Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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RICHARDS , JOHN ( Iocyn Ddu ; 1795 - 1864 ) ;

b. at Llannerch-y-medd , son of James Richards , shopkeeper , and nephew of John Richards , cleric — it is said that they were kinsfolk of Edward Richard of Ystradmeurig . He spent some years of his life ( till 1844 ) at Liverpool , in the customs-house , but after ‘marrying means’ lived successively at Tre-Iorwerth ( Bodedern , Anglesey ) and at Caernarvon — he began building a mansion near Llannerch-y-medd , but d. 17 Nov. 1864 , before it was finished. He was a schoolfellow of David James ( 1803 - 1871 ) and of Joseph Hughes ( 1803 - 1863 ) at Ystradmeurig , and throughout his life shared their interests — we have some awdlau of his. But he is best — though not too fortunately — remembered as one of the three ‘chair’ adjudicators at the 1849 eisteddfod at Aberffraw . The two serious competitors for the chair were Emrys ( William Ambrose ) and Nicander ( Morris Williams ) . Eben Fardd was for ‘chairing’ Emrys , while Iocyn Ddu stood out stoutly for Nicander . The third adjudicator , Chwaneg Mon ( Joseph Jones ) , thought that Bardd Du Môn ( R. M. Williamson ) should get the chair, but was over-persuaded by Richards to cast his final vote for Nicander . The decision provoked a heated controversy in the press — fuel was added to the flames by the fact that the winner and the two adjudicators who voted for him were Anglicans , while Eben Fardd and Emrys were Nonconformists .

Sources:

  • Richard Parry (Gwalchmai) , Enwogion Môn , 1877 ;
  • Y Geninen , 1900 (70) and 1912 ;
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, 1651–1850 . [1893?] , 694-5.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959