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                                  WELSH CLAIMS TO CERI AFTER 1179
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
 
            After the death of Cadwallon ap Madog (ap Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd) in 1179, his lands of Malienydd and Elfael were taken by his old nemesis, Roger Mortimer of Wigmore.  The sons of Cadwallon were the rightful heirs, but appear to have only had the commote of Ceri under their control. Extant pedigrees claim these sons were Maelgwn and Hywel, but the chronology clearly demonstrates a generation is missing both between Hywel and Cadwallon and between Maelgwn and his descendant Maredudd. At least one historian[1] names the sons of Cadwallon ap Madog as Maelgwn and Cadwallon II and our own research agrees with that conclusion.  But even that writer incorrectly identifies Maredudd ap Maelgwn as a son of Maelgwn ap Cadwallon ap Madog.  We turn to contemporary records to date these men.
 
           In 1211, King John of England invaded Wales to dispossess Llewelyn ap Iorwerth of Gwynedd and "destroy him utterly".  Llewelyn summoned all his princes and uchelwyrs to join him and most did, including Hywel ap Cadwallon and Madog ap Maelgwn of Ceri.  Falling into the King's hands, those men were executed in 1212 and their lands declared forfeit.  If that Hywel were a son of Cadwallon ap Madog, he would have been over 70 years old when executed.  We feel confident in making him a grandson near 40 years old and contemporary with Madog ap Maelgwn; we believe the men were first-cousins.  Ceri remained a crown possession for a generation.  Then in 1241, the "rightful" owners of Ceri obtained a safe conduct pass[2] to meet with and pledge their fealty to King Henry III. These men were Owain, Maredudd and Cadwaladr, sons of Hywel ap Cadwallon; Hywel ap Cadwallon; and Maredudd ap Maelgwn.  To suppose that Maredudd was a son of Maelgwn ap Cadwallon would make him a full generation older than the other named men and past 70 years of age in 1241. Their corrected relationships and claims are shown by this chart:
 
                                  1113  Cadwallon ap Madog ob 1179
                 ________________________l_____
                l                                                    l
1145  Cadwallon II  ob 119?             1142  Maelgwn ob 1197
                l                    __________________l_______
                l                    l                        l                    l   
  1175  Hywel*    1175  Madog*  1172 Maelgwn II   Cadwallon 1173
     ______l_____________                     l                    l       ob 1234
    l                l                  l          1200   l                    l
 Owain    Maredudd   Cadwaladr**    Maredudd         Hywel 1205
 
     (claimed the moiety of Ceri               (claimed the moiety of Ceri
       held by their grandfather,                 held by their grandfather,
       Cadwallon II ap Cadwallon)               Maelgwn ap Cadwallon)
 
           *Men hanged for sedition by King John in 1212
           ** The sources conflict as to whether this brother was named Cadwaladr or Cadwallon; being English records, they were notorious for misspelling Welsh names
 
          Three years later, in 1244, Dafydd ap Llewelyn broke fealty with King Henry III and warred against Gruffudd ap Gwynwynwyn, a loyal subject of the king. It is unclear if the men of Ceri participated in this revolt; some say they did but the fact they were restored to their lands a few short years later should raise doubts. 
 
         In 1249, the cousins Maredudd ap Maelgwn II and Hywel ap Cadwallon made a formal petition to be restored to one-half of Ceri.  This time they were not joined by the sons of the man hanged for treason.  The only record we find of that petition is the recommendation issued to the king by his advisors:
 
         "Howel son of Cadwathlan and Meredith son of Mailgun, who claim half of Kerry, broke the king's peace at the beginning of the last war[3] and rebelled against him, and so did their fathers and ancestors.  In the time of King John, their fathers were hanged at Bridgenorth for felony, as seditious persons and enemies.  If any disturbance or war were to occur in those parts, these men would be the first to rebel."[4]
 
         Now clearly it was not their fathers who were hanged but their uncle. Hywel's father didn't die until 1234 after living a full life.  Perhaps King Henry III perceived that his advisors unfairly attacked the character of these petitioners since subsequent events show the lands were restored to them.  In 1278, Madog ap Maredudd ap Maelgwn and his nephew, Hywel ap Llewelyn ap Maredudd, were confirmed in their possession of the quarter-share of Ceri held during his lifetime by Maredudd ap Maelgwn.[5] (One assumes Llewelyn ap Maredudd was deceased and represented by his son Hywel.)
 
          We mentioned earlier that the descendants entitled to the half of Ceri held by the hanged Hywel ap Cadwallon did not join in the 1249 petition when the other half was restored to its rightful heirs.  This is because in 1248, Owain ap Hywel, alone and without his brothers Maredudd and Cadwaladr[6] paid the king 50 pounds sterling as a fine and was granted "half the land of Kerry which belongs to him by right of inheritance".   A year later, Owain's brother Maredudd was granted the right "following the laws and customs of Wales, to join with Owen his brother in taking those lands which lately were Hoel's, which same lands Owen now holds".[7]  Nothing was said of the third brother, Cadwaladr; perhaps he was no longer alive.  Maredudd was also required to reimburse Owain for his half of the fine he had paid.
 
