Gwilym Lleyn was still a young man when he began to interest himself in the collection and listing of books in Welsh and books relating to Wales . His work as a circuit minister gave a searcher such as he was a wonderful opportunity to examine and collect books . The first fruits of his researches appeared in Y Traethodydd for 1852-3 , under the title of ‘ Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry ’ (‘ Bibliography of the Welsh ’). He proposed to issue the work, when completed, as a fifteen-shilling volume. The work was not published, however, until 1869 , four years after his death, when it was prepared for the press and edited by Daniel Silvan Evans (q.v.) and printed by John Pryse (q.v.) of Llanidloes , under the title of Cambrian Bibliography: containing an account of the books printed in the Welsh language, or relating to Wales, from the year 1546 to the end of the eighteenth century; with biographical notices . There was also a Welsh title-page, Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry … , and it is under this Welsh title that bibliographers and historians of literature in Wales and elsewhere know the work and refer to it. This was at the time a notable achievement, and, although it has its imperfections and its errors of fact, the book continues to be a most useful work of reference; when it is realised that there were in the time of the compiler no Welsh libraries at Cardiff , Aberystwyth , or Bangor , the achievement of the author must be regarded as remarkable.
Rowlands edited Yr Eurgrawn Wesleaidd from 1842 to 1845 , and again from 1852 to 1856 ; he also contributed to periodicals such as Golud yr Oes and Y Brython . His other published works were concerned with religion and denominational controversy. He wrote a series of biographical articles on famous Welshmen ; after his death the manuscript of the work was acquired by Isaac Foulkes (q.v.) who incorporated some of the material in his Geiriadur Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru ( Liverpool , 1870 ), and referred to it there as the ‘ Lleyn MSS. ’ A memoir of Rowlands , by his son-in-law, R. Morgan , appeared in the twelve issues of Yr Eurgrawn Wesleaidd for 1868 ; see also D. Silvan Evans 's preface to Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry .
Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth
Published date: 1959