Maredudd ap Bleddyn

Last updated

Maredudd ap Bleddyn (1047 – 9 February 1132) was a prince and later King of Powys in eastern Wales.


Maredudd was the son of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn who was King of both Powys and Gwynedd. When Bleddyn was killed in 1075, Powys was divided between three of his sons, Iorwerth, Cadwgan and Maredudd.

Marriages and Children

Maredudd married first Hunydd ferch Einudd, who bore him two sons, Madog ap Maredudd and Gruffydd ap Maredudd. He later had a relationship with Cristin ferch Bledrus, who gave him the base sons Hywel ap Maredudd and Iowerth Goch ap Maredudd.


Maredudd initially appears to have been the least powerful and the least mentioned in the chronicles. The three brothers held their lands as vassals of Robert of Bellême, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1102 the Earl was summoned to answer charges at the court of King Henry I of England and responded by rising in rebellion against the king. All three brothers initially supported Robert and took up arms on his behalf, pillaging Staffordshire. The king deputed William Pantulf, Lord of Wem, to detach Iorwerth, who was considered to be the most powerful of the three brothers, from his alliance with Robert and his own brothers by the promise of large gifts of land. William succeeded in this, and Iorwerth, after leading a large Welsh force to help the king defeat and banish Earl Robert, then captured his brother Maredudd and handed him over to the king.

Maredudd escaped from captivity in 1107 but did not gain any real power. In 1113 he was apparently acting as penteulu or captain of the guard to his nephew, Owain ap Cadwgan who had taken over as prince of Powys. In this capacity in 1113 Maredudd was able to capture Madog ap Rhiryd, who had killed two of his brothers, Iorwerth and Cadwgan in 1111. Maredudd sent him to Owain, who took vengeance for the killing of his father by blinding Madog.

In 1114 when King Henry I of England invaded Wales, Maredudd quickly made his peace with him, while Owain allied himself with Gruffudd ap Cynan of Gwynedd to oppose the invasion. It was not until Owain was killed in 1116 that Maredudd began to strengthen his position and became ruler of Powys. In 1116 he is recorded as sending 400 men to help Hywel ab Ithel, who ruled Rhos and Rhufoniog under the protection of Powys, against his neighbours, the sons of Owain ab Edwin of Dyffryn Clwyd. Hywel won a victory at the Battle of Maes Maen Cymro in 1118, near Ruthin, but received wounds of which he died six weeks later. This enabled the sons of Gruffudd ap Cynan to annex these lands for Gwynedd, with Maredudd unable to prevent them.

In 1121 Maredudd carried out raids on Cheshire which provoked King Henry into invading Powys. Maredudd retreated into Snowdonia and asked Gruffudd ap Cynan for assistance. However Gruffudd was in no mood to defy the king on Maredudd's behalf, and Maredudd had to purchase peace at a cost of a fine of 10,000 head of cattle. Gwynedd continued to put pressure on Powys, with the sons of Gruffudd ap Cynan, Cadwallon and Owain Gwynedd annexing more territory in 1124. Cadwallon was killed in a battle with the men of Powys near Llangollen in 1132 which put a halt to further encroachment for the time being. Maredudd did not take part in this battle and died the same year, remembered by the annalist of Brut y Tywysogion as the beauty and safety of all Powys and her defender. He was succeeded by his son, Madog ap Maredudd.

Related Research Articles

Owain ap Gruffudd was King of Gwynedd, North Wales, from 1137 until his death in 1170, succeeding his father Gruffudd ap Cynan. He was called "Owain the Great" and the first to be styled "Prince of Wales". He is considered to be the most successful of all the North Welsh princes prior to his grandson, Llywelyn the Great. He became known as Owain Gwynedd to distinguish him from the contemporary king of Powys Wenwynwyn, Owain ap Gruffydd ap Maredudd, who became known as Owain Cyfeiliog.

Gruffudd ap Cynan King of Gwynedd

Gruffudd ap Cynan, sometimes written as Gruffydd ap Cynan, was King of Gwynedd from 1081 until his death in 1137. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffudd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely House of Aberffraw.

Kingdom of Gwynedd Kingdom in north Wales

The Kingdom of Gwynedd was a Roman Empire successor state that emerged in sub-Roman Britain in the 5th century during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain.

