Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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KYFFIN , RICHARD , dean of Bangor ( c. 1480-1502 ).

He was not connected with any branch of the better-known family of that name. It is very likely that he was the Richard ap John or Ris ap Ieuan ap Ris ap Gruffydd , rector of Gyffin in the diocese of Bangor , ‘the son of unmarried parents,’ who in 1470 received a papal dispensation, on account of his illegitimacy, for promotion to holy orders. As dean he appears to have been an active supporter of Henry Tudor during the years before Bosworth . The choir of the cathedral was rebuilt during his period of office, and one of the windows (with figures of SS. Dwynwen and Catherine ) was donated by him. He held the rectory of Llanddwynwen , and was the founder of the cathedral chantry of S. Catherine near which (in the south transept) he was buried. An inscription in brass marked his resting-place, which was known until the 18th cent. as ‘bedd y Deon Du’ (‘the grave of the Black Dean’).


  • Browne Willis , A survey of the cathedral church of Bangor; and the edifices belonging to it … (1721) , 17, 34, 124;
  • Calendar of entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland. Papal Letters , xii, 782.


Professor Thomas Jones Pierce, M.A., F.S.A., (1905-1964), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959