Jocelin’s Life of Kentigern

In his Life of Kentigern, Jocelin combined the lives of the northern Cyndeyrn Garthwys, that is Kentigern, with the southern Cyndeyrn ap Cyngar. As a result the story appears to state anachronisms. However, in reality, Kentigern of gen. 2 would have been a contemporary of Moken if he was Morgan Fwlch, one of Barturm’s candidates for the name. However, when the story shifts to the south with with Dewi in Menevia, Cadwallon Lawhir and Maelgwn Gwynedd the saint was Cyngar, not Kentigern. Finally, the Vita returns to the north with Kentigern and Rhydderch Hen.

Gen. ByS 6b ByS 13 seg. ByS 14 HG 1b seg. HG 6 HG 10 seg.
3 Morgan
2 Cyndeyrn Garthwys Rhydderch Hen Coleddog
1 Cyndeyrn Owain Denw Rhun Tudwal Morgan Fwlch
0 Cyngar Asaph Urien Lleuddun Luyddog Maelgwn Gwynedd Clinoch Cyngar
-1 Garthog Sawyl (Benuchel) [Benisel] Cadwallon Lawhir Dyfnwal Hen
-2 Ceredig Pabo (Post Prydyn)
-3 Cunedda Wledig

Jocelin did not give the name of Kentigern’s father, perhaps, because of having to avoid choosing between Owain ab Urien and Cyngar ap Garthog. Cyndeyrn was probably the saint of Llangyndeyrn. Nothing is known about him as his story was absorbed into that of Kentigern.

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Cyndeyrn Fendigaid

*Outigirn is a name that appears in HG 10. But in JC 5 his name has been corrupted to *Kyndeern weldic.

A later individual with the same name is to be found in HB 62:

Then Dutgirn at that time fought bravely against the nation of the Angles. At that time, Talhaiarn Cataguen was famed for poetry, and Neirin, and Taliesin and Bluchbard, and Cian, who is called Guenith Guaut, were all famous at the same time in British poetry.

The document indicates that *Dutgirn or *Outigirn (Eudeyrn) lived in the time of Ida and Maelgwn. The corruption of the name Eudeyrn to Cyndeyrn that occurred in JC 5 may have occurred in the opposite direction, i.e. Cyndeyrn to Eudeyrn in the HB. Chronology suggests the HB reference is to Cyndeyrn Fendigaid ab Owain ap Cyngar who appears in ABT 18a and JC 13. He was not Cyndeyrn Garthwys ab Owain ab Urien Rheged of ByS 14.

The Powysian lineage

Understanding the descent of the kings of Powys poses considerable problems. These can be resolved when it is realised that the sons attributed to Vortigern (Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu) are in reality the offsprings of Cadell Ddyrnllug. The reason behind this intentionally incorrect attribution is given in HB 32-35. It tells how the royals of Powys were descendants of Cadell whose origins were humble. HB 34 tells us Cadell had nine sons. The Harleian manuscript gives the names of five of them, although they are incorrectly listed not as siblings but as sons of each other:

Gen. HG 22
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Mawgan Pasgen Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
Gen. HG 23
5 [H?]esselis
4 Gwrhaearn
3 Elfoddw
2 Cynin
1 Millo
0 Camuir
-1 Brydw Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
Gen. HG 27    
9 Cyngen
8 Cadell
7 Brochwel
6 Elise
5 Gwylog
4 Beli
3 Eiludd
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Glodrydd Mawgan Pasgen Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
-3 Selevan

The PE mentions four of the sons:

CONCE[NN]  PASCEN[T]  MAU[N]  ANNAN [+]  BRITU

The third and fourth elements of this part of the inscription is a reference to a single name, i.e. Mawgan. It is claimed the PE states they were the sons of Gwrtheyrn. However, this may be a misreading and the above four names were not being linked to Gwrtheyrn but rather to the largely missing previous lines. Following the above text the inscription reads:

A[ ]T[ ]M FILIUS GUARTHI[ ] QUE(m) BENED[ ] GERMANUS

HB 48 tells us that Gwrtheyrn’s son, Faustus, by his incestuous relation with his daughter, was brought up by Germanus. So, the first word in the above text may be a reference to Faustus, the only genuinely known son of Gwrtheyrn. This interpretation is supported by the use of the singular form ‘filius’.

