Rhys ap Thomas

(1449–1525)
   The leader of an influential Welsh family, Rhys ap Thomas provided vital support to Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond (see Henry VII, King of England), during his campaign to overthrow RICHARD III in 1485.
   The son of THOMAS AP GRUFFYDD, a loyal adherent of the house of LANCASTER, Rhys spent the late 1460s in exile in BURGUNDY with his father. After the deaths of his father and elder brothers in the early 1470s, Rhys became head of his family. Although shorn of the influence his grandfather had once exercised across southwestern WALES, Rhys made peace with EDWARD IV and remained an important figure in Welsh affairs throughout the 1470s. After Edward’s death in 1483, Richard III placed the government of Wales in the hands of his ally, Henry STAFFORD, duke of Buckingham, an important landowner in Wales and the marches (i.e., the Welsh borderlands). When Buckingham betrayed Richard that autumn, Rhys declined to join BUCKINGHAM’S REBELLION, probably because he saw the duke’s unprecedented authority as a threat to his family’s position. Because Richmond, the remaining Lancastrian heir, was of Welsh blood, Richard began cultivating support in Wales in 1484. Unable to find many loyal Yorkists in southwestern Wales, Richard courted former Lancastrians, such as Rhys, who received an annuity from the king in February 1484. The grant was the first important mark of favor bestowed on Rhys’s family by the house of YORK in over two decades.To ensure Rhys’s loyalty, Richard demanded that he swear an oath of fidelity and hand over his only son as a hostage. Rhys declared himself willing to take the oath, but he begged the king to reconsider the hostage demand. The boy seems never to have been surrendered, but the threat to his heir probably weakened Rhys’s attachment to Richard. By 1485, Rhys was being recruited by Richmond’s agents. Although Rhys replied favorably to Richmond’s request, he did not join the earl when he landed in Wales in August, and rumors swept Richmond’s army that Rhys was hostile. In fact, Rhys did nothing, shadowing Richmond’s force but neither helping nor hindering his march across Wales. Although Rhys’s apparent indecision caused Richmond some anxious moments, it was probably a scheme to convince the king that Rhys intended to attack the invaders before they reached England. If this was his plan, it worked, for Richard, hearing of the landing on 11 August, did not march until 15 August, when he fell into a rage upon learning that Richmond had crossed Wales unopposed. About 13 August, Rhys openly joined Richmond, who promised to appoint Rhys lieutenant in Wales. According to THE SONG OF LADY BESSY, Rhys brought “eight thousand spears” into Richmond’s camp, while THE ROSE OF ENGLAND says that Rhys drew “Wales with him” (Evans, p. 132). Although both claims are likely exaggerated, Rhys clearly brought a welcome and considerable addition to Richmond’s strength. Rhys distinguished himself in Richmond’s service at the Battle of BOSWORTH FIELD on 22 August and is one of several men who were later said to have struck the blow that killed the king. Although this claim cannot be substantiated, a Welsh poem states that Rhys “killed the boar [Richard’s badge], destroyed his head,” and the Burgundian writer Jean Molinet declared that a Welshman struck the fatal blow (Griffiths, p. 43).
   Knighted three days after Bosworth, Sir Rhys was well rewarded for his service. Under the king’s uncle, Jasper TUDOR, duke of Bedford, Sir Rhys served as king’s deputy in South Wales, and became justiciar of the region after Bedford’s death in 1495. He helped suppress the Yorkist uprisings in 1486 and fought against the Lambert SIMNEL rebels at the Battle of STOKE in 1487 (see Lovell-Stafford Uprising). A royal councilor and a member of the king’s household, Sir Rhys fought against the Cornish rebels at Blackheath in 1497 and later that year against Perkin WARBECK in the West Country. A personal friend of the king’s, Sir Rhys was entrusted with building a new tomb in Wales for Henry’s father, Edmund TUDOR, earl of Richmond. In 1505, Sir Rhys was elected a Knight of the Garter. After Henry’s death in 1509, Sir Rhys continued to serve the house of TUDOR until his death in 1525.
   Further Reading: Evans, H.T.,Wales and the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1995); Griffiths, Ralph A., Sir Rhys ap Thomas and His Family (Cardiff, UK: University of Wales Press, 1993).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rhys Thomas (pilier) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rhys Thomas. Rhys Thomas …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rhys Thomas (pillier) — Rhys Thomas (pilier) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rhys Thomas. Rhys Thomas …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rhys Thomas — Spielerinformationen Voller Name Rhys Muir Thomas Geburtstag 31. Juli 1982 Geburtsort ?, Südafrika Verein Verein Llanelli Scarlets Po …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rhys ap Gruffydd — (1132 ndash; 28 April 1197) was the ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth in south Wales. He is commonly known as The Lord Rhys, in Welsh Yr Arglwydd Rhys , but this title may not have been used in his lifetime. [Turvey pp. 91–2] He usually used the …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas Llewellyn Thomas — (generally known as Llewellyn Thomas) (14 November 1840 ndash; 12 May 1897) was a Welsh Anglican clergyman and scholar of the Welsh language. He wrote poems in English, Latin and Welsh and worked on a Basque translation of the Old Testament. He… …   Wikipedia

  • Rhys Nanmor — (fl. 1480 1513) was a welsh language poet who lived in Nanmor, near Beddgelert in North Wales.Among his surviving work is a prophecy to Henry VII and an elegy on the death of Arthur, Prince of Wales, who died in 1502.Rhys was a family poet of Sir …   Wikipedia

  • Rhys Thomas (rugby à XV, 1982) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rhys Thomas. Infobox Rugbyman Rhys Thomas …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rhys Thomas (prop born 1982) — Infobox Rugby biography name = Rhys Thomas caption = birthname = Rhys M. Thomas nickname = dateofbirth = birth date and age|1982|7|31 placeofbirth = South Africa dateofdeath = placeofdeath = height = 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m ) weight = 19 st 12 lb (126… …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas William Rhys Davids — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas ap Gruffydd — (d. 1473)    During the 1460s, Thomas ap Gruffydd led one of the most influential Lancastrian families in South WALES.    The son of Gruffydd ap Nicholas, Thomas helped his father establish their family’s ascendancy throughout southwest Wales in… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.