Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAM , DAVID ( 1720 - 1794 ), hymn-writer ;

b. in the parish of Llanedi, Carms. He is possibly the David William , ‘ exhorter in Llanfynydd ’ who became a schoolmaster , according to the report made by James Williams to the Methodist Association in 1743 . He is known to have been an exhorter , but it is easy to mix him up with David Williams ( 1717 - 1792 ) (q.v.) of Llyswyrny . He lived at ‘ Llandeilo fach in the county of Glamorgan ’ when his first book was published in 1760 but, on the title-page of a book published by him in 1777 ‘being of the age of 56 and three Months,’ he refers to himself as ‘formerly of Llandeilo Tal-y-bont .’ He was a peripatetic schoolmaster for some years. His wife came from Nant-y-moel farm , Llangyfelach (he had a son, Israel William , living at Llangyfelach ) and, according to all accounts, was a vicious scold. It is said that it was because of her he had to leave the Methodists . He joined the Baptists and was baptized near Peterston bridge, Glam. , 29 June 1777 . He was one of the founders of the Croes-y-parc Baptist church , at which he used to preach . He d. 1 Oct. 1794 , and was buried at Croes-y-parc .

His hymns (such as ‘ Yn y dyfroedd mawr a'r tonnau ,’ etc.) still enjoy great popularity. His first publication was Golwg y Ffyddloniaid ar Degwch a Gogoniant Jesu Crist ( Carmarthen , 1760 ). He then published a celebrated series with the title Gorfoledd ym Mhebyll Seion ( c. 1760-2 , Carmarthen ; 1777 , Carmarthen ; 1778 , Brecon ; and 1778 , Brecon ). The various parts were published in a single volume with the same title in 1782 ( Brecon ), and a third edition with additions in 1786 ( Carmarthen ). In 1779 there was an English edition of this book, Joy in the Tents of Zion ( Brecon ). Other booklets by him were: Diferion o Ffynnon Iechydwriaeth ( Carmarthen , 1777 ), Hymnau Priod-ferch y Brenin Alpha ( Carmarthen , undated), Gwin i'r Diffygiol ( Carmarthen , undated), and Myfyrdod y Pererin ( Carmarthen , undated). He also published some poems as well as a number of elegies.

Sources:

  • Calvinistic Methodist Archives in the National Library of Wales , Trev. Group, N.L.W. 3005;
  • H. Bevan , Ychydig hanes neu goffadwriaeth am amryw bethau neillduol a gymmerasant le ymhlith corph y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd yn ac o'u dechreuad, sef oddiar yr amser y daeth Mr. Howel Harries i bregethu yn ei droion cyntaf i amryw barthau o Sir Forganwg a'i chyffiniau pethau na buont yn argraffedig o'r blaen, eithr wedi eu clywed o eneuau yr hen bobl ag oedd yn fyw yn yr amser hyny, ac wedi eu hysgrifenu er mwyn eu cadw mewn coffadwriaeth, ar ddymuniad rhai Brodyr , Swansea, 1838 , 1838 , 24;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry (2nd ed.), 579;
  • Yr Adolygydd , 1851 , 334;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1867 (168), 1872 (293);
  • Seren Gomer , 1904 , 44, 209;
  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , xxii, 115, xxxiv, 47;
  • Y Geninen , 1911 , 10.

Author:

Rev. Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 1959