Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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LLEWELYN , SION ( 1690 - 1776 ), poet ;

b. at Cefn Coed y Cymer , Vaynor , Brecknock , 30 Nov. 1690 . His educational advantages were meagre, and although he learned to read Welsh , he was totally ignorant of English . Nevertheless, this self-taught bard published a collection of his poetry and hymns in a book of 60 pages, which became so popular as to demand four (possibly five) editions up to the year 1814 ; the title of the 1791 edition is Difyrrwch diniwaid … sef deunaw o Ganiadau … Gyd a Now o Hymnau duwiol . He was received as a member at the age of 18 into the old Nonconformist chapel of Cwm-y-glo , on the mountain-side between Merthyr and Aberdare by Roger Williams ( 1667 - 1730 ) (q.v.) , the pastor . This pastor was an Arminian . Ultimately the Arminian members under their minister , Richard Rees (q.v.) , built a new chapel, the Hen Dŷ Cwrdd at Cefn , nearer to the home of Siôn , in 1747 , with Siôn as one of the prominent promoters, and first deacon . The poet , a blacksmith by trade (although one manuscript calls him a weaver ), d. 1 Jan. 1776 , and was buried in the grounds of Hen Dŷ Cwrdd , Cefn . A marble memorial tablet was unveiled at the old chapel by his descendants on 17 Aug. 1947 . His grandson was William Harri , of Garw Dyle , Penderyn (q.v.) .

Sources:

  • T. Lewis , Hanes Hen Dy Cwrdd, Cefn Coed y Cymer , 1947 , 1947 ;
  • W. Morgan , The Illustrated Vaynor handbook containing photographic views of Vaynor, Cefn Coed, Pontsarn and Morlais Castle, with the history and folk-lore of the parish , 1893 , 1893 ;
  • NLW MSS 1159, 2196-7;
  • W. Rowlands , Cambrian Bibliography , Llanidloes, 1869 ;
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, 1651–1850 . [1893?] ;
  • Y Drysorfa Gynnulleidfaol , Swansea, 1843-1851 , 1845 .

Author:

Watkin William Price, M.A., (1873-1967), Aberdare

Published date: 1959