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Asser Menevensis, a British Historian, and Tutor to King Alfred, and to his children. He was the first Professor of Oxford, and Author of
the Life of Alfred, 874
Geraint, y Bardd Glas or Gadair, 880
Mab Cryg, a Bard, 880
Blegywryd,or Blegabredus.a British Historian, 914 Jonas Mynyw, a Bard, 920
Meilir Brydydd, Bard to Prince Gruffydd ab
Cynan, about 1100
Cellan Benccrdd, chief Bard of the Harp to
Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan, — 1086
Llewehn, and Gwrnerth, two Powissian
Grammarians and poets, 1030
Bieddyn Ddu was y CwA, a Poet, — 1090 Y Bcrgam, o Vaelor, in Denbighshire, a Poet,
about — —— 1090
Kobert Cuke of Normandy, brother to William Rufu*; who, about the year 1106, was confined by King Henry the First 28 years in Cardiff Castle: during that period he is said to have acquired a perfect knowledge of the Welsh language and poetry, and to have been admitted a Welfli Bard. This singular circumstance is recorded in an old Welsh history of the Lords of Glamorgan, from Jestin ab Gwrgant, down to Jasper Duke of Bedford.
Bishop Uiban, writer of Liber Landavensis, 1119 Cwrgan ab Rhys, a celebrated Bard, — 1130 Caradoc of Llancarvan, a British Historian, 1130 Jeffcry of Monmouth, a British Historian, and
Bishop of St. Asa ph, 1140
Howel, the son of Owain Gwynedd, a Bardic
Prince, — 1140
Pcryv ab Cadivor, a Poet, — — 1140
Owen Gwynedd, 1150
Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, Bard to Prince Owen Gwynedd; to Madog ab Meredvdd, Prince of Powis; and to Prince Davydd ab
Owen Gwynedd, — 1160
T Llyvr D6 0 Gaer-Vyrddint i. e. The black Book of Carmarthen, which is in Hengwrt Library, Meirionyddshire, is supposed to be the oldest Welsh manuscript now extant: it is a quarto size, consisting of 108 pages, and contains the works of the Bards of the sixth century. The first part of it is very ancient; the writer unknown; and the latter part of it is thought to be transcribed from other
old manuscripts by Cynnddelw Brydydd mazvr, i. e. Cynddelw the celebrated Bard, about A. D. 1150 Owain Cyveiliog, Prince of Powis, a Bard, 1160 Gwynvardd Brycheiniog, Bard to Prince
Rhys ab Gruffydd, —■— 1160
Dygynnelw, son of Cynddelw, a Bard, — 1170 Giraldus Cambrensis, a learned British His
storian, ■ ■ 1190
Llywarch Brydydd y Moch, Bard to Prince
Llewelyn ab Jorweth, . 1200
Morris Morgannwg, a Rhetorician and Poet, 1220 Einion, the son of Gwalchmai of Treveilir, Bard to Llewelyn ab Jorwerth, or Prince
Llewelvn the Great, ■ 1230
Daniel ab Llosgwrn Mew, a Bard, — 1200 Hen Gyrys o Jal; Bach Buddugre; or Gwyddvarch Gyvarwydd : a celebrated collector of Welsh proverbs, about the year — 1216
Meddygon Myddvai, who wrote a British book on Physic and Surgery, by order of Prince RhysGrvg, abour the year —. 1230
Ystudvach, a Poet,-and Warrior, who is often celebrated by the Bards for his hospitality; also, a collector of Welsh proverbs: of whom Davydd ab Gwilym fays:
"Gwir a ddywawd Ystudvach,
Einion Wan, a Bard, J 1240
Adda Vras, a Poet and pretended prophet, of Is-Conwy, in North Wales, about . 1240 Phylip Brydydd, a Cardiganshire Bard, — 1250 Einion ab Gwgon, a Bard, . 1450
Bieddyn Vardd, Bard to Llywelyn ab Gruf
fudd, the last Prince of Wales 1260
Davydd Benvras, Bard to the said Llywelyn, who was betrayed at Buellt in the year 1282. This Bard enumerates twenty battles that this
prince sought. Flourished about 1260
Meilir ab Gwalchmai,Bard to Llywelyn the last, 1260
Casnodyn Vardd ■ 1260
Gwilym Ryvel, a Poet, and Warrior, — 1260
Prince Llywelyn, 1270
Edeyrn Davod Aur, a Bard and Grammarian, 1270
Minwyn, a Grammarian and Poet,
Llygad Gwr, a Bard, — 1270
Ednyved Vychan, a Bard, 1270
Einion Offeiriad, o Wynedd; a Rhetorician
and Poet, ■ 1280
Seisyll Bryfwrch, a Bard, — — 1280
Gwilym ddu o Arvon, Bard to P. Llywelyn 1320
Dr. Davydd Ddu, o Hiraddug, in Flintshire;
a Bard and Grammarian: from his knowledge
in chemistry and natural philosophy, he got the
name of a magician •, he lived about the year 1340
Trahaearn Brydydd Mawr, or Trahaearn the
noted Bard, 1370
Davydd ab Gwilym, or Davydd Morganwg;
Bard to Ivor Hael, (Lord of Maesaleg, in Monmouthshire,) and to the monastery of Strata
Mabclav ap Llywarch, a Bard, —— 1370 Howel Ystoryn, a Poet, — — 1380 Yr Ystus Llwyd, a Poet, — — 1380 Sir John Gower, a native of Gwyr, or Gowerland, in Glamorganshire; the first English Poet, and Laureat to King Richard II. to whom he dedicated his works, about the year — 1380 Dr. Johnson, in his History of our English Language, fays, "The first of our authors, who can be properly said to have written English, was Sir John Gower; who, in his Confession of a Lover, calls Chaucer his disciple, and may therefore be considered as the Father of English Poetry."
