Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, King of Powys



Father of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, Princeps Walliae  and husband of Angharad verch Maredudd, Queen of Wales and daughter of Maredudd ap Owain

Cynfyn was King of Powys, born c.1002.  His second wife was Angharad verch Maredudd.

Angharad’s first husband was Llewelyn ap Seissylt ap Ithael ap Gwrystan ab Gwaethfoed, thus nephew of Cynfyn ap Gwrystan King of Powys,; Llewelyn was only 14 years old at the time of his marriage. Llewelyn was son of Princess Trawst, daughter and heiress of Elissau, second son of Anarawd, Prince of North Wales, and eldest son of Roderick the Great. In 1015 Llewelyn ap Seissylt asserted his claim to the principality of Gwynedd or North Wales as derived through his mother. He led an army against Aeddan ap Blegwryd, who by usurpation reigned there. He slew Aeddan and his four nephews/sons and thus became King of all Wales or at least Prince of North Wales. Llewelyn was assassinated in 1023 - attibuted to the treachery of Madog Min, bishop of Bangor. Llewelyn and Angharad left only one son, Gruffydd who reigned from 1037 to 1063, when Gruffydd was treacherously slain by his own subjects at the instigation of Harold of England and Caradawg ap Rhydderch ap Iestyn, Lord of Iestyn, son of  Owain ap Hywel Dda. It is recorded that Gruffudd was also betrayed by Madog Min, bishop of Bangor, for three hundred head of cattle, which were promised him for his treachery by Harold King of England. After succeeding in his treachery, Harold refused to pay the cattle and Madog lost his life as the sole victim in a ship wreak upon sailing to Dublin, Ireland.

Angharad was born about 982 in Deheubarth, Wales, She was the daughter of Maredudd ap Owain, Welsh Prince, and granddaughter of Owain ap Hywed Dda. Maredudd lived in the time of the Danish Invasions.  He first appears as the slayer of Cadwallon ap Idwal, King of Gwynedd, and the conqueror of his realm, which he lost in the following year.  In 988, on the death of his father, Owain, he succeeded to his dominions viz. Gower, Kidwelly, Ceredigion and Dyfed.  His reign, which lasted until death in 999, was mainly spent in expeditions against his neighbours – Maesyfed was attacked in 991, Morgannwg in 993 and Gwynedd in 994 – and repelling the incursion of the Danes. On one occasion he is said to have redeemed his subjects from the Danes at a penny a head.  His only son died before him, but so great was the prestige he acquired in his brief reign, that his daughter Angharad was regarded, contrary to Welsh custom, as capable of transmitting royal right to her descendants.

Queen Angharad married secondly, after 1023, Cynfyn ab Gwrystan ab Gwaethfoed, Lord of Cibwyr in Gwent the uncle of her dead husband. Thus Cynfyn became styled King of Powys. They had two sons and Princes of Powys:

Bleddyn ap Cynfyn born c.1025

Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn born c.1025 in Powys and slain at the Battle of  Mechain in Montgomeryshire in 1070

Cynfyn died in 1063


The above data comes principally from the Dictionary of National Biography.


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