Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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FROST , WILLIAM FREDERICK ( 1846 - 1891 ), harpist ;

b. 28 Dec. 1846 in Albert Street , Merthyr Tydfil , the son of William Frost , a blind harpist . (The father had lost his sight as the result of an accident received by him in a coal mine when he was only thirteen and had been sent to a school for the blind at Swansea , where he learnt to play the harp .) The son was taught by his father and became a fairly good harpist . When he was fifteen he won a prize for playing the harp at an eisteddfod held in Merthyr ( 1859 ). He won a scholarship given at the Swansea national eisteddfod , 1863 , for singing ‘ Sweet Richard ’ and the eisteddfod committee arranged for him to receive lessons from Llewellyn Williams ( Pencerdd y De ) . At the Chester eisteddfod , 1866 , John Thomas ( 1826 - 1913 ) (q.v.) awarded him a pedal harp, valued at £50; he also won a triple harp at an eisteddfod held at Llandovery . He was much in demand as a harpist , as a teacher of the harp , and as adjudicator in harp competitions . He received a doctorate from Germany . After his marriage to a talented singer named Gedrych , he moved to Cardiff . There he founded the ‘ Frost Concerts ’ which did much for the cause of music at Cardiff . He wrote several songs , his ‘ Hen Gymru fynyddig ’ and ‘ Hoff fryniau fy ngwlad ’ being at one time very popular. He d. 25 Feb. 1891 at 5 The Parade , Cardiff .


  • Y Cerddor , April and July 1891 ;
  • R. Griffith , Llyfr Cerdd Dannau (1913) ;
  • Rhestr gyda nodiadau byrion, o Enwogion Cymreig o 1700 i 1900 (1908) ;
  • David Morgans , Music and musicians of Merthyr and district Together with a list of eisteddfodau to the year 1901 (Merthyr Tydfil, 1922) .


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

Published date: 1959