- Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd
Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd (died 1170) was a Welsh poet and military leader. Hywel was the illegitimate son of
Owain Gwynedd, prince of Gwynedd, and an Irishwoman named Pyfog. In recognition of this, he was also known as "Hywel ap Gwyddeles" (=Hywel son of the Irishwoman).
In 1143 Owain Gwynedd's brother Cadwaladr, who held lands in Meirionnydd and
Ceredigionwas implicated in the murder of Anarawd ap Gruffyddof Deheubarth. Owain responded by sending Hywel to strip him of his lands in the north of Ceredigion, which he did, capturing and burning the castle of Aberystwythin the process. In 1147 Hywel and his brother Cynan drove Cadwaladr out of Meirionnydd, taking his castle at Cynfael by storm. Hywel lost southern Ceredigion in 1150 when Cadell ap Gruffyddof Deheubarthdrove him north of the River Aeron and reclaimed the territory.
Upon the death of Owain Gwynedd in 1170, his sons fell into dispute over the lordship of
Gwynedd. Hywel, as one of the elder, proven sons, was regarded by many as Owain's natural heir, but under Welsh law, all sons (legitimate or not) had equal rights of inheritance. Hywel's half-brothers, Dafydd and Rhodri, forced him to flee to Ireland. He raised an army in Ireland and returned the same year in an attempt to claim a share of the kingdom, but was defeated and killed at the Battle of Pentraethon Anglesey. The seven sons of Hywel's foster-father, Cadifor, were killed while defending him in this battle, and were commemorated in verse:
:"The sons of Cadifor, a noble band of brothers":"In the hollow above Pentraeth":"Were full of daring and of high purpose":"They were cut down beside their foster-brother."
Hywel was an accomplished poet and eight of his poems have been preserved. The best known is probably "Gorhoffedd Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd" in which he praises his father's kingdom of Gwynedd, both its natural beauties and its beautiful women. Other poems include the earliest known love poetry in the Welsh language, and may show a French influence. Hywel is known to have sired the following sons;
Gruffudd ap Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd
Caswallawn ap Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd
[http://cy.wikisource.org/wiki/Categori:Hywel_ab_Owain_Gwynedd Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd at Wikisource]
*Kathleen Anne Bramley et al (ed.), "Gwaith Llywelyn Fardd I ac eraill o Feirdd y Ddeuddegfed Ganrif" (1994).
*R R Davies, "The Age of Conquest [:] Wales 1063-1415" (1991)
John Edward Lloyd(1911) "A history of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest" (Longmans, Green & Co.)
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