SANDDE HARDD OF MORTYN
By Darrell Wolcott
In a seventeenth century family pedigree,
we are told "Sandde Hardd was the eldest son of Caradog or Cadrod Hardd, lord of Tref Bodafon in Mon, by his second
wife, Angharad, daughter of Gruffudd ap Carwed of Llwydiarth in Mon. For his services in battle against the English,
the Prince of Powys gave him the townships of Burton and Llai in the parish of Gresford." Burton is the English name
for Mortyn; these lands lie in the northwest of Maelor Cymraeg, a cantref of Powys Fadog later renamed Bromfield.
Clearly the drafter of this pedigree
believed Caradog and Cadrod Hardd were alternate names for the same man. The earliest extant manuscript which mentions
either name cites a Sandde ap Caradog Hardd ap Gwrydyr ap Maelog Dda but does not attach the nickname "Hardd" (handsome)
to Sandde. The mother of this Sandde is cited as Angharad ferch Brochwel ap Moelyn, and Sandde is assigned brothers
named Arthen and Iddon. It was probably this lady whom the later pedigree assumed to be the first wife of its Caradog/Cadrod
Hardd, but claims its Sandde Hardd was a son of a second wife.
When Lewys Dwnn collected family
pedigrees in 1586-1613 for the College of Heralds, the confusion in the origins of this family can be seen in a citation
which calls Cadrod Hardd the son of Gwrydr ap Maelog Dda and that he had sons Gwrydr, Ednyfed and Owain by a first wife who
is not named, and sons Sandde Hardd, Iddon and Arthen by his second wife. His second wife is identified as Angharad
ferch Brochwel ap Moelwyn "and it is untrue that one was Griffri ap Carwed".
If this citation had Caradog
Hardd substituted for Cadrod Hardd, and the reference to the three sons by a first wife were removed, it would agree
exactly with the Hen Lwythau Gwynedd manuscript we referenced in note 2. The gratuitous comment added by Dwnn
indicates that he was aware others were claiming the mother of Sandde Hardd was a different lady.
In his work on this early manuscript,
the renowed Welsh genealogist, Peter Bartrum, suggests there was both a Caradog Hardd and a Cadrod Hardd who lived about 100
years apart and who both had a son named Sandde. He accepts the portion of the manuscript which makes Caradog Hardd
the son of Gwrydr ap Maelog Dda, and that he had a son named Sandde by Angharad ferch Brochwel ap Moelyn (whom he identifies
as Bledrus y Moelyn..the bald..ap Aelan) but rejects the assignment of Arthen and Iddon as brothers of this Sandde.
Bartrum's conclusion is that Cadrod Hardd was probably the Cadrod ap Ieuaf ap Rhys ap Mor ap Dibyder ap Cillin ap Maelog Dda
mentioned later in the same manuscript, and that Cadrod probably married a daughter of Gruffudd ap Carwed as his second wife
who bore sons Sandde, Arthen and Iddon; and by a first unnamed wife, Cadrod has sons Gwrydr, Ednyfed and Owain. He dates
Sandde ap Caradog Hardd to c.1060 and Sandde ap Cadrod Hardd to c.1170 The result of our own work on this family does
not differ in any important respect up to that point. .
It is Bartrum's view that only
Sandde, son of Caradog Hardd, was called Hardd and that nickname should not be applied to Sandde ap Cadrod Hardd.
Although some exceptions are to be seen, the Dwnn pedigrees mostly follow that scheme. We would agree that only one
of these men should be called Hardd; the one who owned the manor called Mortyn. The oldest of the manuscripts does
not speak to that and we shall base our opinion on chronological grounds which appear to show all the pedigrees flawed in
one respect or another.
Our opening inquiry concerns
when and how a man born in Anglesey acquired the lands in Maelor. The only extant source which claims the land was a
gift from the Prince of Powys is the pedigree written by Jacob Chaloner contained in a book of pedigrees now known as Harleian
Ms 1972. Primarily an heraldic painter, Chaloner also was an avid pedigree collector and lived from 1585 to 1631.
His claim has all the earmarks of a guess; by not naming the Prince of Powys, he doesn't limit himself to any particular date
for the grant and since the land (at least when he wrote) was in Maelor, presumably only a Prince of Powys could have granted
it. The part about "services in battle against the English" is likewise little more than an assumption; isn't that what
most royal grants to Welshmen were intended to reward?
Careful analysis of the families which are
said to descend from Sandde Hardd make it almost certain the acquisition came in the 12th century; thereafter marriages were
contracted primarily with those families known to have been seated in Maelor. Only the marriages of Sandde and his son,
Moriddig, were with ladies with Gwynedd roots. Our analysis also dates the birth of Sandde Hardd to c. 1095; perhaps
the reason why Sandde ap Caradog Hardd was not called "Hardd" in the earliest manuscript is that Sandde Hardd was
his son...the nickname being added to distinguish one Sandde from the other.
