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Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                            THE FLORUIT OF EINION AP SEISYLLT
                                        By Darrell Wolcott
 
         The first man of this name was the patriarch of the family seated at Mathafarn in Cyfeiliog and both his descent and the years of his floruit are often misstated by genealogists and historians.  He was not a brother of Llewelyn ap Seisyllt as Dwnn cites[1] and was not contemporary with Llewelyn Fawr as some claim.  In fact, he probably died about the time the latter was born; if their lives overlapped at all, it was when Einion was quite old and Llewelyn Fawr was a child. We estimate his birth c. 1110.  However, there were two men descended from him and also called Einion ap Seisyllt; a grandson born c. 1175 and a great-grandson born c. 1205 whom we shall meet later.
 
         His father was Seisyllt ap Ednowain, descended from Gwyddno Garanhir.  Notwithstanding the traditional tales that Gwyddno's lands were submerged in the sixth century[2], the man of that name in the pedigrees was born in the mid-800's.  The Dwnn pedigrees[3] name the wife of Seisyllt as a daughter of Gronwy of Tegeingl (and so brother of Edwin) but such a lady would occur two generations too early.  We believe his wife was actually Annes ferch Owain ap Edwin ap Gronwy born c. 1090, two generations having been dropped from the medieval pedigrees[4].
 
         The same pedigrees name the wife of Einion as Nest ferch Madog ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn.  That lady would occur near 1125.  Gronwy, the son of Einion, is said to have married a daughter of Owain Cyfeiliog[5] which dates him to the mid-1100's. We assign 1145 as our estimate.  A daughter of Einion married Owain Brogyntyn ap Madog ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn; that Owain was born c. 1140 and confirms children of Einion ap Seisyllt occurring about 1145/1150.  The early chart looks like this:
 
    1050  Owain ap Edwin      Ednowain  1050        Cadwgan  1055 
                        l                       l                              l
          1090  Annes=======Seisyllt  1080           Madog  1090
                                  l                                            l
                       1115  Einion===============Nest  1125
                              ______________l__________
                              l                                           l
                 1145  Gronwy                               Marged  1150
                             =                                         =
           1160  Meddefys ferch                 Owain Brogyntyn 1140
                    Owain Cyfeiliog                 (her 1st husband had
                                                             been Thomas ap Henry
                                                               ap Cadwgan)
 
         Owain Cyfeiliog was prince of southern Powys, the son of Gruffudd ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn.  His obit is recorded in 1197 and a birthdate about 1125 is indicated. One should expect the father of the man who married his daughter to be some 10/15 years older than him.[6]
 
          The historians point to a 1428 inquest[7] as their reason for dating Einion to the latter years of the 12th century and flourishing in the first half of the 13th.  Taken at Bala in Meirionydd before Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, this inquisition found the following "facts" concerning the land which lies between the Tyfi and Dulas rivers:
 
          1.  Einion ap Seisyllt had held that land in capite from Llewelyn Fawr ap Maredudd ap Cynan and his brother, Llewelyn Fychan, who were Lords of Meirionydd.
 
          2.  Because of dissention and discord between those brothers and Einion, the latter fled to Owain Cyfeiliog Lord of Powys and placed both himself and his lands under that man as a means to show his homage and fidelity to his new lord, and to enable him to retain those lands against adverse claims by the Lords of Meirionydd.
 
          Thus land which was once a part of Meirionydd was removed from that cantref in Gwynedd and added to the neighboring cantref of Cyfeiliog in Powys, this occurring in the lifetime of Einion ap Seisyllt. If this transfer can be dated to c. 1171 as we believe, the king of southern Powys was a man quite likely to offer shelter to Einion; he was the father-in-law of Einion's son.
 
           The problem with the "finding" is not with the result stated, but with how Einion first held the land. If we identify the brothers Llewelyn and Llewelyn Fychan as sons of Maredudd ap Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd (which Maredudd had been Lord of Meirionydd until ousted in 1202), those men were not born earlier than about 1185 and their rights to Meirionydd were not restored to Maredudd's family until 1241.  We would have to believe that sometime after 1241, the brothers were the Lords over an Einion who carried it to a Prince of Powys that died in 1197. We shall refrain from offering the possibility it was not Owain Cyfeiliog to whom Einion fled since the pedigree evidence clearly makes them contemporaries. 
 
        Although absent from any sources we have seen, it is possible the two brothers were sons of a much earlier Maredudd ap Cynan [8] and born around 1085/90.  But nothing connects that Maredudd with Meirionydd and, given the tiny land holdings attributed to him...all in Powys...it is inconceivable his family could have been the lord of any land in Gwynedd.  We suspect the 1428 "finding" wrongly assumed it was a single Einion who was contemporary with Owain Cyfeiliog and
with the sons of Maredudd ap Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd.
 
          Given that Einion was in fact contemporary with Owain Cyfeiliog, we suggest his lord was Owain Gwynedd, both king of Gwynedd and Lord of Meirionydd.  No doubt Einion served that king as they were first-cousins, their mothers having been sisters.  We would further conjecture that upon the death of Owain Gwynedd in 1170, the "dissention and discord" was between Einion and the sons of Owain.  Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd received the lordship of Meirionydd as a part of his share of his father's lands and one could see him and Einion falling out over who should control Einion's land.  Perhaps Einion refused to recognize Cynan as having any right to rents or renders from his land.  Or it may have been a more personal grievance since Einion felt he needed a powerful friend to protect him. Whatever his motive, the original Einion ap Seisyllt lived in the era of Cynan ap Owain Gwynedd, and was almost certainly dead before the grandsons of Cynan were born.
 
