Gwilym Tew


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Gwilym Tew  fl 1460-80

Gwilym Tew is a very interesting character within the Bardic traditon, originally from Glamorgan, He further contributed by producing a bardic grammer, along with being a leading pencreddiaid in the 15th century (Lewis 1997, 87). he further wrote cywyddau brud - prophetic poetry (Evans 1997, 280). Gwilym was also the owner of various manuscripts. One of which is Peniarth Ms 51, dated to c. 1460 (Bartrum 1962-5). Its the earliest recorded list of the 13 treasures of Britain which has survived, although the associated individual attributes are not elaborated on. However the list of treasures do not resurface again until 1562, where they are located in Peniarth Ms 138. Gwilym also owned the Book of Aneirin and other manuscripts, one of which concerned the Triads (Lewis 1997, 80, Stephens 1998, 295).

Interestingly Stephens considers that Gwilym was associated with a mystic school of bards, known as Cablists who pretended to have received their ancient doctrines through traditions. These became adopted into the bardic school of Glamorgan escalating from the Gorsedd y Beirdd which formed itself into the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain by 1681. Together with considering IoIo aka Edward Williams, knew of this system


Stephens, M., (Eds.), The New Companion to the Literature of Wales, University og Wales Press, Cardiff (1998) p. 295

Bartrum P.C., 'Tri Thlws ar Ddeg Ynys Brydrain: The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain', in Etudes Celtiques Vol. 10 (1962-5) pp. 434-477

Lewis, C.L., 'The Content of Poetry and the Crisis in the Bardic Tradition', in A.O.H. Jarman and Gwilym Rees Hughes, A Guide to Welsh Literature 1282-c.1550, University of Wales Press, Cardiff (1997) Revised pp. 72-94

Wallis Evans, R., 'Prophetic Poetry', in A.O.H. Jarman and Gwilym Rees Hughes, A Guide to Welsh Literature 1282-c.1550, University og Wales Press, Cardiff (1997) Revised pp. 256-274

Original September 15, 2003

Last Updated April 10, 2005