Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , WILLIAM ( Carw Coch ; 1808 - 1872 ), eisteddfodwr and man of letters ;

b. 6 March 1808 near Aberpergwm in the Vale of Neath , the son of Noah and Joan Williams , who were members of the Unitarian congregation of Blaen Gwrach . At an early age he went to Tredegar , and thence to Llwydcoed , Aberdare , where, in 1832 , he m. a girl whose family had been settled in that neighbourhood for a long time. In 1837 , he built the Stag Inn — hence his pseudonym — at Trecynon , where he spent the rest of his life. He was an ardent politician , a member of the society of ‘Free Enquirers’ at Aberdare , and a supporter of the Chartists , to whose Welsh journal, Udgorn Cymru , he was a contributor. He also sent articles to Yr Ymofynydd (he was a leading member of the Unitarian meeting-house at Trecynon ), and was one of the founders of the newspaper Y Gwladgarwr ( 1857-83 ). In 1841 an eisteddfod was held at the Stag , and from that time on the ‘ Free Enquirers ’ became the ‘ Cymreigyddion of the Carw Coch ’ (Red Stag). People like Alaw Goch (q.v. on p. 1032), Dr. Thomas Price (q.v.) , and, indeed, all the local poets and writers took part in the Carw Coch eisteddfod , which continued as an institution for many years. The fruit of one of the series ( 1853 ) was the volume Gardd Aberdâr , 1854 , which contains, among other things, one of Carw Coch 's essays. He d. 26 Sept. 1872 , and was buried in S. Fagan's churchyard, Aberdare . Some of his works, prose and verse, were collected in a volume, Carw Coch , 1908 .


  • Gweddillion llenyddol y diweddar William Williams (Carw Coch) mewn rhyddiaeth a barddoniaeth (Aberdâr, 1908) ;
  • D. M. Richards , Rhestr Eisteddfodau hyd y flwyddyn 1901 (1914) , 1914 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , xl, 58-60, lvi, 41-4, 82-3.


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

Published date: 1959