Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , WILLIAM ( Myfyr Wyn ; 1849 - 1900 ), blacksmith, poet, local historian, and a regular contributor of articles to the Welsh press ,

especially to Tarian y Gweithiwr in the ‘nineties.’. He was born on Twyn Star , Tredegar , and was the son of John and Hannah Williams . His father, a coalminer , was a native of the Cardigan district, who died following an accident in the Bryn Bach mine , Tredegar , when Myfyr Wyn was a boy, one of four children. His mother was born at Nant-y-bwch in 1819 , her parents having moved there from the Neath Valley . She was a sister to William Hopkin , coalminer , who wrote several of the articles in Mathetes 's (q.v.) theological dictionary. The family were Baptists , and Myfyr Wyn was brought up in Carmel church , Sirhowy . Robert Ellis ( Cynddelw , q.v.) , was a minister there during his boyhood, and had a life-long influence over him. Myfyr Wyn learnt his trade as a blacksmith in the smithy of the Sirhowy iron-works , where he also moved among several local poets, such as Joseph Bevan ( Gwentydd ), and Ezechiel Davies ( Gwentwyson ); but his chief teacher in the art of poetry was Evan Powell ( Ap Hywel ). Towards the middle of his life he moved to Glamorgan , and pursued his trade at Porth , and elsewhere, and finally at Aberdare . His health weakened, and in his latter years he kept a newsagent's shop at Aberaman , where he d., 5 June 1900 , and was buried on the 9th at Aberdare . He left a widow and a son. Myfyr Wyn competed in various eisteddfodau in strict and free metre, but excelled in short pieces in a light vein. He published two volumes of popular verse, Gwreichion yr Eingion ( Tredegar , 1887 ), and Y Trwmpyn neu Bartnar Piwr i Fechgyn a Merched gan ‘Y Bachan Ifanc’ ( Aberdare , 1896 , 2nd ed. 1906 ). His ‘ Llythyra Bachan Ifanc ’ in Y Darian were very popular articles written in Gwentian dialect , and the editor compared them in their effect on the circulation of the paper to ‘ Llythyrau Hen Ffarmwr ’ (by Hiraethog , q.v. ) in Yr Amserau . His brother, D. Williams ( Myfyr Ddu ), made a selection of his articles and poems, which he published in 1908 , as a volume entitled Cân, Llên, a Gwerin . This book contains his valuable reminiscences of Sirhowy and district, a selection of which was published in 1951 by the University of Wales Press .


  • Cân, Llên, a Gwerin sef cynhyrchion y diweddar Myfyr Wyn (Aberdâr, 1908) ;
  • Tarian y Gweithiwr (Aberdâr) , 14 June and 5 July 1900 ;
  • Ben Morus , Enwogion Aberdâr (1910) ;
  • a letter by Mr. W. W. Price , Aberdare.


David Myrddin Lloyd, M.A., (1909-81), Aberystwyth / Scotland

Published date: 1959