Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , THOMAS ( 1760 - 1811 ), the first printer at Caernarvon ;

it is not known for certain where he was born. He was at Trevecka for a time. He is sometimes confused with the Thomas Roberts ( 1735 - 1804 ) above. He went to Caernarvon in 1796 and he appears to have begun to print at Caernarvon in 1797 . In 1800 he printed the first number of what was intended to be a periodical — Greal neu Eurgrawn … , of which, however, no more numbers appeared; seven years later he printed the first number of another periodical — Trysorfa Gwybodaeth, neu Eurgrawn Cymraeg ; of this two numbers appeared. Ifano Jones , Hist. of Printing and Printers in Wales , quotes the titles of some other works printed by Thomas Roberts up to 1811 and, after his death, by his widow, M. Roberts , who d. 20 July, 1814 ; it was she, e.g. who printed Arwyrain Amaethyddiaeth , the work of David Owen ( Dewi Wyn o Eifion , q.v.) , 1812 . Thomas Roberts d. 30 April 1811 , at the age of 51, and was buried in Llanbeblig churchyard.

Sources:

  • J. Ifano Jones , A history of printing and printers in Wales to 1810, and of successive and related printers to 1923 (1925)
  • [ Y Traethodydd 1901 ].

Author:

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

Corrections and additions:

ROBERTS , THOMAS ( 1760 - 1811 ; DWB , 880-1).

He was the eldest s. of Thomas Roberts ( 1735 - 1804 ; DWB , 880) . He was b. prematurely on 13 Mar. 1760 , in the ‘little parlour’ at Trefeca , when his mother was visiting her father-in-law, William Roberts (of Plas Bach ) in his last illness. As mentioned in the article on Thomas Roberts ( 1735 - 1804 ) , his father later moved with the family to Talgarth . He is referred to more than once in his father's diaries. He went to Talgarth school in 1775 and was sent to London , c. 1782 , to be under the supervision of the well-known Moravian Benjamin La Trobe , and to learn the printer 's trade. After La Trobe 's d. in 1786 he returned to Trefeca ( June 1787 ) to superintend the printing of ‘ y Beibl bach ' — the small Bible. However, by 1797 he was printing at Caernarfon . He printed both of the only two numbers of the periodical Trysorfa Gwybodaeth, neu Eurgrawn Cymraeg (see David Thomas , ‘ Dafydd Ddu Eryri ’; DWB , 941) . He m., at Caernarfon , Mary ( Williams ) , a rich widow.

Sources:

  • The North Wales Gazette , 2 May 1811 ;
  • notes taken by Mr. R. Idloes Owen, Bangor , from the diaries of Thomas Roberts (senior) at N.L.W. and from family documents.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959