LLEWELYN AP HOEDLIW, LORD OF IS CERDIN
By Darrell Wolcott
Although this seemed to
be a somewhat obscure man living in far south Ceredigion, we were intrigued by the fact that his pedigree is both of very
late date and traces to men otherwise unknown to the main body of Welsh pedigree material.
Three 18th century manuscripts
citing pedigrees of the gentry of Carmarthenshire, Cardigianshire and Pembrokeshire appear to be based on a common but unknown
source. The Dale Castle Ms (c. 1709), the Mabus Ms (c. 1720) and Peniarth Ms 156 (c. 1740) are almost identical in verbage
and arrangement, although each contains material not in the others likely added by the individual owners of each manuscript.
One authority expressed the opinion that Pen. 156 was written by the same hand as the Golden Grove book. The British
Genealogist of c. 1693 reproduced in Peniarth Ms. 120 also has a pedigree of Llewelyn ap Hoedliw and might have been
the source for the later copyist.
The relevant pedigree
reads "Llewelyn, Lord of Iscerdin ap Hoedliw ap Llawr ap Assur ap Dyfnfarch ap Morydd, king of Cardigan Anno Domini 830,
ab Llywarch Llwyd ab Carwed ab Gwgan ab Meirchion gul ab Gorwst ledlwm ab Ceneu ab Coel godebog".
The families descended
from Llewelyn ap Hoedliw point to a birthdate for him c. 1170 and he could not have been fifth from a king who was living in
AD 830, nor could a man living on that date be fourth from Meirchion Gul of c. 445. Our first emendment would delete
those names which follow "Gwgan ap Meirchion" on the probable grounds that the author of the pedigree mistook a
much later man named Meirchion for the well-known 5th century Man of the North. Secondly, we shall assume the family
was descended from some king of Ceredigion living in AD 830, but not the one described in that manner in this pedigree.
Our next emendation
comes from the observation that the names immediately preceeding Hoedliw in the pedigree are names found often among the southwest
Wales descendants of Tudwal Gloff, and the lands of Iscerdin lie adjacent to both Dyfed and Cantref Mawr. Thus we suggest
the "Morydd" in the pedigree was actually "Morfydd", a daughter of Llywarch Llwyd who married into a family descended from
When we examine
the family which ruled Cardigan from the 5th to the 9th centuries (men directly descended from Ceredig ap Cunedda), we find
the following chart:
600 Arthfoddw ap Bodgu
630 Arthglwys 630
735 Arthgen 720
Llywarch Llwyd 995
(a) King of Ceredigion who
drowned in 872, leaving no children
(b) We suggest this man
from a cousin line was chosen as the new king of Ceredigion in 872, NOT the husband of the sister of Gwgan ap Meurig as early
conjecture claims. Owain, his son, appears to have divided rule in Ceredigion between two sons: Teithwalch in the north
and Meirchion in the south
(c) This heiress lived in far north
Ceredigion and married a man from Meirionydd, Eunydd ap Cadifor, who was the ancestor of many families who acquired land in
Ceredigion from this marriage; these include Peredur Beisgwyn and Gwaithfoed of Ceredigion
(d) We posit that this heiress, who
lived in far south Ceredigion, married a man from Dyfed after which the ruling male line descended from Ceredig ap Cunedda
became extinct; overall rule in Ceredigion had been usurped by Hywel Dda early in the 10th century
Our choice for the husband of
Morfydd ferch Llywarch Llwyd is Uchdryd ap Aleth ap Llawr ap Aelan ap Alser ap Tudwal Gloff, a man born c. 1020 and ancestor
to Einion ap Celynin and other families. We suggest the following chart for the combined family:
865 Tudwal Gloff ap Rhodri Mawr
1030 Eunydd Gwyn 1020
l Llywarch Llwyd
1090 Blegoryd 1080
1150 Moriddig Fychan
*Other sons of Uchdryd ap Aleth (the
one born c. 1020) were Aleth and Gwrgeneu. Aleth was the father of Uchdryd ap Aleth of c. 1085. Gwrgeneu was the
grandfather of the Uchdryd ap Aleth of c. 1115 who was the ancestor of Einion ap Celynin of c. 1300. There were several
other men called Uchdryd ap Aleth among Tudwal's descendants
and Gwenllian had 3 sons: Richard, Llewelyn II and Rhys. Richard, born c. 1200, had only the daughters,
Lleuci and Arddun, who married the brothers Llewelyn Fychan and Rhys Gam ap Llewelyn Fychan. Those brothers were the
father and uncle of Rhys Chwith.
Llewelyn ap Llewelyn ap Hoedliw,
born c. 1205, was the great-grandfather of Lleuci ferch Richard ap Rhys who married a son of Rhys Chwith.
Lleuci was born about 1300; her husband Llewelyn was born c. 1285.
Rhys ap Llewelyn ap Hoedliw
had a great-great granddaughter, Gwerfyl ferch Gruffudd Gethin ap Maredudd ap Gruffudd, born c. 1340. She married Gwilym
Llwyd ap Gwilym ap Gruffudd Goch ap Gwilym ap Rhys ap Rhydderch ap Cadifor ap Dyfnwal. Cadifor ap Dyfnwal represents
one of the best-known lines to descend from Tudwal Gloff; he was born c. 1140 and battled against the Normans in south Wales
under the leadership of Lord Rhys, king of Deheubarth.
The Lordship of Is Cerdin was a civil
parish in the commote of Gwinionydd in far south Ceredigion, abutting both Dyfed and Ystrad Tywy. One would expect those
lands had been the inheritance of Dyfnfarch from his mother Morfydd ferch Llywarch Llwyd.