The leader of a revolt against the English in 1294 who burned the town of Caernarfon
Madog is thought to have been a distant cousin of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. Following a dispute between Llywelyn and Madog’s father, the boy spent most of his early life in England, enjoying the patronage of the English court.
Madog’s father held lands in Meirionnydd, but these were lost through his opposition to Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, and in 1278 Madog sued Llywelyn, unsuccessfully, for the return of his lands. Only after Llywelyn’s death in 1282 does Madog appear to have returned to Wales, where he was given lands on Anglesey. By 1294 he finds himself as the leader of Welsh opposition to English oppressors.
The revolt began well for the Welsh rebels, with the burning of Caernarfon, an English-built and English-speaking town. Madog was later defeated, however, at the Battle of Maes Meidog or Moydog near Welshpool, from where he was forced to flee to the mountains of Snowdonia.
In the summer of 1295 Madog finally surrendered and was taken to London. His fate is unknown, although it is not thought that he was executed.
The revolt, however, had consequences – among them the final castle that Edward I built, at Beaumaris in 1295, following this event.