Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MILLS , JOHN ( Ieuan Glan Alarch ; 1812 - 1873 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, writer and musician ;

grandson of Henry Mills (q.v.) . He went to work in his father's woollen factory at the age of 13, reading widely in his spare time. He gave instruction in the elements of music in the Musical Society of Llanidloes . In 1838 he visited Carmarthenshire , Cardiganshire , Glamorgan , Liverpool , and Anglesey , lecturing on music and temperance and founding musical societies , and published in that year his Gramadeg Cerddoriaeth , dealing with the elements of music, a pioneer work which had a wide circulation; he published also Hyfforddwr yr Efrydydd . In 1841 he became a Calvinistic Methodist minister at Ruthin , where he published Y Perl Ysgrythurol ( 1843 ) and Y Beirniadur Cymreig ( 1845 ). He moved to London in 1846 to undertake missionary work among the Jews . His writings on Jewish life, e.g. Iddewon Prydain ( 1852 ), British Jews ( 1853 ), and articles in Cassel 's Bible Dictionary , made him a recognised authority. In 1863 he was appointed pastor of the Welsh church in Nassau Street . But Mills maintained his interest in Welsh congregational singing , publishing, e.g. Y Cerddor Eglwysig ( 1846 ), Y Salmydd Eglwysig ( 1847 ), Elfennau Cerddoriaeth ( 1848 ), Darlith ar Cerddoriaeth ( 1849 ), Y Canor ( 1851 ), Yr Athraw Cerddorol ( 1854 ), and Y Cerddor Dirwestol ( 1855 ), works which did much to improve the choice of tunes and the manner of singing, and to disseminate knowledge of the rudiments. Other works of his were Daearyddiaeth Ysgrythyrol ( 1861 ) and Beibl y Teulu ( 1862 ). Mills had been from his youth an industrious contributor to Welsh periodicals (such as Y Traethodydd ) on literary, religious, and musical topics, using the penname Ieuan Glan Alarch ; and he wrote for the Journal of Sacred Literature and the Imperial Bible Dictionary . Two journeys to Palestine resulted in the publication of Palestina ( 1858 ) and a book on the Samaritans . He d. 28 July 1873 .

Sources:

  • Buchdraeth y Parch. John Mills. F.R.G.S., M.R.A.S … , Aberdar, 1881 ;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1903 ;
  • Y Goleuad , 1873 .

Author:

Principal Gwilym Prichard Ambrose, M.A., Caerleon

Published date: 1959