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Cynan Dindaethwy, King of Gwynedd
(c.740-816)
(Latin: Conanus; English: Conan)

Cynan Dindaethwy was the son of King Rhodri Molwynog of Gwynedd and his wife, Princess Margaret of Ireland, presumably born in the cwmwd of Ynys Mon (Anglesey) which gave him his epithet. His father was probably quite elderly at the time of Cynan's birth, since it appears that the son was too young to take the throne in AD 754, when it was seized by Lord Caradog ap Meirion of Rhos. Perhaps, the people of Gwynedd thought Rhodri too old to father a child, for there were certainly rumours, recorded in the Red Book of Hergest, that Cynan was really the son of the Royal woodsman, Calydigan.

Cynan kept his head down during King Caradog's reign but, upon the latter's death in AD 798, he claimed his father's crown once more. Caradog's son, Hywel Farf-Fehinog, who had expected to inherit the kingdom was not best pleased. He may have been a child at this time for, though Civil War followed, it does not seem to have been very active until AD 813 when the two sides met in battle. Cynan was victorious but, the following year, Hywel was back. He drove poor Cynan from the shores of Ynys Mon (Anglesey) - probably to Ynys Manaw (Isle of Man) where his daughter was Queen - and proclaimed himself King. Cynan tried to retake his throne two years later, but was killed in battle.

Cynan married Mahallt (alias Matilda), daughter of the Lord of Flint, but seems to have had only one daughter, Essylt, wife of King Guriat of Ynys Manaw.

 

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