comparing it with Westminster Abbey. On this account Iolo has often been erroneously described as Owen's family bard (Foulkes, Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol, p. 553) instead of his friend and neighbour. This poem is preserved in a manuscript volume in the British Museum, known as the ‘Book of Huw Lleyn’ (Add. MS. 14967), which is in the handwriting of Guttyn Owain, written prior to 1487. When Owen actually broke out into rebellion, Iolo, though in advanced years, poured forth stirring patriotic songs in his praise, and chief among them is one ‘composed with the view of stirring up his countrymen to support the cause of Owen’ (Welsh text in Jones, Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru, p. 79, English translation in Y Cymmrodor, vi. 98). Much of Owen's early success may be justly attributed to the enthusiasm created by Iolo's stirring verses. The appearance of a comet in March 1402 (Walsingham, Hist. Anglicana, ii. 248) was made the subject of a poem by Iolo, in which he prophesied Owen's coming triumph (Jones, Gorchestion, p. 84). In another poem, possibly the last he ever wrote, he lamented the mysterious disappearance of Owen in 1412, though he still foretold his ultimate success (ib. p. 81; see English translation in Y Cymmrodor, iv. pt. ii. pp. 230–2). He probably died soon afterwards [see Glendower, Owen].
Besides the numerous poems inspired by the political events of his time, much devotional verse was composed by Iolo. Seven of his poems were published in ‘Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru,’ edited by Rhys Jones. An elegy on Dafydd ap Gwilym was printed in that poet's works edited by Owen Jones in 1789. In 1877 the Rev. Robert Jones [q. v.] commenced to publish a complete edition of Iolo's poems for the Cymmrodorion Society, but he died when thirteen only had been printed, two of which had previously been published in Jones's ‘Gorchestion.’ Only eighteen of Iolo's poems have therefore been printed. One hundred and twenty-eight poems by him are mentioned as scattered throughout different volumes of the Myvyrian collection in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 14962–15089), but some of these are probably duplicates. There are many at Peniarth, particularly in Hengwrt MSS. 253 a, 330, 356, and 361, and three are also included in the ‘Red Book of Hergest.’ Iolo is said to have written a history of the three principalities of Wales (Jones, Poetical Relicks of Welsh Bards, ed. 1794, p. 87), but this has long since been lost.
[Williams's Eminent Welshmen; Hans Llenyddiaeth y Cymry, by G. ab Rhys, pp. 127–135.]
IORWERTH ab Bleddyn (d. 1112), Welsh prince, was a younger son of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, and brother, therefore, of Cadwgan (d. 1112) [q. v.], Madog, Rhirid, and Maredudd. In 1100 he was living in Ceredigion as the vassal of Robert of Bellême, earl of Shrewsbury [q. v.], and to some extent joint ruler with his elder brother Cadwgan (d. 1112) [q. v.], the prince of Ceredigion and part of Powys. In 1102, when Bellême revolted against Henry I, he called on the Britons subject to him to come to his help, promising them property, gifts, and freedom (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 69, Rolls ed. The dates of the ‘Brut’ are here two years wrong). Iorwerth accompanied Cadwgan to the neighbourhood of Bridgnorth to annoy the troops which Henry I had brought against Robert's stronghold (Ordericus Vitalis, Hist. Eccl. iv. 173, ed. Le Prévost). Henry now sent William Pantoul or Pantulf, a bitter enemy of his former lord, Bellême, to buy off the Welsh kings (ib. iv. 174). He separated Iorwerth from Cadwgan by promising him Powys, Ceredigion, half of Dyved (including Pembroke Castle), Ystrad Towy, Gower, and Kidwelly, ‘whilst the king should live, free without homage and payment’ (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 71). Iorwerth went to the king's camp and agreed to change sides. While Cadwgan and Maredudd were still with Earl Robert, Iorwerth managed to turn the whole Welsh army against the lord of Shrewsbury. This unexpected blow was the more severe as Bellême had sent his cattle and riches for safety among the Britons. He saw that all was lost, in despair abandoned Bridgnorth, and soon lost his power altogether. The Welsh writers perhaps assign too great a share to Iorwerth in bringing about Bellême's fall, but it was not inconsiderable.
Iorwerth was now at war with his brothers, but he soon made peace with Cadwgan, acknowledging him as lord of his former possessions in Ceredigion and Powys and contenting himself with the rest of King Henry's grant. But he took Maredudd prisoner and handed him over to King Henry. He then repaired to Henry to receive his reward. But the king broke his word, and gave Dyved to a Norman knight named Saer, and Ystrad Towy, Gower, and Kidwelly to a rival Welsh chieftain, Howel, son of Goronwy. Next year (1103) Iorwerth was summoned to Shrewsbury, and, after a day's trial before the king's council, in which all his pleadings and claims were judged against him, was thrown into prison, ‘not according to law but according to power.’ ‘Then failed the hope and happiness of all the Britons’ (ib. p. 77).