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MARRIAGE AND POLITICS IN WALES, 1066-1282 NORMAN adventurers began to appear on the Welsh border during the reign of Edward the Confessor, but it was not until after 1066 that the conquest and annexation of Welsh territory was seriously undertaken on a large scale. During the two centuries of Anglo- Norman pressure that followed, there was, in addition to the marriages between members of the Welsh ruling families, much intermarriage between members of the Welsh and Norman aristo- cracies. In this introductory essay on these two groups of marriages, some of the more important and well-known of them will be briefly considered against their political background. The three major Welsh dynasties became closely interrelated through marriage, as Table 1 shows, but this circumstance did not bring about any strong political partnership. The marriages did not often lead to political and military alliances, even in the face of a common danger from the Norman invader. Thus the political significance, if any, of these marriages is not to be found in any obvious political consequences that may have flowed from them. It must be sought elsewhere. Table 1 shows a few of the marriages between members of the principal Welsh ruling families during the late eleventh and the early twelfth centuries; they have been selected and arranged so as to demonstrate the close relationship that existed between these families and, in particular, between the Lord Rhys of Deheubarth and his wife Gwenllian of Powys. It will be seen that Rhys and Gwenllian were not only first cousins on their mothers' side but also third cousins on their fathers' side-two of their paternal grandparents, Gwladus and Maredudd, being first cousins. TABLE 1 Note.-The three separate families represented are distinguished by different letterings; the descendants of Cynfyn, who became rulers of Powys, are shown in capitals, the family of Deheubarth in lower case, and Gruffydd ap Cynan of Gwynedd and his two daughters in italics.