The ancestry of Marchell ferch Tewdrig

Marchell was the mother of Brychan by Anlach, a king ruling in Ireland.

Gen. CB 10 seg.
DSB 10 JC 1 seg.
-7 Annun nigri Annhun Annwn du
-6 Tathal Teudfal Thathal
-5 Teithrin Teuder Teidtheryn
-4 Teithphal Teudfall Teidfallt
-3 Teudric Teuderic Tewdric
-2 Marchel Marchel Marchell
-1 Brichan Brachan Vrachan
0 sancti Kynauc

Morris points that Marchell’s father, Tewdrig, bears a Germanic name, that is Theodoric as does her grandfather, Teithfallt which derives from Theudebald.[1] He also suggests her grandfather’s name, Teidhrin, may have evolved from Theodhere.[2] It may well also be that Marchell’s name, rather than being a variant of L. Marcella,[3] is related to the Germanic Marshall. If this family is truely Germanic in origin, the question arises who was the founder, Annun Ddu. Bartrum points out that HG 16, which is a list of Roman emperors, places an “Antun du & Cleopatre” in between the earlier Valerian and the later Aurelian.[4] The former emperor’s rule ended in 260 and the latter’s started in 270. Chronology thus indicates identifying Annun with Mark Antony is wrong. The intervening decade was during the Gallic empire which included Britain and was a rift that occurred within the Roman empire.

The Gallic Empire under Tetricus I by 271.

It may well be that an Antonius Niger was one of the usurpers during this period. That Annun Ddu was of gen. -7 lends support to this identification.

[1] Morris, J., 1995, Vol. 1, 49.
[2] Morris, J., 1995, Vol. 3, 167.
[3] Koch, J.T., 2006, 301.
[4] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 21.

St. Stephen’s church

Le Morte D’Arthur III 5 states:
“Then was the high feast made ready, and the king was wedded at Camelot unto Dame Guenever in the church of Saint Stephen’s, with great solemnity.”

Malory mistakenly identified Camelot with Winchester, probably because it supposedly housed the arthurian round table in the Great Hall. No religious building has ever been dedicated to St. Stephen at Winchester. As indicated Camelot was Celliwig, that is Castle Canyke in Bodmin, see Celliwig. Just over 3 miles away from Celliwig is the church of Saint Stephen’s, by the river Camel and about 350 yards away from the Roman fort at Nanstallon.

Church of St Stephen’s. Photo © Derek Harper (cc-by-sa2.0)

Of course, the current church would have been built over the Arthurian predecessor.

The king-lists of Glywysing and Gwent part 1

The pedigree tables below shows the lists relevant for the reconstruction of the pedigrees of the royals of Glywysing and Gwent. Note, the generation numbers increase from top to bottom.  It is proposed that the names in square brackets have been lost in the surviving manuscripts whereas those in round brackets are corruptions that should be ignored. The names appear as in the respective manuscripts except for those in square brackets which are given in their equivalent modern form as are those that appear in the accompanying text.

Gen. Date range MP 3b seg. Harl. 4181b seg. JC 9 GM 1b HG 29 HG 28
-8 211×242 Meirchion Meirchion
-7 243×275 Mevric Meurig
-6 276×307 Krierwy Karairyw Enenni Caradawc vreichvras
-5 308×340 [Meurig] Meuric Meuric Meuric
-4 341×372 Edric Edric Erbic Erbic
-3 373×405 [Cadivor] Cadivor [Cadivor]
-2 406×437 Vrban Urban Erb
-1 438×470 Nynniaw Kynaw Nynnyaw
0 471×502 (Teithvallt) [Llywarch] (Teithvael) [Llywarch] Llywarch
1 503×535 Tewdric St. Tewdrig Thewdric Tewdrig Teudubric
2 536×567 Mevric Meurig Meuric Meyrig [Meurig]
3 568×600 Adros Ad[r]os Adroes Adroes Atroys
4 601×632 Morgan Morgan Morgant Morgan Morcant Morcant
5 633×665 Einvdd Enyth [Ei]Nud (hael) (Haddhail) [Einudd] (Iudhail) [Einudd] [Einudd]
6 666×697 Rys Rhys Rees Rys Ris Iudhail
7 698×730 [Brochwel] [Brochwel] Brochuael [Brochwel] [Brochwel] Fernmail
8 731×762 [Gwriad] [Gwriad] Gwryat [Gwriad] [Gwriad] Atroys
9 763×795 Arthvael [Arthfael] Ar[th]uael [Arthfael] Artmail [I]udhail
10 796×827 Mevric Meurig Rees Meyrig Mouric
11 828×860 Brochuael Brochwel Howel Brochuail [B]rocmail
12 861×892 Eweint
13 893×925 Morgant

