Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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IEUAN ap RHYDDERCH ap IEUAN LLWYD ( fl. 1430-1470 ), gentleman and poet , of Cardiganshire ,

son of Rhydderch ap Ieuann Llwyd of Rhydderch Park , in the parish of Llanbadarn Odyn , a wealthy landowner who held office under the Crown in 1387 . According to Dwnn , i, 28, the mother of ‘ Ieuan ap Rhydderch ab Ieuan Llwyd y prydydd ’ was Annes , daughter of Gwilym ap Philip ab Elidir . But Dwnn , i, 45, 85, states that Rhydderch m. twice, (1) ‘ Marged ferch Gruffydd Gryg ap Ieuan Vychan ap Ieuan ap Rhys ap Llawdden ,’ and (2) ‘ Mawd , daughter of Sir William Clement , lord of Tregaron .’ It is difficult to decide whether there were two men called Rhydderch ap Ieuan Llwyd , or whether the poet 's father m. a third time. Ieuan is usually connected with two districts in Cardiganshire , but the earliest extant manuscripts link him with Genau'r Glyn rather than with the vale of Aeron . It appears likely that he was b. in the latter place, but spent the greater part of his life in Genau'r Glyn , where it is known that some of his descendants (including the Pryses of Gogerddan , qq.v.) lived. A contemporary of Ieuan ap Rhydderch was Rhys Lleision ( fl. 1441-61 ). Ieuan wrote a vaticinatory poem ( cywydd brud ) about the Wars of the Roses which reveals his knowledge of the prophecies of Taliesin , the two Merlins , and the ‘ Red Book of Hergest .’ That he was well acquainted with the works of the older Welsh bards is shewn by his poem ‘ Y Fost ’ written after the style of Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd 's ‘ Gorhoffedd .’ From this poem it can be deduced that he was educated at one of the universities — probably Oxford — and certain references to courses of study which he pursued indicate that he probably graduated B.A. , M.A. , and B.C.L. ( Llanst. MS. 155 — written about 1583 — asserts that he was ‘ a doctor of laws ’). Ieuan boastfully maintains that he was a good athlete , capable of numerous feats, that he was very wealthy, and that he had held numerous offices (probably under the Crown ). He wrote an awdl to Mary — wherein Latin and Welsh are interwoven in perfect cynghanedd . B.M. Add. MS. 14866 (45) also attributes to him an English awdl to the Virgin Mary , and he is also credited with the Welsh translation of the ‘ Te Deum .’


  • Lewis , Roberts , and Williams , Cywyddau Iolo Goch ac Eraill, 1350–1450 (Cardiff, 1937 );
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • S. R. Meyrick , The History and Antiquities of the County of Cardigan (1808, 1907) , 2nd ed., 255.


Dr David Jenkins, C.B.E., M.A., D.Litt., (1912-2002), Penrhyn-coch, Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959