Gwrgan Fawr

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Gwrgan Fawr
Gurgantius
King of Ergyng
Reign c. 619 - c. 645
Predecessor Gwrfoddw
Successor Athrwys
Issue Caradog, Morgan
Father Cynfyn

Gwrgan Fawr (meaning Gwrgan the Great; also, in Latin, Gurgantius; English, Fergus) (died c. 645) was a king of Ergyng, a south-east Welsh kingdom of the early medieval period.

He was the son of Cynfyn and rightful heir to the Ergyng throne which, however, was initially usurped by Gwrfoddw around AD 619. Gwrgan probably fled Ergyng when his inheritance was seized by Gwrfoddw Hen. He appears in four charters in the Book of Llandaff during the episcopate of Bishops Euddogwy and Inabwy.Gwrgan later features as king in charters in the Book of Llandaff associated with Bishops Oudoceus and Iunapeius.

Little else is known of this monarch, despite his epithet, the Great. Overlordship of Glywysing & Gwent may, however, be indicated if he is identified with Gwrgan Frych (the Freckled) who features in the Life of Saint Cadog. This powerful lord, who ruled further west in Glywysing, granted the saint half the fishing rights on the Rivers Usk and Neath in return for the great sword of King Rhun Hir of Gwynedd and a fine new horse with all the trappings. Cadog died some years before Gwrgan's reign, but the association may have really been with the saint's successors at Llancarfan Abbey.

Gwrgan ruled until about AD 645 when his sons, Caradog and Morgan, should have inherited the throne of Ergyng. When Gwrgan died, the throne of Ergyng was inherited, not by his sons Caradog and Morgan, but by Athrwys, the son of his daughter, Onbrawst. It appears that his son-in-law, King Meurig of Glywysing & Gwent, managed to seize power in the name of his son, Athrwys.