Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , WILLIAM ( Gwilym Peris ; 1769 - 1847 ), poet ;

b. at Tyn'r-aelgarth , Llanberis . After spending his youth wandering over the slopes of the Snowdonian range he went to live at Waun-fawr . He was there on ‘All Saints' Day’ (Old Style — 12 Nov.) 1802 , and Dafydd Ddu Eryri (q.v.) mentions him as one of those who had prepared an awdl on ‘ Happiness ’ for the poets conference, which took place on that occasion at Llanddeiniolen . He is described as ‘a married man, a slate quarryman , born in the parish of Llanberis but now resident at Waunfawr .’ He wrote an awdl on ‘ Providence ,’ which was the subject prescribed by Humphrey Thomas , brother of Dafydd Ddu Eryri , as a set piece for the poets of Caernarvonshire at their meeting at Bontnewydd , Llanwnda , in 1803 . In 1804 he sent an awdl on ‘ Ynys Prydain ’ to the Gwyneddigion eisteddfod , but it was Dewi Wyn o Eifion (q.v.) who won the medal on that occasion. In 1813 Gwilym Peris published his poetical works in a book called Awengerdd Peris , which includes all the awdlau mentioned above. Later, he went to live at Llandygài , where he came into close contact with Gutyn Peris (q.v.) . A of greeting by Gutyn to Gwilym is included in the Awengerdd , and Gwilym 's in reply is the most interesting piece he ever wrote. In it he describes the Llanberis district and Cwmglas Mawr , the home of Abraham Williams (q.v.) , who taught him and Gutyn the rudiments of prosody; then comes a description of Dafydd Ddu , ‘their second teacher ,’ and then there is a reference to John Morgan ( 1743 - 1801 ) (q.v.) , the curate , ‘ yn y lle yn gweini llan .’ Gwilym Peris d. in 1847 , and was buried in Llanllechid churchyard.

Sources:

  • Additional Manuscript in the British Museum 15027 (75);
  • Hynafiaethau a Thraddodiadau Plwyf Llanberis a'r Amgylchoedd . [1892.] 93-5;
  • Llyfr Hanes Llenyddiaeth ac Enwogion Llanllechid a Llandegai , 1921 , 103;
  • Awen-gerdd Peris, neu, Gasgliad o ganiadau sef awdlau, cywyddau, englynion, carolau a cherddi, etc. , Trefriw, 1813; 2nd ed. 1843 , 1813 (2nd imp., 1843 ).

Author:

Griffith Thomas Roberts, M.A., Llanrug

Published date: 1959