EINION AP CELYNIN OF LLWYDIARTH
By Darrell Wolcott
The ancestor of the Lloyd family
of Dolobran and the now-extinct Vaughan family of Llwydiarth Hall in Mechain, Einion ap Celynin has a pedigree which traces
back to Aleth of Dyfed. However, many of the claims made concerning the 13th century Celynin and his settlement in Powys
are probably false. The Welsh Herald, Lewys Dwnn, says this Celynin "killed the Mayor of Carmarthen"  and other writers
added "and fled into Montgomeryshire"  probably on no more evidence than the fact that his son Einion lived at Llwydiarth.
While earlier generations of this
family probably did live in Ystrad Tywy (modern Carmarthenshire), a look at the marriages made by the father and grandfather
of Celynin indicates they may have relocated to south Powys (Powys Gwenwynwyn) before Celynin was born. Celynin was living in 1292 and his son Einion occurs in 1340, so the Aleth from which they descended
was born c. 1080 and was not the same man as "Aleth, king of Dyfed". The early citations agree with this chart :
We suggest the earlier generations
back to Aleth ap Bleddri (who was merely brother to Hyfaidd ap Bleddri, king of Dyfed) were:
820 Rhodri Mawr Aleth 840
865 Tudwal Gloff====Elen 875
930 Aelan (or Alyn or Aelaw)
(continuing as the first chart)
We can date the generations
which immediately followed Einion ap Celynin from a 1420 document in which Edward de Charlton, Lord of Powys, granted a pardon
to Gruffudd ap Jenkin ap Llewelyn ap Einion ap Celynin. In that document, family lands once held by the grandfather
of Gruffudd (Llewelyn ap Einion ap Celynin) at Llwydiarth and elsewhere in upper and lower Mechain were confirmed to Gruffudd.
Some historians assume the crimes for which Gruffudd ap Jenkin was pardoned involved his participation in the Owain Glendwr
rebellion, but this Gruffudd would have barely been a teenager in the Glendwr era. More likely, he had been among the
roving outlaws of the early 1400's which had included other young men of Powys. In 1420, his grandfather Llewelyn
was dead but was survived by his wife (Gruffudd's grandmother) "Lleucu filia Gruffuth ap Eden Loid". The document does
not say if Jenkin ap Llewelyn was still alive, but that man would have been the right age to have joined the Glendwr rebellion
and it may have been his lands which had been confiscated and were now being confirmed to his son. To extend our
pedigree chart 3 more generations, we find:
Celynin Ednyfed Llwyd 1280
1300 Einion Gruffudd 1315
Madog Cyffin 1300
1330 Llewelyn(a)=====Lleuci 1345 Ieuan Gethyn 1335
1360 Jenkin(b)============Gwenhwyfar 1370
(a) This marriage is
mentioned in the 1420 charter; Dwnn i, 294 and Dwnn ii, 277 call Lleuci a daughter of Ednyfed Llwyd ap Gruffudd ap Ieuan ap
Iorwerth Goch descended from Tudor Trevor, but the contemporary source calls her father "Gruffudd ap Ednyfed Llwyd" with no
further ancestry cited. It isn't chronologically possible for her to have descended from the Ednyfed Lloyd mentioned
by Lewys Dwnn, a man who would not occur until c. 1345. Lleuci would have been about 75 years old in 1420
(b) Dwnn i, 294 and Dwnn ii,
277 cite this marriage which does fit chronologically. Madog Cyffin occurs 6 generation after Madog ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn
ap Cynfyn(born c. 1095), being descended from Madog's base son Einion Efell.
(c) Dwnn i, 294 says he married
Mallt ferch Hywel Sele ap Meurig, a man born c. 1375 of the Nannau family, again confirming that Gruffudd was a generation
too young to have been in the Glendwr rebellion. Hywel Sele was killed by Owain Glendwr when Hywel tried to assassinate
him during a hunting trip together; Owain had thought Hywel an ally and didn't know he was loyal to King Henry IV.
