Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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RHYS ap MAREDUDD (d. 1292 ), lord of Dryslwyn in Ystrad Tywi .

Leader of a revolt in 1287-8 against Edward I , was the son of Maredudd , son of Rhys Gryg . In 1277 he had submitted to Edward , surrendering the castle of Dinefwr , but being allowed to retain Dryslwyn . In 1282 prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd put forward ‘grievances’ on Rhys 's behalf against the royal officers in west Wales , but Rhys himself not only abstained from revolt but gave assistance to Edward , joining in the attack on Llanbadarn and patrolling Ceredigion for the king in the absence of the royal commander . After 1283 he was recognized as ‘ dominus de Estretewy ’ and was granted the homages of Welsh chieftains in north Carmarthenshire ; he m., in 1285 , Ada de Hastings , and received with her the castle of Newcastle Emlyn . But the actions of the royal officials of the shire irked him, and moreover he had a feud with the Giffards of Iscennen ( Llandovery ). His grievances, however, as T. F. Tout puts it, were ‘those of a Marcher rather than those of a Welshman .’ He revolted against Edward , 8 June 1287 , overran Iscennen and expelled Giffard , ravaged much territory in west Wales as far as Llanbadarn and, possibly, even in Brycheiniog . The regent (the earl of Cornwall ) directed a great converging movement of royal troops upon Dryslwyn , which was taken c. 5 Sept., but Rhys was still at large, and active enough until Newcastle Emlyn , too, was taken, 20 Jan. 1288 . He was in flight in 1289 ; a writ states that he was likely to attempt an escape to Ireland , and there were suspicions that Gilbert IV of Gloucester (see under Clare family ) was conniving. However, he was caught, and in 1292 was executed at York .

Sources:

  • J. E. Morris , The Welsh Wars of Edward I a contribution to mediaeval military history, based on original documents , Oxford, 1901 ;
  • Brut y Tywysogion, Peniarth MS. 20 , 1941 , sub anno 1290, says that Rhys was betrayed by his own men in the woods of the commote of Malláen (N. Carms.).

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959