Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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REES , ROBERT ( Eos Morlais ; 1841 - 1892 ), vocalist and musician ; b. 5 April (Whit-Sunday) 1841 , at Dowlais, Glam. , the son of Hugh and Margaret Rees , and brought up near the banks of the river Morlais — hence his pseudonym. He lost his father when he was 8 years old, his mother died soon afterwards, and he started to work in a coal-mine when he was only 9. As a child he showed a marked talent for singing and recitation . His first lessons in music were given him by an uncle; these he supplemented by the study of text books. He joined the Libanus Temperance choir which was conducted by David Rosser whom he succeeded as conductor when the latter retired. He won several prizes at eisteddfodau as vocalist and when he was 26 years old he won the prize at the national eisteddfod which was held that year ( 1867 ) at Carmarthen . In the year 1870 , Eos Morlais moved to Swansea where he worked at Landore and became precentor at Soar Congregational chapel , Swansea . He took a course of instruction at the Swansea Training College . So successful had he become by now that he gave up his occupation and devoted his whole time to music. He served for three years as precentor of Walter Road Congregational church , Swansea . He conducted singing festivals and served as adjudicator , his services being much in demand. He d. at his home, 16 Henrietta Street , Swansea , 5 June 1892 ; he was buried in the C.M. chapel burial ground at Aberdulais , near Neath .

Bibliography:

  • Cambria Daily Leader , 6 and 11 June 1892 ;
  • Y Cerddor , July 1892 ;
  • Music and musicians of Merthyr and district Together with a list of eisteddfodau to the year 1901 ‘’ , Merthyr Tydfil H. W. Southey & Sons, 1922 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , xxix, 29;
  • ‘Y Gohebydd’ [John Griffith] cofiant a dyfyniadau o'i lythyrau fel gohebydd Llundain "Baner ac amserau Cymru" , Denbigh, 1905 ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 .

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn