Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , RICHARD JONES ( Glaslyn , 1831 - 1909 ), more commonly called Richard Owen , poet and prose-writer ;

b. 13 April 1831 at Llofft-y-tŷ-llaeth , Park , Llanfrothen, Mer. , son of John and Elizabeth Owen . His early education was of the scantiest. After a period as a boy-servant at Ynysfor , he found work at the age of 14, in the slate-quarries of Ffestiniog . He m. Elin Jones of Beddgelert , and they made their home at Beddgelert , where two sons were born to them. Glaslyn continued his connection with the slate-quarries, and in 1869 he was manager of a small slate-quarry in Duffryn Ardudwy . In 1877 the Owen s removed to the village of Bryntirion , Nantmor , and shortly afterwards to a cottage called Pen-y-groes , near Aberglaslyn Bridge . On 17 May 1902 Glaslyn suffered the loss of his wife. Thereupon he entered ‘ Llys Ednyfed ,’ Penrhyndeudraeth , where he d. on 13 March 1909 at the age of 78; he was buried at Beddgelert on 19 March . Glaslyn 's literary output in poetry and prose was considerable, and his contributions to Cymru , Y Genedl Gymreig , and other periodicals were particularly numerous. He also published his ‘ Adgofion ’ (‘Reminiscences’) of his friend, Owen Wynne Jones ( Glasynys ) (q.v.) , whose poetical and prose-works he edited in Yr Wyddfa . An unsuccessful effort was made to obtain for Glaslyn a Government pension as a reward for his services to literature. N.L.W. MS. 2856 contains an example of his work.


  • Carneddog , Gwaith Glaslyn detholiad o'i farddoniaeth a'i ryddiaeth (Caernarfon, 1914) , 1914 ;
  • Yr Wyddfa, sef Gwaith Barddonol a Rhyddieithol y diweddar Barch. O. Wynne Jones (Glasynys) (Milwaukee) , (ed. Glaslyn );
  • Glasynys Adgofion gan Glaslyn gyda Detholiad o'i Weithiau (Caernarfon, 1894) , 1894 ;
  • Saunders Lewis , Straeon Glasynys detholiad (Denbigh, 1943) (introduction);
  • Baner ac Amserau Cymru , 24 March 1909 .


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

His son was JOHN OWEN ( Ap Glaslyn ; 1857 - 1934 ), preacher , poet , and musician; b. at Beddgelert 6 May 1857 . He was educated at the local school, became a pupil teacher and later worked in the slate quarries at Ffestiniog and Llanberis . In his youth he was successful as an elocutionist and actor . He identified himself with the Welsh drama movement and acted in one of the first drama companies to perform in the vernacular . His prowess as a singer was also known throughout Wales . His work in connection with the temperance movement will be remembered, as well as his activities in connection with the Good Templars during the religious revival of 1904-5 . After this Ap Glaslyn devoted himself to preaching and in 1919 was ordained as minister with the Calvinistic Methodists , being prominently associated with the Forward Movement in South Wales at Gelli , Rhondda , and later at Llanbradach , where he remained until his death, 16 April 1934 . He contributed frequently to Welsh periodicals and in 1876 published a book Y Llenor Ieuanc , which was favourably received in the Welsh literary world. He was responsible for the words and music of many religious songs which he sang and made popular during the 1904-5 revival. He m. Elizabeth Trefor , daughter of William and Jane Trefor , of Llanberis ; there were six children of the marriage.


  • Heddyw (Wrexham) , June 1897 ;
  • Y Genedl Gymreig , 30 April 1934 ;
  • Yr Herald Cymraeg (a'r Genedl) , 14 May 1934 .


Idwal Lewis, Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959