Urien ap Cynfarch, Brenin Rhegid

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Urien ap Cynfarch, Brenin Rhegid

Also Known As: "Vryen", "Urien Rheged", "Ywain ab Urien", "King of Rheged"
Birthplace: Rheged
Death: circa 575 (56-73) (Beheaded on order of cousin Morgan ap Clynog, desc from Garbanian ap Coel Hen)
Immediate Family:

Son of Cynfarch Oer ap Meirchion Gul, King of North Rheged and Nyfain verch Brychan
Husband of Modron verch Afallach and Modron verch Afallach
Father of Rhlwallon Rheged; Rhun Rheged; Elfin Rheged; Pasgen Rheged; Owain Rheged and 8 others
Brother of Anarawn ap Cynfarch Oer, Bishop of Llydaw; Llew ap Cynfarch; Arawn ap Cynfarch, King North of the Salway; Efrddyl verch Cynfarch and Enynny verch Cynfarch, of the Northern Britons

Occupation: [Hen]
Managed by: Lori Lynn Wilke
Last Updated:

About Urien ap Cynfarch, Brenin Rhegid

See Peter Bartrum, https://cadair.aber.ac.uk/dspace/bitstream/handle/2160/6516/TABLES%... (May 6, 2018; Anne Brannen, curator)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Gwynedd - Pasgen "ap Urien Rheged", Lord of Gower; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id62.html. (Steven Ferry, January 3, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Gwynedd - Ancient Lordship of Gower; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id162.html. (Steven Ferry, January 18, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Pedigree of the Ancient Lords of Ial; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id93.html. (Steven Ferry, April 6, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Harleian Ms 3859; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id129.html. (Steven Ferry, June 11, 2021.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Foundations of 'The Men of the North' - Part 2; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id279.html. (Steven Ferry, July 9, 2021.)

Please see Dr. J White-Phillips and Darrell Wolcott: Bernicia-From Doormat to Dominant in North Britain; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id280.html. (Steven Ferry, July 20, 2021.)


  • Urien "Rheged" ap Cynfarch "Oer"

born about 0491 South Reged, Britain


  • Cynfarch "Oer" ap Meirchion "Gul"

born about 0570? Wales


  • Nyfain verch Brychan

born about 0570 Wales


  • Enynny verch Cynfarch "Oer" born about 0600? Wales


  • Modron verch Afallach

born about 0497 Wales


  • Pasgen ap Urien born about 0529 Wales
  • Rhun ap Urien

Owain ap Urien

biographical and/or anecdotal:

notes or source:


research of S. E. Oman Salt Lake City

Urien, father of Owain mab Urien (later known as Ywain), was an historical king of Rheged in northern England and southern Scotland during the 6th century. He became the 'King Urien of Gore' of Arthurian legend.

Little of Urien’s history is known for sure. He was the son of a certain Cynfarch Oer and seems to have fought against the rulers of the Angle kingdom Bernicia. Early on the relationship between Rheged and its neighboring British kingdoms was erratic, but Urien joined with other northern princes and defeated the rising Angles in several battles. His power and his victories, including Gwen Ystrad and Alt Clut Ford, are celebrated in the Book of Taliesin, the supposed author of which served as his bard. According to the Historia Brittonum, he was assassinated at the command of his ally Morcant Bulc who was jealous of his success. The Welsh Triads called him a battle leader of Britain. He had four sons, named Owain, Riwallawn, Run and Pascen, the eldest of which succeeded him.


