Idwal Voel (DNB00)

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IDWAL Voel (d. 943), a prince of Gwynedd, succeeded to the sovereignty in 915, on the death of his father, Anarawd, the eldest son of Rhodri, king of all Wales. During the earlier part of his reign the Welsh were kept in check in the marches by Æthelflæd, 'the lady of the Mercians,' sister of Edward the elder; and on her death, about 918, Idwal and the other princes of North Wales renewed their allegiance to the English crown by 'seeking Edward for their lord' at Tamworth (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, sub 922). These oaths of fealty were renewed at Eamote in 926 to Æthelstan, who, according to the later chroniclers, imposed on Gwynedd a heavy tribute of money and cattle (William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum, i. 148; Rhys and {{sc|Evans's]] Bruts; Brut y Saeson, p. 387), but allowed Idwal to continue as his under-king. Idwal and Howel Dda were also with Æthelstan at Exeter during Easter 928, for Æthelstan there issued a charter which is attested by them (marked by Kemble as questionable, Cod.Dipl. No. 1101). Nothing further is recorded of Idwal until 943, when he and his brother Elised were killed by the English (Annales Cambriæ), probably after a revolt against payment of the tribute, for the 'Gwentian Chronicle' says that in 940 the Welsh regained their freedom through the bravery and wisdom of Idwal and the other princes of Wales. The whole of Wales enjoyed comparative peace during Idwal's reign, for the peaceable Howel Dda was at the same period king of South Wales and Powys. Idwal was succeeded by his two sons, Iago ab Idwal Voel [q. v.] and Ieuav, as joint sovereigns of the kingdom of Gwynedd.

[Anglo-Saxon Chron.; Annales Cambriæ; Brut y Tywysogion and Brut y Saeson (Rhys and Evans's Red Book of Hergest, vol. ii.); William of Malmesbury; Gwentian Chron.]

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