Gruffydd ap Rhys

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About Gruffydd ap Rhys

  • Gruffydd ap Rhys

born about 1081 Llandilo, Carmarthanshire, Wales

died April 1137


  • Rhys ap Tewdwr

born about 0997 Carmarthanshire, Wales or Brittany, France

died 1093 Brecknock, Breconshire, Wales


  • Gwladys verch Rhiwallon

born about 1041 Powys, Wales


  • Llywelyn "Ddiriaid" ap Rhys born about 1084 Dynevor, Llandyfeisant, Carmarthenshire, Wales
  • Margred verch Rhys born about 1089 Carmarthenshire, Wales
  • Nest verch Rhys Princess of Deuhebarth

born about 1073 Dynevor Castle, Carmarthenshire, Wales


  • Gwenllian verch Gruffydd

born about 1085? Aberffraw Castle, Caernarvonshire, Wales

died 1136 ?Battle of Maes?


  • Nest verch Gruffydd born about 1100 (or 1130?) Carmarthenshire, Wales

Morgan ap Gruffydd born about 1116 Carmarthenshire, Wales died 1136

  • Maelgwn ap Gruffydd born about 1119 Carmarthenshire, Wales died 1136?

Anarawd ap Gruffydd born about 1121 Carmarthenshire, Wales died 1143

Cadell ap Gruffydd born about 1125 Carmarthenshire, Wales

Owain ap Gruffydd born about 1126 Carmarthenshire, Wales

  • Rhys "Fychan" ap Gruffydd born about 1129 Dynevor Castle, Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales

died after 24 April 1197 buried St. David's, Pebidiog, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Maredudd ap Gruffydd born about 1128 Carmarthenshire, Wales died 1136

  • Gwladus verch Gruffydd born about 1130 Carmarthenshire, Wales

Son ap Gruffydd born about 1134 Carmarthenshire, Wales

biographical and/or anecdotal:

notes or source:

GRUFFYDD ap RHYS (c. 1090-1137), prince of Deheubarth; son of Rhys ap Tewdwr (q.v.) and Gwladus, daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn. When the old South Wales monarchy disintegrated on the fall of Rhys ap Tewdwr in 1093, Gruffydd, the infant heir, was taken to Ireland where he was given asylum during childhood and early manhood. When he returned in 1113, the patriotic support of his younger countrymen was made useless by the cautious conduct of elements as yet indisposed to resist the Norman monarchy, including Gruffudd ap Cynan (q.v.) who was prepared to hand his young kinsman over to Henry I when in 1115 he sought sanctuary in Gwynedd. The failure of the resistance movement which reached its climax in the open rebellion of 1116 was inevitable. Gruffydd ap Rhys nevertheless reached an accommodation with Henry and was given land in the commote of Caeo. Apart from a brief intermission in 1127, involving a second exile in Ireland, he appears to have lived a quiet existence there until after Henry's death. There also no doubt were b. Maredudd and Rhys, his sons by Gwenllian, daughter of Gruffudd ap Cynan, Anarawd and Cadell being evidently children of an earlier union. In the general revolt which spread throughout Wales when Henry d., he took a prominent part, being present at the decisive battle of Crug Mawr in 1136. In the following year he d., predeceased by the redoubtable Gwenllian (q.v.). It fell to the lot of his youngest son, Rhys (1132-1197) (q.v.), to rebuild the family fortunes.


Hist. W.


Professor Thomas Jones Pierce, M.A., F.S.A., (1905-1964), Aberystwyth


Gruffydd ap Rhys (died 1137) ruled a portion of Deheubarth, Wales.

Early life

Following the death of Gruffydd's father Rhys ap Tewdwr in 1093, Deheubarth was taken over by the Normans, and Gruffydd spent much of his early years in exile in Ireland.

He returned about 1113, and after several years of wandering from place to place was able to raise enough men to attack a number of Norman castles and towns in 1116 with some success. However an attack on Aberystwyth was defeated and Gruffydd's army dispersed.

Gruffydd came to terms with King Henry I of England and was allowed to rule a portion of his father's kingdom, the Cantref Mawr, although he was soon under pressure from the Normans again and was forced to flee to Ireland for a period in 1127.


In 1136 Gruffydd joined with Owain Gwynedd and Cadwaladr, the sons of Gruffydd ap Cynan of Gwynedd, in a rebellion against Norman rule. While Rhys was away from home, his wife Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd raised an army and attacked the Norman castle of Kidwelly but was defeated and killed.

Gruffydd himself with Owain and Cadwaladr gained a crushing victory over the Normans at Crug Mawr near Cardigan the same year.

Death and succession

In 1137 Gruffydd gained further success in Dyfed, but died shortly afterwards in uncertain circumstances.

Gruffydd had four sons by Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, Maredudd, Rhys, Morgan and Maelgwn. He also had two older sons by a previous marriage, Anarawd and Cadell, and at least two daughters, Gwladus and Nest. He was followed by his eldest son, Anarawd. Of his other sons, Cadell, Maredydd and Rhys (later known as The Lord Rhys) all ruled Deheubarth in turn. --------------------

   Gruffydd ap Rhys, Brenin Deheubarth was born circa 1075. He was the son of Rhys II ap Tewdwr, Brenin Deheubarth and Gwladus verch Rhiwallon o Powys.2 Gruffydd ap Rhys, Brenin Deheubarth was the successor of Rhys II ap Tewdwr, Brenin Deheubarth; King of Deheubarth.3 King of Deheubarth at Wales between 1093 and 1135.3 Gruffydd ap Rhys, Brenin Deheubarth married Gwenllian verch Gruffydd o Gwynedd, daughter of Gryffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd and Angharad ferch Owain of Tegeingl.1 Gruffydd ap Rhys, Brenin Deheubarth died in 1137.1 Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur 1137: "In this year died Gruffudd ap Rhys, the light and excellence and strength of all South Wales."4 -------------------- Rhys ap Tewdwr ruled from 1078 to 1093 and was able to fight off several attempts to dethrone him, considerably increasing the power of the kingdom. However the Normans were now encroaching on the eastern borders of Deheubarth, and in 1093 Rhys was killed in unknown circumstances while resisting their expansion in Brycheiniog. This led to the Norman conquest of most of his kingdom, with his son Gruffydd ap Rhys reduced to being a fugitive. Gruffydd did eventually become prince of a small part of his father's kingdom, but most was carved up into various Norman lordships.

There was a general Welsh revolt against the Normans in 1136, and Gruffydd formed an alliance with Gwynedd. Together with Owain Gwynedd and Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd of Gwynedd he won a victory against the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr near Cardigan. This liberated Ceredigion from Norman rule, but although it was historically part of Deheubarth it was taken over by Gwynedd as the senior partner in the alliance. Gruffydd was killed in unknown circumstances the following year.

Cantrefi of Deheubarth circa 1160

The rule of Deheubarth now fell to Gruffydd's sons, of whom four, Anarawd, Cadell, Maredudd and Rhys ap Gruffydd ruled in turn. The death of a ruler frequently led to disunity and struggles for supremacy, but the four brothers worked together to win back their grandfather's kingdom from the Normans and to expel Gwynedd from Ceredigion. Of the first three only Cadell reigned for more than a few years, but the youngest of the four, Rhys ap Gruffydd (The Lord Rhys) ruled from 1155 to 1197 and after Owain Gwynedd's death in 1170 made Deheubarth the most powerful of the Welsh kingdoms.

On Rhys ap Gruffydd's death in 1197 the kingdom was split between several of his sons, and Deheubarth did not again rival the power of Gwynedd. The early 13th century princes of Deheubarth usually appear as clients of Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd. Following the defeat of the princes of Gwynedd and the division of their realm authorised by the Statute of Rhuddlan, Deheubarth was divided into the historic counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

-------------------- Wikipedia

His Son Rhys ap Gruffydd or ap Gruffudd (1132 – 28 April 1197)

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Gruffydd ap Rhys's Timeline

Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Age 29
Carmarthenshire, Wales
Age 29
Age 32
Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, , Wales
Age 32
Carmarthenshire, Wales
Age 32
Dynevor Castle, Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Age 35
Carmarthenshire, Wales
Age 38
Carmarthenshire, Wales
Age 44
Dynevor Castle, Llandilio, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Age 45
Carmarthenshire, Wales