Dictionary of Medieval Names
from European Sources

Gwenllian f. Welsh gwen 'fair, white; blessed' + Welsh llian 'flaxen (cloth)'.

The name of a 12th C princess consort of Wales and the 14th C daughter of the last Prince of Wales.

Unlike many native Welsh names which succombed to the pressure of the invading Englishmen, Gwenllian remained a popular name in Wales, and even moved outside of the country and spread into England. The Welsh form Gwenllian was pronounced with three syllables, the stress on the second one. The English tendancy to stress the first syllable led English forms of the name to have just two syllables.

England
Early Modern English
1560 Gwenllian RegSASel p. 6; 1589 Gwenllian bruton-vol1 p. 49; 1593 Welthin COmar-vol2 p. 24; 1594 Welthin DEmar-vol2 p. 29; 1596 Welthan ibid. p. 34; 1598 Welthin ibid. p. 39
Wales
Latin
1452 Gwenllian (nom) ArchCambIII p. 72
Early Modern English
1575 Wenllian RegLlantrithyd p. 32; 1579 Wenllian ibid. p. 61; 1583 Wenllian ibid. p. 33; 1592 Wenllian ibid. p. 34; 1597 Wenllian ibid. p. 35
Welsh
1543 Gwenllyen RegCon1 p. 4; 1596 Gwenllian ibid. p. 77
Cite as: S.L. Uckelman. "Gwenllian". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2017, no. 1. http://dmnes.org/2017/1/name/Gwenllian.