Cadfan, King of Gwynedd
(c.AD 570-625)
(Latin: Catamanus; English: Cadmon)

Cadfan was the son of King Iago of Gwynedd for whom he fought at the Battle of Caer-Legion (Chester), against King Aethelfrith of Bernicia, in AD 613. When it was over, he found that his father was dead and he was King. The Battle of Bangor-is-Coed (Bangor-upon-Dee) followed in quick succession, and the young monarch showed such leadership that legend declares that he was, afterwards, made High-King of the Britons.

This border campaign was traditionally centred on Aethelfrith's attempts to recapture his enemy, the exiled King Edwin of Deira. According to Welsh tradition, this young lad was raised on Ynys Mon (Anglesey), while Geoffrey of Monmouth adds that he had been taken in at the Gwynedd Royal Court and was raised as Cadfan's foster-son. So many Welshmen fell in the two battles that Edwin seems to have felt it best to move on and left Gwynedd for the court of King Redwald of East Anglia.

Cadfan was a patron of St. Beuno and married his 3rd cousin, Afandreg Ddu (the Black) daughter of King Cynan Garwyn of Powys. He was the "wisest and most splendid of all kings" according to his memorial stone which can still be seen today in the church of Eglwys Ael (Llangadwaladr) on Ynys Mon (Anglesey). He was buried there after dying, probably at nearby Aberffraw, around AD 625. Cadfan was succeeded by his son, Cadwallon.

King Cadfan's memorial stone dates from the 7th century. He is clearly an historic personage..


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