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Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                            LLOWARCH AP BRAN - LORD OF MENAI
                                          By Darrell Wolcott
 
          Many leading families of Anglesey trace their descent to this early twelfth century nobleman but the pedigrees they cast contain an abundance of misinformation.  Most of the errors and omissions stem from like-named men who have been confused with each other, and this is true even for his ancestry from Tudwal Gloff ap Rhodri Mawr.  Both our work and that of noted Welsh genealogist Peter Bartrum point to a birthdate near 1120 for Llowarch.
 
PROBLEM # 1 - The ancestry of Llowarch: 
 
          Tudwal Gloff was perhaps the youngest son of Rhodri Mawr, too young to have taken part in the battle when his father was killed in 878, but received the leg wound which accounts for his nickname "the lame" in the 881 "revenge of Rhodri" battle of Conwy.[1]  A birthdate near 865 is indicated since no boys younger than 14 were sent into battle.  If Llowarch ap Bran were born 255 years later, he would be in the 8th following generation, not the 6th as shown by many pedigrees.[2]  We believe the descent was as follows:
 
                                   865  Tudwal Gloff
                                   895  Alser
                                   930  Aelan
                                   965  Alser *
                                   995  Aelan
                                 1030  Eunydd
                                 1060  Dyfnwal
                                 1090  Bran
                                 1120  Llowarch
 
        *Most extant pedigrees skip from this Alser directly to Tudwal Gloff; this chart may be compared to that found in our paper "Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin"
 
         Pen. 142, 101 mentions an Aelan ap Alser ap Tudwal Gloff who had a son, Llawr, a man born c. 960.  It is thus possible that the Eunydd in our chart was "ap Aelan ap Alser ap Aelan ap Alser ap Tudwal" and that his pedigrees simply omit one pair of "Aelan ap Alser" by scribes who assumed it was a duplication.[3]
 
PROBLEM #2 - The wife of Llowarch:
 
            The early manuscript Hen Lwythau Gwynedd a'r Mars says the mother of Llowarch's sons was Rhael ferch Gronwy ap Owain ap Edwin of Tegeingl.[4]  Such a lady could not have been born later than 1126 since Gronwy was slain in 1125.[5]  While this Rhael may have been a second wife of Llowarch, it is unlikely she was the mother of his sons Cadwgan and Iorwerth. Those men were born c. 1150/55 and normally we should expect both their mother, and a wife for Llowarch, to have been born nearer 1135. [6]
 
          The pedigrees in HLG go on to say that Cadwgan ap Llowarch married Gwenllian ferch Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd, while Iorwerth ap Llowarch married Gwenllian ferch Hywel ap Ieuaf ap Owain ap Trahaearn ap Caradog.  Both these ladies would date from 1160/70 and fit well with those claimed marriages. No other children of Llowarch are mentioned in this early manuscript, but the late 16th century pedigree of John Griffith of Llanbeblig[7] says one wife of Ednyfed Fychan was Tanglwyst ferch Llowarch ap Bran.  Most authorities date Ednyfed Fychan to c. 1165 and while a daughter of Llowarch ap Bran would be too old (she would be roughly the same age as Ednyfed Fychan, if not older) to be his first wife, most sources say she was a second wife.  We shall defer further comments on this lady until we complete our work on the family of Ednyfed Fychan, but she could chronologically be a very young sister of Cadwgan and Iorwerth ap Llowarch.
 
          It is certain that Llowarch ap Bran had a third son, Madog.  He appears in only a couple medieval pedigrees, one of which incorrectly calls him the son of Iorwerth ap Llowarch.[8]  But in the 1352 "Extent of Anglesey", we find three tracts of land which were known, respectively, as Gwely Cadwgan ap Llowarch, Gwely Iorwerth ap Llowarch and Gwely Madog ap Llowarch.[9] While missing from the pedigrees, there may have been a fourth son, Bleddyn.  The 1352 Extent for the commote of Talybolion identifies the hamlet of Bodwigan in Trelywarch township as containing a Gwely Bleddyn ap Llowarch. 
 
