WYN AP HUGH, John (by 1525-76), of Bodyel in Llannor, Caern.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1525, 1st s. of Hugh ap John ap Madog of Bodvel by Catherine, da. of Henry Salusbury of Llanrhaiadr, Denb. m. Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Puleston of Caernarvon, Caern. and Bersham, Denb. 3s. inc. Hugh Gwyn alias Bodvel 1da.; 1s. illegit.1

Offices Held

Jt. (with David Lloyd ap Thomas) bailiff of Pwllheli and constable, commote of Gafflogion, Caern. in 1546; sheriff, Caern. 1550-1, 1559-60; commr. relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553, loan 1557, piracy 1565, tanneries 1574; j.p. 1550-d.2


John Wyn ap Hugh’s family, which later took the surname Bodvel, was of ancient Welsh descent. The earliest trace found of him is in the quarter sessions records of Caernarvonshire, where in 1546 he appears with David Lloyd ap Thomas as bailiff of Pwllheli and constable of the commote of Gafflogion. According to Sir John Wynn of Gwydir he bore the standard at the defeat of the Norfolk rebels at Dussindale in August 1549, where although unhorsed and wounded, ‘yet he upheld the great standard of England’. It is not clear whether this honour had fallen to Wyn as a personal follower of the victor John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, or as one of the household troops, but the episode marked the beginning of his rise to prominence. Nominated as sheriff in the following autumn, he was pricked a year later and in the meantime was granted a 21-year lease of townships and lands in the Llyn peninsula near the family residence. Three years later the earl. by then Duke of Northumberland, was licensed to grant him Bardsey Island and the former abbot of Bardsey’s house at Aberdaron. Sir John Wyn claimed that the grant made mention of its recipient’s valour in the field, but the licence as enrolled does not do so. What is suggestive is its date, 15 Apr. 1553, for this was two weeks after the close of the Parliament of the previous month in which Wyn ap Hugh had sat as knight of the shire. Sir John Puleston, Wyn’s father-in-law, had been steward of the lands of Bardsey abbey until his death in 1551, so that Wyn seems to have used his Membership to extract the grant from Northumberland, who for his part may have seen in it a means of ensuring Wyn’s support.3

Whether Wyn gave the duke any support is not known, but after he had sued out a pardon from Mary he served her in his shire, and although not reelected to any of her Parliaments he was one of the Caernarvonshire gentlemen, John Wynn ap Meredydd and William Wynn Williams among them, to whom the council in the marches recommended Sir Rhys Gruffydd as knight of the shire in 1555. Under Elizabeth Wyn was to be brought into the Star Chamber for his alleged use of Bardsey as an entrepôt for the spoils of piracy, but he sat in one further Parliament before his death in 1576.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Griffith, Peds. 171; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 174; PCC 30 Carew.
  • 2. Cal. Caern. Q. Sess. Recs. ed. Williams, passim; CPR, 1553, pp. 363, 419; Cal. Wynn (of Gwydir) Pprs. 1515-1690, p. 4; APC, vii. 286; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 127, 134.
  • 3. DWB (Bodvel fam.); Cal. Caern. Q. Sess. Recs. 31-32; J. Wynn, Gwydir Fam. ed. Llwyd, 120-1; CPR, 1553, pp. 109, 339, 363; 1566-9, p. 74.
  • 4. CPR, 1554-5, p. 357; Cal. Wynn (of Gwydir) Pprs. 1515-1690, p. 3; St.Ch.5/J 18/1; C. Roberts, ‘Piracy in Caern. and Anglesey’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xxi. 45-49; PCC 30 Carew.