Page images

some other place, is now uncertain. This view however is somewhat questionable; neither Lleenog nor Llenllyauc appear among the British Saints; and Llan though now generally signifying a church, has other and more primary meanings :

Llan : primarily, a yard or inclosure, as in Gwinllan, vineyard ; Perllan, orchard; Ydlan, rickyard ; Corfflan, a churchyard ; Córlan, a sheepfold-(Dr. Davies and Richards); and also, a smooth plot, a place of meeting, the church-place or village, and figuratively the church -(Rev. Walter Davies, Cambrian Register, i. p. 301); a clear place, area, or spot of ground to deposit anything in-(Dr. Owen Pughe).

Hence Llan Lleenog may mean nothing more than the residence of Lleenog; Gwallawg died in defending it, and a chieftain's house was more likely to need defence than a Christian church.

Gwallog was the son of Lleenog. Camden erroneously supposed him to have been the Caledonian chief Galgacus. Geoffrey of Monmouth speaks of him under vee various gesignanous the various designations of " Gwallawc of Amwythic,”

uwa: 14, (Shrewsbury,) and “ Gallucus, Earl of Salisbury." He was one of the knights present at Arthur's coronation at Caerlleon, and his death is recorded by the same veracious chronicler to have taken place in the last conflict between that sovereign and the Romans in Gaul. This of course is fabulous, and the only foundation for the continental wars attributed to Arthur is the expedition of Riothimus, with 12,000 men, to support the emperor Anthemius. Mr. Owen, however, follows Geoffrey to the extent of asserting that Gwallog was a prince of the vale of Shrewsbury, which he certainly was not, though the same statement is repeated in the Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen. Williams follows Owen, Owen follows Geoffrey, and Geoffrey probably mistook Caer Caradoc in the following poem to designate the residence of Gwallog; and the fact that Caer Caradoc is variously placed in Shropshire and at Salisbury, also accounts for the location of Gwallog at those two places.

Of the authentic history of Gwallog but little appears to be known. We first read of him in the poem of Llywarch Hen, who in the elegy on Urien Rheged represents him to have been the opponent of one of the sons of that chieftain :-

“Pwyllai Wallawg, marchawg trim,
Er echwydd gwneuthur dyvin,

Yn erbyn cyvrysedd Elphin.”
Gwallawg, the knight of tumult, would violently rave,
With a mind determined to try the sharpest edge,

Against the conflict of Elphin.—Heroic Elegies, p. 37. From this fact we should infer Gwallog to have been located in the north of England. That view is corroborated by Nennius, who names Gwallog, with Urien, Rhydderch, and Morcant as the four kings who fought against the sons of Ida in Northumberland. This was about 580; Urien fell in 584; and as Gwallog opposed his son and successor Elphin, he must have remained in the north until the last quarter of the sixth century. He appears ultimately to have been deprived of his property; the services of others were offered for his reinstation, but “he rejected the uniform ranks of the hosts of Rhun, Nudd, and Nwython,” and preferred settling down in Wales. His martial spirit still displayed itself, and he was continually at war with his neighbours. The battles he fought in Wales and in North Britain were enumerated in the poem last treated of, and obtained for him the designation of one of the three pillars of battle:

“ Tri phost Cad ynys Prydain: Dunawd Ffur fab Pabo Post Prydain; Gwallawc fab Lleenawg; a Chynfelyn Drwsgl, sef y medrynt Dosparth ar Gad a Chatteyrnedd yn oreuon o bawb oll ar a fuant erioed.”Triad i.; Myv. Arch. ii. p. 69.

The three Pillars of Battle of the Isle of Britain; Dunawd Fur the son of Pabo Post Prydain, Gwallog the son of Lleenog, and Cynvelyn Drwsgl, who were so called because their skill in the art and conduct of war was superior to that of all others that ever existed.

The personal prowess of our hero is also specially mentioned ; Taliesin imputes to him an insatiable love of war; and Avan Verddig (?) in an elegy on Cadwallon applies to him the epithet of “the valour of Gwallog." He fell in defending Llan Lleenog, and according to the following Triad his wrongs were avenged from his grave:

“Tri aerfeddawg Ynys Prydain: Selyv ab Cynan Garwyn; ac Afaon mab Taliesin; a Gwallawg mab Lleenawg: sef achaws y gelwyd hwynt yn Aerfeddogion am ddial eu cam oc eu beddau.” Triad 76; Myv. Arch. ii. p. 69.

The three Grave slaughterers of the isle of Britain: Selyv the son of Cynan Garwyn, Avaon the son of Taliesin, and Gwallog the son of Lleenog; and the cause of their being termed grave slaughterers was the avenging of their wrongs from their graves.

