#15 - MAENYRCH
Bartrum presents 5 pedigrees for the
man of this name who was father to Bleddyn, king of Brycheiniog:
(1) "Bleddyn ap Maenyrch ap
Kynydd ap Elystan glodrydd"
(2) "Bleddyn ap Maenyrch ap
Drem bennawc ap Tryffin ap Drem ap Ku ap Gwenku ap Edvedd ap Sedd gyvedd ap Gwyngad ap Nos ap Hoyw ap Gloyw ap Caw ap Cowrda
ap Caradoc vreichvras ap Llyr merini"
(3) "Bleddyn ap Maenyrch (ap
Drum) ap Dryffin ap Hoyw ap Gloyw ap Ku ap Gwynku ap Anarawd ap Tangwydd ap Tegid ap Teithwalch ap Tathal ap Keindec ap Kynvarch
(ap Hoyw ap Gloyw) ap Kaw ap Kowrda ap Kradoc freichfras"
(4) "Bleddyn ap Maenyrch ap Drum ap Dryffin ap
Hoyw ap Gloyw ap Ku and Gwynku (ap Hoyw ap Gloyw) ap Kaw ap Kowrda ap Kariadoc freichfras"
(5) "Bleddyn ap Maenyrch ap Ku ap Gwnku ap Hoyw
ap Gloyw ap Trum ap Tryffin (ap Ku ap Gwynku) ap Kaw ap Kowdr[a] ap Kariadoc vreichfras"
Bartrum's notes to these pedigrees
"Maenyrch is described as Distein
o Vrecheinoc (Pen 132 p. 128). He was father of Bleddyn, of who it is said:
'ar bedwredd vlwyddyn o wladychrwydd William Goch vrenin Lloyger i lladded y Belddyn hwnn gida Rys ap Tewdwr ymrw-wydyr y
Battail garllaw glann Wysc trwy ryfel Barned Nywmark a Syr Reinallt Awbre ar marchogion Ffrengig erraill.' (Mostyn 212b p. 129m similarly Llyfr Baglan pp. 120-1, 237, 268)
"Battle is about 3 miles
WNW of Brecon. This is an amplification of ByT p. 33 recording the death of Rhys ap Tewdwr. The corrected date
is 1093. The wife of Bleddyn ap Maenyrch is said to have been Elen, the sister of Rhys ap Tewdwr. (Mostyn 212b p. 129,
Harl 2414 fo, 32r, Dwnn i.42, 107). Other sons of Maenyrch were Trymbenog and Madog. The genealogies are consistent
in putting the birth of Maenyrch in about 1010. Rhys Goch of Ystrad Yw is sometimes made a son of Maenyrch"
"[pedigrees (1) and (2)] gained
no currency. The commonest versions were [pedigree (3)] and its shorter form [pedigree (4)]. [pedigree (5)] takes names
from [pedigree (3)] but in a different order".
There is nothing to recommend
this construction. Elystan Glodrydd was associated with Buillt but not Brycheiniog, and he had no son named Cunedda.
He was born c. 990, and any grandson on his would not occur earlier than c. 1050. Maenyrch the father of Bleddyn was
born c. 1015.
While the 5 early generations
ending with Caradog Freich Fras are confirmed in other sources, most of the names which separate those men from Maenyrch are
otherwise unknown. The name "Drem bennawc" in this pedigree, and "Drum" in two others, is probably "Drymbenog" who was
a brother of Bleddyn and son of Maenrych. In any event, the pedigree is at least two generations short to reach back
to Caradog Freich Fras.
Most, but not all, of the
names we would insert between the c. 1015 Maenyrch and the c. 475 Caradog Freich Fras are found in this pedigree. Bartrum
would delete one pair of "Hoyw ap Gloyw", but chose the wrong pair. The early portion of the pedigree is correct with
"Keindec/Cyndeg ap Cynfarch ap Hoyw ap Gloyw ap Caw ap Cowrda ap Caradog Freich Fras" and the section "ap Gwynku/Gwenddy ap
Anarawd ap Tangwydd ap Tegid ap Teithwalch" is also correct. The father of Maenyrch was Dryffin, so "Drum" was correctly
striken from the pedigree. The "Ku" seen in several of these pedigrees probably represents "Hwgan", a name which does
occur twice in the correct pedigree of Maenyrch.
This abbreviated version of
Pedigree (3) adds nothing to the search for a credible set of ancestors, but omits several names which belong in the pedigree.
There is nothing to like
about this version, and it contains far too few names to link Maenyrch to Caradog Freich Fras.
The paragraph which Bartrum
cites from Mostyn 212b, 129 says:
"In the 4th year of the
reign of William Rufus, king of England, was the killing of Bleddyn and Rhys ap Tewdwr in an engagement at Battle on the banks
of the Wye, with warriors Bernard Newmarch and Sir Reginald Aubrey and other Norman knights"
The year stated,
1091, comes from early translations of the Brut which scholars have adjusted to 1093.
The father of Rhys Goch
of Ystrad Yw was named Maenyrch, but a wholly different man than the one who had a son, Bleddyn. His ancestry will
be examined in Patriarch #16 of this series.
Bartrum did not, in his
notes to this pedigree, mention a wife for Maenyrch. But in his later work, he anachronistically gives him a wife who
he dates as c. 1100. Actually that lady, Elen ferch Einion ap Selyf, was born c. 980 and married a wholly different
Maenyrch ap Dryffin. Both Elen and her Maenyrch were a part of the Irish Deisi tribe which ruled Brychieniog prior to
c. 800 and were lords of Cantref Selyf thereafter.
In our charts, we have
followed the pedigree offered by Theophilius Jones when collated with that given in Llyfr Baglan to arrive at:
Bleddyn (c. 1045) ap Maenyrch
(c. 1015) ap Dryffin (c. 980) ap Hwgan (c. 945) ap Gwynngy (c. 910) ap Hydd Hwgan (c. 875) ap Gwenddy (c. 840) ap Anarawd
(c. 805) ap Tangwydd (c. 775) ap Tegid (c. 740) ap Teithwalch (c. 705) ap Cyndegg (c. 670) ap Cynfarch (c. 640) ap Hoyw (c.
605) ap Gloyw (c. 575) ap Caw (c. 540) ap Cawrdaf (c. 505) ap Caradog Freich Fras (c. 475).
NOTICE: We published a later paper about the men named Maenyrch, which
can be seen at this link: