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Titles of the Welsh Court

Titles of the Welsh Court are the titles of the various Offices of State used in Wales during the Middle Ages. The roles of different officers changed over time, and these changes may reflect the political developments in the centuries before and after the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282. The Welsh title distain, being derived from "dish thane",[citation needed] indicates that he was originally concerned with the royal dishes at table, but it is known that Ednyfed Fychan, Distain to Llywelyn, was effectively a Prime Minister who did not regularly wait on the ruler at table. Below is a selection of the most important offices and titles:

The Royal FamilyEdit

  • Brenin, meaning "King"
  • Tywysog, meaning "Chief" or "Prince". A king was by default also a chief but a chief was not necessarily also a king. The title Tywysog is thought to share a common root with the Irish term Taoiseach.
  • Edling, was a title designating the heir to the throne. This title was borrowed from the Old English title Æþeling meaning "royal son".

Twelve Principal Officers of the CourtEdit



  • The Welsh King and his Court, University of Wales Press (2000), edited by Thomas Charles-Edwards, Morfydd E. Owen and Paul Russell, p. 19 & 27 (Prolegomena to the Laws of Court, by Dafydd Jenkins).