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WYNNE , ELLIS ( DWB , 1105).

Y Lasynys is in the parish of Llandanwg , not Llanfihangel y Traethau .


Corrections and additions:

WYNNE , ELLIS ( 1670/1 - 1734 ), cleric, and author of an outstanding Welsh prose classic ;

b. 7 March 1670/1 , at Y Lasynys , near Harlech and in the parish of Llanfihangel-y-Traethau, Mer. , son of Edward Wynne , who descended from a well-known Merioneth family ( Wynne of Glyn Cywarch ), and his wife, who had inherited Y Lasynys . It has not been ascertained, as yet, where Ellis Wynne received his early education nor how he spent his life until he entered Jesus College , Oxford , on 1 March 1691/2 . It used to be thought that he left Oxford without graduating, but more recent evidence ( A. Ivor Pryce , The Diocese of Bangor during three centuries and N.L.W. Vivian MS. 31 ) seems to point to graduation ( B.A. , afterwards M.A. ). Degree or no degree, there is abundant evidence that the author of Gweledigaetheu y Bardd Cwsc was a man of superior education and much culture. Local tradition suggests that he was a student of the law before his kinsman, Humphrey Humphreys , bishop of Bangor and, afterwards, of Hereford (q.v.) , persuaded him to take holy orders. He was ordained deacon on 24 Dec. , and priest on 31 Dec. 1704 .

Ellis Wynne m. (1), Sept. 1698 , Lowry Wynne of Moel-y-glo , a kinswoman and a neighbour (she d. July 1699 , at the birth of their first-born Edward , who d. before he was 2 years old), and (2) Lowry Lloyd , Hafod Lwyfog , Beddgelert . Nine children were born of the second marriage; of these William , the second child, and Edward , the youngest, are noticed below.

On 1 Jan. 1704/5 , Ellis Wynne became the incumbent of the neighbouring parish of Llandanwg ; he also had charge of the chapelry of Llanbedr . In Nov. 1706 he wrote to lady Margaret Owen , widow of Sir Robert Owen (of Brogyntyn , Salop , and associated also with Glyn Cywarch, Mer. ), the letter beginning — ‘ My Parishioners of Llandanwg and my Self are extreamly desirous of a Chappell again at Harlech … ’ ( N.L.W. Brogyntyn manuscript reproduced, as is another letter by him, in a N.L.W. Brogyntyn manuscript, in Dauganmlwyddiant Ellis Wynne, Llawlyfr y Dathliad , 1934 , and in Jnl. Mer. Hist. Soc. , 1949 ). In 1711 he relinquished the cure of Llandanwg (with Llanbedr ) and from July of that year until his death he was the incumbent of Llanfair-juxta-Harlech . (For further details about his life as priest and his life generally, including details of books and manuscripts which he owned, see the Dauganmlwyddiant … handbook , already cited.)

Wynne is remembered, largely and indeed mainly, by virtue of his Gweledigaetheu y Bardd Cwsc (‘ The Visions of the Sleeping Bard ’), first printed (in London ) in 1703 , a Welsh prose classic, of which at least thirty-two editions had appeared up to 1932 , and of which at least three translations into English were made; for details of editions and translations, see Jnl. of the Welsh Bibliog. Soc. , iv, 199-208). The author had previously published ( London , 1701 ) a translation, under the title of Rheol Buchedd Sanctaidd … , of Jeremy Taylor 's Holy Living , whilst, in 1710 , appeared his edition of the Welsh Book of Common Prayer . In the latter appeared his best-known Welsh hymn, that beginning ‘ Myfi yw'r Adgyfodiad Mawr ’; four other hymns by him, together with a version of a psalm, and two carolau plygain , all in Welsh , appeared after his death in a work, published by his son Edward in 1755 , in Prif Addysc y Cristion … He d. 13 July 1734 , and was buried under the altar at Llanfair-juxta-Harlech .

His second son by his second wife was WILLIAM WYNN ( 1704 - 1761 ), cleric ; b. 14 July (and christened 15 July) 1704 . He was educated at Chester under Dr. Henchman , at Llanegryn, Mer. , under John Edwards , 1717-22 , and at Jesus College , Oxford , 10 March 1722 to 3 July 1726 ( B.A. and M.A. ). He was ordained deacon at Bangor 6 Aug. 1726 , and priest 14 July 1728 , was curate of Llanaber 13 Aug. 1726 to Sept. 1731 , served at Mallwyd and in Anglesey , returning in 1733 to Merioneth as curate to his father at Llanfair-juxta-Harlech and, on 21 Sept. 1734 , succeeding him as incumbent. In April 1750 he became rector of Llanaber . William Wynn m. (1), 28 Jan. 1734 , Jane , daughter of William Wynne , Maesyneuadd , near Harlech (she d. 9 Dec. 1734> , in childbirth), and (2) Jane , daughter of Hugh Lloyd , Trallwyn, Caerns. ; by Jane he had an only child, Ellin . (For further details, see Dauganmlwyddiant Ellis Wynne … ). He d. in July 1761 .

EDWARD WYNNE ( 1715 - 1767 ), youngest son of Ellis Wynne by his second wife, was christened on 25 March 1715 . Reference is made above to the translation by him ( Prif Addysc y Cristion … ), published in 1755 when he was curate at Llanaber to his brother William ; he was later, 1759-67 , incumbent of Penmorfa, Caerns. There are references to him in his father's will and in the various note-books, etc., of his brother William ; for details see Dauganmlwyddiant … and articles in Jnl. of the Welsh Bibliog. Soc. , 1934 .


  • There is a full bibliography in Dauganmlwyddiant Ellis Wynne, Llawlyfr y Dathliad yn eglwysi Llanfair a Llandanwg, ac yng ngholeg Harlech, Gorffennaf 17, 1934 (Aberystwyth, 1934) , 1934 ;
  • see also article by John Lloyd in Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society , 1949 .


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001