Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Madog Benfras

MADOG BENFRAS (i.e. Greathead) (fl. 1350), Welsh poet, was son of Gruffydd ab Iorwerth ab Einion Goch o Sonlli ab Ieuaf ap Llywarch [ab Ieuaf?] ap Nynniaw ap Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon. He and his three brothers, called ‘Brodyr Marchwiail,’ played prominent parts in the fourteenth-century movement for the revival of Welsh poetry. Madog, according to tradition, won the chair and the birchen wreath offered for the best love song in the third of the three ‘Eisteddfods of the Renaissance.’ He was the friend of Dafydd ap Gwilym, who playfully introduces him into one of his poems as the priest of his mock marriage with Morfudd (Barddoniaeth Dafydd ap Gwilym, Liverpool edition, p.94). We have Dafydd's elegy upon Madog as well as Madog's upon Dafydd (ib. pp. 335-8, 395-7), but the former is said to have been called forth by a false report of Madog's death. Madog's own production is of no particular merit,

[Iolo Manuscripts, Liverpool reprint, pp. 95-7 Hist. of Powys Fadog. ii. 140-2.]

J. E. L.