Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

WALTERS , JOHN ( 1760 - 1789 ), cleric, poet, and scholar .

Born 11 June 1760 at Llandough , eldest son of John Walters (q.v.) , rector of Llandough . He was educated at Cowbridge grammar school . He matriculated as of Jesus College , Oxford , in 1777 , and graduated B.A. in 1781 , M.A. 1784 . He was sub-librarian in the Bodleian Library . In 1783 he was appointed headmaster of Cowbridge grammar school , becoming also curate at Cowbridge . Towards the end of 1784 he was appointed headmaster of Ruthin grammar school ; a little later he became rector of Efenechtyd , where he d. 28 June 1789 .

He won some prominence as a poet (in English ), and when he was a student at Jesus College he published Poems with Notes , 1780 . It is clear that his father had caused him to become interested in Welsh studies, and in 1782 he published metrical translations of some old Welsh poems — Translated Specimens of Welsh Poetry . He attracted the attention of some London Welshmen , and, after the death of Richard Thomas ( 1753 - 1780 ) he was persuaded to publish the poems of Llywarch Hen , with a translation into English . Part of this translation appeared in Warrington , The History of Wales , 1788 . Walters gave Edward Jones ( Bardd y Brenin ) some notes to be included in the introduction to his Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards , 1784 . Letters of the time show that London Welshmen looked upon Walters as a young scholar who might be able to further their plans. He published other works, among them being an edition of Roger Ascham , Toxophilus .


  • Enwogion Cymru. A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen (1852) ;
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) ;
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) (1908)


Emeritus Professor Griffith John Williams, M.A., (1892-1963), Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff

Published date: 1959