EVOLUTION OF THE "PADRIARC BRENIN" PEDIGREE
By Darrell Wolcott
NOTE - This paper conducts a technical analysis of the manner in which some medieval
pedigrees were constructed and may not be of particular interest to casual students of Welsh history.
the wife traditionally assigned to Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd (born c. 1050), we concluded the lady actually was
a granddaughter of Payne fitz John and married a later man also named Idnerth ap Cadwgan. We have now conducted further
work to understand the pedigree which derived "Aaron fitz Paen" from an otherwise unknown "Io ap Meirchion ap Padriarch".
The earliest manuscript
citing that pedigree appears to be Peniarth Ms 127 (c. 1510) written by Sir John ap Ieuan ap Deikws, and it is listed among
a group of pedigrees from Malienydd, Elfael and Ceri. It also occurs in Peniarth Ms 131 (c. 1515) written by Ieuan Brechva.
A number of later manuscripts contain the same pedigree, but those are mostly transcriptions of extant documents and not original
compositions. While none recite the home of its earliest generations, the sixth listed generation is "Y Golwg ap Paen"
who is described in Llanwrin Ms I (c. 1582) as "of Cwm Golwg in Ceri". Then, three generations later, a "Randwlff ap
Iorwerth" is listed in Peniarth Ms 128 (c. 1550) under the heading "Ceri".
We should pause here to note
that this pedigree includes no reference to Aaron ap Paen nor the marriage of a daughter to an Idnerth ap Cadwgan. That
connection was first made c. 1600 by Lewys Dwnn in vol i, 297 of his Visitations of Wales, and was copied into other manuscripts written
later in the 17th century. The original citation appears as #61 in Peter Bartrum's "Pedigrees of Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
printed in the National Library of Wales Journal, vol xiii, pp 120. It reads:
Padriarc vrenhin da (or hen)
The Llanwrin Ms of c. 1582 emended
this to insert "ap Ioe" between Paen and Meirchiawn, evidently the source used by Lewys Dwnn for his "Dyddgu v Aaron Poen
ap Payne ap Io ap Meirchion". When Peter Bartrum presented the pedigree in his classic "Welsh Genealogies 300AD - 1400",
his dating of the men down through Randwlff was based on two marriage matches:
Gen 0 Paen
Gen 1 Golwg Gen
1 Aaron Cadwgan
Gen 2 Lleuci==Llewleyn
Fraisg Gen 2 Dyddgu==Inderth Gen 1
From his dating key, he places
the birth of Paen at c. 1000, his two charted sons at c. 1030 and their daughters as c. 1070. That something is amiss
with those dates becomes evident further down in his chart where a man supposedly the son of Lleuci's brother is dated to
c. 1270 and the great-great grandaughter of that brother is shown married to a man also born c. 1270. It is clear his
early dating of Paen was simply to accomodate the marriage of his daughter with an Idnerth of c. 1050, a marriage we believe
was actually with an Idnerth of c. 1140. But what about the other cited marriage?
Bartrum begins a
new family with a Llewelyn Fraisg and dates him to c.1030. In a footnote, he explains giving this man no ancestry with
the comment "Misidentified with Llewelyn ap Hywel" and references a man of that name who occurs c. 1270. After
noting his marriage with "Lucy f. Golwg", the principal line shown descending from him continues for 8 generations
before a marriage match is noted (birthdate estimates are his):
1030 Llewelyn Fraisg====Lucy 1030
1070 Llewelyn Goch
1230 Gruffudd Foel Rhys* 1270
1270 Gruffudd Fychan Llewelyn 1300
1300 Maredudd Ieuan 1330
1370 Ieuan=========Alis 1370
*This man, descended from Llewelyn
Aurdorchog, was the father of Dafydd ap Rhys who married a lady of Walcot in Salop; in the pedigrees of that family, Rhys
is described as "of Bettws" and married a lady "of Mochdre". While the former manor is in south Cydewain, Mochdre was in
Ceri and the seat a prominent family descended from Elystan Glodrydd
Clearly Bartrum did not
believe this pedigree was accurate, and showed large time gaps in the chart. He was simply citing the medieval pedigrees
as they stood and pointing to the obvious chonological problems. So why didn't he simply date Llewelyn Fraisg a couple
generations later to eliminate the time gaps which occur down to Ieuan ap Maredudd (a man we actually date to c. 1360)?