Kingdom of Powys Medieval kingdom in Wales

The Kingdom of Powys was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain. It very roughly covered the top two thirds of the modern county of Powys and part of today's English West Midlands. More precisely, and based on the Romano-British tribal lands of the Ordovices in the west and the Cornovii in the east, its boundaries originally extended from the Cambrian Mountains in the west to include the modern West Midlands region of England in the east. The fertile river valleys of the Severn and Tern are found here, and this region is referred to in later Welsh literature as "the Paradise of Powys".

Rhys ap Tewdwr

Rhys ap Tewdwr was a king of Deheubarth in Wales and member of the Dinefwr dynasty, a branch descended from Rhodri the Great. He was born in the area which is now Carmarthenshire and died at the battle of Brecon in April 1093.

Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, sometimes spelled Blethyn, was an 11th-century Welsh king. Harold Godwinson and Tostig Godwinson installed him and his brother, Rhiwallon, as the co-rulers of Gwynedd on his father's death in 1063, during their destruction of the kingdom of Bleddyn's half-brother, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. He became king of Powys and co-ruler of the Kingdom of Powys with his brother Rhiwallon from 1063 to 1075. His descendants continued to rule Powys as the House of Mathrafal.

Madog ap Maredudd

Madog ap Maredudd was the last Prince of the entire Kingdom of Powys, Wales and for a time held the Fitzalan Lordship of Oswestry.

Cadwgan ap Bleddyn

Cadwgan ap Bleddyn (1051–1111) was a prince of the Kingdom of Powys in eastern Wales.

Iorwerth ap Bleddyn (1053–1111) was a prince of Powys in eastern Wales.

Owain ap Cadwgan was a prince of Powys in eastern Wales. He is best known for his abduction of Nest, wife of Gerald of Windsor.

Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, was the court poet of Madog ap Maredudd, Owain Gwynedd, and Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd, and one of the most prominent Welsh poets of the 12th century.

This article is about the particular significance of the century 1101–1200 to Wales and its people.

This article is about the particular significance of the century 1001–1100 to Wales and its people.

Cadwallon ap Madog was the son of Madog ab Idnerth who had died in 1140, while Idnerth was a grandson of Elystan Glodrydd who had died in around 1010 and had founded a dynasty in the Middle Marches of Wales, in the area known as Rhwng Gwy a Hafren.

History of Gwynedd during the High Middle Ages

The history of Gwynedd in the High Middle Ages is a period in the History of Wales spanning the 11th through the 13th centuries. Gwynedd, located in the north of Wales, eventually became the most dominant of Welsh principalities during this period. Distinctive achievements in Gwynedd include further development of Medieval Welsh literature, particularly poets known as the Beirdd y Tywysogion associated with the court of Gwynedd; the reformation of bardic schools; and the continued development of Cyfraith Hywel. All three of these further contributed to the development of a Welsh national identity in the face of Anglo-Norman encroachment of Wales.

Owain Brogyntyn

Owain Brogyntyn ap Madog was the third and illegitimate son of king Madog ap Maredudd, the last king of a united Kingdom of Powys. He was the son of Madog by the daughter of the Maer du or "black mayor" of Rûg in Edeyrnion however some sources cite his mother as Susanna making him legitimate instead. He was the brother of Gruffydd Maelor the ancestor of Owain Glyndŵr. Presumably Owain Brogyntyn would have been raised by his mother at Rûg in Edeyrnion. He was acknowledged by his father and granted by him the lordship of Edeyrnion and also Dinmael. It is quite possible that he inherited some of these lands through his maternal grandfather, the Maer Du, which were confirmed and perhaps extended by his father the king of Powys. At some point he also came into possession of Castle Brogyntyn on the English borders at Selattyn close to Oswestry.

Iowerth Goch ap Maredudd, a minor Prince and nobleman of the Kingdom of Powys, was the illegitimate son of Maredudd ap Bleddyn and Cristin ferch Bledrus. The appellation "Goch", meaning red, probably referred to the colour of his hair.

Cadwallon ap Gruffydd was the eldest son of Gruffudd ap Cynan, king of Gwynedd.


Maredudd ap Bleddyn
Mathrafal Dynasty
Born: Unknown Died: 1132
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Owain ap Cadwgan
Prince of Powys (part)
Succeeded by
Madog ap Maredudd