Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JAMES , ROBERT ( Jeduthyn ; 1825 - 1879 ), musician .

Born 7 March 1825 at Aberdare , son of Morgan and Ann James . He was taught music in Rosser Beynon 's classes. He had a good voice and, in 1845 , was elected precentor of Bethesda chapel , Merthyr Tydfil , where he started a choral society which won many eisteddfod prizes . The society published Organ y Cysegr , a collection of sacred music arranged by Robert James . He was a good composer and many of his anthems were popular in the Merthyr area. One of his tunes, ‘ Aberafan ,’ is to be found in Rosser Beynon 's Telyn Seion .

In 1853 he m. Ann Parry , sister of Joseph Parry ( 1841 - 1903 ) , but she d. in 1855 . In 1857 he went to Australia where he lived for five years. Returning to Wales , he spent six months organizing a series of concerts . He then emigrated for the second time, this time to the U.S.A. , taking his relations by marriage with him and settling at Dannville, Penn. Thence, in 1876 , he moved to Ashland where he was appointed Clerk of the Courts of Lucerne County , and, later still, to Wilkes-barré where he died 6 Oct. 1879 .


  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig (1890) ;
  • David Morgan , Music and musicians of Merthyr and district Together with a list of eisteddfodau to the year 1901 (Merthyr Tydfil, 1922) ;
  • Y Cerddor , June, 1893 .


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

Published date: 1959