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 two Deiniols

There were two Deiniols who have become conflated and their pedigrees are shown in the table below:

Gen. ByS 12 ByS 13
2 Deiniol
1 Dunod Fwr Dwywai
0 Pabo Post Prydyn Lleenog Asaph Deiniolfab
-1 Sawyl (Benuchel) [Benisel] Gwenasedd
-2 Pabo (Post Prydyn) Rhain Hael

As indicated by the AC, Dunod Fwr died in 595. According to the HRB he was at Arthur’s coronation. He was also present at the battle of Arderydd. It was his son who predeceased him in the year 584 as indicated by the AC. His death is mentioned together with the battle of the Isle of Man and, perhaps, the two are related.

Note, St. Asaph’s sister was one of the wives of Maelgwn Gwynedd and the mother of Eurgain. Maelgwn’s Wife and the Ring describes an incident involving her as well as St. Asaph. The Daniel referred to as having died in the reign of Constantine in the HRB was Deiniolfab, the brother of St. Asaph.

ByS 13 gives Sawyl the incorrect cognomen Benuchel. It should have been Benisel. As indicated on the chart, the Pabo of ByS 13 did not have the cognomen Post Prydyn, see Pabo and Sawyl.

Pabo and Sawyl

There were two different individuals with the name Pabo. The cognomen Post Prydyn is incorrectly attached to the earlier Pabo.:

Gen. BGG 4
HG 19
1 Dunod Fwr Cerwyd Sawyl Benuchel Cadwallon Lyw
0 Pabo Post Prydyn Guitcun
-1 Arthwys Sawyl Benisel
-2 Mar Pabo (Post Prydyn)
-3 Ceneu Ceneu
-4 Coel Hen Coel Hen

Sawyl Benuchel is mentioned in the V. Cadoci as a tyrant who the saint dealt with for the theft of food and drink from his monastery. His cognomen means High-head or Proud. Triad 23 calls him one of the Three Arrogant Men of the Island of Britain. He is not to be confused with Sawyl Benisel whose cognomen means Low-head or Humble. He was married to Deichter, daughter of Muiredach Muinderg, King of Ulster, who died in 489, as stated in the AT. Also, according to Elis Gruffydd, his daughter was married to Maelgwn Gwynedd.

Triad 5 tells us Dunod was one of the Three Pillars of Battle of the Island of Britain and the son of Pabo Post Prydyn. His warrior character is confirmed in poetry by the words:

Dunod ap Pabo does not retreat.

Geoffrey mentions he was present at Arthur’s coronation. Triad 44 tells us he was at the battle of Arfderydd together with Gwrgi, Peredur, Cynfelyn Drwsgl (also of triad 5) and Dinogad ap Cynan Garwyn. He survived the battle and, according to the AC, died in the year 595. The B-text confirms that his father was Pabo. Various poems indicate he lived beyond Urien’s death and battled against Owain and Pasgen, sons of Urien.

Cadwallon Lyw is likely to be the king who gave land at Llancarfan to Kentigern for a monastery, as mentioned in V. Kentigerni 23.