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Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys
                                    MEIBION KUNNEDA WLEDIG
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
           An important group of early Welsh pedigrees were set down in a manuscript called Hengwrt 33 in the early years of the 13th century.  Before that manuscript became lost in the 18th century, several men had made hand-written copies of some or all of those pedigrees. Here, we are concerned with only that portion of the manuscript called Bonedd yr Arwyr or "Lineage of the Heroes", and specifically with the section dealing with the sons of Cunedda.
           The section called "Meibion Kunedda Wledig" consisted of 3 sub-sections which encompassed:
           1.  The names of the sons of Cunedda together with the territory they inheirited.
           2.  The names of the daughters of Cunedda and anything known of those ladies.
           3.  The story of how the sons of "Gwron" ap Cunedda aided Caswallon Llawhir in ridding Anglesey of the last settlement of Irishmen who had squatted there after the Romans left Britain.
           A total of 6 men copied sub-sections 1 and 2, while only 5 of those men also copied sub-section 3.  Having previously discussed the sons of Cunedda as they are cited in a much earlier manuscript [1], we shall not dwell here on sub-section 1 except to note that no son is listed whose name is Gwron.
           Peter Bartrum presented all this material [2] by choosing one of the extant versions, then footnoting where this presented version differed from the other versions of the same material. When he reached the material we have designated as sub-sections 2 and 3, he presented one version (probably the one called "E" below) but rather than use his footnote system to explain variances between the 6 extant versions, he noted:
            "This section is so variable that each version is given separately".  He has identified those versions with capital letters, as:
             C' = Peniarth Ms 131, pages 31/32; copy made after 1509 but before 1547 [3]
             E =  Cardiff Ms 25, pages 81/84; copy made c. 1640
             F =  Peniarth Ms 129, 22; copy made c. 1500
             G =  Peniarth Ms 127, 85; copy made c. 1510
             H =  Peniarth Ms 128, 50; copy made c. 1560
             J =  Peniarth Ms 75, 52; copy made c. 1570

DAUGHTERS OF CUNEDDA (sub-section 2):
            C' version:  "A dwy verchet oedd i Kvnedda:  Tegit verch Kvnedda a Gwen v Kvnedda, a hono a vv wraic i Amlawdd wledic" [4]
                TRANSLATION: There were two daughters of Cunedda: Tegid ferch Cunedda, and Gwen ferch Cunedda,  The latter was the wife of Amlawdd Wledig.
             E version (this is the version presented as items 13-15 in the pedigree itself):  "Dwy ferchet Cunedda: Tegit, Gwenn ferch Kunedda gweig Amlwyd wledig, mam Kynwal ganhwch"
                 TRANSLATION: "Two daughters of Cunedda: Tegid, and Gwen ferch Cunedda, the wife of Amlawd Wledig and mother of Cynwal Canhwch"
             F version: "Gwran ap Kvnedda a Bloid brchyr oeddynt, a Dwywei vrch Kvnedda voel i mam.  Gwen merch Kvnedda gwraic Amlawd wledic, Yneigyr mam Gynwal karnhwch"
                TRANSLATION: "Gwron ap Cunedda, he was of the wolf region and Dwywei ferch Cunedda Voel was his mother.  Gwen ferch Cunedda was the wife of Amlawdd Wledig and Yneigyr was the mother of Cynwal Canhwch"  NOTE: This meaning would change if the "Yneigyr" was an unintended shift from the line of text which follows, and would make Gwen the mother of Cynwal.
            G version:  "Dwy verched a vv i Cvnedda nid amgen Tegid a Gwenn a honno oedd wraic Amlawdd wledic a mam Gynwal carnhwch.  Gwron ap Cvnedda.  Dwywei oedd i vam vch Degid voel"
               TRANSLATION: "Two daughters of Cunedda, namely Tegid and Gwen.  The latter was the wife of Amlawdd Wledig and mother of Cynwal Canhwch.  Gwron ap Cunedda, and Dwywei ferch Tegid Foel was his mother". NOTE: Bartrum believes the last part (beginning with Gwron) was NOT copied from Hengwrt Ms 33, but was a last minute insertion where the author was being guided by what other copyists had written. [5]  The author had NOT placed that line in his discussion of the daughters of Cunedda, but added it to the story of the Irish in Anglesey being destroyed.
            H version: "Gwron ap Kvnedda o blaid brodyr oeddynt;  Dwywi v  Degid voel oedd i mam. Gwenn v Kvnedda gwraic Amlawd wledic.  Yneigr v Kvnedda mam Kynwal karnhwch".
              TRANSLATION: "Gwron ap Cunedda, he was of the wolf region.  Dwywi ferch Tegid Foel was his mother.  Gwen ferch Cunedda was the wife of Amlawdd Wledig.  Yneigr ferch Cunedda was the mother of Cynwal Canhwch".
            J version:  "Gwron ap Kvnedda a Bloid brodyr oeddynt, a Dwywei vch Degid voel i mam.  Gwen vch Kvnedda gwraic Amlawd wledic,  Yneigr vch Kvnedda mam Gynwal karnhwch".
