Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , THOMAS , or THOMAS ab IFAN ( fl. 1596-1633 ), poet and transcriber of manuscripts .

He is known as Thomas Evans of Hendreforfudd , a township in the old parish of Corwen , but now lying in the ecclesiastical parish of Llansantffraid Glyn Dyfrdwy . He was the son of Evan ap John ap Robert ap Madoc ap Jenkin ap Griffith ap Bleddyn and Lowri , daughter of Griffith ab Evan ap David Ddu ap Tudur ab Evan ap Llewelyn ap Griffith ap Meredith ap Llewelyn ap Ynyr . The place and time of his birth and death are unknown, but he was transcribing manuscripts and writing poetry from 1596 to 1633 . He appears to have been a craftsman who received an injury which made him lame . He could make violin bows and sundials . In 1615 , he was living in a house called Yr Erw Gau , where he built a stone chimney in that year. His brothers, Robert ab Evan and Rees ab Evan , were buried at Llansantffraid Glyn Dyfrdwy , the one on 26 April 1618 , and the other on 28 April 1630 . He also had a brother called John ab Evan . In 1606 , he wrote an elegy upon the death of Simwnt Fychan (q.v.) in which he calls the bard his uncle and teacher . The manuscripts of Roger Morris (q.v.) , Coed-y-talwrn , came into his possession before 1607 (e.g. Llanst. MS. 34 , Mostyn MS. 135 , and N.L.W. MS. 1553 ). His earliest work is a calendar and a collection of astronomical miscellanea in 1596 ( Pen. MS. 187 ). In his manuscript collections of Welsh poetry, he has included examples of his own work, which is pretty consistently dated. Cardiff MS. 12 he wrote between 1600 and 1616 , N.L.W. MS. 1553 , containing much of his own work, between 1604 and 1633 , N.L.W. MS. 253 , which also contains part of the rare Welsh Primer , Llyfr Plygain , of 1618 , between that year and 1622 , and N.L.W. MS. 1554 , which contains a substantial collection of pedigrees, between 1631 and 1633 . In 1628 , he added a life of S. Margaret to the collection of Lives of Welsh Saints compiled by Roger Morris . He owned Pen. MS. 157 , which contains Welsh poetic grammars, and added some notes to it. He was a prolific composer of englynion but not always in good taste. He had at least one son, Griffith Thomas .


  • Information gathered from the manuscripts cited.


Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959