Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet

Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet

Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet (1553 – March 1, 1627), Welsh baronet, Member of Parliament and antiquary, was the son of Morys Wynn ap John and directly descended from the princes of Gwynedd through Rhodri ab Owain son of Owain Gwynedd. (This claim is disputed in a publication of 1884 entitled "Gweithiau Gethin" published by W.J.Roberts in LLanrwst.)

He was educated at Oxford, succeeded to his father's estate of Gwydyr in Carnarvonshire in 1580, and was member of parliament for this county in 1586. In 1606 he was made a knight and in 1611 became the first of the Wynn Baronets. He was interested in several mining ventures and also found time for antiquarian studies. His son was Sir Richard Wynn.

At Llanrwst Wynn founded an hospital and endowed a school. His work "The History of the Gwydir Family", which had a great reputation in North Wales, was intended to assert his claim to royal ancestry. In a legal challenge to these claim Thomas Prys of Plas Iolyn brought a case against him and Sir John was forced to defend himself in court. He won the case and afterwards was recognised as the senior male heir of the House of Gwynedd and under Welsh Law "de jure" Prince of Gwynedd. However a rival claim could be made by the living descendants of Dafydd Goch the illegitimate son of Dafydd III. John Wynn's book was first published by Dames Barrington in 1770, and in 1878 an edition was published at Oswestry. It is valuable as the only work which describes the state of society in North Wales in the 15th and the earlier part of the 16th century.

Male line descent of Sir John Wynn of Gwydyr from Owain Gwynedd

* Owain Gwynedd, Prince of Gwynedd (d. November 1170) = Cristina ferch Gronw ap Owain ap Edwin
* Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd, Lord of Anglesey (d.1195) = Annest ferch Rhys ap Gruffudd
* Thomas ap Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd = Annest ferch Einion ap Seisyllt
* Caradog ap Tomas = Efa ferch Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli
* Gruffudd ap Caradog = Lleuca ferch Llywarch Fychan ap Llywarch
* Dafydd ap Gruffudd of Rhos = Efa ferch Gruffudd Fychan
* Hywel ap Dafydd = Efa ferch Evan ap Hywel ap Maredudd
* Maredudd ap Hywell (d. after 1353) = Morfydd verch Ieuan ap Dafydd ap Trahaern Goch
* Robert ap Maredudd = Angharad ferch Dafydd ap Llywelyn
* Ifan ap Robert (b. 1438, d. 1469) = Catherine ferch Rhys ap Hywel Fychan
* Maredudd ap Ifan (Ieuan) ap Robert (b. c1459, d. 18 March 1525) = Ales ferch William Gruffudd ap Robin
* John "Wynn" ap Maredudd (d. 9 July 1559) = Ellen Lloyd ferch Morys ap John
* Morys Wynn ap John (d.1580) = Jane Bulkeley (1) Ann Grevill (2) Katherine of Berain (3)
* Sir John Wynn ap Morys of Gwydir

Sir John Wynn's estate of Gwydir came to Robert Bertie, first Duke of Ancaster, in the 17th century, by his marriage with the heiress of the Wynns. On the death of the last duke in 1779, Gwydir was inherited by his sister Priscilla, Baronness Willoughby de Eresby in her own right, whose husband was created Baron Gwydyr.

On the death of Alberic, Baron Willoughby de Eresby in 1870, this title (now merged in that of earl of Ancaster) fell into abeyance between his two daughters, while that of Baron Gwydir passed to his cousin and male heir. Gwydir itself was sold by the earl of Ancaster in 1895, the house and part of the estate being bought by Lord Carrington, who also claimed descent from Sir John Wynn.


* Sir John Wynn. History of the Gwydir family and memoirs. Edited by J. Gwynfor Jones. Llandysul : Gwasg Gomer, 1990.
* J. Gwynfor Jones. The Wynn family of Gwydir. Aberystwyth : Centre for Educational Studies, 1995.

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