Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HOWELL , JENKIN ( 1836 - 1902 ), printer, writer, musician ;

son of John Howell (d. 1841 ) and his wife Gwen , of Tor-foel , Penderyn , Brecknock . He had little schooling, being apprenticed at eight years old to a shoe-maker ; five years afterwards he went to work at Pont-Neath-Vaughan . When fourteen, he was at Merthyr Tydfil , a town of poets and musicians and of eisteddfodau; thence he moved to Aberdare , where he attended night-schools kept by John Anthony and Dan Isaac Davies (q.v.) . He gave up shoe-making , and from 1854 till 1861 worked with his brother-in-law as a sawyer . But on the advice of his pastor Thomas Price ( 1820 - 1888 ) (q.v.) he became a printer , opening works of his own in 1867 . His frequent contributions to the press won him repute in all parts of Wales — much poetry of his appeared in Yr Ymofynydd , Seren Gomer , and Y Geninen . He himself printed many Welsh books, besides the newspaper Y Gweithiwr Cymreig which he owned and edited . He was an authority on the folklore and the dialect of eastern Glamorgan , and at the Pontypridd national eisteddfod of 1893 he shared with T. C. Evans (q.v.) the prize for an essay on ‘ Glamorgan Folklore .’ Two years before his death, he began a series of articles, in Y Geninen , on the older history of the Aberdare valley . He d. 14 June 1902 , and was buried at Penderyn .

Sources:

  • Y Geninen , 1903 (223-7), 1904 (15, 252);
  • David Davies , Hanes Plwyf Penderyn , Aberdare, 1905; 2nd edition, 1924 (2nd ed.), 1924 , 128-33;
  • Yr Hauwr misolyn Undeb Bedyddwyr Cymru at wasanaeth yr Ysgol Sabbathol , Aberdâr , Jan. 1894 ;
  • Ben Morus , Enwogion Aberdâr , 1910 , 1910 ;
  • The Weekly Mail , 21 June 1902 ;
  • Y Cymmrodor , xxiv;
  • NLW MS 1149.

Author:

Watkin William Price, M.A., (1873-1967), Aberdare

Published date: 1959