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Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys
                                     OWAIN BROGYNTYN AND HIS FAMILY
                                                 By Darrell Wolcott
     Owain was a base son of Madog ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn, king of Powys from 1132 to 1160.  Madog fathered several legitimate sons [1] by his wife, Susanna ferch Gruffudd ap Cynan, and 3 base sons by one or more mistresses.  In 1149, Madog built a castle at Oswestry [2] in what is now Shropshire.  He had a known mistress, Efa ferch Madog ap Urien ap Eginyr of Maesbrook, a manor 4 miles south of Oswestry.  This Efa was the mother of twin boys [3], known as Einion Efell and Cynwrig Efell, the Welsh word for "twin".
     According to Gutun Owain (c.1430x1500), it was another mistress by whom Madog fathered Owain Brogyntyn.  In Peniarth Ms 131, 83, this writer calls her "daughter of a nobleman of Rug", while in his tract "Rhandiroedd Powys", he calls her "daughter of Y Maer Du" or "the black Mayor".  Rug was a manor near Corwen in Edeyrnion, then a part of Powys.
     No historian mentions where this base son of Madog was born, but all agree he was raised at Porkington, Shropshire, a place the Welsh call Brogyntyn, located about 3 miles northwest of Oswestry.  We would normally expect the base son of a 12th century Welsh nobleman to remain with his mother during his infant and adolescent years, even if his father publicly acknowledged the boy as his son.  It seems more reasonable to assume the boy's mother was actually a lady living at Brogyntyn, rather than some 15 miles west at Rug.
     We suggest our 15th century writer misidentified the Owain which he found in his sources, that it was actually Owain Brogyntyn who had a base son named Owain by a lady of Rug.  Our reasons will become evident as we discuss his family.
     Owain Brogyntyn was born c. 1140 and was barely in his twenties when his father died. [4]  Madog must have admired this son, who he knew had no chance of succeeding as king of Powys, because he gave him the lordship of two commotes: Dinmael and Edeyrnion.  While this included only a handful of actual manors in those commotes, it provided a steady income stream of assessments, fines, milling fees, etc. which were levied on the inhabitants who actually owned most of the land.  About 1167, Owain married Sioned ferch Hywel ap Madog ap Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd, [5] possibly a base daughter.  Her father had been killed in 1142, according to the Brut entry for that year, could not have yet been 30 years old and no marriage is anywhere cited for him.
     Sioned proved fruitless, so Owain Brogyntyn was childless when the marriage ended c. 1170 either by divorce or her early death.  He soon remarried a young widow, Marged ferch Einion ap Seisyll [6], whose husband Thomas ap Henry ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn had died after fathering a single child. [7]  In the years 1170 to 1176, she bore sons Bleddyn, Iorwerth and Gruffudd and a daughter, Efa, to Owain Brogyntyn.  While Marged was busy raising her brood, we suggest Owain took a fancy to the young lady of Rug we mentioned earlier. Her father, whose name is nowhere given, was one of the landowners who contributed to Owain's income stream, and he likely agreed to help his young daughter raise the son she bore to Owain c. 1180.  The boy was named Owain after his father, but acquired the nickname "fain" or "slender" as he approached manhood. [8]
     Marged's child by her first husband was named Caradog ap Thomas, and he grew up in the same household with his half-brothers, the legitimate sons of Owain Brogyntyn.  Shortly before 1200, Caradog ap Thomas and Bleddyn ap Owain married sisters, Efa and Marged, daughters of Gwyn ap Gruffudd, Lord of Cegidfa. [9]
      Owain Brogyntyn is known to have still been alive in 1188 [10] and his obit is not recorded.  He endowed his sons as follows:
      His eldest son, Bleddyn, was given the Lordship of Dinmael.  The Lordship of Edeyrnion was divided with a moity going to each Gruffudd and Iorwerth. [11]  However, he excluded the manor of Rug and 4 adjoining parishes by making it the separate Lordship of Y Rug, to be held for his base son, Owain Fain, until his coming of age.  While this "intrusion" into their lordship likely did not please the brothers Iorwerth and Gruffudd, Bleddyn was apparently fond of his young half-brother and agreed to protect Y Rug from any claims staked by the others.
