Deheubarth

Last updated
Kingdom of Deheubarth
Teyrnas Deheubarth
920–1197
Flag of Deheubarth.svg
Banner of the House of Dinefwr
Coat of arms of Deheubarth.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem
Unbennaeth Prydain
"The Monarchy of Britain" [1] [2] [3]
Location of Deheubarth Medieval Wales.JPG
Location of Deheubarth
Medieval kingdoms of Wales.
Capital Dinefwr
Languages Welsh
Government Monarchy
King
  920–950 Hywel Dda
  1081 Rhys ap Tewdwr
  1155–1197 Rhys ap Gruffydd
Historical era Middle Ages
  Established920
  Disestablished1197
Currency ceiniog cyfreith &
ceiniog cwta
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Seisyllwg
Blank.png Kingdom of Dyfed
Principality of Wales Flag of Gwynedd.png
^

Deheubarth (Welsh pronunciation:  [dɛˈhəɨbarθ] ; lit. "Right-hand Part", thus "the South") [4] was a regional name for the realms of south Wales, particularly as opposed to Gwynedd (Latin: Venedotia). It is now used as a shorthand for the various realms united under the House of Dinefwr, but that Deheubarth itself was not considered a proper kingdom on the model of Gwynedd, Powys, or Dyfed [5] is shown by its rendering in Latin as dextralis pars or as Britonnes dexterales ("the Southern Britons") and not as a named land. [6] In the oldest British writers, Deheubarth was used for all of modern Wales to distinguish it from Hen Ogledd ( Y Gogledd ), the northern lands whence Cunedda and the Cymry originated. [7]

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Kingdom of Gwynedd Kingdom in north Wales

The Principality or Kingdom of Gwynedd was a Roman Empire successor state that emerged in sub-Roman Britain in the 5th century during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain.

House of Dinefwr

The House of Dinefwr was a royal house of Wales and refers to the descendants of Cadell ap Rhodri, King of Seisyllwg, son of Rhodri the Great.

Contents

History

Cantrefi of Deheubarth, c. 1160. Deheubarth.PNG
Cantrefi of Deheubarth, c. 1160.
Dinefwr Castle, 1740 The south view of Denefawr-Castle, in the county of Caermarthen.jpeg
Dinefwr Castle, 1740
Part of a series on the
History of Wales
Welsh Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch).svg
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Flag of Wales 2.svg Walesportal

Deheubarth was united around 920 by Hywel Dda out of the territories of Seisyllwg and Dyfed, which had come into his possession. Later on, the Kingdom of Brycheiniog was also added. Caerleon was previously the principal court of the area, but Hywel's dynasty fortified and built up a new base at Dinefwr, near Llandeilo, giving them their name.

Hywel Dda Welsh monarch

Hywel Dda or Hywel ap Cadell was a King of Deheubarth who eventually came to rule most of Wales. He became the sole king of Seisyllwg in 920 and shortly thereafter established Deheubarth, and proceeded to gain control over the entire country from Prestatyn to Pembroke. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr through his father Cadell, Hywel was a member of the Dinefwr branch of the dynasty. He was recorded as King of the Britons in the Annales Cambriae and the Annals of Ulster.

Seisyllwg kingdom in west Britain

Seisyllwg was a petty kingdom of medieval Wales. It is unclear when it emerged as a distinct unit, but according to later sources it consisted of the former Kingdom of Ceredigion plus the region known as Ystrad Tywi. Thus it covered the modern county of Ceredigion, part of Carmarthenshire, and the Gower Peninsula. It is evidently named after Seisyll, king of Ceredigion in the 7th or early 8th century, but it is unknown if he was directly responsible for its establishment. In the 10th century Seisyllwg became the center of power for Hywel Dda, who came to rule most of Wales. In 920 Hywel merged Seisyllwg with the Kingdom of Dyfed to form the new kingdom of Deheubarth.

