Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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CYNAN DINDAETHWY (d. 816 ), prince ,

was, according to the oldest pedigree, the son of Rhodri , a grandson of Cadwaladr (d. 664 ) (q.v.) . Inasmuch as Rhodri (usually found with the epithet ‘Molwynog’) d. in 754 and Cynan is first mentioned in 813 , this descent is open to question. His brief appearance in history gathers round a struggle with a certain Hywel , whom Dr. David Powel treats as his brother, for the possession of Anglesey . In 814 Hywel was the victor, but Cynan won back the island in 816 , only to die in that year. According to the life of Gruffudd ap Cynan (q.v.) , his descendant, he was of Castell Dindaethwy , which has been identified with the hill-fort near Plas Cadnant , in the parish of Llandysilio ( Inv. Anglesey , xciii). He left a daughter, Ethyllt (for the form see Rhys , Celtic Folklore , 480, n.), who became the mother of Merfyn Frych (d. 844 ) (q.v.) and thereby foundress of the royal houses of Gwynedd and Deheubarth in the Middle Ages .


  • A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 231, 323.


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

Published date: 1959