csawlogo.jpg

Home
Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
A study in charting medieval citations
The Evolution of the "Padriarc Brenin" Pedigree
Generational Gaps and the Welsh Laws
Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the Eleventh Century
The Lands of the Silures
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
Ancient Powys
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Maxen Wledig of Welsh Legend
Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies
Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig
Constans I and his 343 Visit to Britain
Glast and the Glastening
Composite Lives of St Beuno
Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees
The Father of Tewdrig of Gwent
Another Look at Teithfallt of Gwent
Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras
Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
Lluan ferch Brychan
The Herbert Family Pedigree
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Angharad, Heiress of Mostyn
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Henry, the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Muddled Pedigree of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir
The Mysterious Peverel Family
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"
Ancestry of Ieuaf ap Adda ap Awr of Trevor
The Retaking of Northeast Wales
Hedd Molwynog or Hedd ap Alunog of Llanfair Talhearn
"Meuter Fawr" son of Hedd ap Alunog
The Medieval "redating" of Braint Hir
Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen
Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179
The Battle of Mynydd Carn
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain
Cadwgan of Nannau
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
What Really Happened in Deheubarth in 1022?
Two Families headed by a Rhydderch ap Iestyn
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
Hywel ap Gronwy of Deheubarth
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
The Other Gwenwynwyn
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited
Gwyn Ddistain, seneschal for Llewelyn Fawr
The Men of Lleyn - How They Got There
Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn
Einion vs Iestyn ap Gwrgan - The Conquest of Glamorgan
Dafydd Goch ap Dafydd - His Real Ancestry
Thomas ap Rhodri - Father of Owain "Lawgoch"
The "Malpas" Family in Cheshire
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Sorting out the Gwaithfoeds
Three Men called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd"
The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg
The Royal Family of Ceredigion
Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin
The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr
Welsh Ancestry of the Tudor Dynasty
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Maredudd Gethin ap Lord Rhys
The 'Next Heir' of Morgan of Caerleon
Pedigree of the ancient Lords of Ial
The Shropshire Walcot Family
Pedigree of "Ednowain Bendew II"
Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam

 

NOTE:  If you have accessed this page via web search, it is an incomplete draft of research still in progress and is subject to much revision.  It cannot be accessed from our website, but web search engines are unable to distinguish between "published" pages and those "off-site" notes stored by the site author for possible future use.
                               EARLY TIMELINES IN WELSH HISTORY
                                           By Darrell Wolcott
 
         Much of what has been written of the period of transition in Britian from Roman to self-rule has relied on the dating of events according to earlier author's guesses.  The dates and intervals between events found in Ninnius and cited by the various manuscripts which comprise the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles can, if we rigidly adhere to them, become a barrier in reconstructing what must have occurred in Britain in the 5th century.  With this paper, we propose to arrive at dates mostly based on pedigree evidence for the likely births, ages and marriages of the key historic men.  Sometimes our results conform with previously accepted dates, but often not.
 
         Our basic premise in constructing our scenerio is that initially the leading men of Britian thought and acted as Roman citizens and employed the Roman mode of governance.  But when this approach failed to bring stability and protection from external invaders, most elements of the Roman system were forcefully rejected and replaced by the atavistic Celtic warlords of the mountains who for centuries had organized their lands as family units without a unifying central government.  However, the heads of these families did at times choose a single battle leader to combat a foe who threatened them all.  We shall begin in the late 4th century.
 
370  Roman Emperor Gratian named Coel Hen dux Britanniarum to prevent the return of the Picts which he had come to expel in 367.  The head of a Celt tribe in the north of Britain, Coel Hen was likely stationed at York and his forces probably included both Roman army soldiers and men of his own extended family.
 
383  Magnus Maximum, the Maxen Wledig of Welsh memories, was serving as a Roman general in Britain, possibly as the Count of the Saxon Shore.  Without speculating on the reasons, he was raised to Emperor by the consent of the leading men of Britain but without sanction by the legitimate Emperor Theodosius.  We think he was required to put aside his wife (and mother of his children) to marry a daughter of Coel Hen[1]; this in the Roman custom of a new Caesar being required to marry into the family of the Emperor who promoted him.  Coel was only the Dux, but was a native Celt with strong support of the other leading families.  Maxen then named another native Britian as Wledig (rural governor) in Britain, Edern ap Padern.  Edern was required to marry another daughter of Coel Hen[2]. The usurping Emperor then crossed to Gaul and killed Gratian, causing both Valentinian II and Theodosius I to confirm him as a legitimate Emperor of the West.
 
