Dafydd ap Meurig Fychan inherited Nannau after the death of his father, Meurig Fychan ap Hywel. His name occurs in the Nannau manuscripts in 1480, but because of a gap in the documents between 1460 and 1480, we can assume that he inherited the estate at some point during this period. In 1471/2, we know that he was beadle of Tal-y-bont, a position that he held throughout Edward IV’s reign... However, there is no mention of him serving Henry VII, and according to Parry..., this could be significant: ‘Possibly Dafydd made a slight mistake and over-trimmed his sails, with the result that he held no office in his county under Henry Tudor.’ This belief derives from the conclusion that during the Wars of the Roses the Nannau family supported whichever side would be the most beneficial to them.
There are some references to Dafydd at the end of the fifteenth century, mostly involving lands in Merionethshire. He bought a tenement in Penllyn in 1480, he was involved in a dispute over his inheritance in 1487 and in 1490 he encroached on Crown lands in Llwyngwril... This last case has survived, in which Dafydd presented a petition at the Great Sessions held at Caernarfon court before Sir William Stanley... Guto also suggests that he had great knowledge of the law, but there is no further evidence to support this. However, Dafydd’s will, proved in 1494, has survived, a rare occurrence in fifteenth-century Wales. He bequeathed money to many buildings, such as Cymer abbey (where he wished to be buried), Llanfachreth church and the church of Saint Mary at Dolgellau. Interestingly, he also bequeaths eight pence towards glazing the windows of the chapel of the Knights of St John at Gwanas, a building that was founded by the knights in the early Middle Ages but has now disappeared. His eldest daughter, Angharad, inherited most of the responsibility for the estate, which suggests that his son, Hywel, was still a minor when he died. His other five daughters also had a worthy share of the estate’s stock. Indeed, the will is extremely generous and therefore a valuable record of the wealth of the Nannau estate at the end of the fifteenth century. 2