Maredudd ab Owain (DNB00)


MAREDUDD ab OWAIN (d. 999?), Welsh prince, was the son of Owain ap Hywel Dda. According to the sole authority, the contemporary 'Annales Cambriæ,' he lived in the second period of Danish invasion, a time of great disorder in Wales as elsewhere, and first appears as the slayer of Cadwallon ab Idwal, king of Gwynedd, and the conqueror of his realm, which, however, he lost in the ensuing year. In 988, on the death of his father Owain, he succeeded to his dominions, viz. Gower, Kidwelly, Ceredigion, and Dyfed, the latter probably including Ystrad Tywi. His reign, which lasted until 999, was mainly spent in expeditions against his neighbours (Maesyfed was attacked in 991, Morgannwg in 993, Gwynedd in 994) and in repelling the incursions of the Danes. On one occasion he is said to have redeemed his subjects from the Danes at a penny a head.

Maredudd's only son, so far as is known, died before him. But so great was the prestige he acquired in his brief reign that his daughter, Angharad, was regarded, contrary to ordinary Welsh custom, as capable of transmitting some royal right to her descendants. Her first husband, Llywelyn ap Seisyll [q. v.], ruled Gwynedd from about 1010 to 1023, their son, the well-known Gruffydd ap Llywelyn [q. v.], from 1039 to 1063. By her second marriage with Cynfyn ap Gwerstan she had two other sons, Rhiwallon and Bleddyn, of whom the latter, with no claim on the father's side, ruled Gwynedd and Powys from 1069 to 1075 and founded the mediæval line of princes of Powys.

[Annales Cambriæ, Rolls ed. The dates given above are nearly all approximate.]

J. E. L.