Chwilio uwch

Siôn Eutun ap Siâms Eutun of Parc Eutun, fl. c.1439–d. 1477

Guto composed a poem to request a hunting horn from Sieffrai Cyffin of Oswestry on behalf of Siôn Eutun (or John Eyton), his only poem for Siôn (poem 99). A number of poems to Siôn by other poets have survived:

  • an elegy by Gutun Owain, GO poem XLIX;
  • a poem to request a coracle by Ieuan Fychan ab Ieuan addressed, according to Roberts, to Siôn, GMRh 5–6 and poem 9;
  • debate poems between Ieuan Fychan and Maredudd ap Rhys in response to the request for a coracle, which was unsuccessful, ibid. poems 10–12. Maredudd composed a poem for Ieuan on behalf of Siôn and Ieuan then composed another poem in reply. Both poets then composed another poem each on the same subject.

Furthermore, many poems were composed for his descendants:

  • a poem of praise for his son, Wiliam Eutun ap Siôn Eutun, by Gutun Owain, GO poem XLIX;
  • a poem to request a bow from Wiliam Eutun by Maredudd ap Rhys. Roberts argues that this was done on behalf of Wiliam’s nephew, Siôn Eutun ab Elis Eutun, GMRh poem 6 and its notes;
  • a poem by Tudur Aled to request four bucklers from Elis Eutun’s four sons on behalf of their uncle, Hywel ap Siencyn, TA poem 116;
  • a poem of praise for Siôn’s grandson, Siôn Eutun ab Elis Eutun, by Gutun Owain, GO poem L;
  • elegies for Siôn Eutun ab Elis Eutun by Huw ap Dafydd, Lewys Daron and Lewys Môn, GHD poem 5; GLD poem 27; GLM poem 76;
  • elegies for Siôn’s grandson, Owain Eutun ap Wiliam Eutun, by Gruffudd Hiraethog and Wiliam Llŷn, GGH 235; Stephens 1983: 418;
  • a poem to request six oxen and a poem of praise by Huw ap Dafydd (in all likelihood) for Siôn Trefor ab Edward, who married Elsbeth, Siôn’s great-great-grand-daughter, GHD poems 26 and 27. There are similarities between Huw’s request poem for Siôn Trefor and Guto’s poem to request two greyhounds on behalf of Sieffrai Cyffin (100.44n). Huw may have been familiar with Guto’s poem due to the fact that Ann, Siôn Trefor’s mother, was Sieffrai’s daughter;
  • poems for his great-great-grandson, Wiliam Eutun ap Siôn Eutun ap Siôn Eutun, by both Wiliam Cynwal and Wiliam Llŷn, Jones 1969: 52; Williams 1965: 300; Stephens 1983: 340, 491.

Siôn is also referred to in another poem by Huw ap Dafydd (GHD 17.11n).

It seems that there were two Siôn Eutuns during the second half of the fifteenth century, the one a grandfather of the other, but Guto’s patron was undoubtedly the grandfather. The genealogical table below is based on WG1 ‘Bleddyn ap Cynfyn’ 9, 11, ‘Ednywain Bendew’ 2, 3, ‘Gruffudd ap Cynan’ 6, ‘Gwenwys’ 2, ‘Hanmer’ 1, ‘Morgan Hir’ 1, 2, ‘Puleston’, ‘Rhirid ap Rhiwallon’ 2, ‘Sandde Hardd’ 4, ‘Tudur Trefor’ 13, 25; WG2 ‘Bleddyn ap Cynfyn’ 11D, ‘Tudur Trefor’ 14C2, 25A1, A2, B. Those named in the discussion below are shown in bold print, and the names of Guto’s patrons are underlined.

Lineage of Siôn Eutun ap Siâms Eutun of Parc Eutun

Siôn married Gwenhwyfar daughter of Einion ab Ithel. According to HPF ii: 158–9, her father, Einion, was an ‘Esquire of the body to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster 1395, and High Sheriff of Meirionydd for life’.

The genealogical table above shows the connections between the families of Siôn Eutun and Sieffrai Cyffin, the patron to whom Guto addressed a poem to request a hunting horn on Siôn’s behalf. Guto states that the former was a cyfyrderw ‘second cousin’ of the latter (99.61). Gwenllïan, Siôn’s mother, was a cousin of Marged daughter of Llywelyn and Ieuan Gethin ap Madog Cyffin’s first wife, but according to the genealogies and the poetry, Marged was not the mother of Morus, Sieffrai’s father. A couplet from Guto’s poem to request a brigandine from Sieffrai on behalf of Dafydd Llwyd of Abertanad shows that it was believed that Marged daughter of Ieuan was Morus’s mother, for in the couplet two of her ancestors are named, Addaf and Meurig (98.7–8). The fact that this couplet survives in a few manuscripts only may cast doubt on its validity, yet line 10 [C]ae Alo (a reading found in different forms in every manuscript) further supports this belief, for Sieffrai was descended from Alo ap Rhiwallon Fychan through his father’s mother, Marged daughter of Ieuan. It is argued, therefore, that Siôn and Morus, Sieffrai’s father, were half-second-cousins, and that this connection warranted the use of ‘second-cousins’ as a broad description of the connection between both Siôn and Sieffrai in Guto’s poem to request a hunting horn.