Kingdom of Dyfed kingdom in west of Wales

The Kingdom of Dyfed is one of several Welsh petty kingdoms that emerged in 5th-century sub-Roman Britain in southwest Wales based on the former territory of the Demetae. Following the Norman invasion of Wales between 1067–1100, the region was conquered by the Normans and by 1138 incorporated into a new shire called Pembrokeshire after the Norman castle built in the Cantref of Penfro and under the rule of the Marcher Earl of Pembroke.

After the high-water mark set by Hywel, Dinefwr was repeatedly overrun. First, by the Welsh of the north and east: by Llywelyn ap Seisyll of Gwynedd in 1018; by Rhydderch ab Iestyn of Morgannwg in 1023; by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of Gwynedd in 1041 and 1043. In 1075, Rhys ab Owain and the noblemen of Ystrad Tywi succeeded in treacherously killing their English-backed overlord Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Although Rhys was quickly overrun by Gwynedd and Gwent, his cousin Rhys ap Tewdwr through his marriage into Bleddyn's family and through battle reëstablished his dynasty's hegemony over south Wales just in time for the second wave of conquest: a prolonged Norman invasion under the Marcher Lords. In 1093, Rhys was killed in unknown circumstances while resisting their expansion into Brycheiniog and his son Gruffydd was briefly thrown into exile.

Llywelyn ap Seissyll was an 11th-century King of Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth.

Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Welsh monarch

Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was the King of Wales from 1055 to 1063. He was the son of King Llywelyn ap Seisyll and Angharad, daughter of Maredudd ab Owain. He was the great-great-grandson of Hywel Dda.

Rhys ab Owain was a king of Deheubarth in southern Wales.

Following the death of Henry I, in 1136 Gruffydd formed an alliance with Gwynedd for the purpose of a revolt against Norman incursions. He took part in Owain Gwynedd and Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd's victory over the English at Crug Mawr. The newly liberated region of Ceredigion, though, was not returned to his family but annexed by Owain.

Henry I of England 12th-century King of England and Duke of Normandy

Henry I, also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. Henry was the fourth son of William the Conqueror and was educated in Latin and the liberal arts. On William's death in 1087, Henry's elder brothers Robert Curthose and William Rufus inherited Normandy and England, respectively, but Henry was left landless. Henry purchased the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but William and Robert deposed him in 1091. Henry gradually rebuilt his power base in the Cotentin and allied himself with William against Robert. Henry was present when William died in a hunting accident in 1100, and he seized the English throne, promising at his coronation to correct many of William's less popular policies. Henry married Matilda of Scotland but continued to have a large number of mistresses by whom he had many illegitimate children.

Owain ap Gruffudd was King of Gwynedd, North Wales, from 1137 until his death in 1170, succeeding his father Gruffudd ap Cynan. He was called "Owain the Great" and the first to be styled "Prince of Wales". He is considered to be the most successful of all the North Welsh princes prior to his grandson, Llywelyn the Great. He became known as Owain Gwynedd to distinguish him from the contemporary king of Powys Wenwynwyn, Owain ap Gruffydd ap Maredudd, who became known as Owain Cyfeiliog.

Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd was the third son of Gruffudd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd, and brother of Owain Gwynedd.

The long and capable rule of Gruffydd's son the Lord Rhys and the civil wars that followed Owain's death in Gwynedd briefly permitted the South to reassert the hegemony Hywel Dda had enjoyed two centuries before. On his death in 1197, though, Rhys redivided his kingdom among his several sons and none of them ever again rivalled his power. By the time Llywelyn the Great won the wars in Gwynedd, in the late 12th century, lords in Deheubarth merely appear among his clients.

Llywelyn the Great Prince of Gwynedd and de facto Prince of Wales

Llywelyn the Great, full name Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, was a King of Gwynedd in north Wales and eventually ruler of all Wales. By a combination of war and diplomacy he dominated Wales for 45 years.

Following the conquest of Wales by Edward I, the South was divided into the historic counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire by the Statute of Rhuddlan.

Historic counties of Wales Wikimedia list article

The historic counties of Wales are sub-divisions of Wales. They were used for various functions for several hundred years, but have been largely superseded by contemporary sub-national divisions, some of which bear some limited similarity to the historic entities in name and extent. They are alternatively known as ancient counties.

