Gryg, Gruffydd (DNB00)

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GRYG, GRUFFYDD (fl. 1330–1370), Welsh poet, was a contemporary of David ab Gwilym [see David]. According to Williams (Eminent Welshmen) he resided at Penmynydd in Anglesea. Angharad Llwyd, in his 'History of the Island of Mona,' says he resided at Aberffraw in Anglesea. Gweirydd ab Rhys, in his recently published prize essay on Welsh literature, thinks that the last opinion is confirmed by the words:

Y mae saith o gymdeithion
Ym yn Aberffraw ym Mon.

Gruffydd Gryg is chiefly noted for his poetical contention with David ab Gwilym. His skill in the construction of his verse, his nervous power of expression, and his fertility of thought made him a worthy rival. There are four contributions on each side given in the published works of David ab Gwilym. Gruffydd began the quarrel by an ironical poem upon David's 'Morfudd.' David retorted, accusing Gruffydd of plagiarism. Finally David challenged Gruffydd to a duel with the sword, and Gruffydd accepted the challenge. Whereupon the monks of Gwynlliw Priory, near Monmouth, sent a messenger to Anglesea to tell Gruffydd that David was dead, and another messenger to tell David that Gruffydd was dead. Both funerals were announced to take place at Ystrad Fflur in Cardiganshire on the same day. Each came there with an elegy on his rival. They were equally rejoiced to discover the hoax practised on them, and formed a lasting friendship. It is probable that Gruffydd's elegy on this occasion gave rise to the erroneous impression that David was buried at Ystrad Fflur. Wilkins's statement that 'twenty-seven poems were written between them' appears to be groundless. There is one ode bearing Gruffydd Gryg's name in the 'Myvyrian Archæology,' p. 346 (ed. 1870), and three more on p. 365, if he is, as some have thought, identical with the Mab Cryg. According to Dr. W.O. Pughe, there are fifteen odes of his among the Myfyr MSS.

[Williams's Eminent Welshmen; Wilkins's Literature of Wales; Myvyrian Archæology; Barddoniaeth Dafydd ab Gwilym ; Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, gan Gweirydd ab Rhys.]

R. J. J.