Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Simwnt Fychan

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SIMWNT FYCHAN, i.e. Simon the Little (1530?–1606), Welsh bard, was born about 1530, and lived on his own land at Tybrith, near Ruthin, Denbighshire. He was a pupil of Gruffydd Hiraethog [q. v.], and received the degree of ‘pencerdd’ at the Caerwys eisteddfod of 1568 (for the certificate see the London ‘Greal,’ p. 278). Four of his poems, which commemorate the virtues of various Denbighshire gentlemen, are printed in Williams's ‘Records of Denbigh.’ He was best known, however, for his knowledge of the technicalities of the bardic art. Shortly before the Caerwys eisteddfod he wrote for Pierce Mostyn of Talacre an account of the system, illustrated by means of an ‘awdl’ containing specimens of each of the ‘twenty-four metres.’ This treatise was probably the ‘Pum Llyfr Cerddwriaeth’ printed by Ab Ithel as the work of Simwnt Fychan in ‘Dosbarth Edeyrn Dafod Aur;’ portions of it have also appeared in ‘Cyfrinach y Beirdd.’ According to a manuscript in the possession of the late Gweirydd ap Rhys, the work was composed in 1565. There are important differences between the text of this and that of Ab Ithel. Lewis Dwnn mentions Simwnt Fychan among the older antiquaries who had given him assistance in his heraldic researches (Heraldic Visitations, i. 7). He died in April 1606.

[Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, by Gweirydd ap Rhys; Pennant's Tours in Wales, ii. 93; Cyfrinach y Beirdd.]

J. E. L.