Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OLIVER , JOHN ( 1838 - 1866 ), poet ;

b. 7 Nov. 1838 at White Hall , Llanfynydd, Carms. , and christened 18 Nov. , the fourth child of John and Sarah Oliver . He received his early education at the village school ( 1843-50 ) and in a Carmarthen school ( 1850-3 ), and then determined to prepare himself for the Independent ministry . After a successful career from 1853 to 1859 in the Presbyterian College , Carmarthen , where he developed an acquaintance with English and German literature in particular, he was compelled by ill-health to abandon his plan of proceeding to Glasgow University . Thereafter, in failing health, he preached occasionally, composed poetry , mainly in Welsh , and gave private tuition to a small number of pupils . He d. 24 June, 1866 , and was buried on 28 June in Llanfynydd churchyard. His collected works were published in 1867 under the name Cerddi Cystudd by his brother, the Rev. Henry Oliver .


  • H. Oliver , Cerddi Cystudd sef gweddillion barddonol (Newport-on-Wye, 1867) (with biographical preface);
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (gives further references);
  • Oriel Coleg Caerfyrddin (1909) , 80;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 327;
  • The Records of the Church in Wales at the National Library of Wales (in N.L.W.);
  • NLW MS 10329 (163).


Hywel David Emanuel, M.A., (1921-70), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959