The first segment of ABT 6k, shown below, matches the above HG 27:

Gen. ABT 6k 1st seg. ABT 6k 2nd. seg.
10 Rhodri Mawr
9 Merfyn Frych  Nest
8 Cadell
7 Brochwel
6 Elise
5 Gwylog
4 Beli
3 Eiludd
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Glodrydd
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
-3 Pasgen Brydw Rhuddfedel Frych Cyndeyrn
-4 Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu

Although the manuscript states Nest was the mother of Merfyn Frych the above table shows her as his wife. This is indicated as being the case in JC 18.

The second segment promotes the myth that, except for Cyngen, the sons of Cadell were, in reality, the sons of Gwrtheyrn. As noted by Phillimore the name Cateyrn has been ‘tortured’ into the form Cyndeyrn by later genealogies.[1] Vermaat explains the presence in the list of Rhuddfedel as a reference to the battle at Rithergabail where Cateyrn died.[2]

Interestingly, with the aid of the LaB, HB M 49  and GaC 2 it is possible to trace the Powysian ancestry back to the 2nd century BCE. The manuscript form of the names are given:

Gen. LaB HB M 49
9 Fernmail
8 Teudubir
7 Pascent
6 Guoidcant
5 Moriud
4 Eldat
3 Eldoc
2 Beuno Paul
1 Bugi Mepurit
0 Gwnlliw Briacat
-1 Tegit Pascent
-2 Kadell Drynlluc
-3 [Faustus] [Faustus]
-4 Gortegyrun Guorthigirn Guortheneu
-5 Gorthevyn Guitaul
-6 Gorthgeyrun Guitolin
-7 [Gloiuda] Gloiuda
-8 [Paul Merion] Paul Merion
-9 [Gloiu] Gloiu
-10 [Rhifedel] [Rhifedel]
-11 Rutegyrn [Rutegyrn]
-12 Deheuwynt [Deheuwynt]
-13 Eudegan [Eudegan]
-14 Eudegern [Eudegern]
-15 Elud [Elud]
-16 Endos [Endos]
-17 Endolen [Endolen]
-18 Avallad [Avallad]
-19 Amalech [Amalech]
-20 Belim [Belim]

LaB goes on to say Beli was the son of Anna. Rhifedel of gen. -10 does not appear in either of the above documents. However, he is the only known son of Rhydeyrn and appears in HG 10, GaC 2 and ABT 1c. The last king mentioned in the above list from the HB, Ffernfael ap Tewdwr, was reigning in Buellt and Gwrtheyrnion at the time the document was written according to the manuscript, i.e. c. 830, confirming he belonged to gen. 9.
[1] Cy IX, 179 n. 5
[2] Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > The Family of Vortigern > Catigern, son of Vortigern

Who was Coel Hen’s father?

Orthodox wisdom states Coel Hen was the son of Tegfan. However, I believe he was the son of Godebog m. Tegfan. My evidence for this claim is that the earliest documents say so, namely HG 10 and JC 5. It is in later documents that one sees the name Coel Godebog and it was wrongly assumed that this individual was Coel Hen. This brings me to the second element of my conjecture which is that the Godebog mentioned in the early documents was stating just the cognomen of Coel Hen’s father. So, my assertion is the pedigree runs thus:

Coel Hen m. Coel Godebog m. Tegfan.

These conjectures dovetail naturally with much of the other known genealogical information such as the dating of Cunedda Wledig as the husband of Gwawl f. Coel Hen as indicated by JC 20 7:

“Mam veibyon Cuneda oed Wawl verch Coyl hen.”
“Mother of the sons of Cunedda was Gwawl, daughter of Coel Hen.”

A later manuscript, ByA 27a appears to contradict this by suggesting Ystradwel f. Gadeon was:

“… gwreig i Goel godebawc hon oedd vam Dyfrwr a mam Genev ap Koel”
“… wife of Coel Godebog was mother to Dyfrwr and the mother to Ceneu son of Coel”