Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , JOHN ( 1801 - 1859 ), physician and naturalist ;

b. in 1801 at Pentre'r Felin , Llansantffraid , in the Conway valley , second son of Cadwaladr Williams , miller , Cadwaladr Williams was the cousin of John Jones of Tal-y-sarn ( 1796 - 1857 ) (q.v.) — their fathers being brothers. John Williams was educated in Liverpool , but so great was his desire to become a naturalist that much of his time was spent at Ashridge and in Kew gardens . He was apprenticed to his elder brother, William , who was a physician and apothecary at Abergele ; later, he went to Dublin where he obtained his M.D. In 1832 he started to practise at Corwen ; but, in 1849 , he joined in the gold rush and went off to California . There his health broke down, and he returned to this country in 1853 , practising as a physician at Froncysylltau and Wrexham . He d. in 1859 . His claim to be remembered lies in the book which he published at Llanrwst in 1830 , before setting up as a medical man . This book, which deals with the natural history of Llanrwst , has the Latin title Faunula Grustensis , and the amusing sub-title ‘ An Outline of the Natural Contents of the parish of Llanrwst .’

Sources:

  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1893 , 225, by his son;
  • Owen Williams , Llyfryddiaeth Sir Ddinbych , three parts, 1935-7; second ed. of part 2, 1951 , part 3.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959