Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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CLYNNOG , MORYS (or MAURICE CLENOCKE ) ( c. 1525 - 1581 ), Roman Catholic theologian ;

his birthplace, in all probability, was Clynnog-fawr in Caerns. He went up to Christ Church , Oxford , where he graduated B.C.L. in 1548 . After being successively chaplain to ( cardinal ) Reginald Pole , rector of Orpington, Kent. , and dean of Shoreham and Croydon , he was, in 1556 , appointed rector of Corwen , by Goldwell , bishop of S. Asaph . On the death of William Glyn (q.v.) in 1558 , he was raised to the see of Bangor but, before he was consecrated, queen Mary died and he went into voluntary exile rather than conform with the new dispensation under Elizabeth . In 1561 he, bishop Goldwell , and Gruffydd Robert (q.v.) , archdeacon of Anglesey , arrived in Rome . Goldwell was appointed warden of the English Hospital in that city, Gruffydd Robert became chaplain in 1564 , and Morys Clynnog Camerarius ’ in 1567 . In 1577 he was appointed warden . The following year Owen Lewis , archdeacon of Hainault and later bishop of Cassano (q.v.) , succeeded in establishing the English College in Rome , and Morys Clynnog was elected rector with a staff of three Jesuits to assist him in teaching the English and Welsh students. Clynnog was alleged to have shown favouritism to the Welsh , and a riot occurred, but there is a suspicion that this was instigated by the Jesuits who wished to gain control of the college. At any rate, he was forced to resign in 1579 after the English students, who had threatened to leave the college if he did not do so, had sent a petition to cardinal Morone protesting against his administration, and a deputation to the pope to demand his removal. Father Agazzari , a Jesuit , was appointed in his place. In 1580 we hear of Morys Clynnog embarking at Rouen . It is believed that he was drowned early in 1581 on his way to Spain .

In 1568 he published a little book in the form of a catechism. It was called Athravaeth Gristnogavl , had an introduction by Gruffydd Robert , and was printed at Milan ; see the article Bonaparte , Louis-Lucien .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1903 ;
  • A History of the Venerable English College, Rome an account of its origins and work from the earliest times to the present day (London, New York, 1920) ;
  • G. J. Williams (ed.), Gramadeg Cymraeg yn ôl yr argraffiad y dechreuwyd ei gyhoeddi ym Milan yn 1567 (Cardiff, 1939) ;
  • see also C. 1/1342/26 (P.R.O.).


Dr Geraint Bowen, M.A., Ruabon

Published date: 1959