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Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
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A study in charting medieval citations
The Evolution of the "Padriarc Brenin" Pedigree
Generational Gaps and the Welsh Laws
Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the Eleventh Century
The Lands of the Silures
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
Ancient Powys
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Maxen Wledig of Welsh Legend
Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies
Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig
Constans I and his 343 Visit to Britain
Glast and the Glastening
Composite Lives of St Beuno
Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees
The Father of Tewdrig of Gwent
Another Look at Teithfallt of Gwent
Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras
Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
Lluan ferch Brychan
The Herbert Family Pedigree
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Angharad, Heiress of Mostyn
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Henry, the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Muddled Pedigree of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir
The Mysterious Peverel Family
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"
Ancestry of Ieuaf ap Adda ap Awr of Trevor
The Retaking of Northeast Wales
Hedd Molwynog or Hedd ap Alunog of Llanfair Talhearn
"Meuter Fawr" son of Hedd ap Alunog
The Medieval "redating" of Braint Hir
Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen
Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179
The Battle of Mynydd Carn
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain
Cadwgan of Nannau
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
What Really Happened in Deheubarth in 1022?
Two Families headed by a Rhydderch ap Iestyn
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
Hywel ap Gronwy of Deheubarth
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
The Other Gwenwynwyn
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited
Gwyn Ddistain, seneschal for Llewelyn Fawr
The Men of Lleyn - How They Got There
Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn
Einion vs Iestyn ap Gwrgan - The Conquest of Glamorgan
Dafydd Goch ap Dafydd - His Real Ancestry
Thomas ap Rhodri - Father of Owain "Lawgoch"
The "Malpas" Family in Cheshire
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Sorting out the Gwaithfoeds
Three Men called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd"
The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg
The Royal Family of Ceredigion
Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin
The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr
Welsh Ancestry of the Tudor Dynasty
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Maredudd Gethin ap Lord Rhys
The 'Next Heir' of Morgan of Caerleon
Pedigree of the ancient Lords of Ial
The Shropshire Walcot Family
Pedigree of "Ednowain Bendew II"
Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam

                                       POWYS SUCCESSION AFTER 823
                                               By Darrell Wolcott
 
          In previous articles on this site, it has been argued that Cyngen ap Cadell had no sons to succeed him and that he probably didn't have a sister named Nest either.  And even if he did, the kingship of Powys did not merge into Gwynedd but was continued by the dynastic family...the heirs of Brochwel Ysgithrog.  So who did rule Powys after Cyngen?
 
          Cyngen ap Cadell had come to power at his father's death in 808.  It was probably fairly early in his reign when he commissioned the Pillar of Eliseg and had it erected, according to traditional lore, over the grave of his ancestor, Eliseg ap  Gwylog.[1] But it would seem no sooner than he had created a memorial to honor the man who had "annexed the inheritance of Powys from the power of the English", that old foe was about to reverse his fortunes.  The 823 entry in the Brut y Tywysogyon tersely reports "the Saxons....took the kingdom of Powys for their own."  There is no hint of how this occurred, but one might assume Cyngen had suffered a defeat on the battlefield that was more overwhelming than a normal skirmish, yet the king survived it.
 
        What exactly did it mean that the Saxons took Powys for their own?  Did they station an army in Powys? Send in droves of settlers to occupy the land? Slaughter thousands of its residents and seize their homes and possessions?  We doubt any of those drastic things happened.  The objective of controlling land in that era was not in the physical possession of it, but in receiving the rents, taxes, tolls and other income which people pay to use it.  The outside conqueror would not want to remove the residents nor take over the burden of routine governmental and judicial chores; they would simply want the income these people formerly rendered to their king and his lesser Lords. The fact that Cyngen survived whatever untenable situation he faced suggests a deal was struck with the Saxons. Something along the lines of either agreeing to serve as their puppet underking or stepping down in favor of another man who would. 
 
         Although we cannot know the agreements reached between the Powys family and the Saxons (almost certainly under Coelwulf, king of the Mercians), the transition did not seem to affect everyday life among the people or surely we would find some hint of rebellions, retaliation and suffering in the chronicles.  And whether Cyngen immediately went into exile in Rome or remained in place until old age overtook him, his successor must have also agreed to the puppet role.  No doubt the royal warband was dissolved or disarmed and replaced by a Saxon military contingent to make sure the taxes and rents were collected and turned over to the Saxon king.  We can only speculate on these matters, but there are slivers of data in the chronicles which may provide clues.
 
