Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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CYNAN ap IAGO (d. 1060? ), exiled prince ,

was the son of Iago ab Idwal , descended from Rhodri Mawr (q.v.) , and ruler of Gwynedd from 1033 to 1039 . Upon the murder of Iago in the latter year by his own men and the accession to power of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (q.v.) , of a different house, Cynan found refuge among the Danes of Dublin . Here he m. Ragnhildr , granddaughter of Sitric of the Silken Beard (d. 1042 ), and thus became allied to the royal house. According to Powel 's Historie of Cambria , he twice endeavoured to recover his patrimony from Gruffudd with the aid of a Dublin fleet; on the first occasion, in 1041 , he had the good fortune to capture his rival, who was, however, soon released by his own people; on the second, in 1052 , the ships were scattered by a great storm. The older authorities say nothing of Cynan 's share in these events, which must, therefore, be regarded as doubtful. He was, in fact, so little known in Wales , that, on the appearance in 1075 of his son, Gruffudd ap Cynan (q.v.) , to claim his inheritance, the youth is described by the chronicler as ‘grandson of Iago .’ Gruffudd 's biography says that his mother taught him as a lad of what stock he came and what were his rights, language which would imply that Cynan died not many years after the birth of his son.


  • A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 358, 379-80.


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

Published date: 1959