Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , RICHARD ( Mynyddog ; 1833 - 1877 ), poet, singer, and eisteddfod conductor .

Born at Dôl Lydan , Llanbrynmair, Mont. , 10 Jan. 1833 . His father, Daniel Davies , was deacon and precentor in the Old Chapel , while his mother, Jane , belonged to a bookish family. He was chr. by John Roberts ( 1767 - 1834 ) . When he was 2 years of age his parents moved to Fron in the same parish. He was educated at the Old Chapel school kept by the younger John Roberts ( J.R. , 1804 - 1884 ) . He was a frequent competitor at the eisteddfodau , both in the classical and modern metres, and took his bardic name, ‘ Mynyddog ,’ from Newydd Fynyddog , a hill near his home. There is no special merit in his work in the classical metres, but his lyrics became very popular. They were tuneful, unsophisticated poems, which dealt with the joys and tribulations of the common people, the folly of pride, and the absurdity of hypocrisy. He sang these at concerts up and down the land, accompanying himself on a little harmonium. He frequently visited London to listen to the principal singers there, and he was responsible for introducing instrumental music into the Old Chapel . He was in great demand as an adjudicator , singer , and especially as an eisteddfod conductor both in England and Wales .

Three volumes of his works were published in his lifetime: Caneuon Mynyddog , 1866 , Yr Ail Gynnig , 1870 , and Y Trydydd Gynnig , 1877 — while another volume, Pedwerydd Llyfr Mynyddog , appeared in 1882 . Two volumes of selections from his works were published in ‘ Cyfres y Fil .’ He contributed letters to the Herald Cymraeg , the Cronicl , and Dydd , using the pseudonyms Rhywun , Wmffra Edward , and Y Dyn a'r Baich Drain . These letters dealt with topics of the day and criticized stupid customs.

He m., 25 Sept. 1871 , Ann Elizabeth , daughter of Aaron Francis of Rhyl , and built a new house, Bron-y-gân , at Cemais, Mont. In 1876 , after conducting the ‘ Black Chair eisteddfod ’ at Wrexham , he accepted the invitation of his friends to visit America for the sake of his health, but this continued to deteriorate and he returned to Bron-y-gan where he d. 14 July 1877 . He was buried in the Old Chapel graveyard , 19 July .

Sources:

  • T. R. Roberts (Asaph), Mynyddog Ei Fywyd a'i Waith , Denbigh, 1909 ;
  • R. Williams , Montgomeryshire Worthies , second ed., 1894 .

Author:

Thomas Hughes Jones, M.A., Wrexham

Published date: 1959