Relationship of the Griffith family of Penrhyn to the Tudors,
the descent of the Hughes family from Llewelyn the Great,
Prince of Wales, and their relationship to
Llewelyn the Last, Prince of Wales, and Owain Glyndwr.

Please note that the Hughes family are descended from two of Llewelyn the Great's children as follows:-

'At my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes
Of burning cressets; and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the earth
Shaked like a coward.'
The birth of Owen Glendower
Henry IV, Part I, Act III, Scene I

Please note that I am not an expert in early Welsh genealogy, which can be extremely complicated. I have extracted the following from various secondary sources, including Burke and the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, but I cannot vouch that it is completely accurate. I have avoided at least one line of descent that I believe is now questioned, namely that of Margaret, daughter of Thomas, from Llewelyn, last Prince of Wales. I believe that the descents in the male line as shown are accurate. It is some (or rather one) of the marriages that cause problems, as indicated below. Please be cautious in using this information.

There were a number of branches of the Tudor family, of which the Tudor dynasty and the Griffiths of Penhryn are the most noteworthy. The Griffiths of Penrhyn were probably the leading family in North Wales in the 15th century and it was only with the marriage of Sir Owen Tudor to Katherine de Valois that the Tudor branch shot to prominence.

I apologize if any of the names below are not correct but one quite often sees several different spellings of the same name i.e. Grono and Goronwy, Gruffydd and Griffith, Gwilym and William, Owain and Owen, Tudor and Tudur. 'ap' means 'son of', 'ferch' means 'daughter of' and 'fychan' means 'the younger'.

More information about the Welsh princes can be found at The Castles of Wales.

Ednyfed Fychan, Lord of Brynffanigl (Abergele) (d. 1246)

Seneschal and General to Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Wales (1173-1240) married, firstly,
Tangwystl, daughter of Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai, and, secondly,
Gwenllian, daughter of Rhys ('The Lord Rhys') ap Gruffydd, Prince of Deheubarth (i.e. South Wales).
By his first wife he had nine children, including Tudur, ancestor of the Griffiths of Penrhyn, and, by his
second wife he had, amongst others, Goronwy, ancestor of the Tudor dynasty.
The two lines later inter-married - see below under Gruffydd ap Gwilym of Penrhyn .

The Tudor dynasty

The Griffiths of Penrhyn

Goronwy ap Ednyfed Fychan, Lord of Tref-Gastel (d. 1268) married Morfydd, daughter of Meuric, Lord of Gwent, and was the father of - Sir Tudur ap Ednyfed Fychan of Nant and Llangynhafal (d. 1278) married Alice, daughter of Richard, son of Cadwallader, son of Griffith ap Cynan, Prince of North Wales and was the father of -
Tudur ap Goronwy of Penmynydd (d. 1311) married Angharad, daughter of Ithyl Fychan of Englefield, and was the father of - Sir Heilyn ap Tudur (d. 1298) married Agnes, daughter of Bleddyn, Lord of Dinmael, son of Owain Brogyntyn, Lord of Edeirnion, Dinmael and Abertanat, son of Madoc, last Prince of Powys and was the father of -

His daughter, Angharad, married Daffyd Goch, nephew of Llewelyn the Last, Prince of Wales (killed 1282) and great-grandson of Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Wales (d. 1240), and their descendant, Morris Wynn of Gwydir (d. 1580) - see 'The Descent of Hughes' - married Jane Bulkeley, granddaughter of Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn (d. 1531), below.

Goronwy ap Tudur of Penmynydd (d. 1331), married Gwervyl, daughter of Madoc ap David, Baron of Hendwr, and was the father of - Gruffydd ap Heilyn of Cochwillan (d.c. 1340) married Eva, daughter and heiress of Griffith ap Tudur of Cochwillan, eldest son of Tudor ap Madoc, Lord of Penrhyn (this is how the Griffith family came by Penrhyn, according to Burke, but see below) and was the father of -
Sir Tudur ap Goronwy of Penmynydd (d. 1367) married Margaret, daughter of Thomas ap Llewelyn, Lord of South Wales and was the father of -

The alleged line of descent of Margaret from Llewelyn the Last is as follows:-

Llewelyn the Last (killed 1282), grandson of Llewelyn the Great, married Eleanor de Montfort (daughter of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, by his wife, Eleanor, daughter of King John) and had issue Katherine , who married Philip ap Ivor, Lord of Iscoed. Their daughter, Eleinor Goch married Thomas ap Llewelyn, Lord of South Wales. They had two daughters, Eleanor, who married Gruffyd Fychan, Lord of Glyndwr, (father of Owain Glyndwr, who led the last Welsh uprising) and Margaret, who married Sir Tudur ap Goronwy (above).

I believe that it is now generally thought that Katherine was not Llewelyn's daughter.

