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Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
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Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys
                            THE ANCESTRY OF EDWIN OF TEGEINGL  
                                         By Darrell Wolcott    
         Said to have resided at Trefedwen in Caerwys parish in the commote of Rhuddlan, Edwin is sometimes called King of Tegeingl in the medieval pedigrees. He is wholly absent from the chronicles of Wales but his sons, Owain and Uchdryd, do occur in the eleventh century. 
         His mother is identified [1] as Ethelfleda or Aldgyth daughter of Eadwine of Mercia.  Her father was probably the Edwyn who was brother to Earl Leofwine which would make her first-cousin to Earl Leofrig.  The lady was first married to Siferth, a Danish thane and son of Arngrim.  When Siferth was slain about 1015 and his estates confiscated by Aethelred the Unready, the young widow was claimed by the king's son, Edmund Ironsides; he took her to wife over his father's objections.  But young Edmund died in 1016, leaving the lady widowed for the second time.  We suspect she was still very young, perhaps born around 1000, and there is no record that she yet had borne children. (Edmund did have two sons, Edward the Aetheling and Edmund, but there was scarcely time between his marriage to this lady and his death to attribute those children to her)  It was her third marriage which bore Edwin of Tegeingl; this son was probably born before 1020 and perhaps as early as 1017.
          Some historians claim she inherited her father's manor in Tegeingl and that Trefedwen was named after him, not after the son she also named Edwin.  It is difficult to say whether Mercia actually controlled all or part of Tegeingl in the lifetime of Eadwine her father; certainly we are aware of Welsh chieftans who were contemporaries and who held land in the commote of Coleshill [2] which adjoins Rhuddlan to the east, even closer to Mercia proper. And a passage in the Cheshire Domesday Book says King Edward gave to Gruffudd (ap Llewelyn) all the land that lies beyond the River Dee; this may have been merely an acknowledgement that the Welsh already possessed it and Edward simply quit claiming it on paper. Thus, it is possible that both commotes were then (in the 10th and 11th centuries) under Welsh control and that young Edwin's claim to the manor at Trefedwen was not maternal, but an inheritance from his father.  But who was his father?
         The majority, but by no means all, of the medieval pedigrees name the father of Edwin as Gronwy.[3]  And say this Gronwy was the son of Owain ap Hywel Dda.  But since such a Gronwy would occur c. 940/950, he would be a full generation too old to be the father of Edwin.  Revised pedigrees were soon circulated which "corrected" this to Gronwy ap Einion ap Owain ap Hywel Dda.  But none of the ancient manuscripts included a son of Einion ap Owain who was named Gronwy.  There was, however, an Edwin ap Einion born c. 970 and the occurrance of that male name in the family of Owain ap Hywel Dda is likely the main reason why the medieval genealogists attached the later Edwin of Tegeingl to this line. 
         Clearly the male name Edwin was Saxon in origin, not Welsh.  When we inquire as to why Einion ap Owain would have given a son a Saxon name, we learn that he had married a Saxon lady. Her name is not recorded (nor her ancestry), but in her old age she had insisted her lands in Mercia be given to a female relative (probably a niece) and not to her son Edwin[4].  This Edwin's son, Hywel, also married a Saxon princess: the Algitha or Editha whom Gruffudd ap Llewelyn had "taken for himself" after defeating Hywel in 1041.  But if we were to accept the theory that Edwin of Tegeingl also descended from Einion ap Owain, the only way to explain finding him in Tegeingl would be through his mother; the family's patrimony was much farther south in Deheubarth.
