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In 989 Wales was ravaged by the Danes, who were eventually bought off. This year was distinguished by mortality amongst cattle, and also by a famine, consequently the sufferings of the people were of a very severe character. In the same year the Pendragon's father, Owain ap Hywel Dda, and Ieuaf ap Idwal died. Owain. They had not taken an active part in public affairs for some time. For three years Wales enjoyed comparative rest; at the end of that period of time Edwyn ap Edwyn. Einion tried to wrest the sovereignty of Deheubarth, to which he was the rightful heir, from his uncle. He was helped by the Saxons, with whom he plundered part of the country. No engagement took place between the hostile parties, and Meredith succeeded in reconciling his nephew.
In 995 Meredith was defeated at the battle of Llan- Idwal. gwm by Idwal, the grandson of Idwal Voel; Tudor ap Tudor. Einion was killed at this battle. After this victory Idwal was acknowledged as sovereign of Gwynedd, over which district his ancestors had ruled. Two years afterwards Idwal was killed by Sweyn; and Meredith followed him to the grave in the year 1000. Meredith's daughter, Angharad, married Llewelyn ap Llewelyn Seisyllt. This Llewelyn was, on his mother's side, the ap Selsyllt fourth in descent from Rhodri Mawr. He became Pendragon, and ruled Wales well and peaceably for some time.
Llewelyn overcame a Scot,' who, pretending to be his wife's brother, had been acknowledged by the South Walians as their prince. Llewelyn was killed in 1023 by the sons of Edwyn ap Einion, his wife's cousin; thereupon Iago, great-grandson of Idwal Voel, became Iago.
King of Gwynedd. Griffith, the son
Griffith, the son of Llewelyn and Angharad, revenged the defeat of Meredith, his mother's father, by killing Iago ap Idwal in 1039; and the murderers of his father soon felt the power of his arm.
Griffith ap Llewelyn was among Welshmen what 1039 to 1063 Harold, son of Godwin, was among Saxons. His ex
ploits, heroism, and patriotism are particularised in the next chapter.
The Capture of Iago ap Idwal Voel.............
980 A.D. The Death of Cystenyn Ddu and Idwal Vychan
981 The Death of Hywel Ddrwg
986 The Death of Meredith, Pendragon
1000 The Death of Llewelyn ap Seisyllt, and the Accession of Iago ap Idwal....
1023 The Death of Iago, and the Accession of Griffith ap Llewelyn, Pendragon.......
THE DESCENT OF GRIFFITH AP LLEWELYN.
Mervyn, king of
Powis (d. 903.)
A Daughter=Idwal Voel.
Meredith, k. of Powis, Gwynedd, & Deheubarth (d. 1000).
RHODRI MAWR, Roderick the Great (k. 877).
Anarawd, king of Gwynedd (d. 915).
Cadell, king of Deheubarth (d. 909).
Hywel Dda (d. 948).
Idwal Voel'=d. of Mervyn.
Owain (d. 989).
Meurig (bl. by Ieuaf (bl. by his
Llewelyn (k. 1023)
Tudor (k. 995).
Cynan (exp. by Griffith
Rhys (2) Bleddyn (2) Rhiwallawn ap Llewelyn).
Idwal's son, Idwal Vychan, was killed by Hywel Ddrwg; and another son, Iago, was expelled by him. 2 Griffith's daughter, Nesta, married Hywel ap Edwyn ap Einion: Hywel was killed by his father-in-law. * Meredith was also the father of Caradog, whose son, Trahaiarn, was killed in the second battle of Carno (1077).
GRIFFITH AP LLEWELYN, PENDRAGON; OR, WELSH
INFLUENCE UPON THE DOWNFALL OF SAXONDOM.
1039 to 2063.
Griffith ap We have read that Canute, the Danish King of England, Llewelyn.
left the Welsh unmolested amongst their mountains and narrow valleys. But during the reigns of his sons, Harold and Hardicanute, and that of the Confessor, the Welsh were actively engaged in harassing the descendants of the conquerors of their ancestors; and no event of any political importance happened in England, from the accession of Griffith as Pendragon to the victory of William of Normandy at Senlac, in which the Welsh did not take an active and a leading part.
Griffith ap Llewelyn was a prince of great courage and indomitable perseverance. He was the King of Gwynedd, and Pendragon of Wales. Such was the confidence of the Welsh in their ruler, that they looked upon him as the destined deliverer of their country. During his reign a most determined effort was made to assert the independency of Wales, and also to increase its limits.
It was, as we have read, an age of warlike heroes, of men of the most undaunted bravery, who were possessed of much policy and of unbounded ambition. About this time the Conqueror was undergoing all the bitterness of an unprotected minority in the midst of a turbulent, rapacious, and stubborn nobility. Now, too, Harold, son of Godwin, was about to exhibit the first-fr his skill as a ruler by his successful management of the East Anglians. Siward was earl of Northumbria, Leofric of Mercia, and Godwin of Wessex.
Giraldus Cambrensis? thus describes the Welsh of
Character his day, and what he says of them would be true of of the
Welsh. his countrymen in the time of Prince Griffith :- _“This people is light and active, hardy rather than strong, and entirely bred up to the use of arms; for not only the nobles but all the people are trained to war, and when the trumpet sounds the alarm, the husbandman rushes as eagerly from his plough as the courtier from his court. They anxiously study the defence of their country and their liberty; for these they fight; for these they undergo hardships; for these they willingly sacrifice their lives. They esteem it a disgrace to die in bed; an honour to die in the field of battle."
It required, therefore, but little persuasion to induce such a people to go out to battle against their neighbours. Everything tended to a rupture between the two nations. Griffith was young, fiery, and enthusiastic. Griffith. His memory was overflowing with the glory of the deeds of his ancestors. His ambitious and revengeful longing was further incited by the burning words which seemed to flow in a continuous torrent from the impassioned lips of the hoary bards of his country, who reminded him of the days when the heads of his house held sway over the whole of England. The listening throng were also goaded almost to madness by the recitals of the cruelties and injuries which had been inflicted upon their forefathers by the hated Saxon, but above all by the recollection that these abhorred invaders had deprived them of the fair plains and vales of England, and had cooped them up among the hills of Wales. The Saxons had taken the precaution to fortify that
1 Descriptio Cambric, chap. viii.