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Llywarch Hen, King of South Rheged

(Welsh-Llywarch, Latin-Lovarcus, English-Lewis)

The son of Elidyr Llydanwyn, Llywarch the Old was the last King of South Rheged. Driven out by invading Saxons, he and his large family fled to Penllyn in Powys where he became a renowned poet in early 7th century Britain. The best known poems attributed to him are those lamenting the deaths of his cousin, Urien Rheged, Cynddylan of Pengwern and Llywarch's own sons. He was apparently present at the former's assassination, and it was left to Llywarch to recover the unfortunate Urien's head! Traditionally Llywarch had a huge family, though the numbers vary according to the source. He lived to the age of 100 and died in 634.


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