Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PARRI , HARRI (‘ Harri Bach o Graig-y-gath ’; 1709? - 1800 ), strolling poet .

He is said to have been born at Craig-y-gath , Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, Mont. , in 1709 . He was a sawyer by trade but spent the last thirty years of his life wandering from fair to fair singing ‘carols’ of his own making . He used to produce a new May ‘carol’ every year and this, which he started singing in April, recounted the most remarkable occurrences of the previous year. He attended the smaller eisteddfodau and some of his englynion are to be found in the almanacs, but very little of his work was printed. His muse was slow and laboured, and he could not compete with Thomas Edwards ( Twm o'r Nant , q.v.) in flyting. He was an unsophisticated little man who believed that, because he had been born the year Huw Morys died, Morys 's mantle had descended upon him. It is clear from his englynion published in Gwilym Howell 's Almanac , 1774 , that he disliked Methodists and Dissenters . He is said to have died in dire poverty at Llanfyllin , at the age of 90. He was buried in Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa churchyard 15 Nov. 1800 .


  • Almanac Siôn Prys (1744) , 1744 ;
  • Almanac W. Hywel (Llanidloes, 1773) , 1774 ;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1881 , 239;
  • R. Ellis (Cynddelw), Manion Hynafiaethol, neu, Loffyn o hen gofion Cymruaidd (Treherbert, 1873) , 42-3;
  • Y Geninen , March 1887 (75), 1886 (65);
  • Y Gwyliedydd , 1883 , 153;
  • Montgomeryshire Worthies (1894) , 235;
  • [ NLW MSS 1817, 6729]


Dr Enid Pierce Roberts, M.A., D.Litt., Bangor

Published date: 1959