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JOHNS , DAVID ( fl . 1569-1586 , rather than 1573-87 ; DWB , 442).

David ap John ’ was ord. deacon on 1 Nov. 1569 , and priest (‘ David ap John , alias Johns ’) Christmas Day 1570 . He was collated to Llanfair , 22 Sept. 1573 (‘ David John , clk. ’ ). His successor, John Williams , was collated according to the Composition Book , 16 May, 1598 , but on account of his plurality he was re-appointed to Llanfair on 3 June 1603 ; he was S.T.P. , i.e. D.D.

Sources:

  • A. Ivor Pryce , The Diocese of Bangor in the sixteenth century being a digest of the registers of the bishops, A.D. 1512-1646 , 1923 ;
  • additional information provided by E.D.J.

Author:

Corrections and additions:

JOHNS , DAVID ( fl. 1573-1587 ), cleric and poet ;

a native of Merioneth . In a letter to be found in B.M. MS. 9817 he calls himself ‘ David Johns al's ap John ap Hugh ap Howel ,’ and ‘ Howel ap Jenkyn o Ynys y Maengwyn ,’ in whose praise Tudur Aled had written, was his ancestor. He is recorded as vicar of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd , in Oct. 1573 , and again in Sept. 1586 . He himself suggests ( B.M. Add. MS. 14866 (468) ) that he was there in 1580 . It is said ( N.L.W. MS. 1626 (285) ) that his successor, John Williams , obtained the living on 16 May 1598 .

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 SyrThomas Jones or Johns , q.v. ]

Sources:

  • G. J. Williams , Llythyrau at Ddafydd Jones o Drefriw . National Library of Wales Journal, Appendix, vol. 3. no. 2., 1943 , 28;
  • Enwogion Cymru. A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen , 1852
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (under Jones, D.);
  • NLW MSS 1626, 9261;
  • Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , ii, 100.

Author:

Garfield Hopkin Hughes, M.A., (1912-69), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001