Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HOWELLS , THOMAS ( Hywel Cynon , 1839 - 1905 ), collier, printer, poet, preacher, and musician ;

b. 12 Oct. 1839 , at Glyn Neath, Glam . The family moved to Rhymney and the son began to work as a collier's boy when he was only seven years old. Later, at Aberaman , whither the family had moved from Rhymney , he was able to receive some education and he began to attend an evening class conducted by the Rev. John Davies . In 1858 John Roberts ( Ieuan Gwyllt , q.v.) came to Aberdare and Hywel Cynon benefited by association with him and with the musicians who lived in the district. In 1866 he acquired the printing plant which had belonged to Tafalaw (q.v.) and thereafter he worked as a printer ; he was also a local preacher . He published two collections of poems — Awelon yr Haf and Cerddi Hywel Cynon . He also composed some pieces of music , e.g. ‘ Gwnewch bopeth yn Gymraeg ’ and a hymn-tune; the latter appears in Llyfr Tonau ( Stephen and Jones ). He published, in 1871 , a Geirlyfr Cerddorol which proved very useful. He was a soloist in one of the concerts given by the Aberdare United Choral Union ; he also conducted musical festivals and acted as adjudicator . He d. 15 Oct. 1905 and was buried in the Aberdare cemetery.


  • Rhestr gyda nodiadau byrion, o Enwogion Cymreig o 1700 i 1900 (1908) ;
  • Y Cerddor , Dec. 1905 .


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

Published date: 1959