Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad

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Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad

Nicknames: ""The Freckled"", "king of Gwynedd", "`the Freckeld' (King) of GWYNEDD", "Merfyn Frych", "meaning Merfyn the Freckled"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Powys, Wales
Death: Died in Battle Of Cyfeil, Ketell, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Gwriad ap Elidir and Esyllt verch Cynan
Husband of Nesta verch Cadell
Father of Anarawd ap Merfyn; Rhodri Mawr ap Merfyn; Gwriad ap Merfyn and Llewlyn
Brother of Gwriad ap Gwriad and Cadrod ap Gwriad

Occupation: the freckled-Marriage: Esyllt Verch Cynan TYNDAETHWYDied: Abt 843, Battle Of Cyfeiliog, Ketell, Wales about age 79 king of powys, King of Gwynedd (the Freckled), King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys, Coronation 825, King of Gwynedd, King of Powys
Managed by: Debora Ann Baxter
Last Updated:

About Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[1] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

Powys was united with Gwynedd when king Merfyn Frych of Gwynedd married princess Nest, the sister of king Cyngen of Powys, the last representative of the Gwertherion dynasty. With the death of Cyngen in 855 Rhodri became king of Powys, having inherited Gwynedd the year before. This formed the basis of Gwynedd's continued claims of overlordship over Powys for the next 443 years.

-------------------- Merfyn Frych From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys. He is referred to as King of the Britons in two documents composed at his court: the Historia Brittonum and the Bamberg Cryptogram[1].

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not , the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[2] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

References

Bibliography

   * John Davies (1994). A history of Wales. Penguin Books. ISBN 0140145818. 
   * Lloyd, John Edward (1911), A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest, I (2nd ed.), London: Longmans, Green, and Co (published 1912), http://books.google.com/books?id=NYwNAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover 

Citations

  1. C. A. Snyder (2003). The Britons. Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-22260-X. 
  2. Kermode, Philip Moore Callow (1897), A Welsh Inscription in the Isle of Man, in Meyer, Kuno; Stern, L. Chr., , Zeitschrift für celtishe Philologie (Halle: Max Niemeyer) I: 46–51, http://books.google.com/books?id=_Z4MAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA46#PPA46-IA2,M1 

External links

   * Rhys, John (1897), Note on Guriat, in Meyer, Kuno; Stern, L. Chr., , Zeitschrift für celtishe Philologie (Halle: Max Niemeyer) I: 52–53

-------------------- ID: I102145 Name: Merfyn The Freckled Ap Gwriad Prefix: Mawr Gwynedd Sex: M Birth: Bet 765 and 784 CE in , , Wales Death: 844 CE in Cyfeiliog/Cyfeil, Ketell, Wales 1 Event: King Of Gwynedd Coronation 825 CE Change Date: 13 Jan 2009 at 01:51 Note: Alias: Merfyn Freigh of North Wales /Frych/ Some sources list his mother as Nest ferch Cadell.

Father: GWRIAD AP ELIDYR af Man b: Between 738 and 750 CE Mother: Essylt ferch Cynan b: Bet 750 and 770 CE in Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales

Marriage 1 Nesta Ferch Cadell b: Abt 742 CE in Powys, Montgomery, Wales Married: Change Date: 13 Jan 2009 Children

Rhodri The Great Ap Merfyn b: Bet 789 and 809 CE in Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales
Gwriad Ap Merfyn b: Bef 825 CE
Anarawd Ap Merfyn b: Bef 825 CE

Sources: Abbrev: Sutton Folk Family Tree 3175463.ged Title: Sutton Folk Family Tree Sutton Folk Family Tree 3175463.ged Author: Folk, Linda Sutton Publication: www.worldconnect.rootsweb.com -------------------- Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[1] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

[edit] -------------------- Known as "the Freckled." "The Earliest English Kings," D. P. Kirby (London: Routledge, 1992), p. 212: "The advent to royal power in 825 of Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad, a Powys prince with possible Manx connections, whose father had married a daughter of Cynan ap Rhodri, king of Gwynedd, established the second dynasty of Gwynedd. Merfyn's marriage to Nest, sister of Cyngen ap Cadell, king of Powys, strenthened the Powysian associations of this second dynasty...."

-------------------- Merfyn Frych

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[1] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

[edit]References

Bibliography

John Davies (1994). A history of Wales. Penguin Books. ISBN 0140145818.

