Dafydd Llwyd


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Dafydd Llwyd


Dafydd Llwyd was a prolific writer, and a gentleman poet who worked in the cywyddau tradition specifically in relation to the canu brud - prophetic poetry. He was a staunch supporter within the national interest of Wales, having experienced the after affects of the Owain Glyn Dwr rebellion. Later being affected by the politics governing the War of the Roses of which both Yorkist and Lancasterians received varying support from welsh regional areas. The idea of a national deliver for Wales was firmly built into the consciousness of the society, form Geoffrey of Monmouth view of the History of Britain, together with the prophecies of Merlin and Arthur. Such a deliver was associated through the genealogical line of Ednyfed whom had served Llwyweln ap Gruffyd up until the events of 1282. Nonetheless Henry Tudor originated from the same bloodline and became a prime candidate who might fulfil the role.

Indeed Dafydd Llwyd, an influential bard and a prolific poet whom assisted to shape the national mind and consciousness while assisting to pave the way using prophetic poetry techniques. For instance, when Henry as a young child in the care of William Herbert at Reglan. Dafydd Llwyd addressed Herbert about the importance of his foster charge. References linked Henry to the "young swallow", being the rightful successor to the "Eagle of Ynys Mon" was in his care. The presence of Henry Tudor at Reglan in turn attributed to it, becoming a central point of bardic patronage during the middle of the 14th century.

Exchanges within the bardic tradition between Dafydd and Gruffudd ap Llywelen Fychan in its poetic form, progressed the "young swallow" to become the "mab daragon," which sets the prophetic animal into mythical symbolism. The scene and images protjected, in accordance to oral tradition could be very similar to the use within gnomic poetry, yet it sets, and steers the child's destiny. The events surrounding the upsurge of Richard, the Earl of Gloucester to Richard III, the safety of Henry Tudor became paramount. Subsequently Henry, the "young swallow" or the proclaimed "Eagle of Ynys Mon" was brisked away to Europe for safty.

Moreover Dafydd Llwyd renounced his loyalties to the "Boar" of England (Richard III), and became a stanched supporter to the "Eagle of Ynys Mon". Indeed the poetic outpouring eventually proclaimed the return of the "mab daragon," while awaiting the return of Henry Tudor from France, which cumulated in the battle at Bosworth, and the crowning of Henry VII as sovereign ruler of England. Although the legend became fullied with a Brythonic King seated in London, Wales became redefined and incorporated with England diring his reign and later cemented in place through his second son Henry VIII. Indeed after the events of Bosworth, a very contentious point, for Dafydd Llwayd is released through his poetical voice where Bardic poetic predictions, canu brud, took there time to materialise and manifest themselves, or even perhaps, not at all.

In hindsight one could come to an assumption which might indicate that Dafydd Llwyd was a casualty of the bardic oral tradition, caught up with the notion of having a Brythonic King seated on the thrown of England. Although legend claimed Cadwaladr, previously was the last to achieve this, and indeed many others had also claimed likewise. Historically, claims to this position can be traced back to 43AD, to Caratactus who rallied support from the Silues. after the Battle of Medway, with the subsequent loss of the Cullevianllaui and associated expansive territory in the SE of England came under Roman hegenomy, When London has its later foundations as a trading centre with the Roman period. Irrespectively what becomes very clear, concerns the important position in which the Bardic tradition held within society. Although their poetry acted similar, as if one read a newspaper today, the bards disseminated the news concerning current events to the people. But more of all, the canu brud gave hope up lifting the hopes for the future, after the memories of the famine and plague of the late 14th century, and the subsequent internal war monguring for political postitions and power. Overall the canu Brud which was full of hope, cemented the people together, with a sense of national pride.


Creighton, J., Britannia: The Creation of a Roman Province, Routledge, 2006

Rees, D., Sir Rhys ap Thomas, Gomer, 1992

Thomas, H., A History of Wales 1485-1660, University of Wales Press, 1972

Williams, G.A., 'The Bardic Road to Bosworth: A Welsh View of Henry Tudor,' in Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1989, pp7-31

Last update August 2006