Ceredigion County

Ceredigion is a county in Wales, known prior to 1974 as Cardiganshire. During the second half of the first millennium Ceredigion was a minor kingdom. It has been administered as a county since 1282. Welsh is spoken by more than half the population. Ceredigion is considered to be a centre of Welsh culture. The county is mainly rural with over 50 miles (80 km) of coastline and a mountainous hinterland. The numerous sandy beaches, together with the long-distance Ceredigion Coast Path provide excellent views of Cardigan Bay.

Carmarthenshire unitary authority

Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in southwest Wales, and one of the historic counties of Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford. Carmarthen is the county town and administrative centre.

Religion

In the arena of the church, Sulien was the leader of the monastic community at Llanbadarn Fawr in Ceredigion. Born ca. 1030, he became Bishop of St David's in 1073 and again in 1079/80. Both of his sons followed him into the service of the church. At this time the prohibition against the marriage of clerics was not yet established. His sons produced a number of manuscripts and original Latin and vernacular poems. They were very active in the ecclesiastical and political life of Deheubarth. One son, Rhygyfarch (Latin: Ricemarchus) of Llanbadarn Fawr, wrote the Life of Saint David and another, Ieuan, was a skillful scribe and illuminator. He copied some the works of Augustine of Hippo and may have written the Life of St. Padarn.

See also

Related Research Articles

Rhys ap Gruffydd ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth

Rhys ap Gruffydd or ap Gruffudd was the ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth in south Wales from 1155 to 1197. Today, he is commonly known as The Lord Rhys, in Welsh Yr Arglwydd Rhys, although this title may have not been used in his lifetime. He usually used the title "Proprietary Prince of Deheubarth" or "Prince of South Wales", but two documents have been discovered in which he uses the title "Prince of Wales" or "Prince of the Welsh". Rhys was one of the most successful and powerful Welsh princes, and, after the death of Owain Gwynedd of Gwynedd in 1170, the dominant power in Wales.

Kingdom of Powys kingdom in mid Wales

The Kingdom of Powys was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain. It very roughly covered the top two thirds of the modern county of Powys and part of the West Midlands. More precisely, and based on the Romano-British tribal lands of the Ordovices in the west and the Cornovii in the east, its boundaries originally extended from the Cambrian Mountains in the west to include the modern West Midlands region of England in the east. The fertile river valleys of the Severn and Tern are found here, and this region is referred to in later Welsh literature as "the Paradise of Powys".

Rhys ap Tewdwr Welsh prince

Rhys ap Tewdwr was a king of Deheubarth in Wales and member of the Dinefwr dynasty, a branch descended from Rhodri the Great. He was born in the area which is now Carmarthenshire and died at the battle of Brecon in April 1093.

Aberystwyth Castle Grade I listed castle in Ceredigion

Aberystwyth Castle is a Grade I listed Edwardian fortress located in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Mid Wales. It was built in response to the First Welsh War in the late 13th century, replacing an earlier fortress located a mile to the south. During a national uprising by Owain Glyndŵr, the Welsh captured the castle in 1404, but it was recaptured by the English four years later. In 1637 it became a Royal mint by Charles I, and produced silver shillings. The castle was slighted by Oliver Cromwell in 1649.

Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd was Princess consort of Deheubarth in Wales, and married to Gruffydd ap Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth. Gwenllian was the daughter of Gruffudd ap Cynan (1055–1137), Prince of Gwynedd and Angharad ferch Owain, and a member of the princely Aberffraw family of Gwynedd. Gwenllian's "patriotic revolt" and subsequent death in battle at Kidwelly Castle contributed to the Great Revolt of 1136.

Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, sometimes spelled Blethyn, was an 11th-century Welsh king. Harold Godwinson and Tostig Godwinson installed him as the ruler of Gwynedd on his father's death in 1063, during their destruction of the kingdom of Bleddyn's half-brother, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. He became king of Powys on his brother Rhiwallon's death in 1069. His descendants continued to rule Powys as the House of Mathrafal.

