Wynn, William (DNB00)

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WYNN, WILLIAM (1710?–1761), Welsh poet, was the son of William Wynn of Maes y Neuadd, near Harlech (sheriff of Merioneth in 1713–14), by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Roger Lloyd of Rhagatt, and widow of Meredydd Lloyd of Rhiwaedog. There was a son by the first marriage, Robert, who succeeded to Maes of Neuadd, and was sheriff in 1733–4. William was born about 1710; he matriculated at Oxford from Jesus College on 14 March 1726–7, and graduated B.A. on 12 Oct. 1730, and M.A. on 15 July 1735. In 1740 he became vicar of Llan Bryn Mair, Montgomeryshire; in a letter written from this place in 1745–6 to Lewis Morris [q. v.] he shows himself a diligent student of Welsh antiquities, but complains he has no leisure for anything save ‘scribbling Welsh sermons.’ In 1747 he exchanged Llan Bryn Mair for the rectory of Manafon in the same county; to this was added in 1750 the rectory of Llan Gynhafal, Denbighshire, and it was here he lived henceforth until his death on 22 Jan. 1760. He married Martha, daughter of Henry Roberts of Rhyd Onnen, and left a son Robert, who entered Jesus College, Oxford, in 1766.

Wynn was esteemed one of the most skilful Welsh poets of his time, but no separate collection of his poems has been issued. The collection known as ‘Blodeugerdd Cymru’ (1759) contains a carol and some lighter verse of his; his weightier poems appeared in the same year in another collection, ‘Dewisol Ganiadau yr Oes Hon,’ which includes seven of his pieces. Among them is the ‘Cywydd’ on the last judgment, deemed by some critics to be not inferior to that of Goronwy Owain on the same subject. The works of Rice Jones (1818) contain an elegy on Wynn.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Breese's Kalendars of Gwynedd; Cambrian Reg. ii. 511–536; Lloyd's Hist. of Powys Fadog, vi. 375, 415; Browne Willis's St. Asaph; Thomas's Hist. of the Diocese of St. Asaph; Williams's Eminent Welshmen.]

J. E. L.