Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS , THOMAS OSBORNE ( 1879 - 1948 ), musician ;

b. 12 Feb. 1879 at Weston Rhyn , near Oswestry , Salop , s. of Evan Thomas Roberts and his wife Hephsibah Roberts ; the family moved in 1890 to Ysbyty Ifan, Denb. , to keep a shop . He was educated at the county school, Llanrwst , Salop School , Oswestry , the county school, Porthmadog , and the University College of North Wales , Bangor . He was articled to Major Barnes , agent of the Chirk Castle estate , and it was at Chirk that he began to study music and to learn to play the piano . He had begun to be in demand as an accompanist before he moved, in 1902 , to Llandudno where he became organist of the English (B) chapel . He had by now decided to devote himself entirely to music. He wrote songs (‘ Y Mab Afradlon ’ and ‘ Good Shepherd ’) and a piece for male voice choirs (‘ Brwydr y Baltic ’) which was chosen as a test-piece at the Colwyn Bay national eisteddfod of 1910 . Appointed organist of Castle Square English chapel , Caernarfon , he moved to that town; later he became organist and choirmaster at Moreia (CM) chapel in the same town. About this time he composed the songs ‘ Y Nefoedd ’, ‘ Pistyll y Llan ’, and ‘ Cymru Lân ’. He wrote several hymn-tunes , among them ‘ Pennant ’. His services were much in demand as accompanist and adjudicator . He d. at Wrexham Hospital , 21 June 1948 , and was buried in Ysbyty Ifan churchyard four days later.

He had been married twice, his second wife being Leila Megáne ( Margaret Hughes ; see above) .


  • Y Cerddor , Jan. 1911 ;
  • Baner ac Amserau Cymru , June, 1948 ;
  • [ Huw Williams , Thomas Osborne Roberts (1980) (1980) ].


Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 2001