Now that we have closely dated
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth to c. 1300, we must account for a second citation found in Dwnn ii, 277. The first pedigree
on that page concerns a family descended from Rhys ap Llowdden living at Plas Cammeirch in the Parish of Llanfachreth,
Meirionydd. (Nannau was also in this parish) The third pedigree on the page is headed "Plwyv Eto" or "the same
parish a second time". There we find a "Celynin ap Rhiryd ap Cynddelw ap Iorwerth ap Gwrgeneu ap Uchdryd ap Aleth".
This man is said to have married "Gwladys daughter and heiress of Rhiryd ap Cynwrig Efell". Dwnn continues by saying
"from whom he obtained Llwydiarth", but he obviously has confused this Merionydd family with the Celynin ap Rhiryd of Llwydiarth
in Mechain, Powys. That there were two branches of the family descended from Aleth who repeated a long string of male
names can be seen from Dwnn's next statement. He says the mother of this Gwladys was Arddun ferch Ithel Goch ap Dafydd
ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn. Charting this Meirionydd family shows these approximate birth dates:
l Maredudd 1065
1085 Iorwerth(a) Madog 1095 Dafydd
1115 Cynddelw Cynwrig Efell 1135 Ithel Goch 1140
1150 Rhiryd 1165 Rhiryd============Arddun 1175
1185 Celynin=============Gwladys 1200
(a) It was a brother
of this man, Aleth, who repeated the male naming sequence leading to the c. 1270 Celynin ap Rhiryd. That family is shown
on the first chart displayed in this paper.
Dwnn finishes this citation(vol
ii, p. 277) by saying that Celynin's children by this Gwladys were Madog, Einion, Rhiryd, Iorwerth Dwy, Arddun and Gwladys
Fychan. We suspect the first three named children actually belonged to the Celynin of Llwydiarth, Powys because the
very next pedigree which Dwnn presents DOES refer solely to the Powys family; in it we are told that the mother of Einion
ap Celynin was Gwenllian ferch Rhydderch ap Tewdwr and that she was also the mother of sons Madog and Rhiryd.
That there was a Celynin ap Rhiryd living nearly 100 years earlier than the man of that name at Llwydiarth can also be seen
by a second marriage attributed to him. Dwnn i, 307 says a Celynin (whom he incorrectly thought to be the grandfather
of Llewelyn ap Einion) married "Alison ferch Cynfelyn ap Dolffyn" and that her mother was Julia Mortimer. This citation
occurs within the pedigree of a family actually descended from the Powys Celynin, but identifies a Celynin who would occur
c. 1185. Elsewhere, we have dated that Cynfelyn ap Dolffyn to c. 1140, so his daughter must have been a second
wife to the Celynin of 1185 and not the Celynin of 1270.
Beginning now at the top of the pedigree,
we shall try to date the men by reference to the marriages cited for them:
The only marriage cited for a "Uchdryd
ap Aleth" is with Marged ferch Cadifor Fawr. Descended from the Irish Deisi tribe which settled in Dyfed in the
mid-fourth century, Cadifor Fawr was born c. 1030. A daughter of his would date from c. 1065/1070 and could not have
married either Uchdryd in our chart. We assign the marriage to a man in this cousin line:
1020 Alunog 1025
Aleth Cadifor Fawr 1030
1050 Hedd 1060
Iorwerth Gwrgeneu(a) 1095
The Brut entry for 1168 says "Gwrgeneu, abbot of Llythlawr, and Llawdden his nephew, were slain by Cynan ap Owain".
One wonders why a holy man past age 70 would have been killed, but another Brut version reports it was only "a nephew of abbot
Gwrgeneu" who was slain.
i, 26 & 47 cite "Llowdden ap Iorwerth ap Uchdryd ap Aleth".
There are many citations for
a "Gwrgeneu ap Uchdryd ap Aleth", and we find, in addition to Abbot Gwrgeneu, two men in the ancestry of Celynin bearing
that same name born 100 years apart...neither of whom could have been uncle to Llowdden.
The only wife cited for Gwrgeneu
ap Uchdryd ap Aleth is Alis ferch Gronwy ap Einion. Descended from Pasgen of Gower, we date her birth to c.
