Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HUGHES , ROBERT OWEN ( Elfyn ; 1858 - 1919 ), journalist and poet ;

b. 8 Oct. 1858 in Plough Street , Llanrwst , son of Charles and Elizabeth Hughes . After attending the British School at Llanrwst he was apprenticed to the banking firm of Pugh Jones and Co. Afterwards he began to prepare for the Calvinistic Methodist ministry; later, however, he went to London to work for Kirby and Endean , publishers . In 1883 he m. Elizabeth , daughter of Edward Roberts , member of the publishing firm of Hughes and Son , Wrexham ; seven children were born of the marriage. In 1885 he was appointed sub-editor of Gwalia , a newspaper; in 1888 he went to Blaenau Ffestiniog to edit another newspaper, Y Rhedegydd ; in 1899 he became editor of Y Glorian , another local newspaper; he also served, for a time, as librarian of the local public library. He edited the prize compositions of an eisteddfod held at Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1891 and, in 1898 , those of the national eisteddfod held in that town. He won several prizes at eisteddfodau , including the chair at the national eisteddfod held at Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1898 . A monthly periodical called Cyfaill y Plant edited by him and started in Jan. 1890 , proved to be short-lived. He was a frequent contributor to Y Geninen and Cymru (O.M.E.) ; Sir Owen M. Edwards , editor of the latter, included Hanes Bywyd Capelulo , written by Elfyn , in ‘ Cyfres y Fil .’ A selection of his poems was issued under the title of Caniadau Elfyn (n.d.). He d. 14 June 1919 and was buried in Llan Ffestiniog churchyard.


  • Y Geninen , 1919 ;
  • Y Rhedegydd , 1919 .


John William Jones, (1884-1954), Blaenau Ffestiniog

Corrections and additions:

HUGHES , ROBERT OWEN (‘ Elfyn ’; DWB , 390).

See O. Trevor Roberts , ‘Elfyn a'i waith ( 1993 ).


Published date: 1959