Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAFYDD ap SIANCYN (SIENCYN) ap DAFYDD ap y CRACH ( fl. mid 15th cent. ), Lancastrian partisan and poet .

Descended on his father's side from Marchudd ( Pen. MS. 127 (57) ; Powys Fadog , vi, 221), and on his mother's from prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth ( Pen. MSS. 127 (105), 129 (128, 130 ); Dwnn , ii, 102, 132) — she was Margred , daughter of Rhys Gethin , partisan of Owain Glyn Dwr (on him see Lloyd , Owen Glendower , 66). His exploits during the Wars of the Roses are related in Sir John Wynn 's Hist. of the Gwydir Family : from his eyrie on Carreg-y-gwalch (near Llanrwst ) he kept the Yorkists out of the commote of Nanconwy till 1468 , and raided the surrounding country. Ieuan ap Gruffydd Leiaf and Tudur Penllyn sang his praises. Though Tudur , in his cywydd to him, extols his poetic skill, only three englynion of Dafydd 's are extant. One of these is addressed to Tudur Penllyn . The other two, composed on his deathbed, are preserved (on a fly-leaf of Cardiff MS. 7 ) in the hand of SirThomas Wiliems , who adds that Dafydd , at the time of his death, was constable of Conway castle , having defeated and killed his predecessor — the englynion themselves suggest that Dafydd died of three wounds received in fight . The attribution to Dafydd of two cywyddau addressed respectively to Roger Kynaston and Morys Wyn of Moelyrch is most improbable, for each of the persons addressed seems to have belonged to a later period.


Thomas Roberts, M.A., (1885-1960) Bangor

Published date: 1959