Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , MATHEW [ 1732 - 1819 ], landsurveyor, author, and almanack-maker[?] .

It is known that he lived at Llangadock in 1774 and at Rhos-maen , near Llandeilo , in 1788 . He published ( a ) Y Mesurwr Cyffredinol ( Carmarthen , 1775 ; another ed. in 1785 ); ( b ) Speculum Terrarum et Caelorum: neu Ddrych y Ddaear a'r Ffurfafen … ( Carmarthen , 1784 ; other eds. in 1804 and 1826 ); ( c ) Hanes Holl Grefyddau'r Byd, yn enwedig y Grefydd Grist'nogol ( Carmarthen , 1799 ); ( d ) a series of ( Welsh ) almanacks — Britannus Merlinus Liberatus — from 1777 until at least 1814 ; and ( e ) De Ultimo Judicio: neu Gan am y Farn Ddiweddaf … Wedi ei gyfansoddi a'i gydmaru a gwaith Saesonaeg B[enjamin] Francis ( Carmarthen , 1794? ). It is possible that he was the translator of Traethawd ynghylch Caersalem Newydd o waith E. Swedenborg ( Carmarthen , 1815 ; another ed. in 1885 ). In a diary of David Jones , Wallington — it is now in the Cardiff Public Library — is a reference under Aug. 1790 to the death of ‘ Mathew Williams , author of a Welsh Almanack , this 14 years past, printed yearly in Carmarthen . He was from them parts by birth, by trade a weaver , by profession a dissenter , 55 years of age ’; note, however, that our Mathew Williams describes himself as ‘ land surveyor ’ in some of his works. [It is possible that there has been confusion between two men of this name. A Mathew Williams , land-surveyor , made his will 30 May 1819 , and was buried at Llandeilo-fawr on 30 Sept. 1819 , aged 87; the will was proved 24 March 1820 (parish and probate records in N.L.W. ).]

Sources:

  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 ;
  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , 1949 , 48;
  • John Davies , Rhestr o lyfrau argraffedig yng Nghaerfyrddin gan John Ross rhwng y blynyddoedd 1763 a 1807 , Carmarthen, 1916 , 1916 ;
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) , 1908

Author:

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

Published date: 1959