PROBLEM #3 - Gruffudd ap Llowarch:
 
         A number of pedigrees list Gruffudd as another son of Llowarch[10] but there was no Gwely in 1352 bearing that designation; indeed, based on his descendants shown in those pedigrees, he occurred two generations after Llowarch.[11]  The 16th century families in those pedigrees resided mainly in Merioneth, one in Caernarfon and none in Anglesey.  The one signed in 1588 by descendant Robert Lloyd[12] and that cast by descendant Humphrey Meredyth[13] about the same time both derive their families from a Gruffudd ap Ieuan ap Rhys ap Tudor, and identify this Tudor as a son of Maredudd ap Llewelyn ap Gruffudd Lloyd ap Llewelyn ap Gruffudd ap Llowarch.  Unsigned pedigrees gathered by Lewys Dwnn near the turn of the 17th century identify a Tudor as a son of Hywel ap Tudor ap Gruffudd ap Maredudd ap Iorwerth ap Llowarch[14].  Unlike the editor of Dwnn's manuscripts[15], we find those signed by the descendants to be more credible but believe they also are flawed. The conflicting pedigrees look like this: 
 
                       Dwnn's "correction"              Family records
 
                  1120  Llowarch ap Bran
                                l
                  1155  Iorwerth                       1150      ?
                                l
                  1190  Maredudd                     1185  Gruffudd
                                l                                            l
                  1225  Gruffudd                       1215  Llewelyn
                                l                                            l
                  1255   Tudor                         1245  Gruffudd Lloyd
                               l                                             l
                  1290   Hywel                         1280  Llewelyn
                               l                                             l
                  1320   Tudor                         1310  Maredudd
                               l                                             l
                1350    Rhys*                           1335  Tudor
                              l                                             l
                 1385  Jenkin                           1370   Rhys*
                                                                            l
                                                               1405  Ieuan
                                                                           l
                                                             1435  Gruffudd
 
       *A single lady is assigned as wife to both men named Rhys ap Tudor [16]
 
           Perhaps the correct pedigree can be found from data reported in the 1352 Extent of Anglesey.  The hamlet of Caergybi in the township of Trelywarch and commote of Talybolion contained several tracts of land held by various descendants of Llowarch ap Bran. Gwely Cadwgan ap Llywarch was held by, among others, a Tudor ap Hywel ap Tudor.  But more interestingly, a vacant plot in that gwely is described as "escheat" land from Maredudd ap Llewelyn.  Such escheat occurs when an owner dies without heirs and we believe that the circa 1340 Tudor in the family charts was appended to Maredudd ap Llewelyn in error.  If this man was actually Tudor ap Hywel ap Tudor, it might explain why the Dwnn editor insisted on a correction but then erred by using the wrong Tudor ap Hywel ap Tudor., one descended from Iorwerth ap Llowarch. [17]
 
          Since he was a descendant of Cadwgan ap Llowarch, not of Iorwerth ap Llowarch, we suspect the correct pedigree looks like this:
 
                        1120  Llowarch ap Bran
                                         l
                         1150   Cadwgan
                                         l
                         1185   Gruffudd
                                         l
                          1215  Llewelyn
                                         l
                         1245  Gruffudd Lloyd
                       ___________l____________
                       l                                         l
           1275  Tudor                      1280  Llewelyn
                       l                                         l
          1305  Hywel                     1310  Maredudd
                       l                                   d.s.p.
          1335  Tudor
                       l
           1370  Rhys
                      
 
        The 1914 compilation of Anglesey pedigrees assembled by John Griffith also give Llowarch sons named Llowarch Fychan and John[18]; no families are shown for those men nor is any source cited.  We doubt any such sons existed, (NOTE: See our recent addition to Note 18 below) but if they did they must have pre-deceased their father and thus no gwely bore their names in 1352. We must note, however, that there were 4 additional tracts of land in the parish of Porthamel which joined the three named for sons of Llowarch: Gwely Menew ap Moreiddig, Gwely Isaac ap Moreiddig, Gwely Ieuaf ap Moreiddig and Gwely Tegerin ap Moreiddig.  This Moreiddig is not positively identified, but the location of that land certainly argues for his being of the same stock as Llowarch.[19] 
 
