The king-lists of Gwent and Glywysing part 1

The pedigree tables below shows the lists relevant for the reconstruction of the pedigrees of the royals of Gwent and Glywysing. 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 The date associated with each generation number is the mid-value of its generation range.

Elidir Mwynfawr

Elidir the Wealthy was killed in Arfon, according to the Chirk Codex, and a failed attempt to avenge his death was made by Rhydderch Hael, Mordaf Hael, Nudd Hael and Clydno Eidyn. Their pedigrees are shown below.

Gen. BGG 8 BGG 9 BGG 12 ByA 17 seg.
ByS 18 seg.
HG 7
-5 Macsen Wledig Macsen Wledig
-4 Ednyfed Ednyfed
-3 Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen
-2 Cedig Cedig [Gwidol] Gwidol Cedig Cynfelyn
-1 Tudwal Tudclyd Serwan Gwrwst Briodor Gwrwst Briodor Senyllt Clinog Eitin
0 Rhydderch Hael Mordaf Hael Elidir Mwynfawr Elidir Mwynfawr Nudd Hael
1 Dingad
2 St. Lleuddad

Rhydderch Hael and Rhydderch Hen

There were two Rhydderchs that have been conflated. The first was Rhydderch Hael, i.e. Rhydderch the Generous of Gwynedd, who appears in BGG 8 while the second was Rhydderch Hen, i.e. Rhydderch the Old of Strathclyde, in HG 6.  ByS 18 indicates that Dyfnwal Hen, a great-grandfather, of Rhydderch Hael according to BGG 8, was a grandson of Macsen Wledig:

Gen. ByS 18 seg.
BGG 8 Pen. 268
-5 Maxen wledic Makssen wledig
-4 Ydnyuet Ednyfed
-3 Dyuynyeual hen Dyuynwal hen Morhen?
-2 Kedic Kedic Predur
-1 Senyllt Tutwal Tutclyt Elvfed
0 Nud hael Lewdwn lluydawc Rhyderch Hael
1 Dyngat Thenoi
2 Lleudat


Rhydderch Hael’s sword, Dyrnwyn meaning ‘White-hilt’, is the first listed of The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain.[1] The reason he was called generous was because he would give his sword to anyone who asked for it. However, it was always returned when it was realised that if it was drawn by any well-born man it would burst into flame. The Chirk Codex of the Welsh Laws states that he was one of the kings involved in the failed attempt to avenge the death of Elidir Mwynfawr.

Note, ByS 18 mentions other sons of Dingad of gen. 1 apart from St. Lleuddad. They have not been shown in the above chart. Although his father-in-law, Lleuddun of gen. 1, ruled in Edinburgh, this is a southern pedigree as indicated by the fact that the Buchedd Llewddoc Sant says Dingad was king of Bryn Buga, i.e Usk. St. Lleuddad  succeeded Cadfan as abbot of Bardsey.

Dreon Lew was the son of Nudd Hael and is mentioned in triad 31 W :

“and the Retinue of Dreon the Brave at the Dyke of Ar(f)dery(dd)”

This allows us to give a floruit for him of 573, the date of the battle of Arderydd according to the AC. His father appears in triad 2:

“Nudd the Generous, son of Senyllt”

ByA 18 mentions brothers of Rhydderch Hael, including Morgan Mwynfawr, i.e. Morgan the Wealthy. Triad 20 calls him, together with Arthur, one of the Three Red Ravagers of Britain since wherever he went neither grass nor plants grew for a period. He is said to have owned the fourth of The Thirteen Treasures of Britain. It was a chariot which would rapidly take whoever was in it wherever they wanted.

Rhydderch Hael’s father was Tudwal Tudclyd. Tudwal means ‘leader of the people’ and Tudclyd ‘defender of the people’.[2] His wife, according to Pen. 268, was Elufed and it can be seen from the above chart that they were second cousins. The Whetstone of Tudwal is the eighth of The Thirteen Treasures of Britain. While it would sharpen a brave man’s weapon, it would blunt that of a coward.

The Stanzas of the Graves tell us that Rhydderch’s grave is at Abererch, which is in Llŷn. The Cyfoesi Myrddin a Gwenddydd states that he was followed by the king Morgan Mawr ap Sadyrnin who, in turn, was followed by Urien.

The reason why the two Rhydderchs were conflated is because their fathers shared the same name and they were both descendants of Dyfnwal Hen. However, by comparing the table above with that below it can be seen their genealogies differ.

Gen. HG 6 HG 8 HG 9 HG 10 seg.
-4 Coel Hen Coel Hen Coel Hen
-3 Dyfnwal Hen [Ceneu] Ceneu [Ceneu]
-2 [Cynfelyn] Gwrwst Ledlwm [Mar] Garbanion
-1 Clinoch Meirchion Gul Maeswig Gloff Dyfnwal Moelmud
0 Tudwal Cynfarch Oer Lleenog Cyngar Brân Hen
1 Rhydderch Hen Urien Rheged Gwallog Morgan Fwlch
2 Coleddog
3 Morgan

Rhydderch was one of the kings who, according to HB 63, fought against king Hussa of Bernicia. The V. Merlini implies he fought in the battle of Arderydd. V. Kentigerni 45 indicates he died soon after the saint, probably in the year 614 and as predicted in the V. Columbae he did not die in battle.

[1] Bromwich, R., 2006, 259
[2] Bromwich, R., 2006, 508