Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ANARAWD ap GRUFFYDD (d. 1143 ), prince .

He was the eldest son of Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr , and, on the death of his father in 1137 , stepped into his position as leader of the men of Deheubarth . He had already, in spite of his youth, showed in this year some independence; the S. Davids chronicle records how, without the assent of his father, he slew Letard ‘ Little King ’ — a local tyrant , as his name suggests, who from his seat at Letterston had persecuted the clergy and people of the Pebidiog peninsula .

In 1138 , with his brother Cadell , he joined Owain and Cadwaladr , now dominating Ceredigion , in an attack upon Cardigan castle which was still held by the Normans ; a formidable array of Viking ships appeared in furtherance of the enterprise at the mouth of the Teify , but hostilities were suspended by a truce and nothing came of the endeavour.

Anarawd again appears in association with the Northerners in 1140 , when Owain and Cadwaladr appealed to bishop Bernard to support them in their opposition to the appointment of Meurig as bishop of Bangor ; and proposed a conference at Aberdovey to which the Southern leader should be invited. This harmony was rudely broken in 1143 , when Anarawd was treacherously murdered by the war band of Cadwaladr , notwithstanding a marriage alliance between the two families. Owain showed his sense of the tragedy by driving his brother from northern Ceredigion and forcing him to take refuge in Ireland .

Anarawd left a son EINION , who was slain in 1163 by his own man, Walter ap Llywarch , at the instigation, it was believed, of earl Roger of Hereford . It may be inferred from the account that Einion was the ‘ penteulu ’ ( captain of the war band ) of the Lord Rhys .’


  • A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 475-6, 484, 489, 507, 513-4.


Sir John Edward Lloyd, D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. (1861-1947), Bangor

Published date: 1959