Lloyd, John Edward (1911), A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest, I (2nd ed.), London: Longmans, Green, and Co (published 1912)

Citations

^ Kermode, Philip Moore Callow (1897), A Welsh Inscription in the Isle of Man, in Meyer, Kuno; Stern, L. Chr., , Zeitschrift für celtishe Philologie (Halle: Max Niemeyer) I: 46–51

Merfyn (The Freckled) Frych ap Gwriad   

Merfyn, known as The Freckled, was born in 0764 in Wales.1 The Freckled's father was Gwriad ap Elidir and his mother was Esyllt verch Cynan. His maternal grandparents were Cynan (Dindaethwy) ap Rhodri and <Unknown>. He had a brother named Cadrod. He was the older of the two children. He died as a war casualty at the age of 80 in 0844 in Battle of Cyfeil, Ketell, Wales.1


Merfyn (The Freckled) Frych ap Gwriad & Nest verch Cadell 

They had a son named Mawr, The Great.

Personal Details

Merfyn (The Freckled) Frych ap Gwriad

Merfyn, known as The Freckled, was born in 0764 in Wales.1 He died as a war casualty at the age of 80 in 0844 in Battle of Cyfeil, Ketell, Wales.1

Nest verch Cadell

Nest was born in Powys, Wales.2

Children

 Rhodri (Mawr, The Great) ap Merfyn

Rhodri, known as Mawr, The Great, was born about 0820 in Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales.3 He died about 0878 in Anglessey, Wales.3

Brenin Gwynedd Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad o ne Rheged1

b. circa 764, d. 844

Father Gwriad ab Elidyr, Brenin Ynys Manau3,1 b. circa 750, d. 825

Mother Esyllt ferch Cynan Dindaethwy2,1 b. circa 770

    Also called Mervin "the Freckled" English, Frych = the Freckled.3 Brenin Gwynedd Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad o ne Rheged was the son of Gwriad ap Elidyr and heir to the lost Kingdom of South Rheged.3 He was the successor of Brenin Gwynedd Hywel I ap Rhodri o Gwynedd; King of Gwynedd. Brenin Gwynedd Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad o ne Rheged was born circa 764 at Isle of Man, Wales.3 He was the son of Gwriad ab Elidyr, Brenin Ynys Manau and Esyllt ferch Cynan Dindaethwy.2,1,3 Brenin Gwynedd Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad o ne Rheged married Nest ferch Cadell o Powys, daughter of Brenin Powys Cadell Powys ap Brochfael o Powys, before 810; Dubious.4,5 Brenin Gwynedd Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad o ne Rheged succeeded his mother's uncle, Hyvel, to the throne of Gwynedd, crossing from Ynys Manaw (Isle of Man) to bring a new stability as well as a new dynasty to Gwynedd after many years of Civil War, in 825. King of Gwynedd at Wales between 825 and 844.3 He held out against Viking invaders from Denmark. He died in 844 at the Battle of Cyfeiliog, Ketell, Wales.2,6,1,7,8

Family

Nest ferch Cadell o Powys b. circa 770

Children

Rhodri Fawr ap Merfyn, Brenin Cymru+ b. c 810, d. 8789

Gwriad ap Merfyn of Gwynedd b. c 8103

Anarawd ap Merfyn of Gwynedd b. c 8103

Citations

[S483] Stewart Baldwin, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth's ancestors in "Baldwin-Llywelyn," listserve message Dec 1998.

[S245] LDS.

[S266] EBK, online http://freespace.virgin.net/david.ford2/

[S490] Llywelyn ap Iorwerth and some of his contemporaries, manuscript, early 13th - 14th Century unknown repository, 18.

[S483] Stewart Baldwin, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth's ancestors in "Baldwin-Llywelyn," listserve message Dec 1998, This appears to be a late invention..

[S272] Francis Jones, Jones, F., pg 12..

[S897] [unknown], AU.

[S485] Various, Annales Cambriae.

[S272] Francis Jones, Jones, F., pg. 12, Chart I, Dynasty of Cunedda (Line of Gwynedd).

"Some authorities make Merfyn Frych the husband of ... Ethelytt [LW V-14], instead of her son, but he appears as the son of Gwriad and ... Ethelyth in the earliest records. He married Nest, sister and heiress of Congen ap Cadell, King of Powys. Through his mother he became King of Gwynedd on the death of her uncle, Hywel in 825.

"Merfyn Frych was a descendant of 'Llywarch Hen (Llywarch the Aged), poet and warrior, who is said to have lived in the sixth century and to have held his court on the mound, near Llanfor church, which bears his name.' (Lloyd). He is said to have come from the land of Manaw. The evidence indicates that he came from the Isle of Man and not from Manaw in Scotland. He was a man of unusual force and energy. 'For nineteen years he maintained his power against all rivals and against the Danish irruptions, and on his death in 844 he was able to hand it on to his son Rhodri.' (Lloyd).