       One can easily see the manner in which the family of Owain Fain paid homage to Bleddyn by naming sons in honor of him and his sons, and continued doing so for 5 generations:


(a)  He married Marged (1185) ferch Gwyn III (1150) ap Gruffudd III (1115) [12]
(b)  He married Elen daughter of Roger Ingram, ancestry unknown [13] 
(c)  He married Marged (1290) ferch Madog Crupl (1260) ap Gruffudd Farwn Gwyn (1225) descended from Madog ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn  [14]
(d)  He married Angharad (1325) ferch Cynwrig Sais (1295) ap Ithel Fychan (1260) ap Ithel Gam (1220) descended from Maredudd ap Uchdryd Cyfeiliog ap Uchdryd ap Edwin  [15]
(e)  He married Angharad (1355) ferch Rhys (1320) ap Robert (1290) ap Gruffudd (1260) descended from Ednyfed Fychan.  [16]  He also married Angharad (1355) daughter of Richard Puleston (1325) son of Roger Puleston (1295)  [17] 
(f) He married Myfannwy (1385) ferch Gruffudd (1350) ap Owain (1320) ap Dafydd (1290) ap Gruffudd (1260) descended from Gruffudd of Hendwr  [18] 
(g)  He married Gwerfyl (1395) ferch Madog (1365) ap Maredudd (1335) ap Llewelyn Ddu (1300) ap Gruffudd (1265) ap Iorwerth Foel (1225) descended from Tudor Trefor  [19]
(h)  She married Richard ap Ithel of unknown ancestry  [20] 
(j)  He married Gwenllian (1425) ferch Twna (1395) ap Ieuan (1365) descended from Cowryd ap Cadfan  [21]  He later married Marged (1405) ferch Robin (1360) ap Gruffudd Goch (1330) ap Dafydd (1295) descended from Marchudd ap Cynan  [22] 
(k)  He married Dyddgu (1450) ferch Dafydd Llwyd (1415) ap Hywel (1380) ap Tudor (1345) ap Gronwy (1315) descended from Rhiryd Flaidd  [23]
(m)  She married Llewelyn Fychan (1420) ap Ieuan Llwyd (1390) ap Llewelyn Goch (1360) ap Ieuaf Goch (1330) descended from Lles Llyddog  [24]
        Evidence that the admiration these families had for each other was mutual, is seen when the "senior" family member Dafydd c.1315 failed to have a son whose name could be repeated by his namesake (the Dafydd of c.1345).  They waited another generation and then the "senior" line began to copy names first used by the "junior" line.
        Virtually all citations for both our charted families trace back to a "Bleddyn ap Owain", and most assumed their Owain was the one called "Brogyntyn".  Peter Bartrum followed the earlier historians in conflating the two families by ignoring the timeline.  This conflation included rolling the 3 men named Hywel ap Gruffudd (born c.1280, 1310 and 1340) into a single man.  He also conflated the 3 men named Dafydd ap Hywel (born c. 1315, 1345 and 1370).  We have not seen a single source which calls the c.1210 Bleddyn "ap Owain Fain ap Owain Brogyntyn".  We make that connection based on the fact that this Bleddyn occurs on the timeline as a grandson of Owain Brogyntyn, and the most likely error in the citations is to assume that his father Owain was the same Owain who fathered the c. 1171 Bleddyn.
