Glywys ap Solor, King of Glywyssig

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About Glywys ap Solor, King of Glywyssig


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Glywys (Latin: Claudius; English: Claude) is described in Welsh genealogies as an early 5th century Welsh king who is seen as an important character in early Welsh history. The kingdom of Glywysing is believed to have been named after Glywys,[1] (although it has been suggested that his name may have been a back formation from the name of the kingdom)[2] and is the earliest place name for the land between the Rivers Tawe and Usk. The kingdom of Glywysing would later give its name to the Welsh counties of Glamorgan, an area, which although no longer exists politically is still recognised by the majority of its inhabitants.

Thought to have been born around 415 AD, Glywys was the eldest son of Solor, son of Mor [recte Nor], both kings of the Mid South Wales region. Glywys married Gwawl daughter of Ceredig of Ceredigion and legend states they had twenty two children, all bar one, male. Of all his relations, only five are written about to any substantial degree; there is evidence to suggest that they may be Gwynllyw, Pawl, Merchwyn, Edelig and Pedrog.

Glywys is believed to have become a hermit in his later life and converted to Christianity and at one stage travelled to Cornwall where he founded the church of Penryn. Glywys is sometimes referred to as Glywys Cernyw and the ancient name for the area around Cornwall is Cerniw and this legend gives him this alternative name.

Glywys is sometimes referenced as a source for the Arthurian character Sir Cligès, though it is more likely a weak connection with nothing more than the name.


^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg323 ISBN 9780708319536

^ Carver, Martin The cross goes north: processes of conversion in northern Europe, AD 300-1300 Boydell Press; New edition edition (26 Jan 2006) ISBN: 978-1843831259 p.125

Welch Classical Dictionary

GLYWYS ap SOLOR. (430)

According to the Life of St.Cadog he was the father of Gwynllyw and grandfather of St.Cadog (Pref. and §45 in VSB pp.24, 118; EWGT p.24). In the second reference he is said to be the son of Solor ap Nor ab Owain ap Maximian [Macsen Wledig]. The same pedigree is given him in Jesus College MS.20 (§4 in EWGT p.44) but his father is called Filur.

Bonedd y Saint wrongly makes Glywys the son of Tegid ap Cadell (§§30, 31, 32 in EWGT p.59). This is due to confusion between two persons named Gwynllyw. See EWGT p.143. The Life of St.Cadog says that Glywys gave his name to the district of Glywysing. He had ten children, the eldest being Gwynllyw who gave his name to Gwynllŵg, Edelig who had Edeligion, Pawl, Penychen; Seru, Serwynnydd [not identified]; Gwrae, Gwrinydd [>Gorfynydd]; Mar, Margan [>Margam], Cettil, Cedweli; Cornouguill [Carnwyll], Carnwyllion; Metel, Crucmetil; and Pedrog (q.v.) who rejected the world (Pref. in VSB p.24, EWGT p.24). A list also occurs in Jesus College MS.20 (§5 in EWGT p.44), but it is very corrupt. Cettil becomes Catwall [Cadwal], other names are probably spurious, except perhaps for Cynfarch (q.v.), Luip (q.v.) and Meirchyawn [for Merchwyn, q.v.].

In §25 the Life of Cadog mentions Dibunn [Dyfwn], an aunt of Cadog who was the wife of Meurig ab Enynny. In JC §5 she appears as Donwn [for Douun] apparently as daughter of Glywys.

Guaul ferch Ceredig is given as the mother of Gwynllyw ap Glywys, and therefore presumably wife of Glywys, in the Life of Cadog (§47 in EWGT p.25), but elsewhere the name is Gwawr (PK §5, JC §47 in EWGT pp.20, 49).

As father of Gwynllyw he is called Glywys Cornubiensis (Cognatio Brychan §15(1) in EWGT p.18), and in Plant Brychan (§3a in EWGT p.82) the name is Glewys Kerniw. Similarly, as father of St.Pedrog the name Glywys Cernyw has become Clemens tywyssawc' o Gernyw in Bonedd y Saint (§39 in EWGT p.60). For his connection with Cornwall see s.nn. Pedrog, Edelig, and note Gluvias, below. Compare also the fictitious pedigree of Gwrlais (q.v.).

The name Glywys is equivalent to Glevensis, ‘a man of Glevum’ i.e. Gloucester, while the name of his father, Solor, seems to mean ‘Silurian’ (OP II.607).

“King Glywys before his death would seem to have entered the ‘desert’ at Clivis in Newton Nottage, Glamorgan, formerly Merthyr Glywys, i.e. Saint Glywys.” (WCO 137). The place appears as Merthir Gliuis in the Book of Llandaf (BLD 225, 412). The site of the martyrium is unknown, but the cult of St.Glywys is recorded later in the immediate locality [of Merthyr Mawr]. An eleventh century stone at Merthyr Mawr was erected to Conbelan for the soul of St.Glywys ... while at Ogmore [Aberogwr] another monument records the gift of a field ‘to God and to Gliguis and to Nertat and to Fili the bishop.’ (Philip Jenkins in CMCS 15 (1988) p.43, referring to V.E.Nash-Williams, Early Christian Monuments of Wales, Cardiff, 1950, nos.239, 255).

The saint of Merthyr Glywys was perhaps also the saint called St.Gluvias who is patron of the parish church of Penryn near Falmouth. See G.H.Doble, The Saints of Cornwall, III.17 n.4, quoting A.W.Wade-Evans. This may be the reason for the epithet ‘Cernyw’ being added to the name of Glywys. See above. Some fifteenth century documents spell the name Gluviacus (Doble, p.18). The feast of Gluvias is on the first Sunday in May (Doble, p.19) or May 3 (Catherine Rachel John, The Saints of Cornwall, 1981, p.38).

It is perhaps worth noting that Philleigh with its saint Fili is in the same area, the Fal estuary, as Penryn with its saint Gluvias, while Glywys and a bishop Fili are mentioned on the monument at Ogmore mentioned above (PCB).

Dr. Patrick Sims-Williams has suggested that the old-Welsh form of the name, Gliguis/Gleguis, was the antecedent of the name Cligès in the semi-Arthurian Romance by Chrétien de Troyes, and in an English story of Sir Cleges/Clegys. (Paper read at the Meeting of the British Branch of the International Arrthurian Society, 10 September 1988).

ID: I157907

Name: Glywys "Cernyw" ap SOLOR

Given Name: Glywys "Cernyw" ap

Surname: Solor

Sex: M

Change Date: 13 MAY 2009


!#4568> Welsh Genealogies Ad 300-1400,-v1-p5,18*,27 (FHL #6025561);

!ISSUE> other sons;


Birth: ABT 447 in North Wales

Reference Number: > 204 WEL

Death: Y

Marriage 1 Gwawr ferch CEREDIG b: ABT 458 in Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom

Married: ABT 473

Sealing Spouse: 10 MAR 1995 in OGDEN


Gwynllyw ap GLYWYS b: ABT 482 in Gwynllwg, Monmouthshire, England, United Kingdom


Abbrev: Pedigree Resource File CD 6

Title: Pedigree Resource File CD 6 (Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 1999)serve, Inc., 1999)serve, Inc., 1999).