"He was at war with the Saxons in 823 and in 830 and probably at other times. Burchard, King of Mercia, made war against Gwynedd and its king, Merfyn Frych, was slain in battle in 844.

"In Jesus College MS. 20 (Y Cymmrodor VIII. 87) his pedigree on his father's side is traced back to Coel Hen, the father-in-law of ...Cunedda [LW V-1], and through his father's grandmother, Celenion, it is traced to Maxen Wledic (Prince Maximus), who was a Roman official of Spanish birth in Britain, and who took advantage of the popular discontent with the reign of the Roman Emperor Gratian, caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor, raised an army, crossed over to the continent and, in A.D. 383, fought with the army of Gratian who was killed in the battle. Maximus then became Emperor of Western Europe, including Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland and a part of Germany, 'and for several years he ruled them not unjustly.' (Lloyd). He was defeated and overthrown in 388 in an ambitious effort to conquer Italy. He was a Christian and 'took pains to put himself forward as a special champion of orthodoxy.' (Lloyd).

Merfyn is the first in a dynasty that would dominate the kingdoms of Wales for some four centuries. Yet Merfyn himself remains obscure. Most sources indicate his lineage is as given here -- son of Gwiad (King of the Isle of Man) and Esyllt (daughter of King Cynan ap Rhodri of Gwynedd). But there is some uncertainty. It is clear that he was not a member of the male line of the house of Gwynedd (and thereby, according to early Welsh law, would not automatically inherit land and title). His rise to power was likely through usurpation, although some ligitimacy was probably achieved through his mother.

He seems to have married Nest verch Cadell ap Brochfael, King of Powys, thus uniting the two north Wales royal families. While he appears to have been in alliance with Powys, he seems not to have provided whole-hearted military support to either King Cadell or his son, King Cyngen, in defending Powys against the rising power of the Saxons to the east in England -- he seems instead to have been more effective as a negotiator and statesman. Merfyn seems to have established a stable if uneasy peace, although he apparently died in battle with the Saxons in 844.

Burke (Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Burke's Peerage Limited, (First Edition, London, 1973).) identifies Merfyn's wife as Nest verch Cadell ap Brochwel, but Ancestral File names Esyllt verch Cynan Dyndaethwy, so I'm going with Burke. Esyllt appears in Burke, a generation further back, as the mother of Merfyn, so I think the Latter Day Saints have them switched around.

The view that Ethyllt was Merfyn's mother and Nest his wife is held by Davies[9] and many others, including David E. Thornton[7] and Lloyd,[10] who notes the consistency of the genealogies in Jesus College MS 20 and Harleian MS 3859 against the contrary account that Nest was the mother and Ethyllt the wife. -------------------- Merfyn Frych or Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (English: Merfyn the Freckled, son of Gwriad) was King of Gwynedd (reigned 825 – 844), the first king not descended from the male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd. Little is known of his reign, and his primary notability is as the father of Rhodri the Great. Merfyn came to the throne in the aftermath of a bloody dynastic struggle between brothers Cynan (reigned 798 – 816) and Hywel (reigned 816 – 825),[1] at a time when the kingdom had been under pressure from Mercia.[2] The Annales Cambriae says that he died in 844, the same year in which a battle occurred at Ketill (or Cetyll), but it does not make clear whether there is a connection, or whether it is referring to two unrelated events.[3][4]

[edit] Political background


A general map of Gwynedd showing the cantrefi.The times leading up to Merfyn's reign were unsettled for both Gwynedd and neighbouring Powys. Both kingdoms were beset by internal dynastic strife, external pressure from Mercia, and bad luck from nature's whims. In 810 there was a bovine plague that killed many cattle throughout Wales. The next year Deganwy, the ancient fortified llys (English: royal court) of Maelgwn Gwynedd and built of wood, was struck by lightning. A destructive dynastic war raged in Gwynedd between 812 and 816, particularly on Anglesey, while in Powys a son of the king was killed by his brother "through treachery". In 818 there was a notable battle at Llanfaes on Anglesey. The combatants are not identified, but the site had been the llys of King Cynan.[5]

Coenwulf of Mercia took advantage of the situation in 817, occupying Rhufoniog (see map) and laying waste to the mountains of Eryri (English: Snowdonia), the defensive stronghold of Gwynedd. Coastal Wales along the Dee Estuary was still in Mercian hands in 821, as it is known that Coenwulf died peacefully at Basingwerk in that year. In 823 Mercia laid waste to Powys and returned to Gwynedd to burn down Deganwy.

