Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EINION OFFEIRIAD ( c. 1320 ), the person whose name is associated with the earliest Welsh grammar or metrical grammar which we possess

that is, a work dealing with the art of metrics and giving an abbreviated version in Welsh of the Latin grammar used in the Middle Ages . He sang an awdl to Rhys ap Gruffydd ap Hywel ap Gruffydd ab Ednyfed Fychan (d. 1356 ) ; this belongs to the period 1314-22 . Thomas Wiliems maintains in Mostyn MS. 110 that he was a native of Gwynedd and that he compiled the grammar in honour and in praise (‘yr ynrrydedd a moliant’) of the same Rhys ap Gruffydd . He is not referred to in the earliest manuscripts of the grammar except as one who fashioned three metres. Apart from this we know nothing of him. Iolo Morganwg tried to show that he was grandfather of Hopcyn ap Tomas ab Einion of Ynystawe , but there is no foundation for this statement.

Sources:

  • Y Cymmrodor , xxvi, 115-46;
  • Y Beiriniad , (1) 1859–71; (2) 1911–19 , v, 129-34;
  • Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies , ii, 184-200;
  • Saunders Lewis , Braslun o Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg , 1932 , 51-65;
  • G. J. Williams and E. J. Jones , Gramadegau'r Penceirddiaid , 1934 , xiii-xlii;
  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg , 1948 , 9-14.

Author:

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

Corrections and additions:

EINION OFFEIRIAD (d. 1353 ; DWB , 203).

There is now firmer information on Einion Offeiriad . One of this name was a priest in Llanrug . He d. in 1349 . It is possible that his knowledge of this person led Thomas Wiliems to locate the author of the grammar in Gwynedd . But J. Beverley Smith , Bull. Board of Celtic Studies , 20, 339-47, argues strongly that the grammarian is to be identified with the Einion Offeiriad who was found guilty of being party to the murder of Iorwerth ab Iau by Gruffudd ap Morgan ab Einion in Mabwynion or Caerwedros in 1344 . In the provost accounts of the commote of Mabwynion for 1352-53 an acre of land previously held by Einion Offeiriad is recorded in the escheat lands in the king's possession, and in the chamberlain's accounts for south Wales for 1354-55 a payment is recorded for sealing a deed dated the last day of January 1354 transferring land previously held by Einion Offeiriad in the commote of Gwidigada . It may be assumed that the same Einion had held lands in Mabwynion and Gwidigada . He probably died in 1353 .

Sources:

  • Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies , 20, 339-47; 10, 151;
  • T. Parry , The Welsh Metrical Treatise attributed to Einion Offeiriad , London, 1961 , Brit. Acad. Sir John Rhys Lecture;
  • R. Bromwich , ‘Gwaith Einion Offeiriad a barddoniaeth Dafydd ap Gwilym’, Ysgrifau Beirniadol , 10 (1977), 157-80;
  • Ceri W. Lewis in A. O. H. Jarman and G. R. Hughes , eds., A Guide to Welsh Literature Volume 2 , Swansea, 1979 , II, 58-87, 88-111;
  • R. Geraint Gruffydd , Wales's second grammarian , London, 1995 , Sir John Rhys Memorial Lecture, British Academy .

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959