PROBLEM #4 - Cadwgan of Plas Goch
 
          As the family pedigrees progress downward from Cadwgan ap Llowarch, many of them skip directly to a son of a Cadwgan of Plas Goch named Iorwerth.  But that Iorwerth can be closely dated to c. 1245[20] so the Cadwgan that was his father must date from about 1215 or two full generations later than Cadwgan ap Llowarch.  One son of that Iorwerth ap Cadwgan was Gywn ap Iorwerth.  This man sold a plot of land[21] to a kinsman in 1317, but was dead before 1352 when his sons were named as land owners in Gwely Cadwgan ap Llowarch[22].  A birthdate for Gwyn near 1275 (and his sons, Hywel and Llewelyn, near 1310) would put him in the fifth generation after Llowarch and his sons who were alive in 1352 would represent the sixth generation.  Another son of the same Iorwerth ap Cadwgan was Llewelyn, whose son Ieuan ap Llewelyn owned the land called Myfyrion; that Ieuan was also living in 1352 and served on the jury which oversaw the Extent.[23]  We suspect his father was slightly older than Gwyn and that he himself was perhaps 5/10 years older than his cousins.  The timeline down from Llowarch seems to permit of only two generations which could have been alive in 1352; the 5th and 6th[24].  The following chart will illustrate:
 
                                  1120  Llowarch
                                               l
                                  1150  Cadwgan
                                               l
                                  1180  Iorwerth (omitted from pedigrees)
                                               l
                                  1215  Cadwgan of Plas Goch (also omitted)
                                               l
                                  1245  Iorwerth
                     ________________l_______________
                     l                                                       l
       1275  Llewelyn                                   1275  Gywn*
                     l                                                       l
       1305   Ieuan                      1305/1310  Hywel and Llewelyn
 
     *In other lines of descent from Llowarch, men in the fifth generation might have been born as late as 1285/90 and, if living in 1352, been men in their 60's.  But men of the 7th generation were but teens in 1352; the 6th generation Ieuan ap Llewelyn was childless.
 
PROBLEM #5 - Philip ap Iorwerth
 
        Henry Rowlands thought Iorwerth ap Cadwgan of Plas Goch had a third son, Philip[25].  Two pedigrees from Lewys Dwnn cite a Madog ap Philip ap Iorwerth ap Cadwgan[26] while two of the 1352 jurors for the Extent of Anglesey were named Ieuan ap Madog ap Philip and Llewelyn ap Madog ap Philip[27].  But if Philip was a member of the fifth generation after Llowarch, his grandsons Ieuan and Llewelyn would belong to the seventh generation and would scarcely have been adults by 1352, perhaps born near 1335.  While their father Madog, if born c. 1305, might have died prior to 1352[28], it does not seem reasonable that mere teenagers would have sat on the Extent jury. But when we place those men in the sixth generation where they fit more reasonably with their 1352 role, we are compelled to place Philip in the same generation as Iorwerth ap Cadwgan of Plas Goch.  We suspect the pedigrees have more omissions than the two missing from this Cadwgan ; our guess would be Philip [ap Cadwgan] ap Iorwerth ap Cadwgan ap Llowarch rather than Philip ap Iorwerth ap Cadwgan ap Llowarch as cited.  Our chart for this line of the family looks like this:
 
                                       1120  Llowarch
                                                    l
                                       1150  Cadwgan
                                                    l
                                       1180  Iorwerth
                                                    l
                                       1215  Cadwgan 
                                                    l
                                       1250   Philip 
                                                    l
                                       1285   Madog
                              ______________l___________
                              l                                            l
                  1315  Ieuan                                  Llewelyn  1320
                                                                           l
                                                               Dafydd Gethyn* 1355
 
     *This man joined the rebellion of Owain Glendower and was apparently captured and held in the castle at Carnarvon.  In 1405, he deeded certain lands to the Constable of that castle, not as a way of buying a pardon from King Henry IV, but as an apparent bribe to obtain his freedom.[29]
              
                                        
 
            
                                         
                                                           

PROBLEM #6 - Maredudd Ddu ap Gronwy ap Maredudd
 
         Most genealogists claim this man had an elder son, Cynwrig, by a first wife and a younger son, Ieuan Wydddel by a second wife.[30]  Historian Henry Rowlands makes the same claim[31] and tries to explain why Ieuan Wyddel but not Cynwrig was named as an owner of Gwely Iorwerth ap Llowarch in the 1352 Extent of Anglesey.  When a workable timeline is applied to the "brothers", it becomes clear....while both men were sons of a Maredudd Ddu, Ieuan Wyddel was a full generation older than Cynwrig.  In 1352, the former was a representative of the senior branch of the family descended from Iorwerth ap Llowarch while Cynwrig was a junior member of a lesser branch of that family.  Cynwrig's uncle, Gruffudd ap Gronwy, was cited as the representative of that branch. 
 
