Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , JOHN ( 1806 - 1879 ), musician ;

b. at Sarnau , near Bala . After working on farms near his home he moved whilst still a young man to Aberystwyth where he learnt the craft of [ bookbinding ; later he became a skilled engraver .] He studied music, became proficient in it, and strove hard to improve the singing in Aberystwyth and surrounding districts. In 1853 he published Perorydd y Cysegr , a collection of a hundred hymn-tunes including that called ‘ Alexander ’ which he had composed in 1824 (at the age of 18) and which had appeared in Greal y Bedyddwyr , 1833 . He also published Seraff Cymru , which contains anthems and chants which had been edited by J. Wilks , organist at Aberystwyth . He moved to Aberdare in 1855 ; there he served as precentor in Pen-pound Baptist chapel for many years. He returned in 1873 to Aberystwyth where he d. 18 Nov. 1879 . He was buried at Aberystwyth .

Sources:

  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig , National Eisteddfod Association publication, 1890 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , 1899 ;
  • Y Cerddor , June 1918.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959