GWYN, JOHN (JENKIN) ), (b. by 1528), of Moel Ifor, nr. Llanrhystyd, Card.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1528, 1st s. of Rhys Gwyn ap Gruffydd of Moel Ifor by Lleuku, da. of Huw ap Gruffydd of Llanddewi Aberarth. m. 2s.2

Offices Held

Commr. concealed lands, Wales by 1561; jt. surveyor, Exchequer, N. Wales 21 Apr. 1562; rhaglaw (or constable), Card. 30 July 1562-13 Feb. 1574; sheriff, Card. 1564-5, Merion. 1571-2.3


John Gwyn must be distinguished from his namesake the civil lawyer who sat for Caernarvonshire in the Parliament of 1572 and from the John Gwyn of Montgomeryshire who was mayor of Llanidloes. Entered in the family pedigree as Jenkin ap Rhys Gwyn, he appears as Jenkin Gwyn in the list of Members for the Parliament of November 1554 and as John Gwyn in the election returns of 1553 and 1563, while in an exchequer investigation into his office of rhaglaw of Cardiganshire he is given both christian names interchangeably.4

The Gwyn family was of old stock, tracing itself back to a daughter of the Lord Rhys of Ceredigion. Gwyn’s father was almost certainly the Rhys Gwyn who appears in the subsidy returns for Cardigan town and who was bailiff of Cardigan in 1545-6 and mayor in 1551-2. Thus while the family’s landed property lay to the north of Cardigan, Gwyn was evidently a freeman of the county town. The first trace found of him is as a defendant in Chancery before Chancellor Rich. The complaint concerned the revenues of the parsonage of Llanbadarn Trefeglwys and was brought by John Powell, who ‘about two years last past’—thus between 1545 and 1549—had begun to employ Gwyn as his factor but had since received no account from him. The case shows Gwyn already engaged in the business of agent and collector which he was afterwards to practise in the service of the crown. As a royal agent he was in a good position to acquire lands for himself and he did so in both Cardiganshire and Breconshire. The date of his death has not been established.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 38.
  • 3. CPR, 1560-3, pp. 266, 299; 1572-5, p. 269; Augmentations (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law. ser. xiii), 235, 238; Exchequer (ibid. xv), 86-87.
  • 4. DWB conflates the two Members; Mont. Colls. iii. 128, 130, 137, 147; C219/21/218v; Bodl. e Museo 17; Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.; E178/3330.
  • 5. Dwnn, i. 38; E179/219/80; SC6/Hen. VIII, 5591 m. 2; NLW ms Wales 18/11, m. 4v; C1/1257/50; Augmentations, 204, 206-7, 219, 238.