Maelgwn "Hir" (the Tall) AP CADWALLON, King of Gwynedd
- Born: Bef 480
- Married (2): Bef 510
- Married (4): Bef 515
- Died: Abt 547
Another name for Maelgwn was Maelgwn Gwynedd.
The historical Maelgwn king of Gwynedd was one of the most prominent rulers of 6th century Britain. He became one of the most famous (or infamous) leaders in Welsh history. He is one of five British kings castigated for their sins by the contemporary Christian writer Gildas (who referred to him as Malgocunus, meaning 'Great Hound') in De Excidio Britanniae. Maelgwn, described as "the island dragon", possibly a reference to his power base on Anglesey, is the most powerful of the five kings "... you the last I write of but the first and greatest in evil, more than many in ability but also in malice, more generous in giving but also more liberal in sin, strong in war but stronger to destroy your soul ...".
Gildas accuses Maelgwn of having driven his uncle from power by force "while still a youth". He then, says Gildas, repented of his sins and vowed to become a monk, but his repentance did not last and he returned to his previous ways. He is accused of having murdered his wife and his nephew in order to be able to marry his nephew's widow.
He was also said to be a great patron of the arts and a skilled lawgiver, although some attribute this reputation to Maelgwn's own propaganda. He established court at Deganwy, and surrounded himself with an entourage of bards and artisans who wrote glowingly of his achievements. Gildas takes a dim view of this, accusing him of listening to his own praise instead of praising God. According to the Historia Brittonum, he "reigned among the Britons" as high king.
For more details on the Legend of Maelgwn, refer to source...
Maelgwn married Gwallwen FERCH AFALLACH. (Gwallwen FERCH AFALLACH was born about 490.)
Maelgwn also married Nesta FERCH SAWYL of the South Pennines, daughter of Sawyl "Penuchel" (the Arrogant) AP PABO King of The Peak in South Pennines (525-590) and Deichter of Ulster, before 510.
Maelgwn also married INGEN GIROM Princess of the Picts, daughter of Girom, King of the Picts and FERCH GERAINT Princess of Strathclyde. (INGEN GIROM Princess of the Picts was born about 500.)
Maelgwn also married Sannan FERCH CYNGEN of Powys, daughter of St. Cyngen Glodrydd AP CADELL King of Powys (c.490) and St. Tanglwst FERCH BRYCHAN, before 515. (Sannan FERCH CYNGEN of Powys was born about 498.)