Howel ab Edwin (DNB00)

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HOWEL ab Edwin (d. 1044), a South Welsh prince,was son of Edwin, son of Eineon, who was the son of Owain, the eldest son and successor of Howel Dda [q. v.] In 1033, after the death of Rhydderch, son of Iestin, ruler of Deheubarth since 1023, Howel and his brother Maredudd succeeded to the government of South Wales as being of the right line of Howel Dda. The sons of Rhydderch seem to have contested Howel and his brother's claim, and next year a battle was fought at Hiraethwy between the rival houses, in which, if the 'Gwentian Brut' can be trusted, the sons of Edwin conquered. In 1035 Maredudd was slain, but before the year was out the death of Caradog [q.v.], son of Rhydderch, equalised the position of the combatants. After a few years of comparative peace Howel's son Meurug was captured by the Irish Danes in 1039. In the same year Gruffydd ab Llewelyn [q. v.] became king of North Wales, and after devastating Llanbadarn, drove Howel out of his territory. In 1041 Howel made an effort to win back his dominions, but was defeated by Gruffydd at Pencader. Howel's wife became Gruffydd's captive, and subsequently his concubine.

In 1042 Howel, who had called the Danes from Ireland to his help, renewed the conflict, and won a victory over Gruffydd at Pwll Dyvach. Gruffydd was taken prisoner by the pagan Danes, but he soon escaped and reoccupied Howel's territory. In 1044 Howel collected a great fleet of his viking allies, and entered the mouth of the Towy on another effort to win back his own. The final battle was fought at the mouth of the river (Abertowy, possibly Carmarthen or somewhere lower down the stream). Gruffydd won a complete victory, and Howel was slain.

[Annales Cambriæ (Rolls Ser.}(the dates have been taken from this exclusively); Brut y Tywysogion(Rolls Ser. or ed. J. Gwenogvryn Evans);a few additional details from Brut y Tywysogion (Cambrian Archæol. Assoc.)]

T. F. T.