See also

Family of Stephan and Nest verch RHYS

Husband: Stephan (c. 1068- )
Wife: Nest verch RHYS (1073-aft1136)
Children: Robert FITZSTEPHEN (c. 1053-1182)
Status: Never Married

Husband: Stephan

Name: Stephan
Sex: Male
Father: -
Mother: -
Birth 1068 (est)

Wife: Nest verch RHYS

Name: Nest verch RHYS
Sex: Female
Father: Rhys + ap TEWDWR (1027-1093)
Mother: Gwladus +verch RHIWALLON (1041-1139)
Birth 1073 Dynevor, Llandyfeisant, Carmartheshire, Wales
Death aft 1136 (age 62-63)

Child 1: Robert FITZSTEPHEN

Sex: Male
Birth 1053 (est)
Death 1182 (age 128-129)

Note on Wife: Nest verch RHYS

Nest ferch Rhys (died after 1136) was a Welsh princess of Deheubarth who was renowned for her beauty. Nest was the daughter of Prince Rhys ap Tewdwr by his wife, Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon. Her brother was Gruffydd ap Rhys - Prince of Deheubarth. After her father's death in 1093, Deheubarth was conquered by the Normans and King Henry I of England appointed himself her protector. Nest is thought to have borne him a son, Henry FitzRoy (1103-1158).[1]


She is also known to some historians as Nesta.[2][3]


Around 1095 King Henry decided to marry Nest to one of his followers, Gerald de Windsor, whom he appointed Constable of Pembroke. Consequently, Nest is the maternal progenitor of the FitzGerald dynasty, one of the most celebrated families of Ireland and Great Britain (they are a Hiberno-Norman or Cambro-Norman dynasty, and have been Peers of Ireland since at least the 14th Century). Nest and Gerald had five children:


William FitzGerald (died 1173) who was the father of


Raymond FitzGerald

Isabella Le Gros who married William De Haya Wallenisis.


Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Llansteffan (died 1 September 1177) who was the father of


Thomas FitzMaurice

Gerald FitzMaurice, 1st Lord of Offaly


David FitzGerald, Archdeacon of Cardigan and Bishop of St David's

Angharad de Windsor, who married William FitzOdo de Barry (William de Barry) and was the mother of


Philip de Barry who founded Ballybeg Abbey at Buttevant in Ireland

Robert de Barry

Edmond de Barry

Gerald of Wales the historian


A daughter (possibly Gwladys), who was the mother of


Milo de Cogan


Nest's granddaughter Isabella Le Gros married William De Haya Wallenisis and had David Walensis and Philip Walensis. David and Philip where considered The Welshman and the founders of the family Walsh/Welsh of Kilkenny where they built a Castle known as Castle hale of Kilkenny, Ireland. Philip Walensis had a son named Howell of Welsh Walensis. Howell of Welsh Walensis had a son named Griffin Geoffory of Welsh Walensis. Griffin Geoffory of Welsh Walensis had a son named Roger of Welsh whom married Maud Waulip. Roger of Welsh who married Maud Waulip's son was William Walsh: William Walsh's son was Robert Le Walsh: Robert Le Walsh's son was John Le Walsh: John Le Walsh's son was: Robert Le Walsh: Robert Le Walsh's son was Thomas Walsh: Thomas Walsh's son was John Walsh: John Walsh's son was Adam Walsh: Adam Walsh's son was John Walsh: John Walsh's son was John Walshe of Olveston who married Elizabeth Forster.

[edit] Abduction and illegitimate issue


During Christmas 1109, Nest and her husband were visited by her cousin, Owain ap Cadwgan, son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, Prince of Powys. The story goes that Owain was so taken with Nest's beauty that he and fifteen companions attacked the castle of Cenarth Bychan (possibly Cilgerran Castle or Carew Castle, both in Pembrokeshire), seized Nest, and carried her and her children off. Tradition also has it that Gerald escaped by jumping down the garderobe (i.e. the lavatory chute) to get away. The children were later returned to Gerald. Nest is said to have borne Owain two sons, Llywelyn and Einion, before finally being returned to her husband.


This abduction earned Nest the nickname "Helen of Wales" because it led to civil war on a small scale. Owain ap Cadwgan left the country to avoid retribution, whilst Owain's father, Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, lost his own lands. Gerald waited for Owain to return to Wales, then ambushed and killed him in combat as retribution for kidnapping his wife and children.

[edit] Second liaison and illegitimate issue


After Gerald's death, Nest became the lover of Stephen, Constable of Cardigan, by whom she had another son, Robert Fitz-Stephen who died in 1182. With his half-brother Maurice, he captured the town of Wexford (see Siege of Wexford). They were granted joint custody of the town.