Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DWNN , OWAIN ( c. 1400 - c. 1460 ) ,

of Modlyscwm (or ‘ Muddlescombe ’), Kidwelly, Carms. His grandfather was the Henry Don who was an adherent of Owain Glyn Dŵr ( Lloyd , Owen Glendower , 41). The documents of the period 1436-46 make frequent mention of Owain Dwnn . He had a sister Mabli , the first wife of Gruffudd ap Nicholas of Dynevor (q.v.) , and both Owain and Gruffudd were imprisoned as followers of Humphrey , duke of Gloucester , justice of South Wales , when the latter's sun set in 1447 . There is evidence ( Panton MS. 40 (83) ) that he served in Ireland under Richard , duke of York , father of Edward IV , and it was to him, perhaps, that Hywel Dafydd addressed a cywydd which is full of references to that service. Owain 's wife was Catherine , daughter of John Wogan of Picton, Pembs. (see the article on that family), and their son, Harry Dwnn , and a nephew of the same name were killed at the battle of Hedgecote Field , July 1469 .

Owain Dwnn 's claim to be recognized as a poet is based chiefly on the contest of englynion between Gruffudd ap Nicholas , Owain Dwnn , and Gruffydd Benrhaw (q.v.) (the oldest text of which is to be found in Mostyn MS. 131 (59-78) ), but it is difficult to judge their authenticity. There is another poem ( englyn proest ) also which is attributed to Owain Dwnn in Mostyn MS. 131 (510) .


  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1941 , 120-31.


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

Published date: 1959