Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , ANEURIN ( Aneurin Fardd ; 1822 - 1904 ), man of letters ;

b. 27 Oct. 1822 at the Church House , Bedwas, Mon. , son of John Jones ( Shôn Fardd ), who was subsequently a miller at Gelli-groes , Pontllan-fraith . He received a good education and served his apprenticeship as an architect and civil engineer . He followed his profession at Gelligroes , and after the death of his father took over the mill as well, in addition to cultivating a little land . He soon became a recognized authority on the Welsh classical metres and was preceptor and friend of Islwyn (q.v.) . He organized eisteddfodau at Gelli-groes , in one of which ( 1850 ) Ioan Tegid awarded the prize to Robert Ellis ( Cynddelw ) (q.v.) for an essay on Tafol y Beirdd ; Aneurin , however, made it a condition of its publication in book form ( 1852 ) that he should be allowed to write the introduction. He adjudicated frequently at the eisteddfodau ; and it was he who, at the Aberdare national eisteddfod ( 1861 ), awarded the prize to Ceiriog for his pastoral ‘ Alun Mabon .’ In 1861 he started a printing-press for the purpose of printing a periodical, Y Bedyddiwr , and continued at this work for two and a half years. Then his circumstances became involved and he emigrated ( 1864 ) to America , first to Scranton , then to Wilkesbarre , and later to New York . He was for years superintendent of the New York and Brooklyn public parks and gardens , but lost this appointment owing to political changes. Throughout this period he was industriously writing both in English and Welsh , and was also adjudicating at eisteddfodau — he became very unpopular when he withheld the chair at the Chicago eisteddfod ( New Year's Day, 1890 ). He reverted to his original profession but does not appear to have found his feet in this, and moved to Los Angeles on the promise (which was not fulfilled) of being made superintendent of the park in that city. He d. 5 Sept. 1904 , and was buried at Los Angeles .


  • Personal research (see Y Geninen , Spring 1952 ).


Edgar Phillips, (1889-1962), Blackwood, Monmouthshire

Published date: 1959