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irrecoverable decline. Copies of ancient manuscript pedigree books, falling among persons who had a value for the subject, were carefully preserved, and the descents of families continued to the present century. However numerous these may have been, two pedigree books only have appeared in print; the first by Mr. Davies, of Llansilin, in 1716, containing little more than an enumeration of the families descended from each particular tribe. The second by Mr. John Reynolds, of Oswestry, in 1739; more copious, but less correct than the former, and both alike confused and uninteresting. From the short materials thus before him, the Author hopes allowances will be made for this imperfect attempt. He is sensible to its defects; at the same time he is free to say, that he has spared no assiduities, nor left a corner untried, whence any probable information was likely to arise. He regrets that a nation, possessing so many curious documents of ancient history, as the Welsh, should have so long neglected bringing them to the light and public investigation. The Triades, Tysilio, and the rest of our historic manuscripts have yet no other dress than their British garb;*

* Geoffrey of Monmouth's British History must not be considered as a translation of Tysilio.

and the Latin works of Nennius, Giraldus, Paris, Polydore, Virunnius, Pryce, Llwyd, Powel, and Caius, relative to Wales, remain yet without translations, to the disadvantage of English literature, and general information. Before he concludes, the Author (or historical collector rather) of the following sheets returns his thanks to those gentlemen who have assisted him with their communications: To John Kynaston Powel, Esq. of Hardwick; to the Rev. Samuel Strong, of Marchwiel; the Rev. Edward Edwards, of Wrexham; the Rev. Edward Davies, of Llanarmon, Dyffryn Ceiriog; the Rev. John Williams, of Llanrwst; and the Rev. Walter Davies, of Meifod, an able Welsh antiquary, who will throw more light on this subject. The Author hopes that the portrait engravings which have been collected from the best pictures of the several persons that could be obtained, will make some amends for other deficiencies.




GRUFFUDD AB CYNAN ranks first of the five Royal

Tribes.' He recovered his crown of North Wales from


The five regal Tribes, and the respective representative of each, were considered as of royal blood. The fifteen common Tribes, all of North Wales, and the respective representative of each, formed the Nobility; were Lords of distinct districts, and bore some hereditary office* in the palace. Gruffudd ab Cynan, Prince of North Wales, Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, of South Wales, and Bleddyn ab Cynfyn, of Powys, regulated both these classes, but they did not create them; as many of the persons, placed at their head, lived before their times, and some, after. Their precedence, as it stands, is very uncertain, and not governed by the dates; the last of them were created by Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd, who began his reign in 1169. We are left ignorant of the form, by which they were called to this rank. Mr. Vaughan of Hengwrt informs us "that Gruffudd ab Cynan, Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, and Bleddyn ab Cynfyn, made diligent search after "the arms, ensigns, and pedigrees of their ancestors, the Nobility and Kings "of the Britons. What they discovered by their pains in any papers and "records was afterwards by the Bards digested, and put into books, and

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they ordained five Royal Tribes, there being only three before, from "whom their posterity to this day, can derive themselves, and also fifteen 'special Tribes, of whom the gentry of North Wales are for the most part "descended."

By the Laws of Hywel Dda it appears there were twenty-four great officers of the Welsh court.




A. D. Trahaern ab Caradog, at the battle of Carno," who had been elected by the people, without the merits of descent, on the assassination of our worthy Prince, Bleddyn ab Cynfyn.

In Gruffudd, the succession was restored. He was the son of Cynan, the son of Iago or James, the son of Meurig, the son of Idwal, the son of Anarawd, the eldest son of Roderic the Great; and had not the principality of the North alone, but the supremacy of Wales, vested in him; for it was the condition, in the tripartition of Roderic, and confirmed by his grandson Hywel Dda, that the Princes of South Wales and Powys, should be tributary to the North.

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Gruffudd owed his success at Carno to a force of Irish, devoted to his fortunes, from his relation to Auloedd King of Dublin, Man, and the Isles; whose daughter Ranhult, widow

The mountains of Carno, as the mountains of Gilboa, are celebrated for the fall of the mighty. The fiercest battle in our annals, happened in 1079, amidst these hills, when Gruffudd ab Cynan, assisted by Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales, disputed the sovereignty of North Wales, with Trahaern ab Caradog, the reigning usurper. After a bloody contest, victory decided in favour of the first, and Trahaern was slain.-Pennant.

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Roderic ordained that the Princes of South Wales and Powys should each of them pay yearly to the Sovereigns of North Wales, a tribute, called Maelged, of sixty-three pounds.

* Auloedd had built a castle on the Menai, near Moel y donn, called Castle Auloedd Frenin, the Castle of King Auloedd.

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