Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , WILLIAM ( 1727 - 1795 ), schoolmaster and diarist ;

b. 29 July 1727 , son (it seems) of a William Thomas of S. Fagans, Glam. He was probably the ‘ William Thomas , Charity-school Master ’ who wrote a manuscript of hymns and other matter, now in the C.M. Archives kept at N.L.W. , and who is said to have kept school at one time at Llandybïe, Carms. — he is known to have kept schools in various south-eastern parishes of Glamorgan in the second half of the 18th cent. ; he was commonly known as ‘ William Thomas , scholar ,’ and some regarded him as a soothsayer ; he was also ‘ clerk to the Commissioners of Taxes in Dinas Powis hundred , and a surveyor of land .’ He and his wife Ann lived at Roughbrook , Michaelston-super-Ely , Glamorganshire . He d. 11 July 1795 , and was buried in his son William 's grave in Michaelston churchyard.

For very many years Thomas kept a diary , which was seen by John Rowland ( Giraldus , 1833 - 1891 , q.v.) , and quoted by him in his Caer-marthenshire Monumental Inscriptions — p. xxiii of that work shows that the diary was begun in 1750 . The diary, or part of it was, in 1888 , in the possession of a Dr. Lewis of the vale of Glamorgan , and in that year considerable excerpts of it, covering the years 1762-94 , were made by David Jones ( 1834 - 1890 ) (q.v. in App.) of Wallington — they are now in the Cardiff City library ( Crd. 4.877 ). As far as they go, they show that Thomas 's diary was a detailed and important chronicle of events in Glamorgan at a very interesting period, and the loss of the original diary must be a subject of great regret.

Sources:

  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , xxxiii, 54, xxxiv, 45, xxxv, 36;
  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg , 1948 , 236;
  • other sources cited above, and information from Mr. T. J. Hopkins of the Cardiff City Library.

Author:

Rev. Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 1959