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Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
A study in charting medieval citations
The Evolution of the "Padriarc Brenin" Pedigree
Generational Gaps and the Welsh Laws
Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the Eleventh Century
The Lands of the Silures
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
Ancient Powys
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Maxen Wledig of Welsh Legend
Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies
Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig
Constans I and his 343 Visit to Britain
Glast and the Glastening
Composite Lives of St Beuno
Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees
The Father of Tewdrig of Gwent
Another Look at Teithfallt of Gwent
Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras
Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
Lluan ferch Brychan
The Herbert Family Pedigree
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Angharad, Heiress of Mostyn
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Henry, the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Muddled Pedigree of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir
The Mysterious Peverel Family
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"
Ancestry of Ieuaf ap Adda ap Awr of Trevor
The Retaking of Northeast Wales
Hedd Molwynog or Hedd ap Alunog of Llanfair Talhearn
"Meuter Fawr" son of Hedd ap Alunog
The Medieval "redating" of Braint Hir
Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen
Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179
The Battle of Mynydd Carn
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain
Cadwgan of Nannau
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
What Really Happened in Deheubarth in 1022?
Two Families headed by a Rhydderch ap Iestyn
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
Hywel ap Gronwy of Deheubarth
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
The Other Gwenwynwyn
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited
Gwyn Ddistain, seneschal for Llewelyn Fawr
The Men of Lleyn - How They Got There
Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn
Einion vs Iestyn ap Gwrgan - The Conquest of Glamorgan
Dafydd Goch ap Dafydd - His Real Ancestry
Thomas ap Rhodri - Father of Owain "Lawgoch"
The "Malpas" Family in Cheshire
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Sorting out the Gwaithfoeds
Three Men called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd"
The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg
The Royal Family of Ceredigion
Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin
The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Maredudd Gethin ap Lord Rhys
The 'Next Heir' of Morgan of Caerleon
Pedigree of the ancient Lords of Ial
The Shropshire Walcot Family
Pedigree of "Ednowain Bendew II"
Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam

                               WHO WAS MAREDUDD AP CYNAN?
                                         By Darrell Wolcott
 
         Most scholars agree a man of this name was a son of Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd, born c. 1165, and expelled from Meirionydd in 1202 by his nephew Hywel.  A year earlier, Maredudd had been expelled from Lleyn and Eifionydd by another nephew, Llewelyn ap Iorwerth.  Both Brut entries say he was driven from his territories because of his treachery.  But this man lived over 100 years too late to be identified with the Maredudd ap Cynan which some sources call "a brother of Gruffudd ap Cynan".[1]
 
        A 1633 manuscript[2] containing pedigrees of leading families of Powys mentions a Maredudd ap Cynan who married Alison ferch Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog.  Their son, called Y Llyr Craff (probably "Llawer Craff" or "very sagacious") is cited as having married a daughter of Einion ap Seisyllt.  The known floruit of those ladies would seem to date this Maredudd ap Cynan to the mid-eleventh century.  Furthermore, the pedigree material places the family at Meifod in Mechain and Llanfair in Caereinion; both are in central Powys, not Gwynedd.  As with all medieval pedigrees, there are problems with the family chronology and with the assignments of some marriage matches with the wrong of two same-named men.  But a careful analysis of the several separate citations yields six separate branches of the family in the 16th century, all traced to a patriarch who must have occurred circa 1055. 
 
         Meifod was the site of an historic church, one of the most important in Powys[3].  It is also where Sulien the Wise resided until he was elected Bishop of St David's in 1073.  Sulien died in 1091 at age 80 so his appointment at Meifod would have been in the years between c. 1050/1073.  Apparently the early men in the pedigree of the eleventh century Maredudd ap Cynan were clerics and indeed Caradog ap Collwyn ap Y Llyr Craff is probably the Caradog who served as Archdeacon of Meifod.[4]  Not only did this Caradog name his son Sulien, but that may have also been the actual name of Y Llyr Craff.
 
