Owain ap Maredudd (or Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur or Owen Tudor) (c. 1400 - February 2, 1461) was a Welsh soldier and courtier. He was the son of Maredudd ap Tudor (d. 1406) and Margaret ferch Dafydd. Owen was directly descended from The Lord Rhys but remembered only because of his role in founding the Tudor dynasty and for his relationship with Catherine of Valois, widow of King Henry V of England. At some point Owain anglicised his name from the Welsh Owain ap Maredudd to Owen Tudor, taking his grandfather's name for a surname rather than the more common practice of taking his father's.

Ancestry Edit

Owen was a descendant of Rhys ap Gruffydd (1132 - 1197). Rhys had a daughter Gwenllian ferch Rhys who was married to Ednyfed Fychan, Seneschal of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (d. 1246).

Armoiries Owen Tudor

coat of arms of Owen Tudor

They were parents to Goronwy, Lord of Tref-Gastel (d. 1268). Goronwy was later married to Morfydd ferch Meyric, daughter to Meuric of Gwent. Meuric was son of Ithel, grandson of Rhydd and great-grandson to Iestyn ap Gwrgan(t). Iestyn had been the last King of Gwent (reigned 1081 - 1091) before its conquest by the Normans.

Goronwy and Morfydd were parents to Tudor Hen, Lord of Penmynydd (d. 1311). He was married to Angharad ferch Ithel Fychan, daughter of Ithel Fychan ap Ithel Gan, Lord of Englefield. They were parents to Goronwy Ap Tudor, Lord of Penmynydd (d. 1331).

Goronwy was himself later married to Gwerfy ferch Madog, daughter of Madog ap David, Baron of Hendwr. They were parents to Tudor Fychan, Lord of Pemmynydd (d. 1367).

Tudor was married to Margaret ferch Thomas. Margaret was daughter to Thomas ap Llewellyn, Lord of Iscoed, South Wales and his wife Eleanor ferch Philip. Her paternal grandparents were Llewellyn ap Owain, Lord of Gwynnionith and Eleanor of Bar, daughter of Henry III, Count of Bar (c. 1262 - 1302) and Eleanor of England. Eleanor herself was daughter of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile. The maternal grandparents of Margaret were Philip ap Ifor, Lord of Iscoed and Catherine ferch Llywellyn, reported daughter of Llywelyn the Last and Eleanor de Montfort.

Tudor and Margaret were parents to Maredudd ap Tudor (d. 1406). He was married to Margaret ferch Dafydd. Margaret was daughter to Dafydd Fychan, Lord of Angleysey and his wife Nest ferch Ieuan.

Maredudd and Margaret were the parents of Owen.

Marriage/Affair and children Edit

Owain entered the service of Queen Catherine of Valois as keeper of the Queen's household (or her wardrobe) some time after the death of her consort Henry V of England on 22 August 1422. The beginning of their relationship is the stuff of legend. In one of the stories the queen came upon Owen Tudor while he was swimming. The Queen lived in the household of her young son, King Henry VI. Henry had succeeded his father as the King of England. Following the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI of France on October 21, 1422, Henry had also been declared King of France, a title that would be disputed by his maternal uncle Charles VII of France, also crowned King of France on July 17, 1429. Around 1430 Catherine left her son's household, and it was some time after that she was married to Owen Tudor. Their marriage had to take place in secrecy as a dowager queen needed the permission of her adult son to remarry, but King Henry's adulthood was at that point still many years in the future. There is, however, no reason to doubt that this marriage did take place, even though it was not common knowledge until the queen died (3 January 1437).

Owen and Catherine had at least four children:

After Queen Catherine's death, Owen Tudor was imprisoned at Newgate Prison, but later released.

Wars of the Roses activities Edit

Owen was later involved in the Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1487) between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. On February 2, 1461, as a man of advanced years, Owen led the Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross against Edward, Earl of March. They were defeated. Owen was shortly after executed by decapitation along with other prisoners. He is said to have expected a reprieve because of his relationship with the former royal family. Owen reportedly was not convinced of his approaching death until the collar was ripped off his doublet by the executioner. At which point he is alleged to have said that "the head which used to lie in Queen Katherine's lap, would now lie in the executioner's basket".

External links Edit