DAVIES, JOHN (Taliesin Hiraethog; 1841 - 1894), farmer and poet

Name: John Davies
Pseudonym: Taliesin Hiraethog
Date of birth: 1841
Date of death: 1894
Child: Alwen Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: farmer and poet
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Nature and Agriculture; Poetry
Author: Enid Pierce Roberts

Born at Creigiau'r Bleiddiau farm, Hafod Elwy, about three miles from Cerrig-y-drudion, Denbighshire, 2 October 1841. After a period at Pentre-llyn-cymer day school, kept by J. Edwards the Independent minister, and afterwards at Cerrig-y-drudion where he was taught by his cousin Huw Huws, he returned to farm Creigiau'r Bleiddiau. On the death of his mother he left his old home and became bailiff to C. S. Mainwaring of Llaethwryd, Cerrig-y-drudion. He then married and went to farm Shotton farm, Flintshire, but his wife and only son died there. He married again and moved to a small farm, Pen-y-palmant, the Green, near Denbigh. A daughter, Alwen, was born of this marriage. John Davies had never been strong, and when Alwen, then 17 years of age, was buried, 27 November 1891, his health broke down utterly. He died 20 March 1894 and was buried at Whitchurch, Denbigh, near Twm o'r Nant.

He was an eisteddfod poet. His neighbour at Hafod Elwy, Elias Jones (Llew Hiraethog), Hafod-y-llan, a grandson of Robert Davies of Nantglyn (1769 - 1835), taught him the art of poetry and aroused his interest in the eisteddfodau. He won a number of prizes for poems in the classical metres and for modern verse and was also rewarded for a novel, ' Y Sesiwn yng Nghymru ' (on the Great Sessions of Wales). His free verse is rather better than his work in the strict metres. His best poems are, perhaps, ' Pryddest Llywarch Hen ' and ' Rhieingerdd Elwy ac Alwen.' He wrote a great deal for the Voelas family (see Wynne of Voelas) and was, at one time, regarded as their household bard.


Published date: 1959

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