Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PRYDYDD BYCHAN, Y ( fl. 1220-1270 ), a poet of South Wales ,

of whose work over twenty series of englynion are to be found in the Hendregadredd manuscripts and the Myv. Arch. Most of these poems are in praise of descendants of the ‘lord’ Rhys , and minor rulers and court officials in Dyfed , Ystrad Tywi , and Ceredigion . References are made to fighting, particularly in Roose and around Pembroke . There is also a series of englynion to Owain Goch which must be dated between 1244 and 1254 during the days of that prince 's freedom. He sang an elegy to Rhys Ieuanc (d. 1222 ), to Rhys Gryg (d. 1234 ) , to Owain ap Gruffudd ap Rhys (d. 1236 ), and other series of eulogy and elegy to Maredudd ab Owain (d. 1265 ).

The works of this poet follow in the manuscripts those of Phylip Brydydd (q.v.) , his contemporary, who also sang the praises of the same princes; hence they are easily associated, and it would appear highly that Y Prydydd Bychan is to be identified with the ‘ Gwilym ’ who is mentioned by Gwilym Ddu of Arfon (see Myv. Arch. , 277b). This would associate Y Prydydd Bychan with Ceredigion , and it is to be noted that the poet refers in his poems to Llanarth , Gwynionydd , Strata Florida , and Caron . In Myv. Arch. 357b, the englynion attributed to Y Prydydd Bychan in Myv. Arch. , 262b are ascribed to Dewi Mynyw .


  • The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales , 259a-266a;
  • Llawysgrif Hendregadredd (N.L.W. MS. 6680) , 92a-97b;
  • J. Lloyd-Jones , The Court Poets of the Welsh Princes ;
  • J. Vendryes in Études Celtiques , iii, 1938, 274-334.


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

Published date: 1959