywelyn, after his success against Rhain, died in 1023. The Brut y Tywysogion portrays Llywelyn’s reign as one of prosperity saying “complete in abundance of wealth and inhabitants; so that it was supposed there was neither poor nor destitute in all his territories, nor an empty hamlet, nor any deficiency.” Llywelyn was called "King of the Britons" by the Annals of Ulster.

Llywelyn had one son called Gruffydd; he did not succeed his father, possibly because he was too young to do so. Gruffydd went on to become the first and only true King of Wales (the only one to rule over all the territory), however, he was killed by his own men in 1063. Gruffydd’s own sons Maredudd and Idwal died in 1069, fighting at the Battle of Mechain.

As Llewelyn's grandfather is not known some scholars have said it was a man named Ednowain or Owain, others Rhodri. Yet a more likely proposition is that Llewelyn was a nephew to King Cadell ap Brochwel of Powys, son of his younger brother Seisyll and that he did not acquire Powys by conquest but hereditary right and then conquered Gwynedd from Aeddan son of Blegywryd.

Further readingEdit

  • John Edward Lloyd (1911). A history of Wales: from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest. Longmans, Green & Co.
  • editors: John Edward Lloyd, R.T. Jenkins (1959). Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Oxford.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Aeddan ap Blegywryd (Gwynedd)

Maredudd ab Owain (Powys)

King of Gwynedd and King of Powys
Succeeded by
Iago ab Idwal ap Meurig
Preceded by
Cadell ab Einion
King of Deheubarth
Succeeded by
Rhydderch ap Iestyn