Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LLYWELYN FARDD ( fl. c. 1150-1175 ), poet .

His dates and list of works are not easily fixed. Cerdd Dafod gives c. 1185 - 1220 , but J. Lloyd-Jones has c. 1155 - 1200 . It may be suggested that there were two poets of the same name, one in the 12th cent. , and the other in the 13th cent. , and that that is why the ‘ Red Book of Hergest ’ refers to ‘ Llywelyn Fardd , son of Cywryd .’ This poet was the earlier, and apparently a native of Merioneth . In an elegy to Cedifor he refers to himself as a soldier of Madog ap Maredudd (d. 1160 ) , and in addressing Owain Fychan , son of Madog (d. 1187 ), he claims that he was older than that prince . In a poem to Owain Gwynedd he states that he had been with him on Southern soil, but Owain did not fight in South Wales after 1138 . According to the ‘ Red Book ’ it was Llywelyn who sang the elegy to Owain 's retinue which is attributed to Cynddelw in the Myv. Arch. Llywelyn Fardd composed several religious poems, his best being his ‘ Ode to Cadfan ,’ which is a panegyric to the church of Towyn and a splendid description of its religious life during the abbacy of Morfrân , who was alive in 1147 .

In a short poem in Llsgr. Hendregadredd and the Myv. Arch. to Llywelyn the Great , by Llywelyn Fardd , the prince is styled as ‘ eagle of Clwyd ,’ a title which would be but scant praise if used much after 1206 . This composition reads like the effort of a young poet , and indeed he described himself as an ‘ eloquent youth .’ It is suggested that this second Llywelyn Fardd was then on the threshold of his career and that it was he who lived to sing the praises of Owain ap Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn a prince who was alive as late as 1274 .


  • Llawysgrif Hendregadredd (1933) 1933 ;
  • The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales ;
  • The Poetry in the Red Book of Hergest (1911) ;
  • H. Lewis , Hen Gerddi Crefyddol (Cardiff, 1931) ;
  • J. Lloyd-Jones , The Court Poets of the Welsh Princes .


David Myrddin Lloyd, M.A., (1909-81), Aberystwyth / Scotland

Published date: 1959