         The confusion in the pedigree material can be seen with this chart of his early family:
 
                                     1080  Seisyllt
                                                 l
                                     1110  Einion
                         _______________l_____________
                         l                                                  l
           1145  Gronwy(a)                          1145  Seisyllt(b)
                  ______l___________                                       l
              l                             l                               l
 1175  Seisyllt          1180  Gwyn(c)           1175  Einion
              l                              l                              l
1205  Einion          1215  Gruffudd(d)        1210  Gronwy
              l                                                             l
 1240 Gronwy(e)                                       1245  Elen (f)
                 l
1275  Gwyn (g)
 
            (a) The Gronwy who married a daughter of Owain Cyfeiliog and witnessed charters for that prince and his son Gwenwynwyn between 1185 and 1201 [9]
         (b)  The "Seisyllt of Meirionydd" who married Isabel ferch Bradwen, she born c. 1160[10]
         (c)  The Gwyn ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt who married Arddun ferch Ifor ap Cadifor ap Gwaithfoed, she born c. 1195, and secondly marrried Alis ferch Rhys Gryg ap Lord Rhys, she born c. 1185 [11]
          (d)  The Gruffudd ap Gwyn ap Gronwy who married Alis ferch Sulien ap Caradog ap Collwyn, she born c. 1225 [12]
          (e)  The Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt who married Nest ferch Cynfelyn ap Dolffyn, she born c. 1240 [13]  Like the other two men called Gronwy ap Einion in this chart, he named a son Gwyn and each of the three Gwyns named one son Gruffudd.
          (f)  She had a brother named Gwyn who had a son named Gruffudd; she married Llewelyn ap Tudor ap Gwyn ap Bradwen, he born c. 1230. That Gwyn was a brother of Ednowain ap Bradwen.  The marriage is cited in Dwnn i, 39
        (g)  The Gwyn ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt who married a daughter ferch Owain ap Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn ap Gwenwynwyn ap Owain Cyfeiliog, she born c. 1285 [14] This Gwyn had a son named Gruffudd c. 1305
 
        The men and women of each branch of the family shown in the above chart occur at dates consistent with our birthdate estimates for their charted ancestor.  Perhaps the best-known of these was (a) the Pugh family of Mathafarn whose 15th century patriarch was the noted bard Dafydd Lloyd of c. 1430; and (b) the Pryse family of Gunley.  The Einion ap Seisyllt in the Pugh family  pedigree is the one born c. 1110, while the Einion ap Seisyll found in the Pryse family pedigree was the one born c. 1175. [15]
 
         One need do no more than look at the family charts drawn by Peter Bartrum(16) to see the chronological impossibilites which result from his rolling 3 men named Gwyn ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt into a single man.
            
       
                                     
                 

NOTES:
[1]  Dwnn i, 295, the pedigree of Pugh of Mathafarn, makes Einion and Llewelyn brothers.  But Llewelyn ap Seisyllt died in 1023 or nearly 100 years prior to Einion.  The father of that Seisyllt is nowhere recorded; our conclusions as to his ancestry are in papers linked here:
[2] The is the legend of Cantref Gawelod said to now lie somewhere beneath the Bay of Cardigan; rather than a sixth century inundation, that lowland was probably flooded in the ninth century
[3] Dwnn 1, 295 & 299.  Those pedigrees trace Edwin of Tegeingl to an incorrect ancestry, as shown in our paper :The Ancestry of Edwin of Tegeingl" at the link below:
[4] In his work, Sheriffs of Montgomeryshire, the Rev W V Lloyd (Montgomeryshire Collections vol 18, pp 104) describes Einion as a first cousin of Owain Gwynedd.  Our construction makes the mothers of those two men sisters, daughters of Owain ap Edwin of Tegeingl
[5] ibid Note 3, the lady is called Meddefys
[6] A typical first marriage in that era was between a man near 30 and a girl about 14
[7] Montgomery Collections vol 1, pp 255
[8] Refer to the paper "Who Was Maredudd ap Cynan" at the link below:
[9] See Montgomeryshire Collections, vol iv, pp 26/27 for the text of the 1185 grant, and pp 298/299 for the 1201 grant.
[10] Harleian 1973, 70 & 77 cite this marriage but do not show the ancestry of this Seisyllt.  Isabel was a sister of Endowain ap Bradwen of Tal-y-Bont, Meirionydd
[11] Dwnn i, 305 & 317 cite the marriage of Gwyn with Arddun ferch Ifor, while Dwnn i. 299 cites his marriage with Alis ferch Rhys Gryg
[12] Dwnn i, 305 & 317 cite the marriage of Gruffudd ap Gwyn with Alis ferch Sulien ap Caradog ap Collwyn descended from Maredudd ap Cynan
[13] Pen. 127, 64 cites the marriage of Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt with Nest ferch Cynfelyn ap Dolffyn.  That Cynfelyn was the second of the name, being a son of Dolffyn ap Rhiwallon ap Dolffyn ap Rhiwallon ap Madog ap Cadwgan of Arwystli.  See our paper "Cadwgan of Nannau" at the link below:
[14] Pen. 138, 555 cites the marriage of Gwyn ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt with a daughter of Owain ap Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn ap Owain Cyfeiliog.  See the paper "The Other Gwenwynwyn" at the link below, for our reasons to believe a second man named Gwenwynwyn ap Gwenwynwyn has been omitted from the citation
[15] The Pugh (ap Huw) family of Mathadarn took their surname from Huw ap Ieuan ap Dafydd Lloyd, while the Pryse (ap Rhys) family took their surname from Rhys ap Morys born c. 1465. For another Pugh family who descended from Einion ap Seisyll, see the paper at the following link:
[16]  Bartrum's "Welsh Genealogies, AD300 - 1400 under "Seisyll", which begin with a c. 1150 Seisyll as the father of the first Einion, and get progressively more absurd as they go forward