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

WILLIAMS , ANNA ( 1706 - 1783 ), author ,

daughter of Zachariah Williams (q.v.) ; was b. at Rosemarket, Pembs. She went to London with her father about 1727 and lived in straitened circumstances for a time with him in the Charterhouse , a breach of rules which led to his expulsion therefrom. In 1740 she became almost blind , but supported herself by her needle . Her translation of Bleterie 's ‘ Life of the Emperor Julian ’ appeared in 1746 . She became quite blind after an operation in 1752 , but had already engaged the humane interest of Dr. Samuel Johnson , who gave her shelter for long periods till the end of her life. Her Miscellanies in Prose and Verse were published in 1766 , with some assistance from Johnson 's hand. Thereafter her health declined, and she d. 6 Sept. 1783 . Her small substance was given to the Ladies' Charity School . It is doubtful whether the writings attributed to her are all her own; their merit is, in any case, small.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) ;
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) (1908) ;
  • Baker , Biographia Dramatica (1812) , 1812 , I, ii, 748.


Professor Gwyn Jones, M.A., (1907-99), Aberystwyth / Cardiff

Published date: 1959