Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVID ab OWEN (d. 1512 ), abbot and bishop .

A native of Glasgoed in Meifod, Mont. , he was the son of Owen ap Deio ap Llewelyn ab Einion ap Celynin . He studied canon and civil law at Oxford , and he is said to have taken his doctorate in law . His legal knowledge seems to have been put into practice in the service of John , earl of Worcester , chief justice of North Wales , between 1461 and 1467 . He was thus a supporter of the house of York , but the poets reveal that, like many others, he changed sides and supported Henry Tudor in his need. He was at one time abbot of Strata Marcella , and for a period abbot of Strata Florida . Sometime after the end of 1489 he became abbot of Aberconwy at Maenan , and continued there after his elevation to the bishopric of S. Asaph , 12 Dec. 1503 . By name of David , bishop of S. Asaph , or David , abbot of Conway , he was granted a pardon on 16 May 1508 , and with his principal officials he accepted the invitation to partake of the general pardon extended upon the accession of Henry VIII in 1509 . He d. 12 Feb. 1512 , and was buried near the altar in his cathedral church in accordance with the wish expressed in his will made the previous day ( P.C.C. 23 Fetiplace ). To learning and mastery of ecclesiastical statesmanship he is said to have added loving care of the buildings which came under his authority. He restored the ruined abbey of Aberconwy and rebuilt the episcopal palace at S. Asaph . It is also said that he erected a wooden bridge there where in 1630 a stone bridge was built, and that it was known as bishop David's bridge . He was greatly eulogized by the Welsh poets , who praised his scholarship and learning. See poems by Bedo Brwynllys , Dafydd Amharedudd ap Tudur , Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Fychan (2), Guto'r Glyn , Hywel Rheinallt , Ieuan ap Tudur Penllyn , Ieuan Deulwyn , Ieuan Llwyd Brydydd , Lewis Môn (2), Owain ap Llywelyn Moel , Rhys Pennardd , Tudur Aled (9), and William Egwad .

Sources:

  • Enwogion Cymru. A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen , 1852 ;
  • Wood , Athenae Oxonienses , 1813–20. Sometimes cited in the first (1691-2) edn , ii, 698;
  • T. Gwynn Jones , Gwaith Tudur Aled , 1926 , ii, 671;
  • Williams , Gwaith Guto'r Glyn , 1939 , 309;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1882 , 71;
  • Calendar of Patent Rolls . Record Publication, 1891 ff , 1494-1509 , 551;
  • Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII. Record Publication , part I, 246;
  • Peniarth Manuscript in the National Library of Wales 176 (pedigree)and
  • NLW MS 100 (a collection of poems in his praise).

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959