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 married, 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 September, but Rhys was still at large, and active enough until Newcastle Emlyn, too, was taken, 20 January 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 was conniving. However, he was caught, and in 1292 was executed at York.
Published date: 1959
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