         For about 20 years after the capitulation of Powys, no military events or even isolated murders of Welshmen are recorded.  The Saxons appear to have controlled north Wales all the way to the River Conwy.[2]  Egbert had succeeded to the kingship in Mercia, forced Wessex and Northumberland to recognize him and by 830, was proclaimed king over the whole realm of Britain.[3] In 844, king Merfyn Frych of Gwynedd died; the battle of Cedyll is recorded the same year but it is unclear if the two events are related.  Other battles now became more frequent; one would see this as evidence the Welsh had began to reassert their independence.  Rhodri Mawr was now directing the resistance in Gwynedd and fighting was noted in South Wales as well.[4]
 
          We shall pause here to introduce a wholly speculative scenerio, but one which may have led to the recovery of Powys' kingdom.  The year is 863; the peace in much of Wales has been broken by renewed war with their neighbors.  Rhodri Mawr is making a name for himself as a power on the battlefield.  He is joined by the local king in Rhos, a man named Caradog and called "Freich Fras".[5]  The puppet king in Powys was the eldest son of Aeddan ap Cyngen ap Brochwel and his name was Cadweithian. Life was good for him as the Saxon regent in Powys; he declined to join the rebellion which was afoot elsewhere in Wales.  But his younger brother, Brochwel ap Aeddan, was ready to throw off the yoke of the Saxons.  Entering into an alliance with Rhodri Mawr of Gwynedd and Caradog Freich Fras of Rhos and Tegeingl, they confronted Cadweithien with a choice; exile from Powys or death. He gathered his loyalists and left the country for an unknown destination; the combined forces of the three north Wales warbands were now able to battle the Saxons on even terms for the first time in a generation.  Rule in Powys was restored to the dynastic family in the person of Brochwel ap Aeddan, a man who was revered by his descendants for many generations.  Thus ends our diversion into pure speculation.
 
         The Brut does record for the year 863 "Cadweithian was expelled" but does not say who he was, what part of Wales he lived in, what title he may have held, or why he was expelled. Our portrayal of him was suggested by the following: (1)  The name is phonetically similar to both Gwaeddan and Aeddan and he might well have belonged to the Powys family; (2) the fact that this man was expelled suggests he stood in someone's way, someone not necessarily wanting to kill him; and (3) a brother might react in that manner more readily than other men seeking his removal.  So far as I am aware, no previous attempts have been made either to identify Cadweithian nor to explain why Brochwel ap Aeddan was venerated by his descendants.  Nor even to suggest how and when Powys slipped out from under the rule of the Saxons. 
 
         The "received" view that the Powys dynasty ended during the ninth century rests upon similar speculation and conjecture made by other historians.  Not only is there no credible evidence that Merfyn ap Rhodri Mawr inherited Powys, there is evidence that he actually lived on the Lleyn Peninsula in Gwynedd.[6]  The anti-Powys bias was so infused into the early accounts that even after acknowledging it stood as a territory wholly apart from Gwynedd, it's kings were given false pedigrees to show they obtained their position only through maternal descent from Rhodri Mawr.  The first genealogical invention was Llewelyn ap Merfyn ap Rhodri Mawr; Triffyn is the only son is listed for Merfyn in the first manuscript to cite the prodigy of Rhodri.[7] And if the Brut entry for 904 which reports "the son of Merfyn was slain by his own folks" was speaking of Merfyn ap Rhodri as most suppose, we suggest that son would have been named if Merfyn had more than one. The only use the genealogists had for this Llewelyn was to assign a daughter to him and claim that daughter married Owain ap Hywel Dda and delivered Powys to her son, Maredudd ap Owain. When Llewelyn ap Seisyllt came to power early in the 11th century, all these genealogical fictions now bore fruit: his only claim to the rule of Powys, said the Rhodri Mawr faction, had been obtained by his marriage to the daughter of Maredudd.  We would agree his claim to Deheubarth came from that marriage since Maredudd was not survived by any sons. And since no paternal pedigree of Llewelyn has yet surfaced, he was further linked to Rhodri Mawr maternally.  His mother is cited as Prawst ferch Elise ap Anahard.[8]  This appears to be the same Elisedd who was brother to Idwal Foel ap Anarawd; both were reported slain in 942.  This lady seems to occur a full generation or more too early to be the mother of Llewelyn (c. 980-1023) but it is biologically possible if she were newly-born when her father was killed. See Appendix I below. 
 
