Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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FISHER , JOHN ( 1862 - 1930 ), Welsh scholar ,

was b. on 5 Jan. 1862 , at Cilcoll , Llandebïe , being the eldest son of Edward and Mary Fisher . He was educated at the national school, Llandeilo-Talybont ( Pontardulais ), Llandovery school , and S. David's College , Lampeter , where he graduated B.A. , in 1884 , and B.D. in 1891 , having been scholar and prizeman. Ordained deacon in 1885 , and priest in 1886 , he held curacies at Pontbleiddyn , Llanllwchaearn , and Ruthin , in the diocese of S. Asaph . His only incumbency was the rectory of Cefn , near S. Asaph , which he accepted in 1901 . In the same year he became librarian of the cathedral library , a manuscript catalogue of which he compiled. In 1916 he was made canon of the cathedral , and in 1927 chancellor . He was appointed Welsh examining chaplain to archbishop Edwards in 1921 ; he had been Welsh examiner at S. David's College , Lampeter , in 1905-9 . From 1917 he was a member of the governing body of the Church in Wales . Joining the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1899 , he succeeded canon R. Trevor Owens as general secretary in 1914 . For a time, during the 1914-19 war, he was editor as well. Relinquishing the secretaryship in 1917 , he retained the editorship till 1925 , when he was elected vice-president . His principal literary work, of which he was joint-author with S. Baring Gould , was The Lives of the British Saints (4 vols.) published by the Hon. Society of Cymmrodorion , 1907-13 . He had previously edited the Cefn Coch MSS. , 1899 . Later he edited Fenton 's Tours in Wales for the Cambrian Archaeological Association , 1917 , Allwydd Paradwys (by John Hughes , 1615 - 1686 , q.v. ), 1930 , and Kynniver Llith a Ban (by William Salesbury , q.v. ), 1931 . Among his contributions to Archaeologia Cambrensis were the following articles: ‘ The Religious and Social Life of former days in the Vale of Clwyd ,’ 1906 ; ‘ Some Place-names in the locality of St. Asaph ,’ 1914 ; ‘ Wales in the time of Queen Elizabeth ’; ‘ The Wonders of Wales ,’ 1915 ; ‘ The Welsh Wills ,’ 1919 ; ‘ The Welsh Celtic Bells ’; ‘ Bardsey Island and its Saints ,’ 1926 . He was elected F.S.A. in 1918 , and received the honorary degree of D.Litt. from the University of Wales in 1920 . He was also appointed a member of the commission on Ancient Monuments (Wales) . He served as representative of the Cambrian Archaeological Association on the court of governors of the University of Wales and on its Board of Celtic Studies , and was a member of the court and council of the National Library of Wales . He d. 9 May 1930 , and was buried in S. Asaph cathedral graveyard.

Sources:

  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1930 , 255-6;
  • Yr Haul , 1930 , 172-4.

Author:

Canon Ellis Davies, M.A., F.S.A., (1872-1962), Caerwys

Published date: 1959