Gwriad ap Elydir of Man 1 2 3
- Born: Abt 768, Isle of Man (Mann)
- Marriage (1): Esyllt verch Cynan about 800
- Died: 825 about age 57
Another name for Gwriad was Gwriad ap Elidir of Man.
From A History of Wales, pp. 78-79:
"The existence of Offa's Dyke may well have deepened the self-awareness of the Welsh people, for, in the generation following its construction, kingdom was linked with kingdom with the result that the greater part of the inhabitants of Wales became the subjects of a single ruler. If the genealogies, alomst the sole evidence for these developments, are reliable, it appears that it was through marriage rather than through conquest that the kingdoms of Wales were united. The heir of one kingdom married the heiress of another, although it is probable that there would have been fewer heiresses had there not been considerable slaughter among their male relations. A chain of marriages begins around 800 when Gwriad, a native of the Isle of Man, who perhaps had links with the Men of the North, married Esyllt of the line of Maelgwn Fawr; their son, Merfyn, became kind of Gwynedd in 825 on the death of Esyllt's uncle, Hywel ap Rhodri, the last of the male descendants of Maelgwn Gwynedd. Merfyn was the first of the lineage known to historians as the second dynasty of Gwynedd."
From Wikipedia - Merfyn Frych :
Nothing is known of Merfyn's father Gwriad. Merfyn claimed descent from Llywarch Hen through him, and the royal pedigree in Jesus College MS. 20 says that Gwriad was the son of Elidyr, who bears the same name as his ancestor, the father of Llywarch Hen, Elidyr lydanwyn. Supporting the veracity of the pedigree is an entry in the Annales Cambriae, which states that Gwriad, the brother of Rhodri the Great , was slain on Anglesey by the Saxons. That is to say, Merfyn named one of his sons after his father Gwriad.
The discovery of a cross inscribed Crux Guriat (English : Cross of Gwriad) on the Isle of Man and dated to the 8th or 9th century raised the question of whether Gwriad's possible connection to "Manaw" was to that of the Gododdin or to the Isle of Man, which was known in Welsh as Ynys Manaw. John Rhys suggested that Gwriad might well have taken refuge on the Isle of Man during the bloody dynastic struggle between Cynan and Hywel prior to Merfyn's accession to the throne, and that the cross perhaps does refer to the refugee Gwriad, father of Merfyn. He goes on to note that the Welsh Triads mention a 'Gwryat son of Gwryan in the North'.
While Rhys' suggestion is not implausible, his reference to Gwriad's father Gwryan contradicts the royal pedigree, which says that Gwriad's father was Elidyr, so this may be a confusion of two different people named Gwriad. Gwriad's name does appear with northern origins in the Welsh Triads as one of the "Three kings, who were of the sons of strangers" (sometimes referred to as the "Three Peasant Kings"), where he is identified as the son of "Gwryan in the North".
The other literary references to Gwriad and his father Gwryan also suggest that this Gwriad is a different person with the same name as Merfyn's father. For example, Gwryan's name also appears in The Verses of the Graves from the Black Book of Carmarthen , as does Gwriad's name, which also appears in the Gododdin .
Gwriad married Esyllt verch Cynan, daughter of Cynan Tindaethwy and Unknown, about 800. (Esyllt verch Cynan was born in Gwynedd, Wales.)