Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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RICHARDS , JEDEDIAH ( 1784? - 1838 ), hymnist and itinerant bookseller ;

a remarkable character who lived for the greater part of his life at Tan-yr-esgair near Ffald-y-brenin , Llan-y-crwys, Carms. He described himself as a ‘ free practising Christian ’ and ‘ peripatetic philosopher .’ He published ballads and pamphlets , sold books , and collected subscriptions for publications and periodicals . He travelled extensively in Wales and amassed a store of information about Welsh literature . He inaugurated a ‘ Christian Singing School ’ at Llandovery , 29 Dec. 1819 . From 1821 to 1823 he kept what he called a ‘ Free Christian Practice-Schools ’ at Carmarthen and other places. He was buried in S. Peter's churchyard , Lampeter , 9 March 1838 , aged 54. His first publication was on comparative religion — Hanes Crefyddau'r Byd ( Carmarthen , 1820 ). He described his singing school in a sheet entitled Cyhoeddiad neu Hyfforddiad ar Reolau yr Ysgol Ganu i Gristion ( Trefriw , 1821 ). In 1824 he published, at Aberystwyth , a four-page prospectus of his ‘ Free Christian Practice-Schools ’ under the bilingual title — A Publication of the Purposes and Articles of the Free Christian Practice-School, in sundry Places, by Jedeiah Richard, T — r. 1820. Cyhoeddiad o Reolau neu Hyfforddiadau yr Ysgol er Rhydd-Ymarfer Crist'nogaidd. Gan Jedeiah Richard, Ffald-y-Brenin, Hyfforddwr ac Addysgwr yr Ysgol er Rhydd-Ymarfer Cristianogol, yn Nghaerfyrddin a Lleoedd ereill, 1821, 1822, 1823 . He published a collection of hymns, including his own compositions, entitled Diddanwch y Pererinion ( Carmarthen , 1825 ). The following books and pamphlets are also attributed to him: Cynghorion Da a buddiol … ynghyd a Hymnau ( Carmarthen , 1823 ); Marwnad David Evans, Morfa ( Caernarvon , 1825 ); Marwnad … Ebenezer Morris, Blaen y Wern, Troed yr Aur ( Caernarvon , 1825 ), Golwg ar Ddrych y Greadigaeth ( Aberystwyth , 1826 ); Hanes Ymneillduwyr Protestanaidd ( Carmarthen , 1826 ); Palmer's Catechism ( Carmarthen , 1827 ); Casgliad o Hymnau, sef Pleser y Pererinion ( Cardigan , 1827 ); Cofiant byr D. Dafis, Castell Hywel ( Carmarthen , 1827 ); Hanes cywir am Lofruddiaeth Hannah Davies ( Aberystwyth , 1829 ); Addysg ac Amddiffyniad ( Carmarthen , 1832 ); and Marwnad Ebenezer Richards ( Carmarthen , 1837 ). Dr. Timothy Richard ( 1845 - 1919 ) (q.v.) was his nephew.

Sources:

  • Seren Gomer , 1838 , 157;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , xxxiii, 18;
  • Y Diwygiwr , 1838 , 126;
  • N.L.W., a copy of the Cardiff Free Libraries, Catalogue of Printed Literature in the Welsh Department , 1898 (with manuscript additions by J. H. D.);
  • Lampeter parish register;
  • NLW MS 9721;
  • R. D. Griffith , Hanes canu cynulleidfaol Cymru , Cardiff, 1948 , 54-5;
  • Y Tyst , 10 May 1951.

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959