Chwilio uwch

Sir Gruffudd ab Einion of Henllan, fl. c.1478–92

Guto composed a poem on behalf of Sir Gruffudd (poem 61) to request slates from Rhisiart Cyffin, dean of Bangor, to roof his new house near Henllan on a hill somewhere north-west of Denbigh (its exact location is unknown). No other poems for Sir Gruffudd have survived.

In Guto’s poem his lineage is described thus (with the poet adopting Rhisiart’s persona; 61.11–16):

Mastr Risiart mis a drwsiai
Main ym, a mi yw ei nai.
Syr Gruffudd, ym Nudd, mewn iach,
Fab Einion wyf heb anach,
O Ronwy Fychan, ran rym,
A Deuddwr, unwaed oeddym.

‘Master Rhisiart would provide me
with stones in a month, and I’m his nephew.
I’m Sir Gruffudd son of Einion in terms of lineage,
by Nudd, without hindrance,
from Gronwy Fychan, a share of power,
and Deuddwr, we were of the same blood.’

Sir Gruffudd and Rhisiart were clearly related. Sir Gruffudd was not necessarily Rhisiart’s nai ‘nephew’, simply his younger relation. Only one Sir Gruffudd ab Einion was found in the genealogies (the same individual is named in GGl 357), the parson of Llanefydd a few miles north west of Henllan (Pen 128, 260 a 276 S’ Gr’ persson llann vfudd, Pen 134, 245 s’ gruff’ ap Engio’ pso’ llan vfvdd). For the possible connection between him and the dean of Bangor, see Rhisiart Cyffin. The genealogical table below is based on WG1 ‘Hedd’ 1, ‘Marchudd’ 4, 11, 12, ‘Marchweithian’ 1, 4, 5; WG2 ‘Marchweithian’ 4E, 5A. Those named in the poem are shown in bold print and in italic in uncertain cases. Sir Gruffudd’s connection with Tudur ap Rhobert is shown on the left side. Siôn Tudur composed a poem to request slates from the dean of Bangor on Tudur’s behalf in the sixteenth century (GST 81.71–2).

Lineage of Sir Gruffudd ab Einion of Henllan

There are some difficulties. Firstly, the identity of Gronwy Fychan is unclear. Llywarch ap Heilyn Gloff was married twice and it is not known whether Cynwrig ap Llywarch was the son of Morfudd ap Tudur or Llywarch’s other wife. Nevertheless, if Morfudd was in fact Cynwrig’s mother, Sir Gruffudd was descended from the famous family of Penmynydd on Anglesey, and Guto may have been referring to Goronwy ab Ednyfed Fychan. There is no evidence that this Goronwy was known as Goronwy Fychan (GBF poems 21 and 45; GGMD, i 11), yet there were many other Goronwys in that lineage, including the renowned patron, Goronwy Fychan ap Tudur Fychan (ibid. 11–12, 15–16 and poems 4–7; GLlG poem 5). Therefore, either Guto’s knowledge of the lineage may not have been complete and his judgement skewed by the renown of Goronwy Fychan, or Sir Gruffudd was in fact related to the same Goronwy Fychan through some unrecorded pedigree.

Second, according to the surviving information, Sir Gruffudd was not associated with the commote of Deuddwr in Powys. However, the genealogies do not record the names of his mother, his grandmother, his great-grandmother nor his great-great-grandmother on his father’s side nor on any other. Furthermore, according to the genealogy above, Sir Gruffudd, his father, his grandfather and his great-great-grandfather had no siblings, which is highly unlikely and points to a large gap in the recorded genealogies. It is likely that Sir Gruffudd’s connection with Deuddwr (as well as a Goronwy Fychan) could be established if this information had survived.

No information about Sir Gruffudd has survived concerning his dates, yet the fact that Guto composed a poem on his behalf to Rhisiart Cyffin suggests that he was alive when Rhisiart was dean of Bangor, namely between c.1478 and 1492.