Sir Tudur ap Goronwy was the great-great-great-grandfather of Sir Richard Bulkeley (d. 1547) who married Catherine Griffith, daughter of Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn (d. 1531). See 'The Descent of Hughes'.

Thomas ap Llewelyn (above) was the son of Llewelyn ap Owain, Lord of South Wales, who is said to have married, Eleanor de Bar, daughter of Henry, Count of Bar (d. 1302), by his wife, Eleanor Plantagenet (1264-1298), daughter of Edward I.

Gwilym ap Gruffydd of Penrhyn (d.c. 1370) married Hwyfa ('Gwenhwyfer'), daughter of Ievan ap Griffith ap Madog Ddu, derived from Edwin, Lord of Tegaingl, and from Rhodri Mawr and was the father of -

Note:- The above came from Burke. DWB says that it was Gwilym ap Gruffyd who married Eva (see preceding entry) and not Gruffyd ap Heilyn as shown. DWB says 'The pedigrees appear to have over-simplified a complicated process and, in particular, they attribute the marriage with Eva to the wrong generation and over-emphasize its importance.'

Maredudd ap Tudur married Mereditt, daughter of David Fychan ap David Lloyd of Anglesey, and was the father of -

DWB refers to Owain Glyndwr as Maredudd's cousin - see above.

Gruffydd ap Gwilym of Penrhyn (d. 1405) married Generys ferch Madog, daughter and heiress of Madog ap Goronwy Fychan, third in descent from Ednyfed Fychan through his son, Goronwy ap Ednyfed Fychan, Lord of Tref-Gastel (see top left), ancestor of the Tudors, and was the father of -

The line of descent goes Goronwy ap Ednyfed Fychan, father of Goronwy Fychan, father of Madog, father of Generys.

Sir Owen Tudor (executed 1461), correctly Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur, married Katherine de Valois, widow of Henry V, and was the father of - Gwilym ap Gruffydd of Penrhyn (d. 1431) married, secondly, Joan Stanley, daughter of Sir William Stanley of Hooton, and was the father of -

His first wife was Morfydd ferch Goronwy Fychan (son of Sir Tudur ap Goronwy of Penmynydd - see left). Gwilym ap Gruffydd's daughter by this marriage, Elin, married William Bulkeley (d. 1484), grandfather of Sir Richard Bulkeley (d. 1547) who married Catherine Griffith, daughter of Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn, Chamberlain of North Wales (d. 1531) - see below and left above.

DWB says 'In all, Gwilym ap Griffith appears to have succeeded, through his father's marriage, his own, and the effects of Glyndwr's rebellion, in gaining control of most of the patrimony of the Tudors; not the least important of the probable consequences was the departure of Owain Tudor to seek his fortunes at the court of Henry V.'

Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, (d. 1456) married Margaret Beaufort, great-granddaughter of Edward III, and was the father of - Gwilym Fychan of Penrhyn, Chamberlain of North Wales (d. 1483) married, firstly, Ales (Alice), daughter of Sir Richard Dalton of Apthorp, Northants, and was the father of -

He married, secondly, Gwenllian, daughter of Iowerth ap David. The eldest son of this marriage, Robert, was the ancestor of the Griffiths of Plas-Newydd, Anglesey. I assume that this is the property now owned by the National Trust.

Henry VII, King of England (d. 1509) married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, and was the father of - Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn, Chamberlain of North Wales (d. 1506) married Jane Troutbeck, a descendant of Edward I, and was the father of -
Henry VIII, King of England (d. 1547) married:-
  • Catherine of Aragon (d. 1536)
  • Anne Boleyn (ex. 1536)
  • Jane Seymour (d. 1537)
  • Anne of Cleves (d. 1557)
  • Catherine Howard (ex. 1542)
  • Catherine Parr (d. 1548)
Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn, Chamberlain of North Wales (d. 1531) married Jane Stradling, a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Edward III, via her great-grandmother, Jane Beaufort, daughter of Henry Beaufort, son of John of Gaunt. Thus, both the Tudors and the Griffiths of Penrhyn were descended from Edward III, via his son, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

These last two are on 'The Descent of Hughes' .

Note that Sir Roland de Velville (d. 1535), reputed natural son of Henry VII, by an unknown Breton lady, married Agnes Griffith (d. 1542), half-sister (according to the pedigrees, but possibly daughter) of Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn (d. 1506).

The Griffiths of Penrhyn came to an end with the children of the last Sir William's (above) grandson, Piers Griffith, who fought with Drake (in command of his own ship, which he had bought himself) against the Armada and who was buried in Westminster Abbey with his wife, Margaret Mostyn. All eleven of their children died young. Piers Griffith was accused of piracy by the Spanish Ambassador, Count Gondomar, and 'was so harassed by presecution on that account that he was obliged to sell his estate [Penrhyn] in order to procure his pardon.' There are numerous descendants in the female line from earlier generations.

Back to 'The Descent of Hughes'