Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HUGHES , RICHARD (d. 1618 ), poet ;

son of Huw ap Rhisiart ap Dafydd of Cefn Llanfair, Caerns. (q.v.) . ( Huw Llŷn (q.v.) , sometimes confused with Huw ap Rhisiart , was a different person.) He went to London , joined the army , and it may be deduced from one of his englynion that he took part in 1596 in the successful British attack on the port of Cadiz in Spain — being one of the 150 Caernarvonshire Welshmen involved in that enterprise. We know, too, that he was one of queen Elizabeth 's ‘ pedisequi ,’ that he later served James I in the same capacity, and that after the death of John Hedde he was given a pension of £50 a year. No awdl or cywydd of his has survived, but some of his englynion are still extant. His most important poems, however, are those written in the ‘free’ metres. His work is to be found in Cymdeithas Llên Cymru , i, Carolau Richard Hughes , and Cymdeithas Llên Cymru , v-vi, Caniadau yn y Mesurau Rhyddion , where on p. 49 we have three stanzas of his ballad, ‘ Bywyd y Bugail ,’; see Jnl. Welsh Bibliog. Soc. , ii, 243, ‘ An Early Printed Welsh Ballad .’ His work is also found in Cynfeirdd Lleyn , in Canu Rhydd Cynnar ( T. H. Parry-Williams ), and in B.B.C.S. iii, 128, ‘ Cyfeiriadau at Richard Hughes, Cefn Llanfair .’ He was a poet of love ; a poet of love who preceded Huw Morys and his school. He employs only three metres in his poems, most of which are in the form of dialogues. The tang of the countryside is to be found in his poetry. He d. in 1618 and was buried in Llanbedrog church; Gruffydd Phylip (see Phylipiaid Ardudwy ) wrote an elegy upon him ( Cymm. , xlii, 199).


  • To the above references may be added Thomas Parry , ‘Tri Chyfeiriad at William Salesbury,’ in Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies , ix, 108,
  • and J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 224.


David Gwenallt Jones, M.A., (1899-1968), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959