A close look at the lands called
Mortyn and Llei shows they lie north of the Alun River adjacent to townships called Trefalun and Gresford; those neighboring
lands were also the subject of a grant "for services in battle" to a man called Eunydd. Virtually all the land immediately
south of that river was held by the family of Tudor Trevor. We suspect the river was the northern border of Maelor when
the 12th century dawned, with everything above the Alun (and east of Yr Hob) a part of the Lordship of Chester, that city
itself a scant 11 miles up the Dee River. If so, it may well have been the Earl of Chester who made the gift of
land to Sandde Hardd and Eunydd...not a Prince of Powys. Is there a likely scenerio where this may have occurred?
In fact there is.
In 1135, Stephen had been coronated
King of England in spite of widespread knowledge that Henry I had promised the crown to his daughter Matilda. By 1141,
Stephen had created many enemies among his barons. During the Christmas season of that year, Ranulf the
Earl of Chester and his half-brother William the Earl of Lincoln seized the royal castle at Lincoln. Within days,
Stephen arrived with an army and laid seige to the castle now held by men who had claimed to be his friends. Ranulf
slipped away after dark and went in search of assistance. A number of the adherents of Matilda joined him as well as
men whom Stephen had disinherited. According to the account by William of Malmsbury, he also enlisted "a dreadful and
unendurable mass of Welsh". Only two Welshmen are identified by name, the brothers Maredudd and Cadwaladr...whose further
identity is uncertain. But when the messengers appeared in Gwynedd seeking volunteers for Earl Ranulf's army, perhaps
a forty-ish Sandde Hardd and his teenage son signed on. He may have even agreed to recruit many of his acquaintences,
young men seeking adventure and the spoils of war. We think Eunydd ap Heilyn of the lower Clwyd valley also recruited
his friends to join the Earl.
In any event, the Earl of Chester
and his army of Welsh mercenaries and disinherited Englishmen returned to Lincoln and attacked Stephen's army as it continued
to lay seige to the castle. A number of Stephen's barons fled the field as the battle was joined and soon Stephen himself
was captured. We can't know if Sandde Hardd or Eunydd were present nor what role they may have played, but this
could explain when and why both men received the lands on the north bank of the Alun River. Indeed, those
lands may have remained a part of England until some later time when it was brought under the lordship of Maelor.
A major problem with positing
Sandde Hardd and his son, Moriddig, as being of fighting age in 1141 are the medieval pedigrees which name their wives. Several
sources cite the wife of Sandde as Hunydd (or Angharad) ferch Gruffudd ap Cadwgan of Nannau . When we chart
that marriage, it points to a Sandde Hardd born c. 1165:
Cadwgan of Nannau*
1180 Hunydd======Sandde Hardd 1165
*While there were several men named
Cadwgan in this family, we believe the one born c. 1110 was the first to be called "of Nannau" and was the son of Bleddyn
ap Madog ap Cadwgan. His son Madog inherited Nannau and Gruffudd may have been a younger brother of that Madog.
Those sources which name the
wife of Moriddig ap Sandde call her Tangwystl ferch Cadfan ap Cadwaladr. The well-known man of that name was
a grandson of King Gruffudd ap Cynan and who occurs in the Brut in 1149 and 1151, probably born c. 1128/1130.
A daughter of his would date from c. 1160 and could not have married the son of either a c. 1065 or c. 1165 Sandde.
However, we think the reason why Cadfan was called "Cadwgan" in the 1149 Brut entry (although cited correctly as Cadfan in
1151) is that there was, in fact, a contemporary Cadwgan ap Cadwaladr in the same expanded family. When we also
notice that the wife named for Cadfan ap Cadwaladr was a lady born near 1200, we should realize that a later man of that name
is meant. All these dates flow naturally once we identify the man at the top as Gruffudd ap Cynan nephew of
Iago, not Gruffudd ap Cynan ap Iago:
1035 Cynan Gruffudd
1070 Gruffudd Cadwaladr 1080
1105 Cadwaladr Cadwgan(b) 1115
1128 Cadfan(a) Cadwaladr
1150 Ithel 1170
Cadfan(c)======Lleuci(d) 1195 Sandde 1165
(a) ABT 3a cites this pedigree while the Brut y Tywysogyon says Cadwaladr
gave this son his lands in Ceredigion in 1149, probably because he was a base son and he intended to leave his Gwynedd lands
to his legitimate sons.
