Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LLWYD , RICHARD (‘ Bard of Snowdon ’; 1752 - 1835 ) ;

b. at the King's Head , Beaumaris , son of John and Alice Llwyd . The father, a coast trader , d. at Warrington , of smallpox , when Richard was quite young. After nine months at the Beaumaris Free School , Llwyd entered the domestic service of a local gentleman ; by 1870 he had become steward and secretary to a Mr. Griffith , Caerhun , near Conway . Later he retired to Beaumaris where he was instrumental in raising a monument to David Hughes (q.v.) , founder of the free school at which he had been educated; he failed in his efforts to erect a memorial to Owen Jones ( Owain Myfyr ) (q.v.) . He had throughout life been interested in books, manuscripts , and records of the assistance which he gave to such writers as Sir Richard Colt Hoare (q.v.) , Richard Fenton (q.v.) , Peter Roberts (q.v.) , was duly acknowledged. He came to be considered an authority on Welsh heraldry and genealogy , see, e.g., N.L.W. MSS. 1561-1564 ; many of the Hengwrt MSS. He appears to have devoted some time to the study of the Hengwrt MSS. — on this see note p. xxi of the ‘ Introduction ’ to part i of N.L.W. Handlist of MSS. , and see, in particular, Pen. MSS. 425 and 533 . He paid a visit to London in 1808 in order to read in the B.M. Library ; he was introduced on this visit to Owen Jones , William Owen Pughe , Sharon Turner , and others. Owing to his acquaintance with several members of landed and other families he was able to procure financial assistance (from the Royal Literary Fund , etc.), for such persons as David Thomas ( Dafydd Ddu Eryri ) , Richard Robert Jones ( Dic Aberdaron ) , and Jonathan Hughes (qq.v.). He came to be considered an authority on Welsh heraldry and genealogy , and had in contemplation the preparation of a ‘ History and Location of the Founders of the Regal and Patrician Tribes and other Chieftains. … Also the Advena [sic], or Families founded by natives of England in its several wars with Wales. ’ In May 1814 at the age of 62, he m. Ann Bingley (d. 1834 ), daughter of alderman Bingley , Chester ; he had been living in Chester since 1807 . He was elected an honorary member of the Cymmrodorion Society in 1824 . One of his last acts was to place in the B.M. the ‘Branwen ferch Llŷr’ sepulchral urn discovered in 1813 on the banks of the river Alaw , Anglesey . He d. 29 Dec. 1835 , and was buried in S. John's churchyard , Chester .

Beaumaris Bay , Llwyd 's best known work, was published in 1800 . He also published Gayton Wake, or Mary Dod ( Chester 1804 ) and Poems, Tales, Odes, Sonnets, Translations from the British ( Chester , 1804 ). In 1837 The Poetical Works of Richard Llwyd, The Bard of Snowdon, comprising Beaumaris Bay … with a Portrait and a Memoir of the Author was published. He knew Angharad Llwyd (q.v.) , which probably accounts for the fact that some of his MSS. are in her collection (see Kinmel Park Collection in N.L.W. ).


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • ‘Memoir,’ prefixed to the The poetical works of Richard Llwyd, the Bard of Snowdon, comprising Beaumaris Bay and other poems, with portrait and memoir of the author (London, 1837) ;
  • NLW MSS 1560-4, 1589, 1595, 1597, 1601, 1617, 1806, 1885, 2042, 13222, 13224, 13232 ;
  • Bangor diocesan registers in N.L.W.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959