Rhys ap Siancyn ap Rhys, the recipient of poem 15, lived at Aberpergwm in the parish of Cadoxton in the Vale of Neath. Rhys was the first of his line known to have been a patron of poets. There are other poems to him by Ieuan ap Hywel Swrdwal and Hywel Dafi (GHS poem 27; Lynch 1994: 16–17). A number of poets also composed for his son, Siôn, including Lewys Glyn Cothi, and still others for his grandson Rhys ap Siôn (Lynch 1994; Edwards 1980–1: 193–4).
According to the genealogies Rhys ap Siancyn ap Rhys was descended from Einion ap Gollwyn of Gwynedd (WG1 ‘Einion ap Gollwyn’ 11; WG2 ‘Einion ap Gollwyn’ 11 (F1)). Those named in Guto’s poem are shown in bold print, and the patron’s name is underlined.
Rhys’s dates are not at all certain, but poem 15 must have been in existence by c.1440, when the manuscript Pen 57 was created.
The emphasis which Guto places on Rhys’s learning is unmissable. There is a hint that he engaged in prophecy (15.9) as well as being well-read in the chief types of writing which interested the Welsh landowing class at this time (15.41–52). We hear the same message in the other poems which he and his descendants received.
Rhys ap Siencyn’s daughter Gwladus may be the girl for whose love Henry Griffith and the poet Ieuan Gethin are alleged to be competing in poem 34, see 34.2n (explanatory).
Edwards, E.E. (1980–1), ‘Cartrefi Noddwyr y Beirdd yn Siroedd Morgannwg a Mynwy’, LlCy 13: 184–206
Lynch, P. (1994), ‘Aberpergwm a’r Traddodiad Nawdd’, H.R. Edwards (gol.), Nedd a Dulais (Llandysul), 1–25