Varying details are given about him - e.g. Enwogion (Foulkes) names him as parson of Llanberis in 1571; Panton MS. 58 (87), gives him as a gentleman from Chirk; Llanover MS. B 2 (602) contains a note in the handwriting of Iolo Morganwg, stating that he was a native of Denbighshire, curate of Flemingston, Glamorganshire, and of somewhere in Carmarthenshire, and parson of Llanberis during the latter part of his life. No proof of the preceding statements remains, and only one of his poems refers to himself - NLW MS 3050D (612). In it the poet bade farewell to his home in Gartheryr, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, and to that particular district of Denbighshire. Some misfortune had befallen him, he had sold his land, and was ready to leave for South Wales, to live under the patronage of John Vaughan of Golden Grove, Carmarthenshire. Two of his free metre poems and a number of cywyddau and englynion are preserved in manuscript. The strict metre poems include eulogies, elegies, begging poems (to persons from North and South Wales), religious, moral, and love poems. Poetic controversies or ymrysonau took place between him and Gruffudd Hafren (Cwrtmawr MS 206B (101)), Richard Davies, bishop of S. Davids (Cwrtmawr MS 222D (28)), and Dafydd Llwyd of Dolobran (Aberdare MS. 1 (578)). He also wrote poetry on topical themes, e.g. a cywydd written in judgment on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and in praise of king James I (Peniarth MS 112: Llyfr cywyddau Siôn ap William ap Siôn (189)), and an englyn giving advice to William Cyffin on his departure for Ireland with the earl of Essex in 1599 (Jes. Coll. MS. 18 (42)). One holograph poem is found in Christ Church MS. 183 (39b) (NLW MS 6494D is a photostat copy of this manuscript). It is not known whether he was related to Morus and Edward Cyffin
Published date: 1959
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