MADOG BENFRAS (fl. c. 1320-1360), poet

Name: Madog Benfras
Gender: Male
Occupation: poet
Area of activity: Poetry
Author: Ray Looker

of Marchwiail, Denbighshire. His pedigree is given in Powys Fadog thus: ' Madog Benfras ap Gruffudd ap Iorwerth, arglwydd Sonlli, ab Einion Goch ab Ieuaf ap Llywarch ap Ieuaf ap Niniaw ap Cynfrig ap Rhiwallawn.' His two brothers, Llywelyn Llogell (parish priest of Marchwiail), and Ednyfed, were also poets; according to Iolo Morganwg their bardic teacher was Llywelyn ap Gwilym of Emlyn. Iolo also names them in connection with the last of three Renaissance eisteddfodau held, he claims, during the reign of king Edward III, and Madog is said to have won a chair and birchen wreath there for a love poem; however, no other testimony is found concerning these eisteddfodau. Madog was a close friend of Dafydd ap Gwilym; both poets composed elegies to each other, and it is uncertain which of the two died first. Not many of Madog's poems remain; they include, in addition to the elegy on Dafydd ap Gwilym, a number of love poems, and one to the ' Halaenwr ' (salt merchant). He was plaintiff in a number of cases tried at Wrexham in 1340 (Archæologia Cambrensis, V. v., 258; Cymm., xxi).


Published date: 1959

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