Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , JOHN ( Gorfyniawc o Arfon ; 1814 - 1878 ), musician .

Born at Tal-y-bont , near Bangor, Caerns. , the son of Thomas Williams , sawyer . He learnt the elements of music in the school of Robert Williams , Carneddi , Llanllechid . When he was 25 he went to Liverpool , where he received further instruction in music from a Thomas Woodward ; he also learned some Hebrew . He obtained a post in the offices of the Liverpool gas company and eventually became its chief secretary .

In 1847 he began to issue Y Canrhodydd Cymreig , in parts, but owing to printing difficulties only four parts appeared. In the same year he published a Gramadeg Cerddorol , which proved a financial loss to him. In 1849 he arranged a new edition of Gramadeg Cerddoriaeth ( John Mills ). He wrote articles on music for Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig , and composed or arranged hymn-tunes for Telyn Seion ( R. Beynon ), for Seren Gomer , and for some collections issued by Richard Mills . He adjudicated in various musical festivals and in the Caernarvon national eisteddfod of 1862 .

He d. 27 March 1878 , and was buried in the Liverpool Necropolis .


  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig (1890) ;
  • Y Cylchgrawn , 1851 ;
  • Y Cerddor , June 1893.


Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 1959