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Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                    EIDIO WYLLT - WHAT WAS HIS BIRTHNAME?
                                           By Darrell Wolcott
 
         Also called "Idio Wyllt" by some sources, this Irishman is said to have come to Brycheiniog about 1090 to assist Rhys ap Tewdwr in his attempts to expel the Norman, Bernard Newmarch.  For his services, he was granted the manor of Llywel in Brecknock's Cantref Mawr[1].  Citations make him the son of Sitric ap Anlaf (Olaf) ap Sitric Silkbeard of Dublin, Ireland[2].  Thus Eidio's father was a brother of Rhanillt, the lady who married the refugee from Gwynedd, Cynan ap Idwal, and was mother to the first Gruffudd ap Cynan[3].  Eidio's mother was Nest ferch Tewdwr ap Cadell[4], so Rhys ap Tewdwr was his uncle.  Although Brecknock was ultimately lost to Newmarch in 1093, Eidio and his descendants continued to hold Llywel for several generations.  Other branches of his family later settled in neighboring Ystrad Tywy at Perfedd, Cantref Bychan and in Caeo, Cantref Mawr.
 
          Charts of his maternal family suggest he was born c. 1065 and came to assist his uncle as a man in his mid-20's:
 
                               820  Rhodri Mawr
                                           l
                                850  Cadell
                                           l
                               880  Hywel Dda
                                           l
                                 910  Owain
                                           l
                                 940  Einion
                                           l
                                980  Cadell
                                           l
                               1015  Tewdwr
                        ___________l________
                        l                                 l
             1045  Rhys                1045  Nest====Sitric  1030
                                                                l
                                                 1065  Eidio Wyllt
 
         Eidio married a Brecknock lady, Elen ferch Drymboenig ap Maenyrch ap Dryffin[5]; her father was a younger brother of Bleddyn ap Maenyrch, king of Brycheiniog until he was killed by Newmarch in 1093 (along with his ally, Rhys ap Tewdwr).  Elen was born c. 1080, so her marriage to Eidio would have been after Newmarch's final conquest.  This suggests that both the brother of Bleddyn and the nephew of Rhys were able to remain alive and keep possession of at least some of their lands by acknowledging Newmarch as their new Lord.
 
          Our query as to the birthname of Eidio arises when we begin to place his sons and their descendants on their likely timeline.  We find one branch of his family headed by Mabon ap Golwg Goch[6], another headed by Ysbwys ap Golwg Goch[7] and a third branch headed by Madog ap Golwg Goch[8].  In each case, Golwg Goch is cited as a son of Eidio Wyllt.  However, Mabon, Ysbwys and Madog could not chronologically be grandsons of Eidio.  The marriages cited in the families descended from Mabon and Ysbwys date the birth of those men as c. 1095/1100, about where we should expect to find sons of Eidio.  Even more curious is that the same analysis would date Madog to c. 1065....and these are precisely how Peter Bartrum dated the three men, all of which he nevertheless charted as grandsons of Eidio Wyllt[9].
 
          Our initial suggestion is that Golwg Goch was not a son of Eidio at all, but merely another nickname given him as in "Eidio Wyllt y Golwg Goch".  "Wyllt" itself is a descriptive nickname meaning "wild".  Golwg Goch simply means "red eyes".  While this solution would chronologically allow Mabon and Ysbwys to occur as sons of Eidio, the third man, Madog, appears to have been born about the same year as Eidio and could not be a son of his.  We posit that his citations should read "Madog y Golwg Goch" and not "Madog ap Golwg Goch".  Accordingly, we think the birthname of Eidio Wyllt was not Eidio at all, but was Madog.  While most citations for Caradog ap Madog continue with "ap Eidio Wyllt", one simply ends with "Caradog ap Golwg Goch"[10] suggesting that Madog and Golwg Goch were the same person. 
 
           There are no other occurrances of a male name "Eidio" in either Irish or Welsh genealogies, and we believe the man born as Madog was usually known as "the wild steer".  The bovine raised for its meat, rather than its milk, was called "eidion" by the Welsh, a word now applied to beef.  Like the image of a cattle stampede of the Old West, we suggest this young warrior was dubbed "the wild steer" in his youth, but later in life was often referred to as "with red eyes", perhaps because he was a hard drinker of mead. 
 
         One additional early "generation" is inserted into some pedigrees of this family[11].  A "Bywal" sometimes is cited as a son of Eidio and father to Golwg Goch.  We think it reasonably certain this was not a person at all, merely a corrupt rendition of Llywel.  An early citation likely mentioned a "Mabon ap Golwg Goch o Llywel" which was copied as "Mabon ap Golwg Goch ap Bywal". 
 
           With this proposed solution, the men in the charts will adhere to a common timeline:
 
                1065  Madog eidio wyllt y golwg goch o Llywel
                       _____________l________________
                       l                      l                              l
         1095  Mabon     1100 Ysbwys           1095  Caradog
                       l                      l                              l
     1130  Gwrgeneu   1130 Tegwared       1125  Rhiwallon
                       l                      l                              l
       1160  Gruffudd   1160 Cadwgan         1160  Hoedliw
                       l                      l                              l
   1195  Cadwgan Hen  1195 Owain         1195  Trahaearn
 
          Probably the best-known branch of this family was that residing at Rhydoden in Caeo, Ystrad Tywy.  An heiress descended from Cadifor ap Selyf appears to have carried that manor to Trahaearn ap Hoedliw, by her marriage to him c. 1225[12]. 
 
           

NOTES:
[1] Robert Williams "A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen", 1852, p 236
[2] Genealogies included in the 13th century Historia Gruffudd vab Cynan
[3] ibid note 2
[4] Dwnn i, 224
[5] Llyfr Baglan, 89; Dwnn i, 224
[6] Pen. 131, 246 & 304; Pen. 132, 126 & 173
[7] Pen. 131, 248; Pen. 132, 125 & 127
[8] Pen. 133, 52 & 306
[9] Peter C. Bartrum, "Welsh Genealogies AD300-1400", vol 2, chart Eidio 1
[10] Dwnn ii. 31
[11] See Dwnn i, 95, 187 & 225
[12] Dwnn 1, 20 cites "Joan ferch Gruffudd ap Meurig Goch of Caeo" married "Trahaearn ap Hoedliw ap Rhiwallon"; this lady was born c. 1210.  Pen. 131, 263 extends her ancestry as "Gruffudd ap Meurig Goch ap Gruffudd ap Cadifor ap Selyf"