         When we combine these late genealogical fictions with the sources who report that the family of Brochwel Ysgithrog was not usurped of Powys until 1063, it might be well to consider that Llewelyn ap Seisyllt actually inheirited Powys from his paternal ancestors.  The search for them has long been delayed and thought unnecessary by the claims his rights were obtained maternally.
 
            We shall conclude this segment of our discussion with a chart which suggests the actual dynastic succession following the reign of Cyngen ap Cadell:
 
                                    715  Brochwel ap Eliseg
                             ______________l______________
                            l                                             l
                 745  Cadell (obit 808)                 750  Cyngen
                            l                                             l
                 775  Cyngen (obit 856)               785  Aeddan
                         d.s.p.                      ____________l________
                                                      l                                l
                                        815  Cadweithian            820  Brochwel
                                               expelled 863                       l
                           _____________________________________l
                           l                         l                          l
                 850  Selyf[9]     855  Gwaeddan[10]     855  Rhodri
                          +                        +
                   ancestor of            ancestor of
              Sir Gruffudd Fychan     Evan Blayney
 
 
NOTES:
[1] Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1872, pp 289
[2] Brut y Tywysogyon entries for 816 and 823 record Saxon victories in Rhufoniog and at Degannwy on the Conwy in Rhos. These territories would lie in the path of a westward push from Chester toward the heartland of Gwynedd.
[3] British Museum Cotton Ms Clepoatra B v under date 830 as translated by Thomas Jones in "Brenhinedd y Saesson", 1971, Cardiff.
[4] Brut y Tywysogyon entry for 848 records hostile activity between Brycheiniog and Gwent.
[5] This man and his descendants has long been confused with the sixth-century Caradog Freich Fras of Gwent.  Even though separate coats of arms have been assigned to the two men, most people still continue to confound them.  The Life of St. Collen as told in Llanstephan MS 34 clearly says his ancestor was the Caradog Freich Fras who was the son of Llyr Merini, not the one of the same name who suffered a broken arm in battle at Hiraddug in Rhos. The epithet actually means "large arm", not "strong arm", and refers to injuries which caused one arm to be larger than the other.
[6] ABT 7(o) describes Triffyn ap Merfyn as "of the lineage of the men of Rhiw in Lleyn".  Rhiw is a parish encompassing the southern tip of the peninsula.
[7] ibid
[8] ABT 7(f)
[9] ABT 20 calls Selyf "ap Brochwel ap Aeddan ap Elisse ap Gwylawg" while HLG 2(f) calls him "ap Brochfael ap Aeddan ap Kyngen ap Elisse ap Gwylawg".  Using Harleian Ms 3859 to resolve these differences, we believe the "Cincen filli Brochmail filli Elized" who has a son "Aedan" provides us with all the missing generations in the later sources.  This would make Selyf "ap Brochwel ap Aeddan ap Cyngen ap Brochwel ap Eliseg ap Gwylog".
[10] Dwnn i, 299 and Dwnn ii, 23 cite "Gwaeddan ap Brochwel ap Aeddan ap Cyngen ap Eliseg".  Like the preceeding note, we believe Cyngen ap Brochwel ap Eliseg is meant. 
 

APPENDIX 1 - Ancestry of Prawst:
 
                               820  Rhodri Mawr (ob 878)
                                              l
                                  850  Anarawd  (ob 916)
                       ______________l___________
                       l                                        l
           880  Idwal Foel  (ob 942)         885  Elise  (ob 942)
                                                                l
                                                      942  Prawst=====Seisyllt
                                                                          l
                                                               980  Llewelyn
 
         The relationships in this chart are chronologically suspect in several aspects.  First, we have Elise bearing a daughter in his late 50's, who bears a son in her late 30's.  Secondly, we have two brothers killed on the battlefield with the eldest past 60 years of age.
 
         The 942 entry in the Brut actually says "Idwal ap Rhodri and his brother Elisedd were slain by the Saxons"; historians claim that "ap Anarawd ap Rhodri Mawr" was meant.  Other versions of the Brut make Elisedd the son, instead of brother, of Idwal but again render their father as Rhodri.  There is no assurance the men in the Brut entry were descendants of Rhodri Mawr at all, their Rhodri may have been an entirely different person.
 
          We would prefer a lady born c. 960/965 as the mother of Llewelyn ap Seisyllt and suspect this Prawst was conjured up by the medieval genealogists to link him to Rhodri Mawr.