Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS , JOHN ( 1807 - 1876 ); musician ;

b. 30 March 1807 at Henllan , near Denbigh ; the son of Aaron and Jane Roberts . He attended the village school until he was 13 and, two years later, began to receive instruction from Thomas Jones , Congregational minister , Denbigh . He was taught music by Thomas Daniel , Henllan ; he also studied books on music. He collected a large number of hymn-tunes that were used at times of religious revival or had been composed by musicians under the influence of religious revivals. Some of these he gave to John Parry , Chester , to be included in Peroriaeth Hyfryd , 1837 . In 1839 he published Caniadau y Cysegr , which contained fifty-five old tunes harmonized by himself; this was the first collection for the use of Welsh congregations. In 1876 , just after his death, his two sons published, under the title of In Memoriam , a collection of eleven hymn-tunes which he had composed . He d. 4 April 1876 and was buried in Y Groes burial ground , near Denbigh .


  • Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig (1889-96) , x, 703;
  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig (1890) ;
  • R. D. Griffith , Hanes canu cynulleidfaol Cymru (Cardiff, 1948) ;
  • Y Cerddor , Aug. 1891.


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

Published date: 1959