Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HUGHES , ISAAC ( Craigfryn ; 1852 - 1928 ), novelist ;

b. at Quakers’ Yard, Glam. , the son of Daniel Hughes , a cobbler . At the age of nine he worked at the Llancaiach Colliery , Gelligaer , but later left the colliery for six months schooling at the school held by Thomas Evans at the Carpenters Arms . In his youth, he was noted as a poet and contributed to Welsh magazines and periodicals . In 1881 , he achieved fame by writing a novel — Rhys Trefor , which was awarded first prize at the national eisteddfod held at Merthyr ; in the same year his novel, Y Ferch o Gefn Ydfa , was published. This was followed by Y Ferch o'r Scer , 1892 , Gwenhwyfar , Y Llofruddiaeth yng Nghoed y Gelli , 1893 , and O'r Cryd i'r Amdo , 1903 . Some of these tales have been translated into English . He made a study of local legends and folklore and two of his finest contributions have been incorporated in Sir John Rhys 's Celtic Folklore . He worked as a collier in the Deep Navigation Pit , Treharris , but for the last eighteen years of his life he had been afflicted with blindness . He was for many years local secretary of the South Wales Miners Federation and secretary of the Workers’ Library , Treharris . Craigfryn , who was survived by three daughters and two sons, d. 3 Dec. 1928 , and was buried in Llanfabon churchyard.


  • South Wales Daily News , 9 July 1925 ;
  • The Merthyr Express , 8 Dec. 1928 .


Idwal Lewis, Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959