Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , LEWIS JONES ( 1866 - 1931 ), inspector of schools, and musician ;

b. 29 May 1866 at Aberaeron, Cards. , the son of Lewis Roberts and his wife, Margaret ( Jones ) . He was educated at S. David's College , Lampeter ( B.A. ), and Exeter College , Oxford ( M.A. ); whilst he was at Oxford he was a member of ‘ Cymdeithas Dafydd ap Gwilym .’ He m., 1888 , Mary Noel Griffiths , daughter of capt. Griffiths , Old Bank , Aberaeron ; there were six sons and three daughters of the marriage. He lectured for a while at his old college at Lampeter (he had read history at Oxford ) and became one of H.M. inspectors of schools in Wales , being stationed at first at Aberystwyth , then in North Wales (living at Rhyl and, later at Llandudno ), and afterwards in South Wales , living then at Swansea . On retirement he went to live at Aberaeron . He was a keen eisteddfodwr , acting as adjudicator at some national eisteddfodau . For about thirty years he and J. M. Howell , of Aberaeron , collaborated in the production of a Christmas carol for publication in the Dec. numbers of Cymru (O.M.E.) , Roberts writing the music to words composed by Howell . He acted as music editor of Cymru and Cymru'r Plant for many years. Carols written by him were published in other journals also, and many were separately published (at Caernarvon , etc.). His best-known hymn-tune was that written to the words beginning ‘ Bydd canu yn y Nefoedd ,’ which proved a firm favourite with both children and older people. He wrote a short account (in Welsh ) of Owain Glyn Dŵr (published at Wrexham , 1904 , with at least two other editions) and edited Awelon o Hiraethog , vol. i, containing selections from the poetical works of William Rees ( Gwilym Hiraethog , q.v.) ( Denbigh ), 1908 . Letters written by him are preserved in N.L.W. MSS. 2810, 2826, 6270, and 7994 , and a piece of music (in memory of Sir O. M. Edwards ) in N.L.W. MS. 2119 . He d. 20 Dec. 1931 , and was buried in Henfynyw churchyard, near Aberaeron .

Sources:

  • Who's who in Wales (Cardiff, 1921);
  • Western Mail , 22 Dec. 1931 ;
  • The Welsh Gazette , 24 Dec. 1931 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , lx, lxii, lxv, lxvii, lxix-lxxii;
  • E. Alfred Jones (ed.), Memorials of Old North Wales , London, 1913 (London, 1913).

Author:

Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959