         Both Cynwrig and his sister, Arddun, married spouses which date them to c. 1325 while Ieuan Wyddel was born closer to 1290[32].The Maredudd Ddu who was father to Ieuan served as Rhaglaw of Menai in 1306/08 at a time when the Maredudd Ddu who fathered Cynwrig could not have been yet an adult.[33]  Dafydd, the son of Ieuan Wyddel held the same office in 1359/60[34] 
 
        In a deed dated 1317, Gwyn ap Iorwerth ap Cadwgan sold a plot of land to Maredudd Ddu ap Gronwy ap Maredudd.[35]  Since a subsequent marriage is cited between the son of Gwyn and the daughter of Maredudd Ddu[36], it seems clear this buyer must have been the Maredudd Ddu of c. 1295 and not the same-named man of c. 1255.  Our chart of the families looks like this:
                                         
                                              1120  Llowarch ap Bran
                                       _____________l_____________
                                       l                                         l
                          1155  Iorwerth                            Cadwgan 1150
               _______________l_________                           l
               l                                      l                           l
1185  Maredudd                             Adda*  1190        Iorwerth 1185
               l                                      l                           l
1220    Gronwy                           Maredudd  1225     Cadwgan 1215 
               l                                      l                           l
1255  Maredudd Ddu                      Gronwy  1260        Iorwerth 1245
               l                                      l                           l
1290   Ieuan Wyddel                   Maredudd Ddu 1295      Gwyn 1275
                                   ____________l______                 l
                                   l                             l                l
                       1325 Cynwrig            1325  Arddun====Hywel  1310
                                                                                             
  *This branch of the family is found in Dii,268 which follows the descendants of Iorwerth ap Maredudd ap Adda; since none of that line is named in the 1352 Extent of Anglesey, we believe the Adda branch of the family was represented by Gruffudd ap Gronwy (who is named) and suspect he was the elder brother of the Maredudd Ddu of 1295.  That Gruffudd could not have been a son of the Gronwy of 1220.
        

