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Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
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

                                       END OF THE POWYS DYNASTY
                                             By Darrell Wolcott
 
       Following the death of Brochwel ap Aeddan, the succession to the kingship of Powys is clouded by a gap in the family pedigrees where three generations appear to be omitted.  Sufficient information can be gleaned from HLG 2 and 12 to closely date the men of the eleventh century[1], exposing an obvious hole in the chronological sequence:
 
          655  Gwylog
          685  Eliseg
          715  Brochwel [2]
          750  Cyngen
          785  Aeddan
          820  Brochwel
          850  Selyf
          880     -     (Aeddan ?)
          910     -     (Brochwal ?)                                Tudor Trevor
          945     -     (Selyf ?)                                      Llyddoca
          980  Beli                                      Gwerystyn  Llywarch Gam 
        1015  Gruffudd                                   Cynfyn    Ednyfed
                    l                                             l              l
        1050  Gwyn             Gwrgi         Ithel==Nest      Rhys Sais
                    l                    l                   l                   l
        1080  Tangwre====Seisyllt     Ednowain========Generys
                                l                                          l
                   1100  Gwledyr=================Gwrgeneu
 
        
       I do not have sufficient information to date Seisyllt ap Gwrgi, but Cynfyn ap Gwerystan was born c. 985/990.[3]  His daughter Nest would occur c. 1025 and her son Ednowain perhaps 1045. Thus Gwrgeneu ap Ednowain of c. 1085 is the age we should expect for a husband of Gwledyr.  In the other family shown, Tudor Trevor was born c. 900 [3], Llyddoca his eldest son c. 930 and Llywarch Gam was born c. 960.  Ednyfed follows at c. 995, Rhys Sais at c. 1025 and his daughter Generys about 1060.  This matches her with husband Ednowain of 1050, yielding the son Gwrgeneu at 1085. Our search for the names of the men who fill the blank generations of our chart proceeds thusly:  
 
        By staying as close as possible to the data which is disclosed in a chronologically deficient pedigree, we first look to the actual names cited as the father of each man, beginning at the bottom.  The Beli in Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli is said to be the son of a Selyf ap Brochwel ap Aeddan.  If we insert those names into our chart at the indicated spot, we are left with an emended pedigree which repeats that three-name block one after the other. Although it will be the subject of later studies of this family as it wends it way down to the 15th century, I will only pause at present to say that the 3 name sequence of Selyf ap Brochwel ap Aeddan is repeated 3 more times in the family.  And each of those Selyf's named a son Beli who named a son Gruffudd who named a son Gwyn.  Each of the Selyf's (save the last) also named a son Aeddan, and it was that son who continued the repeating sequence. We have seen many pedigrees which, like this one, omit sequences of names which seem to be duplicates.
 
         While it was necessary for dating purposes to portray the branch of the family found in the cited pedigrees, the men at the bottom were not in the senior (kingly) line.  An expanded chart will reflect the probably branches:    
 
                                         850  Selyf  
                                         880  Aeddan
                                         910  Brochwel
                    ____________________l__________________
                    l                               l                             l
          940  Cadell                 943  Seisyllt [4]        945  Selyf
                    l                               l                             l
          970  Nest                   980  Llewelyn           975  Aeddan
                   l                                l                             l
          990  Cynfyn              1011  Gruffudd          1005  Brochwel
            ____l__________           ____l________                    
            l                      l          l                    l
    Rhiwallon             Bleddyn    Ithel          Maredudd                                            
    (Note: the Selyf born c. 945 had a second son named Beli, whose son Gruffudd named a son Gwyn;it is that line of the family shown in our first chart.)
                                   
           It would appear that the Cadell ap Brochwel of this chart is the king of Powys whose daughter Nest was the mother of Cynfyn ap Gwerystan.  It was the brothers Rhiwallon and Bleddyn who took Powys from the sons of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn; we strongly suspect she was appropriated by the medieval genealogists and inserted as the Nest ferch Cadell ap Brochwel they cite as the mother of Rhodri Mawr.[5] Since the present King Cadell had no sons, succession probably fell to the next eldest son of Brochwel.  There is no record that a Seisyllt ap Brochwel[4] ever was a king and he may have predeceased Cadell, making Llewelyn (eldest son of Seisyllt) the next Powys king. 
 