Llywelyn Moel y Pantri, a Bard, —- 1400 Syr Gruffydd Lhwyd, ab Davydd ab Einion, chief Bard to Owen Glyndwr, the last Welsh
Llywelyn G6ch ab Meurig hen, o Nannau, 1400 Jolo G6ch, Lord of Llechryd, in Denbighshire, a Bard, 1400
lthel Ddu, o Vro Veilir, in Anglesey, called Dryw'r Gerdd, i. e. The Druid of Poetry, — 1400 Rhys Goch o Eryri, of Havod Garregog,
near Snowdon, a Bard, —- 1420
Llywelyn, or Lewis Glyn-Cothi j a Bard, and an officer under Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, — 1450 This Bard transcribed most of the old Welsh poems and records, in a folio volume, called Llyvr-Cocb, (which is still in Jesus College Library, Oxford,) from a very ancient manuscript, called Llyvr Hergeji.
Davydd ab Edmwnd, yr Awdur ariandlysog, or chief Bard, — 1450
Gutto o'r Glyn, Bard to Llan Egwestl, Vale Crucis Abbey, in Denbighshire, 145°
Guttyn Owain, a Herald Bard, and Historian; resided chiefly at Ystrad Fflur Monastery in Cardiganshire, ■ 1480
Cynvrig ab Gronw, a Poet and Genealogist, who flourished about 1450. This Bard, and Syr Meredudd ab Rhys, who flourished in 1440 mentions the discovery of America, by Madoc, son of Owen Gwynedd.
Davydd Nanmor, an eminent Bard of Merionethshire, ■ 1460
Jorwerth Vynglwyd, Bard to Margam Abbey
in Glamorganshire, 1460
Jorwerth Cyriog, a chair'd Bard, — 1460
Llywarch Bentwrch, a Poet, 1460
Sir John Leiaf, a Herald Bard, 1480
Gruffydd ab Llewelyn ab Evan Vychan, a
Herald Bard, —— 1485
Inco Brydydd, 1480
Jevan Llwyd Brydydd, — — 1480 Rhys Nanmor, Bard to King Henry VII. 1480 Tudur Aled, of Dyffryn Aled, in Denbighshire, a celebrated Bard, ■ I49°
Lewis Morganwg, pencerdd y tair talaith, or chief Bard of the Principality of Wales; and
domestic Bard to Neath Abbey 1510
Syr Huw Pennant, Offeiriad, and Bard, — 1510 Gruffydd of Hiraethog, (in Denbighshire) an excellent Bard, that flourished about the year, 1530 He was the preceptor of four eminent poets at one time; and being asked, which of his pupils had the brightest genius; he returned the following answer: "tyJged'S S*m furfur* The learning of Shon Tudur. Govalus Symwnt Vychan. The diligence of Simwnt
Awenyddawl William Cynwal. The prolific genius of
Ond, n'td oes dim cuddiedig But nothing is unknown rhag William Lljn." to William Llyn.
For the list of the succeding Bards, I must refer my readers to the end of Dr. John Davies's Antiqua Linguœ Britannica. And to Mr. EdwardLhuyd's Catalogue of ancient British Manuscripts, and Welsh writers, in his Archaologia Britannica, p. 225.258, &c.
Aneurin Givazvdrydd, myebdeyrn Beirdd3, that is, Aneurin with the flowing Muse, King of Bardsj (brother to Gildas Albanius, the British historian,) who lived under the patronage of Mynyddawg of Edinburgh, a prince of the North; whose Eurdorchogion, or warriors wearing the golden Torres, 363 in number, were all slain, except Aneurin and two others, in a battle with the Saxons at
Cattraetb, on the eastern coast of Yorkshire. His Gododin, an Heroic Poem, written on that event, is perhaps the oldest and noblest production of that age. Being composed in a northern dialect, that of the men of Deira, and Bernicia; it is at present in many places difficult and obscure'. The following passage, versified by Mr. Gray, from Mr. Evans's specimens, will, though a fragment, give an ample proof of the genius of Aneurin *.
