BLEDRI ap CYDIFOR (fl. 1116-30), chieftain

Name: Bledri Ap Cydifor
Parent: Cadifor Fawr
Gender: Male
Occupation: chieftain
Area of activity: Military; Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: John Edward Lloyd

The Normans entrusted the castle of Robert Courtemayn near Carmarthen, situated perhaps at Abercywyn, to him during the Welsh revolt of 1116. He figures in the Pipe Roll of 1130 as ‘Bledericus Walensis,’ who owes £1 for the killing of a Fleming by his men and one mark in respect of scutage. The cartulary of Carmarthen priory shows that, at some time between 1129 and 1134, ‘Bledericus’ bestowed on that house four carucates of land in Eglwys Newydd, now Newchurch. In this record, he bears the title ‘Latemeri,’ i.e. interpreter, which confirms the impression that he was a Welshman of consequence in this district who maintained friendly relations with the invader. His descendants remained prominent landowners hereabouts for centuries. They were to be found at Cil Sant, Pwll Dyfach, Motlysgwm, and Picton.

Bledri is an unusual name, and it is natural to identify the Carmarthen magnate with the ‘Bledhericus’ of Gerald of Wales, whom he describes as a famous romancer, not long dead. Norman French, it is certain, was a familiar tongue to one who acted as interpreter between the two races. It is a further step, not accepted on all hands, to find in the same man the ‘Breri’ who is treated as an authority about 1160 by the author of a French romance of Tristan, and also the ‘Bleheris’ of an early form of the Perceval legend.

Author

Published date: 1959

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