Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , RICHARD ( 1835 - 1906 ), antiquary and lawyer ;

b. at Bontdolgadfan , Llanbryn-mair , son of William Williams ( Gwilym Cyfeiliog , q.v.) . He was educated at schools at Llanbryn-mair and Newtown , and at Bala C.M. College . He then worked in the offices of David Howell of Machynlleth , 1851-6 , and Abraham Howell of Welshpool , 1856-69 — both of them being solicitors ; he himself was admitted a solicitor in 1866 . In 1869 he moved to Newtown , where he spent the rest of his life. He was twice m. (1) to Frances Brown , and (2) to Elizabeth Lewis of Rhyl . He was a faithful elder at ‘Crescent’ chapel . He held a number of public appointments and was the agent for the Liberal candidate , Stuart Rendel (q.v.) , when the latter was elected Member of Parliament in 1880 — the first Liberal member for the county of Montgomery . He published Montgomeryshire Worthies , 1884 , 2nd ed. 1894 ; History of the Parish of Llanbrynmair , 1889 ; and articles on the history and antiquities of his native county. He edited Yorke 's Royal Tribes of Wales , 1887 , with full notes of his own; Caniadau Cyfeiliog , 1878 , and the Mabinogion in old and modern Welsh (published by Isaac Foulkes , 1880 ). He translated Bacon 's Essays into Welsh in 1862 . He was a contributor to Bye-Gones and Y Geninen . He was one of the founders of the Powysland Club and was joint editor of its Transactions and Records . He gathered together a valuable library which, on his death, was purchased, thanks to the generosity of lord Davies of Llandinam , and handed over to the National Library of Wales as one of its foundation collections. It is called the ‘ Celynog Collection .’ He d. 15 June 1906 at Newtown , ‘at the age of 71.’


  • Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales , ii, etc. (see the index);
  • N.L.W. Bont Dolgadfan Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales


William Emyr Williams, C.B.E., Ll.D., (1889-1958), Wrexham

Published date: 1959