Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HOWELL , GWILYM or WILLIAM ( 1705 - 1775 ), almanac-maker and poet .

He was b. in the parish of Llangurig, Mont. , but spent the greater part of his life in the parish of Llanidloes where, for many years, he was the steward of the Berth-lwyd estate . In 1762-3 he was mayor of Llanidloes . He was not only a poet himself but collected the works of other poets, in particular those of Huw Morys (q.v.) . Iolo Morgannwg says that when Gwallter Mechain was preparing his edition, Eos Ceiriog , of Huw Morys 's work, he made extensive use of this material. Howell 's almanacs, Tymhorol Newyddion o'r Wybren , were of high literary standard; they included the works of poets contemporary with the Anglesey Morrises as well as extracts from the earlier poets such as Wiliam Cynwal , Siôn Tudur (qq.v.), and Huw Morys . He published a series of ten, the first being for the year 1766 . As he was unable to obtain astronomical instruments he made these very skilfully himself. He succeeded in setting on foot an annual eisteddfod in the district, the first being held at the Red Lion , Llanidloes , in 1772 . He d. 4 March 1775 and was buried in Llanidloes churchyard.


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, 1651–1850 (1893) , 728-30;
  • Hamer and Howell William Lloyd , History of the Parish of Llangurig (London, 1875) , 98-100;
  • R. Williams , Montgomeryshire Worthies (1894) , 123;
  • [ Horsfall-Turner , A municipal history of Llanidloes (1908) , 84-6.]


Dr Enid Pierce Roberts, M.A., D.Litt., Bangor

Published date: 1959