Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , JOHN CEULANYDD ( Ceulanydd ; 1847? - 1899 ), Baptist minister, poet, and writer ,

b. at Tal-y-bont, Cards. He started life as a weaver at his home, and was subsequently employed in the lead mines of the district, but he was induced by his mother-church to preach , and early in 1868 , after a course of education, first at Towyn and afterwards at the ‘ Graig House Academy ’ ( Swansea ); he was admitted to Llangollen Baptist College . He was ordained at Denbigh 16 Jan. 1871 , and moved to Amlwch ( 1875? ), Tal-y-sarn , Caernarvon ( 1879 ), Tabernacle , Merthyr Tydfil ( 1880 ), and finally, in 1882 , to Salem and Caersalem , Maes-teg , where he d. 11 Sept. 1899 . He m., during his ministry at Denbigh > , Ann Jones , daughter of David Jones , a deacon of the church ; they had nine children.

Ceulanydd is remembered solely for his literary works. He published (1) biographies of Robert Foulkes , Denbigh , and John Palmer , Amlwch , under the title of Y Ddau Foneddwr (n.d.); (2) a critical essay on the poetry of Ceiriog , under the title Athrylith Ceiriog Hughes ( 1892? ); and (3) a lecture on Welsh hymnology delivered at the annual meetings of the Welsh Baptist Union at Cardigan in 1888 . But his main interest was poetry . He was a member of the Gorsedd of Bards , a frequent adjudicator at the national eisteddfod , and won several of the principal prizes of his day, e.g. in the chair competition at the Pontypridd national eisteddfod ( 1893 ) on the subject of ‘ Pwlpud Cymru ’ (later published, n.d.), and at the Llandudno eisteddfod ( 1888 ) on ‘ Ac yr oedd hi yn nos ’ (published 1888 ), and the Australian eisteddfod ( 1893 ) on ‘ C. H. Spurgeon ’ (published 1893 ).

Sources:

  • Seren Cymru , 22 and 29 Sept. 1899 ;
  • Y Greal sef Cylchgrawn Misol at wasanaeth y Bedyddwyr , 1899 , 277;
  • Y Geninen , 1900 , 40 (D), 181, 254;
  • Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru , 1951 ;
  • Baptist Handbook , 1900 ;
  • The Baptist Union of Wales Handbook and Diary , 1900 ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • 'Dictionary of Welsh Biography.' 27 vols., N.L.W. MSS. 9251–77 ;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru (1893–1907) , iv, 335-7 (gives date of birth as 1851);
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) (1908) , 465.

Author:

Benjamin George Owens, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959