Madoc ab Owain; prince of Gwynedd and legend would have it, brave explorer of the New World.Born circa 1142 at Dolwyddelan Castle, Madoc was the son of the great Welsh ruler Owain Gwynedd. Illegitimate, as were several of his siblings, under Welsh law of the time, he nevertheless was recognized as a prince.
By all accounts, the young Prince Madoc spent his formative years in the Norse city of Dublin, and likely learned the skills of sailing and ship building from his time there.
These were turbulent times though and Madoc would have returned to a Gwynedd whose borders were under constant threat from the Norman king, Henry II, from Marcher Lords and from his father’s own brother Cadwaladr.
In 1170, the death of Owain Gwynedd left a power vacuum in the kingdom of Gwynedd, and internal squabbling between several of his sons eventually led to armed conflict.
Disappointed and disillusioned with the events that followed his father’s passing, Madoc gathered up some followers and in the footsteps of previous intrepid Norse explorers, set out for a new beginning.
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