Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , JOHN ( Taliesin Hiraethog ; 1841 - 1894 ), farmer and poet .

Born at Creigiau'r Bleiddiau farm , Hafod Elwy , about three miles from Cerrig-y-drudion, Denbs. , 2 Oct. 1841 . After a period at Pentre-llyn-cymer day school , kept by J . Edwards the Independent minister , and afterwards at Cerrig-y-drudion where he was taught by his cousin Huw Huws , he returned to farm Creigiau'r Bleiddiau . On the death of his mother he left his old home and became bailiff to C. S. Mainwaring of Llaethwryd , Cerrig-y-drudion . He then m. and went to farm Shotton farm , Flints. , but his wife and only son d. there. He m. again and moved to a small farm, Pen-y-palmant , the Green , near Denbigh . A daughter, Alwen , was born of this marriage. John Davies had never been strong, and when Alwen , then 17 years of age, was buried, 27 Nov. 1891 , his health broke down utterly. He d. 20 March 1894 and was buried at Whitchurch , Denbigh , near Twm o'r Nant .

He was an eisteddfod poet . His neighbour at Hafod Elwy , Elias Jones ( Llew Hiraethog ), Hafod-y-llan , a grandson of Robert Davies of Nantglyn ( 1769 - 1835 ) , taught him the art of poetry and aroused his interest in the eisteddfodau. He won a number of prizes for poems in the classical metres and for modern verse and was also rewarded for a novel, ‘ Y Sesiwn yng Nghymru ’ (on the Great Sessions of Wales ). His free verse is rather better than his work in the strict metres. His best poems are, perhaps, ‘ Pryddest Llywarch Hen ’ and ‘ Rhieingerdd Elwy ac Alwen .’ He wrote a great deal for the Voelas family (see Wynne of Voelas ) and was, at one time, regarded as their household bard .

Sources:

  • Thomas Jones , Beirdd Uwchaled , Liverpool, 1930 , 63-6;
  • Yr Haul , 1894 , 340-1, 361-3;
  • Y Werin , 24 March 1894 ;
  • Y Geninen , 1894 , 245-8;
  • Y Geninen (Gwyl Dewi), 1895 , 28-36.

Author:

Dr Enid Pierce Roberts, M.A., D.Litt., Bangor

Published date: 1959