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Owain
Owain
394

him the fresh wrath of the church. He was ultimately excommunicated by Thomas, and died in November 1169, without being free from the ban (ib. i. 364-74; cf. Mat. Hist. Becket, 229-39, Rolls Ser.) But the Welsh ecclesiastics cared little for the sentences of Canterbury. Owain duly received the last sacraments of the church (Bruty Tywysogion, p. 206), and was buried in consecrated ground. His tomb was placed beside that of his brother Cadwaladr, in the presbytery of Bangor Cathedral, before the high altar, but on Archbishop Baldwin's visit to Bangor during his crusading tour in 1188, the Bishop of Bangor was directed by the primate to remove the body of the excommunicated king from the sacred precincts of the church (Gib. Cambh. Opera, vi. 133).

Giraldus Cambrensis describes Owain as a man of great moderation and wisdom, and combines him with his nephew Maredudd ab Gruffydd and Owain Cyveiliog [q. v.] as the only three men celebrated in the Wales of his time for justice, prudence, and moderation in their rule (ib. vi. 144-6). The 'Brut y Tywysogion' (p. 206, cf. p. 158) speaks of him as 'a man of the most extraordinary sagacity, nobleness, fortitude, and bravery, invincible from his youth, who never denied any one the request he made,' The bard Gwalchmai, in an ode commemorating one of Owain's victories, also extols his generosity, describing him as a prince who will 'neither cringe nor hoard up wealth' (translations of this poem are in Stephens's Lit. of the Kymry, pp. 18-19; Archæologia Cambrensis, 1st ser. lii. 75-76; and the Cambro-Briton, i. 229-33; Gray's well-known 'Triumphs of Owen 'is a free rendering of this ode). Owain was much celebrated by the bards. Five of Gwalchmai's poems are addressed to him (Myvyrian Archæology of Wales, pp. 142-146, Denbigh reprint). Cynddelw also wrote his praises and those of his family (ib. pp. 149-61, 163), while Daniel ab Llosgwrn Mew and Seisyll wrote elegies upon him (ib. pp. 193, 236). Owain's merit was that he continued the successful resistance to marcher encroachment which his father had begun in the reign of Stephen. It required no small pertinacity on Owain's part to make so great a king as Henry II give up in despair his efforts to reduce Gwynedd to satisfaction. Owain seems, however, to have been more bloodthirsty than most men of his time and nation; and the chroniclers record many instances of murders and mutilations, especially of kinsfolk, effected at his command. Yet his career made it possible to preserve a strong Welsh state against the Normans; and but for his strenuous acts the successes of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth in the next generation would hardly have been possible.

Owain's matrimonial relations were of the irregular type common to his age and country, and few of his numerous children were regarded by the stricter churchmen as legitimate. Before the old king died the fierce strife between his sons for his succession had already broken out. He is said to have had seventeen sons (Stephens, p. 26; cf. also Cynddelw's 'Marwnad teilu Ywein Gwynet' in Myvyrian Archæology, pp. 163-4); and the following children of Owain are mentioned in the Welsh chronicles. The name of the mother is also given when known: (1) Howel (d. 1171 ?), whose mother, Pyvog, was an Irish lady, and who was very famous both as a bard and as a warrior [see Howel ab Owain Gwynedd]; (2) Davydd, Owain's ultimate successor [see Davydd I], who was his son by his cousin Crisiant, and therefore looked upon with special disfavour by the stricter churchmen as the son of an incestuous union (Gib. Cakbb. vi. 134); (3) Rhodri (d. after 1194), also a son of Crisiant (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 224; cf. Myvyrian Archaiology, pp. 201-3); (4) Iorwerth, the father of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth [q. v.], the only one of Owain's surviving sons regarded by the church as legitimate; (6) Llywelyn (d. 1166), much eulogised by the chroniclers (ib. p. 202); (6) Cynan (d. 1174), Howel's companion in his earlier exploits; (7) Maelgwn (d. after 1174); (8) Cynvrig (d. 1139); (9) Rhun (d. 1147), 'the most praiseworthy young man of the British nation' (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 170, which minutely describes his personal appearance). He was presumably a son of Pyvog (Gwentian Brut, p. 132); (10) Morgan, killed in 1168; (11) another Cynvrig, who, with (12) Cadwallon, was blinded by Henry II in 1165 (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 202; Gwentian Brut calls them Rhys and Cadwallon); (13) one daughter, Angharad, is mentioned, who was a full sister of Iorwerth, and therefore legitimate (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 212), and who married Morgan ab Seisyll; (14) another daughter, whose name is not given, was betrothed early in Owain's reign to her cousin Anarawd ap Rhys ap Gruflrdd of South Wales. For the reputed son or Owain who is fabled to have discovered America, see Madog ap Owain Gwynedd.

[The fullest details come from Brut y Tywysogion (Rolls. Ser.), or with a better text in Evans's Oxford edition; but the faulty chronology of that chronicle can be in some measure corrected by the more accurate but scantier Latin Annales Cambriæ (Rolls Ser.). The Gwentian Brut (Cambrian Archæological Association) gives hardly