Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , MARGARET ( c. 1700-1785? ), transcriber of many of the manuscripts preserved in our public collections ;

daughter of Dafydd Evan of Coetgae-du , Trawsfynydd, Mer. She learnt the rules of bardism in her youth: in Cymru (O.M.E.) , xxv, 93-8, is printed a letter which Michael Pritchard (q.v.) had sent to her in 1728 ; this letter proves that she was instructing him in the art and rules of Welsh poetry. It would appear that she was a fairly prominent personality in the literary circles of Merioneth and Caernarvonshire in the first half of the 18th cent. , although only a few references to her are found in the books and manuscripts of her contemporaries. Examples of her own englynion and cywyddau in her autograph are extant, but they do not display much merit. One gathers from scraps of letters found here and there in her manuscripts that she spent much of her time visiting the homes of friends and relatives — such as Y Goetre in the parish of Llanelltyd , Berth-lwyd near Dolgelley , Bronwion in the parish of Brithdir , and Plas Tan-y-fynwent in Dolgelley . It is fairly certain that she was related to the family which lived in Y Goetre and at Bronwion ; it may be that she dwelt at Y Goetre in her later years, from about 1766 onwards. It was to that family that her books went.

Manuscripts written by her are in the National Library at Aberystwyth , in the public libraries of Cardiff and Swansea , and in the British Museum . They contain collections of awdlau , cywyddau , cerddi , and poems in free metre of various kinds. It is evident that her chief delight lay in collecting the works of the old bards .

Sources:

  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , xxv, 93-8;
  • Y Genedl Gymreig , 6 Feb. 1933 ;
  • Yr Herald Cymraeg (a'r Genedl) , 17 April 1939 ;
  • G. J. Williams , Llythyrau at Ddafydd Jones o DrefriwNational Library of Wales Journal, Appendix, vol. 3. no. 2., 1943) , 1943 , 19, 39-43.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959