Cawrnur

The name Cawrnur occurs in the Kadeir Teyrnon, The Chair of the Prince, which speaks of pale horses under saddle being led from him. In the Marwnat vthyr pen, Uthr Pen[dragon]’s Elegy, there is a reference to an attack on the sons of someone named Cawrnur. Sims-Williams wrote:

“Presumably the fact that Cawrnur and Arthur rhyme partly explains their collocation, but both poems may allude to some lost Arthurian story.”[1]

If we speculate that for the sake of rhyming Cawrnur is a variant of the individuals actual name than a reasonable candidate would be Cawrdaf ap Caradog Freichfras who was of gen 0, see St. Collen. According to triad 13 he was one of the Chief Officers of the Island of Britain. He appears as one of Arthur’s counselors in Breuddwyd Rhonabwy when Osla Gyllellfawr asked for a limited truce.

Gen. ByS 51 ByS J 51 ByS Y(S) 88 ByS Y(S) 89
2 St. Dyfnog St. Dyfnog
1 Medrod Medrod Gwenhwyach Iddew Corn Brydain St. Cathen
0 Cawrdaf Cawrdaf Gocuran Gawr Cawrdaf Cawrdaf
-1 Caradog Freichfras Caradog Freichfras Caradog Freichfras Caradog Freichfras
-2 Llŷr Marini Llŷr Marini

Gwenhwyach was the wife of Medrod. TYP 53 indicates a dispute between her and  Gwenhwyfar led to Camlan. Iddog Cordd Prydain, the Embroiler of Britain, appears in Rhonabwy‘s Dream as one of the messengers between Arthur and Medrod. However, he twisted Arthur’s words when reporting them as he was keen for the battle to occur. These hostilities may be what is alluded to in the references to Cawrnur. The Pen. 51 version of triad 51 tells us that Idawc ap Nyniaw was called  Idawc Korn Prydyn from which we can conclude Iddog Cordd Prydain is the same person as Iddew Corn Brydain.

However, as Gwenhwyfar would have belonged to gen. 0, the Gwenhwyach of ByS J 51 could not have been her sister. Furthermore, Medrod ap Llew has been conflated with Medrod ap Cawrdaf. The existence of two Medrods would explain why different personalities have been ascribed to the name Medrod.

[1] Bromwich, R., Jarman, A.O.H., Roberts, B. F., 1991, 53.

 

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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.