Maredudd ab Owain 10th-century king in Wales

Maredudd ab Owain was a 10th-century king in Wales of the High Middle Ages. A member of the House of Dinefwr, his patrimony was the kingdom of Deheubarth comprising the southern realms of Dyfed, Ceredigion, and Brycheiniog. Upon the death of his father King Owain around AD 988, he also inherited the kingdoms of Gwynedd and Powys, which he had conquered for his father. He was counted among the Kings of the Britons by the Chronicle of the Princes.

Caradog ap Gruffydd was a Prince of Gwent in south-east Wales in the time of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn and the Norman conquest, who reunified his family's inheritance of Morgannwg and made repeated attempts to reunite southern Wales by claiming the inheritance of the Kingdom of Deheubarth.

Brycheiniog Kingdom in mid Wales

Brycheiniog was an independent kingdom in South Wales in the Early Middle Ages. It often acted as a buffer state between England to the east and the powerful south Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth to the west. It was conquered and pacified by the Normans between 1088 and 1095, though it remained Welsh in character. It was transformed into the Lordship of Brecknock and later formed the southern and larger part of the historic county of Brecknockshire. To its south was the Kingdom of Morgannwg.

Dinefwr Castle Grade I listed building in Llandeilo.

Dinefwr Castle is a Welsh castle overlooking the River Tywi near the town of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It lies on a ridge on the northern bank of the Tywi, with a steep drop of one hundred feet to the river. Dinefwr was the chief seat of the Kingdom of Deheubarth. The castle is a Grade I listed building.

This article is about the particular significance of the century 1101 - 1200 to Wales and its people.

This article is about the particular significance of the century 1001 - 1100 to Wales and its people.

Wales in the Middle Ages period of history

Wales in the Middle Ages covers the history of the region that is now called Wales, from the departure of the Romans in the early fifth century, until the annexation of Wales into the Kingdom of England in the early sixteenth century.

This article is about the particular significance of the century 901 - 1000 to Wales and its people.

History of Gwynedd during the High Middle Ages

The history of Gwynedd in the High Middle Ages is a period in the History of Wales spanning the 11th through the 13th centuries. Gwynedd, located in the north of Wales, eventually became the most dominant of Welsh principalities during this period. Distinctive achievements in Gwynedd include further development of Medieval Welsh literature, particularly poets known as the Beirdd y Tywysogion associated with the court of Gwynedd; the reformation of bardic schools; and the continued development of Cyfraith Hywel. All three of these further contributed to the development of a Welsh national identity in the face of Anglo-Norman encroachment of Wales.

The House of Aberffraw is a historiographical and genealogical term historians use to illustrate the clear line of succession from Rhodri the Great of Wales through his eldest son Anarawd.

The House of Mathrafal began as a cadet branch of the House of Dinefwr, taking their name from Mathrafal Castle, their principal seat and effective capital. Although their fortunes rose and fell over the generations, they are primarily remembered as kings of Powys in central Wales.

References

  1. Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Law . Oxford Univ., 1909. Accessed 1 Feb 2013.
  2. Bradley, A.G. Owen Glyndwr and the Last Struggle for Welsh Independence . G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York), 1901. Accessed 1 Feb 2013.
  3. Jenkins, John. Poetry of Wales Archived 2008-06-07 at the Wayback Machine.. Houlston & Sons (London), 1873. Accessed 1 Feb 2013.
  4. The orientation of Medieval maps and geographical thinking was towards the east. Facing east, north was thus on the "left-hand" side and south on the right.
  5. Ellis, Thos. P. Welsh Tribal Law & Custom in the Middle Ages , Vol. I, iii, §3. 1926. Accessed 1 February 2013.
  6. Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Laws . Oxford Uni., 1909. Accessed 31 January 2013.
  7. Williams, Jane. A History of Wales . Cambridge University Press, 2010. Accessed 1 February 2013.

Coordinates: 53°14′00″N4°01′00″W / 53.2333°N 4.0166°W / 53.2333; -4.0166