The details of his early life and educational career are not known. He appears to have been a native of Guilsfield, Montgomeryshire; he had property there, and he left money to the poor of that parish to be distributed by his brother, Robert. He was a man of learning and he used to write his name in Hebrew characters in his manuscripts. He came under the patronage of Gabriel Goodman, dean of Westminster, founder of Christ's hospital, Ruthin, and he held a number of ecclesiastical preferments, some of them, at least, by the dean's favour. He was rector of Longstone, Monmouth, from 1595 to 1601, and of the first part of Llansannan from 1605 to 1614, warden of Ruthin hospital from 1599 to 1606, and vicar of Hinckley, Leics., from 1600 until he died in 1614. His will was drawn up 18, and proved 28 May, and he was buried in the chancel of Hinckley parish church, 25 May. He names his wife, Mary, his son Bartholomew, and his daughters Elizabeth, Marye, and Anne, with a suggestion that the children were minors. His wife was a daughter of John Roberts of Park, Llanfrothen. In a letter to Sir Robert Cotton, 1613, Jasper Gryffyth lists forty Latin manuscripts in his possession, and other fragments in Latin and Welsh (B.M. MS. Cotton, Jul. C., iii). Some of the most important Welsh manuscripts passed through his hands, e.g. ‘The Black Book of Carmarthen,’ ‘The White Book of Rhydderch,’ Pen. MSS. 44 and 53, the ‘Dingestow Brut’ (N.L.W. MS. 5266), the ‘Life of Gruffudd ap Cynan’ (Pen. MS. 17), and two manuscripts of the Laws of Howel (Harleian 4353 and Cotton Cleopatra B.V.). He wrote Llanst. MS. 120 and parts of Pen. MS. 316 and B.M. Cotton, Vespasian A, vi.
Published date: 1959
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