              TRANSLATION:  This reads exactly the same as Pen 128 immediately above.
            An independent citation (JC 20,7) confirms that Cunedda had two daughters which it calls Tecgygyl and Gwen, and further that Gwen was the wife of Amlawdd Wledig.
           We assume that the first-named daughter, variously cited as "Tecgygyl" and "Tegit" (about whom nothing more is known), had a name based on the Latin "Tacita", but likely its Welsh version was NOT "Tegid" since that spelling elsewhere is always a male name.  An earlier independent source [6] cites a daughter of Tegid Foel as "Thecued" which Bartrum rendered as "Tegwedd" [7] and that might have also been the name of this daughter of Cunedda, and further explain how Tegid Foel was corruptly inserted into this pedigree by some of the Hengwrt Ms 33 copyists.
           Since 3 of the 6 renditions conjured up a lady named Dwywei, we think they may have read Peniarth Ms 33 where it said "Dwy merched Cunedda, Tegit" before mentioning Gwen.  Reasoning that something was amiss since Tegit was a man's name, they decided these 4 words (those we placed in quotes) did NOT say Cunedda had two daughters, one of which was Tegit.  Instead, they may have reasoned, Dwy must be an abbreviation for Dwywei and she was "ferch Tegit Foel" a consort of Cunedda who birthed Gwron. There was an historical man named Teged Foel, born c. 420, whose daughter was the wife of Cedig ap Ceredig ap Cunedda. [8]
          Cynwal Canhwch (with 100 sows) is called "Kynwal Hundred Hogs" in the Mabinogion tale "How Culhwch Won Olwen" and said to be the father of Gwenn Alarch (white swan). There is no independent source which confirms that this Cynwal was either an historic person or a son of Amlawdd Wledig (whether or not by Gwen ferch Cunedda), but Bartrum accepted this "son of Gwen" based solely on the citations presented above.
          A "Ynegyr" is claimed to be the mother of Cynwal Canhwch and also the daughter of Cunedda in some of the renditions cited above. As will be seen in our next topic, there is a male "Yneiger" who is named as one of three sons of Gwron ap Cunedda.  We suggest an early copyist displaced some text in his copy, and his error was followied by two later copyists. See our comments in our analysis of the next topic.
          Three of the versions refer to Gwron as a man of the "wolf region". We aren't sure what place was meant, but are fairly certain no such description was included in the original manuscript.  We suggest it was a gloss added by the author of Peniarth 129, and copied by two later men who also copied the original.

NOTE: In every instance where a man is below referred to as "Caswallon Llawhir", the reference is actually to Cadwallon Llawhir, son of Einion Yrth son of Cunedda.
           C' version:  Bartrum does not present any text identified as the Peniarth Ms 131 version, the inference being that at least one copyist stopped his work after reciting the sons and daughters of Cunedda, and decided the sub-section which mentions sons of Gwron ap Cunedda was of no interest to him (and off-topic as well).
           E version: "Ke Meili ag Yneigei, meibion Gwon mab Kunedda, a dyvuant eill tri y gyt a Chatwallawn llawhir eu kefyndew y ddeol Gwyddyl ffichti o Ynys Fon, ag odd yna y difassant yn llwy y Gwyddyl ffichti o Fon pan lladdawdd Kaswallawn lawhir Seigi Wyddel yn Llam y Gwyddyl yMon".
              TRANSLATION:  "Cynyr and Meilyr and Ynegyr, sons of Gwron ap Cunedda. And this trio, together with Caswallon Llawhir, their cousin,  a second time attacked the remaining Irish Picts on the isle of Anglesey, and utterly destroyed were the Irish Picts of Anglesey when Caswallon Llawhir killed Sergi the Irishman at the Irish settlement in Anglesey"
           F version: "Kynyr a Meilir meibon Gwron ap Kvnedda a vvant ill tri gyda Chyswalldan llawir i gefnder yn gyrv y Gwyddyl Ffichdiaid o Fon  ac i difanasant yn llwyr pan laddodd Kyswalldan llawir Syrgi Wyddel yn Llam y Gwyddyl yMon".
             TRANLATION: (this is one of the versions that called Yneigyr the mother of Cynwal) "Cynyr and Meilyr, sons of Gwron ap Cunedda, and this trio, together with Caswallon Llawhir, their cousin, a second time drove out the Irish Picts in Anglesey and utterly destroyed them when Caswallon Llawhir killed Sergi the Irishman at the Irish settlement in Anglesey".
          G version: "Kynyr nev Kevyr o henw arall, a Meilir ac Yneigr meibion Gwron ap Kvnedda a vv yll tri gyda Chadwallon llawhir i kevynderw yn dehol y Gwyddyl Ffichtied o Von.  Ac yna i divassant hwynt yn llwyr pann laddodd Cadwallon llawhir Seregri Wyddel yn Llann y Gwyddyl yNghaer Gybi yMon"
             TRANSLATION: "Cynyr (or Cefyr according to others) and Meliyr and Yneigyr, sons of Gwron ap Cunedda.  This trio, together with Caswallon Llawhir, their cousin, a second time drove the Irish Picts from Anglesey, and utterly destroyed them when Caswallon Llawhir killed Sergi the Irishman at Caergybi, the Irish settlement in Anglesey."
