Nanmor, Dafydd (DNB00)

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NANMOR, DAFYDD (fl. 1400), Welsh bard, was a native of Nanmor, a valley near Beddgelert. From a poem by Rhys Goch Eryri (Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru, 2nd edit. p. 126) it appears he was a contemporary and neighbour of that poet, though possibly, as his successful rival in love, somewhat younger. Tradition has it that Rhys Goch gave Nanmor out of his estate of Hafod Garegog the holding subsequently known as Cae Ddafydd. His later years seem to have been spent in South Wales, where he sang in honour of the house of Gogerddan (Cardiganshire), and, according to one (not very trustworthy) account, won distinction at an Eisteddfod, said to have been at Carmarthen about 1443 (Cyfrinach y Beirdd, pp. 239, 240).

The poet Rhys Nanmor (fl. 1440) of Maenor Fynyw, Pembrokeshire, is generally believed to have been his son (Iolo MSS. 315), though Lewis Dwnn gives a different parentage (Heraldic Visitations of Wales, ii. 284). Rhys had again a son who was a poet, and bore the name of Dafydd Nanmor (fl. 1480), and much confusion has naturally arisen from this duplication of the title. Of the printed pieces attributed to the Nanmors, (1) the Cywydd to the Hair of Llio, daughter of Rhydderch ab Ieuan Llwyd of Gogerddan; (2) that to Llio's brother David; and (3) the elegy upon the bard's dead love (Cymru Fydd, iii. 22–3) appear to belong to the elder Dafydd. A poem referring to the troubles of the Wars of the Roses (‘Cawn o ddau arwydd barlamant cynddeiriog’), printed by Charles Ashton in ‘Cymru,’ ii. 85, is attributed to Rhys, and this seems also the better ascription in the case of the cywydd to Henry of Richmond, ‘when a babe in his cradle in Pembroke Castle’ (1457), which is printed in ‘Brython,’ iv. 221–2. The cywydd to Rhys ab Maredudd of Tywyn, near Cardigan, the ode to the same person and the elegy upon his son Thomas (all printed, with 1 and 2 above, in Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru, 2nd edit., pp. 132–42), must be assigned to the younger Dafydd, who was probably also the author of the poem to Henry VII, printed in the Iolo MSS. 313–5. The fragments of a cywydd to ‘Rhys of Ystrad Tywi,’ given in the introduction to Glanmor's ‘Records of Denbigh’ (pp. vii, viii), do not enable the critic to assign the poem to either Dafydd, and the chronology of the three poets' lives must remain somewhat uncertain, pending the publication of a complete edition of their poems, the great bulk of which are still in manuscript in various collections of mediæval Welsh poetry.

[Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru; Iolo MSS.]

J. E. L.