Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HUGHES , OWEN (‘ Glasgoed ’; 1879 - 1947 ), railway official, businessman and poet ;

b. at Glasgoed , Cwm Prysor, Mer. , one of the ten children of William and Mary Hughes . After a little education at Ty Nant and Upper Maentwrog school , he had to start working at the age of nine. In 1900 , he moved to the Rhondda where he worked in the coalmines for 6 years. There, he came under the influence of the 1904-05 Revival as can be seen from his hymns. He returned to his birthplace in 1906 and won the chair at the Rhosesmor eisteddfod that year.

He emigrated to Winnipeg where he lived for 20 years; he was a pillar of the Welsh church and of the St. David's Society . He worked as an official on the Canadian National Railroad before he established a successful business . He moved to California and, later, to Vancouver . He achieved some fame by winning cups and prizes in sport . He was able to speak and read eight languages . He took the bardic name of ‘ Glasgoed ’ from his home in Merionethshire . Between 1923 and 1940 he won more chairs and prizes for odes than any other person in America . He was a thoughtful poet and an outstanding master of cynghanedd .

He m. Kate Elliss from Caernarfon and she died in 1941 . Hughes d. on 29 Aug. 1947 and was buried in Vancouver .

Sources:

  • Y Genhinen , 4, 168-74;
  • There are two of his poems and some letters in National Library of Wales, J. W. Jones Collection, 2445-559, 291/60, 414/33, and Bob Owen Collection, 32/3/25.

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001