The first Jago 

Here is what I found out.


The first Jago!

Back ground to Iago, King of Gwynedd (c.560-613) in English and Latin (Latin: Iacobus; English: James or Jacob)

Iago in Welsh and Celtic

Iago was the son of King Beli ap Rhun. In AD 588, this ageing monarch offered sanctuary to the exiled King Edwin of Deira. Edwin was but a toddler of four years, who had managed to escape with some of his fellow countrymen when the power-hungry, King Aethelfrith of Bernicia, invaded his homeland and murdered his father. Iago seems to have raised Edwin along with his own son, Cadfan. This act of compassion was not without risk however, for, as the young Deiran grew older, he became a threat to Aethelfrith’s position as King of a united Northumbria. The Bernician eventually marched on Gwynedd in AD 613. Iago rallied the combined British armies of the South behind him, and the two clashed at Caer-Legion (Chester). The outcome was unresolved and both sides claimed victory, but one thing i certain: King Iago was killed in the slaughter.”                                                                                

Iago ap Beli, King of Gwynedd and reputed benefactor of Bangor Cathedral which is shown in the photograph as it is to-day. Died in 616 Iago ap Beli had a son:

  • Cadfan ap Iago

Other royalty with the name Jago 
known as King of the Britons, Iago ap Idwal (950 – 979)  He was named by the Annals of Ulster
Iago was the son of Idwal Foel, and on his father’s death in battle in 942 would have expected to succeed to the rule of Gwynedd together with his brother Ieuaf ab Idwal. However Hywel Dda King of Deheubarth took the opportunity to invade Gwynedd and dispose of the young princes.
On Hywel’s death in 950 Iago and Ieuaf were able to claim the throne of Gwynedd, driving out the sons of Hywel. Fighting continued between the two dynasties, with Iago and Ieuaf raiding as far south as Dyfed in 952 and the sons of Howell raiding as far north as the Conwy valley in 954 before being defeated in battle at Llanrwst and chased back to Ceredigion.
The sons of Idwal quarrelled and Iago took Ieuaf prisoner in 969. Despite a temporary defeat in 974 Iago ruled Gwynedd until 979 when he in turn was taken prisoner by Ieuaf’s son, Hywel ab Ieuaf, who took over his kingdom. There appears to be no record of Iago’s fate.

Cynan ab Iago (died c. 1060) was a Welsh Prince, the son of Iago ab Idwal, King of Gwynedd and father of Gruffydd ap Cynan who also became king of Gwynedd.


Iago ab Idwal was king of Gwynedd from 1023 to 1039, but in the latter year he was killed by one of his own men and the throne was seized by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. Cynan was forced to flee to Ireland and took refuge at the Danish settlement of Dublin. He married Ragnaillt daughter of Olaf of Dublin, son of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and a member of the Hiberno-Norse dynasty. Ragnaillt, who appears in the list of the fair women of Ireland in the Book of Leinster, was also a descendant of Brian Boru.

Cynan may have died fairly soon after the birth of their son Gruffydd ap Cynan, for the near-contemporary biography of Gruffydd details Cynan’s ancestry but does not refer to him in its account of Gruffydd’s youth; describing Gruffydd’s mother telling him who his father was and what patrimony he could claim. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was killed in 1063, by his own men according to Brut y Tywysogion. The Ulster Chronicle however states that it was Cynan ap Iago who killed him.

As his son Gruffydd was supposedly born c. 1055, the date of death “1039” is doubtful (Gruffydd died 1137).

Cynan’s claim to the throne of Gwynedd was passed on to his son. When Gruffydd first appeared on the scene in Wales the Welsh annals several times refer to him as “grandson of Iago” rather than the more usual “son of Cynan”, indicating that his father was little known in


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