Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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CADFAN ( fl. 620), prince .

He was the son of Iago ap Beli (d. 613 ), of the line of Maelgwn Gwynedd . Beyond the fact that he ruled over Gwynedd , nothing is known of his history. His tombstone, of the early 7th cent. , survives in the church of Llangadwaladr , Anglesey ; it bears the inscription, ‘Catamanus rex sapientisimus opinatisimus (“most renowned”) omnium regum.’ Legend gives him a place in the lives of S. Winifred and S. Beuno ; the account of Geoffrey of Monmouth is mostly fiction, but some colour is given to the statement that he sheltered Edwin of Deira by the triad which makes the Northumbrian one of the three oppressors of Anglesey nurtured in the island.

He was the father of Cadwallon , the British leader in the conflicts of the next age.


  • J. E. Lloyd, A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 181-2;
  • An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Anglesey (1937) , xcv, civ, cxv, pl. 19, 87;
  • The Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth (1929) , xii, 1;
  • The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales , i, 140, ii, 17, 21.


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

Published date: 1959