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.'
Published date: 1959
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