Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAM(S) , ROBERT ( 1744 - 1815 ), poet, and farmer

of Pandy Isaf , Tre Rhiwedog ( Bala ); b. (according to his tombstone) in 1744 . Hardly anything is known of his life. He learned the bardic craft from Rolant Huw (q.v.) , and became himself the teacher of Ioan Tegid ( John Jones , 1792 - 1852 , q.v.) and others. He used to write ‘C.C.’ (‘Friend of the Cymmrodorion’) after his name, and wrote an elegy on the death of Richard Morris of Anglesey , and a cywydd on the Day of Judgement , which his master Rolant Huw thought not unworthy of comparison with the better-known cywyddau of Goronwy Owen and William Wynn (of Llangynhafal ) on the same subject. He also wrote a to Dafydd Ionawr ( David Richards ) , and exchanged englynion with Twm o'r Nant ( Thomas Edwards ) . But the bulk of his work consists of elegies of purely local interest, carols, and ‘club songs’ — there is a manuscript volume at N.L.W. Though his name does not occur in the records of the neighbouring Calvinistic Methodist chapel ( Llwyneinion ), he had affinities with Methodism : he extolled the Bible Society (a line of his on its work has passed into common parlance) and was warm in his praises of Peter Williams ( 1723 - 1796 ) (q.v.) — indeed, his elegy on Peter Williams was, as far as is known, one of the only two works of his which he printed and published ( Oswestry , 1797 ; see Y Drysorfa , 1944 , 60-1). Selections from his work were printed by O. M. Edwards ( Cymru Fydd , iv, 41-4; Cymru , ii, 210-3; Beirdd y Bala , 40-8) — for that matter, nearly all our knowledge of him and his works is due to Owen Edwards . He d. in Aug. 1815 — he was buried at Llanfor , 1 Sept . William Edwards ( 1773 - 1853 ) (q.v.) , the hymnwriter , was a nephew (brother's son) and bardic disciple of his.


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

Published date: 1959