The patron of poem 14 was Rhys ap Tomas of Abermarlais in the parish of Llansadwrn, Carmarthenshire. He was a generous patron of many poets, including Lewys Glyn Cothi, Ieuan Deulwyn, Dafydd Llwyd o Fathafarn, Tudur Aled, Lewys Môn, Huw Cae Llwyd, Siôn Ceri and Lewys Morgannwg (GLGC poem 15; ID poems XXIV, XXXII; GDLl poems 7, 50; TA poems VII, XII, XIII, XIV; GLM poem LXXXVIII; GHCLl poem XXXII; GSC poem 50; GLMorg poem 63). See further DNB Online s.n. Sir Rhys ap Thomas.
The genealogical table below is based on WG1 ‘Einion ap Llywarch’ 7, ‘Marchudd’ 15; WG2 ‘Einion ap Llywarch’ 7 A3. Those named in Guto’s poem to Rhys are shown in bold print.
Gruffudd ap Nicolas’s family were very powerful in the Tywi Valley region, and strong supporters of the Lancastrian cause. According to family tradition Rhys spent some years in exile with his father in Burgundy following the victory of the Yorkist party in 1461. He was one of Henry Tudor’s main supporters in Wales, and was knighted on 25 August 1485 for his part in the battle of Bosworth on 22 August, where he led an army of Welsh soldiers. He subsequently held a number of prominent offices in the government of Wales, including that of Chamberlain of south Wales (Griffiths 1972: 162, 189; 1993: 45–6), but his service to the king was above all as an experienced military campaigner. Guto’s poem can be dated after Rhys was knighted, and it is likely to have been composed in the last months of 1485 or in 1486, before Sir Rhys established his new court at Caeriw Castle in Pembrokeshire sometime in the 1490s. Lewys Glyn Cothi’s poem to Sir Rhys can be dated after the birth of prince Arthur in 1486.
Griffiths, R.A. (1972), The Principality of Wales in the Later Middle Ages: The Structure and Personnel of Government, i: South Wales 1277–1536 (Cardiff)
Griffiths, R.A. (1993), Sir Rhys ap Thomas and his Family: A Study in the Wars of the Roses and Early Tudor Politics (Cardiff)