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seventh generation from Llyr Llediaith inclusive. The ancestry of Coel Godebog is also given under his name in the Cambrian Biography, and the number of generations there enumerated agrees with the statements usually given. The ancestor of Coel, according to that list contemporary with Llyr Llediaith was Afallach; but from Afallach to Coel there are fourteen generations, precisely double the number of those from Llyr Llediaith to Ystrafael, the wife of Coel; and this large discrepancy must have happened in the short space of 250 years, for Afallach and Llyr Llediaith were of a generation commencing with the Christian era, while Coel Godebog is stated to have lived about the middle of the third century. There are reasons for placing Coel a few generations later than the date usually assigned him; but Ystrafael must also be brought down to the same period, and, early or late, both lineages cannot be true together. It is possible and often happens that a son is born after his father is fifty years of
age, but the accident must be repeated twice before a century can pass with only two generations; the line of Ystrafael would render it necessary for the accident to happen five or six times in regular succession. It happens equally as often that a son is born when his father is twenty five years of age or under, but this accident must be repeated four times successively before a century can pass with four generations; in the line of Coel the accident must have happened about fourteen times in about three centuries and a half. But in
examination of well authenticated genealogies the accidents generally correct each other, and the average in a long pedigree is three generations to a century.* In this respect, whenever the
From the birth of William the Conqueror A. D. 1027 to the birth of William the Fourth A. D. 1765, twenty four generations may be reckoned, the average duration of each of which is thirty years and nine months; and the proportion is maintained under the disadvantage of a succession, in every possible case, of elder children.
Welsh pedigrees attempt to penetrate the Roman British period they are all of them faulty.* With the exception of the line of Eudaf ab Caradog ab Bran, already given, they are during this period a mere string of names, without a single marriage, plurality of issue, or reference to historical events, by which their correctness may be determined. Those which pass through the period in question are five in number, two of which have been given already, and the remainder may be added by way of illustration.
In the first table it may be noticed, that the date of Teithfallt, the seventeenth descendant from Llyr Llediaith in on line is A. D. 430; while that of Cystennyn Goronog, the ninth descendant in another line, is A. D, 542.
These pedigrees are generally given without any variation; but to say nothing of the improbability that such memorials should be preserved during the three centuries and upwards of Roman ascendancy, they receive no confirmation from other authorities until the lower dates affixed, being the first that could be ascertained with any tolerable degree of accuracy. From those dates downwards, however, these pedigrees divide into several branches; their relationships multiply, and are so complex and interwoven that they could not have been traced with any degree of correctness unless they were recorded soon after the times in which they occurred, and it should not be forgotten that they are almost always reconcilable with chronology. It will be observed that the dates in question, to which may be added Teithfallt A. D. 430, and Ystrafael A. D. 330 from the first table, occur shortly before or soon after the departure of the Romans from Britain. May it not, therefore, be supposed that all the generations from thence upwards were invented to support the pretensions of those chieftains, who rose into power upon the decline of the Roman interest; for that they were forged at an early time is probable from the fact that they are at variance with the monkish stories respecting the British parentage of Constantine the Great. These worthies were likely to owe their influence to the system of clanship prevalent among the Celtic nations, and they would find it politic to show their descent from the families of Cassibelaunus and Caractacus, of whose existence and prowess they could be informed by their Roman masters, even if there had been no native traditions remaining.
The line of Eudaf ab Caradog, in the first table, demands a more especial attention upon the present occasion, inasmuch as it contains the names of several Saints; and as its details are more complicated, it presents features very different from the rest. Cadfrawd, the son of Cadfan, appears in a generation immediately succeeding that of Lleurwg; and upon re
ference to the Cambrian Biography, it is seen that this person was “a Saint and Bishop who lived about the beginning of the third century.” It would appear that the editor of that work employed as his authority the Silurian catalogue of Saints, and that he calculated the dates accordingly; but in a lower part of the line the dates of other members of the family may be ascertained from the known era of their contemporaries in history. These dates, however, are so much at variance with the former that the whole chronology is confused. There is reason to think that the inconsistency has arisen from a very simple mistake on the part of some compilers of genealogies in the middle ages; and to explain it a third table may be produced on the authority of George Owen Harry.
1 Caradog Stradwen, wife of Coel
(Caradog) Ceneu Gwawl, wife of Edeyrn Elen, ivife of 3 Cynan Meiriadog, A. D. 380 I
Morfawr Cynfarch Oer
Tudwal Llew, married Anna, danghter of Uther, A. D. 500 to 550
(Cynfor) Constantine, A. D. 433 Androenus
1 Coustans Emrys or Ambrosius
Uther Emyr Llydaw Arthur Anna, wife of Llew
In this table it is necessary first to point out an error. In the Triads, Cynan Meiriadog is invariably said to be the brother of Elen; and if she was the daughter of Eudaf, Cynan must also have been the son of Eudaf. The name of Caradog may have slipt into the place of Eudaf from the generation
preceding. If this arrangement be the correct one, it will immediately be observed that the names marked 1, 2, 3, and 4, are repeated twice over, and the mistake alluded to is simply this:-Cadfan the father of Stradwen, and Cadfan the father of Morfawr have been thought to be the same person, and the ancestry of the latter has been given to the former. Cadfan, the father of Stradwen,* which is only another name for Ystrafael, must be considered the first person or founder of his family, and the time in which he lived will depend upon the known date of his descendant Llew ab Cynfarch, who was contemporary with Arthur. Cadfrawd and Ystrafael will thus be placed in the first part of the fourth century; and Coel Godebog will be coeval with Constantine the Great, instead of being his grandfather, as reported in the legends. The pedigree of Cynan Meiriadog must commence with his grandfather Caradog,+ and the notion that he was a descendant of the great Caractacus must be set aside. The general period in which he lived may be known from his connexion with the emperor Maximus, the date of whose usurpation is A. D. 383. But if Cynan Meiriadog was living in A. D. 380, it is impossible that his descendant in the fourth or fifth degree should be king of the Britons in A. D. 433. It appears, however, that George Owen Harry has confounded Constantine, the father of Ambrosius, with Cystennyn Goronog, a descendant of Cynan, and who succeeded to the sovereignty of Britain on the death of Arthur A. D. 542.
So much may be said for the sake of establishing the order of succession from the beginning of the fourth century, so as
* George Owen Harry, to fill up the chronology, has heaped the presumed ancestors of Stradwen and Morfawr, one upon the other; but notwithstanding this accumulation, the pedigree falls short of the era of Caractacus by a whole century.
+ According to the first table, Caractacus and Caradog the grandfather of Cynan were the same person, which cannot be admitted without committing an anachronism of two centuries.