Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ELSTAN (or ELYSTAN) GLODRYDD , founder of the fifth of the ‘royal tribes’ of Wales ,

though scarcely anything is known about him, may serve as the heading of a concise account (compiled entirely from Lloyd , Hist. W. ) of the later lords of ‘Rhwng Gŵy a Hafren ’ (between Wye and Severn ) — the cantreds of Maelienydd and Elfael ; pedigree in Lloyd , op. cit., 770. Elstan ( Hist. W. , 406) had a son, Cadwgan , who had three sons. One of these, Idnerth , also had three sons; of these, Madog (d. 1140 ) had five sons. Two of Madog 's sons, Hywel and Cadwgan , were killed in 1142 , and a third, Maredudd , in 1146 ; the other two, CADWALLON (d. 1179 ) and EINION (d. 1177 ), ruled respectively over Maelienydd and Elfael . They were not on good terms, and in 1160 Cadwallon seized Einion and handed him over to Owain Gwynedd , who surrendered him to Henry II ; but Einion escaped from custody. In 1163 both brothers rallied to the banner of Owain Gwynedd at Corwen , and later both were homagers of the lordRhys ap Gruffydd ; both, again, co-operated in the re-establishment of Cwm Hir abbey , 1176 . Of Cadwallon 's three sons, Maelgwn (who took the cross in 1188 ) d. in 1197 ; his son Cadwallon d. in 1234 . Einion Clud had two sons: the elder, EINION , usually known as ‘ Einion o'r Porth ,’ is said to have m. a daughter of the lordRhys , took the cross in 1188 , and d. in 1191 . In the 13th and 14th cent , the house of Mortimer (q.v.) , which had from an early date encroached upon the lands of the Elstan dynasty, succeeded eventually in acquiring complete possession of them.


  • J. E. Lloyd , A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , more especially 406, 477, 516, 545, 563, 567, 585, 770.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959