His earliest poem (Mostyn MS. 148 (692)) is dated 1594, and his latest (B.M. MS. 51 (73)) 1657. Accordingly, it is possible that he was the eldest son of Lewys Dwnn. The two frequently wrote panegyrics in honour of the same people - the families of Gogerddan, Mathafarn, Gregynog, and the Plasau Duon, Dr. John Davies of Mallwyd, etc., but, for the most part, James Dwnn confined himself to his own neighbourhood. Many of his poems are preserved in the ' Book of James Dwnn ' (Llanstephan MS 53 ), but there are many others which are found scattered in other collections, e.g. N.L.W. MSS. 1560, 2691, 5261, 5269, 6496; Pen. MSS. 91, 92, 327; Cardiff MSS. 83, 84, etc. Most of them are panegyrics and elegies, but attention is drawn to his englynion on the burning of Mathafarn House by Cromwell's soldiers in 1644, and to the four cywyddau on holy days - ' ar yr epistol ddydd gwyl y Gwirionedd,' ' y Sul gwedi yr Natolig,' ' ddydd Calan,' and ' dydd gwyl Ystwyll ' (N.L.W. MS. 7191 (262-5)).
Published date: 1959
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