Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HUW MACHNO ( fl. 1585-1637 ), poet ,

son of Owen ap Ieuan ap Siôn of Penmachno, Caerns. , descended from Dafydd Goch of Penmachno , an illegitimate son of David , prince of Wales . His mother was Margaret , daughter of Robert ap Rhys ap Hywel . The date of his birth is not known, but he is said to have d. in 1637 , and a gravestone inscribed ‘ H.M. obiit 1637 ,’ in Penmachno churchyard, is believed to be his. He appears to have been a pupil of Siôn Phylip (see Phylipiaid Ardudwy ), as in his elegy upon the latter's death, in 1620 , he acknowledges having received much from him during an acquaintanceship of thirty-five years. They, therefore, began their association in 1585 . Richard Phylip , in a poem, complains that he lost his fellowship when he became m. He was kinsman and poet to the families of Gwydir , Llechwedd Hafod , and Dulasau , and he sang much to them. The gardener at Gwydir is said to have depicted the bard on horseback in a topiary there. He also sang to other families in Gwynedd and Denbighshire , and as far south as Gogerddan, Cards. He was engaged in a poetic contention with archdeacon Edmund Prys (q.v.) , and Siôn Phylip tried to reconcile them. The latter emphasized Huw Machno 's learning, his knowledge of Latin , and of the bardic diction, maintaining his excellence in poems to women, in eulogy, and in descriptive verse. Over 150 of his poems have been preserved in manuscript. The following manuscripts contain examples of his autograph, N.L.W. MS. 433 , Peniarth MS. 327 , Mostyn. MS. 146 , B.M. Add. MS. 14998 , Cardiff MS. 83 (the Book of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir ), Christ Church MS. 184 , and he wrote practically the whole of N.L.W. MS. 727 , which contains much of his own poetry. He gave this book to Evan Lloyd of Dulasau , [father of Sir Richard Lloyd , 1606 - 1676 , q.v. ]. Among elegies composed by him are poems on the death of Katherine of Berain , 1591 , John Tudur , 1602 , bishop William Morgan , 1604 , Siôn Phylip , 1620 , and Thomas Prys of Plas Iolyn , 1634 . He had at least three children, Owain (who d. 1619 , aged eleven, when his father wrote an. elegy upon his death), Robert , and John .


  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) , 705;
  • the manuscripts cited above;
  • Peniarth Manuscript in the National Library of Wales 288.


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

Published date: 1959