Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , JOHN ( Ioan Madog ; 1812 - 1878 ), blacksmith and poet ;

b. 3 Sept. 1812 at Bontnewydd , Ruabon , whither his parents, Richard and Elinor Williams , had moved shortly before his birth and whence they returned, when he was about 9, to Tremadoc, Caerns. He went to various schools at Tremadoc , and, later, in Caernarvon and Denbighshire . He learnt the craft of a blacksmith , at which he continued to work. Cynhaiarn , his biographer , says that he became skilled in the designing and making of certain implements for use in the ships that were then being built at Portmadoc . Early in life he interested himself in poetry, being ‘installed’ as a bard in an eisteddfod held at Bala in 1836 . He became a successful competitor in eisteddfodau , e.g. Aberffraw , 1849 , Rhuddlan , 1850 , ‘ Eisteddfod Madog ,’ 1851 , etc. He d. 5 May 1878 , and was buried in the churchyard of Ynyscynhaiarn .


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) , and the sources noted therein, particularly Cymru (O.M.E.) , x, 229-37, and Gwaith Barddonol Ioan Madog ynghyd â Bywgraffiad o'r awdwr, a llythyrau oddiwrth rai o brif feirdd y genedl (Pwllheli, 1881) (Pwllheli, 1881).


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959