Guto composed an elegy for Siôn ap Madog Puleston (poem 72), and so did both Hywel Cilan and Gutun Owain (GHC poem XXII; GO poem LI). There are elegies for his wife, Alswn Fechan daughter of Hywel, and her mother, Alswn daughter of Hywel, by Gutun Owain (ibid. poems XLV and XLVI). Gutun also composed an elegy for Alswn Fechan’s grandfather, Hywel ap Gronwy, as did Lewys Glyn Cothi (ibid. poem XLIV; GLGC poem 217). There are poems of praise by both Hywel Cilan and Ieuan ap Tudur Penllyn for Siôn’s brother, Edward ap Madog Puleston (GHC poem XXIII; GTP poem 42).
A number of poems were addressed to Siôn and Alswn’s son, another Siôn (often named Siôn Puleston Hen), by Hywel Dafi (Roberts 1918: 31–2), Lewys Môn (GLM poems LXXI, LXXII and LXXIII), Gutun Owain (GO poems XII and XIV) and Tudur Aled (TA poems XLI, XLII and CXLII), and it seems that the same Siôn was praised by Hywel Rheinallt (see GLM poem Atodiad 2). This Siôn’s wife, Alis daughter of Huw Lewys, was elegized by Gutun Owain (GO poem LII). Guto further composed a poem to request an Irish mantle (poem 53) from Siôn ap Madog Puleston’s aunt, Elen daughter of Robert Puleston, and a number of poems were composed for his cousin, Rhosier ap Siôn Puleston, and to his descendants.
The earliest surviving poem to a member of the Puleston family is by Gruffudd Fychan ap Gruffudd, who composed a poem to request a harp from Siôn’s great-grandfather, Richard ap Sir Roger Puleston of Emral (GSRh poem 11). Many poems were composed for the Pulestons during the sixteenth century by a host of poets, including Siôn Trefor, Siôn Cain, Wiliam Llŷn, Simwnt Fychan, Gruffudd Hiraethog, Tudur Aled, Lewys Môn, Mathau Brwmffild, Lewys Morgannwg and Lewys Daron.
The genealogical table below is based on WG1 ‘Bleddyn ap Cynfyn’ 5, ‘Marchudd’ 6, ‘Puleston’, ‘Sandde Hardd’ 1, 2, 4, ‘Tudur Trefor’ 1, 14, 25, 34, 38, 39; WG2 ‘Hwfa’ 8 C1, ‘Puleston’ A1. Those named in Guto’s elegy for Siôn are shown in bold print, and the names of his patrons are underlined.
As is shown, Siôn was related to most of the leading patrons of north Wales. He was a cousin of Rhosier ap Siôn Puleston of Emral and a nephew of Angharad, wife of Edward ap Dafydd of Bryncunallt. His aunt Elen was one of Guto’s patrons and another aunt, Annes, was the wife of Tudur Fychan, half-brother of Wiliam Fychan of Penrhyn. His son, Siôn, married Alis daughter of Huw Lewys of Prysaeddfed.
His family and career
Along with the Salbris, the Conwys and the Hanmers, the Pulestons were notable patrons of poets in north-east Wales. They were descended from Sir Roger de Puleston, a native of Puleston in Shropshire who was given land in Emral in Maelor Saesneg by Edward I, where he settled before 1283 (Charles 1972–3: 3, 22). Siôn ap Madog Puleston’s grandfather, Robert Puleston, married Lowri daughter of Gruffudd Fychan of Glyndyfrdwy, Owain Glyndŵr’s sister. Robert fought in the national revolt on Owain’s side.
According to Bartrum’s genealogies, Siôn ap Madog Puleston was of the generation born around 1400. He lived initially in Plas-ym-Mers by Wrexham, where a branch of the family was established in the first half of the fifteenth century, and later, by his marriage to Alswn daughter and heir of Hywel ab Ieuan of Hafod-y-wern in the same locality, he added that place to his possessions. It may be this Siôn who is referred to in connection with Abbot Siôn ap Rhisiart of Valle Crucis in 1455 (Williams 2001: 142; 1970–2: 203; Bowen 1995: 154). Furthermore, it is Siôn, in all likelihood, who is named as one of the king’s attorneys in the lordship of Chirk in July 1461, when he received a commission together with six other men who were also Guto’s patrons, namely Abbot Siôn ap Rhisiart, Dafydd Cyffin, Rhosier ap Siôn Puleston, Siôn Hanmer, Siôn Trefor and Robert ap Hywel (45.49–51n). The date of his death is unknown, although it is possible that he was still alive c.1465 (see notes to poem 72).
Siôn ap Siôn ap Madog Puleston was rewarded by Henry VII for his loyalty in the battle of Bosworth in 1485, and went on to hold a number of influential offices in north Wales. In the following century, a sub-branch of the Pulestons of Hafod-y-wern was established in Caernarfon by this Siôn’s son, Sir Siôn Puleston. Further on the Pulestons, see DWB Online s.n. Puleston (Family).
Bowen, D.J. (1995), ‘Guto’r Glyn a Glyn-y-Groes’, YB XX: 149–82
Charles, R.A. (1972–3), ‘Noddwyr y Beirdd yn Sir y Fflint’, LlCy 12: 3–44
Roberts, T. (1918) (gol.), Peniarth MS. 67 (Cardiff)
Williams, D.H. (1970–2), ‘Fasti Cistercienses Cambrenses’, B xxiv: 181–229
Williams, D.H. (2001), The Welsh Cistercians (Leominster)