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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
                            IDNERTH BENFRAS OF MAESBROOK
                                       By Darrell Wolcott
 
         This man, born c. 960, is often confused with a son of Uchdryd ap Edwin of Tegeingl who is also called Idnerth Benfras.  In fact the arms usually assigned to the name probably belong to the latter; they are the arms of Edwin to which was added, in chief, a single couped boar's head[1].  We suspect the main reason for confusing the two men, who lived 125 years apart, is that the first Idnerth Benfras had a son named Lles and the later man of that name had a son named Llewelyn[2].  Many sources, including the Visitation of Shropshire of 1623, claim that the name Lles is actually Llewelyn.  We do not agree. 
 
          The manor of Maesbrook was located in what is now Shropshire near Oswestry, surrounded by lands which in the tenth century were held by the clan of Tudor Trevor.  We are told Idnerth Benfras obtained the manor by marriage to its heiress, Efa ferch Cadwgan Fychan.[3]  The old pedigrees do not trace her ancestry any further back, but if we assume the father of Cadwgan Fychan was named Cadwgan, that man would occur c. 905 and fit chronologically with a younger (and perhaps an out-of-wedlock) brother of Tudor Trevor.  This may account for his father, Ynyr ap Cadfarch, granting that base son one single manor while giving Tudor vast lands in the northern march of Wales.
 
         All our extant pedigrees of the tenth century Idnerth Benfras begin with him and cite no ancestry.  That he was of noble Welsh birth can be assumed by other ties to the Trevor clan; his daughter Anne married Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon ap Dyngad ap Tudor Trevor.[4]  We have noted elsewhere[5] that only a couple other clans were known to hold land in extreme north-east Wales at the start of the tenth century, the nearest being Gwrydr Hir ap Caradog ap Lles Llyddog.  Born c. 920, Gwrydr Hir married a daughter of Tudor Trevor[6] and was father to Gwaethfoed of Tegeingl to whom we have previously traced both Ednowain Bendew and Edwin ap Gronwy[7].  We suspect Idnerth Benfras was a younger son of Gwrydr Hir and would chart the family as follows:
 
                                      860  Lles Llyddog
                                                   l
                                      890    Caradog
                                                   l
                                      920  Gwrydr Hir
                           _______________l______________
                           l                                              l
              955  Gwaethfoed                          Idnerth Benfras  960
                _______l__________                              l
                l                           l                              l
    985  Neniad                   Gronwy  990                Lles*  995
                l                           l                              l
1020  Ednowain Bendew       Edwin  1020               Eginyr  1025
                                           l    
                                      Uchdryd  1055
                                           l
                                  Idnerth Benfras  1085
                                           l
                                     Llewelyn  1120
 
         *Note: the male name Lles is extremely rare and except for a single citation which misspells "Lucius ap Coel" (ABT 28), the only previous Lles was the man we posit as the direct ancestor of Idnerth Benfras. 
 
         Our construction making the first Idnerth Benfras a cousin line of the two Tegeingl families brings us back to the arms assigned to the name.  Let us suppose the heralds who originally (and much after their lifetimes) associated arms with Welshmen actually made Gwrydr Hir the bearer of "Argent, a cross flory engrailed sable between 4 crows proper and in chief azure, a boar's head couped argent".  If those arms were also assigned to his sons, Gwaethfoed and Idnerth Benfras, perhaps it was for the two sons of Gwaethfoed that new arms were created.  One son (Neiniad) may have received the "Argent, a chevron between 3 boars' heads couped sable" now claimed for Ednowain Bendew, while the other son (Gronwy) received the "Argent, a cross flory engrailed sable between 4 crows proper" claimed for Edwin of Tegeingl; in that case, both new arms incorporated elements of the original.
 
          Since no extant records give any reasons why the late 11th century Idnerth Benfras would merit an emolument to the basic family arms (indeed he is a mostly obscure younger son of Uchdryd ap Edwin), perhaps the assumption we made in our opening paragraph is wrong...maybe the arms with the chief actually belong to the earlier Idnerth Benfras and to Gwrydr Hir before him, it being separated into its two principal charges a generation later in a cousin cadet.
 
 
NOTES:
[1] M.P. Siddons "The Development of Welsh Heraldry" 1993, vol ii, pp 263
[2] Lles occurs in Dwnn i, 213 & 321, in Dwnn ii, 27 & 361, in Mont Collections vol 5, pp 255 and Visitation of Shropshire of 1623, pp 384.  Llewelyn is cited in Mont Collections vol 8, pp 75 and under the family of Powell of Nant-eos in Burke's Landed Gentry
[3] The marriage is cited in Dwnn i, 321 and Visitation of Shropshire of 1623, pp 384
[4] Montgomeryshire Collections, vol 2, pp 268
[5] See our paper on this site entitled "Ithel of Bryn in Powys"
[6] Dwnn i, 307
[7] See our paper on this site entitled "Ancestry of Edwin of Tegeingl"