Notes:
[1] Brut y Tywysogyon, entries for 878 and 881
[2] HLG 4a makes Llowarch "ap Bran ap Dyfnwal ap Eunydd ap Aelan ap Alser ap Tudwal" Gloff
[3] Noted historian Henry Rowlands, whose work "Antiquitates Parochiales" published in Archaeologia Cambrensis in 1849, cited Llowarch as sixth in descent from Tudwal Gloff.  However, the editor of Philip Yorke's  1887 work "The Royal Tribes of Wales" notes that Llowarch was eighth in descent from Tudwal, but does not name the intervening generations.
[4] HLG 4a does not specifically say that Rhael was the wife of Llowarch, but that she was the mother of Cadwgan and Iorwerth, sons of Llowarch.
[5] Brut y Tywysogyon, entry for 1125
[6] Either Rhael was born c. 1125 or her ancestry is cited incorrectly.  Instead, she may have been a daughter of Gronwy ap Owain ap Uchdryd ap Edwin, but we would reject that option. 
[7] Dwnn ii, 154
[8] Dwnn ii, 257/258 and 264
[9] The Extent of Anglesey translated by A.D. Carr in Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club, 1971/72, pp 255
[10] Dwnn ii, 89, 224/225, 232, 234 and 251
[11] The various pedigrees of men descended from this Gruffudd point to a birthdate for him near 1185.
[12] Dwnn ii, 232  Robert Lloyd of Rhiw Goch of Trawsfynydd parish in Merionydd was High Sheriff of that Shire in 1596 and later dates
[13] Dwnn ii, 234  Humphrey ap Maredudd of Clynnog Fawr was High Sheriff of Carnarvonshire in 1614
[14] Dii, 89 but see Dwnn ii, 224/225 for comparison
[15] The editor of Dwnn's manuscripts claimed Robert Lloyd was mistaken, that his Rhys ap Tudor should be attached to Hywel ap Tudor ap Gruffudd.  We think the editor was mistaken.
[16] Dwnn ii, 89 says the Rhys ap Tudor ap Hywel married Marged ferch Ieuan ap Gruffudd Lloyd ap Maredudd ap Llewelyn ap Ynyr of Ial; such a lady would occur circa 1355.  Dwnn ii, 232 says the Rhys ap Tudor ap Maredudd married that same lady, but made her a daughter of Ieuan ap Llewelyn ap Gruffudd Llwyd ap Maredudd ap Llewelyn ap Ynyr, a lady born c. 1385  Dwnn ii, 251 says Rhys ap Tudor ap Maredudd married a Marged ferch Ieuan ap Llewelyn ap Gruffudd ap Sir Ieuan Lloyd.  We think that last citation is merely a corrupt form of the lady first mentioned.  Several Peniarth pedigrees cite her as Gwerfyl ferch Ieuan ap Llewelyn ap Gruffudd Llwyd, etc.  We believe the lady was born c. 1385 and married the Rhys ap Tudor ap Hywel descended from Cadwgan ap Llowarch.  Bartrum's chart assigned her to the same-named man who descended from Iorwerth ap Llowarch
[17] The man of that name wrongly inserted by the Dwnn editor was descended from Iorwerth ap Llowarch and in the 1352 Extent, was an owner of land in Ysgeifiog, Menai which was part of Gwely Maredudd ap Iorwerth.
[18] The work is "Pedigrees of Anglesey & Carnarvonshire Families", 1914, pp 390 It is merely a compilation of extant pedigrees found by the author, who did no work to test their chronological stability. Update: We possibly have identified a Eunydd ap Llowarch Fychan ap Llowarch.  See our paper "Three Men Called Iorwerth Goch ap Maredudd" note 4 at the link below:
[19]  One good possibility is Moreiddig ap Blegoryd ap Dyfnwal, a first cousin of Llowarch ap Bran ap Dyfnwal.  All the land in Porthamel might well have been once called Gwely Dyfnwal ap Eunydd before it was divided into the 7 Gwelys which existed in 1352.
[20] His son, Gwyn, was an adult in 1317 and dead before 1352.  Three of his grandsons served on the jury for the 1352 Extent of Anglesey.  Iorwerth must have been in the fourth generation after Llowarch; thus 4 x 32 = 128 + 1120 = 1248
[21] By a deed dated in 1317, he sold some land to a kinsman, Maredudd Ddu ap Gronwy ap Maredudd.  The deed is reproduced in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1849, pp 105.  He stated his name as Gwyn ap Iorwerth ap Cadwgan.
[22] ibid Note 9, pp 255 for Hywel ap Gwyn and pp 247 for Llewelyn ap Gwyn
[23] ibid Note 9, pp 247
[24] 32 x 5 = 160 + 1120 = 1280; thus men in the fifth generation were 65+ years old in 1352.  Men in the sixth generation were in their 40's while those in the seventh generation were still children.  We would think all the owners named in the Extent were born between 1285 and 1325.
[25] Archaelogia Cambrensis, 1849, pp 104
[26] Dwnn ii, 252 and 265
[27] ibid Note 9, pp 247
[28] History records an epidemic of Bubonic Plague hit Anglesey in 1349 killing half the population in some areas while barely touching others
[29] The constable was Thomas Barneby, a man said to have used his position for personal profit.  In 1414, a royal commission was appointed to investigate his activities.
[30] No single pedigree we have seen includes both Ieuan Wyddel and Cynwrig but Dii,194 cites the mother of Cynwrig as Gwenllian ferch Ithel Fychan ap Ithel Lloyd while Dii, 208 says the mother of Ieuan Wyddel was Cathryn, daughter of an Irish nobleman.  The incorrect conclusion they were brothers comes from same-named ancestors cited for both: Maredudd Ddu ap Gronwy ap Maredudd; in addition, both men named Gronwy are assigned the same wife.  This seems to indicate the drafters of both pedigrees believed the same Maredudd Ddu was father of both men. However, that wife was a granddaughter of Ednyfed Fychan and would date to c. 1230/35 which fits her only with the Gronwy of 1220.
[31] Rowland's "Antiquitates Parochiales" published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1849, pp 43
[32] He occurs in the 5th generation after Llowarch or c. 1280 but was still active in 1352 when named foreman of the Menai jury formed to assess land for the Extent of Anglesey.  
[33] Public Record Office SC6/1170/5
[34] Public Record Office SC/1149/9
[35] See Note 20
[36] Dii,143