          The early part of the pedigree, with estimated birthdates, looks like this:
 
 1055  Maredudd====Alison[5] 1070
                         l
         1090  Y Llyr Craff====Alis[6] 1105
                                    l
                       1120  Collwyn====Elen[7] 1130
                                             l
                               1155  Caradog====Efa[8] 1170
                                                     l
                                         1190  Sulien[9]
                              ______________l_________
                              l                                     l
                   1225  Alis                       1220  Ednyfed==Arddun[10]
                             =
           1210  Gruffudd ap Gwyn[11]
 
           All of the families said to descend from this Ednyfed[12] are chronologically consistent with his having been born c. 1220. He occurs in the fifth generation after Maredudd who thus could not be the Maredudd ap Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd born c. 1165.
 
           In his "History of the Parish of Llanerfyl"[13], the Rev. G. Edwards describes the ancient mansion of Nueadd Wen as the "residence of Meredydd ap Cynan, brother of Gruffydd ap Cynan, prince of North Wales".  He further asserts without any source evidence that this Maredudd "served the Princes of Powys".  The three lordships credited to him are Rhiwhiraeth, Coed Talog and Neuadd Wen; all were mere residences clustered about where the later town of Llanfair is now located. Rev. Edwards also refers to a nearby brook as "Nant Gwgan" and thinks Nueadd Wen was formerly named "Llys Wgan".  He believes these suggest the area was once home to Cadwgan ap Bleddyn and thereby subtly links Cadwgan with Maredudd ap Cynan. 
 
              We dismiss the claims of those who would make this Maredudd a brother of the Gruffudd ap Cynan who ruled Gwynedd until his death in 1137; as we argue elsewhere[14] we believe that man was born near 1070.  It is possible, however, he was a younger brother of "Gruffudd nephew of Iago" and born in Ireland about 1055.  While his older brother was mostly concerned with reclaiming the kingship of Gwynedd for his family, Maredudd may have been trained as a cleric.  At age 14, Maredudd might have been sent to Meifod to study under Sulien.  Cloistered there, his early family would have been immune to the battles waged by his brother and by his younger cousin[15] over such worldy matters as kingships. He may have named his son after his mentor but he was called by a descriptive nickname, possibly to prevent confusion with the late Bishop Sulien of St David's.
 
          It is altogether possible Maredudd was a close friend of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, especially if his first assignment outside the church at Meifod was as household priest (Offeiriad) to the king of Powys. Virtually the same age as Cadwgan, the latter's advancement to kingship likely occurred c. 1083/1088. That Maredudd was regarded highly in Powys can be seen from the important families from which he and his progeny took wives.  Llewelyn Aurdorchog had grown up in the households of Llewelyn ap Seisyll and Cynfyn ap Gwerystan and his son, Llewelyn Fychan, was an older first cousin of Cadwgan[16]. The marriage of Alison ferch Llewelyn Fychan to Maredudd probably occurred c. 1088.  Their son, called "the very wise one" was also sent for training at Meifod; when it was time for him to take a wife, about 1120, he was given a young lady maternally related to Owain Gwynedd[17].  And in the following generation, Collwyn married a lady descended from Meilyr Gryg[18] who represented a junior branch of the tribe of Brochwel Ysgithrog; the senior line of that family had ruled Powys until 1063 when the new dynasty founded by the sons of Cynfyn replaced it.
 
           Although Maredudd ap Cynan inheirited no lands in Wales (his father, we believe, had fled to Ireland in 1039) and was never a seeker of kingdoms on earth, the little group of houses around Llanfair was probably a grant for his sustenance...either by the church at Meifod or by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn for his service to his household.
 
