Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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FRANCIS , JOHN ( 1789 - 1843 ), miller and musician ;

b. 20 March 1789 , son of William and Margaret Francis , Melin Rhyd-hir , Pwllheli . He learnt the rudiments of music (including harmony) and began to compose when still quite young. In Seren Gomer for Nov. 1821 there appeared two hymn-tunes by him called ‘ Mwyneidd-dra ’ and ‘ Gomer ’ and in the same journal for March 1823 a hymn-tune called ‘ Pwllheli ’ (but originally called ‘ Morwydden ’). He composed an anthem on the words of Psalm xxxix which became popular in parts of Caernarvonshire . It is said that he used to keep his music books in a chest in his mill and that these were stolen by a thief one night. He was precentor at Pen-lan Congregational chapel , Pwllheli , for many years. He d. 19 Aug. 1843 and was buried in Pen-lan burial ground, Pwllheli .

Sources:

  • Y Cerddor Cymreig , 1861-1873 , Oct. 1871, May 1872 ;
  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig , National Eisteddfod Association publication, 1890 ;
  • Rhestr gyda nodiadau byrion, o Enwogion Cymreig o 1700 i 1900 , National Eisteddfod Association, 1908 ;
  • Y Cerddor , May 1893 ;
  • ‘Dictionary of Welsh Biography.’ 27 vols., N.L.W. MSS. 9251–77 .

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 1959