Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PRICE , DAVID ( 1762 - 1835 ), Orientalist ;

b. in 1762 at Merthyr Cynog near Brecon , shortly before the preferment of his father (of the same name) to be vicar of Llanbadarnfawr , Aberystwyth . After his father's death in 1775 , David Price received a free education at the hands of David Griffith ( 1726 - 1816 ) (q.v.) . master of Christ College School , Brecon , and his father's erstwhile rector . After one term ( 1779-80 ) at Jesus College , Cambridge , he enlisted, as a consequence of poverty and dissipation, in the East India Co's army , and served in India from 1781-1805 , when he returned home reasonably well off by his share of the spoils of Seringapatam . In April 1807 he m. the daughter of a kinswoman living at Brecon , where, on his final retirement in Oct. he bought Watton House and settled down to literary pursuits . Of his books, printed at the local press of Priscilla Hughes , the best known is the Mahommedan History ( 1811-21 ) — the work of an exact and conscientious scholar in spite of its involved style. A memorial was erected to him in the Priory church after his death on 16 Dec. 1835 , on which it is said that he served as a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant . He is probably the David Price who was borough bailiff in 1820 and 1827 . He received the gold medal of the Oriental Translation Committee in 1830 ; he contributed to the journal of the Royal Asiatic Society , and bequeathed to the latter his valuable collection of about seventy Oriental manuscripts.


  • David Price , Memoirs of the Early Life and Service of a Field Officer on the Retired List of the Indian Army (London, 1839) (anon. and posthumous), London, 1839;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Poole , The Illustrated History and Biography of Brecknockshire (1886) , 1886 , 312-3.


Dafydd Rhys ap Thomas, M.A., B.D., Bangor

Published date: 1959