Author Topic: Finding the arms of Llywelyn Ddu of Cymmer  (Read 577 times)

Offline jones9

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Finding the arms of Llywelyn Ddu of Cymmer
« on: Saturday 20 August 16 12:58 BST (UK) »
Dear all,

I realise Welsh heraldry is a rather niche area, though I'm trying to find out what the blazon/arms were of Llywelyn Ddu, Baron of Cymmer-yn-Edeyrnion (various spellings).

In Lewys Dwnn's heraldic visitations (see below, page 125) he says that the arms of Dafydd ap Morgan of Crogen (in Merionethshire) were quarterly those of Owain Brogyntyn (argent, a lion rampant sable), and those of Llywelyn Ddu - but there's no indication as to what these are!

https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE89727 (page 125)

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Offline MaecW

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Re: Finding the arms of Llywelyn Ddu of Cymmer
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 21 September 16 14:44 BST (UK) »
Well I had rather hoped that somebody would come up with an answer for you here but I'm afraid this looks to be something of a lost cause.
I've consulted M.P.Siddons' Development of Welsh Heraldry which, as far as I am aware, is the most comprehensive documentation of all sources and records of early Welsh Heraldry but he too, could only find the reference in Dynn and and has left the arms of Llewellyn Ddu unidentified. He does point to Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies" as a source for the pedigree but this doesn't seem to be available on-line and, in any case, I suspect, draws on the same source as Meyrick.
The key to the issue maybe the identification of Llewellyn Ddu himself, who I presume is the Llewellyn Ddu ap David "2nd Baron of Endeirnion" of the time of 44 Edward III (approx 1356), referred to in Burke's Landed Gentry under the entry for Hughes of Gwerclas. if this is so then he too would have displayed the arms of Owain Brogyntyn.
Assuming that Llewellyn actually bore Arms, and that this is not a case of "back-dating", I think we are left with the solutions proposed by Meyrick : either Llewellyn was NOT of the direct line and therefore had his own arms or there had been other arms adopted (the Hendre arms he refers to are "Argent, on a chevron gules 3 fleur-de-lys Or").
Unless there is some source that has been overlooked I think we are stuck on this one  :)

Maec

PS I found the following related history which you may find interesting "www.peoplescollection.wales/content/branas-ucha--house-history"
Baron (of Blackburn), Chadwick (Oswaldtwistle), Watkins (Swansea), Jones (x3 Swansea), Colton (Shropshire), Knight (Shropshire/Montgomery) , Bullen (Norfolk), White (Dorset)

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Offline MaecW

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Re: Finding the arms of Llywelyn Ddu of Cymmer
« Reply #2 on: Monday 17 October 16 11:51 BST (UK) »
Just some additional explanation of the use of "Ancestral" arms in early Welsh heraldry.
Welsh "gentry" (local Lords or Chiefs) could trace their ancestry back many generations through pedigrees maintained by their bards. Because, under Welsh custom, land was usually divided up between the sons of a land-holder on his death many of these pedigrees led back to a small group of "original" ancestors. (see Wikipedia entry The fifteen tribes of Wales )
With the adoption of heraldry in the 14th and 15th centuries these "founding fathers", in this case Owen Brogyntyn, were allocated backdated Arms which were then used by most, if not all, of his male descendants, as all or part of their own arms to indicate their descent. The heraldic bards of the 15th and 16th century faced with constant repetitions of the same arms adopted the shorthand of just giving the name of the founding ancestor rather than having to write out a description of the blazon of his arms each time.
In the pedigree quoted in the original query it looks to me as though the reference to the arms of Llewellyn Ddu as being quartered with those of Owen Brogyntyn implies the Llewellyn's arms were different from Owen's and were sufficiently well known to the Heralds of the time that they did not need to be spelt out. Unfortunately it looks as if that knowledge has now been lost.

Maec
Baron (of Blackburn), Chadwick (Oswaldtwistle), Watkins (Swansea), Jones (x3 Swansea), Colton (Shropshire), Knight (Shropshire/Montgomery) , Bullen (Norfolk), White (Dorset)