Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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RHYS , HYWEL ( 1715? - 1799 ), poet , of the parish of Vaynor , Brecknock .

He is probably the Howell , son of Howell Rees , who was christened at Vaynor , 10 Sept. 1715 . He began life as a farmer on a tenement called Blaen-y-glais in Vaynor parish, but is said to have been deprived of his farm and subsequently to have rented a public house called Pantydŵr , at Garn , Pontsticill , Brecknock . His wife's name was Catherine , and the marriage may be that between Howell Rice and Catherine Morgan recorded in Vaynor parish register on 1 Jan. 1741/2 . Four poems — ‘ Cân y Daear Fochyn ,’ ‘ Can yn cynnwys achwyniad y bardd am gydmares ,’ ‘ Can yr Hwsmon ,’ ‘ Can a gyfansoddwyd yn amser yr hynod ormeswr Morgan Siencyn Dafydd ,’ are attributed to him. The date of his death is given variously as June 1799 and July 1802 . Vaynor parish register records the burial of a Howel Rees on 3 June 1799 .


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • W. Morgan , The Illustrated Vaynor handbook containing photographic views of Vaynor, Cefn Coed, Pontsarn and Morlais Castle, with the history and folk-lore of the parish (1893) ;
  • C. Wilkins , The history of Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tydfil, 1867) ;
  • Theophilus Jones , History of the County of Brecknock (3rd ed.), iv, 57;
  • NLW MSS 1039, 2140, 9271.


Griffith Milwyn Griffiths, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959