Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LEATHART , WILLIAM DAVIES [d. after 1840 ], historian of the Gwyneddigion Society of London ;

grandson, on the maternal side, of William Davies (d. 1799 ), ‘of the Denbighshire part of Bodffari ,’ who had been made an honorary member of the Society in 1790 . Joining the Society in 1822 he became an enthusiastic member, serving the Society as librarian in 1826 and as secretary in 1828 , and much more important as its official historian . His work, The Origin and Progress of the Gwyneddigion Society of London. Instituted M.DCC.LXX. , was published in London by Hugh Pierce Hughes , in 1831 . This has proved a most valuable source-book for the history of the Society and an important contribution to the story of London - Welsh life at the end of the 18th cent. and the first thirty years of the 19th. It is also a source-book for the history of the eisteddfodau sponsored by the Gwyneddigion . He had previously published (in 1825 ) a small work called Welsh Pennillion, with Translations into English, Adapted for Singing to the Harp . Five letters written to Walter Davies ( Gwallter Mechain ) are preserved in N.L.W. MS. 1806 . [See also Cymm. , 1951 , 101-2, and a letter in N.L.W. written by Leathart in 1840 .]


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959