         Thus by the year 1250, Ceri was 100% held by descendants of Cadwallon ap Madog, with the following shares:
 
1. Owain ap Hywel ap Cadwallon ap Cadwallon          - 25%
2. Maredudd ap Hywel ap Cadwallon ap Cadwallon     - 25%
 
3. Hywel ap Cadwallon ap Maelgwn ap Cadwallon        -25%
4. Maredudd ap Maelgwyn ap Maelgwn ap Cadwallon   -25%
 
         A generation later, Maredudd ap Maelgwn's quarter share was divided between his son Madog and his grandson, Hywel ap Llewelyn.  Presumably, the same divisions occurred as each of the other heirs died.  But in 1281, Ceri was declared forfeit by Edward I and granted to Roger Mortimer.
 
         Although land ownership is often of minor interest to students of history or genealogists, the records disclosing the names of the men deemed legal heirs of Ceri and the part each was found entitled to receive is more persuasive than a dozen written pedigrees.  The abundance of men named Cadwallon and Maelgwn in this family have resulted in a plethora of chronologically deficient pedigrees.  And even an author who accessed all the records cited herein offered a version of the family chart which ignores chronology and miscasts the same-named men.[8]
 
        In Appendix I, we chart additional descendants of Maredudd as shown in the pedigree material[9] as confirmation of the timeline we constructed for this family.
 

NOTES:
[1] Rev G.T.O. Bridgeman in "The Welsh Lords of Kerry and Arwystli", Montgomeryshire Collections, Vol i, pp 240
[2] ibid pp 245; Trans Radnorshire Society, vol xxii, pp 49   This source conjectures the men also asked for the return of Ceri and were denied. 
[3] The 1244 war initiated by Dafydd ap Llewelyn, not against England but against it's subjects in Wales.
[4] Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) vol 1, writ # 84 dated June 11, 1250  The original petition is writ #76 in the same record.
[5] Calendar of Welsh Rolls, June 7, 1278 entry
[6] Fine Rolls, July 30, 1248 entry
[7] Close Rolls, November 8, 1249
[8] ibid Note 1
[9] Pedigrees are referenced by P.C. Bartrum in his "Welsh Genealogies AD 300 - 1400"; source of others are cited separately in the Appendix
 

APPENDIX I - Some descendants of Maredudd ap Maelgwn II
 
          990  Elystan Glodrydd
                            l
             1020  Cadwgan
                            l
              1050  Idnerth
                            l
              1080  Madog  ob 1140
                            l
            1113  Cadwallon  ob 1179
                            l
            1142  Maelgwn  ob 1197
                   _____l___________            
                   l                             l
   1172  Maelgwn II    1170  Maredudd
                  l                              l                  Cefnllys family
  1200  Maredudd         1205  Madog            from Ifor ap Idnerth
                  l                              l                            
   1228   Madog                          l                   Einion  1205
                l                                l                      l
   1257  Adda           1240  Madog Fychan    Einion Fychan  1235
                l                                l                      l        
   1285  Meurig             1275  Llewelyn           Tudor  1270
                l                                l                      l
    1315  Adda             1310  Angharad*====Hywel  1300
                l                                                       l
    1345  Nest=====================Einion  1330
 
      *Bartrum derives her from Padriarc even though the sources he cites end with Llewelyn ap Madog Fychan, and call her the heiress of Mochdref of the lordship of Ceri.  His entire construction of the Padriarc pedigree is chronologically unstable and should be rejected as fiction
 
          While not displayed in our chart for lack of space, other marriages confirm our estimated birthdates:
 
           1235  Einion Fychan of Cefnllys===Sian vz Llewelyn y
                  ________l_________             Moelwyn*
                  l                              l
     1270  Tudor           1265  Annesta===Gwyn ap Gruffudd**
                 l                                        l
    1300  Hywel                      1280  Pasgen
                 l                                        l
     1330  Efa==============Cynwrig***  1315
 
         *ap Maredudd ap Llewelyn ap Hywel ap Seisyll ap Llewelyn ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd.  Sian would date from c. 1245 and, like her husband, occurs 7 generations after Elystan. Sources for this marriage are cited by Bartrum in Welsh Genealogies AD 400-1300
         
          ** This is the Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli who was brother to Gwynwys, the ancestor of Sir Gruffudd Fychan.  Those brothers were born c. 1250. This marriage of Annesta is omitted by Bartrum, but occurs in Dwnn i, 314.
 
        *** This marriage, also omitted by Bartrum, occurs in Dwnn i, 319 and Montgomeryshire Collections, vol x, pp 42 (Cedwyn Ms)
 
         Both Annesta and Efa in the above chart may have had more than one husband.  Other sources say Annesta married Maredudd ap Einion ap Cynfelyn, a man who occurs c. 1265; being the same age as Annesta suggests this was her second marriage.  And other sources say Efa married Madog ap Meurig Twpa descended from Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan; that man would occur c. 1325 and may also have been a second marriage of Efa.
 
         It is our belief that Bartrum ignored many marriage matches cited for the families descended from Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli since he seems not to have discovered there were four such men, each born 100 years after the last.  Refer to the paper "Powys Dynastic Family 945-1385" at the link below: