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Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
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Maelog Crwm of Arllechwedd Isaf and Crueddyn
Nefydd Hardd of Nant Conwy
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
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Tudor Trefor and his Family
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
The Family of Trahaearn ap Caradog
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The 5 Dafydd Llwyds of Llanwrin Parish
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
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?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                                     THE FAMILY OF EMYR LLYDAW 
                                              By Darrell Wolcott
 
          Peter Bartrum and other writers tend to treat Emyr Llydaw as the name of a specific historical man. [1] In fact, it was merely a title applied to men who ruled the territory in Brittany which the Welsh called Llydaw.  If they had followed the same logic later used by the puritans of England who migrated to "New England" in America, they would have called it "New Llydaw".
 
          In the 3rd and 4th centuries, Llydaw was a Celt kingdom comprising what were later called the cantrefs of Rhos, Rhufoniog, Dyffryn Clwyd and Tegeingl.  The portion which lay east of the River Clwyd was an appanage called Meriadog. A brother of Eudaf Hen, Gereint ap Eunydd, was king of Llydaw, while Cynan, son of Gereint, was lord of Meriadog.  About the year 300, Roman Emperor Maximianus Herculius sought the assistance of Welsh soldiers for a campaign he planned in Gaul.  Cynan Meriadog agreed to recruit an army of Llydaw men to aid the Roman venture, which rid Gaul of a rebellious sect that opposed Roman rule.  For their reward, Cynan and his men were granted a substantial tract of land in Brittany, which they named after their own Welsh lands.  Not all of Cynan's men brought their families to live in this new Llydaw, but were pleased to own additional lands to vacation upon and leave to their sons.  Others took up residence there almost immediately.
 
          By the time Cunedda came to Wales c. 440, Cynan's great-great-grandson, Budic, had permanently moved to the new land in Brittany, likely due to the hordes of Irish who swarmed into north Wales after the Roman legions left in the first decade of the 5th century.  The intervening generations, we suspect, had resided part-time in both Llydaws.  This Budic was the original Emyr Llydaw. The family had descended as follows:

                                       235  Gereint
                                                   l
                                  270  Cynan Meriadog
                                                   l
                                      300  Gradlon (a)
                                                   l
                                        330  Selyf (b)
                                                   l
                                      360  Aldroen (c)
                                                   l
                                        390  Budic (d)
                                                   l
                                        420  Hywel I (e)

DATING NOTES:
 
(a) This man was a maternal grandson of Emperor Carausius, born c. 250; his daughter was the mother of Maxen Wledig (born c. 344) by Constans I.  He became a break-away Emperor in Britain as Carausius II. [2]
 
(b) His daughter, born c. 365, was the mother of Cadell Ddyrnllwg of Powys. [3]
 
(c) He was asked to replace Maxen Wledig as Emperor for Britain, but offered instead his brother, Custinnen.  That man agreed to marry a daughter of Maxen Wledig and ruled until 411 as Constantine III. [2]
 
(d)  He resided at Llydaw in Brittany, a territory he ruled as Emyr.  He had a younger brother, Yspwys, who relocated to Britain c. 445. [4] He had an eldest son, Hywel born c. 420, who became the new Emyr Llydaw about the year 450.  A second son, Pedrwn born c. 435, married Gwen (450) ferch Ceredig (415) ap Cunedda (385) [5], so he either resided at, or frequently visited, the old family lands in Wales. They had a son, St Padarn.  A daughter of Budic was named Gwen, born c. 432, who was later called "Tierbron", meaning "with 3 breasts".  Her first husband had been a man called Eneas of Llydaw (further ancestry unknown) and they were the parents of St Cadfan, born c. 447, [6] and perhaps, Rhun.  However, the latter may have been a son of Eneas prior to his marriage to Gwen.  St Cadfan was perhaps 8 years old when Gwen, apparently widowed, married a man called Fracan .  She had twin boys about 456 (Jacob and Gwethenot) and a further son, Winwaloe, in 457. [7] It was this birth, we suspect, which gave rise to her nickname. With 3 nursing children (a newborn plus twins less than a year old), it was clear the lady needed 3 breasts but we don't seriously believe she actually had them.
 
(e) Also called Hywel Mawr, he had a younger son, Tewdwr Mawr, whose daughter, Thenaf born c. 495, married Alltu Redegog (485) ap Carcludys (455) [8]

SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS:
 
           Nothing but the names of the subsequent generations are known until we reach the 7th century.  We chart these later Emyrs of Llydaw as: [9]
 
                                                390  Budic
                                                           l
                                                420  Hywel I
                                                           l
                                                450  Hywel  II
                                                           l
                                                 480 Alan I
                                                          l
                                                510  Hywel III
                                                          l
                                              545  Judicael
                                                          l
                                               575  Selyf II
 
          We have no genealogical sources which assert that this was a string of father-to-son relationships, so it is possible one or more succeeding Emyrs was a nephew.  However, the timeline does allow us to say that each Emyr in the list occurs a full generation after the last, so at least none of the named men were brothers or first-cousins.
 
