Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , EVAN , or IFAN TOMOS RHYS ( c. 1710 - c. 1770 ), poet and boot-maker ;

son of Thomas Rhys Siams of Llwyndafydd , Llandysiliogogo, Cards. For some years he worked at his trade at Llanarth . We do not know when he began to write verse, but he published ‘ Y Maen Tramgwydd ,’ which is in the form of a ballad, some time between 1757 and 1761 . Two of his poems appeared in Hymnau Cymwys i Addoliad , 1768 , and one in Blodau Dyfed , 1824 . A volume of his poetry, Diliau Awen , was published in 1842 under the editorship of William Hughes Griffiths of Llandysiliogogo with an introduction by Brutus (q.v.) . For the most part he writes in the ‘free’ metres and the form of his poetry is clearly influenced by the ballad; the topics of the day provide him with his subjects. Only five of his englynion have survived and these show that he had not mastered the art of writing in the classical metres; he also wrote a number of halsingod . Lewis Morris met him in 1761 , at which time he was not ‘above 50 years of age.’

Sources:

  • Griffith Jones (Glan Menai) , Enwogion Sir Aberteifi , 1868 , 130;
  • D. J. Davies , Hanes, Hynafiaethau, ac Achyddiaeth Llanarth, Henfynyw, Llanllwchaiarn, a Llandyssilio-gogo , 1875 , 83;
  • The Letters of Lewis, Richard, William, and John Morris, of Anglesey, (Morrisiaid Môn) 1728-1765 , 1907–9 (introd.);
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1946 ;
  • NLW MSS 19, 609;
  • Cardiff Manuscript 56 (48, 67);
  • Panton Manuscript at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 9 (165).

Author:

Dr Geraint Bowen, M.A., Ruabon

Published date: 1959