Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVANS , BERIAH GWYNFE ( 1848 - 1927 ), journalist and dramatist ;

b. 12 Feb. 1848 , son of Evan Evans ( 1804 - 1886 ) (q.v.) , Nant-y-glo, Mon. ; his mother's maiden name was Mary Valentine . Educated at the Beaufort British school , he became a teacher at Gwynfe and Llangadock, Carms. , but his aspirations were from the outset towards journalism. In 1879 he broke new ground with his play, ‘ Owain Glyndŵr ,’ which won the prize at the Llanberis eisteddfod , and he was one of the pioneers of the early dramatic movement in Wales . It was while at Gwynfe , in 1880 , that he established the monthly magazine, Cyfaill yr Aelwyd , becoming well known to a large circle of readers as its editor . In 1887 he abandoned teaching for journalism, joining the staff of the South Wales Daily News in Cardiff and editing the Welsh section of The Cardiff Times and South Wales Weekly News . In 1892 he went to Caernarvon , as managing editor of the Welsh National Press Co. , publishers of Y Genedl Gymreig , The North Wales Observer , and other newspapers, a company in which David Lloyd George was then interested. Here he soon made his mark as a trenchant political journalist , but he resigned his post in 1895 , when he was appointed secretary to the ‘ Cymru Fydd ’ movement, also undertaking general journalistic work . He was for some years a correspondent of the Liverpool Mercury , and he contributed to many other papers. In 1917 he was appointed editor of the Welsh Congregational weekly, Y Tyst . Both as journalist and as a member of the ‘gorsedd’ he was a prominent figure at the national eisteddfod, and after the death of Eifionydd ( John Thomas , 1848 - 1922 , q.v.) in 1922 he succeeded him as gorsedd recorder . Amongst the books of which he was the author are Dafydd Dafis , 1898 ; Diwygwyr Cymru , 1900 ; The Life Romance of Lloyd George (n.d.); a Welsh version of the same book, Rhamant Bywyd Lloyd George , 1916 , published in Utica , U.S.A. ; and Owain Glyndŵr , 1911 . The last-named, a recast version of the Llanberis play of 1879 , was acted in Caernarvon in the course of the celebrations of the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1911 . His play, Caradog , was produced in connection with the Caernarvon eisteddfod in 1906 , the first occasion on which a dramatic performance became a part of the national eisteddfod. He was prominent in the 1885 agitation for using and teaching Welsh in the schools, and was the first secretary of the ‘ Society for the Utilization of the Welsh Language .’ He m., 18 July 1871 , Anne , daughter of Michael Thomas , Y Neuadd , Gwynfe . He d. 4 Nov. 1927 .

Sources:

  • Personal acquaintance.

Author:

Edward Morgan Humphreys, O.B.E., M.A., (1882-1955), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959