Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , SAMUEL ( c. 1660 - c. 1722 ), cleric and author ;

he lived at Abertrosol , Llandyfrïog , south Cardiganshire . He m. Margaret , daughter of Thomas John of Nant-yr-ymenyn , Llandysul , by whom he had one son, Moses Williams (q.v.) . As far as is known, he received no formal education, but he had sufficient qualifications to be ordained deacon in 1691 when he was appointed curate of Llandyfrïog , and priest in 1696 , when he was made curate of Llanarth and its chapels of ease, Capel Crist and Llanina . He was given the living of Llandyfrïog in 1697 and became rector of Llangynllo (Cards.) in 1710 . The living of Llandyfrïog was given to Theophilus Evans (q.v.) in 1722 ; thus Samuel Williams 's death could not have occurred later than that year. His work proves that by 1696 he was an experienced copyist . Some of the following manuscripts are either wholly or partly in his handwriting: Llanst. MSS. 14, 15, 16, 17, 66, 89, 130, 133, 134, 145 , N.L.W. MS. 67 , and the manuscript Pedigrees of Bronwydd ( N.L.W. ). In 1703 he completed the translation of a book by John Fox and this translation, Amser a Diwedd Amser , was published in 1707 . In 1710 he published Undebyn Orchymmynedig i Ymarfer , another translation from the original English book by Dr. D. Phillips , rector of Maenor Deifi ( Manordivy ). He was also responsible for translating the index to the 1718 S.P.C.K. Bible . He also translated other books, but these are still in manuscript; they are: ‘ Gofal Tylwyth neu Ddyled Pennau Teuluoedd ,’ Erasmus Saunders ( Llanst. MS. 146 ), ‘ Immanuel neu Ddirgelwch Cnawdoliaeth Mab Duw ,’ James Ussher ( Llanst. MS. 22 ), ‘ Prawf fod degymau yn ddyledus wrth Ordinhad Duw ’, ( Llanst. MS. 111 ), the translation of which was begun in 1699 , the year the S.P.C.K. was founded, two volumes of sermons by bishop Beveridge ( N.L.W. MS. 68 ), and works by various authors ( Cwrtmawr MS. 253 ). His only original prose work, apart from dedications, was ‘ Gweddiau Teuluoedd i'w harfer Ar amryw Achosion ,’ but this is still in manuscript ( Llanst. MS. 146 ). He had intended publishing ‘ Difyrrwch Teuluoedd ’ ( Llanst. MSS. 145, 146 ), a collection of poems by some 100 poets. He also wrote halsingod (carols) , and it was he, in all probability, who published Pedwar o Ganuau , 1718 , the only collection of halsingod ever published. He wrote very little in the classical forms of poetry, but he was the author of the englynion in praise of the writer of Meddylieu Neilltuol ar Grefydd , 1717 , and that in praise of his literary friend, Iaco ab Dewi ( James Davies , 1648 - 1722 , q.v.) .

Sources:

  • J. Davies , Bywyd a Gwaith Moses Williams, (1685-1742) , 1937 ;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1946 .

Author:

Dr Geraint Bowen, M.A., Ruabon

Published date: 1959