Selyv the son of Cynan fell in the battle of Chester in 613;1 and Avaon fell in the wars of Cadwallon ab Cadvan, circa 630; but it is not known that Gwallog fell in either of those conflicts; their “wrongs” were avenged by Cadwallon, who slew Edwin at the battle of Meigen, A.D. 633, ravaged Northumbria, and thus wiped off the disgrace of Cattraeth in 603.

It is just possible that Gwallog fell in 613. He was buried at a place named Carrog, as we learn from Englynion y Beddau :

“Yn Abergenoli y mac Bet Pryderi

Yn y tereu tonneu tir
Yg Carrawc bet Gwallawc hir.”

Myv. Arch. i. p. 79.
The grave of Pryderi is in Abergenoli:
Where the waves broke over the land,

In Carrog is the grave of Gwallog the Tall. Mr. Williams (Biographical Dictionary) asserts this to be “the banks of the river Carrog in Caernarvonshire;" but I much doubt the correctness of that statement. Taliesin locates Gwallog at Abermaw (Barmouth); an in that district, in the parish of Llanvihangel y Pennan we find a farm of the annual value of £40 in 1795, an designated Hendrev Wallog, or the old residences Gwallog:-(Cambrian Register, i. p. 300.) Furthe south, on the coast of Cardigan, a little north of Abery twyth, we find another place named Gwallog; and furthe south, on the sea-shore, we come to Llanddeiniol Church which is commonly called Carog.-(Meyrick's Cardigar shire, p. 333.) Í incline to the belief that this is th. place of burial.

1“ Annus 613. Gweith Cair Legion: et ibi cecidit Selim filii Cinan. Et Jacob filii Beli dormitatio.”—Annales Cambriæ.

2 I have read Williams' Gododin with much pleasure; but he has - certainly antedated this event. Several persons are said to have been at Cattraeth who had previously been in the battle of Mannan in 582 or 584: I retain my first opinion.

Gwallog had a daughter named Dwywe, who is nun bered among the British Saints. She married Dunaw the son of Pabo, and by him had two sons, Deiniol Wyı first Bishop of Bangor, who died in 584, and not i 544 or 554, as is asserted by Owen, Williams, and Rees and Gwarthan, the patron of Aneurin, who fell at Cati raeth. Dunawd the father died in 595; and we canno assume Gwallog to have outlived his aged son-in-law b many years.

Reference is made to Gwallog in the poetical dialogu between Gwyddno Garanhir and Gwyn ab Nudd ; an the verses will probably be interesting 1.

IV. Kanis Koegawc sy mor eurawc Boed emendigeit ir gwyd A hin yn ymyl llys Gwallawc gwenn Minneu byddaf Goludawg A dynnwys i lygad oi ben

Gwallawc ab Lleinawc unben Boed emendigeit ir gwydd A dynnwys y lygad yn y wydd Boed emendigeit ir gwydd gla Gwallawc ap Lleinawc Arg- | A dynnwys y lygad yngwas lwydd

Gwallawc ap Lleinawc urdda ΙΙΙ.

VI. Boed emendigeit ir gwydd du | Tarw trin an vyddin blawdd A dynnwys i lygad oedd ddu Arbennic llu llid anhawdd Gwallawc ap Lleinawc pen llu | Dinam eirioes am oes nawdd.


3 « Annus (584) Dispositio Danielis Banchorum."-Annal Cambriæ.


VIII. Ygan gwr gwrdd i Kynnyad Kanys nawdd ym a roddyt Arbennic llu llid Owydd Mor verth yth ogyvethyd i Ath wrdd nawdd kanys erch- Gwawr lu py du pan ddoyd.


Gwyddno seeing a gay young man coming towards him, when he was near the court of Gwallog, composes these verses, and naturally enough laments the death of that warlike chief. He then asks the stranger his name. The stranger replies that he was Gwyn ab Nudd, king of Faery, and the lover of Cordelia, the daughter of King Lear or Llyr Llediaith ab Brychwel Powys (circa 650 A.D.), whose daughter Branwen is the Lady Bradwen of Aneurin; and Gwyddno then enumerates his own feats, and various knowledge. Among these verses is the following:

“Mi a wn lle i llas Gwallawc
Mab Goholeth teithiawc
Addwod Lloegyr mab Lleynawc.”

Myv. Arch. i. 165, 6. This collection of twenty-six verses, bearing the orthographical marks of the thirteenth century, (Lhuyd on Letter K., Arch. Brit. p. 228, col. 1,) has been already translated in Meyrick's Cardiganshire; but as the version there given is not strictly literal, I subjoin my own :

Since a vain person is thus gold adorned,
Near the court of Gwallog,
I too will appear possessed of riches.

Accursed be the tree
That drew out his eye in the wood :
Gwallog the son of Lleenog, the Lord.


Accursed be the black wood
That drew out his eye, that was black :

Gwallog the son of Lleenog, the chief of a host.


« PreviousContinue »