Cadwallon ap Cadfan d. 634

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 Cadwallon ap Cadfan d. 634


Cadwallon is reputed to have taken refuge on Ynys Seriol (Pufin Island off Anglesey) and later to moved into exile to Ireland as King Edwin placed a blockade on Ynys Mon and the Isle of Man. This is probably after the defeat of the Britions at Chester in 613 CE. However he was later to form an alliance with the Anglo Saxons of Mercia with Penda, where they acted together against Edwin of Bernicia, Diera and Elmet. The alliance appears to have succeeded in preventing further expanison from Northumbria albeit temporary. KIng Edwine was slained at the battle of Maes Cogwy which then opened up Banicia and Deria/Elmet to the alliance as the new fragile kinships began to form and exercise there authority. Indeed the later conlicts saw the slaying of King Osric who replaced Edwin in Deria, being caught in a siege at Efrog (York) by Cadwallon and Penda forces. King Osric was slained by Cadwallon forces, in an attempt to break out while running the siege guantlet.

The alliance gained control of most of the North but King Eanfridd who contolled Bernica after his return from exile in Iona also meet a simular fate soon afterwards. However Cadwallon was caught and slain at Hefenfelth at present day Rowley waters near Hexham, south of Hadrian Wall, through the actions of King Oswald returning from exile in Iona to claim his kingship after Eanfridd .

The later triads note a bard named Afan Ferddigg associated with Cadwallon who has been credited by Ifor Williams as the probable composer of the poem Moliant Cadwallon; although it hints of a simular style to Y Gododdin were noted. On the other hand the poetic style of the panegyric tradition is probable which celebrates Cadwallon generosity and victories. Such a victory names the burning of York, which in this case has been conjectured relating to the slaying of King Osric above. This in itself suggests its could be a tradition recorded in the poetry, as no other records of this event appears elsewhere.

Cawallon ap Cadfan became affectionately attributed the title of Llaw or 'long hand', in the 15th century via poetry. This being added probably due to his reach and expliots from Gwynedd into the North. One must also remember that there is no England, Wales or Scotland during this period when Cadwallon fought so widely. These areas were yet to be formed as seperate identities at a later date. However, although no records indicate a move towards the south apart from the battle fought with Pendar on the River Seven, this may well be relative to the events at Maes Cogwy. However Cadwallon is not just a celebrated leader of a war band aligned with Pendar. He is also has associations with St. Beuno according to tradition where they both meet at Aberffw, on ynys Mon. Here Land was sold for the sighting of a Llan on the main land. He too acted as a jurist when the same land was indispute having been claimed claimed in inheritance, but only once the church had been built.

Astrocelt 2004 Last updated December 5th, 2005


Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Penguin, 1955 (trans Leo Sherley-Price)

R Bromwich, Triod Ynys Prydein. University of Wales 1961 p. 244-6

Rachel Bromwich (ed) The beginnings of Welsh Poetry: Studies By Sir Ifor Williams, University Press of Wales Cardiff, 1980

Willams, I., Paper, Wales and the North presented in Carlisle 1950 in Cumberland transactions, 1952 pp. 70-88