Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , JOHN ( fl. 1739-1779 ), Methodist exhorter and hymn-writer .

In 1739 Howel Harris mentions ‘dear Jack of Errwd ’; there was, in fact, a family with that surname living at ‘ Erwood ,’ in the parish of Cerrig Cadarn , Brecknock . He and his brother, William , were exhorters in 1742-3 and the Methodist society met at their house. William (d. 1746 ) m. Ann Bowen of Tyddyn . Sarah , his sister, m. Thomas James (d. 1751 ) (q.v.) , the Builth exhorter . In 1748 Howel Harris was godfather to John Williams 's son, but in 1750 the Erwood family, acting under the influence of Thomas James , deserted Harris and by 1751 had joined Thomas Bowen 's independent party. John Williams is believed to have been the author of a little collection of hymns published at Brecon in 1779 , Ychydig Hymnau: O waith John Williams o Sir Frecheiniog . The collection comprises four very mediocre hymns. One man of this name was buried at Cerrig Cadarn 28 July 1779 , and another 22 Dec. 1783 . A collection of his hymns, Hymnau o Fawl i Dduw a'r Oen , etc., was published by the Trevecka press in 1805 .

Sources:

  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , xxvii, 100; xxviii, 123; xxxi, 116; xxxiv, 31, 34, 75;
  • R. Bennett , Methodistiaeth Trefaldwyn Uchaf, 1738–1852 , 1929 , iii, 182, 187;
  • Cerrig Cadarn register;
  • C. Ashton , Llyfryddiaeth Gymreig o 1801 i 1810 , 1908; reference made to the numbers of the items , 109.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959