          Other extant pedigrees[5] claim Gronwy was the son of Allwedd, king of Tegeingl. Or that Edwin's father's name was Anlleth the king[6] or Osbarn ap Elvet of the North[7].  Others confound him with Aleth of Dyfed, a later man who, like Edwin, named one of his sons Uchdryd.[8]  Both Allwedd and Anlleth may be variations of Aleth and account for them being mistakenly placed into Edwin's pedigrees.  One citation makes Edwin the king of Man, a tradition which may be responsible for the arms of the Isle of Man also being assigned to Owain ap Edwin.[9]  We believe it more likely, however, that Owain's arms reflect his mother's descent.  Edwin had married Iwerydd ferch Cynfyn and some believe she was a child by Cynfyn's first wife[10] who might have been a daughter of an Irish/Danish king whose realm included Man.  The Welsh word Iwerddon means Ireland and it's possible the daughter of Cynfyn was merely nick-named Iwerydd to denote her maternal origin.
         When doubt exists as to a man's ancestry, our inclination is to examine the lands he may have inherited and passed down to his descendants.  This includes adjoining lands which may have earlier been a part of a single gwely.  The Welshman called Ednowain Bendew, born within a couple years of Edwin of Tegeingl, is said to have resided at Llys y Coed in the parish of Cilcain, commote of Coleshill in Tegeingl.  This commote lies to the immediate east of the commote Rhuddlan.  Both Llys y Coed and Trefedwen lie in the interior of Tegeingl near its southern border, and some distance away from the coastline route the Saxons used when invading Wales from Chester; even if the latter was in Saxon hands in the eleventh century, they would have had little use for the interior portion of Tegeingl where it meets the Clwydian mountain range. 
         Ednowain Bendew was the son of Neniad ap Gwaethfoed ap Gwrydr Hir[11] and the latter probably can be identified as Gwrydr ap Caradog ap Lles Llyddog.  Although that earlier family is believed to have ruled the portion of Powys south of the Severn, this Gwaethfoed represents a junior cadet:
                                   855  Lles Llyddog
                          l                                                 l
           885  Gwynnog Farfsych                           Caradog  890
                          l                                                 l
         915  Gwaethfoed of Powys                     Gwrydr Hir  920
                          l                                                 l
             955  Gwerystan                                 Gwaethfoed  955
                          l                                                 l
               985  Cynfyn                                     Neiniad  985
                          l                                                 l
             1025  Bleddyn                             Ednowain Bendew  1020
         The marriage assigned to Gwrydr Hir points to his might having been settled in far northeast Wales; he married a daughter of Tudor Trevor, the so-called Lord of the March whose lands of Maelor, Chirk and Whittington bordered Mercia.  In the late tenth century, we posit that Gwaethfoed ap Gwrydr might have been Lord of the commotes of Rhuddlan and Coleshill if not all of Tegeingl.  If he divided those lands between two sons, we might have the following result to explain the land holdings by the mid-eleventh century:
                                      955  Gwaethfoed of Tegeingl
                                l                                                 l
                     985  Neiniad                                     Gronwy  990
                                l                                                 l
                1020  Ednowain Bendew                          Edwin  1020
          It is not unreasonable to assume all these men had made their peace with the Earls of Mercia, being close neighbors. Some historians actually identify this Edwin with the Edwin son of Aelfgar who became Earl of Mercia in the 1060's.  A look at the family of Aelfgar makes that conjecture doubtful:
                                    960  Leofwine                    Eadwine*  965
                              __________l________                   l
                              l                                l                   l        
                 990  Leofrig**            995  Eadwine***   Ethelfleda  1000
              _________l__________                                 l               
              l                                 l                                 l          
 1017  Aelfgar               1020  Algitha****               Edwin  1020
              l                                                          of Tegeingl
  1045  Edwin
      Earl of Mercia
         * Probably a brother of Leofwine
       ** Earl of Mercia who was married to Lady Godiva 
     *** The "Edwin brother of Earl Leofrig" reported killed by the Welsh in 1039[12]
   **** Wife of Hywel ap Edwin ap Owain of Deheubarth who was taken from him
            in battle in 1041 by Gruffudd ap Llewelyn [13]
         The Welsh king Gruffudd ap Llewelyn was an ally of Earl Aelfgar who twice aided the Earl in regaining his earldom when Aelfgar had been outlawed by King Edward the Confessor.  The men were in-laws of some sort; some say Gruffudd was married to Aelfgar's sister[14] while others say the lady was his daughter[15].  We believe it was a sister of Aelfgar who had been married to Hywel ap Edwin of Deheubarth, and a daughter of Aelfgar that Gruffudd married, and who was later taken to wife by Harold Godwinson.
