Ffernfael ap Tewdwr

Ffernfael ap Tewdwr (English: Ffernfael, son of Tewdwr; Old Welsh: Fernmail map Teudur; fl. c. 830) was a king of Buellt and Gwrtheyrnion in medieval Wales. Little is known of him besides a pedigree included in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, which makes him a descendant of the ruler Vortigern.


Ffernfael is mentioned in a passage in the 9th-century work Historia Brittonum, which indicates his lordship of Buellt and Gwrtheyrnion and traces his descent from Vortigern and Pascent.[1] His name apparently means "strong-ankles".[2] The genealogy, which appears in every extant copy, makes him son of Tewdwr (Theodore), son of Pasgen (Pascent), son of Guodicator, son of Morwd, son of Eldad, son of Eldog, son of Pawl (Paul), son of Mepurit ("Mac Urit"[3]), son of Bricad, son of Pasgen (Pascent), son of Gorthigern (Vortigern), son of Guitail (Vitalis), son of Guitoilin (Vitalinus), son of "Glou", the legendary eponym for Gloucester.[2] He is also known from the later genealogies from Jesus College MS 20, which say that his cousin Brawstudd married Arthfael Hen ap Rhys of Morgannwg.[1] Arthfael flourished around 800, implying that Ffernfael would have been active around that time as well.[1] Thomas Charles-Edwards places his floruit around 830.[4]

Though little is known of Ffernfael, the appearance of his pedigree in the Historia gives important clues about the authorship and date of the work. The author's emphasis on Ffernfael's dynasty and many references to southwestern Wales in general suggest the author was a native of the area, though writing in 9th-century Gwynedd.[1][5][6]


  1. ^ a b c d Lloyd, John Edward (1912). A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest. Longmans, Green, and Co. p. 224 and note. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Todd, James H. & al. (trans.) (1848), Leabhar breathnach annso sis: the Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius, p. 105. Irish Archaeological Society (Dublin), 1848. Accessed February 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Rhys, John. Y Cymmrodor, Vol. XVIII. "The Origin of the Welsh Englyn and Kindred Metres". 1905. Accessed 11 Feb 2013.
  4. ^ Charles-Edwards, T. Wales and the Britons, 350-1064, Vol. 1. Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. Accessed 12 Feb 2013.
  5. ^ Dumville, David (1992). "The Historical Value of the Historia Brittonum". In Barber, Richard (ed.). Arthurian Literature. VI. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 21. ISBN 0859912264. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  6. ^ Thornton, David (2003). "Fratricide, Filacentricity, and the Rise of the Second Dynasty of Gwynedd". Kings, Chronicles and Genealogies: Studies in the Political History of Early Medieval Ireland and Wales. Unit for Prosopographical Research, Linacre College, Oxford. p. 114 and note. ISBN 1900934094. Retrieved February 13, 2012.