Rhys ap Gruffydd
Rhys ap Gruffydd was ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth from 1155 to 1197. His grandfather, Rhys ap Tewdwr, had been king of all DeheUBarth until his death in 1093. He revolted against Richard I and attacked the Norman lordships surrounding his territory, capturing a number of castles. He died unexpectedly in 1196 and was buried in St David’s Cathedral.
About Rhys ap Gruffydd in brief
Rhys ap Gruffydd was ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth from 1155 to 1197. He was one of the most successful and powerful Welsh princes. His grandfather, Rhys ap Tewdwr, had been king of all DeheUBarth until his death in 1093. Rhys revolted against Richard I and attacked the Norman lordships surrounding his territory, capturing a number of castles. In his later years Rhys had trouble keeping control of his sons, particularly Maelgwn and GruffYdd, who maintained a feud with each other. He died unexpectedly in 1196 and was buried in St David’s Cathedral. He is commonly known as The Lord Rhys, in Welsh Yr Arglwydd Rhys – although this title may have not been used in his lifetime. He usually used the title “Proprietary Prince of De heubarth” or “Prince of South Wales”, but two documents have been discovered in which he uses the title ‘Prince of Wales’ He was married to Gwenllian ferch Madog, daughter of Madog ap Maredudd, the last Prince of all Powys. He had two older half-brothers, Anarawd and Cadell, from his father’s first marriage. He later formed an alliance with Gwynllian’s husband, Gwenwel ap Cynan, taking an army against the Norman Lordship of Cydweli. In 1136 his two oldest sons, Morgan and MaelGwn, along with her husband, were defeated and killed by an army commanded by Maurice de Londres of Oyster.
In the absence of Gwynwel, his eldest son Morgan was also killed and captured by the Normans in 1136. His next older brother was Maringudd ap GruFFydd, and there were older brothers, Morgan, Mael gwn, and Mairgwn, who were killed in battle with their mother in1136. He also had a younger half-sister, Mair Gwynedd, who was killed in a battle with the Norman lordship of Lough Bychan in 1138. His last son, Mares, was killed when he tried to take the throne of Wales from King Henry II of England in 1189. He went on to become the Justiciar of south Wales and was the last Welsh prince to die in office. His death in 1197 was followed by the death of King Richard I of England and the rise of Stephen and Matilda to the English throne. The death of Henry I and the ensuing Anarchy gave the Welsh the opportunity to rise against theNormans. A revolt spread through south Wales in 1135, and Rhys and his two eldest sons defeated the Norman apor, killing over five hundred. After a battle near Cantref Mawr, Gruff-in-chan, Gruf-in set off to enlist the help of Walter de Clifford to enlist his father-inlaw Gwenlleth ap-Cynan.