The medieval era
Where Gruffydd and Llywelyn are perhaps to be seen as pious and devoted, others saw to it that their lineage would be fractious and contested. The Lord Rhys had seventeen children by his wives and mistresses, among whom were his first cousin, Gwenllian, and his niece.
Equally, it was possible for the woman to be in control of such situations. Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr and wife of Gerald de Windsor was a famous beauty and mistress to several men, including Henry I. She was an ancestor of ‘The Geraldines’, the male adventurers who went over to Ireland to conquer it for their own. The medieval chronicler and clergyman Gerald of Wales was also one of her descendants.
Another woman who had the upper hand in the love stakes was Beatrice de Malpas. She married Rhodri ap Gruffudd, youngest brother of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, and through her he became an active member of Cheshire society. When she died, her possessions passed to her daughter from her first marriage. Rhodri was left to build up new landholdings during his second marriage to a girl we know only as Katherine.
What binds all these women together is their relationships, married or otherwise, with members of what was one of the oldest royal families in Europe. When it finally almost came to an end, it was left to one woman, Lowri Puleston to carry on the lineage …Why? Her brother was Owain Glyn Dwr. Perhaps Lowri is not the most recognisable name of all these girls but she is one of the most important.