His translation of the verses of S. Bernard (‘ Cur mundus militat ’) has been copied in many of the manuscripts, and so has his translation into Latin sapphic verse of an old poem formerly attributed to Taliesin . Both are to be found in his own handwriting in B.M. Add. MS. 14866 . Even more interesting are the poems contained in the letter he sent to David Salysbury , 5 Feb. 1587 ( B.M. MS. 9817 ), although he describes them as the ‘ first beginning of my halting muse .’ He also versified some of the psalms — see B.M. MS. 9817 (934) and B.M. Add. MS. 14896 (20) .
His principal manuscript is the large volume consisting of six books ( B.M. Add. MS. 14866 ) which he dedicated to John Williams of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd , 12 June 1587 , who, it will be observed, had the same name as Johns 's successor in the living. The dedication is important as an indication of the learning and taste of David Johns , and should be compared with some of the other prefaces of the period, e.g. that of Siôn Dafydd Rhys to the grammar he published in 1592 . The voluminous notes in the manuscript are also important. Two of his prose translations from Latin are to be found in Pen. MS. 159 under the titles ‘ Gweddi Saint Awgwstin ’ and ‘ Dengran gwahaniaeth kristnogion y byd .’ [Some writers have confused him with ‘ Syr ’ Thomas Jones or Johns , q.v. ]
Garfield Hopkin Hughes, M.A., (1912-69), Aberystwyth
Published date: 2001