           Those who deny his eleventh century existence by identifying him with a later Maredudd ap Cynan do so, we think, to debunk the claim that he was a brother of Gruffudd ap Cynan.  No such brother was mentioned in "Historia Gruffudd ap Cynan"[19] and none was cited in the Welsh annals or the Brut.  We would point out that those sources were concerned with kings and bishops, not ordinary priests or teachers.  And the man we identity as his brother was not the Gruffudd ap Cynan ap Iago who ruled Gwynedd until his death in 1137, but Gruffudd ap Cynan ap Idwal whose attempts to become king of Gwynedd in 1075 and 1081 did not succeed.  And we suggest Maredudd was already at Meifod studying under Sulien the Wise long before his brother's efforts were noted in the annals as "Gruffudd nephew of Iago".
                                        

NOTES:
[1]  Montgomeryshire Collections, vol x, pp 20
[2]  Cedwyn Ms reprinted in vols viii, ix & x of Montgomeryshire Collections
[3]  J.E. Lloyd's History of Wales, pp 247/248, makes Meifod the premier church of Powys and once the burial place of its kings
[4]  Montgomeryshire Collections, vol ix, pp 147
[5]  Alison is cited as ferch Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog. The latter was penteulu for Gruffudd ap Llewelyn and was born c. 1005; Llewelyn Fychan was his eldest son born c. 1035.  A daughter of the latter would occur c. 1065/70 and fit chronologically with a husband born c. 1055
[6]  Alis is cited as ferch Einion ap Seisyllt.  His mother was a daughter of Owain ap Edwin (and sister to the wife of Gruffudd ap Cynan) and his son married a daughter of Owain Cyfeiliog.  Both point to a birthdate near 1110 for Einion.  If Alis was his daughter, she'd be a generation too young to marry a Y Llyr Craff born c. 1090  She might have been an older sister of Einion but in any event, Y Llyr Craff was a product of the late eleventh century and could not be the son of the Maredudd ap Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd born 100 years later.
[7] Elen is cited as ferch Einion ap Llewelyn ap Meilyr Gryg.  While the pedigrees of that family contain men of that name born c. 1095 and c. 1250, only an Elen born about 1130 fits chronologically with Collwyn.  An Elen born c. 1280 would be far too young to have married a grandson of Maredudd ap Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd, so this Collwyn must have occurred near 1120.
[8] Efa is cited as ferch Owain ap Meurig ap Pasgen ap Gwyn ap Gruffudd.  In the pedigrees of that family, men of that exact name occurred c. 1140, c. 1240 and c. 1340.  Although an Efa of c. 1270 would fit with a Caradog, great-grandson of Maredudd ap Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd, a different wife is cited for that man.  An Efa born c. 1170 is a chronological fit for a Caradog born c. 1155
[9]  The wife cited for Sulien ap Caradog occurs c. 1385 and can be chronologically matched with another man named Sulien ap Caradog who occurs in the pedigree material c. 1375; the wife of this Sulien is not known.
[10] Arddun is cited as ferch Einion ap Cynfelyn.  The pedigrees of that family securely date him to c. 1170 and a daughter of his would be a generation too old to marry an Ednyfed of 1220.  Perhaps she was actually a granddaughter.
[11] The husband of Alis ferch Sulien is cited as Gruffudd ap Gwyn ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt.  We previously (Note 5) dated Einion to c. 1110 and his great-grandson should occur c. 1210
[12] These include Dafydd ap Dafydd ap Madog Lloyd of Llanfair, whose daughter Gwen married a descendant of Madog Gwenwys; Maredudd Lloyd ap Dafydd ap Maredudd of Llanfair who died without issue; Ieuan Heiliarth ap Ieuan ap Hywel of Llanfair, living c. 1570; and 3 other families living at Llysyn near Llanfiar who descended from Meurig Goch of a junior cadet
[13] Montgomeryshire Collections, vol xvi, pp 71-92
[14] See the paper "Gruffudd ap Cynan - A New Perspective" elsewhere on this site
[15] ibid, we actually make the younger Gruffudd ap Cynan the first-cousin once- removed of Maredudd ap Cynan (son of his first cousin, Cynan ap Iago)
[16] The mother of Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog was a daughter of Cynfyn; Bleddyn was her half-brother by another wife of Cynfyn.
[17] The mother of Alis who married Y Llyr Craff was a sister of the mother of Owain Gwynedd
[18] The paternal ancestor of Meilyr Gryg was a younger son of Brochwel ap Aeddon ap Cyngen ap Brochwel ap Eliseg ap Gwylog of the first Powys dynasty
[19] An anonymous 13th century Welsh manuscript first translated into English by Arthur Jones in 1910