Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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CARADOG ap GRUFFYDD ap RHYDDERCH (d. 1081 ).

The grandson of Rhydderch ap Iestyn , powerful in South Wales until his death in 1033 , and the son of Gruffydd ap Rhydderch , the rival of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn , by whom he was slain in 1055 .

The home of the family would seem to have been Gwynllwg and Upper Gwent . It is in this quarter of Wales that Caradog makes his first appearance in 1065 , when he swooped upon earl Harold 's new hunting lodge at Portskewet , destroyed it and ravaged the neighbourhood, without apparently suffering any reprisals. He was of a bold and adventurous temper and, remembering the exploits of his grandfather and father, set himself to conquer the realm of Deheubarth . In 1072 he defeated and slew the reigning prince , Maredudd ab Owain ab Edwin , in a battle on the Rhymney , and in 1078 slew his successor, Rhys ab Owain . But a third and more formidable opponent appeared in Rhys ap Tewdwr in 1081 . Thus the stage was set for the famous battle of Mynydd Carn fought somewhere in northern Dyfed , where Rhys , fortified by the approval of bishop Sulien of S. Davids and with the help of Gruffudd ap Cynan , inflicted a crushing defeat upon Caradog and his northern allies.

Caradog is no more heard of; he left a son, Owain , on whom see the article Morgan ap Hywel , who in course of time established himself in Gwynllwg and became the ancestor of the later Welsh lords of Caerleon .

Sources:

  • J. E. Lloyd, A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 372-3, 377, 384-5, 393.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959