          H version:  "Kynyr a Meilir meibion Gwron ap Kvnedda a vvant gida Chasswallon llawir i kefynder yn gyrv y Gwyddyl Ffichdiaid o Von ac ai divanassant yn llwyr pan laddodd Kaswallon Sserigi Wyddel yn Llann y Gwyddyl yMon"
            TRANSLATION: (this is another rendition which calls Yneigyr the mother of Cynwal) "Cynyr and Meliyr, sons of Gwron ap Cunedda, together with Caswallon Llawhir their cousin, drove the Irish Picts from Anglesey, and utterly destroyed them after Caswallon killed Sergi the Irishman at the Irish settlement in Anglesey.
          J version: "Kynyr a Meilir ac meibion Gwron ap Kvnedda a vuant yll tri gyda Chaswallon llawir i kefnderw yn gyrv y Gwyddyl Ffichdiaid o Von ac i divanasant yn llwyr pan laddodd Kaswallon llawir Serigi Wyddel yn Llan y Gwyddyl yMon"
            TRANSLATION:  (this is the final rendition that misidentified Yneigyr as a woman) "Cynyr and Meilyr, sons of Gwron ap Cunedda, a second time this trio, together with Caswallon Llawhir their cousin, drove the Irish Picts from Anglesey, and utterly destroyed them after Caswallon killed Sergi the Irishman at the Irish settlement in Anglesey"
          All versions agree that certain sons of Gwron ap Cunedda joined forces with Cadwallon Llawhir to drive a settlement of Irishmen from Anglesey, and that after Cadwallon killed the Irish leader, the settlement was utterly destroyed. Most versions infer that the Irish had been previously driven from Anglesey, probably a generation earlier when it was sons of Cunedda who were the warriors.  Apparently a group of Irishmen had remained in, or returned to, Anglesey, so it was necessary for men of Cadwallon's generation to do the job again, this time by the "utter destruction" of the Irish squatters rather than simply driving them back to Ireland. The versions differ as to whether it was 3 sons of Gwron, or two sons.  But 2 of the 3 renditions which claim it was only 2 sons, also refer to these brothers as a trio
           The earliest copy (Peniarth Ms 129, or F) appears to have shifted Yneigyr, the third son of Gwron, up one line in their text, where that name intrudes upon the text "Gwen ferch Cunedda graig Amlawdd Wledig mam Cynwal Canhwch"  with its placement immediately following Amlawdd Wledig.  Some later copyists (who also had this F manuscript in hand) then reworked their own copy of Hengwrt Ms 33 to include a female Yneigyr as the mother of Cynwal.
          Since none of the versions included a Gwron in their list of the sons of Cunedda, we suggest the original author was aware that "Gwron" was only a nickname of one of the named sons. We previously identified [9] this Gwron as Edern ap Cunedda, who was born when Edern, the father of Cunedda, was still living. The younger Edern was called "y wyrion" or "the grandson" and that nickname was eventually corrupted into "Gwron".
           The person called Yneigyr was a third son of Gwron, but some chaotic text displacements caused 3 of the 6 copyists to convert him into a woman    The person called Cynwal Canhwch may have only been a fictional character taken from a children's tale, but we believe the lost Hengwrt Ms 33 did cite him as the son of Gwen ferch Cunedda and her husband, Amlawdd Wledig.
            The sister of Gwen, cited as Tegit, probably was named something like "Tegwydd". Some renditions corruptly turned her into "Tegid Foel", but nothing is known of her husband or children.
            There was no lady named Dwywei and no mother is known for Gwron ap Cunedda.  She was merely a product of someone's attempt to make sense of a citation which seems to claim Cunedda had 2 daughters, but then names a man and a woman as those daughters.
            We would agree with Bartrum that the Peniarth 127 version (designated version G) is probably a true rendition of what Peniarth Ms 33 had said, once you delete the last part which added "Gwron ap Cunedda.  Dwywei oedd i mam vch Tegid Foel". 

[1] His sons are identified in Harleian Ms 3859, pedigree #32 and they are discussed in our paper on Meirion ap Cunedda at the link below:
[2] Peter Bartrum, Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts, 1966, pages 92/93
[3] Peniarth Ms 131 contains manuscripts written by several different men.  Bartrum's C' coding refers to pages 13-43, 59 & 64, all by the same unnamed hand
[4] This Welsh text (and all those versions mentioned below) is copied from the Bartrum work mentioned in Note 2.  To the extent that Bartrum's editing added or deleted any text, we removed those edits in the version we present.
[5] op cit Bartrum, page 150, note 29.
[6] ByS 6
[7] Peter Bartrum, A Welsh Classical Dictionary. 1993, page 603 under "Tegid Foel"
[8] ByS 6
[9] See our paper "Gwron, son of Cunedda" at the link below: