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Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys

                                               By Darrell Wolcott
          Except for the location of his lands and his inclusion as one of the "15 Founders of the Noble Tribes of Gwynedd", historians have told us nothing at all about this man.  One pedigree [1] of his son, Iorwerth, adds "Nant Conwy" to lands associated with Maelog Crwm.  Peter Bartrum did not locate a single pedigree which identifies the ancestors of this man. [2]  Wholly based upon the location of his lands, we suggest he was a direct descendant of Heilig ap Glannog [3], the 10th century man whose holdings in north Wales extended from the Menai Strait to the River Clwyd. Based on our analysis of marriages cited for men who are known to have descended from Maelog Crwm, we date his birth to c. 1140 and chart him as:

                                               950  Heilig ap Glannog
                                                     985  Pasgen
                                                     1015  Bod
                                                1045  Trahaearn
                                                 1080  Cynddelw
                                                  1115  Iarddur (a)
                                l                                                              l
              1150  Cynddelw                                     1142  Maelog Crwm
                 1185  Iarddur (b)
            (a) lands named for him are mentioned in a 1198 Crueddyn land grant
            (b) fled to Ireland c. 1211 to escape the wrath of King Llewelyn Fawr

          No wife is cited for Maelog Crwm, but he had three sons.  His nickname means "bent or curved" and it is believed he suffered from hyperkyphosis, a condition often ridiculed by using the term "hunchback".  We suggest his wife died after delivering his third son, Dafydd, about 1174, and that he remarried the widowed Marged ferch Madog ap Maredudd.  She had a toddler son, Llewelyn, by her first husband, Iorwerth Drwyndwn ap Owain Gwynedd,  [4]

                   1115  Iarddur       1098  Madog      Owain Gwynedd  1100
                                 l                         l                       l
1155 1st wife===Maelog Crwm===Marged======Iorwerth  1128
                      l               1142    l        1142    l
       1170  Madog                    none          Llewelyn 1169
       1172  Iorwerth                           
       1174  Dafydd

           While no sources can been cited to support our theory that the widowed mother of Llewelyn ap Iorwerth remarried Maelog Crwm, we considered the following data:
          1.  A Welsh lady of that era, who was widowed with a young child, either found a new husband or was taken in by her near relatives.
         2.  The near relatives of Marged ferch Madog were the king of Powys and his siblings, whereas the child of Marged was a future candidate for the kingship of Gwynedd and she felt he should be reared there.
         3.  Her son, prior to becoming king of Gwynedd, shared a mistress with Ednyfed Fychan [5], and both of those folks resided on the east side of the Conwy, lands ruled by Dafydd ap Owain Gwynedd.  If Llewelyn ap Iorwerth had grown up where he was born, that was on the west side of the Conwy in lands ruled by Rhodri ap Owain Gwynedd.
         4.  Maelog Crwm was the one man known to be (a) the right age to have married Marged in 1174, and (b) living in Crueddyn just a stone's throw from Ednyfed Fychan's residence at Llandrillo in Rhos, and (c) also a physical "reject" like Marged's first husband and herself.
        5.  Managing Marged's lands could account for Maelog Crwm being associated with Nant Conwy in at least one early pedigree.
             No one has advanced any reason for Maelog Crwm, a physically disadvantaged man, to be included among the 15 Founders of Noble Tribes, so perhaps it was due to his having raised the young Llewelyn the Great, king of Gwynedd.

[1]  Dwnn ii, 281
[2]  The only pedigree which Bartrum offered was in his paper "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs" in the Journal of the National Library of Wakes, vol XIII, page 116, #48 but which was, in fact, a pedigree of a Maelog Dda of Anglesey, a wholly different man.
[3]  Arch, Camb 1861, pages 140-155 reprints a manuscript by one T. Wright called "Caernarvonshire Antiquities" which claims Maelog Crwm descended from Heilig ap Glannog, but says he was the son of Llywarch Goch ap Llywarch Hwlbwrch.  A son of that Llywarch Goch would have been born c. 1085/1090.  Peter Bartrum dated Maelog Crwm to his Generation 4 (1115-1150).  Most of the historical data in this manuscript follows the "traditional" history of Wales and contains legends and myths.
[4]  No sources confirm that Maelog's first wife died early, nor that he then married the widowed mother of Llewelyn ap Iorwerth.
[5] Refer to our paper on Tangwystl and Tangwystl, her daughter, at the following link: