Rhys ap Gruffudd, Prince of South Wales

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Rhys ap Gruffudd, Prince of South Wales's Geni Profile

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Rhys ap Gruffudd, Prince of South Wales

Also Known As: "Prince of Wales", "The Lord Rhys", "Yr Arglwydd Rhys", "Prince of Deheubarth"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Dynevor Castle, Llandilio, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Death: Died in St Davids, Pebidiog, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Cause of death: Pestilence
Place of Burial: St. David's Pebidiog, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Gruffydd ap Rhys and Gwenllian II verch Gruffydd
Husband of Gwenllian verch Madog
Partner of Un-named Mistress of Rhys ap Gruffudd, mother of two of Rhys's children; Ystedur verch Caradog; Nest verch Caradog Fychan; Nest verch Gruffudd; N.N. verch Dafydd Fras and 4 others
Father of Maredudd Ddall ap Rhys; Tangwystl verch Rhys; Hywel "Sais" (The English-Speaker) ap Rhys, arglwydd of Sanclêr; Morgan ap Rhys; Cynwrig ap Rhys and 20 others
Brother of Morgan ap Gruffydd; Maelgwn ap Gruffydd; Owain ap Gruffudd; Maredudd ap Gruffudd; Rhys "Fychan" ap Gruffydd and 6 others
Half brother of Anarawd ap Gruffydd; Cadell ap Gruffydd; Gwladus (or Anne) verch Gruffydd; Angharad ferch Gruffudd; Nest verch Gruffydd and 1 other

Occupation: The Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth, Prince of Wales, King of Deheubarth, King Of Deheubarth
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rhys ap Gruffudd, Prince of South Wales

He was under fourteen in 1136, so was left home when Gwenllian rode out to war, and therefore survived, as his older brothers did not. He became a skilled warrior and diplomat; Henry II made him the justiciar of South Wales in 1172. The title which translates to "The Lord Rhys" was not used in his lifetime, and does not appear in the Brut.

The "greatness" of his rule can in large part be attributed to his ability to not only fight the Anglo-Normans, but make treaties with them, an unusual gift. His agreement with King Henry II (1171), which affirmed his independent status under the Crown, lasted until Henry's death.

In April 1197 Rhys died unexpectedly and was buried in St David's Cathedral. The chronicler of Brut y Tywysogion records for 1197: “ ... there was a great pestilence throughout the island of Britain ... and that tempest killed innumerable people and many of the nobility and many princes, and spared none. That year, four days before May Day, died Rhys ap Gruffydd, Prince of Deheubarth and unconquered head of all Wales." Jones, T., ed. 1941. Brut y Tywysogion: Peniarth MS. 20. University of Wales Press, p. 138.

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Proprietary Prince of Deheubarth

Prince the Welsh

The Lord Rhys, in Welsh Yr Arglwydd Rhys

Rhys had at least nine sons and eight daughters.

Three of the sons were named Maredudd Some sources seem to show that there were two daughters named Gwenllian, but the chronology holds for only one.

Gruffydd ap Rhys II (died 1201) was the eldest legitimate son. He married Matilda de Braose, the daughter of Maud [or William] de Braose.

Maelgwn ap Rhys (died 1231), who was the eldest son but illegitimate.

Rhys Gryg (died 1233) married a daughter of the Earl of Clare.

Hywel ap Rhys (died 1231) became known as Hywel Sais (Hywel the Saxon, i.e. Englishman).

Maredudd ap Rhys (died 1239) became known as Maredudd Ddall (Maredudd the Blind). He ended his days as a monk at Whitland Abbey.

Another Maredudd (died 1227) became Archdeacon of Cardigan.

Gwenllian ferch Rhys married Rhodri ab Owain, prince of the western part of Gwynedd.

Another Gwenllian (died 1236) married Ednyfed Fychan

Angharad ferch Rhys married William FitzMartin, lord of Cemais.

Other daughters married the Welsh rulers of Gwrtheyrnion and Elfael.


Lord Chief Justice of South Wales by Henry I

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Rhys ap Gruffudd, Prince of South Wales's Timeline

1125
1125
Dynevor Castle, Llandilio, Carmarthenshire, Wales
1150
1150
Age 25
Carmarthenshire, Wales
1150
Age 25
Dynevor Castle, Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales
1151
1151
Age 26
Dynevor Castle, Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales
1151
Age 26
Castle, Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales
1155
1155
Age 30
1155
Age 30
Wales, United Kingdom
1157
1157
Age 32
Carmarthenshire, Wales