csawlogo.jpg

Home
Guidance Articles for Researchers
Single Family Analysis
Families of Mixed Origin
Family Pedigrees
Mis-identified Same-Named People in Wales
Battles and Historical Events
Ancient Welsh Territories
Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
Papers Related to Maxen Wledig
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
Men Descended from Tudwal Gloff
Royal Family of Gwent/ Glamorgan
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Glast and the Glastening
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
The Men of Collwyn ap Tangno of Lleyn
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
The Family of Trahaearn ap Caradog
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
Owain Brogyntyn and his Family
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Maredudd Gethin ap Lord Rhys
The 'Next Heir' of Morgan of Caerleon
Maredudd ap Ednowain Bendew
The Unknown Cadwgan

        WAS IESTYN AP GWRGAN THE FOUNDER OF ONE OF THE 5 ROYAL TRIBES
                                                By Darrell Wolcott
 
         In 1799, Philip Yorke of Erthig published his book "The Royal Tribes of Wales" in which he named 5 Welsh princes who, he said, represented the kingly family for each of the major Welsh kingdoms. [1]  His list of names (the spelling is his) included:
 
        1.  Gruffudd ap Cynan of Gwynedd
        2.  Rhys ap Tewdwr of South Wales (Deheubarth)
        3.  Bleddyn ap Cynfyn of Powys
        4.  Jestyn ap Gwrgant of Glamorgan
        5.  Aethelstan Glodrydd, between the Wye and Severn
 
        The earliest source we have seen for these names is a c. 1600 manuscript [2] written by Joseph Chaloner, in which this author claimed "Gutun Owain wrote with his own hand the book of pedigrees from which this book was copied word for word". [3]  Chaloner's copy contains the following list as "pump brehenllwydd Kymrau" or "five kingly tribes of Wales":
 
         1.  Gruffudd ap Conan yng wyned (in Gwynedd)
         2.  Bleddyn ap Kynfrig (no kingdom named)
         3.  Rys ap Tewdwr Mawr yn neheubarth (in Deheubarth)
         4.  Jestan ap Gwrgon (no kingdom named)
         5.  Elistan Glodrudd (no kingdom named)
 
         In 1487, Gutyn Owen wrote the manuscript which Chaloner says he copied. [4]  Gutyn's manuscript has since suffered the loss of several folios, but in 1500 a copy was hand made [5] which is still complete.  This copy, made 100 years earlier than Chaloner's copy, lists "pump brenhinllwth Kymry"[6] as:
 
         1.  Gruffudd ap Kynan yn Gwynedd
         2.  Rys ap Tewdwr Mawr yn Neheubarth
         3.  Bleddyn ap Kynvyn y Mhowys
         4.  Elystan Glodrydd rwng Gwy a Hafren
         5.  Caradoc ap Iestyn y Morgannwc
 
        While Yorke listed the same 5 men which appear in Chaloner's manuscript, he revised the spelling of some names and changed the sequence of two names just below the top of the list.  No one need quarrel with the manner in which the names are spelled, nor in which sequence they should appear, but we SHOULD consider it important that the earlier copy of Gutyn's manuscript doesn't cite the same 5 men.  Both of the later writers replaced "Caradog ap Iestyn" with his better-known father, Iestyn ap Gwrgan.
 
          When we seek other Morgannwg sources we find several manuscripts, written between the dates of Gutyn Owen's work and that of Chaloner's copy, which mention a "brenhinllwyth Morganwc". [7]  All of these begin their pedigree "Caradog ap Iestyn ap Gwrgan".  While they continue with the supposed ancestry of the first Iestyn (born c. 1045), [8] the son of that Iestyn is not known to head ANY ruling family.  We believe the Caradog ap Iestyn cited as one of the 5 "Founders" was the one who was Lord of Afan and fathered a son called Morgan Arglwydd, said Morgan known to have been living in 1175. [9]
 
        That Caradog ap Iestyn married Gwladys ferch Gruffudd ap Rhys, [10] a sister of Lord Rhys born c. 1120.  Thus, Caradog was likely born near 1105.  His son, Morgan, married Gwenllian ferch Ifor Bach. [11]  This lady was born c. 1145 and a birthdate near 1135 would fit their (Caradog and Gwladys) son, Morgan.  Accordingly, the Iestyn ap Gwrgan who fathered Caradog, Lord of Afan, was born c. 1075 and could not be the first man of that name in this family. [12]  In fact, one wife cited for an Iestyn ap Gwrgan was Dyddgu ferch Iorwerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd, a lady born about 1085. [13]  Therefore, we believe the "kingly family" of Morgannwg looks like this:
 
                                                  Elystan Glodrydd  990
                                                              l
                                                       Cadwgan 1020      Tewdwr  1015
                                                                  l                                l
                          1042  Gwrgan         Iorwerth 1055        Rhys  1045  
                                        l                    l                         l
                          1075  Iestyn=====Dyddgu 1085     Gruffudd  1085
                                        l                                              l
                         1105  Caradog===============Gwladys  1120
 
         The citations for Iestyn's marriage to Dyddgu only cite his ancestry back to Gwrgan ap Ithel, but this is far enough to be certain this was NOT the same Gwrgan ap Ithel who married a sister of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. [14]  A family chart, showing how these same-named men were related to each other, can be found in the appendix to our paper "The Conquest of Glamorgan - Further Notes", which can be seen at the link below:

NOTES:
[1]  Yorke's book was issued as a 2nd edition in 1887 and edited by Richard Williams, who added "an account of the 15 tribes of north Wales"
[2]  Harleian Ms 1970, 34; there is considerable doubt that the data compiled by Chaloner was actually written by Gutyn Owen.  See M.P. Siddons "The Development of Welsh Heraldry", vol 1, pp 373-374
[3]  Harleian Ms 1970, 47
[4]  John Rylans Welsh Ms 1, the original of which is now missing several folios
[5]  Peniarth Ms 129
[6]  ibid p 47
[7]  Peniarth Ms 178(1), 10 (circa 1545); Peniarth Ms 138, 601 (circa 1562);Mostyn Ms 113, 74 (circa 1572)
[8]  See the full pedigree of this Iestyn in our paper "The Ancestry of Iestyn ap Gwrgan" at the link below:
[9]  Morgan ap Caradog was among the princes of Wales who had incurred the king's displeasure and who accompanied Lord Rhys to the king's council in Gloucester in 1175, according to that year's entry in the Brut
[10] The 1175 Brut entry calls Gwladys the sister of Lord Rhys and the mother of Morgan ap Caradog ap Iestyn
[11] Dwnn i, 23s
[12] For a table identifying 3 men known as Iestyn ap Gwrgan in this family, See our companion paper "The Conquest of Glamorgan - Further Notes" at the link below:
[13] Pen. 129, 151 and Pen. 138, 541
[14] Mostyn Ms 212b, 117