views updated Jun 08 2018

Cadwaladr (d. 1172), prince of Gwynedd. Son of Gruffydd ap Cynan and younger brother of Owain Gwynedd, Cadwaladr played a prominent but tortuous role in 12th-cent. Wales. In 1137 he seized the northern part of Ceredigion but was prevented by the resistance of Cardigan castle from overrunning the south. Next he plunged into the English civil war on the side of the Empress Matilda, possibly because of a marriage connection to Ralph, earl of Chester, and was present at Lincoln in 1141 when Stephen was captured. He was then involved in serious family quarrels in Wales—first with his brother Owain in 1143 and then with two nephews who attacked his territory of Ceredigion. A fresh quarrel with Owain in 1152 drove him into exile in England until Henry II insisted on his restoration in 1157. Cadwaladr took part in the attempt to subdue Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth, who had thrown off allegiance to Henry II (1159), but joined Owain and the other Welsh princes in resisting Henry's second campaign in Wales, which ended in English withdrawal. Cadwaladr was clearly of consequence but his hold on power was precarious.

J. A. Cannon


views updated May 23 2018

Cadwaladr (d. 664), Welsh king. Son of Cadwallon who devastated Northumbria before being killed by King Oswald in 634, Cadwaladr himself suffered a serious defeat by the West Saxons at Pinhoe near Exeter in 658. His death in the widespread plague of 664–5 seems to mark the end of British hopes of recovery from the Saxon invasion. Though his deeds are not recorded, he is a significant figure in later prophetic poems, becoming, like King Arthur, a semi-mythical hero, one who would rise again and lead his people to victory. The 12th-cent. Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Brittaniae, which ends with Cadwaladr's death, and his ‘Life of Merlin’ also popularized such prophecies. Said to be peaceful and pious, Cadwaladr is the dedicatee of a number of churches in Wales, the church of Llangadwaldr in Anglesey claiming him as patron saint and founder.

Audrey MacDonald