Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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BROCHWEL YSGYTHROG , more correctly ‘Ysgithrog,’ i.e. ‘of the tusks’ ( fl. 550 ), prince .

He was, according to tradition, the outstanding figure in the older line of rulers of Powys , insomuch that the poets came to call Powys the land of Brochwel . He was the son of Cyngen and the father of Cynan Garwyn and of S. Tysilio , founder of the ancient church of Meifod . As his grandson, Selyf ap Cynan , fell while leading the Welsh in the battle of Chester ( c . 613 ), he cannot be the Brocmail mentioned by Bede as playing a cowardly part on the same occasion. According to the legend of S. Melangell of Pennant , supported by Gerald of Wales , he had a royal seat at Shrewsbury , not yet occupied by the Mercians and bearing the Welsh name of Pengwern ; this is variously placed on the site occupied later by the castle and on that of (old) S. Chad's .


  • A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 180-1, 196, 243, 247;
  • Cywyddau Iolo Goch ac Eraill, 1350–1450 , 356.


Sir John Edward Lloyd, D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. (1861-1947), Bangor

Published date: 1959