Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , GRIFFITH ( Gutyn Peris ; 1769 - 1838 ), poet ;

b. 2 Feb. 1769 at Hafod Olau , Waun-fawr, Caerns. His father was William , second son of Edward Williams of Llwyn-celyn , Llanberis , and his mother was Catrin , daughter of Morgan Gruffydd (‘ Morgan y Gogrwr ’) of Llŷn . He started life as a farm worker but later found employment at the Penrhyn quarry where, in due course, he became a foreman . He broke his ankle in an accident in the quarry and was out of work and under the care of Dr. Robert Isaac of Ymwlch Fawr for nine months. He was at that time lodging in the house of Abraham Williams ( Bardd Du Eryri , q.v.) at Gwaun-y-gwiail , Llanllechid , and he was lent books and given instruction by Bardd Du ; that was how he came to learn the laws of prosody . He was created a bard ‘ according to the rights and usages of the bards of the Isle of Britain ’ at the Dinorwig chair eisteddfod , 1799 , by Iolo Morganwg . He wrote many cywyddau and other poems for the periodicals and published a book of his works in 181 under the title Ffrwyth Awen . He was considered the most outstanding of Dafydd Ddu Eryri 's ‘chicks’, but very little of what he wrote can be regarded as true poetry in spite of the fact that he won the Gwyneddigion prize for his awdlau on ‘ Goronwy Owen ’ and George III's Jubilee in 1803 and 1810 . He d. 18 Sept. 1838 , and was buried at Llandygài .


  • Y Gwyliedydd , Nov. 1822 ;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1883 , 220;
  • NLW MSS 325 (136);
  • Enwogion Sir Gaernarfon (1922) , 102;
  • Llyfr Hanes Llenyddiaeth ac Enwogion Llanllechid a Llandegai (1921) , 102-3;
  • 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 .


Griffith Thomas Roberts, M.A., Llanrug

Published date: 1959