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Cunedda Wledig's Ancestry

Cunedda Wledig (the Imperator) was a powerful warrior prince from the North of Britain. He hailed from Manau Gododdin - the area around Clackmannan in modern Scotland - and may have been the ruling sub-king, under the Kings of Greater Gododdin. Around AD 430 or a little later, his family was invited - possibly by the remnants of Roman Officialdom - to rid North Wales of invading Irish pirates. Cunedda and his sons eagerly obliged and thus established a range of monarchies in the region which actually originated amongst the Men of the North.

His pedigree appears in the Jesus College MS 20 and other early Welsh genealogical tracts thus:

Beli Beli Mawr (the Great)
Amalech Afallach, duplicate generations
Ewein Owain
Prydein Eponym of Britain
Dibun Dyfyn
Eimet Eifudd
Anuueret Amwerydd
Gordofyn Duplicate generations
Gordoli Duplicate generations
Gorein Duplicate generations
Genedawc Genedog
Iago Iago
Tegyth Tacitus
Padarn Beisrud Padernus of the Red Robe
Edern Aeternus
Cuneda Cunedda Wledig (the Imperator)

However, the earlier pedigree in the Harleian MS 3859 gives a more accurate picture:

Beli Magni Beli Mawr (the Great)
Amalech Afallach, duplicate generations
Eugein Possibly duplicate generations
Dubun Duplicate generations
Anguerit Duplicate generations
Gurdumn Duplicate generations
Guordoli Duplicate generations
Guorcein Duplicate generations
Tacit Tacitus
Patern Pesrut Paternus of the Red Robe
Aetern Aeternus
Cuneda Cunedda Wledig (the Imperator)

The older pedigree shows that a number of the generations given in the later ancestries are, in fact, duplications. Three of them simply add the prefix 'Guor-' on to each name and it has been suggested that this was part of some sort of bardic chant which helped people remember the names.

Cunedda, like many of his contemporaries, claimed descent from the Celtic gods, Beli and Afallach. Yet, his immediate ancestors had extremely Roman names: Aeternus, Paternus & Tacitus. They were probably leaders of the Votadini tribe. They were on excellent terms with the Roman administration south of Hadrian's Wall and may have formed part of a pro-Roman borderland buffer zone after the irruptions of AD 367/9. Paternus' Red-Robe may even suggest the official purple garb of the Roman Administration. The family continued thus:

Cunedda Wledig (the Imperator), King of Manau Gododdin & Gwynedd
m. Gwawl ferch Coel Hen

  1. Tybion, abt 417 -

  2. Ysfael Gwron, abt 418 -

  3. Rhufon, abt 419 -

  4. Dunod, abt 420 -

  5. Ceredig Ceredigion, abt 421 -

  6. Afloeg, abt 422 -

  7. Einion Yrth, abt 423 -

  8. Dogfael, abt 424 -

  9. Edern, abt 425 -

  10. Tegeingl, abt 426 -
  11. Gwen, abt 427 - , m. Amlawdd Wledig (the Imperator)

More unreliable sources give three further sons:

  1. Mael, abt 428 -

  2. Coel, abt 429 -
  3. Arwystl, abt 430 -


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