Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HOWELL , JOHN ( Ioan ab Hywel or Ioan Glandyfroedd> , 1774 - 1830 ), weaver, schoolmaster, poet, editor, and musician ;

b. at Abergwili, Carms. He received very little education before he was apprenticed to a weaver . Because of his musical talent he was allowed to join the band of the Carmarthen Volunteers ; he became the head of the fife band of the company. After serving with these volunteers in Ireland he was appointed head of the National Society's school at Llandovery , where he spent the remainder of his life. His greatest service to music was rendered by visiting local churches to instruct the choristers in psalmody . He competed against Walter Davies ( Gwallter Mechain , q.v.) at the Carmarthen eisteddfod of 1819 ; he also submitted an awdl at the Brecon eisteddfod of 1822 . He was, however, more important as an editor than as a poet , for it was he who collected and edited the material for Blodau Dyfed: sef Awdlau, Cywyddau, Englynion, a Chaniadau, Moesol a Diddanol, a gyfansoddwyd can Feirdd Dyfed … ( Caerfyrddin , 1824 ). This is a good example of the local-anthology type of publication; it is still of interest and use as a source-book for information on the literature of Wales , and on the history of the provincial eisteddfodau . Besides examples of the work of the editor (some of them written for the Carmarthen and Brecon eisteddfodau) the volume contains a selection of poems by Evan Evans ( Ieuan Brydydd Hir ) , Jenkin Thomas , Cwm-du, Cards. , Eliezer Williams , Daniel Evans ( Daniel Ddu o Geredigion ) , James Davies ( Iago ap Dewi ) , D. Rowland ( Dewi Brefi ) of Carmarthen , Edward Richard of Ystradmeurig , Evan Thomas of Llanarth , D. Lloyd of Llwynrhydowen , D. Jones of Llanwrda , John Jenkins ( Ioan Siengcyn ) of Cardigan , Francis Thomas (‘ y Crythwr Dall o Geredigion ’) , Ifan Gruffydd of Tŵr-gwyn , and others. Some of the material for his anthology was obtained by him from what is now N.L.W. MS. 19 . He is probably the ‘ Ioan ab Hywel ’ some of whose work is found in N.L.W. MS. 1238 (a Thomas Edwards , Twm o'r Nant MS.). He d. 18 Nov. 1830 , and was buried in the churchyard of Llandingat , Llandovery .


  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) ;
  • Rhestr gyda nodiadau byrion, o Enwogion Cymreig o 1700 i 1900 (1908) ;
  • Seren Gomer , 1830 ;
  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig (1890) ;
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, 1651–1850 (1893) ;
  • Thomas , Trem ar y Ganrif sef, adolwg ar y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg, parthed crefydd, gwleidyddiaeth, addysg, barddoniaeth, caniadaeth gynulleidfaol, a llenyddiaeth (Dolgellau, 1902) .


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959