Custennin ap Cadwr

Custennin is the first ‘tyrant’ mentioned by Gildas. He was a nephew of Arthur as indicated by a number of sources[1]:

1. The Chronicle of John Hardyng:
“To Constantyne, duke Cader sonne on hye, / his neuewe was, for Cader was his brother, / As well was knowen they had but one mother.”[2]

2. Brut y Brenhinedd p. 182v:
“… i nai ap i vrawd kanis mab oedd y kadwr hwnnw i wrlais iarll keirnyw o eigr verch amlawd wledig mam arthur.”
“… his nephew, his brother’s son, for that Cador was son to Gorlois Earl of Cornwall, by Igerne, Arthur’s mother, daughter of Prince Amlawd.”[3]
as shown in the following extract from the manuscript:

Black Book of Basingwerk, NLW ms. 7006, 182v.

3. ByA 32:
“Kustenin ap Kadwr ap Gwrlais iarll Kemyw nai ap brawd vnvam ac Arthur.”[4]

It was because he was Arthur’s closest surviving relative that he inherited the crown of Dumnonia. His pedigree appears in Harl. 2414 and Llyfr Baglan. The former is shown below where the names appear as in the manuscript.

Gen. Harl. 2414b Harl. 2414c Harl. 2414d
2 Bledrys
1 Kystennin
0 Petrawg Kador
-1 Klemens Gwrloys
-2 Sartogys Selor
-3 Pandwlff Mor (m. Sglepiado[s])
-4 Gerdan Owen
-5 Maxen Wledig

Note, Harl. 2414b is a continuation of Harl. 2414d. Harl. 2414c had been inserted in between as Gerdan and Owen were both offsprings of Maxen. Gerdan is probably Gratiana, daughter of Macsen Wledig, who according to Harl. 1974 30 and 31 married Tudwal ap Turmwr.

[1] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 96.
[2] Grafton, R., Ellis, H., 1812, 146.
[3] Parry, J.J., 1937, 182b.
[4] Bartrum, P.C., 1966, 94.

Modron, the wife of Urien Rheged

The first wife of Maelgwn Gwynedd was either Sanan ferch Cyngen or an unnamed daughter of Sawyl Benisel. The De Excidio Britanniae tells us he murdered his wife in order to marry the wife of his brother’s son. This suggests she was possibly a generation younger than him. It is proposed this lady was Gwallwen ferch Afallach, the mother of Rhun ap Maelgwn Gwynedd, according to ByA 28d.

Furthermore, it is proposed that another daughter of Afallach was Modron who appears in triad 70 as the mother of Owain and Morfudd, by Urien Rheged. The story of this is told in Pen. 147 as a  ‘Washer at the Ford’ tale-type. It describes the incident to have occurred within Denbighshire, in the parish of Llanferres. This area is the location of Caerfallwch, that is the hill-fort of Afallach, now known as Moel-y-Gaer. It lies in a region intermediate between the kingdoms of Gwynedd and Rheged.

Gen. ByA 28d Triad 70(ii)
2 Rhun Owain Morfudd
1 Gwallwen Modron Urien Rheged
0 Maelgwn Gwynedd Afallach