Little is definitely known about his early life or subsequent career. He was born in the parish of Llanystumdwy, Caernarfonshire, and presumably spent most of his life in that and neighbouring parishes. By profession a weaver, he gained high repute as a poet and was also known as a genealogist.
He composed poems to the aristocracy of the surrounding countryside, in the old Welsh tradition, and also more popular verse such as carols for Christmastide. Selections from his works were published in Carolau a Dyriau Duwiol, 1696, in Blodeu Gerdd Cymry, 1759 and in Gwaith Owen Gruffydd, ed. by O. M. Edwards, 1904. A considerable amount of his work is to be found in manuscript in the British Museum and the National Library of Wales. In his old age he was afflicted with blindness and his verse was written down by his friends from his dictation.
He was buried at Llanystumdwy 6 December 1730. William Elias composed an elegy upon him.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.