Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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CYFFIN , ROGER ( fl. c. 1587-1609 ), a poet

about whom varying details are given — e.g. Enwogion ( Foulkes ) names him as parson of Llanberis in 1571 ; Panton MS. 58 (87) , gives him as a gentleman from Chirk ; Llanover MS. B 2 (602) contains a note in the handwriting of Iolo Morganwg , stating that he was a native of Denbighshire , curate of Flemingston, Glam. , and of somewhere in Carmarthenshire , and parson of Llanberis during the latter part of his life. No proof of the preceding statements remains, and only one of his poems refers to himself — Mostyn MS. 147 (612) . In it the poet bade farewell to his home in Gartheryr , Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant , and to that particular district of Denbs. Some misfortune had befallen him, he had sold his land, and was ready to leave for South Wales , to live under the patronage of John Vaughan of Golden Grove, Carms. [see under Vaughan of Golden Grove family ]. Two of his free metre poems and a number of cywyddau and englynion are preserved in manuscript. The strict metre poems include eulogies, elegies, begging poems (to persons from North and South Wales ), religious, moral, and love poems. Poetic controversies or ymrysonau took place between him and Gruffudd Hafren (q.v.) ( Cwrtmawr MS. 206 (101) ), Richard Davies , bishop of S. Davids (q.v.) ( Cwrtmawr MS. 222 (28) ), and Dafydd Llwyd of Dolobran (see under Lloyd of Dolobran family ) ( Aberdare MS. 1 (578) ). He also wrote poetry on topical themes, e.g. a cywydd written in judgment on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and in praise of king James I ( Pen. MS. 112 (189) ), and an englyn giving advice to William Cyffin on his departure for Ireland with the earl of Essex in 1599 ( Jes. Coll. MS. 18 (42) ). One holograph poem is found in Christ Church MS. 183 (39b) ( N.L.W. MS. 6494 is a photostat copy of this manuscript). It is not known whether he was related to Morus and Edward Cyffin [Kyffin, qq.v.].

Sources:

  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru , 1870 ;
  • J. Jones (‘Myrddin Fardd’) Enwogion Sir Gaernarfon , 1922 ;
  • Additional Manuscripts in the British Museum 14880, 14898;
  • Cardiff Manuscripts 12, 13;
  • Cwrtmawr Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 21, 224, 312;
  • Jes. Coll. MS. at the Bodleian Library, Oxford 18; Llanover MSS, B 1, B 2 (N.L.W.);
  • Llanstephan MSS. at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 11, 120, 122, 123, 125, 145, 155;
  • Mostyn MSS. at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 148, 161;
  • NLW MSS 278, 1553, 1559, 1674, 11816, 11993;
  • Peniarth Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 72, 73, 87. 91, 93, 104, 144, 151;
  • Plas Nantglyn MS. 4 (N.L.W.).

Author:

Miss Ray Looker, (Mrs Ray Morgan), Cardiff / Rhymni

Published date: 1959