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Merfyn Frych,
King of Gwynedd & Ynys Manaw

(c.780-844)
(Welsh: Merfyn; Latin: Marbinus; English: Mervin)

Merfyn the Freckled was the son of King Guriat of Ynys Manaw, heir to the lost Kingdom of South Rheged. His mother was Esyllt ferch Cynan, the heiress of Gwynedd, and after the death of her father's great rival in AD 825, the throne was secured for Merfyn. He crossed from Ynys Manaw (Isle of Man), where he was almost certainly already King, to bring a new stability as well as a new dynasty to Gwynedd after many years of Civil War. He reigned for nineteen years and, sadly, though Gwynedd gained from his rule, an absentee monarch left Manaw open to invasion. The Hiberno-Viking, Godred mac Fergus established himself there in 836 and the country was never recovered. Merfyn died in AD 844 and was succeeded by his son, Rhodri Mawr (the Great).

 

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