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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
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

                                        ANCIENT LORDSHIP OF GOWER
                                                By Darrell Wolcott
 
         The territory comprising early Gower was a portion of the Deisi kingdom of Dyfed, being the lands roughly situated between the rivers Tywi and Tawe.  In the era of Hywel Dda, it comprised the commotes Iscennen, Cydweli, Carnwyllion and Ynys Tawe...the latter also called "Lower Gower", the peninsula jutting south into the Bristol Channel.  It is the same territory some medieval writers wrongly called Rheged.
 
         That notion comes from an early claim by the Rice family of Newton that their paternal ancestor was Urien Rheged ap Cynfarth Oer, a king of north Britain in the 6th century.  That family asserts their 13th century ancestor, Elidyr II ap Elidyr, styled himself "fitz-Urien" whom they took to mean Urien Rheged.  Various medieval writers expanded the claim to say that Urien had been forced from his northern kingdom by Saxon incursions, relocated to south Wales where he expelled the Irish from Gower and renamed it after his old kingdom[1].
 
         As we argued in another paper[2], the ancestor of the Rice family was actually a 9th century man from Rhos named Pasgen ap Urien who was wholly unrelated to the 6th century Urien Rheged.  That Pasgen was granted the lordship of Gower and "was lord of Cydweli, Carnwyllion, Iscennen and all Gower, and he made all the castles within its boundries"[3].  So why was this refugee from Gwynedd not only welcomed in south Wales, but eventually granted a Lordship?
 
         Return with us to the early years of the 9th century; Merfyn Frych entered Anglesey in 816 to expel Hywel ap Caradog, claiming it as the maternal grandson of Cynan Tindaethwy, the last male heir of the First Gwynedd Dynasty.  One assumes Hywel retreated to his paternal lands of Rhos, but probably refused to recognize Merfyn's right to rule any of Gwynedd.  Hywel himself was descended from a junior branch of the Cunedda Dynasty[4] and was a distant cousin of Cynan Tyndaethwy, while Merfyn Frych was only related through his mother.  We are told that Hywel died in 825, but he was only a man near 40 so Merfyn may have had a hand in his demise.  In any event, Hywel's sons were only 5/10 years old in 825, so we suspect Merfyn Frych extended his rule to their appanage of Gwynedd east of the river Conwy.
 
          History is silent about events of the next 20 years, but we would posit that the two sons of Hywel (Caradog and Urien) were raised at Merfyn's manor; when the eldest reached full age, he was granted the lordship of Rhos and history knows him as Caradog Fraich Fras[5].  Since Merfyn died, or was killed in battle, in 844 it was probably Rhodri Mawr ap Merfyn who allowed Caradog to rule most of his father's lands.  We further would conjecture that the younger boy, Urien ap Hywel, was given a sister of Rhodri for his wife.   The putative son of such a marriage was Pasgen ap Urien, who was residing in Rhos late in the 9th century when the Danes invaded it[6].  The Lord of Rhos was his first-cousin, Gwgan Gleddyfrydd ap Caradog Fraich Fras who fell battling the Danes.  Thus, about 892/893, Pasgen took his two young sons (Ynyr and Gwrgan) and fled; his eldest son, Llewelyn, was already 14 years old and no longer at his father's bed and board.  That Pasgen fled to the south of Wales seems certain, but who welcomed him there and why?
 
          If our suggestion concerning the wife of Urien is correct, then Pasgen would have been a first-cousin of the sons of Rhodri Mawr.  While Anarawd and Merfyn ap Rhodri held lands in northwest Wales and were themselves under attack by Danish sea raiders, Cadell ap Rhodri had moved to Ceredigion to look after his mother following the death of Rhodri Mawr.  We suggest it was his cousin Cadell who gave shelter to Pasgen and his young sons. Cadell had married a sister of Llywarch ap Hyfaidd, King of Dyfed, and had a son named Hywel who was near the age of Pasgen's sons.  Within the space of a half-generation, Llywarch and his brother were both dead; about 905, Hywel ap Cadell married the heiress of Dyfed, Elen ferch Lywarch[7]. 
 
          This chart shows the conjectural relationship of Pasgen with the family of Rhodri Mawr:
 
                  790  Merfyn Frych                   785  Hywel of Rhos
               __________l_______                ________l_______
               l                           l                l                       l
820  Rhodri Mawr       835  daughter====Urien 821        Caradog 820
               l                                     l                      Freich Fras
     855  Cadell                      850  Pasgen
 
 
         Although the ruling family of Dyfed became extinct in 904, there were junior cadets of the old Deisi Dynasty still holding appanages of that kingdom.  Seisyll ap Cynfyn was lord of Gower with his manor in Cydweli; he had descended from Teudos ap Cadwgan ap Caten of the early 8th century.  When Hywel ap Cadell (later known as Hywel Dda) began to assemble his new kingdom of Deheubarth about 910, we think he installed Pasgen (and his now adult sons) in Gower to bring it within the "family" and loyal to Hywel's rule.  It is possible, however, this move occurred as early as 904 at the instigation of Cadell if we assume Cadell ruled Dyfed from 904 until his death in 910.
 
          Pasgen ap Urien likely died shortly after 910 and his son Ynyr become Lord of Gower[8].  His descendants included Einion ap Llywarch of Iscennin[9], the later Gruffudd ap Nicholas of Dinefwr and the illustrious Sir Rhys ap Thomas.
 
        

NOTES:
[1] Iolo Ms, 457/458
[2] Refer to the paper "Pasgen ap 'Urien Rheged' Lord of Gower" elsewhere on this site
[3] Pen. 131, 295
[4] Harleian Ms 3859, 3
[5] This is the Caradog Freich Fras of Rhos, born c. 820, not the Caradog Freich Fras of Gwent born c. 475; see the paper "Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras" elsewhere on this site
[6] Refer to "The Retaking of Northeast Wales" elsewhere on this site
[7] The manner in which Cadell ap Rhodri Mawr and his son, Hywel Dda, usurped the kingdom of Dyfed, which included Ystrad Tywy, is related in the paper "The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg" elsewhere on this site.
[8] The authorities are divided as to whether Ynyr was the son of Pasgen and father of Mor, or if those names should be reversed yielding Ynyr ap Mor ap Pasgen
[9] For a fuller discussion of Pasgen's descendants in Deheubarth, see the paper "Einion ap Llywarch of Carmarthenshire" elsewhere on this site