            Certainly the mother of Edwin of Tegeingl was a blood relative of Aelfgar as well as an in-law of Gruffudd and we believe the giving of Iwerydd (either his step or half sister) to Edwin as a wife was a part of the alliance he made with Aelfgar.  Gruffudd probably also elevated Edwin to a Lordship in Tegeingl, accounting for the claims he was its "king". 
            In the last years of the eleventh century and the opening years of the next, Owain ap Edwin was installed by the Normans as ruler of Gwynedd after they had caused Gruffudd ap Cynan to flee to Ireland.  It earned him the Welsh epithet "Fradwr" or traitor; but it seems clear from the chronicles that this family remained a major player in north Wales until 1125 when three sons of Owain ap Edwin were killed by a son of Gruffudd ap Cynan.
            To summarize, we tend to agree that the father of Edwin was named Gronwy[16].  But we discount the attempts of those who attach him to the family of Hywel Dda; medieval genealogists seem to have been obsessed with the notion that descent from Rhodri Mawr was required for the major players in north Wales.  The fact that the two men, Edwin ap Gronwy and Ednowain Bendew, who were contemporaries with one called Lord of Tegeingl and the other called King of Tegeingl, argues for common paternal ancestry.  We suggest that they were first-cousins, sons of brothers Neiniad and Gronwy ap Gwaethfoed. 
        Another theory was advanced by author T.A. Glenn in 1934 which has little to recommend it; see Appendix I.

[1]  Philip Yorke: The Royal Tribes of Wales, 1887, pp 202; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1959, pp 201
[2]  Ednowain Bendew ap Neiniad held lands in the parish of Cilcain, commote of Coelshill in Tegeingl during the same years that Edwin flourished
[3]  National Library of Wales Journal, vol xiii, part 2, pp 113
[4]  Dorothy Whitelock, editor "English Historical Documents c. 500-1042", 1968, pp 556 describes a suit brought by Edwin son of Einion against his mother, seeking her lands of Wellington and Cradley.  His elderly mother, unable to attend the trial, was interviewed at her home by representatives appointed by the court.  Angry that her son had brought the suit, she sent for her "kinswoman" Leofflaed who was wife to Thurkil the White and announced that it was to Leofflaed that she was granting her lands after death, and to her son "never a thing".  One assumes the old lady was aware her son had inherited land in Wales from his father who died in 984, and intended to keep her English property in her birth family.  Yet, her rebuke of her son also indicates real hostility. Leofflaed was probably the daughter of her brother.  Both ladies were Saxon princesses. Based upon the parties present, we date this lawsuit near 1020.
[5] Peniarth Ms 129 pp 123
[6] Peniarth Ms 131 pp 284
[7] Peniarth Ms 181 pp 358 and Peniarth Ms 138, pp 38
[8] Uchdryd ap Aleth ap Llawr, born c. 1020 in Dyfed, was the ancestor of Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth.  Another man of that family, Uchdryd ap Aleth ap Greddf, was born c. 1055 and was the ancestor of several men called Rhys ap Llowdden.  Many medieval pedigrees are extant where descendants of Uchdryd ap Edwin are attributed to a Uchdryd ap Aleth
[9] Both the arms of Owain ap Edwin and of the Isle of Man are "gules, three human legs conjoined at the thighs argent"
[10] Brut y Tywysogyon 1116 says Iwerydd and Bleddyn were brother and sister by the same father but not the same mother.  However, ABT 2e cites her mother as Angharad ferch Maredudd ap Owain; ABT 1e also makes Angharad the mother of Bleddyn.  We give more weight to the Brut version as the earlier source.
