Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Joan, Lady of Wales and Snowdon

Joan, Lady of Wales and Snowdon[1, 2, 3]

Female - 1237

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  • Name Joan  
    Arms of Plantagenet
    Arms of Plantagenet
    Suffix Lady of Wales and Snowdon 
    Nickname Siwan 
    Gender Female 
    House House of Plantagenet 
    Died 2 Feb 1237  Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Franciscan friary, Llanfaes, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Sarcophagus recovered and placed at Beaumaris Church, Anglesey.
    Joan, Lady of Wales
    Joan, Lady of Wales
    • JOAN, JOANNA, ANNA, or JANET (d. 1237), princess of North Wales, is described in the 'Tewkesbury Annals' (a. 1236) as a daughter of John, king of England, 'and Queen Clemencia,' words which may possibly represent John's first wife, Isabel of Gloucester. (David Powel's statement that Joanna's mother was Agatha, daughter of Robert, earl Ferrers, rests upon no known authority.) Joanna must at any rate have been born some time before John's second marriage (1200). A charge for a ship 'to carry the king's daughter and the king's accoutrements to England' from Normandy in 1203 (Magn. Rot. Scacc. Norm., ed. Stapleton, ii. 569) probably refers to her. She seems to have been betrothed to Llywelyn ap Iorwerth [q. v.], prince of North Wales, early in 1205; part of her dowry, the castle of Ellesmere, was given by John to Llywelyn on 16 April (Rot. Chart. i. 147). The marriage is said to have taken place rather more than a year later (Ann. Wigorn. a. 1206), and thenceforth Joanna's task was to act as peacemaker between Wales and England. In 1211, when John led an army into North Wales, 'Llywelyn, being unable to bear the cruelty of the king, by the advice of his liegemen, sent his wife, who was daughter to the king, to make peace between him and the king in any manner that she might be able;' she succeeded in obtaining a safe-conduct for her husband, and his submission was accepted by her father for her sake (Brut y Tywysogion, a. 1210; Ann. CambriŠ and Ann. Wigorn. a. 1211). In September 1212, when John was preparing another attack on Wales, Joanna sent him a warning of treason among his barons, which, coupled with like warnings from other quarters, induced him to disband his host (Rog. Wend. ii. 61). In 1214 she interceded for some Welsh hostages in England, whose release she obtained next year (Rot. Claus. i. 181 b; Rymer, i. i. 126; Rot. Pat. i. 126). She continued her work of mediation after the accession of Henry III; a letter is extant in which she pleads earnestly with him for a good understanding between him and Llywelyn (Royal Letters, i. 487). In September 1224 she met Henry in person at Worcester (Rot. Claus. i. 622, 647 b); in the autumn of 1228 she had another interview with him at Shrewsbury (ib. 12 Hen. III, dors.), and on 13 Oct. 1229 she and her son David, acting apparently as Llywelyn's representatives, did homage to the king at Westminster (Cal. Rot. Pat. i. 14 b). David, who in 1240 succeeded his father as prince of North Wales, seems to have been Joanna's only son; but she also had a daughter, Ellen, married first to John Scot, earl of Chester, and secondly, in 1237 or 1238, to Robert de Quinci (Ann. Cambr. a. 1237; Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. iii. 394; Ann. Dunstapl. a. 1237; Dugdale, Baronage, i. 688). It is not known whether she was the mother of Llywelyn's two other daughters, Gladys and Margaret. Gladys's first husband was Reginald de Braose, and her stepson, William de Braose, was hanged by Llywelyn in 1230, 'having been caught in the chamber of the prince with the princess Janet, wife of the prince' (Brut, a. 1231; cf. Matt. Paris, iii. 194; Ann. Margam, Tewkesb., Wigorn., a. 1230; Ann. Waverl. a. 1229; Ann. Cambr. a. 1227; Genealogist, v. 161?4). This affair seems to have been plotted by Llywelyn, to avenge himself on William for political injuries, and Joanna's part in it, if not wholly innocent, was that of her husband's accomplice. The 'Tewkesbury Annals' give the date of her death as 30 March 1236; but the Welsh chronicles say she died in February 1237, "at the court of Aber, and was buried in a new cemetery on the side of the strand,? ?with sore lamentations and great honour" (Brut and Ann. Cambr. a. 1237). At the place of her burial, Llanvaes in Anglesey, Llywelyn founded a Franciscan monastery in her memory (Brut, a. 1237; Monast. Angl. vi. iii. 1545). Her stone coffin, removed at the dissolution of the monastery, was rescued from use as a horse-trough early in the present century, and placed in Baron Hill Park, near Beaumaris. On the slab which formed its cover is sculptured an effigy of the princess (T. Wright, ArchŠological Album, p. 171).

