St. Collen

ByS offers two versions of Collen’s pedigree as shown in columns 2 and 3:

Gen. ByS 52 ByS G 34 ByS G 35 B. Collen
3 St. Collen St. Collen
2 St. Collen Gwennog Ethni Wyddeles Gwennog Ethni Wyddeles
1 Pedrwn Coleddog St. Melangell Coleddog Matholwch
0 Coleddog Cawrdaf [Rhicwlff] Ethni (Wyddeles) Cawrdaf
-1 Gwyn Caradog Freichfras Tudwal Tudclyd Caradog Freichfras Margred
-2 Llŷr Marini Cedig Llŷr Marini Earl of Rhydychen
-3 Einion Yrth Dyfnwal Hen
-4 Cunedda Wledig Ednyfed
-5 Macsen Wledig
-6 Llywelyn

Bartrum stated that the earlier one, shown in column 2, was probably more accurate. He reasoned that Ethni Wyddeles, the mother of Collen according to the later version, is in reality the mother of St. Melangell as indicated by ByS G 35 and ByS 53 (not shown above). Note, although Rhicwlff, the father of Melangell, was lost in ByS G 35 he is shown in ByS 53.

In fact, the later pedigree is the correct one and the B. Collen agrees with that version. The mistake that Bartrum made was to accept that the two instances of the name Ethni referred to the same person as was wrongly suggested only by the ByS G version . Evidence that they were not is provided by the Latin life. In it Melangell is said to be contemporary with Brochwel Ysgithrog, king of Powys. Bartum stated this was impossible but column 6 shows she was of gen. 1 and so the story, which explains why she became the patroness of hares, is chronologically correct.

The earlier version has confused Coleddog ap Cawdraf with Coleddog ap Gwyn who, according to triad 74, was an anheol, i.e. one who could not be expelled, of Arthur’s Court. This suggests  he may have been an earlier Coleddog than the individual in Collen’s ancestry and we may speculate that ByS 52 is referring to St. Colan of Cornwall.

The B. Collen relates a story of Collen as abbot of Glastonbury interacting with Gwyn ap Nudd. These two individuals were seperated in time by three generations which explains why the story is legendary in nature. It may be a symbolic reference to Collen removing vestiges of pagan belief from the Glastonbury area.

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The battle of Crug Dyved

In the Book of Taliesin we have the poem entitled Trawsganu Kynan Garwyn mab Brochvael. which has the following line:

kat yg cruc dymet. aercol ar gerdet.
A battle in Crug Dyfed, Aergol flying.

This poses a problem of chronology as Aergol Lawhir was of gen. -2, see Why Bartrum’s dating of the Demetian Arthur is wrong, whereas Cynan Garwyn was of gen. 1, see HG 22 below.

Gen. HG 22
 
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Mawgan Pasgen Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug

The chronology indicated by the above table looks sound for the following reasons. The Annales Cambriae tells us that Selyf died at the battle of Chester in the year 613:

Gueith Cairlegion, et ibi cecidit Selim filii Cinan.

The Annals of Tigernach, refers to the same incident under the 611:

Cath Caire Legion ubí sancti occissi sunt, et cecidit Solon mac Conaín rex Bretanorum et Cetula rex cecidit. Etalfraidh uictor erat, qui post statim obít.

This statement provides the added information that another death at Chester was that of Cadwal Crysban, the king of Rhos, who would have been younger than Selyf. The victor was Aethelfrith. Triad 25 describes Selyf as one of the Three Battle-Rulers of the Island of Britain.

Cynan’s daughter, Tandreg Ddu, was the wife of Cadfan and the mother of Cadwallon. Brochwel was married to Arddun ferch Pabo Post Prydyn and was the son of Cyngen by Tudglid ferch Brychan.

However, if we now look at HG 27 we can see that Cynan and Cyngen have been interchanged, see The Powysian lineage. This is likely to be a corruption. Is it possible that a similar thing happened with the poem and a battle fought by Cyngen, who was of the same generation as Aergol, was wrongly attributed to Cynan?