Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HUW CAE LLWYD ( fl. 1431-1504 ), poet .

Of Llandderfel, Mer. , according to his own testimony (in ‘ Cywydd y Wennol ’), and not of Llangyfelach, Glam. , as Iolo Morganwg imagined. In his early days he went to South Wales as a strolling poet and there, in Brecknock and Glamorgan , he spent the rest of his life, singing the praises of the wealthy families — the Games , the Havards , the Vaughans , and the Herberts . He produced nine awdlau and thirty-five cywyddau , some being elegies, some panegyrics, and some petitions, after the manner of poets in those days.

Huw Cae Llwyd was essentially a courtly poet , one whose poetry was at its best when he was returning thanks for benefits received. The date of his birth is not known, but the dates between which he flourished can be established from internal evidence provided by his elegies and from the date of the battle of Banbury , 1469 ; the poems fall between 1457 and 1504 . Moreover, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1475 and wrote a cywydd describing all that he had seen there. He sang the praises of Sir Rhys ap Thomas . It seems probable that in his old age he returned to his native place in North Wales for there is a tradition that he was buried at Llanuwchllyn where, too, lie the poets Llawdden , Madog Benfras , and Siôn Ceri


  • Leslie Harris , unpublished dissertation, 1933 , ‘Huw Cae Llwyd ac Eraill’ in N.L.W.;
  • G. J. Williams , Iolo Morganwg a Chywyddau'r Ychwanegiad (1926) , 89.


Leslie Harries, M.A., (1901-88), Llaneurgain, Flintshire

Published date: 1959