        When Llewelyn was slain in 1023, his son Gruffudd was barely a teenager.[6]  Celtic kings were expected to be warriors and they never had a tradition of child-kings.  If we speculate that Llewelyn's cousin Aeddan also died prior to 1023 (he may even have fought alongside Llewelyn and fell with him), the leading men of Powys were faced with a problem of succession.  Surely Gruffudd, in time, would be their king but one was required for the interim.  Cynfyn ap Gwerystan was the maternal grandson of former king Cadell and seemed a good choice.  One might also speculate that he was told his approval would be assured if he took to wife the widow of Llewelyn ap Seisyllt and became step-father to the edling[7], Gruffudd ap Llewelyn. Cynfyn did, in fact, marry the widowed Angharad ferch Maredudd ap Owain and probably did serve as the interim king of Powys.  This likely was the basis of the claim laid by his sons in 1063; neither was yet old enough[8] to make such a claim when Gruffudd ap Llewelyn finally became king in 1039.  However, it is known that Llewelyn had a brother named Cynan[9] who may have succeeded him, but he was killed in 1027 while young Gruffudd was still a teenager.  Thus the tenure of Cynfyn may have begun fours years later than we first said; in that case his marriage had already occurred since Bleddyn was born of that union about 1025.
 
         Gruffudd ap Llewelyn became the king of Powys in 1039 and that year may mark the death of Cynfyn[10].  He immediately launched a campaign against Iago ap Cynan of Gwynedd, killing that king and annexing Gwynedd to Powys. Whether this was retaliation for a role Iago had in the death of Llewelyn 16 years earlier, as some claim, or for Iago's role in a possible attack against Powys which killed Cynfyn is a matter of conjecture.  But over the next 24 years, Gruffudd managed to forcibly take control of every kingdom in Powys and inflict much damage against the now-unified English nation to his east. In 1063, King Edward the Confessor authorized Harold Godwinson to take a large army into Wales to bring Gruffudd to heel.  With a unified ground assult from the east and a naval blockade at his north, Gruffudd was trapped in his palace at Rhuddlan[11].  As Harold set about to scourge the lands of any who dared support Gruffudd, a contingent of his own men killed the King of all Wales and brought his head to Harold to sue for peace. 
 
          Some reports indicate the brothers Bleddyn and Rhiwallon stood down to allow Harold's army to approach Rhuddlan, for which they were rewarded thusly:  Rhiwallon, the oldest[9], was given rule over Powys and Bleddyn received Gwynedd. The two surviving sons of Gruffudd, then barely 20 years old, bided their time for another 6 years then sought their birthright on the battlefield in Mechain[12].  Both died either during, or as a direct result of, this clash with the sons of Cynfyn but not before they had killed Rhiwallon.  Thus Bleddyn assumed the kingships of both Gwynedd and Powys and the rule by the lineage of Brochwel Ysgithrog at last was ended.  We find no recorded attempts to regain the kingship by the descendants of the junior branch of the family shown in our chart; thereafter it became the senior line of the now non-royal family. 
 
NOTES:
[1] Hen Lwythau Gwynedd a'r Mars, a medieval manuscript containing pedigrees of the chief non-royal families of north Wales, edited by P.C. Bartrum in the National Library of Wales Journal, vol xii, part 3
[2] Brochwel is omitted in the HLG 2 pedigree. See Note 9 in our paper entitled "Powys Succession After 823".
[3] Birthdate estimates of Cynfyn ap Gwerystan and Tudor Trevor are those of Bartrum from the above source in Note 1, and concur with our own estimates.
[4] The ancestry of Seisyllt is nowhere recorded; we believe sufficient evidence exists to place him in the Powys Royal Family and his conjectural assignment as a younger brother of Cadell ap Brochwel fits what is known of his place in history.
[5] Refer to the discussion of that Nest in our paper entitled "Nest ferch Cadell ap Brochwel".
[6] Brut y Tywysogyon cites the death of Llewelyn in 1023; Gruffudd was born about 1010/12 according to most estimates.
[7] The edling was the heir-apparent, the person entitled to reign after the King.  According to the Laws of Hywel Dda, "it is right for him to be a son or nephew of the King."
[9] Cynfyn married the mother of Rhiwallon and Bleddyn after she was widowed in 1023; we believe Rhiwallon was the older since he was given Powys after the death of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn, which was the only kingdom his father claimed a paternal right to possess.  Our estimate for the brother's birthdates is 1024 and 1025, respectively.
[10] No obit for Cynfyn is recorded. The Brut cites 1039 as the year Gruffudd came to power and that would presumably occur at the death of the previous king. He would have been 28/29 years old, so 1039 was not the year he became an adult but see our paper "Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the 11th Century" elsewhere on this site
[11] Rhuddlan lies at the mouth of the River Conwy at the Irish Sea; an earlier attempt by Harold Godwinson to capture or kill him had failed when Gruffudd made his escape by sea.
[12] Mechain is a cantref in central Powys on the north edge of the present Montgomeryshire.