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David, Edward (DNB00)


DAVID or DAFYDD, EDWARD (d. 1690), of Margam in Glamorganshire, was a Welsh poet of the seventeenth century. According to his own testimony he was a wooer of the muses while yet a lad, and a devoted lover of the poets of his native land. He was an eye-witness of the devastation caused by Cromwell's men in Glamorganshire, and in one of his poems he wields his lash on that subject with great severity. His most important work, however, is in connection with 'Cyfrinach y Beirdd,' an elaborate and learned treatise on the rules of Welsh poetry. This treatise is a compilation embodying the work of many hands; the principal contributors were Lewis Morganwg (1540), Meyrig Dafydd (fl. 1560), and Llewelyn Sion of Llangewydd (fl. 1580). It received its final form at the hands of Dafydd, who was commissioned by the bards to prepare a fresh copy for the Bewpyr Eisteddfod, 1681; this he did with large additions and improvements. There were two copies extant in the time of Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg), and both in the handwriting of Dafydd. The work was first sent to press in 1821 by Iolo, but owing to want of type the printer was not able to proceed rapidly, and the book was not published till 1829. Iolo is supposed to have corrected the whole of the proofs, though he died in 1826, and his son Taliesin's preface is dated 9 July 1828. Dafydd's preface has no date, but that of Llewellyn Sion is 1601. A second edition was edited by the Rev. Robert Ellis (Cynddelw), Carnarvon, 1877. Dafydd ‘is said’ to have been admitted a graduate of Gorsedd Morganwg in 1620; he was its president in 1660, and died in 1690.

[Jones's Hist. of Wales, p. 225; the preface to Llywarch Hen, by Dr. W. O. Pughe; Hanes Morganwg, p. 181, by D. W. Jones; and especially the Introduction in Cyfrinach y Beirdd.]

R. M. J. J.