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                              THE OTHER "SIR ROGER OF POWYS"
                                          By Darrell Wolcott
 
         The familiar man known as Roger of Powys was a son of Gronwy ap Tudor ap Rhys Sais I and held Whittington in Salop in the mid-twelfth century.  He died about 1186 and had a brother named Jonas.  They were half-brothers of the Peverel siblings which included Miletta who married Warin de Metz and gave birth to the first Fulk fitz Warin.
This Roger was followed by his son, Meurig, to whom King Henry II confirmed possession of Whittington.[1]
 
         The medieval pedigrees[2] also claim Sir Roger of Powys had sons named Roger Fychan and Gronwy, that he was a Knight of Rhodes and married Sissely ferch Hwfa ap Iorwerth ap Gruffudd ap Ieuaf ap Ninniaw ap Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon.  They further claim Roger divided his lands at Estwick between those two sons, with Gronwy also receiving a manor called Pentref Madog.  The pedigrees claim his eldest son, Meurig, received Whittington.
 
         Our work on this family indicates two wholly different men called Roger of Powys are rolled into one by the pedigrees.  While both appear to have descended from Tudor Trevor, the second Roger (who lived over 100 years after the first) probably belongs to the family of Iddon ap Rhys Sais II who held lands at Dudleston north of Ellesmere.  We have dated this later Roger by these marriage connections:
 
                                                                  Rhys Sais  1025
                                                                        l
                                                                     Tudor  1055
                                                                        l
  1095  Ninniaw ap Cynwrig                            Bleddyn  1085
                      l                                                 l
          1130  Ieuaf                                         Tudor [3] 1120
                      l                                                 l
         1165  Griffri                                        Bleddyn  1150
                      l                                                 l
         1195  Iorwerth                                     Owain  1180
                      l                                                 l
           1225  Hwfa                                      Iorwerth Hen  1210
                      l                                                 l     
        1260  Sissely===Sir Roger 1245       Iorwerth Fychan  1240
                              l                                         l      
               1275  Gronwy of Estwick            Iorwerth Foel 1270
               ________l________                 _____l_____
              l                             l                 l                  l
 1305  Llewelyn                 Ieuan 1310   Ednyfed      Gruffudd 1300
              l                             l                 l  1305         l
1335  Llewelyn Fychan   Llewelyn 1345 Llewelyn     Madog Lloyd
              l                             l                 l  1335         l   1330
1365  Gruffudd*             Dafydd  1375   Madog        Dafydd
              l                             l                 l  1370         l  1360
 1395  Llewelyn                Ieuan 1410   Richard        Madog
              l                             l                 l  1405         l  1390
 1425  Gruffudd                     l                 l              Dafydd
              l                             l                 l                  l  1420
   1455  Efa========Dafydd** 1440  John=====Maud
                           l                                  1440     l          1450
         1470  Philip Brid or Bride==========Alison  1475
                                                         l
                                           1500  Margaret==James Eyton 1495
                                                                  l
                                                   William Eyton*** 1525 (lv 1592)
                                                                  l  
                                                       James Eyton  1560  
                                                      (also lv 1592)
 
        *This Gruffudd is called "of Pentref Madog in Dudleston"
          **This Dafydd is called "of Estwick"
          ***William provided the pedigree to Lewys Dwnn in 1592
 
        Further confirmation of the chronology of the second man named Roger can be seen by another branch of his descendants:
      
                                                            Rhys Sais I  1025
                                                                     l
                                                                Tudor  1055
                                                   __________l________
                                                   l                               l
                                              Bleddyn  1085           Gronwy 1090
                                                   l                               l
                                            Rhys Sais II  1124        Roger 1120
                                                   l                        (Whittington)
                                               Tudor  1154
                                                   l
                                              Bleddyn  1185
                                                   l
                                               Owain  1215
                                                   l
            1245  Sir Roger             Cynwrig  1245
                           l                       l
            1280  Roger Fychan     Cynwrig Sais  1275
                           l                       l
            1315  Maredudd           Gwilym  1305
                           l                       l
             1345  Gwerfyl=====Ieuan Foel[8]  1335
                     (Estwick)
   