Gwynedd and Powys then gained a respite when Mercia's attention turned elsewhere and its fortunes waned. King Beornwulf was killed fighting the East Anglians in 826, his successor Ludeca suffered the same fate the following year, and Mercia was conquered and occupied by Ecgberht of Wessex in 829. Though Mercia managed to throw off Ecgberht's rule in 830, it was thereafter beset by dynastic strife, and never regained its dominance, either in Wales or eastern England.[6]

It was just as Mercian power was on the verge of breaking that Merfyn Frych came to the throne, certainly a case of fortuitous timing.

[edit] Family background and marriage

Merfyn was linked to the earlier dynasty through his mother Ethyllt (or Etthil or Essyllt, Esyllt), the daughter of King Cynan (d. 816), rather than through his father Gwriad.[7][note 1] As his father's origins are obscure, so is the basis of his claim to the throne (see below).[7]

Merfyn allied his own royal family with that of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter or sister of King Cadell ap Brochwel.[note 2]

[edit] Reign

Precious little is known of Merfyn's reign. Thornton suggests that Merfyn was probably among the Welsh kings who were defeated by Ecgberht, king of Wessex, in the year 830, but it is unknown how this affected Merfyn's rule.[7]

Merfyn is mentioned as a king of the Britons in a copyist's addition[note 3] to the Historia Brittonum and in the Bamberg Cryptogram, [note 4] but as both sources are traced to people working in Merfyn's own court during his reign, it should not be considered more significant than someone's respectful reference to his patron while working in his service.

In the literary sources, Merfyn's name appears in the Dialogue between Myrddin and his sister Gwenddydd (Welsh: Cyfoesi Myrddin a Gwenddydd ei chwaer), found in the mid-13th-century manuscript known as the Red Book of Hergest. The dialogue is a prophecy of the future kings, and lists among them Merfyn in the passage "meruin vrych o dir manaw"[14] (English: Merfyn Frych of the land of Manau).

[edit] Gwriad, Merfyn's father

Extremely little is known of Merfyn's father Gwriad. Merfyn claimed descent from Llywarch Hen through him, and the royal pedigree in Jesus College MS. 20 says that Gwriad was the son of Elidyr, who bears the same name as his ancestor, the father of Llywarch Hen, Elidyr lydanwyn.[15] Supporting the veracity of the pedigree is an entry in the Annales Cambriae, which states that Gwriad, the brother of Rhodri the Great, was slain on Anglesey by the Saxons. That is to say, Merfyn named one of his sons after his father Gwriad.[16]

The discovery of a cross inscribed Crux Guriat (English: Cross of Gwriad) on the Isle of Man and dated to the 8th or 9th century[17] raised the question of whether Gwriad's possible connection to "Manaw" was to Manaw Gododdin, once active in North Britain, or to the Isle of Man (Welsh: Ynys Manaw).[7] John Rhys suggested that Gwriad might well have taken refuge on the Isle of Man during the bloody dynastic struggle between Cynan and Hywel prior to Merfyn's accession to the throne, and that the cross perhaps does refer to the refugee Gwriad, father of Merfyn. He goes on to note that the Welsh Triads mention a 'Gwryat son of Gwryan in the North'.[18] Other locations for "Manaw" have been suggested, including Ireland, Galloway and Powys.[7]

While Rhys' suggestion is not implausible, his reference to Gwriad's father Gwrian contradicts the royal pedigree, which says that Gwriad's father was Elidir, so this may be a confusion of two different people named Gwriad. Gwriad's name does appear with northern origins in the Welsh Triads as one of the "Three kings, who were of the sons of strangers" (sometimes referred to as the "Three Peasant Kings"), where he is identified as the son of "Gwrian in the North".[19][20]

The other literary references to Gwriad and his father Gwrian also suggest that this Gwriad is a different person with the same name as Merfyn's father. For example, Gwrian's name also appears in The Verses of the Graves (Welsh: Englynion y Beddau) in the Black Book of Carmarthen,[21] as does Gwriad's name,[22] which also appears in the Gododdin.[23]

-------------------- Sources:

The book, 'Kings & Queens of Great Britain'

The book, 'The Oxford History of the British Monarchy' -------------------- Name: Merfyn Ap Geriad "Freckled" King Of Gwynedd 1

