|St. David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales|
This meant that he would take an interest even in the life of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, far away on the Atlantic Coast in Wales. Here is one example. Before marrying Joan, the daughter of King John, Llywelyn had been planning on marrying a woman who had been pre-contracted to Llwelyn's uncle Rhodri ab Owain (one of the villains in Llywelyn's story). Though Rhodri seems to have died before the marriage took place, a pre-contract was as binding as a marriage in this time period, and Llywelyn would have needed a dispensation from the pope to marry her. However, this never came to pass because, in 1211, he was fighting with King John again, and when they came to terms, part of their peace agreement was that Llywelyn would marry Joan, an illegitimate daughter of the king.
|Pope Innocent III|
|Gerald of Wales|
Another example of how a medieval king interacted with Church business is Llywellyn’s support for Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales), who was hoping to become bishop of St. David's. This effort became embroiled in politics since Giraldus was wrangling to make the see of St. David's equal to that of Canterbury, the seat of England’s archibishop. King John, as one would expect, was standing behind Canterbury. In the end, Gerald was accused of stirring up the Welsh rulers (especially Llywelyn) and was effectively run out of the British Isles.
|Sarcophagus of Joan, Lady of Wales|
|Aberconwy Abbey, Burial Place |
of Llywelyn the Great
His most noted donation to the Church, however, was his establishment of a Cistercian abbey at Aberconwy in 1199. Over the years, his generosity meant that the Abbey of Aberconwy would hold 40,000 acres, more than any other abbey in Wales.
|Penmon Priory, Anglesey, Wales|
|Coffin of Llywelyn Fawr |
now in Llanrwst parish church
End of Part II
Aberconwy Abbey. “Aberconwy Abbey.” Wikipedia. 9 Apr 2013. Web. 1 Jun 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberconwy_Abbey