Text Box:    Introduction.

   The History of Wales begins long before 1066 and even before the Roman conquest of 43 AD. In fact Wales’s earliest History is the History of Ancient Briton.
    At the time of the Roman Conquest, Britain was populated primarily by Celts which had two main divisions. The Brythonic Celts & the Goidelic Celts, they themselves were divided in to many tribes such as the Demetians of what is now Dyfed or the Iceni of East Anglia.
    The Brythonic Celts eventually became the Welsh, the Cornish & later on the Bretons of Brittany. The Goidelic Celts became the Irish, the Manx & the Scots. Of course this is a very generalised statement to make as there would have been other peoples in Britain but I think it is fair to say on the whole the majority would have been Celtic.
    When Gaius Julius Caesar (100~44 BC) arrived in Britain in 55 BC he came up against one of Britains first and little known Great Hero’s.
    Caswallon (or as the Romans called him Cassivellaunus) was the man responsible for leading the main British resistance against the Roman advance. One of the strategies he employed was scorched earth policy which basically means that as they retreated the British burnt everything that may have been of use to the Romans. This meant that the further Caesar pushed in to Britain the longer his supply lines became, eventually the Romans pulled back to the Southern Kingdoms of Britain making treaties with some of the Tribes before finally returning to Gaul in 54 BC.
    As a result of Caswallon’s leadership the Romans did not return for another 98 years.
    Caswallon’s Great Grandson was Caradoc (Caratacus) who valiantly tried to do what his ancestor had done but the Romans were able to take advantage of the many divisions among the British Tribes and eventually the conquest of Britain was achieved.
    Another descendant of Caswallon’s was Coel Hen Godeboc (Old King Cole) who, some of the Pedigrees say, had a daughter called Helen or Ellen. Helen was said to have married a Roman called Constantius who later became the co Emperor Constantius I, their son was Constantine the Great.
    When the Roman Legions finally left in 411 AD Britain had several problems to face, firstly there was no longer any national defensive structure and no national leader as such. The nation was once again divided in to the many tribal areas which made it almost impossible to counter any invasion force. To add to this difficulty some tribes hired mercenaries from across the sea to help in their defence, as a result the mercenaries saw how weak their employers were and simply took over their tribal Kingdoms. Once the foot hold was gained it was only a matter of time before the whole country was under threat.
    There has been much speculation over who King Arthur was and I shall leave others to debate this further, however I think it is safe to say that at some point the Invaders were kept a bay for a short time. This would appear to be as a result of several Tribes or Kingdoms joining forces under one commander, the annoying thing is that such a commander is mentioned in the Histories but not by name. If his name was Arthur then it could of derived from the nick name meaning “The Bear” in which case he may well appear in the pedigrees but under his real name.
    In the following centuries the concept of the nation of England began to take shape even though it was still divided between several Kingdoms. During this period some rather unusual alliances were formed, one such alliance was between Cadwallon King of Gwynedd & Deira & Penda the pagan King of Mercia. They united against the then powerful Kingdom of Northumbria and had some success but in the end both men lost their lives in battle.
    The Kingdom of Gwynedd had been founded several generations before Cadwallon by Cuneda Wledic whose descendants claimed the title King of All Wales from time to time. Cuneda had many children some of whom gave their names to some of the early Kingdoms & later Counties of Wales. One of His Great Grandsons was Maelgwyn Gwynedd who Fathered a Saint two Kings and a Queen, Gildas did not think much of Maelgwyn and described him as a fallen monk among other things. Maelgwyn died of the Yellow Plague circa 547 AD at his stronghold of Degannwy. The male line of Maelgwyn lasted until 818 AD when  Cynan Dindaethwy died he was succeeded by his only Daughter’s son Mervyn Vrych in 825 AD.
    Mervyn married Nest the sister & heiress of Cyngen ap Cadell king of Powys, their son became Rhodri II king of Gwynedd, Powys, Seisyllwg & thus most of Wales. Rhodri kept the Danes at bay whilst England was overrun and as a result he is much better known as Rhodri Mawr (The Great).
    The Royal & Noble Tribes of Wales find their origins back to & before the time of Rhodri the Great and in the web site I will try and put some short history to each of the Tribes. In some cases I have very little information on certain Tribes, perhaps only a name. I shall update this site when I find any more information out.
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