Caradog ap Gruffydd

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Caradog ap Gruffydd (died 1081) was a Prince of Gwent in south-east Wales who made repeated attempts to gain power over all of southern Wales by seizing the Kingdom of Deheubarth.

Lineage[edit]

Caradog was the grandson of Rhydderch ab Iestyn who had seized the throne of Deheubarth before his death in 1033. Caradog's father, Gruffydd ap Rhydderch also held sway in Deheubarth for a while before being eventually driven out and killed by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn who eventually ruled most of Wales.

Early career[edit]

The family's stronghold was the Kingdom of Gwent, and Caradog appears to have been able to add Morgannwg during his early career. He first appears in the historical record in 1065. Harold Godwinson, after defeating Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1063 had begun to build a hunting lodge in Portskewet. Caradog attacked and destroyed it, going on to ravage the district with his forces.

Ambition & Aggression[edit]

Caradog now set out to emulate his father and grandfather by adding Deheubarth to his realm. In 1072 he defeated and killed the ruler of Deheubarth, Maredudd ab Owain, in a battle by the Rhymney River.

In 1078 he won another victory over Rhys ab Owain who had succeeded Maredudd as prince of Deheubarth, killing him too.

By 1081 he had forced the new prince of Deheubarth, Rhys ap Tewdwr to flee to the St David's Cathedral.

Welsh Alliance Against Him[edit]

However the situation was changed by the arrival from Ireland of Gruffudd ap Cynan, who was aiming to seize the throne of Gwynedd from Trahaearn ap Caradog. Rhys ap Tewdwr and Gruffudd ap Cynan met at St David's Cathedral and made an alliance with the blessing of the Bishop of St Davids.

Killed at the Battle of Mynydd Carn[edit]

Caradog countered this by himself making an alliance with the King of Gwynedd, Trahaearn ap Caradog. The two factions met in battle at Mynydd Carn, about a day's march north of St David's. Caradog and his ally Trahaearn were both killed.

Succession[edit]

Caradog left a son, Owain ap Caradog, who contented himself with the rule of Gwynllwg and was the founder of the line of the Lords of Caerleon in south east Wales.

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn
Prince of Glywysing (as part of the Kingdom of Morgannwg)
1063–1074
Succeeded by
merged into the Kingdom of Morgannwg
Preceded by
Maredudd ab Owain
Pretender King of Deheubarth
1072–1081
Succeeded by
Rhys ap Tewdwr
Preceded by
Cadwgan ap Meurig
King of Morgannwg
1075–1081
Succeeded by
Iestyn ap Gwrgant

References[edit]

  • John Edward Lloyd (1911) A history of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest (Longmans, Green & Co.)