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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.
                                   THE BATTLE OF MECHAIN
                                        By Darrell Wolcott
 
        Six years after King Gruffudd ap Llewelyn was assassinated, we learn that his two sons were killed as the result of a battle with the sons of Cynfyn, Bleddyn and Rhiwallon.  The accounts of this battle at Mechain found in Annales Cambriae and Brut y Tywysogion agree in all respects except one:  the account in the annals call the sons of Gruffudd "Idwal and Maredudd" while the Brut says "Ithel and Maredudd". 
 
        There is general agreement that this event marks the end of Powys rule by the dynasty descended from Cadell Ddrynllwg, it being replaced by Bleddyn ap Cynfyn and his heirs.  While the transfer of power actually occurred following the 1063 death of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn when the English confirmed Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn as their approved ruler in Powys and Bleddyn in Gwynedd, this may have been only because the sons of Gruffudd were too young to assume a Celtic kingship.  The fact that those sons made no claim to their father's crowns in 1063 but did do so in 1069 is, we believe, strong evidence of their ages.  The eldest of them, whether Ithel or Maredudd, was likely born within a year or two after their father assumed rule in Powys in 1039 and was yet in his early 20's in 1063.  When he attained his "full age", he asserted his birthright and claimed the kingship of Powys then held by an interim king, Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn.
 
        The ancient accounts say that both Rhiwallon and Ithel fell in battle at Mechain, and that Maredudd died of "the cold" which most assume meant he fled into the mountains and met his death from the elements.  The account continues to say that afterwards, Bleddyn held the kingships of both Gwynedd and Powys.  While we agree that Bleddyn emerged victorius following the event, we doubt he was even present when his brother fell.
 
         We have conjectured elsewhere that the sons of Gruffudd had met with Gruffudd ap Cynan nephew of Iago, the heir to the Gwynedd kingship held by Bleddyn.  In that meeting shortly before Mechain, we think an alliance was struck to remove the sons of Cynfyn from both Powys and Gwynedd, assert their own rights to those kingdoms and thus restore both to their dynastic families. Then a refugee living in Ireland, this Gruffudd ap Cynan had no army to assist the sons of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn but believed he would be provided with a host of Irishmen to attack Bleddyn in Gwynedd if Ithel and Maredudd successfully deposed Rhiwallon in Powys.
 
         We suggest that Ithel and Maredudd then sent word to Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn in Mathrafel that the eldest of them had attained legal kingship age and expected Rhiwallon to relinquish his interim rule.  That their army awaited his decision just across the Fyrnwy River in the cantref of Mechain.  Having no intention to step aside for his nephews, Rhiwallon's warband sallied forth to oppose their claim.  We suspect Bleddyn was himself over 100 miles away at his own palace in Anglesey.  When the two warbands met, we suggest it was the forces of Ithel and Maredudd which dominated the battle.  Rhiwallon had sent messingers to seek the assistance of his brother and his army sought to hold off the superior force until Bleddyn's army had time to arrive on the scene.  They held out until darkness, but at first sunlight the battle resumed with still no sign of Bleddyn's men.  The losses mounted for Rhiwallon's men until finally he was surrounded and fell fatally wounded.  His penteulu exhorted his men to fight on as help was due any moment.  When Bleddyn's men arrived on the scene, the tide swiftly turned against the sons of Gruffudd.  Ithel was slain and his men scattered; Maredudd took shelter in the mountains.  Although his position was immune to attack, the exits were easy to block and he died of the combination of hunger, thirst and cold nights.