        Having placed the Roger of Estwick (now called Eastwick) chronologically as occurring over 100 years after the known era of the Roger who held Whittington, we turn our attention to his identification. The pedigree evidence[4] tells us that Dudleston had been the share inherited by Iddon ap Rhys Sais II (the latter born c. 1124), and we find a single son, Trahaearn, cited for Iddon.  That man is credited with 4 sons who, together with their inheritance, were:
 
        1.  Morgan, who received Pentref Morgan
        2.  Heilyn, who received Pentref Heilyn
        3.  Hwfa, who received Plas Thomas
        4.  Cadifor, who received Cilhendref
 
        These four brothers would have been born c. 1210/1215 or exactly the generation where one should expect to find the father of a Roger of Powys born c. 1245.  We suspect there was a 5th brother[5] named Madog whose share of Trahaearn's lands was called Pentref Madog.  Probably the name of a single manor, Pentref Madog and the surrounding land then called Estwick are ascribed to the Sir Roger of c. 1245 so we feel comfortable positing that he was the son of Madog ap Trahaearn ap Iddon.
 
        Having now determined both by chronology and land holdings that the Roger of Whittington was father to Meurig (and his siblings Maredudd and Thomas) and that the Roger of Dudleston was father to Roger Fychan and Gronwy[6], the final question to be resolved is which man was a "Knight of Rhodes".  Known as the Hospitallers of Jerusalem until 1309 when the order acquired the island of Rhodes, it appears that sometime between 1165 and 1187, Roger of Whittington donated land called Halston from his demense property to the Hospitallers on which they built a preceptory.[7]  He also granted the tithes from Whittington to Halston, apparently for them providing a chaplain at Whittington Castle.  Although it is possible the 13th century Roger of Dudleston was also a member of that order (his son Roger Fychan of Estwick would have been living when the name Knights of Rhodes was first used), it is more likely the "Sir" which prefixes the later Roger was earned militarily.  Whether or not the earlier Roger of Whittington was a dedicated member of the religious and charitable order of Hospitallers, he may well have been given its honorary title of "Knight" for his financial support to them. And no sources have been seen to connect Roger of Dudleston to the Hospitallers.
 
        

NOTES:
[1] A comprehensive study of Roger of Powys was written by Frederick Suppe and published in The Welsh History Review, vol 21, June 2002, pp 1-23.  He is also discussed by Joseph Morris in his article on the Fitz-Warine family published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1852, pp 282-291.  Some of the genealogy is cited by J.Y.W. Lloyd in "History of Powys Fadog", vol iii, pp 381-384 and pp 401/402.  Also see the paper entitled "The Mysterious Peverel Family" at the link below:
[2] Dwnn i, 324 and Harleian Ms 4181
[3] This family is often confused with a cousin line descended from Owain ap Bleddyn ap Tudor ap Rhys Sais.  The Tudor ap Bleddyn of c. 1120 had a brother, Owain ap Bleddyn, who had a son, Iorwerth Hen ap Owain, born c. 1153.  That family continued with an Iorwerth Fychan (c. 1190), Iorwerth Foel (c. 1225), Ednyfed (c. 1260)
[4] Harlean Ms 4181; Lloyd's "History of Powys Fadog", vol iv pp 88-96
[5] A pedigree for the family of Vaughan of Plas Thomas was compiled in 1675 by John Salusbury (reproduced in "History of Powys Fadog" vol iv, pp 95) in which Hwfa was described as the fifth son of Trahaearn ap Iddon
[6] Frederick Suppe's article referenced in note 1 incorrectly charts as brothers the sons of both men named Roger, and would assign them all to Roger of Whittington. This even though he describes Roger son of Roger as "Estwick" and assigns him the son, Maredudd, who (from the marriage of his daughter) must have occurred c. 1315
[7] "House of Knights Hospitallers: Preceptory at Halston" from the Victorian County History of Shropshire, vol 2, pp 87/88
[8] This marriage is also cited in Dwnn i, 324