      [All the authorities are given above. The Annales CambriŠ, Brut y Tywysogion, M. Paris, Annals of Tewkesbury, &c. (Annales Monastici), Royal Letters, and R. Wendover are published in the Rolls Ser.; the Close, Patent, and Charter Rolls, and Rymer's F?dera, by the Record Commission.] [4]
    Person ID I11087  Dickinson
    Last Modified 11 May 2015 

    Father John I, King of England,   b. 24 Dec 1166, The Tower of London, Tower Hamlets, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1216, Newark Castle, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Clementia 
    Relationship Birth 
    • "John had at least seven bastards, probably more. The mother of his daughter Joan, who married Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of Wales, was Clementia, wife of Henry Pinel. The names of other mistresses appear in the records, but none seems to have enjoyed John's attentions for long, although he was generous to them while they were in favour. The evidence suggests that he was emotionally shallow." [5]
    • Mistress. [6]
    Family ID F3118  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Llywelyn Fawr ap Iorwerth, Prince of Gwynedd,   b. Abt 1173, Dolwyddelan, Conwy, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1240, Cistercian Abbey, Aberconwy, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years)  [2
    Married ca. 1205  [6
    Married Ascensiontide 1206  Chester Cathedral, Chester, Chestershire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Genealogists are not agreed on the identity of Gwladus Ddu's mother. The evidence is circumstantial and inconclusive. For example, Tangwystl's proponents argue that Joan's marriage date (1205) would certainly make her child too young to wed Reginald de Braose in 1215. This is hardly conclusive, however, given the possibility that Gwladus was a child-bride in a dynastic marriage. Joan's proponents point to her bequest of property to Gwaldus, and Gwaldus lack of children by Reginald. There is also the choice of the name John for a child by her second husband, Mortimer. The debate is expanded at [7, 8]
    +1. Gwladus ferch Llywelyn,   d. 1251, Windsor, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [Birth]
    +2. Elen ferch Llywelyn,   b. Abergwyngregyn, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1253  [Birth]
     3. Dafydd II ap Llywelyn, Prince of Wales,   b. Abt 1208, Abergwyngregyn, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1246  (Age ~ 38 years)  [Birth]
     4. Susanna ferch Llywelyn,   d. Aft 24 Nov 1228  [Birth]
    Last Modified 15 Jun 2015 
    Family ID F3117  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Ascensiontide 1206 - Chester Cathedral, Chester, Chestershire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 2 Feb 1237 - Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Franciscan friary, Llanfaes, Wales Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S336463] Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families, Charles Cawley, (Online: The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy at, 20XX),,%20Kings%201066-1603.htm#Joandied1237.

    2. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008).

    3. [S336473] Welsh Biography Online, (The National Library of Wales),

    4. [S336351] Dictionary of National Biography, 63 volumes, Sir Sidney Lee, ed., (New York: McMillan and Company, 1885-1900), Public Domain., vol. 29, 388.

    5. [S336465] Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Alison Weir, (New York: Ballantine iBook, 2008).

    6. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 86.

    7. [S5], Sharon Kay Penman,

    8. [S336463] Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families, Charles Cawley, (Online: The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy at, 20XX),