Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LLYWELYN , TOMAS ( fl. c. 1580-1610 ), alias Tomas ap Llywelyn ap Dafydd ap Hywel , bard and gentleman ,

of Rhigos in northern Glamorgan . According to one pedigree book he was a descendant of the line of Einion ap Collwyn (q.v.) . Many cywyddau by him survive in manuscripts; he also, like most Glamorgan bards of that period, composed the type of religious songs called cwndidau . The two poems by him which are of the greatest interest to us today are one containing a ‘debate’ between the church and the tavern, and another a prognostication for the year 1610 . In the 19th cent. he was described as one of the morning stars of Nonconformity in the upper parts (‘Blaenau’) of Glamorgan ; it was said that he had large congregations at Rhigos , Blaencannaid , and other places, and that he translated the English Bible into Welsh . It was Iolo Morganwg who made these statements first; as far as can be judged, they are without foundation.


  • Hen Gwndidau, Carolau, a Chywyddau (1910) , 1909 , 284-8;
  • D. Rhys Phillips , The Hist. of the Vale of Neath (Swansea, 1925) , 1925 , 140-3, 411-3, 532-7;
  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg (1948) , 1948 , 126-8, 309-15.


Emeritus Professor Griffith John Williams, M.A., (1892-1963), Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff

Published date: 1959