Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILIAM PENLLYN ( fl. c. 1550-1570 ), chief harpist .

His name is included in the list of harpists in the province of Aberffraw , given in Pen. MS. 147 (203) , and he graduated chief harpist (and instructor , Pen. MS. 144 (267) ) at the Caerwys eisteddfod , 1568 . An entry in Moelyrch manuscript ( Pen. MS. 103 (66) ) by Wiliam Penllyn states that he entertained there ‘when Christmas fell on Friday’ (i.e. 1551 , 1556 , or 1562 ) in company with other harpists and players of the crwth Huw Dai , Robert ap Siôn Llwyd , Wiliam Penfro , Wiliam Goch Grythor , Wmffre Grythor , Morus Grythor , Tomas Grythor of Cegidfa , and Hywel Gethin . He wrote englynion to Lewis Gwynn , constable of Bishop's Castle (d. 1552 ) ( Pen. MS. 114 (109) ) and Gruffudd Dwnn of Kidwelly ( Llanst. MS. 133 (881) ). A transcript of his music-book in the hand of Robert ab Huw is extant ( B.M. Add. MS. 14905 ). See also Bodewryd MS. 2 (313) , Cardiff MS. 7 (252) , B.M. Add MS. 14998 (32) ; N.L.W. MS. 5247 .

Sources:

  • Henry Lewis (ed.), Musica neu Beroriaeth, the Music of the Britons … transcribed by Robert ap Huw … from the original by William Penllyn (B.M. Additional MS. 14905) [facsimile with introduction by Henry Lewis] , Cardiff, 1936 ( Additional Manuscript in the British Museum 14905).

Author:

Professor David James Bowen, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959