During most of the medieval period, Wales had been pitted first against Anglo-Saxons who invaded the British Isles in the 5th century and later against the Normans who replaced the Anglo-Saxons as rulers of England in the 11th century.
As a result, the medieval military history of Wales and the Welsh knighthood were shaped in view of these political changes.
Both Anglo-Saxons and Normans launched multiple expeditions into Wales to subdue the Welsh who, in turn, would rebel again and again to reassert their freedom.
Over time, the Welsh population itself came to be divided between those who supported the English monarchs and those who defied it.
This divided found a parallel in the Welsh knights as well.