Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ADDA FRAS ( 1240? - 1320? ), poet and writer of prophecies .

According to John Davies and Thomas Stephens , he flourished about 1240 . He is referred to in Peniarth MS. 94 (26) and Llanstephan MS. 119 (82) , as living about 1038 , and contemporary with Goronwy Ddu o Fôn . But in G. P. Jones , Anglesey Court Rolls , 1346 , 37, 39, mention is made of ‘the son of Adda Fras ’ and ‘the suit of Goronwy Ddu , attorney for the community of the township of Porthgir .’ In Dafydd ap Gwilym a'i gyfoeswyr 156 he is associated by Gruffudd Gryg ( c. 1340 - 1412 ) with Casnodyn ( c. 1290 - 1340 ) . The years 1240 - 1320 , therefore, would not be far wrong as the period of his life. He was buried in Maenan Abbey , near Conway , an abbey founded in 1186 ( Gwaith Tudur Aled , i, 83). According to Llanstephan MS. 133 (617) , his bardic teacher was Wmbar .

Later poets in the elegies which they wrote to each other often refer to him not only as a writer of prophecies , but as a past master in the poet's craft (see Peniarth MS. 94 (144) and Gwaith Tudur Aled , ii, 743), and especially Tudur Aled 's elegy (ibid., i, 283) to Dafydd ab Edmwnd . Comparatively little of his work has survived. It is impossible to state with certainty, at present, how much of it is authentic, as some of it is attributed to other writers.

Sources:

  • Peniarth Manuscript in the National Library of Wales;
  • Llanstephan MSS. at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth;
  • Gwilym Peredur Jones, Anglesey Court Rolls in Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club ;
  • Ifor Williams and Thomas Roberts, (ed.), Cywyddau Dafydd ap Gwilym a’i Gyfoeswyr ;
  • T. Gwynn Jones (ed.), Gwaith Tudur Aled , 1926.

Author:

Raymond Wallis Evans, M.A., (1910-2001), Swansea / Bangor

Published date: 1959