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Rhys ap Tewdwr

Rhys ap Tewdwr (d. 1093), king of Deheubarth (c.1078–93), known later as Rhys the Great. A descendant of Hywel Dda, he came to power in 1075, though only at the battle of Mynydd Carn (1081), and with Gruffydd ap Cynan's aid, did he defeat his rivals and relatives. By then the Norman advances in Wales had begun. William I travelled to St Davids in 1081, probably to assert his authority over Rhys, who may have acknowledged the king's overlordship. Rhys's power was resented by other Welsh rulers, and in 1088 those in Powys forced him into exile in Ireland; the Scandinavians of Dublin helped him to return. He also defeated his rivals in Deheubarth (1091). After William I's death (1087), Rhys tried to stop further Norman incursions, but was killed near Brecon. His son Gruffydd was taken to Ireland for safety; when he returned, he failed to recreate his father's dominion.

Ralph Alan Griffiths

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