Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRUFFYDD , OWEN ( c. 1643 - 1730 ), poet and antiquary .

Little is definitely known about his early life or subsequent career. He was b. in the parish of Llanystumdwy, Caerns. , and presumably spent most of his life in that and neighbouring parishes. By profession a weaver , he gained high repute as a poet and was also known as a genealogist .

He composed poems to the aristocracy of the surrounding countryside, in the old Welsh tradition, and also more popular verse such as carols for Christmastide. Selections from his works were published in Carolau a Dyriau Duwiol , 1696 , in Blodeu Gerdd Cymry , 1759 and in Gwaith Owen Gruffydd , ed. by O. M. Edwards , 1904 . A considerable amount of his work is to be found in manuscript in the British Museum and the National Library of Wales . In his old age he was afflicted with blindness and his verse was written down by his friends from his dictation.

He was buried at Llanystumdwy 6 Dec. 1730 . William Elias composed an elegy upon him.


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, 1651–1850 (1893) ;
  • T. Parry , Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg (1944) ;
  • Rhestr gyda nodiadau byrion, o Enwogion Cymreig o 1700 i 1900 (1908) ;
  • Y Geninen , 1896 , 177;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1845 ;
  • Cell Meudwy, sef Gweithiau Barddonol a Rhyddieithol (1877) ;
  • Y Llenor (1895–8) , 1895 , ii, 51-66;
  • The Records of the Diocese of Bangor in the National Library of Wales


Griffith Milwyn Griffiths, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959