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Itinerary of Baldwin in Wales - Giraldus Cambrensis

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The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales

INTRODUCTION



Gerald the Welshman - Giraldus Cambrensis - was born, probably in
1147, at Manorbier Castle in the county of Pembroke.  His father was
a Norman noble, William de Barri, who took his name from the little
island of Barry off the coast of Glamorgan.  His mother, Angharad,
was the daughter of Gerald de Windsor {1} by his wife, the famous
Princess Nesta, the "Helen of Wales," and the daughter of Rhys ap
Tewdwr Mawr, the last independent Prince of South Wales.

Gerald was therefore born to romance and adventure.  He was reared
in the traditions of the House of Dinevor.  He heard the brilliant
and pitiful stories of Rhys ap Tewdwr, who, after having lost and
won South Wales, died on the stricken field fighting against the
Normans, an old man of over fourscore years; and of his gallant son,
Prince Rhys, who, after wrenching his patrimony from the invaders,
died of a broken heart a few months after his wife, the Princess
Gwenllian, had fallen in a skirmish at Kidwelly.  No doubt he heard,
though he makes but sparing allusion to them, of the loves and
adventures of his grandmother, the Princess Nesta, the daughter and
sister of a prince, the wife of an adventurer, the concubine of a
king, and the paramour of every daring lover - a Welshwoman whose
passions embroiled all Wales, and England too, in war, and the
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