        There is one other instance of pedigree corruption in the family of "Bleddyn ap Owain" which we should address here.  It concerns the family line which produced brothers named John Wynn and Richard Vaughan of Dudleston c. 1520:
                                  1140  Owain Brogyntyn 
                        l                                                      l
         1171  Bleddyn                                  1180  Owain Fain
                        l                                                      l
          1205  Owain                                     1210  Bleddyn
                        l                                                      l
          1240  Hywel                                     1240  Owain
                        l                                                      l
         1270  Iorwerth                                   1280  Hywel (a)
                        l                                                      l
           1305  Ieuaf                                     1310  Idnerth
                        l                                                      l
                        . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1340  Hwfa
                                                                1370  Iorwerth (b)
                                                                 1400  Dafydd (c)
                                                                1430  Gruffudd (d)
                                                                  1460  Madog (e)
                                                                  1490  Dafydd (f)
                                       l                                                  l
                       1520  John Wynn                    1522  Richard Vaughan
   (a)  He is a brother of the c.1275 Gruffudd from the family on the right in our first chart
    (b)  He married Gwerfyl (1380) ferch Madog (1350) ap Gronwy (1315) ap Gruffudd (1285) ap Madog (1255) ap Iorwerth (1225) ap Madog (1190) ap Rhiryd Flaidd  [25]
    (c)  He married Marged (1405) ferch Madog Goch (1370) ap Madog (1340) ap Heilyn (1305) ap Trahaearn (1275) ap Iddon (1245) ap Heilyn (1210) ap Trahaearn (1180) ap Iddon (1155) ap Rhys Sais II  [26]
    (d)  His wife is unknown.  Many pedigrees cite her as Marged (1465) ferch Y Bady (1430) ap Hywel (1400) ap Ieuan Fychan (1370) ap Ieuan Gethin (1335) ap Madog Kyffin, but such a lady would be even younger than his son, Madog [27]
    (e)  He married Isabella (1465) ferch and heiress of Dafydd (1430) ap Einion Fychan (1400) ap Ednyfed (1370) ap Iorwerth (1340) ap Gronwy Ddu (1310) ap Morgan (1275) ap Iddon (1245) ap Morgan (1215) ap Trahaearn (1180) ap Iddon (1153) ap Rhys Sais II.  She brought Pentre Morgan in Salop to her husband and son.  [28]
    (f)  He married Marged (1490) ferch Dafydd (1455) ap Llewelyh (1420) ap Maredudd Fychan (1390) ap Maredudd (1360) ap Gruffudd (1330) ap Deio (1295) ap Iolyn (1265) ap Llewelyh (1235) ap Madog (1200) ap Einion (1165) ap Hywel Foel (1130) ap Hwfa (1095) ap Ithel Felyn (1065) ap Llewelyn Fychan (1035) ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog  [29]
        Pedigrees in the 1623 Visitation of Shropshire p. 514 and Peniarth Ms 287, 356 give the ancestry shown of the right side of the above chart, except they both say the father of Bleddyn was Owain Brogyntyn rather than Owain Fain.  A later pedigree by John Davies found in BM Add Ms 9865 (and cited in Powys Fadog iii, 403) agrees for the men born later than 1340, but makes Hwfa a son of Ieuaf ap Iorwerth who is shown on the left in our chart.  That construction would derive the family from Bleddyn ap Owain Brogyntyn (and not from Owain Fain), but we suspect its compiler realized the earlier pedigrees were a generation too short and "solved" that problem with his alternate construction.
         While our own charts follow the ancestry shown on the right side of the chart, the reader is encouraged to make his own choice...both "work" chronologically.

[1]  ABT 12 mentions Susanna as the mother of Gruffudd Maelor, Owain Fychan and Elisse, but there may have been 3 more sons (Llewelyn, Iorwerth and Hywel) whose mother is not cited.
[2]  ByT entry for 1149
[3]  Dwnn ii, 27; Pen 127,167
[4]  ByT 1160 includes the obit of Madog
[5]  Dwnn ii, 109
[6]  ibid
[7]  Pen 287, 8532 cites her first marriage corruptly as "Thomas ap Rhodri".  The child of that marriage was Caradog ap  Thomas.  See the paper "Henry the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn" at the link below:
[8]  Pen 135, 424 cites "Owain Fain ap Owain Brogyntyn" but nothing further about him.  The famiilies we attach to him include one "of Rug", the manor of the lady we identify as Owain Fain's mother.
[9]  Dwnn ii, 69 cites Efa's marriage, while Dwnn ii, 109 & 122 cite Marged's marriage
[10] Dict of Welsh Biography, p. 690
[11] Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1884, p. 293
[12] Dwnn ii, 109 & 122
[13] Dwnn ii, 111
[14] Pen 131, 185/186
[15] ibid
[16] ibid
[17] Pen 128, 177b
[18] Pen 131, 153
[19] Pen 131, 183
[20] Pen 131, 71
[21] ibid
[22] Pen 131, 178
[23] Pen 131, 107 & 287
[24] Pen 131, 153; Pen 134. 85
[25] Pen 287, 356
[26] 1623 Vis. Shropshire, 514/516; Powys Fadog iii, 403
[27] ibid, perhaps the lady was a sister of Y Badi
[28] ibid
[29] ibid