CADAFAEL YNFYD OF CYDEWAIN
By Darrell Wolcott
This 12th century man of
Powys appears to occur nowhere except in pedigrees given by the Meyrick family. Two branches of this family gave
pedigrees to Lewis Dwnn the Welsh deputy herald, near the year 1600. In those charts, Dwnn refers to him as
"Lord of Cydewain". The 1846 editor of Dwnn's manuscripts added a note saying he was "judge of the Court of Powys then
held at Castell Dinas Bran". Neither man adds any descriptive nickname after Cadafael, but the editor's note indicates
he believed him to be "y ynad", or "the judge".
J.Y.W. Lloyd does call him Cadfael
yr ynad both times he mentioned the man, and repeats the claims that he was both Lord of Cydewain and Judge of the Court
of Powys. But the earliest Meyrick family pedigree, that of Edmond Meuric of Ucheldref in Corwen in Ederynion,
was penned by Gruffudd Hiraethog in the mid-1500's. He rendered his name as Cadafael Ynfyd or "fool" The word also denotes
"mad" as in "insane". Apparently the later writers misread that as "ynad" and assumed he was a judge.
The only source to attempt
to give the ancestry of Cadafael was Llyfr Silin, a manuscript written c. 1645-1728. That source confused him with
Cadfael ap Lludd, the c. 945 ancestor of Marchweithian and Collwyn ap Tangno. But the marriage matches which the earlier
sources cite for him and his descendants point to a birthdate near 1160 for Cadafael, and place him in Montgomeryshire, Powys not
in Gwynedd. This late manuscript does, however, give his nickname as Ynfyd, not Ynad.
Cadafael is said
to have married Arianwen ferch Iorwerth ap Trahaearn ap Iorwerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd, called an heiress of Cydewain.
But her family held no land there and Cadafael could not have obtained either a manor nor a Lordship in Cydewain from that
marriage. It was among the holdings of Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli who served as king of Powys 1075-1081.
According to the same source, Arianwen's mother was Sian ferch Maredudd ap Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Such a lady would occur
much too early, so Bartrum excludes this marriage from his charts, together with her alleged mother. But we suggest
that Sian was the daughter of Maredudd ap Bleddyn ap Madog ap Cadwgan of Rhos, with her father being a brother of Cadwgan
of Nannau, a family consistently but wrongly attributed to Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Such an identification easily fits this
marriage into the timeline for a Cadafael Yfnyd born c. 1160:
Cadwgan Elystan Glodrydd 990
Madog Cadwgan 1020
Bleddyn Iorwerth 1060
Maredudd Trahaearn 1090
1140 Sian========Iorwerth 1125
1165 Arianwen===========Cadafael 1160
Trahaearn ap Caradog left
the Lordship of Arwystli to his eldest son, Owain, and the Lordship of Cydewain to another son, Llywarch. At the death of Llywarch, the Lordship passed to Robert even though he was not the eldest
son. That Robert ap Llywarch was succeeded by his eldest son, Maredudd ap Robert, who had no legitimate
sons. The Lordship of Cydewain was confirmed to his nephew, Maredudd ap Robert ap Robert. The mother of that Maredudd ap Robert ap Robert is cited as "Sioned ferch Samuel ap Cadafael".
However, Robert ap Robert was born c. 1145 and requires a wife born c. 1155/60. She thus appears to be a sister of the
Cadafael at the top of the Meyrick pedigrees, not a granddaughter. Thus:
1100 Cadafael Ynfyd
Robert ap Robert 1190 Samuel
Although the extant Meyrick
pedigrees begin with the c. 1160 Cadafael, the misplacement of Sioned which lead us to the above construction also provides
an explanation for why Robert ap Llywarch was made Lord of Cydewain when he apparently was not the eldest son. We suspect
the chart of that family looks like this:
Trahaearn ap Caradog
1100 First son
1143 Maredudd 1145 Robert==Sioned 1160
Maredudd obit 1244
If that "first son"
was Cadafael, and he is the one who was called "the fool", we suspect that when Llywarch died c. 1145, King Madog ap Maredudd
of Powys would not confirm the Lordship of Cydewain to him (due to his mental disorder) but settled it instead on his
younger brother, Robert ap Llywarch. Thus, we think Cadafael held his lands in Cydewain by inheritance but was never
its Lord. Nor was he a judge at the Court of Powys. While it is possible that his same-named grandson was a judge,
we think this notion only came from those who distorted "ynfyd" into "ynad".