Sex: M

Birth: ABT 784 1

Death: ABT 844 in Battle Of Cyfeil, Ketell, Wales 1

Father: Gwriad Ap Elidir Of Man King Of Gwynedd b: ABT 738

Mother: Esyllt Verch Cynan Of Gwynedd b: ABT 770 in Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales

Marriage 1 Nesta Verch Cadell b: ABT 780 in Powys, Wales

Children

Rhodri Mawr Ap Merfyn b: ABT 809 in Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales

Sources:

Title: JohnFaye (8 Jun 05).FTW

Repository:

Media: Other

Text: Date of Import: 27 Jun 2005

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jcrow&id=I18425 -------------------- Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) was a King of Gwynedd (northern Wales) and possibly also of Powys (eastern Wales), who styled himself King of the Britons.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey after 818.

According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw," but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man. This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merfyn_Frych for more information. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merfyn_Frych -------------------- Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[1] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

[edit] -------------------- Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[1] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

[edit] -------------------- Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys, who styled himself King of the Britons.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man.[1] This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283. -------------------- Merfyn Frych or Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (English: Merfyn the Freckled, son of Gwriad) was King of Gwynedd (reigned 825 – 844), the first king not descended from the male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd. Little is known of his reign, and his primary notability is as the father of Rhodri the Great. Merfyn came to the throne in the aftermath of a bloody dynastic struggle between brothers Cynan (reigned 798 – 816) and Hywel (reigned 816 – 825), at a time when the kingdom had been under pressure from Mercia. The Annales Cambriae says that he died in 844, the same year in which a battle occurred at Ketill (or Cetyll), but it does not make clear whether there is a connection, or whether it is referring to two unrelated events.

-------------------- Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad (or Merfyn the Freckled) (died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys, who styled himself King of the Britons.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man. This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars; for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly by request of Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

Preceded by

Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog King of Gwynedd

825–844 Succeeded by

Rhodri the Great

[edit] References

   * John Davies (1994). A history of Wales. Penguin Books. 
   * John Edward Lloyd (1911). A history of Wales: from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest. Longmans, Green & Co.. 

wikipedia.com

-------------------- King of Gwynedd, 825-844.

Killed at the Battle of Cyfeiliog, Ketell, Wales. -------------------- Frych means "the Freckled"

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merfyn_Frych -------------------- Contemporary records show that MERFYN FRYCH appeared in 825 and put an end to the confusion following the death of the last ruler of Gwynedd (north west Wales), and he established himself at the royal seat of Aberffraw in Anglesey. For nineteen years he maintained his power in Gwynedd against all rivals and against the waves of Vikings attacking from the sea. He must have been both a soldier and a diplomat to have persuaded local magnates to support him. He may have formed an alliance with Powys (north east Wales), as two pedigrees say that he married the sister of Cyngen, the last king of Powys. On the other hand, this may reflect only an attempt by his descendants to justify their intrusion into Powys. -------------------- MERFYN Frych (i.e., "The Freckled") ap Gwriad, born 764 in Gwynedd, Caernarvon, Wales, (d. 844), Welsh prince, succeeded to the lordship of Anglesey (with, possibly, other adjacent districts), on the failure of the male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd with the death of Hywel, in 825. He was the son of Gwriad ab Elidyr, a descendant of Llywarch Hên [q. v.] According to the twelfth-century poem entitled ‘Cyfoesi Myrddin a Gwenddydd ei Chwaer,’ he came ‘from the land of Manaw’ (Myvyrian Archaiology, 2nd edit. p. 110), which Skene conjectures to be Manaw Gododin, on the banks of the Forth (Four Ancient Books of Wales, i. 94).

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Merfyn Frych (or Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad) (English: Merfyn the Freckled, son of Gwriad) was King of Gwynedd (reigned 825 – 844), the first king not descended from the male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd. Little is known of his reign, and his primary notability is as the father of Rhodri the Great. Merfyn came to the throne in the aftermath of a bloody dynastic struggle between brothers Cynan (reigned 798 – 816) and Hywel (reigned 816 – 825), at a time when the kingdom had been under pressure from Mercia. The Annales Cambriae says that he died in 844, the same year in which a battle occurred at Ketill (or Cetyll), but it does not make clear whether there is a connection, or whether it is referring to two unrelated events.
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Merfyn Frych ap Gwriad's Timeline

789
789
790
790
Powys, Wales
820
820
Age 30
Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales
820
Age 30
822
822
Age 32
Wales
844
844
Age 54
Battle Of Cyfeil, Ketell, Wales
844
Age 54
1913
November 11, 1913
Age 54
November 11, 1913
Age 54
1914
September 4, 1914
Age 54