(b) The actual 1149 Brut entry calls Cadwaladr's son Cadwgan. The
same event recorded in Annales Cambriae says the son was "Catwan" = Cadfan. We suggest there actually was a contemporary
Cadwgan ap Cadwaladr, but who had nothing to do with Ceredigion, and this fact was the source of the Brut error
(c) Peniarth Ms 128 cites the marriage of "Cadfan ap Cadwaladr" to
(d) Lleuci was a sister of Rhiwallon Lloyd ap Ithel who was born c. 1205;
the Cadfan ap Cadwaladr she married could not be the same man in note (a) above
(e) Contrary to those pedigrees who call the lady "ferch Cadfan ap Cadwaladr
ap Gruffudd ap Cynan", we supply the probable generations omitted in those citations and date Tangwystl contemporary with
a son of the c. 1160 Sandde
Although these citations
indicate a man called Moriddig ap Sandde was born near 1195, the large number of extant pedigrees of the family at Mortyn
and Llei argue for an ancestor of that name born near 1125. Both Ynyr ap Hywel ap Moriddig and his brother Iorwerth
occur c. 1185/1190 as we shall show presently. We suggest the following chart as the actual early family:
1025 Caradog Hardd
Sandde Hardd 1095
1165 Sandde* Hywel
1195 Moriddig* sons
Ynyr and Iorwerth 1185/1190
*The cited marriages are for these two men, not
the earlier same-named men. Although this Sandde could chronologically be the son of Cadrod, he may also have been
the youngest son of Moriddig who inherited his father's manor in Gwyneded while his brother remained in Maelor. This
could explain the marriages with ladies of Gwynedd. We would attach this Sandde to the descendants of Caradog Hardd
for that reason as well as for the recurring naming pattern.
The marriage cited for Hywel
ap Moriddig points to a birthdate for him near 1155, as does the marriage cited for his daughter:
1025 Rhys Sais I
1090 Meilyr Sandde
Hardd 1095 Cynwrig 1065
1125 Gruffudd Moriddig
1125 Hoedliw 1105
1160 Gwladys========Hywel 1155
Thus, while we have no cited marriages for the men at the top of the family, those claimed for Hywel and later
decendants fit our timeline. Iorwerth ap Hywel ap Moriddig was born
c. 1185. He was the ancestor of those families seated at Mortyn and Llai in the 14th century, and can be dated by both
his marriage and that of his son Gronwy:
Meurig Maredudd Hen 1128
1160 Rhiryd Foel
1185 IORWERTH===Sian(a) 1200
(a) See Harleian Ms 1977 for this marriage
(b) This marriage is cited in Peniarth
Perhaps the best known of the men cited as "ap Hywel ap Moriddig ap Sandde Hardd" was Llewelyn ap Ynyr. Although
our charts of those families connected by marriage point to a birthdate for Llewelyn near 1225 and Ynyr to c.1190, perhaps
the best way to validate those dates comes from other sources. The family histories recite the following story:
Llewelyn greatly distinguished
himself in battle, and his valor was rewarded by his prince Gruffudd Maelor with the Lordship of Gelligynan in Ial, together
with a new coat of arms. It is said that while Llewelyn was conversing with the prince after the fight, he
accidently drew a hand smeared with blood across his sword, leaving four bloodstains on it. Observing it, the prince conferred
upon him new arms being "paly of eight, argent and gules". This story of the arms should be taken as little more
than fable when you consider the resemblance to Gruffudd Maelor's own arms: "paly of eight argent and gules, a lion rampant
sable". Early genealogists dated this battle to 1165 under Gruffudd Maelor ap Madog ap Maredudd, but the grant of land
is dated in the year 1256 during the rule of Gruffudd Maelor II. Some historians, apparently doubtful that Llewelyn
could have been born as early as 1165, wrote that it was Ynyr who was the recipient of the honors and not his son.
But when we coordinate the event with the date of the grant, the 1165 date becomes immaterial; a battle fought in 1256 could
easily have involved a Llewelyn ap Ynyr born c.1225, our estimate for him.
Further evidence of the
actual floruit of Ynyr and his son can be deduced from the following:
Lloyd Llewelyn Fychan
In the year 1315, we
find the holders of the ville of Gelligynan in Ial were the brothers Gruffudd and Mareddud ap Llewelyn; Gruffudd Lloyd; and
Llewelyn Fychan ap Maredudd ap Llewelyn. The two latter men were young adults at the time, and their father and uncle
were still living. (Gruffudd ap Llewelyn also had a son, Maredudd of Yr Hob, who may have been yet a child in 1315).
Should we assign a birthdate near 1285/90 for Gruffudd Lloyd and Llewelyn Fychan and about 1255/1260 for the sons of Llewelyn
ap Ynyr, those elders would have been about 55/60 years old in 1315. To move these estimates a generation either forward
or back would take us to dates at which it would be very unlikely that both father and son were alive in 1315. In the
present chart, Ynyr would occur c. 1190 and fit chronologically as a brother of Iorwerth ap Hywel ap Moriddig.
(Appendix A shows the pedigree of the family seated in Bodidris in Ial, whose heiress married a descendant of Llewelyn ap
Ynyr and brought that township to the latter family)
A daughter, Marged, is
also cited as "ferch Hywel ap Moriddig ap Sandde Hardd". She married Cynwrig Fychan ap Cynwrig ap Hoedliw, which Hoedliw
was a brother of Ninniaw ap Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon. Also a prominent Maelor family, we place the birth of Hoedliw near
1115 and Cynwrig Fychan c. 1180. We should expect his wife to date from 1190/1195 and believe that is where Marged
should be dated.