Son of Rhys ap Tewdwr and Gwladus, daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn. When the old South Wales monarchy disintegrated on the fall of Rhys ap Tewdwr in 1093, Gruffydd, the infant heir, was taken to Ireland where he was given asylum during childhood and early manhood. When he returned in 1113, the patriotic support of his younger countrymen was made useless by the cautious conduct of elements as yet indisposed to resist the Norman monarchy, including Gruffudd ap Cynan who was prepared to hand his young kinsman over to Henry I when in 1115 he sought sanctuary in Gwynedd. The failure of the resistance movement which reached its climax in the open rebellion of 1116 was inevitable. Gruffydd ap Rhys nevertheless reached an accommodation with Henry and was given land in the commote of Caeo. Apart from a brief intermission in 1127, involving a second exile in Ireland, he appears to have lived a quiet existence there until after Henry's death. There also no doubt were born Maredudd and Rhys, his sons by Gwenllian, daughter of Gruffudd ap Cynan, Anarawd and Cadell being evidently children of an earlier union. In the general revolt which spread throughout Wales when Henry died, he took a prominent part, being present at the decisive battle of Crug Mawr in 1136. In the following year he died, predeceased by the redoubtable Gwenllian. It fell to the lot of his youngest son, Rhys (1132 - 1197), to rebuild the family fortunes.
Published date: 1959
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