Einion ab Owain

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Einion ab Owain (died c. 984) was a medieval Welsh prince of the House of Dinefwr. He was the eldest son and probable edling of King Owain of Dyfed, son of Hywel Dda.[1]

The Chronicle of the Princes records Einion assisting King Iago of Gwynedd in driving the Irish and their Danish allies from Wales in 966.[2] Einion then raided Gower again the next year, "on the pretense" of opposing the pagan Vikings and their supporters. This prompted a retaliatory raid by King Owain of Morgannwg, who brought Gower back under his control, and an invasion by King Edgar of England, who forced Einion's father Owain to swear fealty to him at Caerleon upon Usk.[2] A third raid in 976[3] went little better: Einion is recorded devastating the area so thoroughly it provoked famine but Owain ap Morgan's brother Ithel defeated him and restored the plunder to its owners.[2] At some point, he seems to have annexed Brycheiniog for Deheubarth[4] and King Hywel of Gwynedd—with the support of Ælfhere of Mercia[5]—then invaded in 980 and 981.[2][6] Einion defeated them at Llanwenog and in Brycheiniog but the country was heavily despoiled by the northerners and the English and by a Viking raid against St. David's in 980[2] or 982.[7]

Einion predeceased his father, being slain at Pencoed Colwynn by the men of Glywysing and Gwent in AD 982[2] or 984.[5] His offices were taken by his brother Maredudd, rather than by either of his sons. His line recovered the throne under his grandson Hywel around 1035.[8]

He is sometimes credited with being the namesake of Port Eynon or Einon on the Gower peninsula.[9]



  1. ^ Lloyd, John E. A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest. Longmans, Green, & Co., 1911.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cambrian Archaeological Association. Archaeologia Cambrensis: "Chronicle of the Princes". W. Pickering, 1864. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  3. ^ Phillimore's reconstruction of the dates of the Annals of Wales (cf. Annales Cambriae (A text) (in Latin)) places the B text's entry "Einion son of Owain devastated Gower" in AD 971, which might refer to one of these raids or another unmentioned by the Brut.
  4. ^ Remfry, Paul M. "Welsh Kings in Herefordshire and the origins of Rhwng Gwy a Hafren". 2004. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  5. ^ a b Williams, Ann & al. Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain: England, Scotland and Wales, c.500 – c.1050: "Einion ab Owain". Routledge, 1991. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  6. ^ Maund, K.L. Ireland, Wales, and England in the Eleventh Century. Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1991. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  7. ^ Charles-Edwards, T.M. Wales and the Britons, 350–1064. Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  8. ^ Fryde, E.B. Handbook of British Chronology, Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press, 1996. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  9. ^ Cowley, Marilyn. "The Eynon Name". 1997. Accessed 19 Feb 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e Glenn, Thomas Allen (1913). Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania. Oxford, England. ISBN 0806304308.
  11. ^ Wolcott, Darrell. Ancient Wales Studies: "The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd". Accessed 19 Feb 2013.