[11] ABT 2d, ABT 8h, and HLG 1b make Ednowain Bendew "ap Neiniad ap Gwaethfoed" while ABT 1b cites "Gwaethfoed ap Gwrydr ap Caradog ap Lles Llyddog"
[12] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for 1039.  This would have been a battle between Hywel of Deheubarth and Gruffudd ap Llewelyn in which Hywel had sought help from his wife's kinfolks, in vain it would appear.
[13] The Brut entry for 1041 does not name the lady, only that Gruffudd "defeated Hywel and he seized his wife and took her for his own" or "took her as wife for himself". (wording from the Peniarth and Red Book of Hergest versions differs slightly)
[14]  Jane Williams "A History of Wales", 1869, pp 168 calls her "Algitha, daughter of Leofric and brother of Earl Algar"
[15]  Sir Frank Stenton "Anglo-Saxon England", 1971, pp 575 says Aelfgar "is known to have married a daughter to Gruffudd"
[16] Brut y Tywysygion for the year 1118 mentions the "sons of Owain ap Edwin ap Goronwy" but nowhere extends the pedigree beyond this Gronwy.

        In his book "The Family of Griffith of Garn and Plasnewydd" published in 1934, T.A. Glenn included a pedigree which portrays Edwin of Tegeingl as the son of Uchdryd of Atiscross.  Glenn says this Uchdryd (wholly unknown from any other source) is the man who married the widow of Edmund Ironside whom he calls Ealdgyth daughter of Eadwine.  He then makes his Uchdryd a son of Ugan of Bodugan "a thane of Earl Leofric".  The wife of Ugan is cited as "Nest ferch Tudor ap Einion". His father is given as Olaf Sitricsson, King of Dublin.  The family is traced back to "Halfdan".
         Most authorities agree that Olaf was the son of Sitric or Sygtrygg and was the father of Sitric Silkbeard; the latter was the grandfather of Rhanillt daughter of Olaf who married a refugee from Gwynedd named Cynan and gave birth to Gruffudd ap Cynan.  While some sources say Sitric Silkbeard had a brother named Regnall, none mention a Ugan. 
         We shall simply list some of the problems with Glenn's pedigree which lead us to dismiss it as not only unlikely, but pure fantasy:
         1.  The family descended from Halfdan produced Olaf Tryggvisson, not Olaf Sitricsson.  The latter was descended from a wholly different Scandinavian family.
         2.  There is no record of any thane of Leofric named Ugan.  The marriage assigned to him is equally suspect: Tudor ap Einion is the man called Tewdwr Mawr who was killed in battle in 994.  The grandson of Owain ap Hywel Dda, this "Tudor" was born about 970 and it is unlikely he was even married when killed in his early 20's.  But any daughter of his would have been a generation too young to be the grandmother of Edwin of Tegeingl, born c. 1020.
        3.  The villa called Bodugan is believed to have been named for St. Meugan; Glenn has seized on the elided name "ugan" to suppose that was a man's name. In addition, that villa is nowhere near Atiscross (a hundred in Cheshire bordering on Tegeingl).
        4.  Sitric Silkbeard is believed to have ruled not only in Dublin, but on the Isle of Man.  By positing a brother Ugan, Glenn puts the latter in Tegeingl to explain why (years later) Owain ap Edwin was assigned the arms of the Isle of Man.  
        5.  The pedigree cites a brother of Edwin as Thored upon no more authority than a single mention in the Cheshire Domesday that Aston in Deeside had been once held by "Edwin and Thored" who were free men.  Many other parcels in Cheshire and outside of its Welsh part were held by an Edwin and others by a Thored. Any further identification of those men is pure conjecture.
       6.  Glenn says his Uchdryd son of Ugan was a brother of Eadric the Wild, a man known to have been a Saxon living in Shropshire and active on the battlefields as late as 1069. No uncle of Edwin of Tegeingl could have done that.  Most scholars identify Eadric as a nephew of Earl Eadric Streona based upon a citation in the Worcester Chronicle.