Joan Plantagenet, Lady of Wales

Female 1191 - 1237  (~ 46 years)


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  • Name Joan Plantagenet 
    Suffix Lady of Wales 
    Born ~ 1191  (France) Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Residence England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Also Known As her Welsh name is Siwan  [1
    Also Known As Joan Fitzjohn  [2
    Also Known As Lady of Snowdon  [1
    Died 2 Feb 1237  [1
    Person ID I37356  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 25 Nov 2016 

    Father John I, King of England,   b. 24 Dec 1166, Beaumont Palace, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1216, Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years) 
    Mother Clemence Butler,   b. 1175,   d. 1231  (Age 56 years) 
    Married 1188  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F13814  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Llywelyn The Great,   b. 1173, Aberffraw Castle, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1240, Aberconwy Abbey, Conwy, Conwy County, North Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 23 Mar 1204  [1, 2, 4
    Residence (Family) Gwynedd, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Children 
     1. Marared ferch Llywelyn,   b. 1202, Gwynedd, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1268  (Age 67 years)
     2. Gwladus Ddu, Princess of North Wales,   b. 1206, Caernarvonshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. ~1251, Windsor, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years)
     3. Dafydd ap Llywelyn, Prince of Wales,   b. 0Mar 1212, Castell Hen Blas, Coleshill, Bagillt in Flintshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Feb 1246, Abergwyngregyn, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years)
     4. Elen ferch Llywelyn,   b. 1212-1218, (Wales) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1253  (Age 35 years)
     5. Angharad ferch Llywelyn,   b. ~ 1212, (Wales) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1251  (Age ~ 39 years)
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2022 
    Family ID F17163  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - ~ 1191 - (France) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - - Gwynedd, Wales Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Joan, Lady of Wales and Lady of Snowdon, also known by her Welsh name of Siwan, (c. 1191 2 February 1237) was the wife of Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Wales and Gwynedd, effective ruler of most of Wales.

      Early life

      Joan was a natural daughter of King John of England. She should not be confused with her half-sister, Joan, Queen consort of Scotland.

      Little is known about her early life. Her mother's name is known only from Joan's obituary in the Tewkesbury Annals, where she is called "Regina Clementina" (Queen Clemence); there is no evidence that her mother was in fact of royal blood. Joan may have been born in France, and probably spent part of her childhood there, as King John had her brought to the Kingdom of England from Normandy in December 1203 in preparation for her wedding to prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth.

      Thomas Pennant, in "Tours in Wales", Volume 2, published London, 1810, writes : "It is said that Llewelyn the Great had near this place [Trefriw] a palace; ... The church of Trefriw was originally built by Llewelyn, for the ease of his princess, who before was obliged to go on foot to Llanrhychwyn, a long walk among the mountains."

      Marriage

      Joan married Llywelyn the Great between December 1203 and October 1204. The wedding was celebrated at St Werburgh's Abbey in Chester. She and Llywelyn had at least two children together:

      Elen ferch Llywelyn (Helen or Ellen) (12071253), married (1) John the Scot, Earl of Chester and (2) Robert II de Quincy
      Dafydd ap Llywelyn (c. 12121246) married Isabella de Braose, died at Abergwyngregyn.
      Some of Llywelyn's other recorded children may also have been Joan's:

      Gwladus Ddu (12061251), married (1) Reginald de Braose and (2) Ralph de Mortimer (had issue).
      Susanna, who was sent to England as a hostage in 1228.
      Angharad ferch Llywelyn
      Margaret, who married (1) Sir John de Braose (called 'Tadody'), the grandson of William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber. She married (2) Sir Walter de Clifford and had children by both husbands.[1]
      In April 1226 Joan obtained a papal decree from Pope Honorius III, declaring her legitimate on the basis that her parents had not been married to others at the time of her birth, but without giving her a claim to the English throne.[2]

      Adultery with William de Braose

      At Easter 1230, William de Braose, who was Llywelyn's prisoner at the time, was discovered with Joan in Llywelyn's bedchamber. William de Braose was hanged on 2 May 1230, according to local folklore at Abergwyngregyn; the place was known as 'Gwern y Grog'. A letter from Nicholas, Abbot of Vaudy, suggests that the execution took place at Crogen near Bala (crogi = to hang).[3]

      Joan was placed under house arrest for twelve months after the incident. She was then, according to the Chronicle of Chester, forgiven by Llywelyn, and restored to favour. She may have given birth to a daughter early in 1231.

      Joan was never called Princess of Wales, but, in Welsh, "Lady of Wales".

      Death and burial

      She died at the royal home at Abergwyngregyn, on the north coast of Gwynedd, in 1237. Llywelyn's great grief at her death is recorded; he founded a Franciscan friary on the seashore at Llanfaes, opposite the royal home, in her honour. The friary was consecrated in 1240, shortly before Llywelyn died. It was destroyed in 1537 by Henry VIII of England during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. A stone coffin originally identified as Joan's can be seen in St Mary's and St Nicholas's parish church, Beaumaris, Anglesey. Above the empty coffin is a slate panel inscribed: "This plain sarcophagus, (once dignified as having contained the remains of Joan, daughter of King John, and consort of Llewelyn ap Iowerth, Prince of North Wales, who died in the year 1237), having been conveyed from the Friary of Llanfaes, and alas, used for many years as a horsewatering trough, was rescued from such an indignity and placed here for preservation as well as to excite serious meditation on the transitory nature of all sublunary distinctions. By Thomas James Warren Bulkeley, Viscount Bulkeley, Oct 1808"


      The slate panel at Beaumaris
      In recent years, doubt has been cast on the identity of the woman depicted on the coffin lid, which is not thought to belong to the coffin on which it now rests. Experts have suggested that the costume and style of carving belong to a much later decade than the 1230s when Joan died, although the coronet suggests a member of the royal family. Eleanor de Montfort is considered the most likely alternative [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S10037] "Joan, Lady of Wales" biography, accessed & downloaded Monday, November 25th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wik.

    2. [S13817] "Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1173 - 1240)", Biography, Ancestors & Descendants, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ap_Iorwerth-26,.

    3. [S4571] " William (de Braose) BRUCE", profile, http://gw.geneanet.org/belfast8?n=bruce&oc=1&p=william+de+braose&type=fiche, retr.

    4. [S10060] "Llywelyn the Great" biography, accessed & downloaded Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wik.

    5. [S10063] "Gwladus Ddu" biography, accessed & downloaded Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wikiped.