1165 and match her with the Grwgeneu born c. 1150. She was clearly a lady of Carmarthenshire and indicates to us this
family branch had not yet strayed far from it early base in Dyfed.
Iorwerth ap Gwrgeneu ap Uchdryd is
another name which occurs twice in this family, the earliest as the father of Einion Ddistain. That Einion, born c.
1115, married Marged ferch Gruffudd ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, a lady who was born c. 1125 and sister to Owain
Cyfeiliog. But the only marriage cited for an Iorwerth ap Gwrgeneu ap Uchdryd is Efa ferch Aaron ap Rhys ap Bleddri
ap Cadifor Fawr. That Rhys ap Bleddri did not have a son named Aaron. There was an Aaron ap Rhys ap Bleddri
ap Rhys ap Bleddri ap Cadifor Fawr whom we believe is the source of the confusion, but Efa was probably a daughter of
Aaron ap Bleddri ap Rhys ap Belddri. That Aaron was a Knight of the Sepulchre who followed Richard the Lionhearted on
his crusade in 1191. Born c. 1165, his daughter Efa would have been born c. 1195 and married the Iorwerth ap Gwrgeneu
born c. 1180. The earlier same-named man represents a cousin line as shown in this chart:
1115 Einion Ddistain
1150 Gwrgeneu 1125
Marged f. Gruffudd ap Maredudd
1180 Iorwerth===Efa f. Aaron 1195
Cynddelw ap Iorwerth ap Gwrgeneu,
born c. 1210, married Sian ferch Gwrwared ap Gwilym ap Gwrwared ap Cuhelyn Fardd ap Gwynfardd Dyfed. We date Sian
to c. 1220 based on two factors: her mother was Gwenllian ferch Ednyfed Fychan, a lady born c. 1195/1205; her brother
Gwilym was keeper of Cardigan Castle in 1262. That family had its roots in Dyfed and this branch may have relocated
a bit north by the date of this marriage, but was yet wholly within southwest Wales. It is the next generation where
a marriage was contracted far outside of Deheubarth.
Rhiryd ap Cynddelw ap Iorwerth,
born c. 1240, married Gwladys ferch Richard, Lord of Dinas Certhin. The ancestry of this man is uncertain, but Dinas
Certhin was in the commote of Mawddwy and parish of Llanymawddwy. Originally a part of northwest Meirionydd, this
commote borders Cyfeiliog, Caereinion and Mochnant in Powys and was annexed to Powys in 1116 and became a part of Powys
Gwenwynwyn after the death of Maredudd ap Bleddyn in 1132. It was made one of the hundreds of Merioneth in the 1536
Act of Union, when much of the remainder of Powys Gwenwynwyn was renamed Montgomeryshire. Rhiryd ap Cynddelw might well
have relocated to Mawddwy following this marriage, and his son Celynin actually born in Powys.
We should note here that
the noted Welsh genealogist, Peter Bartrum, makes the wife of Rhiryd ap Cynddelw a different lady: Gwladys ferch Rhiryd ap
Cynwrig. He cites his sources as Dwnn ii, 277 and Dwnn i, 294. But his first source actually says it was Celynin
ap Rhiryd who married a daughter of Rhiyrd ap Cynwrig, while his second source calls the wife of Rhiryd ap Cynddelw "Gwladys,
daughter of Richard, Lord of Dinas Certhin". One must assume Bartrum thought the two ladies called Gwladys were identical,
and that "Richard" was an error for "Rhiryd".
Quite likely, the Richard who
was Lord of Dinas Certhin in the mid 1200's was a son of Madog ap Gwenwynwyn. That Madog was a base son of Gwenwynwyn
born c. 1190 before his father was married, and is described as "of Mawddwy" by Peter Bartrum. The legitimate son
of Gwenwynwyn was Gruffudd, who was called Lord of Mawddwy during the life of his father.
