Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRUFFYDD , THOMAS ( 1815 - 1887 ), one of the best known harpists of his period ;

b. at Llangynidr , Brecknock , grandson of the rector of that parish. The fact that he lost his sight at an early age did not hinder his progress. A pupil of John Wood Jones (see under Wood ), family harpist at Glanbran near Llandovery , he subsequently occupied a similar position at Llanover, Mon. Most of his life, apparently, was spent in Llanover , where he also kept a smallholding . He won the triple harp in the Abergavenny eisteddfod of 1836 . He became very popular as harpist and penillion singer in Monmouthshire and Glamorgan . In 1843 Gruffydd and his teacher played at Buckingham Palace , being accompanied on their visit by Thomas Price ( Carnhuanawc , q.v.) ; Gruffydd also gave a number of recitals at Marlborough House . In 1867 he was the guest of the Comte de la Villemarqué in Brittany , and was presented by the Comte , who spoke Welsh , with an engraved ring to mark the occasion. One of his songs, ‘ Gwlad y Beirdd ,’ was published. He d. 30 Aug. 1887 , and was buried in the churchyard at Llanover .


  • 'Dictionary of Welsh Biography.' 27 vols., N.L.W. MSS. 9251–77 ;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Y Geninen , 1888 , 189;
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) (1908)


Ray Looker, (Mrs Ray Morgan), Cardiff / Rhymni

Published date: 1959