Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ITHEL ap RHOTPERT or ROBERT ( fl. 1357-1382 ), archdeacon .

A friend and patron of Iolo Goch , who addressed two cywyddau of petition to him (printed in I.G.E. , 1st ed. 55-61, 2nd ed. 49-55), and commemorated him in an elegy, printed in Ashton 's edition of Iolo , 344-53. Ithel 's family seat was Coed-y-mynydd in Ysgeifiog (Flints.) parish; he was well-born — Ashton (op. cit. 267, 325-6) prints, from Dwnn and Powys Fadog , relevant details of his pedigree. On both sides, he was of the family which, in more modern times, has borne the surname Mostyn ; his father, Rhotpert ap Iorwerth ap Rhirid , had a brother, Madog , otherwise known as ‘ Matthew de Englefield ,’ who was bishop of Bangor 1327-57 ( Browne Willis , Bangor , 74-5; Le Neve , Fasti , i, 99); his mother, Adles , was cousin to Dafydd ap Bleddyn , bishop of S. Asaph . Ithel is styled B.C.L. in one record; but nothing is known of him before 1357 , when the chapter of Bangor elected him bishop in succession to his uncle — the pope , however, quashed the election, and ‘provided’ otherwise. Ithel was canon of Bangor and a ‘portioner’ of Llanynys in the vale of Clwyd . In 1375 he petitioned the pope for a canonry at S. Asaph , to be held along with his Bangor preferments, and succeeded ( Thomas , S. Asaph , i, 247); in the same year we find him archdeacon in that diocese ( Le Neve , i, 84). As a successor to him appears in 1382 , it may be that he died in that year, though Pennant ( Whiteford and Holywell , 119, 308), says that he lived till 1393 . He is said to have been buried at Basingwerk . Iolo Goch , who refers to him as archddiagon deugor (an archdeacon belonging to two cathedral chapters), records that patron and poet had been pupils of the same master in their youth. Iolo 's dependence upon Ithel seems indeed to have become something of a byword among the bards Tudur Aled has three references to it ( G.T.A. , i, 115 and 182, ii, 469).


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959