Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



DAVIES , JOHN (‘ Siôn Dafydd ,’ ‘ Siôn Dafydd Lâs ’; d. 1694 ), ‘family bard’ at Nannau , near Dolgelley ;

said to have been born at Pandy , Llanuwchllyn , and to have lived for a while at Tyn-y-ffridd . Mr. Evan Roberts , of Llandderfel , suggests ( Y Seren , Bala , 29 Nov. 1950 ) that he was the composer of the air formerly known as ‘ Dafydd y Garreg Las ’ and now known as ‘ Pant corlan yr ŵyn ’; if so, then he may have been a harpist also.

John Davies is of some importance as one of the last members of the dwindling group of bards who were patronized by some of the Welsh landed families. Poems sung by him to members of the following North Wales families survive: Nannau , Doluwcheogryd , Maes-y-neuadd , Glyncywarch , Dolau-gwyn , Cefnamwlch , Gloddaeth , Bodysgallen , Corsygedol , Maesypandy , Tan-y-bwlch , etc. He wrote elegies on the deaths of two brother poets Edward Morris (q.v.) of Perthillwydion and Morris Parry , parson of Llanelian ; he also composed an elegy on the death of king Charles II . Elegies were written after his death by Owen Gruffydd (q.v.) , Llanystumdwy (see O. M. Edwards , Gwaith Owen Gruffydd , 1904 ; this gives the year of the poet's death as 1694 ), and Lewis Owen (see Cwrtmawr MS. 5 ).

He was uncle to David Jones ( 1708? - 1785 ) (q.v.) of Trefriw ; see N.L.W. Jnl. , vii, 73-4.

Sources:

  • Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1890 ;
  • J. Fisher , ed., The Cefn Coch MSS. two MSS. of Welsh poetry written principally during the 17th century , Liverpool, 1899 ;
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, 1651–1850 . [1893?] ;
  • Y Brython (Tremadog), iv, 264;
  • Cardiff Manuscripts 47-8, 64-7, 84;
  • Additional Manuscripts in the British Museum 10314, 12230, 14888, 14975, 15010;
  • Bangor Manuscripts at University College North Wales Library, Bangor 84, 421, 758, and
  • Gwyneddon Manuscripts 16, 119;
  • together with the following manuscripts in N.L.W. —
  • Boderwyd 2,
  • Swansea 1-3,
  • Wynnstay 6,
  • Cwrtmawr 5, 19, 27, 40, 69, 70, 110, 128-9, 206, 242, 448,
  • Llanst. 7, 15, 133, 165-7,
  • Mostyn 96, 112, 130, 139, 143-4, 165,
  • Pen. 91, 124, 198, 239, 241-2,
  • N.L.W. 279, 431, 436, 559, 593, 670, 672, 832, 836, 1244, 1246, 1273, 1312, 1485, 1580, 4971, 8341, 9202, 9408-9, 12713, 12731, 12867, 13127,
  • and MS. Tanybwlch (facsimile in N.L.W.).

Author:

Miss Menai Williams, Wrexham / Bangor

Published date: 1959