First, he was trying to accomodate a Lucy ferch Golwg of c. 1070 (a lady we date to c. 1150). Secondly, he has charted
another son of Llewelyn Fraisg named Einion who has a daughter, Alison, claimed to have married Cadfael ap Bod Hen (also called
Matthew Hen in some pedigrees).
A pedigree cited in Dwnn i,
302 says Cadvael Lloyd ap Matthew Hen married "Alson vrch Einion ap Llewelyn Fraisg". We would note that the nickname
"Fraisg" (sometimes seen as Fras) means "fat" and any number of men named Llewelyn may have borne that epithet. This same
citation says Cadfael's mother was "Gwenllian vrch Merfyn Vrych" and calls Matthew Hen's father "Brochwel Scethrog, king
of Powis". Our own work identifies Matthew Hen as a son of Brochwel ap Aeddan III and dates him to c. 1040. The
only other authority for Cadfael's marriage is the Cedwyn Manuscript of 1633 where his wife is called "Alson daughter and
heir of Einion ap Llywelyn fras, Lord of Knwchlas". The latter is probably Cnwclas in Llanddewi Heiob, Maelienydd and explains
why he might be "misidentified" as a man of the tribe of Elystan Glodrydd. No such identification was made in the earlier
Dwnn pedigree and we think it highly possible the author of the Cedwyn Ms added it because he knew of a Llewelyn Fraisg in
Maelienydd and simply assumed he was the father cited for Einion. But neither citation identifies the father of its "Llewelyn
the fat". Thus, like the marriage of Lleuci ferch Golwg, we are very doubtful the marriage of Alson ap Einion conclusively
dates the Llewelyn Fraisg in our chart to c. 1030.
One thread which runs through the
course of all these pedigrees is the placement of the men in Rhwng Gwy a Hafren, the kingdom of Fferlys held by Elystan Glodrydd
and his heirs. Aaron ap Paen lived in Ceri as did other men descended from Paen. A Llewelyn Fraisg apparently held a
lordship in Maelienydd. The marriage of Ieuan ap Maredudd descended from Llewelyn Fraisg was to a lady with ties to
Ceri. We also note a family which Bartrum appended to his chart of Padriarc (the one which begins with Madog Fychan
of c. 1230 father of Llewelyn of Mochdre) is actually a cadet of the tribe of Elystan Glodrydd and is misplaced.
That Madog Fychan was born c. 1255 and was the son of Madog ap Maredudd ap Maelgwn II ap Maelgwn ap Cadwallon ap Madog ap
Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd.
Outside the fertile imagination
of an early 16th century genealogist, no family called "Meirchion ap Tanged ap Padriarc" is known to have existed. Even
that writer may have not meant the latter as a name; in Welsh, the letters "d" and "t" are often used interchangably and pronounced
as "t". And the Welsh word for "patriarch" is exactly the same as in English. The author may have simply been
saying the family descended from "a good (or old) king, the patriarch". As we posit elsewhere, we think the "Paen" in
this pedigree was Payne fitz John. We previously discussed the descendants of his son, Aaron, but did not mention
the brother of Aaron called Golwg.
The man called Golwg is also
cited as "y Golwg", not a name but a reference to his residence, Cwm Golwg in Ceri. It means "having a view of the valley",
probably having built his home on high ground which afforded a panoramic view of the valley below. We think his daughter,
like that of his brother, married a man of the tribe of Elystan Glodrydd. We would identify the Llewelyn Fraisg who
married Lleuci ferch Y Golwg as a son of Hywel ap Seisyll ap Llewelyn ap Cadwgan ap Elystan. Not only is he "Llewelyn
ap Hywel" (which Bartrum alludes to), but the pedigree which Bartrum presents for this man shows a son named Maredudd who
had a son Llewelyn who had a son Gruffudd...a string of names which also occur in the Llewelyn Fraisg pedigree.
In constructing a chart
which is chronologically stable, we have incorporated all the data found in the pedigrees discussed above, with a single exception;
the marriage link to Cadfael ap Matthew Hen is omitted. Whatever Llewelyn Fraisg was the grandfather of Cadfael's wife
Alison, it could not be the one in our chart:
1035 Eustace de Conteville*
1060 John de Burgo
1085 Payne** ob 1137
1115 Y Golwg
1150 Lleuci 1145
Trahaearn Dyddgu*** 1155
*Listed as a companion
of William the Conqueror at Hastings as Eustace fitz John in the Roll of Battle Abbey
**Sheriff of Herefordshire and
Shropshire who erected Painscastle in Elfael about 1130, and for whom it was named
*** This family was charted and disscussed
in the paper "Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen" elsewhere on this site