Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , ABSALOM ( DWB , 859).

Read St. Grwst (not ‘Crwst’).

Author:

Corrections and additions:

ROBERTS , ABSALOM ( 1780? - 1864 ), poet and collector of penillion telyn ;

b. at Trefriw, Caerns. He was a shoemaker by trade. He was married twice and had twelve daughters and two sons; it is said that his second wife was related to the family of Sir Henry Jones ( Henry Jones , Old Memories ) (q.v.). He went to live at Eglwys-bach, Denbs. ; it has been said that it was in his house there that the Wesleyan Methodists began to preach in that part of Wales . He wandered from place to place, following his craft, working at Bangor , S. Asaph , and Llanfyllin , but returned eventually to Eglwys-bach . He spent his later years at Llanrwst ; it was from there that he sent in 1844 two englynion to greet Walter Davies ( Gwallter Mechain ) (see N.L.W. MS. 1746 ) and it was there that he d. in 1864 . He was buried in S. Crwst's churchyard ; the inscription on his gravestone, making him 94 years of age at the time, is probably a mistake for 84. He showed a fondness for poetry throughout his life, particularly for penillion sung to the accompaniment of the harp . He won the prize offered at the eisteddfod held in 1828 at Denbigh for the best collection of Welsh penillion not hitherto published; his collection numbered 815. In 1845 there was published, at Llanrwst , his Lloches Mwyneidd-dra yn cynnwys Carolau, Cerddi, ac Englynion, yn nghyd a dau gant o Hen Bennillion Cymreig . In the first part of the book are poems by Absalom Roberts and some by John Roberts , Bryncynlas . He shared with Wil Ysgeifiog (q.v.) the prize given at a Holywell S. David's Day eisteddfod , 1834 , for six englynion relating to the reintroduction of Holywell fairs. In an eisteddfod held at Rhuddlan in 1850 he again submitted a collection of penillion , but on this occasion he had to take second place, the prize being awarded to John Jones ( Idris Fychan ) (q.v.) . He contributed often to Y Gwyliedydd , Y Gwladgarwr (e.g. 1837 and 1841 ), and Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd ; he also wrote commendatory englynion to several books printed at Llanrwst (e.g. Gwaith Eos Gwynedd ).

Sources:

  • R. Griffith , Llyfr Cerdd Dannau , 1913 ;
  • T. H. Parry-Williams , ed., Hen Benillion , Aberystwyth, 1940 , in addition to the sources referred to above.

Author:

Robert Roberts, (1879-1955), Flint

Published date: 2001