PB: Ray Stevenson
Notes: Urien /ˈjʊəriɛn/, often referred to as Urien Rheged or Uriens, was a late 6th-century king of Rheged, an early British kingdom of the Hen Ogledd (northern England and southern Scotland). His power and his victories, including the battles of Gwen Ystrad and Alt Clut Ford, are celebrated in the praise poems to him by Taliesin, preserved in the Book of Taliesin. He became the "King Urien of Gorre" of later Arthurian legend and his son Owain mab Urien was later known as Ywain. Life: According to the genealogies, HRM King Urien was the son of Cynfarch Oer, son of Meirchion Gul, son of Gorwst, son of Cenau, son of Coel Hen (King Cole), the first recorded post-Roman military leader in the area of Hadrian's Wall. He fought against the rulers of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia (modern Northumbria). An Anglian noble, Ida, had occupied Metcauld around the middle of the 6th century and begun to raid the mainland. Urien joined with other northern kings, Rhydderch Hael "the Generous" of Strathclyde and two other descendants of Coel, Gwallog mab Llaenog and Morgant Bwlch. They defeated the Angles and besieged them on Lindisfarne but, according to the Historia Brittonum, Urien was assassinated at the behest of Morgant Bwlch, who was jealous of his power. A man called Llofan Llaf Difo is said to have killed him. One of the Welsh Triads calls the death of Urien one of the "Three Unfortunate Assassinations" and another lists him as one of the "Three Great Battle-leaders of Britain". He had four sons, named Owain, Rhiwallon, Rhun and Pasgen. The eldest of them succeeded him. Legend: HRM King Urien remained a popular figure in Wales over the centuries, and he and his son, HRH Prince Owain, were incorporated into Arthurian legend as it spread from Britain to continental Europe. His kingdom was eventually transferred to the mythical land of Gore, and Kings Lot, of Lothian, and Auguselus, of Scotland, are sometimes said to be his brothers. During the reign of HRM King Uther Pendragon, he marries HRM King Arthur's sister (often Morgan le Fay, but sometimes another sister is named). He, like the kings of several other lands, initially opposes HRM King Arthur's accession to the throne after HRM King Uther's death. HRM King Urien and the others rebel against the young monarch, but upon their defeat, the rebels become HRM King Arthur's allies and vassals. In the legends, his marriage to Morgan is not portrayed as a happy one; however, as in one story Morgan plots to take Excalibur, kill HRM King Urien and HRM King Arthur, and place herself and her lover, Accolon, on the throne. He is always said to be the father of HRH Prince Ywain (Owain), and many texts give him a second son, Ywain, the Bastard, fathered on his seneschal's wife. Welsh tradition attributes to him a daughter named HRH Princess Morfydd. Thomas Malory sometimes spells his name Urience, which has led some (e.g. Alfred Tennyson) to identify him with King Rience. In popular culture: HRM King Urien is mentioned in the 20th century Welsh awdl Yr Arwr by Hedd Wyn. He is also one of the key characters in Melvyn Bragg's novel Credo (1996), a celebration of the Celtic tradition and its fight against the Northumbrian and Roman (Catholic) incursions. He appears as "Uryens" in John Boorman's film Excalibur, depicted as an enemy lord who becomes Arthur's ally and is the one to knight him. He is a minor character in Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy. References: Thornton, David E. "Urien Rheged". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28016. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) Christopher W. Bruc. The Arthurian Name Dictionary. Routledge.2013 p. 544. ISBN 1136755373, 9781136755378 Source: http://www.wikipedia.org

"Urien Rheged, King of North Rheged (c.510-585) (Welsh: Urien; Latin: Urbgenius; English: Orian)

Urien was perhaps the most famous of the British kings of the North. His epithet shows how closely he was associated with his kingdom. North Rheged is traditionally undestood to have stretched across Cumberland and Westmorland due to various references to Urien in the poems of his contemporary, Taliesin, who was said to be his personal bard. He is there varioulsy called Ruler of Rheged, Ruler of Llwyfenydd and Lord of Erechwydd. Llwyfenydd is interpreted as the Valley of the River Lyvennet, south-east of Penrith. Erechwydd is a word that can be translated as 'Land of the Fresh Water' and is presumed to refer to the Lake District. His main power-base is traditionally thought to have been at Caer-Ligualid (Carlisle) as it had been the local Roman administrative centre and is known to have retained a British community into the 7th century. Medieval literary stories tell how the city played host to King Arthur when he was in the North. It may have been chosen because of the association with Urien."