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                           COWRYD AP CADFAN OF DYFFRYN CLWYD
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
 
           Identified as the patriarch of the Lloyds of Bryn Lluarth[1] in Ceinmeirch and the Parrys of Tref Rhuddin[2], the pedigrees point to a birthdate near 1175 for Cowryd ap Cadfan.  His ancestry, however, is unclear and Peter Bartrum simply begins a family with him in his epic work Welsh Genealogies 300-1400.  In the earliest manuscript which names him[3] he is cited as "Kowryd ap Kadvan ap Alaoc wr ap Idic ap Kadell deyrnlluc" under the title "Gwehelyth Dyffryn Clwyd".
 
           Bartrum dates that family to the 6th century by assuming the "Alaoc wr" is identical to the "Alauc" mentioned in Vita Sancte Wenefrede[4] where a "Karadauc filius Alauc" is said to have beheaded St Wenefred, a man described as "sprung of royal stock".  (The lady was saved by a miracle performed by St Beuno; obviously she was not killed but perhaps assaulted.)  We would reject that identification since a "Karadauc ap Alauc" who was a great-grandson of Cadell Ddeyrnllwg would occur near 480 and be too old to harass St Wenefrede even if he were still alive when she was young.[5]  We would, however, delete the "ap Cadell deyrnlluc" from the citation on the grounds its author likely tried to make the same connection as Bartrum did.  Most of the later family pedigrees repeat the claim that Cowryd ap Cadfan was descended from Cadell even though they cite his arms as "argent 3 boar's heads couped sable" while descendants of Cadell bear "sable 3 nag's heads erased argent".  Actually, the arms of Cowryd appear in some sources with a chevron between the boar's heads with the added description "armed and langued gules" or "cut flesh and armed gules".  At least one source omits the added description but retains the "gules", making it the second color rather than sable.[6]
 
           If those arms seem familiar, compare them to that assigned to Ednowain Bendew of Tegeingl: "argent a chevron between 3 boar's heads couped sable".  Variation of his arms sometimes include both "armed gules" and "cut flesh gules".[7]  Could Cowryd ap Cadfan actually be a direct descendant of Ednowain Bendew? 
 
           As we are wont to do when a man's ancestry is unclear, let us examine the lands held by his family together with the likely ways they were acquired.  In the mid-eleventh century, we are told that Gwenllian ferch Rhys ap Marchen was the heiress of 7 townships in "Ruthin Land" and carried her father's lands to her son, Eunydd ap Morien.  This Eunydd also apparently inherited certain tracts of land in Tegeingl from his father.  His son, Heilyn, appears to have left two sons: Eunydd and Iorwerth.  Eunydd ap Heilyn[8] obtained additional lands in Trefalun and Gresford and divided both those and the tracts in Tegeingl with his sons, Ithel and Heilyn.  Iorwerth ap Heilyn apparently received some of the Ruthin land formerly owned by his great-grandmother.  The only known child of that Iorwerth was Iorwerth Saethmarchog who occurs as a witness to several land grants between 1176 and 1198.[9]  The latter man may have died without issue as none are recorded for him[10].  If we posit a sister for him, a daughter of Iorwerth ap Heilyn, she would occur at the right time to have married Cadfan whose son Cowryd is found holding land in the lower Clwyd valley and the commote of Ceinmeirch in the early 13th century.  A chart will illustrate the timeline for our suggestion:
 
                            1025  Gwenllian, heiress of "Ruthin lands"
                                          l
                             1045   Eunydd
                                          l
                              1075  Heilyn
                  _______________l________
                  l                                     l
        1105 Eunydd                    1110  Iorwerth
     (Trefalun & Gresford         _________l________
                                         l                           l
                            1145  Iorwerth        1150  Daughter==Cadfan
                                 Saithmarchog*                        l     1140
                                       d.s.p.                  1175  Cowryd
                                                                             l
                                                                 1205  Heilyn
                                                                             l
                                                                 1235  Iorwerth
                                                                             l
                                                                1265  Iorwerth
                                                                      Saithmarchog**
 
       *Cited in Peniarth Ms 276, pp 181 and Harleian Ms 1972, pp 78
       **Cited in Peniarth Ms 176, pp 100 and Peniarth Ms 139, pp 155.  The family which descended from him is incorrectly appended to the family of Eunydd in Bartrum's Welsh Genealogies.  These same sources say his son Ieuan (born c. 1295) married a granddaughter of Madog Hyddgam ap Madog ap Cadwgan ap Madog ap Cadwgan of Nannau; that lady, Dyddgu ferch Madog ap Madog Hyddgam was born c. 1305. 
 
 
          With this possible explanation of how Cowryd acquired his lands in the lower Clwyd valley, we now turn to the question of why he was assigned arms which appear exceedingly similar, perhaps identical, to those of Ednowain Bendew.  Another look at his earliest pedigree, when the incorrect attachment to Cadell Ddyrnllwg is removed, says his father was "Cadfan ap Aluog ap Iddig".  A number of later family pedigrees replace "Aluog" with "Gwaelawg", on what authority is unknown, but the two names are phonetically similiar and are clearly variant spellings of a single name.  The earliest name in the list, that of Iddig, would occur c. 1080 or exactly when we would expect a grandson of Ednowain Bendew to be born.
 
          The earliest pedigrees of Ednowain Bendew[11] cite only two sons, Robert and Bleddri, and both appear to be mentioned not for their own sake but to show important marriages made by daughters of each man.  Either of those men might have been the father of Iddig[12] but judging from the husbands cited for their daughters, Bleddri may have been born c. 1050 and Robert c. 1055.  Opting for the elder of them, we propose the following chart in which a rather obscure resident of Tegeingl might have married a nearby heiress and produced Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd and Ceinmeirch:
 
                                   1020  Ednowain Bendew
                                                  l
                                    1050   Bleddri                 Eunydd  1045
                                                  l                         l
                                     1080   Iddig                   Heilyn  1075
                                                  l                         l
                                     1110    Aluog                Iorwerth  1110
                                                  l                         l
                                     1140   Cadfan========daughter  1150
                                                              l
                                                 1175  Cowryd
                      
 
 
NOTES:
[1] J Y W Lloyd "History of Powys Fadog", 1884, Vol iv, pp 163
[2] Dwnn ii, 337; Harl Ms 2299
[3] ABT 21
[4] A W Wade-Evans "Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae", 1944, pp 290
[5] A Cadell, grandson of Cadell Ddyrnllwg, may have been the ancestor of the Caradog ap Aloac who harassed St. Wenefred about the year 560, and no relation to the 12th century Cadfan ap Aluog who was father to Cowryd.
[6] Michael Siddons "The Development of Welsh Heraldry", 1993, Vol 2, pp 84
[7] ibid pp 131
[8] Refer to the paper "Eunydd Son of Gwenllian" at the link below:"
[9] ibid Note 1, vol 6, pp 102/103
[10] The family charted on  "Einudd 7" in Bartrum's Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400" was actually descended from an Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Heilyn ap Cowryd, not Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth ap Heilyn ap Eunydd.
[11] HLG 2(i) cites the mother of Rhys Goch (ap Sandde) as "Perweur ferch Rhotbert ap Ednywain Bendew", while ABT 8(h) cites the wife of Maredudd ap Bleddyn and mother of Iorwerth Goch as "Gristin verch Bletrus ap Ednywain benndew"
[12] Alternately, Cadell may have been a third son of Ednowain Bendew and the father of Iddig.  In that case, the pedigree in ABT 21 is accurate if the "ddyrnllwg" is deleted from Cadell.