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Dafydd ap Gruffydd

Dafydd ap Gruffydd (d. 1283), prince of Wales (1282–3). The third son of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of Gwynedd, he was the last prince of Wales. Ambitious, treacherous, and disloyal to his elder brother Llywelyn, he allowed himself to be manipulated by English kings. Quarrelling with Llywelyn, he did homage to Henry III (1253); after his defeat by Llywelyn at the battle of Bryn Derwin (June 1255), they were reconciled though their relationship was not easy. In 1263 he joined Henry III, though when Llywelyn was recognized as prince of Wales (1267) Dafydd was restored to land and position and swore fealty to Llywelyn. In 1274 he and Powys's princes plotted Llywelyn's death, after which he fled to Edward I. After Llywelyn's defeat (1277), Dafydd was given substantial lands in north-east Wales and England, and married the king's relative, Elizabeth Ferrers. Dissatisfied with this treatment, he attacked Hawarden (21 March 1282) and Llywelyn was drawn into the war. After Llywelyn's death (December), Dafydd held out in Dolbadarn castle and styled himself prince of Wales. He was betrayed by Welshmen, tried at Shrewsbury, and executed for treason (3 October 1283).

Ralph Alan Griffiths

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