Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DWNN , JAMES ( c. 1570 - c. 1660 ), poet , from Montgomeryshire .

His earliest poem ( Mostyn MS. 148 (692) ) is dated 1594 , and his latest ( B.M. MS. 51 (73) ) 1657 . Accordingly, it is possible that he was the eldest son of Lewys Dwnn (q.v.) . The two frequently wrote panegyrics in honour of the same people — the families of Gogerddan , Mathafarn , Gregynog , and the Plasau Duon , Dr. John Davies of Mallwyd , etc., but, for the most part, James Dwnn confined himself to his own neighbourhood. Many of his poems are preserved in the ‘ Book of James Dwnn ’ ( Llanst. MS. 53 ), but there are many others which are found scattered in other collections, e.g. N.L.W. MSS. 1560, 2691, 5261, 5269, 6496 ; Pen. MSS. 91, 92, 327 ; Cardiff MSS. 83, 84 , etc. Most of them are panegyrics and elegies, but attention is drawn to his englynion on the burning of Mathafarn House by Cromwell 's soldiers in 1644 , and to the four cywyddau on holy days — ‘ ar yr epistol ddydd gwyl y Gwirionedd ,’ ‘ y Sul gwedi yr Natolig ,’ ‘ ddydd Calan ,’ and ‘ dydd gwyl Ystwyll ’ ( N.L.W. MS. 7191 (262-5) ).

Author:

Garfield Hopkin Hughes, M.A., (1912-69), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959