Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , WILLIAM ( Gwilym Mai ; 1807 - 1872 ), poet and printer ;

son of Ann and Thomas Thomas , miller , Llanelly and Carmarthen . His mother d. 10 May 1828 ( Seren Gomer , 1828 , 188). He worked at Merthyr , Llandovery , and Carmarthen . He was a compositor in the office of David Rice Rees and William Rees (q.v.) at Llandovery , and at Carmarthen he worked in the offices of the Carmarthen Journal with William Evans and Benjamin Jones . Afterwards he set up his own business at Carmarthen . He was an ardent eisteddfodwr , and was successful in the poetry competitions at the Swansea ( 1846 ) and Carmarthen ( 1852 ) eisteddfodau. He published collections of his own poetry, Meillion Mai , 1849 ; Blodyn Dyffryn Tywi , 1854 , and also an elementary text-book on the Welsh cynghanedd , Clorian y Bardd , 1850 . In his introduction to the latter he states that the times were too difficult for poets to afford the Drych Barddonol and the grammars of Robert Davies , Nantglyn , and Siôn Rhydderch . He was an Oddfellow for thirty-five years, and published a treatise on the subject, Traethawd ar Odyddiaeth; ynghyd a nifer Cyfrinfaoedd Cymru . He also wrote an awdl to Oddfellowship ( Meillion Mai , 18). He was a deacon at Lammas Street chapel , Carmarthen . At one time he worked with William Saunders ( 1806 - 1851 ) (q.v.) .

Sources:

  • Seren Gomer , 1828 , 188, 340;
  • Yr Haul , 1872 , 240;
  • Baner ac Amserau Cymru , 22 May 1872 ;
  • J. Ifano Jones , A history of printing and printers in Wales to 1810, and of successive and related printers to 1923 , 1925 ;
  • Cardiff Free Libraries, Catalogue of Printed Literature in the Welsh Department , 1898 ;
  • NLW MS 9274;
  • G. Eyre Evans , Lampeter , 1905 .

Author:

Professor David James Bowen, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959