          Selyf II apparently had no sons to succeed himself, since Emyr Alan II of c. 615 is called his nephew. [10] The family continues in the following chart:

                                545  Judicael                       
                              _____________l______________                         
                              l                                                      l                              
            575  Selyf II                      580 unnamed son               
                                                                   l  
                                                       615  Alan II
                                                                   l
                                                      645  Conobert
 
                   Names in red = Emyr of Llydaw

INTERFACE WITH KINGS OF GWYNEDD:
           
          During a plague which swept over Britain in the mid-7th century, King Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon of Gwynedd, in 664,  took refuge in Brittany, [11] where his father-in-law was Emyr Alan II.  About 655, Cadwaladr had married the daughter of Alan II. [12]
 
          In addition to the daughter, Alan II had 3 sons.  The eldest son, Alan III, had a daughter who would later marry Idwal Ywrch ap Cadwaladr of Gwynedd. [13] However, Alan III died within the lifetime of his father, so never became Emyr.  Instead, the second eldest brother, Conobert, succeeded their father.

        569  Cadfan                       Judicael  545
                   l                                   l
     598  Cadwallon                  unnamed son  580 
                        l                                            l
                   l                               Alan II  615
                   l                       ______l____________________
                   l                       l              l               l                l 
 627  Cadwaladr===daughter 641  Ifor 650  Alan III  Conobert
                             l                                           l   642          645 
                    656  Idwal Ywrch=========Angharad 670 
                                                         l
                                      685  Rhodri Molwynog

 
                                              Names in red = Emyr of Llydaw
                                        Names in bold = King of Gwynedd
 

          About 675, Emyr Alan II commissioned his youngest son, Ifor, to take an army to Wales [14] and aid Cadwaladr in recovering his abandoned lands.  A resurgence of the pestilence came to Gwynedd in 682 and killed Cadwaladr.  Ifor ap Alan of Llydaw ruled Gwynedd as interim king until his death about 713.  The son of Cadwaladr, Idwal Ywrch, had turned 28 in 684 but stayed in Llydaw and married his own first-cousin, Angharad ferch Alan III.   Rhodri Molwynog, son of Idwal Ywrch, moved back to Gwynedd and reclaimed the kingship for its royal family in 713. [15]
 
          Our story of the men of Llydaw, Brittany ends here since that family no longer played a role in Welsh history.

NOTES:
[1]  Virtually all the early citations which mention an Emyr Llydaw DO refer to Budic ap Aldroen, but they were mostly pedigrees of 5th century saints
[2]  See our paper on Britain's Royal Roman Family at the following link:
and our paper on Constans I at this link:
[3] Harl 3859 calls her Selemiaun, a variant spelling of Selyfion
[4] See our paper on Yspwys at the following link:
[5]  ByS 21
[6]  ByS 19
[7]  Vita St Winwaloe.  Gwen's second hisband, Fracan, is called the cousin of Cado, Duke of Cernyw, but this could not have been the Cado ap Gereint cited by JC 29, 10 and ByS 76, a man born c. 480
[8]  ByS 47; some copyists of the lost Hengert Ms 33 said Tewdwr Mawr was a son of Madog ap Emyr Llydaw, a man wholly unknown elsewhere
[9]  Powell's "History of Wales", 1832 edition, page 7
[10] Geoffrey of Monmouth, "Historia Regum Brittanniae" book xii, part 16
[11] op cit Powell, page 8
[12]  Pen 270, 246; Cardiff 2, 136; Cardiff 5.6, 30
[13] Pen 131, 161 calls the lady Agatha
[14] Both the accounts in Powell's "History of Wales" and the largely fictitious work of Geoffrey of Monmouth, mention these events but wholly conflate Cadwaladr of Gwynedd with King Caedwalla of Wessex, and conflate Ynyr (a relative of Ifor who came to Gwynedd with him) with King Ina of Wessex.  While this Ynyr had no ruling role in either Llydaw or Gwynedd, some later pedigrees, including LB 141, called him "the second son of King Cadwaladr and ancestor of the 11th century Ynyr Gwent".  He was likely neither.  Geoffrey wrote that Alan II sent to Wales "his son Ifor and Ynyr his nephew".  If the second use of the pronoun "his" refers to Alan II, this Ynyr was a cousin of Ifor, and could not be Cadwaladr's son. But if that "his" referred to Ifor, then Ynyr could have been a son of Cadwaladr, by Ifor's sister 
[15] op cit Powell page 13 gives the date as 720, but we suggest a date a bit earlier better fits with the other contemporary events