Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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POWEL , JOHN or SION (d. 1767 ), a weaver-poet

of Rhyd-yr-Eirin , in the parish of Llansannan, Denbs. , it is said that he was a sexton also. One of the closest friends of Evan Evans ( Ieuan Fardd , q.v.) when the latter was curate of Llanfair Talhaiarn , he also regarded him as his bardic teacher . A number of his poems are found in Swansea MS. 1 (‘ Y Piser Hir ’), now in N.L.W. , these being ten cywyddau and one awdl . They include a poem on Christ 's passion, one complaining of the contemporary neglect of old poetry, an elegy to a greyhound, poems addressed to Siôn ap Rhisiart of Bryniog , Ieuan Owain of Dyffryn Aur , Rhobert Burchinshaw , two to Ieuan Brydydd Hir , and one to Dafydd Jones (q.v.) , Trefriw , requesting a copy of Y Cydymaith Diddan . This last cywydd and the letter, written 13 Oct. 1766 , which accompanied it, is published in Llythyrau at Ddafydd Jones o Drefriw (ed., G. J. Williams ). Other cywyddau composed by him are found in N.L.W. MS. 562 , and a poem in free metre in Cwrtmawr MS. 230 . No details regarding his life are available, but it is known that he was buried in Llansannan churchyard on 7 May 1767 . The elegy composed by Ieuan Fardd to him is found in the poet 's own hand in Panton MS. 2 . [See also under Jones , David , 1732 - 1782? ].


  • Cwrtmawr Manuscript in the National Library of Wales 230 (159);
  • NLW MS 562 (65, 85b, 214);
  • Panton Manuscript at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth) 2 (127);
  • Swansea Manuscript 1 (187-203);
  • T. Gee , Gwaith y Parchedig Evan Evans (Ieuan Brydydd Hir) (1876) , 1876 , 104;
  • Y Brython , v, 113;
  • Robert Ellis , Registers of the Parish of Llansannan 1667-1812 (Liverpool, 1904) ;
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) ;
  • Aneurin Lewis , ‘Evan Evans (Ieuan Fardd), 1731-88: hanes ei fywyd a'i gysylltiadau llenyddol’ (M.A. thesis, Univ. of Wales, 1950, now in N.L.W.);
  • G. J. Williams , Llythyrau at Ddafydd Jones o DrefriwNational Library of Wales Journal, Appendix, vol. 3. no. 2., 1943) ( The National Library of Wales Journal , Suppl. Ser. iii, no. ii).


Ray Looker, (Mrs Ray Morgan), Cardiff / Rhymni

Corrections and additions:

POWEL , JOHN ( DWB , 771).

According to Owen Williams , Awduron Sir Ddinbych , he was b. in 1731 .


Published date: 1959