388  Maxen was finally outlawed as a usurper by Theodosius and slain.
The Roman general Stilicho was sent to restore Roman authority in Britain.
 
405  Stilicho withdrew from Britain withdrew his troops from Britain to combat new threats to the Roman Empire from both Visigoths and Ostrogoths.  The leading men in Britain asked Emperor Honorius for replacement legions, but were told to look to themselves for their defense.  They selected an army commander named Marcus and raised him to Emperor status, probably requiring him to marry into the "royal" family of Maxen.  We suggest this lady was Seferus, daughter of Maxen[3]
 
407  No reason is known, but support for Marcus was withdrawn and he was killed.  The leader of the rebellion, an army commander named Gratian was chosen to replace him.  This man may have declined to put aside his wife and marry a lady of Maxen's family, and was deposed and slain after only 4 months.  He was replaced by Constantine III[4] who we think married the widowed Seferus ferch Maxen Wledig[5].  Constantine III, still fully intent on continuing the Roman mode, crossed to Gaul to establish himself as Emperor of the West just as Maxen had done earlier. 
 
409  Constantine III forced Honorius to recognize his claims.  He named his son, Constans, as his Caesar and put his best general, Gerontius, under his command.  Shortly afterwards, Gerontius revolted and killed Constans.  Constantine III was now facing attack from his own men and Honorius now turned against him.  Back in Britian, the mountain men of the north (who had provided their military skills and wealth, but had left the administrative part of government to imported Romans under the oversight of "citified" Britains) seem to have lost all confidence in the ability of Rome or the Roman system of government to provide for the island's defenses.  They initiated a purge which killed off all of Constantine's civil servants, and they created a new office of "overking" to rule Britain as a state wholly independent of Rome.  Chosen as their new overking was Custinnen, not only a son of Maxen but a maternal grandson of Coel Hen.[6]
 
409-425  At various times during his rule, Custinnen named several new men to the office of Wledig to oversee rural areas of the island:
      (1)  About 413, he chose Cunedda Ap Edern as Wledig for the territory between the Roman walls, giving one of his daughters to be Cunedda's wife.[7]
     (2)  About 409, he chose Cadell ap Caderyn as Wedleg for the area around Chester in the far west, giving him as wife a daughter of his sister Seferus by Constantine III.[8]
    (3)  About 409, he chose Gwrtheyrn ap Gwydol as Wledig for the area around Caerleon, giving him to wife his own daughter, Seferus.[9]
 
       During his reign as overking, peace was maintained on the island, the Picts were kept at bay in the north, the Irish who now occupied most of Wales were confined to the mountainous areas, and the hordes of Goths, Vandals, etc. who had pressed into Gaul turned south toward Spain.
 
425  Custinnen died around age 50.  His eldest son, Ambrosius, was yet a teenager so his son-in-law was named interim overking.  This was Gwrtheyrn ap Gwydol, known to history by his title "Vortigern".[10]
 
428  Fearing that events in the Roman Empire were such that it might seek to reclaim Britain, Vortigern took steps to strengthen the defenses of his eastern coast.  A contingent of Saxons, driven from their own lands by eastern invaders, were welcomed to Britain and stationed on the island of Thanet, now the northeast tip of Kent.
 
429  Cadell was directed to press westward as far as the Clwyd to drive back the Irish who had invaded and settled there in the latter part of the previous century when more urgent matters occupied the attention of first the Romans then the Britains themselves.  Cadell resettled the area with families of his own tribe and called the new lands Ddrwnllwg.[11]
 
437  Ambrosius, the son of Custinnen, attained sufficient years to assume rule but Vortigern refused to yield his power. They met in battle, but Abrosius was bested.  However, many of the leading men withdrew their support from Vortigern believing Ambrosius should now succeed to his father's office.  To shore up his own position, Vortigern imported a huge number of mercinaries from the continent, Saxons, Angles and Danes.  These likely included the brothers Hergest and Horsa.[12]
 
440  Secure in his office with the backing of his imported troops, Vortigern sent Cunedda Wledig to northwest Wales to expel the remainder of the Irish, replacing him in the far north by naming Ceretic ap Cynloyp as a new Wledig.