The c. 1190 Samuel ap Cadafael
married a lady distantly related to his mother: Eigr ferch Madog ap Maelgwn ap Cadwallon ap Madog ap Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan
Glodrydd. From the Ceri branch of that family, Eigr was born c. 1205. Their son Madog was born c. 1220 and he
married Efa ferch Maredudd Fychan ap Rhys ap Maredudd Hen ap Hywel....that Hywel being a base son of King Maredudd ap Bleddyn
Lewys Dwnn, ignoring the
family timelines, claims that Madog ap Samuel ap Cadafael "sold" the Lordship of Cydewain to Maredudd ap Robert "his nephew".
But not only did Madog not ever hold the Lordship, he could not have been past his mid-20's when Maredudd ap Robert died.
Even his father was younger than Maredudd. It was Madog who was a great-nephew of Maredudd...his father's aunt Sioned
was the mother of Maredudd. Apparently, Dwnn was conjecturing a reason why the Lordship of Cydewain was historically
known to have been held by Maredudd, not someone descended from Cadafael.
When we look at the pedigree
of this Maredudd, a careless genealogist might assume his wife's brother was the father of Madog's wife; both ladies
were called "Efa ferch Maredudd Fychan":
1065 Maredudd ap Bleddyn
1130 Maredudd Hen
1160 Maredudd Fychan
1190 Efa 1205
1175 Maredudd ap Robert ap Robert
Madog ap Samuel
The actual text of the
pedigree which Dwnn cites for the wife of Madog ap Samuel reads "Efa ferch Maredudd Fychan ap Maredudd
ap Rhys ap Maredudd Hen"; if Dwnn thought her father was a sister of Maredudd ap Robert's wife, then he should have said
Madog was the nephew of Maredudd ap Robert, not the reverse. In fact, the men did nothing more than marry ladies who
were first-cousins once-removed. There are several reasons why we delete Maredudd as the father of Maredudd Fychan ap
Rhys, all shown by the timeline:
Maredudd Fychan (the father-in-law
of Madog ap Samuel) married Lleuci ferch Hywel ap Iorwerth ap Ieuaf ap Ninniaw of Hafod y Wern, a lady born c. 1220.
The son of Maredudd Fychan, Hywel, married Mali ferch Gronwy ap Iorwerth ap Hywel ap Moreiddig ap Sandde Hardd, a lady
born c. 1250. Lleuci, daughter of Hywel ap Maredudd Fychan, married Madog Goch ap Ieuaf ap Cuhelyn ap Rhun ap Einion
Efell, a man born c. 1270. These marriages date Maredudd Fychan c. 1205, Hywel c. 1240 and Lleuci c. 1270 and
confirm there was no generation between him and Rhys ap Maredudd Hen. Rather than weigh in on the dispute, Peter Bartrum
simply says Dwnn added "fictitious material" to Cadafael's pedigree, and wholly ignores Rhys ap Maredudd Hen and his descendants
from his charts.
To confirm our timeline
for the family of Cadafael, we shall continue for several generations after Madog ap Samuel. His son was Tudor born
c. 1250, who married Nest ferch Tudor ap Llewelyn ap Caswallon ap Hywel ap Owain Gwynedd, a lady born c. 1265.
Their son, Iorwerth, was born c. 1285 and his son Dafydd c. 1315. The son of Dafydd was Iorwerth born c. 1345 and he married Annes ferch Robin Fychan. His family is unknown, but Annes' mother
was Lleuci ferch Gruffudd ap Madog ap Iorwerth Goch descended from Cilmin Droed Ddu, a lady born c. 1325 and her daughter
Anne would follow c. 1350.
The son of this Dafydd ap Iorwerth,
born c. 1375, was Einion Sais of Bodorgan, born c. 1405. Early writers claim he was "usher of the palace of Sheen
in the early part of the reign of Henry VI". This king's first reign was 1422-1461, so an Einion Sais
in his 20's is consistent with that claim. And his nickname is consistent with a Welshman who served an English king.
Heilyn ap Einion Sais, born c. 1435,
was the father of Llewelyn, a man born c. 1465 who is said to have fought at Bosworth for Henry Tudor in 1485, and whose son
Meurig was captain of the bodyguard of Henry VIII. That king ruled from 1509 to 1547, so a Meurig born c. 1495/1500
would fit that role.
Accordingly, we date Cadafael
Ynfyd to c. 1100, his grandson Cadafael to c. 1160 and his male descendants follow in normal sequence down to 1500.
Our only deviation from the Meyrick pedigrees comes in the 14th century where the cited marriage data identifies two omitted
generations. The usual pedigree of Einion Sais omits one pair of 'Dafydd ap Iorwerth' in his correct ancestry of Einion
Sais ap Dafydd ap Iorwerth ap Dafydd ap Iorwerth ap Tudor ap Madog ap Samuel ap Cadafael.