The two Teilos

The Vita Teliaui mentions the following kings as Teilo’s contemporaries:

“Teudiric filio teithpall. Idon filio ynyr guent. Gurcant maur. Mailcun. Aircol lauhir. Catgucaun tredicil. Rein.”[1]

The dating for each of the seven kings listed will be considered.

1. Tewdrig ap Teithfall was of gen. -3. However, that name was at times incorrectly ascribed to Tewdrig ap Llywarch of gen. 1. see Tewdrig.

2. The Buchedd Beuno states Iddon ab Ynyr Gwent had dealings with Cadwallon ap Cafan who belonged to gen. 3, see list 1a in Harleian Genealogies. This dating for Iddon is confirmed by the Liber Landavensis which tells us:

“In the time of the aforesaid King Iddon, the Saxons came into his country to plunder, and he with his army pursued them, and in his way came to St. Teilo …”[2]

Bartrum claims the chronology indicated by the LL is imposssible as Teilo was a contemporary of Dewi. However, the Dewi concerned could have been the later individual, see The two bishop Davids.

3. Gwrgan Fawr was the father of Onbrawst who was married to Meurig ap Tewdrig.[3] Meurig was of gen. 2 as shown in list 9a of Jesus College ms. 20.

4. Maelgwn Gwynedd was of gen. 0, see list 1b in Harleian Genealogies.

5. Aergol Lawhir was of gen. -2, see list 2b in Harleian Genealogies.

6. Cadwgon ap Cathen of gen. 4 has a cognomen that takes the form Trydelic in ABT 18 G and Tredylic in ABT 18 H2. As Bartrum noted, his giving land to Teilo is probably a reference to the church of Teilo.[4]

7. It is unclear which Rhain is being spoken of.

There appears to have been two Teilos. The earlier one was a contemporary of Tewdrig, Maelgwn and Aergol. A possible candidate for the earlier Teilo is Eiludd ap Stater of gen. -1 whose name appears in list 2c of Harleian Genealogies. The Vita explains the evolution of his name thus:

“After he grew up in age, virtue, and wisdom, he was called by intelligent persons by the suitable name of Elios; and Elios, in Greek, is interpreted in Latin by Sol, [the Sun;] for his learning shone as the sun, by illustrating the doctrine of the faithful. But illiterate men corruptly pronouncing the termination of the word, it came to pass, in course of time, that he was called not Elios, but Eliud.”[5]

As noted by Wade-Evans:

“Teilo is not said to be of the stock of Cunedda in B.L.D., nor is his name in P.K. This throws doubt on his Cuneddan origin.”[6]

The later Teilo, who was descended from Cunedda, was the son of Ensych, see list 5 in Bonedd y Saint, and belonged to gen. 1, as did Dubricius, see list 10a of Jesus College ms. 20, who he succeeded as bishop of Llandaff. He could have been a contemporary of Iddon and Gwrgan. He was not of the same period as Aergol Lawhir and as noted by Bartrum:

“In the Book of Llandaf persons named Aircot, Aircol appear as witnesses to two charters in the times of bishops Aeddan and Elwystl. But the properties concerned are in the Dore Valley and a different person is probably indicated.”[7]

[1] Evans, J. G, Rhys, J., 1893, 118.
[2] Rees, W. J., 1840, 361.
[3] Evans, J. G, Rhys, J., 1893, 140.
[4] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 95.
[5] Rees, W. J., 1840, 333.
[6] Arch. Camb. 86, 163, n. 3.
[7] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 5.


The king list of Gwynedd

The pedigree of the Venedotian kings is given in HG 1. However, this list poses a problem in terms of chronology until it is treated as two separate lines of descent, labelled HG 1a and HG 1b:

Gen. HG 1a
ChB a HG 1b seg.
ByA 28c
13 Owain
12 Hywel D.
11 Cadell
10 Rhodri M.
9 Merfyn F.
8 Esyllt
7 Cynan D.
6 Rhodri M.
5 Idwal I.
4 Cadwaladr F. Alain II
3 Cadwallon Salomon II
2 Cadfan Hoel III (Beli m. Rhun)
1 Iago Alain I Rhun Hir Perweur
0 Beli Hoel II Maelgwn Gwynedd Rhun R.
-1 Rhun [Einion] Hoel I Cadwallon L. Einion
-2 Budic Einion Y. Mar
-3 Aldwr Cunedda W. Ceneu
-4 Salomon I Edern Coel
-5 Gradlon Padarn B.
-6 Conan M. Tegid

Although later sources show Merfyn Frych as the husband of Esyllt, a viewpoint supported by Bartrum, this earlier document is correct in stating he was her son. As can be seen in the second column, the list states that Rhun was the father of Beli. This is correct but that individual was not Rhun Hir, the son of Maelgwn Gwynedd, who appears in the fifth column above.

Rhun Hir married Perweur ferch Rhun Ryfeddfawr, whose name appears in ByA 28c, and they both belonged to gen. 1 as shown in the table. Triad 79 tells us she was one of the Three Lively Ladies of Britain. ByA 28c errs when it says Perweur was the “Mam Beli m Rhun …”. As can be seen from the second column Beli ap Rhun belonged to the same generation as his supposed parents. Brut y Brenhinedd confirms that Rhun was the father of Beli. Historia Regum Britanniae wrongly asserts that Einion was the father whereas in fact Einion Yrth was a grandfather. It was Rhun ap Einion Yrth and not Rhun Hir who fled to Armorica. His daughter, Tymyr, married Hoel II who appears in Chronicon Briocense, see above table.

Both HRB and ByB correctly assert that Einion was Rhun’s brother. This allows us to solve a 1500 year old murder mystery which is not a whodunit but a “who was it dun to”, as we know the identity of the murderer but it is unclear who the victim was. Gildas wrote of Maelgwn:

In the first years of thy youth, accompanied by soldiers of the bravest, whose countenance in battle appeared not very unlike that of young lions, didst thou not most bitterly crush thy uncle the king with sword, and spear, and fire?[1]

The Latin text uses the word “avunculus” where the above passage reads “uncle”. Strictly speaking, that term means mother’s brother. However, in this context I believe this can be linked to the fact, given in JC 23, that an Einion was half-brother to Cadwallon Lawhir, Maelgwn’s father, through their father Einion Yrth. Their mothers were sisters, daughters of king Didlet.

Although HRB states Rhun escaped to Armorica after the death of Einion because he was driven out by the Saxons, it would seem that Maelgwn had a hand in it as well. After Maelgwn’s death his son successfully thwarted challenges to his kingship. However, it would seem that the rightful lineage to the throne was reestablished when Iago became king. As can be seen in the above table, Cadwallon ap Cadfan is correct when he tells Salomon II  in the ByB that their two fathers were two second cousins.

[1] Williams, H., 1899, 77