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For other people of the same name, see Cadwallader.

Cadwaladr, Cadwallader, or Cadwalader (Welsh: Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon) was king of Gwynedd from around AD 655 to 682. Two devastating plagues happened during his reign, one in 664 and the other in 682, with himself a victim of the second one. Little else is known of his reign. Cadwaladr is most widely recognised as a prominent character in the romantic stories of Geoffrey of Monmouth, where he is portrayed as the last in a line of legendary kings of Britain.

Y Ddraig Goch (English: The Red Dragon) has long been known as a Welsh symbol, appearing in the Mabinogion, the Historia Brittonum, and the stories of Geoffrey of Monmouth. It has commonly been referred to as 'The Red Dragon of Cadwaladr', and since the accession of Henry VII to the English throne, it has often been referred to as 'The Red Dragon of Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon'. The association with Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon is a traditional one, without a firm historical provenance.

Cadwaladr's name appears without the identifying patronymic 'ap Cadwallon' in a number of historical and literary works, such as in the Armes Prydein. Without additional corroborating information it cannot be assumed that Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon is the person referred to, rather than a different person with the same name.

Historical record[edit]

A general map of Gwynedd showing the cantrefi.

Cadwaladr's name appears in passing in serious historical works, such as those by Davies[1] and Lloyd,[2] and then only to mention that he was the son of a famous father, Cadwallon ap Cadfan, and the successor to King Cadafael. His name appears in the pedigrees of the Jesus College MS. 20[3] (as "Kadwaladyr vendigeit", or "Cadwaladr the B


  1. ^ Davies 1990:63, A History of Wales
  2. ^ Lloyd 1911:230, A History of Wales, Vol I
  3. ^ Phillimore 1887:87 — he is in his descendant's pedigree, given as: ... Cynan tintaeth6y. M. Rodri mol6yna6c. M. Idwal I6rch. M. Kadwaladyr vendigeit. M. Katwalla6n. M. Kad6ga6n. M. Iago. M. Beli. M. Run hir. M. Maelg6n g6yned ..., and from there back to Cunedda.