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MERFYN FRYCH ap Gwriad

HUSBAND:
MERFYN FRYCH ap Gwriad. (Merfyn the Freckled). King of Gwynedd (825844) and possibly also of Powys.
Son of GWRIAD.

Merfyn Frych seized control of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog, though he may have held power in Anglesey since 818. Merfyn was not a member of the traditional dynasty of Gwynedd, the direct male line of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and his succession marked the start of a new dynasty. His claim was apparently based on the fact that his mother, Esyllt, was the daughter of Cynan Dindaethwy ap Rhodri and the niece of Hywel ap Rhodri. According to bardic tradition, Merfyn came "from the land of Manaw", but it is uncertain whether this refers to the Isle of Man ("Ynys Manaw" in Welsh) or to Manaw Gododdin, the area around the Firth of Forth. It would seem likely that it was the latter on account of the probability he would be a blood relative of Cunedda, the founder of the Gwynedd dynasty, who was a prince of Manaw Gododdin. On the other hand there is an inscription "Crux Guriat" on a cross in the Isle of Man. This cross has been dated to the eighth or ninth century and might possibly refer to Merfyn's father.

Merfyn allied himself to the royal house of Powys by marrying Nest, daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys. He had a reputation as a patron of scholars, for example the Historia Britonum attributed to Nennius is thought to have been written in Gwynedd during his reign, possibly instigated by Merfyn himself. A manuscript found at Bamberg gives a further insight into Merfyn's scholarly interests. Irish visitors to his court were given a cryptogram which could only be solved by transposing the letters from Latin into Greek.

Despite Danish raids, Merfyn was able to maintain his position and on his death in 844 to hand the kingdom over intact to his son Rhodri the Great. He is said to have died in battle, but the circumstances are not recorded. His descendants came to rule not only Gwynedd but also Powys and Deheubarth and played a major role in Welsh politics until the end of Welsh independence in 1283.

He died in 844.

WIFE:
Nest
Daughter of Cadell ap Brochwel and sister of Cyngen king of Powys.

CHILDREN of MERFYN FRYCH ap Gwriad
  1. RHODRI MAWR.


SOURCES:

HOW ARE WE RELATED:
Merfyn Frych  ap Gwriad
               |
           Rhodri Mawr (The Great) married Angharad ferch Meurig
    __________|___________________________________________________________
    |                                                                    |
Cadell ap Rhodi                                              Anarawd ap Rhodri, King of Gwynedd     
Hywel Dda and Elen ferch Llywarch
Angharad ferch Hywel Dda and Tudor Trevor
Dyngad ap Tudor Trevor and Sissely 
Rhiwallon ap Dyngad. 
Caragdog ap Rhiwallon. 
Breichiol ap Caradog. 
Pyll ap Breichiol (c1060-?).
Meurig ap Pyll (c1095-?). 
Caradog of Penrhos. (c1125-?). 
Iorwerth ap Caradog and Alis ferch Bleddyn. (c1160-?).
Adam Gwent and (miss) de Seymour
John ap Adam  (Adam Fynchan)
(Sir) John ap Adam and Elizabeth de Gournay
(Sir) Thomas ap Adam and Joan Inge
William ap Adam
John ap Adam
Thomas ap Adam
John ap Adam
(Sir) John ap Adams  (He added the "s" to the name, and so his descendants use Adams instead of Adam)
Roger Adams
Thomas Adams
John Adams
John Adams
John Adams
Richard Adams and Margaret Armager
Robert Adams and Elizabeth Sharlon
Robert Adams and Eleanor Wilmot
Elizabeth Adams and Edward Phelps
Samuel Phelps and Sarah Chandler
John Phelps and Sarah Andrews
John Phelps and Deborah Lovejoy
Samuel Phelps and Margaret Nevins
Ebenezer Ferrin and Lydia Phelps
Samuel Ferrin and Sally Clotilda Powell
Lydia Powell Ferrin and George William Washington Williams
George William Williams and Harriett Thurston
Minnie Williams and Clive Vernon Tenney
Mildred Ella Tenney and Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris