Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , GRIFFITH ( Gwrtheyrn ; 1846 - 1915 ), littérateur ;

b. 7 Oct. 1846 at Hendrebach , Gwytherin, Denbs. After very little schooling, he was apprenticed at 10 with a weaver at Ysbyty Ifan , and benefited greatly from the vigorous literary and musical life of Pentrefoelas in those days. He was afterwards for a while at Llanrwst , in the employ of Gwilym Cowlyd (q.v.) , but returned to his weaving , living after his marriage ( 1869 ) in the house attached to Cwmtirmynach Calvinistic Methodist chapel , and afterwards at Cefn- ddwysarn , and working in the woollen-factories at both places. But in 1877 he and his wife were appointed master and mistress of the workhouse at Bala ; and he remained in that charge until about two years before his death on 20 Jan. 1915 . He was a man of many gifts; for one thing a fine singer and a zealous fosterer of music in the places in which he lived. In poetry, he was well disciplined in the strict metres, and although his own volume of verse, Caneuon Gwrtheyrn , 1873 , does not rank very high, his work as an instructor of poets was of great importance in the life of his region — for instance, Dewi Havhesp (q.v.) owed much to his criticism. His articles in the Liverpool Brython , on the old cywydd poets, and the manuscripts of his which are now in the National Library , show his great interest in the older literature . In a totally different field, he published in 1897 Pum Plwy Penllyn , a most useful history of Poor Law administration in Penllyn from 1720 till 1897 .

Sources:

  • Y Brython (Liverpool), 4 Feb. 1915 ;
  • Y Seren (Bala) 6 and 13 Feb. 1915 ;
  • information from the family;
  • personal acquaintance.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959