We have already mentioned two
wives cited for Celynin ap Rhiryd, one being a lady born 2 generations prior to the c. 1270 Celynin of Powys and probably
married to the c. 1185 Celynin of Meirionydd. The second lady, Gwenllian ferch Rhydderch ap Tewdwr cannot be dated.
A third cited lady, Gwenllian ferch Adda ap Meurig ap Pasgen ap Gwyn ap Gruffudd, is said by one group of sources to have
married Celynin ap Rhiryd, but another group of sources says she married Einion ap Celynin. We think this last
lady named Gwenllian is two different women, the second lady having an ancestry very similiar to the first:
1275 Gwenllian(b)===Celynin(c) 1270 Adda 1275
1300 Einion(d)=======Gwenllian(e) 1310
(a) Gruffudd III ap Beli III ap Selyf
III ap Brochwel III ap Aeddan III ap Selyf II ap Brochwel II ap Aeddan II ap Selyf ap Brochwel ap Aeddan ap Cyngen ap Brochwel
ap Eliseg ap Gwylog.
(b) Pen. 127, 35 & 100; Pen. 128,
732a; Pen. 176, 130 and Pen. 177, 36 cite this marriage
(c) As mentioned earlier, a different
wife of Celynin is cited as the mother of Einion; the lady in our chart was probably a second wife.
(d) Pen. 128, 808b, 822b & 847a; and
Pen. 135, 393 cite this marriage, but omit Cynwrig from the lady's ancestry.
(e) She had a sister who married Gruffudd
ap Alo, another man born c. 1300. Pen. 131, 138; Pen. 129, 90; and Pen. 127, 35 all cite an Adda ap Meurig ap Cynwrig
who has been confused with Adda ap Meurig ap Pasgen of the same family.
We return for a moment to the
Gwenllian ferch Rhydderch ap Tewdwr cited as the wife of Celynin and mother of Einion. The lady should be expected to
have been born c. 1285 and the assumption that she descended from 11th century Deheubarth royal family is wholly unproven.
Clearly the Rhydderch who was the brother of Rhys ap Tewdwr lived much too early; a daughter of his would occur c. 1085.
Merely adding a generation to her ancestry to make her Gwenllian ferch Maredudd ap Rhydderch ap Tewdwr would not help make
the connection. Neither Rhydderch nor Tudor were rare male names in the 13th century, so this lady's ancestry
and residence cannot be determined. Those who repeat the tale about Celynin fleeing from Carmarthen to Powys offer the two
marriages as proof, saying his first wife was a Deheubarth lady and his second wife was from Powys. We don't know whether
or not his first wife was from south Wales, but we do know that his father married a Powys lady and his grandfather married
a lady from a Mawddwy family. We think Celynin was born in Mawddwy and inherited Llwydiarth from his grandmother.
As to Dwnn's statement saying Llwydiarth was obtained by the marriage with a granddaughter of Cynwrig Efell, there is no record
that Cynwrig Efell held any land in Mechain; his lands were farther north in Powys Fadog.
An unverified but ancient tradition
in this family is that the home of Rhiryd ap Cynddelw was torched at a time when his wife was heavy with child. She
was obliged to find shelter under a holly bush (celynnen) where she delivered her child. This tale accounts for the
child being named "Celynin" and for the family arms to be a goat browsing on a holly bush. It is known that in 1274,
Llewelyn ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd subdued the territory of Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn; while we have estimated Celynin's birth as
c. 1270, it is possible he was born during this invasion and that his mother's home might well have been burnt. We earlier
conjectured that Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn was her great-uncle and she (Gwladys ferch Richard) would have been under 20 years
of age in 1274.
Following our review of this family,
we dismiss the medieval claim that Celynin "fled from Carmarthen into Powys" since it is highly probably he was born in Powys.
If he killed the Mayor of Carmarthen as Lewys Dwnn said, it had nothing to do with the reason for his branch of the family
to locate in Powys. That occurred a generation before he was born, and the family may have left south Wales two generations
earlier than Celynin. The entire tale appears no more than someone's conjectural scenerio to explain how an earlier Dyfed
family came to be settled in Powys by the year 1300.