Gruffydd ab Madog (DNB00)

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GRUFFYDD ab MADOG (d. 1269) generally called Gruffydd of Bromfield, Lord of Lower Powys, Powys Vadog, or Bromfield, was the son of Madog (d. 1236), who was the son of Gruffydd Maelor (d. 1191), perhaps the last Welsh chieftain, who is called a king by the Welsh chroniclers (Brut y Tywysogion, s. a. 1191). Gruffydd Maelor was himself the son of Madog (d. 1159), from whom Lower Powys derived the title of Powys Vadog, and Madog was the son of Maredudd, son of Bleddyn, son of Cynvyn, and brother of Cadwgan (d. 1112) [q. v.] Gruffydd's lands were so hemmed in by those of English marchers, that he had to be generally faithful to Henry III. He was one of the three Welsh princes who in 1244 refused to follow Davydd ab Llewelyn when he went to waragainst the English (ib.s.a.; cf.Annales Cambriæ, s. a.) Yet in 1241 his brothers had formed a conspiracy with Davydd.

Gruffydd found a stronger foe in Llewelyn ab Gruffydd [q. v.] In 1256 he was driven out of his territories, and his lands were ravaged (Matt. Paris, Hist. Major, v. 597, ed. Luard). 'He was,' says Matthew Paris, 'a thorough Welshman in race and tongue, a powerful and generous man whose lands were of large extent and great richness' (ib. v. 613). At last in 1257 Gruffydd, who had got little help from his English allies, went over to Llewelyn, who rejoiced greatly at winning over so powerful a confederate (ib.v. 646). Next year he was one of the Welsh magnates who made a confederacy, with the Scottish nobles to make peace with the English by common consent (Fœdera, i. 370). In the peace concluded in 1267, through the mediation of Ottobon the legate, Gruffydd was appointed one of the referees to decide whether Llewelyn's provision for Davydd his brother was adequate (ib. i. 474). He died on 7 Dec. 1269, on which day his brother, Madog Vychan, also died. Both were buried in the abbey of Llanegwast, or Valle Crucis, in Yale, the favourite foundation of the house of Bromfield, whose rights Gruffydd had defended in 1247 against the sons of Jeuav, son of Maredudd. He married Emma, daughter of Henry of Audley, whom he endowed liberally from the revenues of his manors of Maelor Saesneg and Overton. After his death his sons confirmed these grants. Their names were Madog, Llewelyn, Owain, and Gruffydd. Of these Madog, the eldest, died in 1278, and in 1284 Edward II granted Gruffydd the lands of Yale. His son Madog was the great-grand-father of Owain of Glyndyvrdwy [see Glendower, Owen].

[Brut y Tywysogion; Annales Cambriæ, Matthew Paris, Hist. Major, vol. v., all in Rolls Ser.; Rymer's Fœdera, vol. i., Record edit.; Calendarium Genealogicum, i. 260; Bridgeman's Princes of South Wales, pp. 250-2; Archæologia Cambrensis, 1st ser. iii. 228; Lloyd's Hist. of Powys Fadog, i. 168-72.]

T. F. T.