Lewis Glyn Cothi (DNB00)

LEWIS GLYN COTHI (fl. 1450–1486), Welsh bard, also sometimes called Lewis y Glyn or Llywelyn Glyn Cothi, was a native of the Vale of Cothi in Carmarthenshire, whence, according to Welsh bardic custom, he derived his name. He is said to have lived at Pwlltinbyd, near Caio, and espousing the Lancastrian side in the wars of the roses, he served as an officer under Jasper, earl of Pembroke, to whom he dedicated several of his poems. The ravages of the civil war compelled him to seek refuge at Chester. He married a widow there, and intended to make the city his home, but on the day following his marriage the citizens, under some pretence or other, took from him all his household furniture and drove him out of the city. Thereupon he wrote several poems addressed to different Welsh leaders, urging them to revenge his injury, and one Reinalt of the Tower accordingly made a raid upon Chester. Lewis removed to Flint, but there too the English inhabitants maltreated him, and Lewis addressed them in a satiric poem of great pungency. He was, however, more hospitably received on returning to Llwydiarth, near Llanerchymedd, Anglesea. On the accession of Henry VII in 1485 he appears to have returned to Carmarthenshire, where he is said to have died not long after, and to have been buried at Abergwilly. A volume of his poems was published for the Cymmrodorion Society in 1837 (London, 8vo), under the editorship of the Revs. Walter Davies and John Jones (Tegid) [q. v.], but it contains no biographical notice of the writer, nor any account of the manuscripts from which the poems were transcribed. This volume contains about 150 poems, chiefly selected on account of the value of their historical and genealogical information; they are perhaps the best existing source of information about the part played by the Welsh in the wars of the roses (cf. Gairdner, Richard III, pp. 171, 277). There still remain unpublished a great number of his poems, many of which are in the Myvyrian collection in the Addit. MSS. of the British Museum. Hengwrt MSS. 37, 52, and 304, in the Peniarth collection, are supposed to be in his autograph, and poems by him are included in other manuscripts (18, 166, 247–248, 252, 270–1). Three poems, previously unpublished, are found in ‘Cymru,’ i. 115, and show that Lewis was a popular poet as well as a herald-bard.

[Poems of Lewis Glyn Cothi; Yorke's Royal Tribes of Wales, ed. 1887, p. 89; Y Brython, No. 18, p. 137; G. ab Rhys's Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, pp. 237–42; Cat. Hengwrt MSS. in Arch. Cambr. 4th ser.]

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