Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PETER , JOHN ( Ioan Pedr ; 1833 - 1877 ), Independent minister and college tutor, and Welsh scholar ;

b. at Bala 10 April 1833 , son of Peter Jones , millwright , and his wife Ellen . He was a pupil at the Bala free school (today the grammar school), then in 1847 began working as a millwright . His tramps across country stimulated his interest in geology and antiquities ; he was also interested in poetry , and in 1849 he and his friends, among whom was Thomas Charles Edwards (q.v.) , founded ‘ Cymdeithas Lenyddol Penllyn .’ Further efforts after self-cultivation led him to study foreign languages , and to two journeys ( 1856 , 1857 ) on the Continent . He began preaching , and in Sept. 1855 went to the Independent College at Bala , becoming in 1859 tutor there; and from 1859 to 1870 he was pastor of the Independent churches of Bala and Tyn-y-bont . In 1861 he m. Elizabeth Noall , a woman of no mean ability, some of whose work may be read in Y Drysorfa , 1864 and 1869 . He d. 17 Jan. 1877 . Peter was a copious writer on general subjects (including science, for he was a good geologist ) in the chief Welsh quarterlies. But his best work dealt with the Welsh language and its literature. He was a diligent copyist of manuscripts and a considerable bibliographer . Yet, what specially distinguishes him is his scientific study of Welsh philology . He was a disciple of Edward Lhuyd 's, and a fellow-worker with such men as Thomas Stephens and Daniel Silvan Evans and John Rhys in this country, and Gaidoz and Schuchardt (both of whom visited him at Bala ) abroad. When Y Cymmrodor was founded, Peter was one of its editors , and some of his work appeared in it and in the Revue Celtique . His manuscripts are today partly at the N.L.W. and partly in the library of the University College of North Wales .


  • Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society , iv, 4 (Dec. 1933 ), with bibliography and portrait.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959