Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAFYDD , MEURIG ( 1510? - 1595 ), professional bard, staunch Papist, and one of the most important literary characters in Glamorgan in the second half of the 16th cent. ;

b. at Llanishen near Cardiff . He m. Joan Mathau , granddaughter of Sir Cristor ( Christopher ) Mathau ( Mathew ) , of Llandaff (see under Mathew family ). He was for forty years the family bard of the Lewises of Van , Caerphilly (see the article on them), but periodically went out on tour, visiting the houses of the gentry in Glamorgan , Gwent , and south Brecknock . Like the other bards of his generation, he was a genealogist and historian and discharged the duties of a ‘ herehaut ’ in the court at Ludlow . His poetical works, written in his own hand, are to be found in Llanover MS. B. 5 . Composed in the strict metres, they are cold, stereotyped, and uninspired, with none of the fire which characterized the poetry of his master Lewys Morgannwg . The fictions invented by Iolo Morganwg about the part played by Meurig Dafydd in the development of the bardic system pictured by Iolo himself and incorporated by him in his work on the mysteries of the bards of the Isle of Britain , are now completely discredited.


  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg (1948) (index);
  • G. J. Williams , Iolo Morganwg a Chywyddau'r Ychwanegiad (1926) .


Thomas Oswald Phillips, M.A., Cardiff

Published date: 1959