Furthermore, both Siôn and Sieffrai’s families were connected through the marriage of Siôn’s son, Elis Eutun, and Sieffrai’s half-sister, Marged. Beside a copy of poem 98 in BL 14978, it is stated that Siôn and Sieffrai were connected through one of the former’s ancestors, Gruffudd Fychan ap Gruffudd, yet it does not seem that Sieffrai was related to him. A scribe or genealogist may have confused one of Siôn’s mother’s cousins, Ieuaf Gethin, with Sieffrai’s grandfather, Ieuan Gethin (both had connections with Llansilin).

His career
Siôn died in 1477 (GMRh 5–6; LlGC 1504E, 177). According to HPF ii: 158, where he is named Siôn Eutun Hen, he was alive in 1439 and the steward of the lordship of Bromfield in 1477. It is likely that he was the John Eyton who was named by Jasper Tudor in a letter sent from Tenby on 25 February 1461 (Evans 1995: 84). If so, Siôn was a Lancastrian who was joint-steward of Denbigh in the Vale of Clwyd with another of Guto’s patrons, Rhosier ap Siôn Puleston.

It is also likely that he is the Johanne Eyton named in a legal document written in Holt on 19 October 1467 (Unnamed 1846: 335, where the date is incorrect; HPF ii: 83). Although the exact nature of the document remains unclear, it seems that Dafydd Bromffild and Wiliam Rodn (two of Guto’s patrons) are named with Wiliam Hanmer, Siôn Eutun, Edward ap Madog, Hywel ab Ieuan ap Gruffudd and Morgan ap Dafydd ap Madog, in connection with maintaining armed men in Bromfield (cf. also Pratt 1988: 48, where ‘John Eyton’, ‘David Eyton’ and ‘David Bromfield’ are named as witnesses and ‘William Eyton’ in connection with his servant in the presentments of the Wrexham bailiwick jury in 1467). Siôn’s professional connection with Holt is referred to in Gutun Owain’s elegy: Rryol dadl yr Hold ydoedd ‘He was the rule of Holt’s argument’ (GO XLVIII.24). Furthermore, Gutun goes on to describe him thus (ibid. XLVIII.57–8):

Golevo tair rraglawiaeth
Ydd oedd, hyd y dydd ydd aeth

‘He illuminated three deputyships
until the day he died’

In HPF ii: 159, 174–5, Siôn’s marriage to Gwenhwyfar daughter of Einion is mentioned (she is named Gwenllïan in ibid. 158): ‘By this lady, John Eyton Hên had issue Elis Eyton of Rhiwabon, and then was divorced from her upon account of near consanguinity, by which means his son Elis was made illegitimate; but afterwards he obtained a dispensation from the Pope to marry her again, and then had issue’. However, the genealogies do not display any close family connection.

When David Holbache founded a grammar school in Oswestry between 1407 and 1421, one ‘John Eyton’ was named as one of the ‘feofees that were put in trust … for the School Lands’ (Knight 1926: 69 (Appendix II); 102.23n). It is not impossible that this man was Guto’s patron.

Unnamed (1846), ‘Proceedings’, Arch Camb 2: 147–52, 210–15, 335–8
Evans, H.T. (1995), Wales and the Wars of the Roses (second ed., Stroud)
Jones, G.P. (1969), ‘Astudiaeth Destunol o Ganu William Cynwal yn Llawysgrif (Bangor) Mostyn 4’ (M.A. Cymru)
Knight, L.S. (1926), Welsh Independent Grammar Schools to 1600 (Newtown)
Pratt, D. (1988), ‘Bromfield and Yale: Presentments from the Court Roll of 1467’, TCHSDd 37: 43–53
Stephens, R. (1983), ‘Gwaith William Llŷn’ (Ph.D. Cymru)
Williams, S.Rh. (1965), ‘Testun Beirniadol o Gasgliad Llawysgrif Mostyn 111 ynghyd â Rhagymadrodd, Nodiadau a Geirfa’ (M.A. Cymru)