Selected from the Gododin.
Had I but the torrent's might,
With headlong rage, and wild affright,
Upon Deira't squadrons hurl'd,
To rush, and sweep them from the world!
Too, too secure, in youthful pride
Have ye seen the tufky boar
VedeFs name, my lay, rehearse,
To Cattraetb's vale, in glitt'ring row
Twice two hundred warriors got
Ev'ry warrior's manly neck
Chains of regal honour deck,
Wreath'd in many a golden link:
From the golden cup they drink
Nectar, that the bees produce,
Or the grape's extatic juice.
Flush'd with mirth, and hope, they turn;
But none from Cattraeth's vale return,
Save Aeron brave, and Conan strong,
(Bursting thro' the bloody throng),
And I, the meanest of them all,
That live to weep, and sing their fall. — —
Taliesin, who in one of his poems gives an honourable testimony to the fame of Aneurin % was like him called Penbeirdd, Chief, or King of Bards. He lived in the reign and enjoyed the favour of Maelgivn Gwynedd, King of all Wales. He was found, when an infant, exposed in a wear, which Gwyddno Garan~ Mr, the King of Cantre'r Gzvaelod, had granted as a maintenance to Prince Elphin his son. Elphin, with many amiable qualities, was extravagant •, and, having little success at the wear, grew discontented and melancholy. At this juncture Taliefin was found by the fishermen of the prince, by whose command he was carefully fostered and liberally educated. At a proper age the accomplished Bard was introduced by his princely patron at the court of his father Gwyddno, to whom he presented, on that occasion, a poem called Hanes Taliesin, or Taliefin's History; and at the same time another to the prince, called Dyhuddiant Elphin1, the consolation of Elphin, which the Bard addresses to him in the person and character of an exposed infant. Taliefin lived to recompense the kindness of his benefactor: by the magic of his Song he redeemed him from the castle of Teganwy, (where he was for some misunderstanding confined by his uncle Maelgwn,) and afterwards conferred upon him an illustrious immortality.
Taliesin was the master, or poetical preceptor of Myrddin ap Morvryn: he enriched the British Prosody with five new metres: and has transmitted in his poems such vestiges as throw new light on the history, knowledge, and manners of the ancient Britons and their Druids, much of whose mystical learning he imbibed.
The first poem which I have chosen for a specimen of Taliesin's manner, is his description of the battle of Argoed Lluyvain, in Cumberland, fought about the year 548, by Goddeu, a King of North Britain, and Urien Reged, King of Cumbria, against Fflamddwyn, a Saxon general, supposed to be [da, the first King of Northumberland. I am indebted to the obliging disposition of the late Mr. Whitehead, for the following faithful and animated versification of this valuable antique .
1"be Battle of Jrgoed Llwyvaln 4
Fflamddwyn pour'd his rapid bands,
FlusiVd with conquest, Fflamddwyn said,
* This is one of the ii great battles of' Urien Reged, celebrated by Taliefin in poems now extant. See Carte's History of England, p. 211, and 213. where there is much valuable information relating to the ancient Britons,
5 A district of Cumberland, the country of Prince Llynuarch Hen, from whence he was driven by the Saxons.
6 Some place on the borders of Northumberland.
7 Owen ap Urien acted as his father's general; and is called, in the British Triades, "one of the three Cavaliers of Battle."
Cenau, God's blooming heir ,
Day advanc'd: and ere the fun
Havoc, havoc rag'd around,
These are Taliefin's rhimes,
Child of sorrow, child of pain,
Never may I smile again,
If, 'till all-subduing death
Close these eyes, and stop this breath,
Ever I forget to raise
My grateful songs to Urien's praise!
About the beginning of the sixth century, Urien, son of Cynvarcb ab Meirchion, King of Reged; (a territory in Caledonia, bordering on the TJlradclwyd Britons", to the south;) who was bred in King Arthur's Court, and was one of his knights: he had great experience in war, and great power in the country by the largeness of his dominion, and the number of his vassals: he was still greater by his reputation and wisdom; and by his valour in defending his country against the encroaching Saxons. After several engagements, with various success, he at last prevailed so far against Theodoric, son of Ida, as to force him to fly into Holy Island for safety. Urien, the glory of his country, who had braved death so often in the field, and sought it in vain among the thickest of his enemies, fell at last in the midst of his own men, in the year 560, by the treachery of Morgan's, brother to Rbydderch, from mere envy, on
8 Cenau led to the assistance of Urien Reged, the forces of his father Coel Godbebog, king of a northern tract, called Goddeu, probably inhabited by the Godini of Ptolemy. Owen ap Urien and Cenau ap Coel were in the number of Arthur's Knights: See
Lewis's History of Britain, p. 101. and Carte's History of England.
9 The Stratb-cliuyd Britons inhabited the west part of Scotland: and the Cumbrians dwelt from the wall southward as far as the Ribble, in Lancashire.