Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Owain, Gutyn

OWAIN, GUTYN (fl. 1480), Welsh bard, was more formally designated Gruflydd ap Huw ab Owain. He was a native of Maelor Saesneg, the detached portion of Flintshire, and there learnt his art from Dafydd ab Edmwnt of Hanmer, whom he is said to have accompanied as a servitor to the great Eisteddfod held in Carmarthen about 1451. Later in life he lived at Ifton, near Oswestry, and was also closely connected with the monastery of Basingwerk, Flintshire. Fifteen of his poems are printed in 'Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru,' but many more exist in manuscript. Gutyn Owain was not only a poet, but carried on the old bardic functions of chronicler and genealogist. Powel says (Historie of Cambria, ed. 1811, p. 288) that Henry VII, not long after his accession, directed three commis- sioners to inquire into the pedigree of his ancestor, Owen Tudor, and mentions Gutyn Owain as one of the heralds consulted by them. In the return made by the commissioners, and printed as the first appendix to Wynne's edition of the 'Historie,' the bard's name prominently appears. He also wrote with his own hand most of 'Llyfr Du Basing,' or 'The Book of Basingwerk,' a manuscript of 'Brut y Brenhinoedd,' and the ' Brenhinedd y Saeson' type of 'Brut y Tywysogion,' now in the possession of Rev. T. L. Griffith, rector of Deal (Aneurin Owen, Introduction to 'Brut y Tywysogion,' extra vol. of Archæologia Cambrensis, 1863).

[Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru, 2nd edit.; Archæologia Cambrensis, 4th ser. iv. 314-16.]

J. E. L.