As said last week I am giving the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland a little rest and concentrating on Welsh royalty. It is something I know nothing about so maybe we will all learn a little history here.
THE RULERS OF WALES
King Henry VII, born in Pembroke, had marched 200 miles into battle beneath the standard of the Red Dragon of Wales, and he was the first English monarch to incorporate that emblem into the Royal Standard. It is fitting that, at this point, the tally of the rulers of Wales should be recounted.
The Celts, or Britons, were Christians by the year 200 A.D., and never abandoned this formal faith nor their ancient tribal ways when they were driven by the Anglo-Saxon invaders into Cornwall, Cumberland and Wales. In Wales the rulers (who in this account will mainly be referred to as 'lords' for convenience) were recognised as kings, princes or chieftains according to the size of their territory, but were mutually independent. None were vassals to any other lord. Sometimes a powerful leader would consolidate the Welsh into unity but all too swiftly, any potential national cohesion fell apart, mainly between the belligerent Welsh lords were fighting each other for self=aggrandisement with little sense of nationhood.
Gradually, however, there areas began to be recognised as the hotbeds of mature development, even if they still seethed with expression of lesser local loyalties and rivalries. They were the north, the south and the east, Gwynedd, Deheubarth and Powys. Deheubarth did not include Morgannwg (Glamorgan) in the south, but did sometimes comprise Ceredigion (modern Cardiganshire) in the west. Powys (roughly from the river Dee to the river Wye) had temporarily become absorbed into Gwynedd by the middle of the 9th century when this chronicle begins. This came about under the rule of MERFYN FRYCH 825-844 (Merfyn the Freckled), the lord of Gwynedd who married the daughter of the lord of Powys, and whose son RHODRI MAWS 844-878 (Rhodri the Great) was the first, after the old Cadwallon, to unite most of the land of Wales. He did this through military skill and political expediency. His spirited resistance against Norse invasions inspired many other lords to unite to keep the Norsemen out of Wales; and he married Angharad, the daughter of the lord of Greater Ceredigion. He was not a storybook conqueror, always successful. In 878 he had to flee to Ireland to escape the menace of the Northmen, and in 878 he was lilled in battle with the English.
Rhodri left six sons and, according to ancient (and ill-starred) Welsh custom, they divided the 'kingdom' of Wales between them. Those who emerged with power were Anarawd in Gwynedd and Cadell in Ceredigion.
ANARAWD 878-916 first made an alliance with the Danish King of York, but later accepted the protection of King Alfred of England. He visited Alfred's Court to pay homage (the first instance of Welsh agreement to pay homage to the English) and accepted English help against his aggressive brother Cadell. He was succeeded by his son IDWAL FOEL 916-942 (Idwal the Bald). who was eventually killed in rebellion against the English king Edmund I. His son IAGO 950-979 did not immediately inherit the territory, since he was run out of Dwynedd by the impetus of an invasion from the south led by Cadell's son, Rhodri's grandson, HYWEL DDA 909-979 (Hywed the Good).
Hywel. lord of Deheubarth, had in 918 tactfully submitted to Edward the Elder of England and had been confirmed in his dominion. A sincere admirer of the English, he had copied the experience of his idol, King Alfred, and visited Rome, Later he led his chieftains in submission to King Athelstan but he was no habitual submitter. He expelled from Gwynedd and old Powys Iago and Ieuaf, the sons of Idwal Foel, and consolidated all Wales except M and Gwent. After the deathof Hywel Dda in 950,Iago and Ieuaf fought their way back into Gwynedd, defeating Hywel's son OWAIN 945-986.
Personally, that is all I can take in right now. I find it rather more confusing than the English royalty and with the names being so unusual (no they are not typing errors but Welsh names) it takes a lot of concentration to work out who is who. Shall I continue with Welsh royalty? Not sure. I am interested but I am certainly not going to remember who was who and when.