Trahaearn ap Caradog

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Trahaearn ap Caradog (died 1081) was a King of Gwynedd.

Accession[edit]

On the death of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn in 1075, it appears that none of his sons were old enough to claim the throne, and Bleddyn's cousin Trahaearn ap Caradog, seized power. The family is thought to have originated in Arwystli, on the border between Gwynedd and Powys.

Conflict with Gruffudd ap Cynan[edit]

The same year Gruffudd ap Cynan landed on Anglesey with an Irish force and, with the assistance of the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan, defeated Trahaearn at the Battle of Gwaed Erw in Meirionnydd, gaining control of Gwynedd. However tension between Gruffudd ap Cynan's Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh people led to a rebellion in Llyn and Trahaearn took the opportunity to counterattack, defeating Gruffudd at the Battle of Bron yr Erw at Clynnog Fawr in Caernarfonshire, also in 1075, forcing him to flee back to Ireland.[1]

In 1078 Caradog ap Gruffydd (Prince of the Kingdom of Gwent) killed Rhys ab Owain of Deheubarth, who had been responsible for the killing of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, in the Battle of Gwdig or Battle of Goodwick. Caradog ap Gruffydd wanted to take control of Deheubarth, like his father and grandfather had done. However Rhys ap Tewdwr, Rhys ab Owain’s second cousin, meanwhile had taken power of Deheubarth becoming its king. Rhys ap Tewdwr was forced to flee when Caradog ap Gruffydd invaded Deheubarth in 1081. He sought protection in St David's Cathedral at the far southwestern corner of his kingdom.[1]

Downfall and death[edit]

Gruffudd ap Cynan returned on a second campaign from Ireland with an army of Danes and Irish to become King of Gwynedd. He took his fleet to St David’s and made an alliance with Rhys ap Tewdwr who had recently been ousted as prince of Deheubarth by Caradog ap Gruffydd of Morgannwg. Gruffudd ap Cynan received additional support with backers that came from north Wales. They all agreed to remove Trahaearn ap Caradog from controlling Gwynedd and went about the task of doing this. However, meanwhile Trahaearn had learned of their plot and secretly formed an alliance with Caradog ap Gruffydd and Meilyr ap Rhiwallon. Trahaearn also obtained Norman arbalest crossbowmen for additional support for his army. The two enemy armies met at Mynydd Carn and the fierce bloody Battle of Mynydd Carn ensued north of St David's. Trahaearn, Caradog and Meilyr were killed. Gruffudd was victorious and became King of Gwynedd. Rhys ap Tewdwr, Gruffudd's ally, once again became King of Deheubarth.[1]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • R.R. Davies (1991). The age of conquest: Wales 1063-1415. O.U.P. ISBN 0-19-820198-2. 
  • Thomas Jones, ed. (1952) Brut y Tywysogion: Peniarth MS. 20 version (University of Wales Press)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
King of Gwynedd
1075–1081
Succeeded by
Gruffudd ap Cynan