Hopkin, Lewis (DNB00)
HOPKIN, LEWIS (1708–1771), Welsh poet, was born in 1708 at Hendre-Ifan-Goch, in the parish of Llandyfodwg in Glamorganshire. He is said to have been a relative of ‘Dafydd Hopkin o'r Coetty,’ who was presiding bard of the chair of Glamorgan in 1730. Hopkin was registered bard in 1760 of the same society, when Sion Bradford was president (Jones, Hist. of Wales, p. 226). The ‘Fel Gafod’ contains a poem describing a dream the poet had 30 Sept. 1771. He died 17 Nov. 1771, and was buried in Llandyfodwg churchyard. His friend Edward Evans (1716–1798) [q. v.] wrote two poems on his death, and Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg) wrote another, which was published at Cowbridge in 1772 under the title ‘Dagrau yr Awenn.’
In 1767 Hopkin, in conjunction with Edward Evans, published a rhymed version of the book of Ecclesiastes (Rowlands, Bibliography, p. 497). This has since been published in all editions of Evans's ‘Works.’ Hopkin's fine translation of ‘Chevy Chase’ and several other poems were published in different numbers of the ‘Eurgrawn’ of 1770. His poetical works were collected and published at Merthyr Tydvil in 1813, under the title ‘Y Fel Gafod: sef Cywyddau, Englynion, a Chaniadau ar amryw achosion, gan y diweddar Lewis Hopkin, pris dau swllt,’ 118 pp. The editor was John Miles of Pencoed, Llanilid, Glamorganshire.
Hopkin's published works contain a short English poem by a son, described as the Rev. Lewis Hopkin, junior. Another of his poems is on the death of his son Hopkin Hopkin (1737–1754), famous as a dwarf, who died in Glamorganshire 19 March 1754. The ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ for 1754, p. 191, ascribes his death to ‘mere old age, and a gradual decay of nature,’ and gives his age as ‘seventeen years and two months.’ ‘The little Welchman’ (the notice proceeds) ‘[was] lately shown in London. He never weighed more than 17 lbs., but for three years past no more than 12 lbs. The parents have six children left, all of whom differ no way from other children, except one girl of twelve years of age, who weighs only eighteen pounds, and bears upon her most of the marks of old age, and in all respects resembles her brother when at that age.’
[Authorities cited above, and letters from Cadrawd Evans, Llangynwyd.]