Table 1

Gen. Date range MP 3a seg. Harl. 4181a GM 1a
7 698×730 Brochuael Brochwel Brochuail
8 731×762 Gwraidd (Edwin Vryth) Gwriad Gyriat
9 763×795 Arthavael Arthmael Arthuayl
10 796×827 Rys Rhys Rys
11 828×860 Howel Howel Howel
12 861×892 Owain Owain Ywain
13 893×925 Morgan (mwynvawr) [Hen] Morgan (Mwynfawr) [Hen]

Table 2

JC 9 claimns the husband of Enynny was called Caradog Freichfras. However, this is a corrupted transcription from an earlier document of Creirwy, or its abbreviation.

The name Einudd of gen. 5 takes the form Ainydd in Mostyn 212b (not shown). In JC 9 it has become corrupted to Nud Hael. In HG 29 the name Einudd was replaced by Ithel. This error was due to the fact that both Ithel and his father Einudd had sons called Rhys, see table 3. This lead to Einudd disappearing altogether in HG 28 and 29 and to the belief that Ithel was the son of Morgan.

Bartrum noted that ‘Ris’ of HG 29 was the ‘Rees’ of JC 9. He also took the ‘Artmail’ of HG 29 to be the ‘Arthuael map Gwryat’ of JC 9. His original conclusion that the names Gwriad and Brochwel had been lost in HG 29 was correct.

To understand why Brochwel and Gwriad disappeared from HG 29 one needs to look at MP 3 which the compilers incorrectly thought was one line of descent whereas it needs to be considered as two, namely MP 3a and 3b as shown in the tables 2 and 1 respectively. The Brochwel, father of Gwriad, of gen. 7 in MP 3a was assumed to be the Brochwel ap Meurig of gen. 11 in MP 3b. So, when the two lists were incorrectly joined into a single sequence, MP 3, Brochwel ap Rhys and his son, Gwriad, were removed as those names were assumed to be corrupt repetitions. In Harl. 4181 even Brochwel’s grandson, Arthfael, was seen as an incorrect repetition and removed from the combined list, see table 1. In Harl. 4181a Gwriad actually appears but in the corrupted form Edwin Vryth.

As mentioned earlier, the name Einudd became altered to Ithel. Chronology suggests that the Ffernfael ab Ithel who died in 775, according to the Annales Cambriae, was the son of Einudd.

The lists result in the tree diagram below:

Table 3 Glywysing and Gwent

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

The Sword in the Stone

This is one of the most famous stories in Arthurian folklore. It may well be a symbolic representation of the transfer of sovereignty to Arthur after the death of his father whose name appears in HG 2a as Petr. Latin ‘petra’ means ‘rock’. Drawing of the sword could only be achieved by the rightful claimant, that is Uthr’s true heir. Although it first appears in Robert de Boron’s Merlin this interpretation indicates the story may well have an older origin.

Campus Elleti

HB 41 refers to a site called Campus Elleti:

“As they explored all the provinces they came to the plain of Elled in the country called Glywysing.”

where the envoys found what they were searching for, a child without a father. His name was “Ambrosius”, that is “Embreis Guletic”. The answer to the question of who the plain was named after can be found in JC 4 which consists of three parts:

Gen. JC 4a
JC 4b JC 4c seg.
1 Cadog
0 Gwynllyw
-1 Glywys
-2 Solor
-3 Nor
-4 Owain Finddu Constantinus Owain Finddu
-5 Macsen Wledig Magnus Maximus Macsen Wledig Ceindrech
-6 Maximianus Rheiden
-7 Constantinus Magnus Eledi
-8 Cynan Constantius Chlorus Elen Luyddog Morddu
-9 Eudaf Hen Meirchion

JC 4c mentions the individual, Eledi ap Morddu, as a grandfather of Ceindrech, a wife of Macsen Wledig and mother of Owain Finddu. JC 4a shows Glywys, the eponym of Glywysing, as a descendant of Owain.

The Liber Landavensis mentions the name “Elleti” and the place is located near “Llansanwyr”, that is Llansannor.[1] It may be significant that the village is less than 3 miles distant from Llanillid. There was a chapel dedicated to St. Ilid on Tintagel island.

[1] Davies, W., 1979, 98.