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The death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, 11 December 1282

Roger le Strange, who was in command of Edward's troops, sent him a short message in the evening of 11th December 1282:

Know, sire, that your troops whom you assigned to serve with me have fought with Llywelyn ap Griffith in the country of Builth on Friday next after the Feast of Saint Nicholas, and the said Llywelyn is dead, and his army defeated, and all the flower of his army dead, as the bearer of this letter will tell you, and believe him as if he were me (Catalogue reference: SC 1/19 no.8, translated from French).

The English had not known that Llywelyn was present at the fight. After the Welsh had been routed, the English looted their dead and dying enemy. Llywelyn, mortally wounded and asking for a priest, was recognized and instantly killed. His head was cut off and sent to Edward at Rhuddlan. Edward sent the head on to London, where it was set up in the city pillory for a day, and crowned with ivy. Then it was carried by a horseman on the point of his lance to the Tower of London and set up over the gate. Thus was fulfilled the Welsh prophecy that Llywelyn would ride, crowned, through the streets of London. Welsh resistance continued for a while under Llywelyn's brother Dafydd. Within a year, however, his head was displayed next to that of Llywelyn the Last.

Reference: British Library Cotton Nero Dii f. 182 (date: late 13th century)
By permission of the British Library.
(© Copyright belongs to the British Library and further reproduction is prohibited.)

The death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, 11 December 1282
 
 
 
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