Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , WILLIAM ( Ehedydd Iâl ; 1815 - 1899 ), farmer and poet ;

b. 15 Aug. 1815 at Cefn Deulin , Derwen, Denbs. He never went to school. When he was about 9 years of age he went as a farmer's boy to Llwyn Isaf and thence to work with John Davies of Plas-yn-Nerwen where ‘ the old man and I used to go on capping each other's poetry like mad .’ From Plas-yn-Nerwen he went to Hendre , Gwyddelwern , where he obtained a copy of Bardd Nantglyn 's grammar, and after spending seven or eight years there went to Llanelidan as bailiff to Mrs. Davies of Rhydmarchogion . There he wrote the well-known hymn beginning ‘ Er nad yw'm cnawd ond gwellt ’; in his memoirs, ‘ Adgofion fy Mywyd ,’ he tells us how he came to write it. From Rhydmarchogion he went to Green Park , Llandegla . Then, he kept Mwynglawdd Mill for three years, moving on to Tafarn-y-Gath which was a farm and public house about a mile from Llandegla village; here he was a farmer and an unwilling inn-keeper until eight years later when the inn was converted into a farmhouse. He stayed there until he d. 15 Feb. 1899 . His works were published in 1898 under the title, Blodau Iâl, sef Cynyrchion Barddonol William Jones (Ehedydd Iâl). Wedi Eu Casglu a'u Trefnu gan y Parch. John Felix .


  • ‘Adgofion fy Mywyd’ in Blodau Iâl sef cynyrchion barddonol William Jones (Ehedydd Iâl) (Holywell, 1898) ;
  • Evan Isaac , Prif Emynwyr Cymru (1925) , 1925 ;
  • ‘Ehedydd Iâl trwy Lygaid Plentyn’ by E. Tegla Davies in Cymru (O.M.E.) , 1918 ;
  • [ Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1905 , 69;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1899 , 45].


David Gwenallt Jones, M.A., (1899-1968), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959