Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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PARRY , ROBERT ( Robyn Ddu Eryri ; 1804 - 1892 ), poet ;

b. at Caernarvon , 7 Feb. 1804 , son of a tailor who was also a bonesetter and a versifier . He was for a period a pupil at Evan Richardson 's (q.v.) school and showed some signs of talent which won for him the patronage of Peter Bailey Williams (q.v.) . He failed to master any craft or trade and spent years of his life wandering from place to place in Wales and England ; he once visited the United States , but did not stay long. He was at different times, a schoolmaster , a lawyer's clerk , a preacher , a lecturer on temperance , an advocate of Mormonism , and, between 1850 and 1852 , editor of Y Wawr , a periodical published in Cardiff . He was best known as a speaker on temperance ; many doubted his sincerity, in view of his own conduct, but John Davies ( Gwyneddon , q.v.) , who knew him well, believed him to have been too harshly judged. His verse, although he wrote a great deal, is of little account. The most interesting thing he wrote is the autobiography which serves as an introduction to the collection of his poems Teithiau a Barddoniaeth Robyn Ddu Eryri , published by Hugh Humphreys , Caernarvon , in 1857 . This is rambling, but it is a picture of the man. Bangor MSS. 636, 752-5, 978, 1286, 1549, 3839, 4870, 5277 , at U.C.N.W. , are in his hand. He d. at Ludlow , Nov. 4 1892 , at the age of 88, and was buried at Ludford .

Sources:

  • Teithiau a Barddoniaeth Robyn Ddu Eryri , Caernarfon, 1857 , (Caernarvon, 1857 );
  • Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1893 , 32, 46;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , iii, 257.

Author:

Edward Morgan Humphreys, O.B.E., M.A., (1882-1955), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959