Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAFYDD BENWYN ( second half of the 16th cent. ), one of the bards of Glamorgan .

His contemporary, Sils ap Siôn , says that he was from Llangeinor . His bardic teacher was Rhisiart Iorwerth ( Rhisiart Fynglwyd ,) , Llangynwyd , son of Iorwerth Fynglwyd . Some of his work, in his autograph, is in Cardiff MS. 10 and Llanst. MS. 164 , and there are extant two large collections of his awdlau and cywyddau , the one in Cardiff MS. 2 (277) and the other in Jes. Coll. MS. 13 . He was the most prolific of the bards of Glamorgan ; he sang the praises of most of the landed families of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire . Although he was the bardic disciple of Rhisiart Iorwerth (and, possibly, of Lewis Morgannwg also) and inherited the lore of the older chief bards ( penceirddiaid ), his poems are commonplace and stereotyped. No better way can be found of illustrating the deterioration in Glamorgan in the second half of the 16th cent. than by comparing his awdlau and cywyddau with those of Lewis Morgannwg and Rhisiart Iorwerth . Nevertheless, they are important — for two reasons. In the first place they contain the genealogies of many of the families of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire ; in the second place they give us the Welsh forms of place-names in those regions. A small selection was published by J. Kyrle Fletcher in 1909The Gwentian Poems of Dafydd Benwyn . Other poems by the bard were published by T. C. Evans ( Cadrawd ) in Cyfaill yr Aelwyd .


  • Hopcyn and Cadrawd , Hen Gwndidau, Carolau, a Chywyddau (1910) , 271-3;
  • D. Rhys Phillips , The Hist. of the Vale of Neath (Swansea, 1925) , 527-32;
  • G. J. Williams , Iolo Morganwg a Chywyddau'r Ychwanegiad (1926) , 123-4;
  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg (1948) , 75-95, 124.


Emeritus Professor Griffith John Williams, M.A., (1892-1963), Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff

Published date: 1959