Ednyved (DNB00)


EDNYVED, surnamed Vychan (Vaughan) i.e. the Little (fl. 1230–1240), statesman and warrior, seems to have been the most trusted counsellor of Llewelyn ab Iorwerth [q. v.] In 1231 he signed a truce between Henry III and Llewelyn (Fœdera, i. 201), and in 1232 signs, as Llewelyn's seneschal (ib. 208), a convention between the Welsh prince and his overlord. Again in 1238 his name is attached to similar documents (ib. 236). In 1240 and 1241 he appears acting as a negotiator for Davydd [q. v.], the successor of Llewelyn, though in 1241 another Welsh magnate, named Tewdwr, appears acting as seneschal to the new prince (ib. 241). His activity culminates in his taking part in the important treaty ‘apud Alnetum’ near St. Asaph in 1241 (Matt. Paris, ed. Luard, iv. 322).

In legendary history Ednyved is very famous, and stories are told how he slew three English chiefs in a hard fight, and was consequently allowed by Llewelyn to bear as his arms ‘three Englishmen's heads couped.’ He is still more famous with the genealogists. Himself of most noble descent, he became the ancestor of many leading Welsh families, and among them of the house of Tudor. He is said to have married, first, Gwenllian, daughter of the Lord Rhys of South Wales, and, secondly, the daughter of Llywerch ab Bran. By each of these ladies he had numerous offspring (Dwnn, Heraldic Visitations of Wales, i. 199, ii. 101, 144). One of his sons, Howel, was bishop of St. Asaph between 1240 and 1247. Another, Goronwy, is commemorated by elegies of Bleddyn Vardd and Prydydd Bychan. Ednyved himself is the subject of an elegy of Elidyr Sais (Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, i. 346, 369, 390).

[Authorities cited in text.]

T. F. T.