Gwynedd (John Gwynneth) - 1490?-1562?
He was Rector at Clynnog Church and “was counted as one of the most prominent
musicians of the Tudor Age”. It is possible that he
was imprisoned for refusing to renounce the Old Faith.
Quoted from the Welsh Biography (Bywgraffiadur
Cymreig) to 1940
GWYNNETH, JOHN (1490? - 1562?), Roman Catholic priest and musician. The exact
years of his birth and death are not known. He was
a Caernarvonshire man, the son of David ap Llewelyn
ab Ithel, brother to Robert ap Llewelyn ab Ithel, of
Castellmarch in Llŷn, at which place he was probably
born c.1490. He seems to have been educated at some
of the local monastic establishments, whence, with
the help of a wealthy patron, he was able to proceed
He was ordained, and held
livings successively in Cheapside, London, and at Luton.
At the same time
he held the sinecure rectory of Clynnog-fawr, Caerns.,
to which he had been presented by Henry VIII . Although
he had difficulty in getting himself instituted and
subsequently was a complainant twice in chancery
suits and once in the court of star chamber, over questions
of tithe and other emoluments of the parish, he seems
to have held this living until his death.
claim to fame is his contribution to church music.
In 1531 he had successfully supplicated at
Oxford for the Mus. Doc. degree, submitting in
support a number
of compositions of church music. One of his compositions,
entitled ‘My love mourneth’ had already been included
in Wynkyn de Worde's Bassus (1530). There is no
doubt that he did much by precept and practice to improve
the standards of church music, and he holds a high
place among Tudor musicians.
But Gwynneth was also
active as a controversial writer on behalf of Roman
Catholicism. He wrote
books in reply to those of John Frith, the friend
of Tyndale, who had been martyred in 1533. These
works show wide learning and a good degree of
Gwynneth lived on into
the reign of queen Elizabeth, and may have suffered
to accept the act of uniformity of 1559. He